Education

Environmental Education (EE) is the study of the interaction between the human and natural systems of the world.  EE increases knowledge and appreciation for the environment through hands-on exposure to the natural world, as well as fusing interdisciplinary knowledge of the natural world with core subject areas. This education and awareness strengthens the relationship between individuals and their surrounding environment to generate greater public awareness, concern and action towards environmental issues.  Ultimately, EE programs seek to develop environmental literacy among all citizens by raising awareness of the environment and environmental challenges, connecting people to the natural world that surrounds them, and promoting a more sustainable society.

While there have been tremendous efforts to further engage the public on environmental issues, major gaps remain in environmental literacy.  A number of factors continue to contribute to this reality, such as insufficient attention and funding for environmental education initiatives, a narrowing of the curriculum by the No Child Left Behind Act and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle that is largely disconnected from the natural world.  More Americans than ever before are less informed about the planet that sustains them, even at a time when environmental literacy is more important than ever.  Numerous studies have shown that environmental education can significantly improve economic and educational performance in a variety of settings, including business, government and school communities.

Earth Day Network’s Education program believes that the nation’s future relies on a well-educated public so that we can be wise stewards of the environment that sustains us, our families, our communities and future generations.  In fact, the original Earth Day was billed as “the first national teach-in on the environment.”  Over 20 million Americans, 10,000 K-12 schools and 2,000 colleges participated in the first Earth Day.  Our Education program carries this original message and success into the 21st century.  With every Earth Day Network Education project, lesson plan or event, we seek to create a learning experience for all participants that will eventually lead to meaningful action.

Latest Updates
Jun 9, 2014

In November of 2012 California voters approved Proposition 39. The law is designed to close a tax loophole that gave corporations a tax break for moving their jobs and investments to other states. Prop 39 fixed this problem by requiring multi-state companies to pay taxes based on their sales in California, and is predicted to generate an estimated $2.5 billion in revenue over a five-year period beginning in fiscal year 2013-2014.

Apr 24, 2014

On Earth Day, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the 48 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and 9 District Sustainability Awardees in Washington, D.C. Duncan was joined by Acting Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Mike Boots, who praised the selected schools and districts saying, "Schools all over the country can look to today's honorees as models for creating a healthier learning environment while lowering energy bills and preparing students for success in the 21st century economy.

Apr 24, 2014

In order to create the next generation of environmentalists, action must be taken now to education young people about the dangers of climate change. That’s why a day prior to Earth Day 2014, Congressman Michael Honda, a Democrat representing California’s 17th District, in the San Francisco Bay area, introduced a bill to the House of Representatives entitled the Climate Change Education Act.

Apr 9, 2014

Why should students sell candy bars or wrapping paper for school fundraising when they could sell tree saplings instead?

Earth Day Network and ForestNation have teamed up to change school fundraising for the better by encouraging students to sell tree-growing kits. For every tree-growing kit a student sells, ForestNation will match it by planting another tree elsewhere.