WHY WE NEED TO BRING ECO-LIFESTYLE EDUCATION INTO OUR HOMES & COMMUNITIES!
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 and communities?
Before I answer this question, I’d like to ask you a question. My question is this:
What Is Eco-Lifestyle Education?
Would you define it as A: It is education that teaches people how to create a lifestyle that is in harmony with the earth and all living things? Or B: It is education that teaches people how to create a lifestyle that is in harmony with the needs of their bodies, minds, hearts, and souls? If you answered A, you are absolutely right. And if you answered B, you are also absolutely right, as well! The reason both answers are correct is because the term “eco”, (derived from the Greek word “oikos” which means, "house") encompasses your whole being, as well as the earth's whole being. Ecos represents a symbolic container for the relationships that "keep life alive" within our human selves (our bodies, minds, hearts and souls), as well as the relationships that "keep life alive" in our earth (plants, animals, insects, ecosystems, and the greater cosmos.) When these relationships are cared for and nourished, they create a strong and enduring foundation for the house to stand on.
Our Young People Need to Learn about The Relationships that Govern Personal & Planetary Wholeness
Teaching our young people the importance of caring for the relationships that govern their ecological well-being as a whole, is one of the most important things we could ever teach them. Yet many of our nation's public schools don’t recognize this. While our kids are taught subjects in school (such as nutrition and physical fitness) which are meant to support them in caring for the health of their physical bodies, ---and they're also taught subjects such as biology and conservation, which are meant to support them in caring for the earth's health, --oftentimes the information they are learning is biased. The reality today is that corporations are providing our school students with educational materials that are intended to support their financial agendas and shape their consumer habits for life!
Corporate Interests In Our Nation's Schools are Promoting Propaganda and Affluenza
For many years, you may or may not be aware, teachers have been signing contracts with corporations to serve as brand ambassadors for their products, and they have been getting paid quite handsomely to do so. In an elementary school, for instance, a teacher can get paid for using Tootsie Rolls or Hershey’s chocolates to help his or her students solve math problems. They can get paid for using software products developed by soda pop companies such as Coke or Pepsi, to teach reading skills. essential human "needs." For another thing, it feeds our children's fear that they aren't good enough without these material things in their lives.
Product Promotions Foster the Economic Interests of Corporations, not the Authentic Needs of Children
Using food products, or any other type of lifestyle products (such as computers, I- Pads, cell phones, clothing, shoes, and cars, etc.) to foster the economic interest of companies is not a new idea. But the promotion of these items to our children isn't what I would call "a good idea." For one thing, it perpetuates a widespread problem in our world today known as "affluenza." This is a cultural sickness (we are now experiencing) that results from catering to our "wants" versus our essential human "needs." This sickness feeds our children’s secret fear: the fear that they aren’t “good enough” without these material things. (Affluenza is rooted in insecurity!)
The USDA Eating Model: An Educational Tool that Promotes Propaganda
Many years ago, during a time when I was speaking with school students in grades K-12 about the importance of cultivating healthy, eco-conscious nutrition habits (habits that nourish the health of the body and sustain the life of our earth) teachers informed me that they used the USDA Eating Model to teach students about nutritious food choices. This is an eating model that, on the surface, appears to promote healthy food choices because it illustrates the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and animal products that are believed to promote optimal health. However, what it neglects to to tell consumers is that the industrial food system which is designed to feed the masses, relies on toxic methods to produce these foods, which harm the health of people, animals, plants, soil, air, water, and insects.
The USDA Eating Model: An Educational Tool that Promotes Propaganda
Many years ago, when I was speaking on an occasional basis with school students in grades K-12 about the importance of cultivating healthy, eco-conscious nutrition habits (habits that nourish the health of the body and sustain the life of our earth) teachers informed me that they used the USDA Eating Model to teach their students about nutritious food choices. This eating model, you might agree, appears on the surface, to promote healthy food choices. It illustrates the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and animal products that are believed to promote optimal health. However, what it neglects to tell consumers is that, the industrial food system, which is designed to feed the masses, relies on extremely toxic methods to produce these foods, --and these methods harm the health of people, animals, plants, soil, air, water, and insects.
Why I Developed the Eco-Intelligent Eating Model™
One of the reasons why I developed an educational tool known as The Eco-Intelligent Eating Model ™was because some of the students I had met in classrooms, held erroneous beliefs about the role that industrial farming played in creating planetary health problems, as well as human health problems. They had learned from various educational videos (distributed by special interest groups) that humans contributed "very little" to ecological issues such as land degradation and global warming. Unfortunately, they had likely been brainwashed by those in the food production industry who have an economic stake in the production of fossil fuels, and who want to continue to evade pollution control regulations.
Additional Powerful Industries Are Influencing Our Children In Potentially Harmful Ways
Are you aware that the pharmaceutical drug industry has been sending its representatives into our nation's schools to host Mental Health Awareness (aka Depression Screening) events, and at the same time, promote “meds” like Prozac? While I don’t see anything wrong with helping kids to understand the mental health issues that they might be dealing with, I do see something wrong with making them believe that anti-anxiety and anti-depression pills will fix their problems. We all know that these pills carry health risks, ---and even side-effects that can last a lifetime if addiction is present or dosing is not suitable. While in some instances, these drugs can save a life, I think we owe it to our kids to teach them about the role that environmental toxins might be playing, in causing their brains to become inflamed. (Inflamed brains can cause all kinds of mental health issues!) I also think we owe it to our kids to teach them how they can use whole foods nutrition, to balance and regulate their brain chemistry naturally.
Like “big pharma”, the telecommunications industry is doing its best to get inside of our children’s heads, albeit in a slightly different (and more sneaky) way. They are busy installing cell phone towers on school grounds where kids play sports, and installing WI-FI in the classrooms where our kids sit all day long. I don't know about you, but I stopped cooking my food in a microwave oven many years ago, because I didn't want to consume radioactive by-products. And I don't think we should be forcing our kids to sit in radiation “hot boxes” all day long. (Hardwiring classrooms is a much better idea, if only we parents would band together and insist on it!)
We Can Do Better, When We Listen to Our Eco- Intelligence!
So tell me: Do you believe, as I do, that it’s time to bring Eco-Lifestyle Education into our homes that is honest and truthful? Do you believe that it’s time to put a stop to some of the propaganda that is being fed to our kids in many of our nation’s schools? Do you like the idea of teaching your kids how to create clean, green lifestyles that protect their health and the earth’s? If you answered yes, then I encourage you to explore the kinds of educational tools that cultivate their eco-intelligence!
Candia Lea Cole
Founder, Eco-Learning Legacies
Corporate Brand Ambassadors:
Climate Change Denial: https://wtop.com/fairfax-county/2020/02/videos-used-by-schools-question-minimum-wage-climate-change/