Many of us have either watched or read a book called The Lorax. To children, this feels like a fictional story made for entertainment. But to young adults, it translates as an unfathomable nightmare in society. Dr. Seuss once said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Change depends on you. Climate change, water protection, air quality, reducing the health impact of disasters, and diminishing human exposure to toxic chemicals are multiple areas in conscious agenda through sustainability. Think of it as valuing each factor as a small seed that goes a long way.
There is a belief that conservation begins with education throughout many programs to investigate the improvement of environmental health and human interaction with nature. Ideally, classrooms are the place to teach about the environment and human health. But this space is viewed more as a political issue that is pressured on schools and parents as well. When K-12 students learn about the environment, the information they receive becomes biased and deceptive. The authors of The Failure of Environmental Education (And How We Can Fix it) describe environmental responsibility as a broadly held and nonpartisan value. They believe it should deserve a core priority in public education, with lessons on the environment to proliferate individual students.
Although children still hold onto the myth that recycling is always a good deed or reduce, reuse, and recycle. Like a chain letter, recycle is a constant reminder as they tell their parents to do the same. The problem is only ten to fifteen percent of the plastic gets recycled globally. And only eighty-five to ninety percent ends up in landfills. We have recycled productively...but we do not know if it works as a sustainable alternative. This responsibility still rests by legislative action, government incentives, and institutional cultivation. The methods to guide development growth in children would require more open-minded realists who can see the complex connections in political, ecological, social, and historical ways of thinking.
Frameworks in sustainability addressed in curiosity: How do we shift the complex idea of sustainability to students? How can we implement critical minds with a strong visionary? And how do we stimulate consciousness in our lives? These questions allow environmental education to become the most effective tool to combat justice as we speak for the next generation.