Caring for the environment seems to be a common theme among the concept of eco-literacy. But what does caring really mean? Based on the perspectives from mine and my classmate’s understanding, caring has to do with acts of appreciation, conservation, love, solutions, and educating others on the importance of the environment. It seems to me that various people in our lives have developed this ecological perspective that is ingrained in their everyday life. By doing things like recycling, conversing energy, and just being in touch with nature, these people in our lives show this value and it radiates inspiration!
Madison illustrated many ways in which taking care of the environment is an element of eco-literacy. Learning about environmental education from someone then applying it to your daily life is something I definitely consider important when understanding sustainability. When referring to learning about recycling she said, “I didn’t know the importance of recycling at the time it opened my eyes to make me interested in why we did that and to this day I still recycle.” Similarly, Allison stated that her teacher, “taught me the importance of the environment and how human life depends on it.” This is much like my letter to my sister, as I commented on the large amounts of conscious efforts she does to care about the environment by recycling, composting, walking, etc. We need to work as a community, a system, in order to properly care and respect the environment and clearly we have done this by learning strategies to do so from others. Capra (2007) implies that in order to be a sustainable community we need to be educated by ecosystems and communities that have been able to sustain themselves. I believe that by imitating our eco-literate loved ones, Madison, Allison and I have all come to a common conclusion that is sufficient to Capra’s idea of eco-literacy with regards to sustainability.
However, the differences within our understanding is what makes the term eco-literacy so complex because it is comprised of so many dimensions. I think the main reason for this is the because of the system thinking we need to do according to Capra (2007). One reason for this is because we have devalued nature because of the materialistic world we live in. The perspective from Madison about travel and making sure her grandparents yard was clean as part of her understanding of eco-literacy was a perceptive I did not have. After thinking about it, I think that’s really interesting and applicable to the subject. It’s the appreciation aspect I had mentioned earlier which I think is fundamental if you want to start caring for the environment. Therefore, it dissociates with the materialistic world while stepping back and looking at the beauty in front of us. Also, Allison mentioned being exposed to the harm and pollution caused by humans. This was not something I specifically mentioned in my own letter, but again I think we need to address what has been done in order to know what we need to do.
Capra, F. (2007). Sustainable Living, Ecological Literacy, and the Breath of Life. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 12(1), 9-18.