The education arm of the 49ers continues to educate students about sustainability, this time by teaching them about water sustainability.
“We’re always trying to think about ways to make what we do relatable and really proximate to kids,” said 49ers EDU Director Jesse Lovejoy. “The idea of water scarcity, drought, water, as it relates to part of being environmentally conscious is very, very commonly discussed and known around kids of all ages.
“With a lesson like this, it’s really about in the tools that we have in the lesson where we actually put them to work in their homes and their communities and designing ways for them to save water,” continued Lovejoy. “We’re hoping to inspire them to think more about this world…how they can be a better environmental student.”
To help students understand how water sustainability affects many of the things they see every day, 49ers EDU partnered with Levi’s. For Levi’s, the partnership was a no-brainer.
“We know how essential water is, to communities and commerce alike,” said Jeffrey Hogue, Chief Sustainability Officer with LS&Co. “We’ve been working across our supply chain for many years to find ways to be more efficient with the water we use, to reduce overall water use, especially in areas of high water stress, and to increase the amount of recycled water we use in our operations. So, it felt like a natural fit to come together with another iconic Bay Area organization like the 49ers to convey just how important water is in an educational program geared towards younger generations.”
The latest education module teaches students how Levi Strauss & Co. sustainably uses water to create Levi’s jeans. This is the first time the 49ers EDU has teamed with a corporation to talk about environmental sustainability in its educational programs. However, it is not the first time that 49ers EDU has addressed the issue of sustainability.
“Your teacher would have had the opportunity to choose a lesson on solar energy, for example, and you could learn about how we collect and use solar energy and redistribute it back into the grid in the City of Santa Clara,” said Lovejoy. “You could have selected a lesson on recycled water via how we talk about it through the green roof and how we collect and then redistribute rainwater to take care of things [where] doesn’t matter if you use grey water versus freshwater.”
Lovejoy says while the 49ers EDU program was progressing toward more virtual offerings, COVID really pushed the team to explore better ways to reach students. This virtual lesson is the result of that push.
“We always knew we [had] to find a way to make this accessible to kids and teachers, where they were,” said Lovejoy. “This just accelerated that process. So, what we were able to do is be really intentional about what we were building, because we knew that we wanted to be able to use it after COVID was over.”
49ers EDU hopes to bring local students back in to Levi’s Stadium for educational programs next fall. Until then, it continues to produce virtual content for teachers anywhere in the world to use.