Congratulations! You made it through module 8.
Reflection Question: What is one of your key takeaways from this module (a quote, insight, skill, resource, or perspective)? How does or will this takeaway impact your thinking or teaching?
Maria Schneider–I really enjoyed this module and realized how easy it is to incorporate the lessons into any educational environment with simple adaptations. I realized that even though I am an advocate for sustainability I too can decrease my own carbon footprint and can always do things to live more sustainably. I am going to try to decrease the amount of dairy and meat I eat, as well as using reusable utensils and cups as much as possible.
I agree with others- I can do so much more to be sustainable! The restaurant I work in does not recycle. This is something that I can make happen!
I found that although the Earth Charter may seem outdated and full of platitudes, it is a remarkable document and a codification of a wealth of ideas and principles for global environmental sustainability.
My biggest takeaway is understanding my carbon footprint. Its been a while since i’ve looked at the way i live my life and the waste / resources it takes to sustain me. There are little things that I can introduce into my daily routine to improve my relationship with the environment and reduce waste, and this module served as a reminder of the little things that make a big difference. Also I’ve seen the story of stuff video about once a year for the past 4 years, but each time the same thing stands out to me – how the things we buy have “planned obsolescent” factor, and companies intentionally create things that break to get us to buy a new one. Case in point, cell phones every 2 years. It drives me nuts that I fall for buying the newer model.
I think it’s very important for the students to explore their impact on the earth, both socially and environmentally. However, I think going through the entire life cycle of products is very important and eye opening and I’m not sure much in this section focused on that aspect. When just exploring the surface it only offers some chance of reduction of the “carbon footprint” but when looking at the life cycle, then perhaps we can come up with many more and different ways to reduce our impact.
For the first time, reading through the detailed lesson plans was the most useful part of this module. Environmental sustainability and stewardship is something I’m very familiar with – but I think I learned these ethical lessons through osmosis, because my parents are so environmentally conscious, and because of the area in which I grew up. So even though I realize the importance of environmental education, I didn’t consider effective ways of communicating them in formal education settings before this module. I have bookmarked the lesson plan on page 8.4 for future use and reference!
I think the biggest take away for me is the lesson plans. I think they offered some very practical and tangible ways of dealing with the environment in the classroom. They also were easily adaptable!
My biggest takeaway is being intentionally and consciously aware of how my actions influence others and the greater community. Sometimes, I can be very wasteful and indifferent to my actions, however, this module was a reminder of how important sustainability and intentional living is in terms of my own environmental impact.
The key take away for me is the perspective that, though just one person, due to interdependence, we are in this thing together. I enjoyed how the Earth Charter is presented in such a way that recognizes interdependence, but respect for cultures in the midst of what the organization considers universally recognized values.
Like Marg, I’m re-inspired to recycle in my classroom once more. I’ve become lazy and inured by DCPS’ lack of recycling in their buildings. I can do my part. I should. I will. Recycling bin in the classroom, here I come!
I really appreciated the Story of Stuff video and the Carbon Footprint Quiz and plan to use these resources in the future. As mentioned in the module, the video takes a complex systems issue and makes it understandable to the general population. This video and the Carbon Footprint Quiz encourage me to seek out – or develop myself – resources that break down the complex issues and make them more understandable, manageable, and accessible to all levels of learners. I think people are more spurred into action when they can visualize how their actions directly contribute to a cause, and informational resources like these do just that.
I get a pretty healthy dose of reminding about lowering my carbon footprint from my mom… (her idea of ringing in the New Year is to have a ‘zero waste’ party 🙂 In Italy it was a lot easier to recycle and compost- there are compost bins next to every recycle bin throughout even the center of the city. But, DC presents more of a challenge. Living in an apartment in the heart of the city it is difficult to compost and I’m even skeptical about recycling (the comingled recycling containers in my basement don’t seem very efficient nor do others seem to follow the rules…). This unit reminds me that I need to write to someone to understand how recycling works in this city.
I think that a key take-away for me is that I could be doing more to encourage other people to be more aware of how they are consuming. Since I started teaching in Prince Georges County, one of the most irritating things has been that the county does not recycle paper (or anything for that matter, but the amount of paper that is thrown away is ridiculous). My way of combatting this has been to bring in my own recycling bin for my class room and take it home with me to empty. However, there is only one other teacher in our building that I know of that does this and it’s a problem at every school in our county. For me, my next steps are going to be to encourage the recycling of paper as a school. At least it would be a start.