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Environmental Science

Major Environmental Problems on Current Date

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It cannot be denied that our environment is subject to constant change. With the change of the environment, the requirement to become more aware of the major problems surrounding our environment also increases. People have to be aware of the various types of environmental threats that our planet Earth is facing. One of the greatest problems is global warming and it has become an inseparable part of our livelihoods today. There is no denying that our planet is gradually warming up. Apart from this, several other environmental problems are there. People, all around the globe, are tormented by old and new environmental problems every now and then. While some of these problems are small, several others are drastically changing our planet. We, Earthlings are indeed at the brink of tremendous environmental crisis.

  • Global warming – Human activities such as emission of the Greenhouse gases are responsible behind global warming. With this, the temperatures of the Earth’s surface and of the oceans is rising, leading to melting of ice caps in the polar regions and rise of water levels in seas.
  • Pollution – Air, water and soil pollution are the biggest threat to mankind. Acid rain, oil spill and urban wastes cause water pollution. Toxins and various gases released by factories and industries are responsible for air pollution. Soil pollution is mainly the product of waste from the industries.
  • Overpopulation – The population of the Earth is about to reach unsustainable levels and with this there will be an acute shortage of water, food, fuel and other resources. Developing countries are struggling with scarce resources already. Intensive agriculture is damaging the environment due to use of insecticides, pesticides and chemical fertilizers. So, overpopulation is definitely a great environmental problem.
  • Depletion of Ozone Layer – The ozone layer that protects our planet from the harmful rays of the sun is being depleted. Pollution caused by CFC is responsible for this depletion. When these toxic gases succeed in reaching the upper atmosphere, a hole is caused in the ozone layer. The biggest hole is seen above the Antarctic circle. Many industries have band CFC. Ozone layer is very important as it prevents us from dangerous UV radiations.
  • Deforestation – Our forests give us fresh oxygen, bring rainfall and regulate temperature. At present, 30 percent of the land is covered by forest and every year the forest area is decreasing because population growth demand more shelter, food and cloth. Clearing of forest and converting the land into residential, commercial and industrial places are severely damaging the environment.
  • Acid Rain – Acid rain is caused because of the presence of several pollutants in the Earth’s atmosphere. Erupting volcanoes, rotting vegetation, combustion of fossil fuel release nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide into our atmosphere. It is one such environmental problem that will have tremendous effect on wildlife, human health and aquatic species.

If we, humans, do not stop moving forward applying harmful means, the future of our Earth is at a huge threat. It’s high time that we raise awareness in our families and our locality to make our Earth a friendly abode for all of us.

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Environmental Science

Environmental Education For Students Pledge For Better Tomorrow, This Earth Day 2020

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Image refer to the student who need environment education
Image Credit : Pixabay (sasint)

The struggle for survival is not a new concept. It was there when the early man started to build tools for hunting with stones in Palaeolithic age and the struggle is still on when we are trying to save our existence due to the diminishing health of our natural environment. The research is flooded with some significant and disturbing facts. As per the United Nations (UN), the world population is projected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050. There will be an increase in demand, twice as many resources as the planet can supply. The people would require more understanding and creative problem-solving skills to meet the needs at multiple levels – ecological, cultural, spiritual, and economical. In this respect, environmental education is promoted as a gizmo to provide knowledge, skills, and motivation to the learners about the complex environmental challenges.

As Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world”.Marching with his words, environmental education or EE is being added as a major curriculum subject for the students of the middle and secondary level. In fact, the concepts of saving Earth and resources are introduced to little kids at the primary education level in the form of activities such as planting trees, saving water, sorting trash.

India’s take on the importance of environmental education

Introducing environmental education during the early academic years is a great step towards building a responsible future generation. EE equips the population with the knowledge, attitude, commitment, and skills to understand the current environmental challenges. It is proving to be a successful approach to attain sustainable development goals by encouraging students to conserve and protect the natural environment in their schools, neighbourhoods, city, and country at large.

In India, the implementation of environmental education in the formal school curriculum is guided by two national policy documents:

A learned man once said facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. This holds true for the present condition of our environment where glaciers are melting at rapid speed, marine life is endangered, water resources are getting scarce, the air is getting unconsumablefor humans and animals alike. EE aids understanding of how to reverse the process of environmental decline. There are more offerings as well.

  • There is an enhancement in creative and critical thinking.
  • Students acquire skills that can be applied to real-world problems.
  • The learning prompts thinking to come up with actions that can boost the environment.
  • It teaches interconnection between ecological, political, cultural, and economic aspects, concerning the natural environment.
  • It induces a healthier lifestyle and makes the world a better place to live.
  • It helps the community at large to fight nature deficit disorders.
  • And above all, the education helps in strengthening our bond as a community

In India, environmental education is included in the curriculum with the following structure:

ClassesMode of Transaction
I and IIThrough Activities
III to VEnvironmental Studies (EVS)
VI to XInfusion Model
XI to XIIProject-based Study
NCERT Approach for Environmental Education

This learning continues at some graduate and post-graduate professional courses too, such as BBA, BCA. Alongside, various diploma courses in environmental studies have been designed by environmental experts and are offered by prestigious universities.

Students’ role in attaining the wisdom towards the environment

The main focus of environmental education is to enable the students to analyze, evaluate, and draw inferences about problems and concerns related to the environment. And with their acumen, they should be ready to contribute to their current understanding of environmental issues and come up with positive solutions in response to those. At the moment, this is the only expectation.

The students are advised to learn about the environment, through the environment, and for the environment. The major part of our Indian culture supports the principle of reuse, reduce, and recycle. This is in harmony with our mother Earth. The youth is looked upon to carry forward this tradition for the sake of the environment and focus on the educational curriculum to have an in-depth understanding of what is wrong with our world.

There are few expectations from the students:

  • Be more responsible when you come upfront to face environmental issues.
  • Take part in the initiatives offered at schools, colleges, or country level.
  • Have a role model for yourself and be a one for others.
  • Empower themselves with skills to conserve the environment.

The role of mentors and associated governing bodies is crucial too.

  • Easy implementation of concepts

The teachers must be adequately trained to lower the gap between theoretical learning and practical implementation.

  • Enhanced teacher competencies

Provide a solid learning platform with the availability of staff that can provide an in-depth understanding of the different environmental education subjects and topics.

  • Structure of the curriculum

Evaluate and sequence the academic curriculum with the required components of environmental studies. Make timely and relevant changes based on the modern developments and problems.

  • Comprehensive evaluation

Adhere to variables that dictate the learning and knowledge curve of the students. Evaluate and provide them opportunities to overcome the deficiency in their implementation approach.

We as humans have the instinct to protect our home. But presently, we are the major culprits in destroying our common homeland – The Earth.

For Earth Day’s 50th anniversary on 22nd April 2020, take part in 2020. Global Teach-In, an Earth Day network initiative for connecting with more than 500 million students and community members worldwide. Be a part of the change and show that you care.

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Environmental Science

Environmental Education for Students

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Image Indicate Environmental Education for all
Image Credit : Pixabay (mohamed_hassan)

In a nutshell, environmental education is a process that is designed to create awareness and understanding of environmental problems that result in individual and group actions. When done correctly, environmental studies promote critical thinking, effective decision-making, and problem-solving skills. The education uses processes that involve learners measuring, observing, experimenting, classifying, and other data collection techniques. These processes help them in inferring, discussing, interpreting, and predicting information about environmental concerns.

This article will look at environmental education for students, as well as its importance. But before we do that, let’s have a look at some problems arising from the distraction of Mother Nature.

Effects of environmental degradation and destruction

The environment is currently facing lots of challenges. Issues like acid rain, global warming, urban sprawl, air pollution, water pollution, depletion of the ozone layer, waste disposal, climate change seem to worsen by the day. It would have been better if all these happened naturally (albeit, it is still a bad thing) – but that is not the case. These problems are a result of animal and human activities—the same humans who end up taking the hit.

Over the past few years, the exploitation of the earth and degradation of the surrounding has skyrocketed at an alarming speed. Since human actions are consistently not in favor of saving the planet, natural disasters have been cropping up each day, causing more havoc than we could even imagine. A good example is the Amazon Rain Forest fires that happened in 2019. These fires consumed thousands of hectares of forest land; a forest that plays a critical role in the production of oxygen; one that is home of hundreds of animals and plant species – burning down at a record rate. 

And that is not the only case. In 2019, China experienced a deadly typhoon, Lekima, that claimed 72 lives. The tropical storm swept through numerous provinces leading to severe floods and incredible damage to bridges and roads. In the same year, Typhoon Hag ibis claimed not less than 86 people in Japan. Not to forget the heat wave in India that killed 90 people in the summer of 2019. And these are just a few examples – the list goes on and on.

What is disturbing is that human beings seem not concerned with all these. It is business as usual. Different organizations and groups have cropped up trying to effect change, but nothing substantial has come out of it. It seems as though this generation is hardwired to a certain way of life. But all hope is not lost. The good thing is that there is an upcoming generation that can make a difference. These are our kids at school – whether it is pre-school, grade school, senior school, or college. These are tomorrow’s leaders. And with the right environmental education for students, they can be the change that we want to see. 

Teaching the students and the masses

Environmental education is perhaps the best weapon that we can use to minimize and eventually cut out human actions that contribute to environmental issues. Different individuals, groups, and environments across the globe are playing their part in educating the masses about environmental care. They are informing people on how their small actions can add up for a greater good.

Educators, too, are teaching their students about the environment in a bid to turn them into responsible adults. When students study environmental science, it becomes part of their lives. This makes it easy for them to respect nature. Additionally, ecological education teaches learners about how to protect and ensure the safety of things around them.

When done right, our children will grow up knowing that tropical forests play a significant role in preventing climate change and that burning them will increase global warming and other resulting consequences. Again, they will understand that reversing the burning of fossil fuel and loss of natural habitat are the only ways to reduce climate warming.

And while technology is trying to curb a range of issues – like replace fossil fuel and even reduce greenhouse gases, it is still less likely to attain what is required in the short time available. Besides, technology will not be effective if the destruction of savannah and tropical forests becomes widespread. 

With students being motivated to bring about change, many are looking into ways to help save the environment. In fact, some are coming up with creative renewable energy solutions to reduce over-reliance on fossil fuels. Other green innovations include drinkable seawater, illuminating water, solar panels, plastic from banana peels, eco-bags, and so on. All these innovations come about when students are motivated enough to want to effect change.

A few things to note about environmental education

It is important to note that environmental education and environmental information are two very different things. The latter involves offering facts about specific environmental problems or concerns. This can be achieved through informational brochures, press releases, videos, bulletins, and other media channels. It is also directed towards the general public rather than a specific audience or group. In most cases, environmental information is just effective among those who are motivated and concerned about particular issues or topics.

Quality environmental education focuses on the educational process. It is science-based and not biased. Educators can be advocates, but when they take on teaching students, they should not be inclined toward a specific direction. By this, we mean, they should be neutral and not allow their personal beliefs to inform their teachings.

Parting shot

By 2030, the global population will need twice as many resources as Mother Nature can supply. This is according to The Economist. Meeting the cultural, economic, spiritual, and ecological needs of global citizenry calls for understanding and creative problem-solving abilities.  Environmental education arms students with the motivation, skills, and knowledge to handle sophisticated environmental concerns in the 21st century.

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Environmental Science

Raising Earth-Friendly Children’s: Parenting Goals

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Image credit by Pixabay

Childhood is the best time to form good habits as the mind is fresh and impressionable. This is the reason why it is easier to teach new things to children as opposed to adults. So are you making use of the initial years of your children to instill good values and healthy habits in them that will make them responsible and sensible citizens? Read the complete article to find out the tricks of raising eco-friendly children’s.

Engaging and fun ways of raising eco-conscious children

Here are some great ways to teach kids to made eco-friendly choices and switch to sustainable living.

Start with educating the beautiful mind

Before incorporating healthy habits in your daily routine it is essential that you make your children understand why it is important?

Talk to them about the environment and why we need to look after our planet for the wellbeing of all living organisms.

Make them watch all the good stuff

You have to approach an individual in a way that works best for the person. Lecturing a young kid on environmental issues might not be a great help as the kid would not be able to relate. Children love watching the cartoon and you can make them watch educational videos involving cartoon characters that highlight the positive effects of preserving our environment. Feed those young minds with all kinds of good things in a way that makes learning fun for them.

Spend time outdoors

An ideal way to commence your kid’s eco-conscious journey is to make her/him develop deep love and respect for nature. Instead of keeping her/him busy with tuitions and gadgets take him outdoors here he can associate with other children and have fun. Engage in outdoor activities like camping, hiking, fishing, swimming, etc to help her/him adopt habits for conserving the environment.

Cleaning

Adults who throw garbage in public places or do not wash their hands before eating are the ones who have not been taught the earnestness of remaining clean as a child. If your child learns that littering is an ill-practice, he or she will never do it. Make them clean their own room after they play and wash their own dishes so that they do not expect others to perform those tasks for them.

Teach kids to conserve food and water

Throwing away food is an ill-practice and half of the adults do not realize it. The reason behind this is the lack of proper upbringing. Educate your child early on hunger issues and the scarcity of potable water prevalent worldwide. It is inhuman to waste excess water while showering, brushing teeth and cleaning clothes. Similarly, there should be certain dining rules at every home prohibiting the children from throwing away food.

Love for animals

Caring for the environment does not mean caring for plants only. Explain to your kids that plants, animals and natural resources are all part of the ecosystem. One way of raising eco-friendly children’s with a soft-corner for other living organisms is by bringing home a pet- be it a fish, a cat, or a dog. After that, involve them in activities that include taking care of the family pet like feeding the dog, taking it out for a walk, and playing with it. Spending time with a faithful and friendly dog from a young age will definitely make your child a better and kinder human being.

Gardening

Gardening is a great hobby, one that has no negative side effects. Practice sustainable gardening with your little ones in your yard, balcony, or rooftop. Planting saplings and watching them grow to help us appreciate nature and count on our blessings. Using bio-degradable wastes as natural fertilizers for plants will not just facilitate the growth of veggies they plant but also let them enjoy the recycling of products.

Planting and protecting trees

With global warming being a potential threat at present, we need to plant millions of trees worldwide to cool down our planet. So, your child needs to know how important trees are for maintaining the ecological balance. So, plant trees together on special occasions such as birthdays and Earth Day.

Conclusion

These are just a few ways of raising eco-friendly children’s who care about their surroundings. Your goal should be to teach important life lessons through fun activities.

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