Coming into this class I honestly had no idea what to expect. As someone who identifies as a more science-y person I was a little disappointed when I found out we weren’t focusing on the science. But when I realized that we were focusing more on our own interpretation of the environment and how we connect with it I found a new excitement for the class.So far we have talked about the environment, wilderness and what it means to be eco-literate. We have also talked about how each of these may differ between people and what they mean to us and how we embody it.
Taking a look back at my journal entries throughout the course so far, I found a couple running themes that show up in every entry. To me, the environment and wilderness are very similar. My use of the environment is being outdoors and taking time to be captivated by my surroundings. I know that the environment is what surrounds you at any given time, anything from the out of doors to the classroom to the dining room. “..no matter what humans do to distance ourselves from nature we depend on the environment.” (Journal 1) However in my journals I connect to the environment most during the summer when I spend time outside .“Creating your own memories with the same land that has seen so much helps one form a connection with the environment.” (Journal 2). I also see wilderness in a similar sense, as in it’s all around us even if people try to cover it up by building concrete jungles. “Wilderness is always here.” (Journal 3).
We have also spent a lot of time learning how to embody ecoliteracy and what that means to do so. To me, being ecoliterate means you are aware of your actions and how they impact the environment around you and how the environment affects you. This can be little actions such as walking to the store or carpooling with friends instead of taking your own vehicle. It can also be figure action such as watching what you eat and growing your own food, or becoming a minimalist and using only the bare necessities. To become ecoliterate you have to be aware. The True Cost of Coal is a mural we looked at in class that opened my eyes to how society impacts the environment. It’s hard to remember that animals used to roam freely when they are faced with so many man made obstacles today. One thing we keep coming back to is the need to LEAP to protect our environment. The purpose of leaping is to take the idea of being aware of what’s happening to our environment and doing something about. It is important to remember to make change happen you have to change your own habits before you can focus on other people and we used to get them to become ecoliterate.
From all of the philosophies that we have looked at my favorite as being deep ecology. Deep ecology involves becoming one with your environment I’m feeling a connection instead of distancing yourself from nature. one of the first times we went outside we went up to a tree, touched one of its branches and really thought about our connection with the tree and the trees connection to the ground and the grounds connection to us. As someone who enjoys practicing stillness and strongly believes that humans are a part of nature I feel the strongest connection with this philosophy.
This class is challenged my thinking of wilderness and the environment my connection with these. I’ve been thinking about more ways to take learning outside of the classroom and having students reconnect with nature. everyone has their own ideas of what it means to be ecoliterate or what wilderness is and where to find it. I still believe that wilderness is everywhere even though humans have been trying to cover it up for years. I also feel my strongest connection to the environment during the summer months when I’m outside even take a walk by myself. Using what I have learned I hope to have students embody ecoliteracy and become more aware about the environment around them.