Earth’s rapidly changing environment impacts everybody regardless of location.
Environmental stewardship education includes youth and adult students alike. With increasing evidence of negative human impact on the environment which includes rising oceans, destructive severe weather, loss of wildlife habitat and extinction of large numbers of animal and plant species, its critical ecological awareness is taught and promoted.
Environmental degradation is an existential threat to humans, flora, and fauna regardless of location. Education is key to understanding the problems presented by ecosystem mismanagement and the development of solutions that result in a sustainable world in balance with nature. Environmental stewardship education enhances student opportunities to build relationships with the local ecosystems and helps them grasp the importance of how individual behavior affects the world we live in.
What is Environmental Stewardship? Know the Five Categories.
NOAA identifies five categories of environmental stewardship. Categories include restoration and protection, everyday choices, community awareness, civic action, and stewardship science.
Ecosystem restoration and protection is a process to restore habitats to a natural condition which have been damaged, destroyed or degraded. Various approaches to repairing impacted areas includes contouring the land to reflect surrounding topography and replanting with indigenous plants. Returning the land to a natural state restores habitat for wildlife and important insects essential for crop pollination.
Conscientious consumerism is crucial to reduce human impact on the environment. Examples of everyday choices include taking public transportation or riding a bike. Purchasing products incorporating recyclable packaging resulting in reduced landfill waste. Adding a sprinkler system to minimize water use. Installing LED lighting fixtures that reduce electricity consumption.
National organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, Boys and Girl Scouts of America, and local clubs each participate in community awareness. In fact, environmental stewardship education is an essential learning goal of scouting organizations. Group gatherings increase community awareness and through member connections with their social media platforms and organized events spread the word about the importance of participating in green initiatives.
Civic action involves engaging with local, state, and Federal government lawmakers to establish policies and regulations that protect the environment and preserve it for future generations. “Students behave as citizens by engaging in a cycle of research, action, and reflection about problems they care about while helping them master knowledge, skills, beliefs, and habits of civic action.”
Stewardship simply means taking care of something. Each of us has a responsibility to protect and nurture our environment. Everything is connected. Humans possess the ability to be in balance with nature or destroy life sustaining habitats and pay the consequence. It’s not a matter of saving the planet, earth doesn’t care. It’s a matter of taking responsibility for our actions and treasuring the natural world we are a part of.
Supporting Sustainability with Innovative Merchandise
EcoCentricNow.com promotes sustainability through the sale of merchandise that reduces energy consumption, incorporates recycled packaging materials, and offers products that provide years of worry-free use.
Acknowledgement. Candace Ramsey is a digital media student at Delaware Technical Community College. Interning with ECN, she will complete her AA degree in May 2023 and looks forward to pursuing a marketing career.