Why Sustainability Learning Matters

  • It is important for people to be educated in environmental problems and how they contribute to them in order to create change. As people take in information and form opinions, they will create an environmental worldview, a set of assumptions and values about how the world works and their place within it. They will use this, probably unknowingly, to make decisions throughout life. There are three main worldviews: human-centered, life-centered, and earth-centered. A human-centered environmental worldview sees the planet as a support system for human life and holds that we can and should manage the world for our benefit. A life-centered environmental worldview sees all living things as having value regardless of their use to humans and that we have a responsibility to avoid hastening any extinctions through our activities. An earth-centered worldview holds that we are dependent on and part of nature and that earth's support system exists for all species. Our long-term survival depends on our understanding of how life on Earth has sustained itself for billions of years. Having sustainability literacy which is the knowledge, skills, and mindsets that allow people to become committed to building a sustainable future is key to creating change.

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