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April 20, 2020

When I woke up today, the question that I was guided to answer (for you) on the pages of my eco-journal was: “Why do we need to bring eco-lifestyle education into our homes?     

Before I answer this question, I’d like to ask you a question. My question is this: 


How would you define eco-lifestyle education? Would you define it as A: It’s education that teaches people how to create a lifestyle that is in harmony with the earth. Or: B: It’s education that teaches people how to create a lifestyle that is in harmony with the needs of their bodies?  


If you answered A, you are absolutely right. And if you answered B, you are also absolutely right, as well!  


The term “eco”, you might be interested to know, comes from the greek word “Oikos” and it is defined in the dictionary as a “house.” So, when we talk about eco-education, what are we talking about? Are we talking about the brick and mortar houses that we live in? Not exactly. But we are talking about the symbolic house we live, in which is our earth!   If you think about it, we, along with all living things are the inhabitants of our earthly house. Together, we govern the biological functions taking place within the house that “keep life alive.” 


In school, you might agree, we aren’t typically encouraged to view our ecology as a symbolic house. But if we had been, we might have developed a more holistic view of ourselves. We might have also developed a better grasp about our need to take good care of all of the parts that keep the foundation of our house strong.  


In our world today, there are millions of young people who are feeling fearful and hopeless about their futures on earth. They are worried that they might not have an ecologically stable "house" to inhabit.  Yet, in many instances, they are NOT  learning what they need to learn in school, that could help them to insure a better future for themselves.    

What concerns me most about what our kids are NOT learning in school today, relates in part, to the idea that our schools are becoming commercial zones. What I mean by this statement is that, a number of corporations have made their way into our nation’s schools without much (if any) resistance from parents and school personnel. And their presence in classrooms, has been giving our youth permission to ignore their innate eco-intelligence.  


Teachers, it pains me to say, are signing contracts with corporations to serve as brand ambassadors for their products, and they are getting paid quite handsomely to do so.


In an elementary school, for instance, a teacher can get rewarded for using Tootsie Rolls or Hershey’s chocolates to help learners solve math problems, or maybe software products developed by Coke or Pepsi to teach reading skills. 


Using food products (and/or other educational products) to foster the economic interest of companies is not a new idea. But the distribution of such items into the hands of young naïve learners, begs the question: Why are we ALLOWING this type of sales propaganda to influence unhealthy behaviors in