Before this semester started I never heard of the term “ecological literacy”. It was never something that was a strong influence in classrooms when I was in school, and environmental issues were often overlooked. Now that I am much more aware of the term, I have formed a definition on what ecological literacy means to me. When I think of ecological literacy, I think of knowing about the environment and connecting with it. Like I wrote in my letter, my Grandma had a real connection with the environment and she was aware of everything she did in relation to the environment. I think that keeping the environment in the back of your mind when you are doing everyday things makes a person ecologically literate. When writing this I thought of the leverage points Donella Meadows discussed, and in particular, number two about paradigms. When she was growing up, it was the “norm” to live a very natural lifestyle, and she made the decision to carry that on throughout the rest of her life. This is what influenced my definition.
When I was reading Jessica’s blog, I was struck by the different definitions we had about ecological literacy. In the letter she wrote to her parents, she talks about the environmental practices they perform that have been passed down to her. She said: “You’ve also taught us about other environmental practices, like: using water from our rain barrel to water flowers and other plants in the summer time, limiting the amount water we use on our grass, growing some of our own fruits and vegetables, and re-using or re-purposing old items like furniture, cardboard boxes, and well-worn clothing pieces.” This resonated with me because it made me think of other definitions other than the one that I have in my letter. She talks mostly about the “reduce, reuse, and recycle” aspect of environmental education, and I didn’t necessarily include that into my piece. However, we both agreed on the importance of gardening and growing our own foods which is beneficial to ourselves and the environment.
While hearing Chasity’s letter, I was also struck by the different definitions we had. When I think about her letter I think it had more differences than Jessica and I had. When she speaks of ecological literacy, she talks about travel. This is not something that I had considered, but reflecting back I realize how important it actually is. To know about a certain environment it is very beneficial to actually experience it. This can come with good or bad experiences, this can lead to experiencing firsthand the damage being done on our environment. Knowing this and seeing this will leave a lasting impact on making yourself more ecologically literate. If I were to rewrite my definition I would definitely take into consideration these other aspects these two ladies discussed because I believe they carry a strong importance as well.
Meadows, D. (1999). Leverage Points. Places to Intervene in a System. Retrieved from http://www.donellameadows.org/archives/leverage-points-places-to-intervene-in-a-system/
Weber, J. (2016). Environmental Love Letter. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://jessicaweberblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/environmental-love-letter/
Peigan, C. (2016). Understanding and Exploring the world with a friend. [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: https://chasitypeigan.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/understanding-and-exploring-the-world-with-a-friend/