Environmental awareness and education are inextricably linked with one another. Environmentalism is essentially an ideology; one that triggers the need for humans to protect and preserve the environment from human afflictions. And environmental awareness stems from this movement.
How education can promote environmental awareness:
When you teach your family members and friends about how the environment in which we live is fragile and a must for our existence, you can come up with solutions to stop the degradation. Numerous resources are at our disposal which can be used for promoting environmental awareness. For instance, you can organize inspirational seminars; publish brochures, and books to promote awareness about the environment.
When you start researching, you will come across continuous proof of environment decline that is most depressing. But, it is for our children’s’ future that we must continue fighting to preserve the environment. It is not fair that they inherit a world that is plagued with environment-related issues. This makes awareness so very important. It is also necessary to stay updated with news about environmental issues and read extensively on what the key environmental threats are. For older students who prefer more interactive approaches, seminars may be a good way to convey the message.
When you yourself are aware of the threats, you may start teaching these to people around you. As a global citizen, you can choose an issue which you feel is urgent, like global warming and climate change. Although there are limitless threats, you should focus on one at a time. The truth is environmental issues are typically intertwined. When you have identified your niche, you can go ahead to explain why you feel that threat is so urgent to the rest of the society. Oil drilling, for example, triggers significant environmental degradation. Oil drilling suffocates earth and burning of fossil fuels heightens CO2. Deforestation is another issue that causes biodiversity extinction. The good thing is students are young people keen to learn and eager to know why things happen. It is indeed possible to motivate the youngsters by offering them formal education about ways to save the environment. No surprises then why governments have been in favor of introducing environmental education in universities. Courses have been introduced to highlight the relevant issues leading to destruction of environment and ways to prevent these. Even workshops are being conducted in business schools to sensitize students towards environmental issues.
Some nations have done better compared to the others. For examples, students in Japan, Finland, and China are better informed than those in Turkey and Italy. Surveys have found that students in Italy or Turkey are not able to answer questions on basic environmental happenings. They continue to be optimistic about environment issues and ignorant of the consequences of inaction. Student performances in environmental sciences are closely linked with their performance in sciences course like biology or physics. So, an improved science education should be combined with special courses on environmental science to create awareness amongst students.
Besides education, there is a need to know green skills. Vocational programs can prepare them to adapt to the changing requirements. In Germany and Spain, there is dearth of skilled photovoltaic employees for installing solar electrical systems. Skills shortage is a key factor inhibiting growth of green industries. Students should also be taught to make small sacrifices, like using the bar instead of taking their own cars, for a greener environment. Such choices will only come from critical thinkers and it is our education system that alone can produce such thinkers. The earlier you can teach students about environment, the faster they can contribute to protecting it.