ESCI 302

Blog Posts and reflections for ESCI 302

My Journey Through ESCI 302: Digital Story

We have now hit the end of the semester and I hope that each and every one of you take something away from this ESCI 302 class. Thank you for making this class valuable and enjoyable and I wish you all the best.

Video Scribe Screen Shot

The photo above is what my digital story looks like;however the link to watch the video can be found here.
Until Next Time

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Environmental Education: Play, Exploration and Interconnection

As we ventured outside this week to explore some environmental education games, I felt excited to spend more time outdoors. As a class we partook in a variety of activities, all of which, provided a different view of what it means to teach environmental education. As we played and explored in the activities, I was drawn to the fact that environmental education is not a subject on its own; in fact, it could be integrated into many other curricular classes. As each group chose a different age group to teach, we were able to see  how you could modify activities to encourage all students to explore and find their connection to nature.

Below you will find two pictures of my creative journal entry. I decided to attempt an ambigram (two words in one – in this case it spells play upright, but upside down it spells learn) as I believed it showed how these activities outdoors gave us an opportunity to explore nature as well as we were actively learning during this process too.

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I was particularly intrigued by the connection made to the game of Lacrosse and how it not only promotes being outside, but also incorporates treaty education. This interconnection between physical, environmental and treaty education shows that if we as teachers put our minds to it, we do no have to segregate our learning into “disciplines.” This reminds me of the article we read in class called “The Problem of Disciplines” by David Orr and how if we divide our learning that we cause a disconnection and therefore lose the full picture of why we are learning. This reminds me of the way many students ask, “why are we learning this?” I think that, like David Orr, we forget the importance of learning as we just focus on achieving excellence in each particular “subject”. In my future classroom, I hope to use inquiry lessons to allow my students to explore the full picture and to help them gain a better understanding of the connection between different parts of our knowledge base.

The idea of cross-curricular teachings brought me to reflect on the presentation Morgan Bayta did in our classroom. Morgan’s dedication to incorporating environmental education into her everyday classroom experience was very inspiring. As she talked about her Little Green Thumbs interaction in her classroom with her students, I could help but desire to grow plants in my future classroom. It was encouraging to me that you do not need to have an extensive gardening background in order to have a successful garden in your classroom. I was thrilled to know that there are grants and opportunities for teachers to being nature into their classroom. As far as teaching, I think that it is cool that Morgan is able to connect a lot of her teaching to their classroom garden as it has become a passion of her students and they are very proud of it. I think that this gives a great opportunity for students to find their connection to the world around them and push to respect it.

This week, I completed a second journal entry because I was so inspired by Morgan’s presentation. The photo listed below shows how you only need one seed to start a garden. In the case of Morgan Bayta’s grade one class, that one seed was a physical seed. In my case that one seed was the story told by Morgan Bayta. She has inspired me to want to grow plants in my future classroom. This is the start to a journey of contemplation as I work to face all of my challenges before I am able to start a garden of my own, both at home and with my future students.

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Thank you Morgan for your inspiration. Your commitment to environmental education and your students is moving.

Until next time!

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11th Hour: Review

The 11th Hour is a climate crisis documentary narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. This 90 minute movie is framed around the concept that our earth is in a climate crisis and we as humans have the greatest impact on the future of our planet. This documentary hosts the thoughts and opinions of many great environmental voices as they call for a change in the way we live. This eye opening video ropes in the hearts and minds of adults across the world in hopes that they will make a change and teach the next generation that environmental action is something that all humans must take part in as nature is a part of us. Climate change is an issue that was increased by the development of industrialization. A species that was once dependent on natural sunlight, has not found sunlight power in resources in the earth and is using it to prolong and expand days and activities.

11th hour logo

This documentary poses an interesting standpoint of creating awareness. The environmental side of the video is focused on spreading the message that the world is at the eleventh hour and fifty-nine seconds and we have very limited time to have an impact on the way nature reacts. In order to help the earth, we must act now. On the political side of the video, famous or recognizable figures such as Leonardo DiCaprio and David Suzuki are used as a hope to garner support from fans. The media is a massive force in today’s culture and therefore it is important that we understand how we can use it to get what we want and how we can use it to create change.

The ecological issue that I covered in my action learning project was based around the topic of glacier melting due to climate change. This documentary, helped me realize that we can make a difference in our world, but only if we act quickly and change our behaviors before it is too late. The action that Brooke, Kristen, Kaitlin and I took in our project could be further refined with a purpose that we as humans believe that we are superior to other forms of life. I would use this information to alter our campaign so that we could evoke emotional response to how our impact at the university really impacts the world. We had great ideas and material; however, I think that a better connection to self would make a greater impact on those who we involved and interviewed in our campaign.

While rewatching the 11th Hour recently, I realized the connection between my action learning project and everyone else’s. I noticed that this documentary talked about the pollution in the water, as well as how we as humans need to find a connection to the earth in order to sustain our living. This realization makes me reflect on how everything in environmental education tends to link together into one large complex structure. This is of course, due to the fact that the earth, itself is complex and there is so much still left to learn.

Until next time!

 

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The Big Thaw Presentation

Below you will find my Action-Learning project presentation. This was created with my group Kristen, Kaitlin and Brooke. We worked great together and I really appreciate all of the hard work each and every one of these ladies put into this project. We were all very passionate and committed to our work as a group and I enjoyed the clear communication and flexibility of our group members.

As for my action, I started off strong with commuting with others and taking the bus; however, I started to drive more myself as the month went on. I found it particularly hard to take the bus when I had to work after class, because the bus times would have made me late or close to late everyday for work, due to the short window between the end of class and the start of work. I plan to bus more as spring comes and as I have concluded my job. I look forward to walking to get groceries and the mail as the weather gets warmer.

This project made me think critically  about my carbon footprint and try to find ways to reduce it. My group’s Glogster and Prezi presentations can be found below. Finally, I want to thank Kaitlin, Kristen and Brooke for being such great group members!

prezi photo

The Journey of the Big Thaw Prezi

Glogater Photo

The Big Thaw Glogster 

Until next time!

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My Eyes Have Been Opened

Listening to everyone’s presentations so far, has made me realize how much I enjoy talking about the earth. I have always been interested in the environment and its wonderful capabilities, but this ESCI 302 class has opened my eyes even further. I was always stuck in the mind frame that taking care of the environment meant recycling and licking up litter. Listening to the presentation on food global vs. local made me question myself. I never considered that choosing foods from a local place instead of the grocery store would have an impact on the world. Thanks to this groups’ action learning project, I am now aware that we need to respect the animals and plants that we use as food, so we do not end up without a food source. I would like to thank Courtney, Matt, Trina, and Nat for opening my eyes to the places I get my food from and what they are made of. After this presentation, I was very cautious when I went to the grocery store. I am looking into purchasing fresh foods from Local and Fresh as I think this would be a great company to support and I would be given healthy fresh foods. In my creative journal this week I wrote, “Think LOCAL to affect GLOBAL” and I was making reference to the foods I buy. One reistance I had with the group’s presentation, is that we cannot totally buy local as many of the goods that we use today are created globally. I think that purchasing food locally is important, but you it is hard to completely cut our global goods entirely.

My feature image of this post is my creative journal entry from this week, but to give a visual to the following discussion I decided to post the journal entry below.

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ESCI 302 has opened my eyes to the way I look at the world. The words love, freedom, treasure, responsibility and education are located on this drawing as a reminder of the goals I have for how I now view the world. I love our earth and I think that it is important to treasure what you love. In order to treasure our wonderful planet we must rethink our education and give students the freedom to fall in love with what is around them. As a future educator, it is my responsibility to spread my knowledge of the world with my students in hopes that they will continue sharing the love and respect that I have for our planet.

One issue that I had during this course is that I live a very comfortable life, that is very harmful to environment. I struggle to step outside of that comfort zone and try to be more eco-friendly. My hope for the future is that I will be able to acquire new skills and techniques in my everyday life that will take the place of parts of my current life. I want to end this post by transferring the text on my journal entry to this blog page.

“ESCI 302 has taught me to look at the world around me in a different way; yet challenge myself to do more. Find a connection with the world around me. Fight for what I love and inspire others to do the same. Enjoy the fresh air. Be active and love life. Think local to affect global. Breathe. Respect our planet. One Earth One Life.” – March 9th, 2015

Until next time!

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Unboxing Ecoliteracy

Reflecting on the past few weeks of class has shown me that some terms cannot be strictly defined. A great example of this arose from our class conversation with Colin Harris. During this call, Colin was asked if he considered himself an eco-literate person. I appreciated his response, “don’t box in ecoliteracy” because it helped me question the idea of definitions and trying to have a standardized answer to what something means. Looking around at the world around me, definitions and the idea of boxing in people has become a way of our world. I relate boxing in to colonialism and the way that colonizers believed that there was a right and a wrong way of living and those who lived differently were considered as uncivilized. In the world today, we carry the idea of boxes into the way we live, the friends we choose to associate with and the places we choose to go. Now what is the issue with boxes, well if we look at a box factory, all of the boxes are made the same and there is little room for variation. Those boxes that get bent or come out misshaped are tossed aside. This analogy shows that society steadily recreates the same citizens and in turn recreating their ideals, values and beliefs.

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If we relate boxes back to ecoliteracy, many people can be ecoliterate as the term is so broad. Each person can make their own contribution to making the world a better place. In my eyes, anyone who associates them self as someone who is ecoliterate is someone who makes an impact on their world around them for the better. As humans, we tend to live in disharmony with the earth in this modern day. I view those who make attempts at living harmoniously with the earth as disrupting the impact we have on the environment. This interruption impacts the recreation of humanities destructive boxes. WE NEED more people to disrupt societal’s boxes so we can stop the eradication of our planet.

In class, I was reminded of our conversation with Colin as we watched a short claymation video of the song Little Boxes, originally by Malvina Reynolds. This video reminded me that society is the reason that we harm the earth and disrespect it in our daily lives. To this point in the semester, ESCI 302 has made me rethink the way that I treat the earth and has inspired me to push myself to be better. In my creative journal this week, I reflected on our call with Colin Harris as well as the word Environmentalist. As mentioned in class, I generally associate the term environmentalist with those who take the term to the extreme. This view changed during our Skype call with Colin. From his accomplishments and passions, I view Colin as an environmentalist in the context that he wants children to find their connection to the world around them. As I have mentioned in past posts, I think that this re connection is vital for helping our ill planet because we need to understand and be passionate about the earth in order to save it.  Our excursion to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum reminded me of our connection to the earth. In the basement of the museum, Brooke and I spent a great quantity of time exploring the exhibit based around First Nations way of life before contact/after contact and their harmonious way of life. Like Brooke mentions in her recent blog post, this display evoked a feeling that the way I live steps on the toes of those who lived here before me. In my creative journal I reflected on my thoughts about our visit at the museum and what path I followed. The picture below is the outcome of this process.

FullSizeRender (20)Until next time!

 

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Looking Back And Moving Forward: Meta- Reflection

Starting out in ESCI 302 my understanding of my connection to the environment was very different to how it is today. I felt very distanced from nature starting this class; however, I still felt that I was responsible for what happened to the earth. In my first blog post/journal entry I created a ticket that said the saying, “Your Environment, It’s Everywhere.” Looking back at this, I realize that I did not understand how interconnected I am with the world around me. Today, I feel that my environment is not just around me, but that I am also an environment. This understanding that when I hurt something in the world, I hurt myself because we are all connected. This reminds me of “system thinking,” an idea that we are all connected and dependent on one another. These new concepts, made me be critical of how I view my relationship to the world. My conversations in class and online with Willow, have also made me question my relationship with nature and how can I become more connected. I am still working and struggling through this process.

One thing that I really enjoy about ESCI 302 is the assignment of creating a creative journal. This project has become more than another assignment for me, but a great way to express my creativity and be critical of myself. If there is one thing that I am completely confident with from this class, it is the creative journal process. I enjoy pushing myself to try and do new things and express myself in a different way. A recurring element in my journal is a globe or the view of the whole earth. Now, it may seem obvious, because I am in an environmental class, that I would have pictures of the earth everywhere, however, I commonly describe and illustrate the water, air and dirt that exists on the earth. In connections to everything environmental, it all comes back to the water, dirt and air of the earth. I feel that I need to look deeper into these issues and topic to explore further, but my mind is always drawn to these elements.

One concept that I struggled with was ecoliteracy. I am glad that we had multiple readings and conversations about eco-literacy as I struggled to understand what exactly it entitled at first. Now, I believe that many titles that we put on people are too broad to fully define. I make the connection to my second blog post about eco-literacy. The drawing that I displayed from my creative journal showed me how chaotic and difficult it is to define an eco-literate person and that this is okay. I can relate this to the conversation that we had with Colin Harris in class. I loved how he said that environmentalists are hard to define and that we shouldn’t limit them. Making this connections, invokes me to think further and make a connection to the earth and how we shouldn’t limit the possibility of this world we live in. I believe that the vision of a limitless world, filled with joy, prosperity and love, is a reason why environmental education is so important.

My action learning project is focusing on climate change in regards to the impact it is having on the glaciers. This project has made me dig deeper and realize that I feel close to the environment, but I need to take more action. I loved the video The Story Of Change and how it said that the only way we can create change is with and idea, commitment and then by taking action. I have noticed that taking action is hard and my group and I have struggled with how we are going to create change in an action packed way. I want to make a change in the world, and do my part to help out, so this project is a great way to help me start putting my ideas into action.

As the semester continues, I look forward to learning more about my connection to nature and ways in which I can develop evolve this. I hope that I will be able to gain a better understanding of how I can help my future students feel connected to the environment, but I think I have to first work on myself, in order to help them. Thank you for reading my meta reflection.

Until next time!

 

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So Tell Me… Am I Eco-Literate?

We throw around the term eco-literacy, but often its full meaning is unknown to us. I believe that eco-literacy can be broadly defined as someone who conscious of the world around them and their life’s actions compliment this awareness of the natural world. I believe that this is a process and that we are not able to one day say that we are fully eco-literate, but instead living in an eco-literate manner. Eco-literacy is a journey and taking on this journey and staying true to it makes you eco-literate. Eco-literacy is more than just thinking and acting in a sustainable way, but it also includes sharing your knowledge and learning from others. In class we listened to each of our eco-literate poems and letters and discussed them with each other. This experience helped me further understand what eco-literacy means and made me ask myself, “Am I eco-literate?” Lets explore.

From my experiences and education, I believe that an eco-literate person, is someone who thinks about the world around them and is aware of the impact that they have on the world. This makes me think about Jon‘s letter to his eco-literate friend. In this letter he mentions the idea of community living and in further discussion, demonstrated how community living involves volunteering your time to do work that helps grow food and add to the community, which therefore benefits your living. An example of this would be volunteering your time to garden and produce food and then the food would be available for  you to eat. Until I listened to Jon read his letter I had forgotten about food sustainability as an action of an eco-literate person. I focused my thoughts of an eco-literate person as someone who does good for the earth, not someone who does good for the earth and sustains their own life. I am glad to have listened to Jon read his letter as it helped me understand more deeply, what an eco-literate person is.

Sustainable food development is not the only think that I learned from listening to my classmates talk about their understanding of eco-literacy. I also forgot about the importance of passing along knowledge, creating awareness and empowering others. These are basic concepts when you think about someone who understands and lives with the earth instead of of just on the earth. Listening to Kiersten say, “Pass on the experiences that you have been lucky enough to have” in her letter to her future self, reminded me that if we are eco-literate beings, we must pass on what we know to next generations, so they can work towards becoming eco-literate as well. Spreading knowledge whether it be textbook knowledge or experiential knowledge, when it comes to being eco-literate we must share what we know with others. Kiersten’s letter also reminded me that even if we do not consider ourselves eco-literate, we must pass on what we know on how to be eco-literate so that future generations will be able to work towards that goal as well. In regards to my teaching practice, I know the being eco-literate in important which is why I want to ensure that I pass my knowledge on to my future students so they may choose to live in an eco-literate way.

I want to also mention a few other quotes from other letters and poems that I felt added to my understanding of eco-literacy. Katy-Rose mentioned that when it comes to trying to save the world we live in, “Maybe I can’t change everything, I can at least say that I tried.” This statement is valuable to my understanding as I think that we may not be able to change the world in our life time; however, the world will never change unless we try. Inspiring others to work along side you and continue the work when you are gone is another great quality of someone who is eco-literate. Mikayla’s and Skyler’s letters inspired me to understand that in the future if change has not happened immediately, it is possible and there is still hope. I enjoyed Skyler’s quote, “Is the grass still green? Is the sky still Blue?” which reminds us to reflect on the potential of nature and the beauty. Mikayla’s letter to herself reminded me that as someone who is eco-literate, you must, “open [others] eyes not only to the beauty but also to the destruction.” We as humans must be aware of our actions and how they affect the beauty  of the world and cause destruction. But it does not have to be this way as mentioned in Pat O’Riley and Pete Cole’s story, Coyote & Raven.  When humans work towards living in an eco-literate manner, they work towards reverting to their “original instructions” (p. 132) which guide us what to do in our everyday lives. I believe that education can help develop students “original instructions” to be those of loving, and fostering the health and well being of the environment. But how can I teach this?

So once more I return to this question, “Am I Eco-literate?” Well, I heavily rely on my car for transportation, the grocery store for my food and the faucet for my water. I do not think about where the food comes from or how it is obtained. I am not someone who composts or fixes clothes when they have holes in them. At this moment, I do recycle bottles, can, paper and plastics. I am someone who picks up garbage when I see it on the ground. I do care about the environment and want to help it change, but I do not see myself as an eco-literate person. Referring back to Jon’s letter about community living, I divulge through guilt as I know that I have never planted a garden or considered that I could grow my own food. I am so dependent on prepared and processed foods that I forget how unhealthy they are for me as well as the packaging they leave behinds as trash. I do not consider myself an eco-literate person; however, I do feel that I have potential. I believe that I can change and become someone who is more conscious about the world around me, someone who doesn’t rely on others to feed me and ensures that I reduce the impact that I have on the earth. I have potential to share what I learn with my future students, in hope that they too will want to become eco-literate and preserve the earth we live on.

This entry captures a basic way that others have influenced me to change and grow in my understanding of eco-literacy. I would love to hear and learn from you, so feel free to leave me a comment below and tell me in what ways you view eco-literacy. Also take a moment to ask yourself, are you eco-literate?

Until next time!

Reference

O’Riley, P., & Cole, P (2009). Coyote and Raven talk about the land/scapes. In M. McKenzie, H. Bai, P. Hart & B. Jickling (Eds). Fields of green: Re-storying education. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. 125-134.

 

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The Eco-Literate One

The Eco-Literate One

There is a dream for the perfect human.

One who treasures all that’s bloomin’.

They live in harmony.

It seems like hyperbole,

but lets lighten up your garbage bin.

This poem above entitled “Eco-Literate” is a illustration of an ecologically literate person. I feel that becoming an eco-literate person is a task that is on-going and is more of journey then a destination. My experience of writing a poem about an eco-literate person was harder than I anticipated. When I discuss with others what it means to be eco-literate, I find it fairly easy to describe such a person. On the other hand, I found it difficult to formulate a poem out of my description of a eco-literate person. For those who find my poem confusing, let me take a moment to dissect it:

When I look at the world around me, it is clear that our earth lacks in the department of eco-literate individuals. We are missing these people because our world is focuses on materialistic value. We dream for a time where our world will be home to more people who are focused on preserving and valuing the environment in which they live in, compared to those who take until there is nothing left.

As mentioned above, we need more eco-literate people because they treasure the world around them. In my poem I used the term bloomin’ in relation to ‘new’ or ‘growth’. An eco-literate person treasures nature which can be thought of as always growing anew. An eco-literate person treasures renewable resources as the earth replenishes this so it is always available if use in moderation. Thinking of bloomin’ as growth in regards to an eco-literate person, connections can be made to a products life growth. This makes me think about the way products can be reused or recycled into something; therefore expanding the life of the material.

The lifestyle of a eco-literate person can be referred to as one of harmony. This harmony exists between humans and nature. In order to eco-literate, you must not only respect and treasure nature, but also work to understand how this complex system has evolves, adapted and survived for so long. If we, as humans, are able to understand and live in a manner that supports the continued survival of nature, we will be able to survive as a species. The road that humans are headed down currently is one that will end in the demise of humans at a very rapid rate.

This poem was made in the style of a limerick which is comprised of five lines. Lines 1,2 and 5 have 7-10 syllables and rhyme as well as line 3 and 4 have 5-7 syllables and also rhyme. This style of poem usually includes a line of hyperbole which means an exaggerated statement or claim. The term hyperbole stands out to me as there is great arguments against those who try to be environmental activists or live in eco-literate ways. Many humans do not understand that our environment sustains out life and if we do not work to save it, we are going to loose it. This in turn would be the end of human life as we know it. As outrageous as this sounds, it is true. We do not own anything as it is all made up of material from nature. In turn, if nature is unable to produce these goods, then we are unable to use them. I included the term hyperbole into my poem as I felt it highlighted the idea that protecting our environment is all an “extreme exaggeration”.

Finally, I concluded my poem with the line, “But, let’s lighten up your garbage bin.” If more humans were able to live in an eco-literate manner, we would have less garbage and waste. These materials could be broken down and used in a different way. When we reduce the amount of materials that are thrown away, we will also reduce the amount of pollution in our world. The more waste we have, the more materials we take to replace. An eco-literate person, is someone who recognizes that we as humans need to change our ways of using and abusing nature and a great place to start this is to reduce the amount of waste in our garbage bins. I hope you enjoyed this poem.

Until next time!

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CB #3: What Matters To Me – Eco-Issue

Last week we were asked to look around us and see what issue we were really passionate about. Eco-issues have always been on my radar as I was heavily involved in an environmental group in high school. This group was started when I was in grade 5; however, when I was in grade seven, the group started to take off. My graduating class was a strong group of individuals who were interested and passionate about doing our part to save the earth. In our small town of around 1,000 people, we introduced many forms of recycling such as: tin can, plastics type 1-7, battery, plastic bags, light bulbs (including florescent bulbs) and glass jars. For a small town, this was a tremendous job that a bunch of high school students were accomplishing. This group was called Going Green and it has bad a lasting impact on my life. In many way, I believe that I do a small part for the environment by following the recycling ideas of Going Green. This week, made me reflect on my experiences with Going Green which inspired me to complete the following creative journal entry.FullSizeRender (16)

 During our discussions last Tuesday, I realized that I am interested in more then just recycling. My first discussion was with Willow and she spoke very passionately about the way she wants to help her students become more connected to the world around them. Later in the week when I was reading her blog post, she further discussed her thoughts and feeling about becoming more connected to nature and survival skills. One statement that I enjoyed was, “If every person had a love for something outside, a place, an activity, a plant or animal, then there would be more desire to preserve it.” I think that this is a powerful statement and one that could do great things. There are over 7 billion people on the earth and if every person had one place that they worked to preserve because they treasure it, then we would make a huge impact on the earth around us. This statement made me reflect on how I could help my future students find that passion to preserve something they treasure in the natural world. The outcome of this reflection was the journal entry below.

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This small, messy entry is important to me because I want to be a teacher that helps students find what their dreams are and go for them. I think it would be amazing to inspire students to dream of a planet that is healthy and have them try to make a difference in making that dream a reality.

Another discussion that I took part in was led by Kaitlin about glacier melting. This conversation helped me realize that I am very interested in the way mother nature is warming due to the effect of human misuse. Our discussion covered the topics of glacier melting as well as global warming and overpopulation. Discussing glacier melting made me realize how large of an issue climate change is and how it will greatly affect human life in the years to come. When it came time to choose what topic that I wanted to explore further as a eco-issue project, I realized the potential that was there with the topic of climate change and I feel that this is a topic that will grow in importance in the coming year. The following image is a picture of my creative journal entry about global warming.

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I look forward to further discussing and researching what I can do for the environment in regards to global warming and climate change.

Until next time!

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CB 2: I Am A Tree…

In the past few classes we have looked at ecological literacy and what it means to be eco-literate. Looking through the few article we were given in class, I decided to create notes from what I read that would fit into my creative journal. Below is one of the entries from my creative journal.

FullSizeRender (7)These reading taught me a few things about being eco-literate. When we discussed them in class I was able to remember key points from the reading easier because the creative journal process is very beneficial for me. Two main ideas stick out from these reading to me. First of all way the idea that more is not always better. This idea made me reflect on the way I view the world. In everyday life, we always want more money, clothes, toys, attention, and especially time. But sometimes more is not always better. If we look at the idea that money, power and attention can go to our heads and cause us to act irrationally, this is a case where more is not always red. We want to believe that the more we have the better off we are. As we take more from nature, we impact and affect it. Living on this earth, we must remember that the world around us sustains us and it has sustained different forms of life before us.

The second idea that stuck with me is that of system thinking. The idea that we are connected to many different people, and parts in a variety of ways, helps me understand the world around us. Last week we went out and practiced stillness. During this time, I was standing beside a tree that is shown below.

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I wanted to share these images as they compliment the latter of my blog post. The pictures that I took inspired me to create a journal entry about my connection to the tree. Standing out in the snow on a calm winter day, I examined the bark and the branches of the tree. I noticed that many of the lower branches had been cut off. I couldn’t stop thinking about what it would be like to have someone look at you and just decide “I don’t like the way this looks, feels, acts; so I am going to cut it off.” My journal entry pictured below is a snapshot of how I would feel if I was a tree.

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I mean, if that tree was a human and someone decided to cut off its limbs, we would call that assault or an attack. We are all a part of nature which is why this experience made me think about what it would be like to be treated like a tree with human standards.

Until next time!

 

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CB 1: Exploring My Enviroment

FullSizeRender (2)The idea of making a creative journal was very exciting for me. I have always felt like a crafty person, so it sounds fun and relaxing to me. I have planned to make my journal out of cardboard, flyers and  white computer paper. I enjoy doodling so I look forward to these entries. Speaking of entries, I think this is a great time to explore my first journal entry which is displayed to the left. To start off this first entry I thought about the prompt, “What does Environment means to me.”  The first image that popped into my head was the earth. I believe that as a patron of earth, it is our job to protect and nurture it. Unfortunately, as I illustrated with black pen around the earth, pollution and waste are greatly impacting the natural world.

As a drawing of the earth is not complete without coloring in the land and the oceans, I decided that I could color it in with words  that represent what makes up my environment. I colored in the oceans of the earth with subjects that I would find in the natural environment around me with regards to nature. I listed animals, plants, lakes, mountains, wheat fields, forests etc., which make up my habitat here in Canada and Saskatchewan. These elements were the reason that I partook in certain activities growing up or the reason that I went certain places on holidays. Looking at the natural environment reminds me that I am a different person because of the geography and climate that I grew up in. To color in the land of my earth I mentioned emotional or mental features of my environment. A great example of this would be love, which I wrote down as I have always felt loved and appreciated and so it has shaped me into a different person. On another section of land within my drawing, I wrote about the elements of health as an environment is impacted by the health of those around. If I was a tree and there was not enough nutrients around for the other trees to flourish, I would feel the impacts too as I would be lacking in the nutrients as well. In a way, I believe that humans are the same. When others are in pain we as humans feel it as well. The most important piece of this drawing to me is the words on the third section of land and the circle of words that surround the earth. I am especially referring to what we need to do, to ensure that our “environment” is sustained. This could occur through recycling, reusing, reducing the amount of waste we have and educating new generations. I think that education about what our environment is, how we too are a part of nature and the way we impact nature is essential for taking care of our earth for future generations.

For me, my environment is strongly impacted by my family and friends as they are of high priority. My parents created a nurturing home and lifestyle for me to grow up in which impacted the person I grew up to be. Looking back to my childhood and the environment that I lived in, I think about the evergreen tree that I planted in grade two. For the first five years it did not grow, but it also did not die. Reflecting on this memory reminds me that perseverance pays off. Today, that tree is over 8 feet tall and growing constantly. It is amazing that an element in nature taught me such a wonderful lesson. Now at this moment, most people are thinking that I’ve lost my marbles and I’m super off track, but I do think of this tree often as a reflection on myself. When I planted it, I did not push myself to do anything as I was very young. I started to work hard and step outside of my comfort zone the tree started to grow with me. Now that I have moved away, when I go home to visit, that tree reminds me of my childhood, how blessed I am and how much I have changed and grown.

 

As this semester continues, I am sure that I will acquire new knowledge and continue to grow and change on this journey called life.

Until Next Time!

Categories: ESCI 302 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

What Does Environmental Education Mean To Me?

I decided to start off my blog posts for ESCI with an introductory blog post. I think that it is important to set goals for courses and expectations of what you want to learn about. This short and sweet post includes what I think Environmental Education means and my goals for this semester.

The natural world is a wondrous place that should be nurtured and sustained. As we look at the world around us, it is apparent that our planet is not being taken care of in the way it should be. I believe that we need to do something about this. One of the ways we can protect our environment is through education, which is why environmental education is very important. It is a common belief that environmental education is all about plants and animals, but from what I have seen so far in this class, there is much more involved. The relations between human and nature was not something I associated with environmental education; however, looking deeper into relations and the world around us I can see that I am a part of nature too. I believe the environmental education is also about the personal and social environments that we live in and the effects that they have on our lives.

My Goals for this ESCI 302 class is to:

  • Better understand my role in the environment,
  • Learn about ways that I can be Eco-friendly,
  • Not feel stressed or overwhelmed by my workload,
  • Play with some worms (Because they are cool) and,
  • Find cool ways can I help children learn and grow respect for the environment

Last comment: My feature image is one of the first images from my creative journal for this ESCI class and there are more to come.

Until Next Time!

Categories: ESCI 302 | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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