Neohumanism is closely linked to the care of the environment and all its inhabitants, and our schools and educational programmes prominently reflect this in their activities. The first Environmental Education manual called ‘ELF – Earth Lovers Family’ was prepared by Didi Anandamitra in the early 1980s. From this early initiative AMGK decided to carry on the further development of Environmental Education in our schools and call it ELF.
ELF activities are included in the school curriculum. The main objective of ELF is that our schools are truly a family that loves the immediate environment and all its inhabitants. Each school needs to research their local environment and have clear knowledge of the environmental problems. This research can include contacting all the local organisations working for the environment. The school can have regular activities to help alleviate the environmental problems starting from the immediate school surrounding and extending to an increasing wider radius from the school.
Some Activity Ideas
• Make a nursery – collect seeds, learn grafting – this could generate income and serve the community by distributing for free. Experiment with rare varieties.
• Organise exhibitions, seminars, concerts, debates, invite speakers regarding conservation in the community.
• Separate garbage – compost, paper, recycle things if possible. Use basket or bag when shopping.
• Collect garbage wherever you see it. Organise garbage cleanups at the beach, parks, sale areas, school, street sides, forests, etc.
A class ages 10-12 cleaned up the beach and informed people how plastic harms marine life. This class learned that plastic garbage can kill marine animals like turtles, fish and seagulls if they swallow it or get tangled in it. They decided to pick up plastic and collected 100 sacks full. They also made leaflets with statistics and information about dangers of garbage for marine life and handed them to tourists, local people and students. On the day of clean-up even their parents joined them.
From a booklet prepared for Environmental Education camp at Ananda Shyama MU Did you know?
• The insect eating falcon can see a dragon fly from 1km distance?
• That the blue whale needs to eat 3 tons of food a day and its tongue can weigh 4 tons?
• That to make 1kg honey bees must collect nectar from 4 million flowers?
• That tarantulas can live for 2 ½ years without food?
• That on 1 acre of land there are 1 million spiders?
• That there are 10,000 varieties of the rose?
• That 1 kg raw cotton makes 60,000 km of thread?
• That sea cows live on seaweed and sea grass
• That every person in the world must plant 4 trees a year from now onward to counteract the greenhouse effects?
“For today’s young people, developing empathy towards animals can be a key step towards developing empathy for, and rejecting violence against, all beings, including human beings. Share the World is a free educational programme designed to help your students better understand and appreciate the animal kingdom. Your pupils will use their thinking, reading and writing skills to work through the reproducible activities that form the heart of this programme.”
OnEarth – https://www.nrdc.org/onearth
“The award-winning environmental magazine, explores politics, nature, wildlife, culture, science, health, the challenges that confront our planet, and the solutions that promise to heal and protect it.”
Oxfam Cool Planet for Teachers and Children http://www.oxfam.org.uk/coolplanet/