In a world where much is said about respecting the environment, but doing so much less than necessary, it is clear that the preservation of the environment and natural resources depends on the creation of an ecological consciousness, still under construction in the collective. As in other behavioral aspects of society, the best tool for evolving and changing habits in this area comes through education.
Increasingly relevant in our society, Environmental Education (EA) is an area of study focused on understanding the environment in all its complexity, which includes the relationship of individuals with consumer goods. Although not yet a compulsory subject in schools, EA is an ongoing process that transcends age, gender, or social class and goes well beyond the duties of public administrators.
Common responsibility – To be effective and promote positive results, your development process must involve and engage everyone. From the public power, to schools; families must also be involved.
Based on more dynamic and creative teaching strategies (which propose reflection) is the development of skills and attitudes to change a deficient reality. Lectures, debates, group discussions, simulation games and direct contact with the environment are techniques that can aid in the transformation of attitudes.
For greater reach and accessibility, the best alternative is to work the contents under a multidisciplinary view, based on specific environmental realities and aiming to educate individuals about their relationship with consumption and the waste they produce.
What can I do? – Great changes are not carried out from day to night, let alone by one person. With information and small attitudes on a daily basis, the first steps towards a sustainable future are possible. Avoiding exaggerated waste, production and consumption are a few options. In a country where each person produces about 1 pound of garbage a day, any disposable product that is replaced with a durable one can also make a difference.
Other alternatives to avoid the generation of waste are reuse and recycling. In the case of reuse, the proposal is to extend the useful life of the product, causing discarded materials to be transformed into utilitarian objects, organic remains to be used as fertilizer and reclaimed laundry water for several other purposes. These are some examples, but there are others.
Recycling is a process that transforms one material into another for the fabrication of another. So, what would at first go to the trash can, goes back to the production line. This is what happens with old tires that are used in the composition of asphalt or cement for construction, as well as paper, aluminum cans and copper wires that are turned into other materials back to the factory.
Individual attitudes are decisive for the proper functioning of the garbage chain and other productive chains. Therefore, talking about Environmental Education is necessary and urgent, since it teaches us that responsibility for the environment is a duty to be shared with all of society.
Album of the Museum of Tomorrow, by Coralia Elias