When asked what it means to be an ecoliterate person, many people described what an ecoliterate person does or is expected to do. Jaimie wrote about admiring “the animals, plants, and trees, / From squirrels to flowers to evergreens” and Jade wrote about “taking your time to stop and smell the flowers; / Just being there in the moment; right here on planet earth”. Enjoying outdoor activities and appreciating the environment is a strong component of ecoliteracy, as Louv discussed in his text Leave No Child Inside. Kids need to do and enjoy outdoor activities, for their own well-being and so they can develop a positive connection with nature. This appreciation of the natural world also appears in my poem, where I mentioned “The air we breathe” and “Plants and trees and the quatis”.
I also think that learning and knowing is very important in being ecoliterate. My poem also mentions “Phylogeny”, “atoms and particles and energy” and a bird’s scientific name. Scientific knowledge allows us to understand in a large scale the changes happening to the world, to know about “the issue of climate change or global warming,” and that’s how we can “notice that these changes are very alarming” as Jaimie writes. But that can’t be enough, either. Science has one specific focused objective way of knowing, but it is not the only way of knowing. Lauren invites us to weave together “all that we can prove, and not prove, and feel, and love”. Not everything is black on white data, and there are many ways to live and understand what the Earth is.
And then another important aspect of being an ecoliterate person is acting like one. Many poems mentioned riding bikes, recycling, and all sorts of individual actions to diminish our negative impact. Mack wrote about his effort with the recycling in the residence, and how “We all must do our part. / Recycling isn’t everything. / But it is a start.” The individual must lead to the collective, and the collective must lead to policy changes and governmental action. “We are running out of time. We are in a crisis”, Tahreem says, and I agree. “We need [grownups, politicians and leaders] to panic and then we need them need to act.” Chico Mendes, a Brazilian activist, tried to change policies, had many accomplishments, and was killed because of it. So it will not be easy, but we have to take a leap, and it has to be done, “Like bees defending their colony from machines cutting down trees”.
Edit: fixed hyperlinks.