Not a carbon footprint of course but quite the opposite, your imprint on a child’s life. We as parents, science educators and communities have a responsibility. We have a responsibility to give our children the education, the tools and the resources to live a lovely full life in balance with nature. Part of this is teaching them, “waste not, want not”. Typical modern families tend to be extremely wasteful, throwing away food and household items that could be consumed further. Recently I came across the concept of an ecovillage. I read an article about a man who built his house out of straw, mud and recycled items. I then found a website that showcases these eco-communities (http://www.livinginthefuture.org/). I am absolutely drawn to the concept of building your own house utilizing ecologically sustainable techniques and living off the land. Plus look how amazing this house is!
Living off the land in harmony can be beautiful! Unfortunately, many of these skills are not taught in traditional schools. Life sciences should be just that, teaching children how to use nature in a sustainable way to grow their own food, build their own houses and create the life they want by smart ecological techniques that often saves not only energy and reduces your carbon footprint but also is a much cheaper way of living. I realise that teachers are stuffed to the max with curriculum that they must get through each year but I believe that there is a way and I’ve seen inklings of it already. There are more and more schools with gardens where the students not only learn gardening techniques but they also cook with the food they’ve grown. Anyone who’s grown their own tomatoes knows there’s nothing more delicious then your own backyard fruit. This also meshes perfectly with the experiential, learning by doing style of teaching that most students love and appreciate and most importantly never forget. I know that green living has been a trend for awhile and for some, may just be a fad but I believe that it’s our responsibility to use our limited resources wisely and I believe it’s a big part of being a healthy community. By teaching our students and children to leave a space better than they found it, we can decrease the amount of litter, waste and lack of appreciation experienced today. A greater appreciation for nature, for the food we eat and the places we live will lead to a higher respect and consideration for the land which will create an automatic focus on sustainable living. This self propelling ripple affect is one reason why I have such a passion for science education. Teaching this way not only increases knowledge in that moment to help a student pass a test, but it can also change that student’s outlook on life, nature and science and thereby also change the lives of those around them.