What does the Environment Mean to Me?

The environment, through my eyes, encompasses the different types of ecological surroundings on our planet. What does it means to me? Basically everything.  When thinking about the environment, initially nature and ways to respect it comes to mind. I think of what I do to contribute to the environment such as be conscious of the energy I consume, recycle, not use plastic bags, and have a vegetarian diet. After that, I dig deeper in my understanding and realize that there are many different types of environments and things to consider. Hens, my creative journal represents what I see around me and my feelings towards those images. I visited Calgary, AB and Banff National Park over the weekend where I became inspired by my surroundings in which I drew. I then began to recall other environments I’ve been in and drew those through my perspective.

After reflecting on the almost automatic motions my hand was sketching, I decided that the environment is the natural and manufactured worlds we live in and the interaction between the two. The relationship between these two worlds is why I think environmental education is important. When I write down the words “awareness,” “respect,” “sustain,” and “conserve,” what am I really talking about? Conserve what? Surely it’s more then just being aware of how we use/reuse resources from the earth? Well, David Orr (2004) introduces some things our future health and prosperity depend on that pertain to the types of things I was intentionally implying such as climate stability, resilience and productivity of natural systems, beauty of natural world, and biological diversity. Why these things are important is what I think the bases of environmental education is.  

Applying knowledge in practical ways by using the mass amounts data and resources we have to incorporate the environment in every discipline is a way that we can take knowledge and environmental education to a realistic level. What would anyone/thing be if there was no environment? Why do people care more about stem cell research than the science of land health? I would argue that it is these type of questions that form a bases of the ongoing learning process about the environment. When referring to managing the earth, Orr makes a point that I want to conclude with that, in my opinion, is what we as humans need to understand,

“What might be managed is us: human desires, economies, politics, and communities…It makes far better sense to reshape ourselves to fit a finite planet than to attempt to reshape the plant to fit out infinite wants”(p.9).

"What does the Environment Mean to Me"
“What does the Environment Mean to Me”

3 thoughts on “What does the Environment Mean to Me?

  1. I really liked how you posed a few questions at the end of your write-up. I especially liked the question “What would anyone/thing be if there was no environment?”. I think this is an important question that more people (including myself) need to think about because we are taking parts of our world for granted. I agree that both the natural and manufactured world should be a part of our environment because it is a part of our everyday lives and surroundings.I think that many people only consider or think about the natural aspect of our environment when in reality the manufactured part should be equally important. I also like in the first paragraph how you mentioned a few of your initial ideas about what environment is because I think that those are the initial ideas that come to mind for most people.


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