National Environmental Education Week, from April 19 to April 23 this year, is all about saving the planet! Yes, this week gives you a chance to make a change and be an environmental hero — without any superpowers, that is. Throughout the week, the concept of environmental education is celebrated and ideas/projects regarding how we can teach the next generation to be environmentally responsible are put forth. The week also takes a look at how modern society has damaged the globe.
History of National Environmental Education Week
National Environmental Education Week, celebrated in April, is a step towards creating a better tomorrow. Throughout the week, environmental education (EE) is promoted to introduce the world to the benefits of incorporating EE into the curriculum for students from a young age.
Environmental education is a form of education taught in the primary- and post-secondary grades that looks at how human beings can better manage the ecosystem by creating environmentally friendly solutions. EE includes subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, earth science, atmospheric science, mathematics, and geography — all taught to create awareness about the importance of sustainable development.
In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment proclaimed EE as the best form of education that can be used to solve global environmental problems. Since then, there was no turning back! Today, the National Environmental Education Foundation, formed in 1990, has taken it upon itself to continue observing National Environmental Education Week every year to inspire students, educators, and learners everywhere to partake in projects and ideas that can change the world. It also serves as a platform that provides people with the hope for a better tomorrow. National Environmental Education Week is celebrated every year before Earth Day.
National Environmental Education Week timeline
Jean Jacques Rousseau introduces a philosophy on the importance of environmental education.
The UN Conference on Human Environment declares EE a must.
UNESCO launches their EE newsletter, “Connect.”
The seventh World Environmental Education Congress to promote EE is held.
National Environmental Education Week FAQs
Is environmental education (EE) only for the last week of April?
No. Environmental education is worked on throughout the year but a special week in April is dedicated to EE to bring attention to the cause.
What are the four elements of environmental education?
- Awareness and sensitivity to the environment and environmental challenges.
- Knowledge and understanding of the environment and environmental challenges.
- Attitudes of concern for the environment and motivation to improve or maintain environmental quality.
- Skills to identify and help resolve environmental challenges.
What is environmental education for?
It is to ensure the next generation is equipped with the knowledge to preserve energy and help keep the environmental crises we are facing at bay.
How To Celebrate Environment Education Week
Draw extinct animals
Build a display of drawings, paintings, or polyester foam showcasing all the animals that are extinct due to deforestation and climate change.
Organize a play
Develop a storyline of any aspect of environmental damage you want to focus on. You can also develop a plot that discusses positive steps we can take to help the environment. Perform it for kids in your area or at your local school.
Watch a documentary
There are many documentaries out there on the negative impact of human advancement on the environment and our planet. One of the recent popular ones is Sir David Attenborough’s “A Life on Our Planet.”
5 Interesting Facts About The Environment
Save the rainforests!
According to NASA, all rainforests will be destroyed by 2100 if faster efforts to save the environment aren’t made.
Heal the ozone layer
The hole in the ozone layer may be healed in the coming 55 years due to the ban on certain carbon emissions — it is currently more than 11 million square miles wide.
The extinction of species
Around 50 thousand species living in forests become extinct yearly.
Not all water is for humans
Only 1% of the water in the world is consumable by humans.
The planet is really old
Our planet is approximately 1 million years old.
Why National Environmental Education Week is Important
It brings attention towards environmental issues
Due to the environmental crisis the world is facing, it is essential to bring attention to ways in which resources can be preserved, therefore reversing the damage the modern world has done to the environment.
It pushes students to think critically
According to a study by Stanford University, programs for youngsters that focus on environmental education tend to ingrain a desire for knowledge in them and the ability to critically analyze problems.
It can save the world
If issues such as climate change, deforestation, air pollution, biodiversity loss, and numerous others are not solved in the coming years, the world as we know it will cease to exist. However, a difference can be made if the youth is taught to be proactive towards saving the environment.