How do we impart
the message?

Transmettre de
sérieux messages
concernant nos

photo: Sierra Club of Canada - Atlantic Canada Chapter How can environmental education impart the serious messages about our environmental problems without scaring our children to death and without making them feel there is no hope?

Comment l'éducation relative à l'environnement peut-elle réussir à transmettre de sérieux messages concernant nos problèmes environnementaux sans terrifier nos enfants et sans leur faire perdre tout espoir!

Kamto Rose
6 Avril 2006
Comment faire pour qu'une ville soit plus propre et qu'il ait moins de pollution?
Emilie turtlewoman
August 27, 2005
J'ai peur pour ma fille, les enfants serons les premier à souffrir de notre manque d'égard envers la nature. Je pleure aussi pour tout ses enfants qui souffrent maintenant partout dans le monde
L'éducation des parents est encore plus importante... Un parent informé est un parent qui informera son enfant.

Elise Houghton
August 22, 2005
We know that when people look carefully at how they are affecting nature, identify how the damage is happening, and design ways to reverse it - quite wonderful things happen. We have seen Lake Erie come back to life, eagles re-appear in California, New Hampshire grow a new forest. Courageous people like Lois Gibbs spoke out on toxic dumps, and the Superfund came into being. New ways to cool buildings, generate electricity, design communities, grow healthy food and restore habitat are all around us. We can solve the environmental problems we create if we look at what we are doing - and invest the effort and behavioural change - and yes, the money we didn't invest in the first place to avoid them.
What is scaring children is the environmental damage that isn't being dealt with, or talked about, by us. The winner of the recent Starship Story-writing contest in the Toronto Star was a 14-year-old boy, James Elcombe, who painted a future picture of a teenager gathering cockroaches for his supper on a devasted Earth, gasping for air in an oxygen-depleted atmosphere. I believe what scares the kids is the fact that we're not making a coherent, focused effort to teach them what they will clearly need to know to change the direction we've been going in.
Maybe it's the adults who would be scared to death to face what their children and their students are going to have to deal with.
There's still time. A brave policy paper written in Australia in response to the State Sustainability Strategy (still absent in Canadian provinces) for Western Australia recommended that "the education systems and schools include education for sustainability as their primary purpose. Their primary purpose.
Facing and designing solutions and adaptations (yes, they're going to have to adapt to what we've done so far) will give the children the hope they need.

Bob Ewing
Thunder Bay, ON
Let Nature be the teacher. Gardening is a hand-on activity that engages students with Nature. Ecological Gardening (indoors and out) provides an opportunity to talk about how things grow and about evolution and impact. 
Jurgen Teuwen,
Bay of Islands 
Centre Association,
Moser River, NS
March 11, 2005
In addition to everything said below on this page, we must make sure that we are clearly
living the example while explaining why and how we are doing so. We must further insist that persons of authority in every walk of life do so. A teacher who commutes many kilometers to and from work every day, for example, cannot credibly promote environmental responsibility. We must become less tolerant of environmentally irresponsible behaviour and clearly make it as socially unacceptable as smoking.

11 mars, 2005
Comme un cours de francais, il se doit d'avoir des cours d'environnement afin de progresser
avec des connaissances et de piquer leur curiosité a aller plus loin.

Beth McLaughlin
Moncton, NB
March 11, 2005
Environmental education can impart serious messages and offer hope about environmental problems by a) opening up the discussion and b) asking for solutions from those suffering from the problems. I've learned that people's fears begin to dissipate once the subject is on the table. Nothing has ever been solved by burying our heads ( the discussion) in the sand. 5 year olds can offer intelligent solutions - it is listening and implementing them where we adults seem to have great difficulty.
J-P B, 

11 mars, 2005
Tout repose sur l'éducation et l'instruction. L'enfant croit se qu'il apprend. Ce qu'il apprend deviendra une certitude qu'il devra associé a des idées nouvelles. Si ces idées nouvelles doivent être anti-environnementale, il aura comme réation de les redoutés et de les rejetés. Si les valeurs de son éducation sont positives, la logique veut bien que ces valeurs soient conservés.
March 10, 2005
Perhaps if you educate them and allow them to take part in hands on practices that will show them just how much one person is able to achieve they will feel less scared and more like they have the power within themselves to benefit the world as a whole.
Eastern Charlotte
Waterways Inc
March 9, 2005
By using the same outreach and awareness techniques that health institutions and organizations have been using for a number of years. 
Highlighting the positives, referring to the negatives, while encouraging awareness, lifestyle changes and providing options and solutions. Children are very inquisitive, quick to learn and keen when allowed to participate in investigating issues, finding alternatives and promoting their futures.

Sharon Flatt
Douglas, NB
March 9, 2005
I believe that instilling a love and respect for the earth is the way to begin a child's environmental education. How else will they have a reason to care what happens to the earth? They should be shown how everything is interconnected and that nothing works on its own. Poison in the water will eventually make the animals and humans sick. Pollution in the air will eventually end up in our lungs and on our vegetables. One cycle feeds into the next and so on. This information is not scary and makes sense. The beauty of flowers and rivers are something worth loving and protecting especially if you have learned that
the bees need the flowers and honey is good for you.

Mike Nickerson 
March 8, 2005
Greetings: When I try to give people a sense of hope, I communicate the following item. 
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