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Earth and Environmental Science: Everything you need to know

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Earth and Environmental Science

The environment has always been an evergreen subject as it matters a lot to anyone’s daily life. It is where you live, breathe, eat, and bring up your children. Your life support systems depend on the well-being of every living organism on earth. This is the primary reason a lot has been spoken and written about “Earth and environmental-science“. Besides, a lot has been written about the importance, protection, and conservation of the environment.

Environmental science is an academic field that focuses on the interaction between natural systems and human systems. The latter involves life and the earth itself. Environmental science takes the biological, physical, and chemical sciences to analyze the environment and uncover effective solutions to different environmental problems.

The common sciences used in the broad field of environmental science include physics, geography, ecology, zoology, geology, and oceanology. Besides, environmental encompasses environmental engineering and other related environmental studies. It offers an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to the in-depth study of different environmental issues.

The ever-growing complexity of environmental issues is creating a need for scientists with extensive, interdisciplinary training in various elements of environmental science. These professionals can use their knowledge of natural sciences to protect human health and the environment. They must have robust backgrounds in sociology, political science, and economics.

To understand that environmental issues are a global problem

Environmental science helps in understanding that environmental issues such as global warming, acid rains, climate change, ozone layer depletion, and other similar issues are no longer national issues – they have become global problems. Thus, a concerted global effort is a need when it comes to tackling these issues.

To understand the effect of development on the environment

It is correctly documented and quantified that various processes of development have led to industrial growth, the expansion of transport and telecommunications systems, urbanization, expansion of housing, and hi-tech agriculture. Environmental science focuses on educating humans about the importance of decentralization of industries to minimize congestion in urban communities. The goal is to attain sustainability without compromising the ability of future generations to satisfy their wants.

Discover more sustainable ways of living

The field of environmental science is more concerned with finding effective ways to live sustainably. That means using the present resources in a way that conserves their supply in the future. Note that environmental sustainability doesn’t have to outlaw luxurious living. It advocates for the creation of awareness about the consumption of different resources and reducing unnecessary waste. This may include eating locally, efficient use of energy at home, recycling more, disposing waste the right way, and more.

Lastly, environmental science helps us to utilize natural resources efficiently. It also sheds light on contemporary concepts like how to conserve biodiversity.

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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