Educating children and adults in environmental values has become practically an obligation in many countries. In Spain, for example, it has been regulated by law and has become a transversal axis of the curriculum.
But what are these values and why are they so necessary? Although it cannot be considered as a fully accredited area of knowledge, we can affirm that its axes are strongly related to the concepts of respect for nature and the environment.
The environmental value could be defined as a process of learning values for the awareness of respect for the environment. In addition, awareness can be added to the protection of the natural environment.
Nowadays, education in environmental or environmental values focuses on the contribution of tools capable of emphasizing new ways of relating to the environment. In this way, the social actors are relocated and the human being is aware of the importance of respect and love for nature, both in the closest environments and on a global scale.
Another aspect that is taken care of in the study and learning of the environmental value is the need to raise awareness. The human being must accept that their participation, in any event, affects on a global scale, so we should understand respect for the environment as respect for the world, the planet Earth as a whole.
It is important that the human being understands aspects such as maintenance and conservation. But, today, almost more important is the term protection. Given the level of deterioration reached by the planet according to experts, it is essential to implement common actions, from the simplest to the most complex, to protect the environment and the world as a whole.
All human action carries what is called collateral contamination. Hence, activities such as the culture of recycling, sensible and reasonable consumption or the circular economy are essential to make the most of the planet’s resources.
To involve all human actors in the need for the protection of the planet, environmental values are born, reflected in the White Paper on Environmental Education. Let’s see what they are.
This feeling of affection helps us protect and preserve the place we inhabit. If we show love and respect for the environment, we can harmonize our life in nature taking care of what is valuable to us and ours.
The knowledge that the human being has of his acts and of himself helps him to become aware of the respect he must-have for everything that surrounds him. In this way, actions that have a positive impact on the natural environment can be implemented to improve the quality of life.
In this case we refer to the action of conserving something over time. This value helps to protect and care for the good state of the environment, guaranteeing its survival for generations to come.
It is the power to get carried away by compassion. This feeling allows us to take special care with the environment, a fact that awakens our conservation instincts, for which we need a clean and healthy environment.
We understand coexistence as the act or action of living in harmony with a group of people along with their surroundings, including living beings. Without a doubt, something fundamental to learn to respect the natural space, together with the processes and dynamics that govern it.
It is understood as the feeling that sets limits, indicating the lines of respect for nature that cannot be exceeded to avoid greater evils. That is, it implies the understanding and consideration of the environment.
“The earth provides enough to meet the needs of each man, but not the greed of each man.”
It is understood as the obligation to respond to acts, both own and others. Thus, each one, as an individual and as part of a social environment, must assume and account for his or her actions before nature.
Undoubtedly, it is urgent to internalize environmental values, if only for pure selfish interest. Respecting, caring for and sustaining the natural ecosystems of this planet is everyone’s responsibility, both individually and socially. It is the future of life on Earth – and ours – that is at stake.