Environmental Education

Learning outside the classroom

Environmental education (EE) provides opportunities for students to learn in natural environments. Instead of sitting in classrooms listening to teachers talk, children in EE programs participate in hands-on activities at local rivers, city parks, urban gardens, and other natural spaces. EE teachers use the features of natural environments to teach science, math, language arts, social studies, history, and other subjects. Instead of imparting facts in isolation, EE situates learning within the context of real-world places and issues to make it meaningful for students. Fresh air and exercise are added bonuses. Research summarized by the Place-Based Education Evaluation Cooperative has shown… read more

Subsistence Farming

Improper farming methods

Subsistence farming is a common lifestyle in many African states. It includes the rearing of domestic animals and the cultivation of crops for home and domestic use, as opposed to doing so for commercial purposes. Farming of this kind is not a discipline one needs to go to university for, it is often passed from generation to generation, which in turn means it is not a science in the strictest sense. This then makes it open to set backs due to ignorance, and lack of proper knowledge pertaining to successful farming. One such set back is the effect that improper… read more

Life’s Quest

Life's quest

We all have a mission in life. From birth until death, we go about our daily existence with goals and visions on our minds. Whether it’s finishing college, starting a family, or rising up the ladder in the corporate world, everyone has a plan. What of humanity, though? What’s our unified plan, and is it clear cut? Since the days when the first human beings walked the earth, we have all asked ourselves that question. What exactly is the meaning of life, the universe, and everything? A popular novel-turned-film called The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy suggests satirically that the… read more

Habitats for Barn Owls

Barn_Owl

Raptor Works is a program based at Merced High School in California, which takes used crates that once harbored items like fruit or nuts and turns them into wooden homes for Barn Owls. The program was developed by Steve Simmons, a retired shop teacher and volunteer biologist. In this program, students of Merced High School take crates and other packages destined for the landfill, and make homes for Barn Owls. (Though they have also put their skills to use making habitats for other birds, including Bluebirds, Wood Ducks, Screech Owls, and American Kestrel.) Once the materials are up-cycled into homes,… read more

DIY Recycled Flooring

Recycled Floor Redo

Redoing flooring can be expensive work and available materials can be costly or not so environmentally friendly. Upscaling a floor with natural or recycled items can give your interior a green facelift. The following do-it-yourself flooring projects provide motivation to spruce up a boring surface. The Phoenix Commotion showcases several creative do it yourself project inspirations and tips, including imaginative recycled floor applications. For example, Papier-Mâché floors can be created in endless designs with a continual supply of paper materials to incorporate. The featured floors used grocery sacks, labels and even sheet music to decorate surfaces. Also, if you happen… read more

Battery Recycling

us-recycle-batteries-2013-26-Sep-12

Batteries can be found in most homes, businesses and schools. While we need these little operators to power up our necessities and gadgets, they can pose a devastating effect on our environment as they contain toxic metal compounds. Recycling keeps them out of landfills and allows extracted metals to be reused. More services are becoming available to make recycling batteries easier as up to now it has been expensive and recycling centers have not been equipped to handle salvaging them. Earth911 provides an overview of various types of batteries. Alkaline manganese batteries are used to power many household items. These… read more

Terminator Seeds

Wheat

The Monsanto’s corporation’s Terminator technology ensures that buyers of the company’s seeds cannot save seeds from the plants they grow for future use. By inserting a gene that causes the plants grown from Terminator seeds to produce sterile seeds, Monsanto forces its customers to buy new seeds each year. In addition to the fact that the majority of farmers in the developing world cannot afford to keep buying seeds, a wide-scale switch to Terminator seeds would cause many varieties of plants to be lost. Diminishing biodiversity is a serious problem, given that certain plant varieties have evolved to do well… read more

Educator Appreciation

Educator Appreciation

Teachers who work with children are in a position to encourage ecological concepts and introduce and expand upon environmental issues. By providing resources and lesson plans built around sustainable schools of thought, educators can impact children and impart lasting knowledge. Utilizing interactive lessons and lending a global eye for children to learn about the world around them, educators are helping lay the foundation for a green-minded generation. Though my fifth grade elementary school class is long over, I can still remember the section presented on conservation which was a theme throughout that year. Decades later, I can still recall putting… read more

Climate Changes All

emerald tree boa

If biodiversity – the proliferation of life on Earth, the totality of plants and animals and micro-organisms – is already being radically diminished through human activities, what impact will climate change have on ecosystems and species around the world? There is growing agreement amongst conservation biologists and ecologists of the intimate connection between concerns about biodiversity loss and concerns about climate change. To this point, habitat destruction, introduced species, over-population and consumption, pollution and over-exploitation have been the key culprits for loss of species world-wide. According to Robert May (cited in Planet Earth: The Future (what the experts say)), these… read more

Global Land Degradation

dry_land

Due to the diminishing conditions of soil from climate change and chemically dependent agriculture, many acres of land have become unusable for the growth of plant life and equally unable to function as a suitable habitat for wildlife. Because soil is needed for vegetation to grow and create energy, without soil, to put it simply, there is no life. Yet the world is facing global soil degradation that threatens our ability to provide  a stable food source for our growing population. The problem can be found in virtually every country, among both developed and developing communities. On a global scale, the… read more