Development has led to rise in standard of life, rapid consumption of our natural resources and also rapid formation of waste which may cause environmental crisis. So, there is urgent need of environmental awareness and ethics to avoid Eco-degradation and environmental crisis. It is rightly said, “If you want to act green, first think green”. Environmental degradation is a serious problem now and serious efforts are made to orient the public in its protection. It became necessary to develop a suitable program for creating environmental awareness among various sections of society and orients them for adopting environmental friendly production and consumption practices in day to day life. Every person of our country should be a fairly good position to assess the potential threats in every sphere of environment.
As environment education is a new field, not much canvassing is being done on public media. According to Henry D. Thorean, “What is the use of beautiful house, if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?”
It is desirable that reporting of environmental degradation should be done as a major activity of life. All round success in the field of environment can be achieved through involvement of common man directly or indirectly. People are increasingly realizing the seriousness and urgency of environmental issues but that is where it often stops at awareness. There are many issues but that is where it often stops at wastage of water, power consumption, fuel consumption, deforestation greenhouse effect, ozone hole etc are big names of big problem but the solutions are not all that big and complex.
Areas of Environmental Education
The scopes of environmental education or the areas covered by environmental education are as follows:
i. Size and Growth of Human Population: The size and growth of human population have direct relationship with environmental problems. Increase in population puts tremendous pressure on the natural environment. The uncontrolled growth of human population directly or indirectly affects the quality of life due to impossibility of expansion of land and other resources. The natural resources are exhausting due to over exploitation of the natural resources by ever growing population. Population explosion is one of the major causes of environmental problems and constraints in planning.
ii. Pollution: Pollution and their negative contribution towards environmental deterioration and quality of human life come under the purview of discussion in environmental education. The causes and remedial measures are also discussed.
iii. Human Health and Quality of Life: Human health and quality of life influenced by environment to a great extent. In addition to the genetic factors, the determinants of the environment viz. water supply, urban environment, quality, climate and the pattern of human contacts are involved. The patterns of human contacts are involved in production of diseases viz. communicable diseases, degenerative diseases and neo-plastic diseases. In developing countries, the contacts are of major concern. In developing countries malnutrition and various superstitions are related to diseases and death. So, environmental education issues warning to the people in this regard.
iv. Values Attitudes and Lifestyle of Man: Most of the environmental problems of present day are essentially man made. The role of man it’s therefore important because it is his attitude and values which shape the environment. In developing countries, mad race after materialism puts too much pressure on environment that the materialistic attitude of man multiplies the human needs and ultimately leads towards the resource exploitation, without considering the future consequential disharmony with the environment. Man has to involve a balanced way of thinking, acting and feeling towards the environment. So human ethics, attitude, values, decision making analysis of ecological, economic and technical aspects come under the scope of environmental education.
v. Environmental Law: The education of environmental protection laws is very important. Most of the people lack the positive attitude towards the protection natural resources. Sometimes people being paid for the protection of the resources, spoils it for personal gain due to lack of values. Thus the laws relating to environment should be farmed and observed to
such an extent so that man does not dare to exploit the natural resources in negative direction. The fear of punishment can deter the man from deteriorating environment that ultimately change their life style, values and attitudes.
vi. Natural Resources: Environmental Education covers all types of natural resources viz. forest resources, energy resources, water resources, soil resources, mineral resources, wild life resources. The exploitation of these resources by man results in reduction of quality and quantity of these resources and problem of resources deterioration. Environment education provides ways and means to prevent environmental degradation i.e., it tells about employment of various environment protecting methods like crop rotation, a forestation, use of alternative energy resources such as solar, tidal, wind and geothermal energy and recycling of waste etc.