To me and my classmates, ecoliteracy is created by the willingness and dedication to learning about the environment and the practices that invoke sustainability, and the lack of ecoliteracy can lead to disaster. I think Capra would agree. He says “in order to build sustainable communities, we must understand the principles of organization that have evolved in ecosystems over billions of years. This understanding is what we call ‘ecological literacy’” (Capra, 10). But more than that, ecoliteracy means educating those around you, whether it’s your descendants or your siblings or your neighbors, about ecological issues and sustainable practices. Like the rancher in my poem who has “shared his knowledge . . . with his children and his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren” (Froshaug, 40-45) to the benefit of his descendants who get to “share his love of the environment” (Froshaug, 46). But does being ecoliterate mean pushing your ideas onto the people around you? Can you educate those who do not want to be educated? Hanna Hansen expresses that her experiences with D was “frustrating, challenging, heart-wrenching, and undeniable ” (Hansen, 1-2) as she “seemed to find a way to question [her] morals, to challenge [her] opinions or to straight up argue with [her] about all ways [she] was wrong” (Hansen, 2-4). Can you go overboard in the quest to help others become ecoliterate and sustainable? Is there a way to push too hard? Joel Wright’s letter uses scare tactics to convince the addressed to “watch out for the wrath of mother nature” (Wright, 1). He warns of the many ways that earth can harm us. He claims that “she’s [Mother Nature] is mean to us, because we are mean to her” (Wright, 16). This is a claim that effectively forces us to think about how are actions are effecting the earth and the need for us to “stop giving her heat.” [Wright, 17]. His poem shows the many negative consequences that can arise when people are not ecoliterate. But is fear the most effective tactic? Does being ecoliterate mean scaring the people in our lives into taking actions that invoke sustainability? Are ecoliterate people obligated to guilt others into sustainable practices?
Capra, Fritjof. “Sustainable Living, Ecological Literacy, and the Breath of Life.” Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 12.1 (2007): 9-18.
Wright, Joel. “Eco-literacy Letter”; https://joelwright9.wordpress.com/2016/09/21/eco-literacy-letter/
Hansen, Hanna. “Love letter.” https://hannahansenblog.wordpress.com/2016/09/21/love-letter/