When I was brainstorming ideas for my Ecoliteracy poem, I found myself inspired by David Orr’s words when he states, “…the planet does not need more successful people, but it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind” (pg.12). This quote instantly reminded me of my young neighbour, Braxton, who adores everything nature has to offer. From this thought, I built on the idea of creating an innovative, creative, and imaginative reality of ecoliteracy that resembles the beauty of the world through Braxton’s eyes, for I believe he is the peacekeeper, and lover of nature that this world needs.
Paddra’s ecoliteracy letter resembles parts of my overall thought process, for she also describes the beauty of the world that she experiences while with her young nieces. She uses imagery to create alluring scenery, as did I, in order to allow people to relate to our expressions of ecoliteracy on a personal level. However, Paddra describes what she has learned about the environment from her nieces (such as appreciating all living and non-living things), as I discuss how I want Braxton’s perspective of the environment to inspire positive change in the world. The imaginative future of the world expressed in my poem, along with Paddra’s ability to learn and grow from her current experiences, shared in her letter, are both crucial factors needed to understand the entire concept of ecoliteracy. One must have an understanding of the current environmental reality and be educated on ways the world needs to be changed in order to create an inspirational future world, in which humans are causing no environmental harm. Paddra’s letter braided together with my poem, evidently broadens and further deepens my perspective of ecoliteracy.
Additional, I found Lacey’s letter also extended my overall knowledge of ecoliteracy. As I expressed an imaginative ecoliteracy world, she took a more educational approach, and offered concrete examples on how to be ecoliterate in our current environment. She captivated my attention by revealing ways to maintain and add sustainability into one’s life by reusing grocery and Ziploc bags, growing one’s own vegetable garden, and refusing to use plastic water bottles. Our original ecoliteracy definitions were similar in the sense that we both discussed the role children played in our overall understanding; however, yet again, mine touching on the value of a child’s imagination and adoration of the world, as Lacey’s valued the importance of educating youth on how to be environmentally healthier.
With all three of our original understandings braided together, ecoliteracy becomes far from a simple definition. It involves seeing the current environmental reality, participating in ways to create a healthier environment, and being inspired to work towards one’s imagination of creating a perfectly environmentally friendly world.
David W. Orr. Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect. Washington, DC: Island Press, 1994. 224 pp. (1996). Organization & Environment.