Sunday, November 15, 2009

Green Guide for an Eco-Education

Using David Suzuki’s Green Guide for an Eco-Education

David Suzuki's Green Guide is a publication that I am passionate about and consider worth recommending to anyone. To refresh from a previous post, the book addresses the Ecological Footprint which measures human impact upon the environment; how much space or productive land is needed to support an individual's lifestyle. The larger the footprint the more impact the individual has on the Earth. Embedded in this concept is how we all impact each other and everything by every choice we make, conscious of it or not. This is really at the heart of thinking of the ecological footprint simply as the consequences of our actions on the environment.

According to the Canadian Suzuki, one of the most environmentally sensible ways you can cut down on your ecological footprint is by being aware of what you eat. He goes into depth about them in Chapter 3 of his Green Guide which contain facts like “the amount of grain fed to livestock in the U.S. could feed about 840 million people on a plant-based diet". This book teaches that "eating is an agricultural act, a biological act, a social act, an economic act, and a political act. With every meal you can vote for the food system that you would like to see". In not shying away from social and political contexts, this text becomes an opportunity to open up minds to the realization that you have the power to directly influence the demand for eco-minded thought and action.

In attending teacher's college, I am engaging with various ways of implementing teaching environmental responsibility. The Green Guide for example states that "by eating a local, organic, and predominately plant-based diet you can reduce the ecological footprint of the food you eat by as much as 90%". By putting this information into the hands of the next generation we are effectively educating for the environment. Therefore we are educating for ourselves and futures where a more harmonious human existence within the natural world has the opportunity to blossom. The natural world has become removed from the hyper-industrialized and technological Western society that sets the climate for education atmospheres. It is imperative that we instil a sense of duty and urgency towards being aware of ecological conditions and their implications. One of the ways in which we can achieve this is being extremely conscious about how our daily habits manifest into environmental conundrums on a macro scale.

This publication is also a direct connection to the David Suzuki Nature Challenges which are available in the text, online, and are a fun and easy way to incorporate environmental issues into the classroom. Alternatively, a student or teacher reading this book may choose to implement an organized Nature Challenge group that participates in learning about, practicing and teaching others about ecological footprint reducing factors and information. David Suzuki’s Nature Challenge teacher guide is also available and contains 20 lessons that focus on our interconnectedness with nature!

This is an excellent read because it is not just a “how to” or a boring guilt-ridden summary of how one is personally killing the earth. Instead it is a comprehensive look into the current ecological conditions and how it is of our best interest as individuals and as a group to be invested in the thought-provoking information and wisdom that the text provides.

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