In my opinion embodiment in the context of climate change and eco-literacy has to do with both awareness and pro-activeness. It is the ability of being aware of the effects your interpersonal lifestyle has on the environment. It is being aware of the food you eat, clothes you wear, what you buy, your modes of transportation and how you choose to dissolve your waste. In this context of embodiment I believe it means that once you are able to recognize that your everyday activities affect your carbon footprint, you then choose to transfer your knowledge into ways of decreasing your individual wastes of energy.
This class has given me a wake-up call like no other. After class I hop into my car, by myself and drive my daily 45 minute commute home. Before leaving the city I commonly find myself taking a pit stop at McDonalds to get an Iced Coffee which as per usual is given to me in a plastic cup, covered in a plastic lid, topped off with a plastic straw; OH which is also wrapped in paper. Then when I get home I take a look around and notice the garbage bag over flowing with plastic bottles I have accumulated over the months. In my bathroom I have nearly empty shampoo, face wash, conditioner, hairspray bottles, etc, all over the place. What am I planning on doing with them once they are empty? Knowing me, I will carelessly toss them into the garbage. The sad thing is that prior to this class I have not taken a second to consider what happens to my waste once it is out of my hands.
After reading Beyond Ecophobia by David Sobel I came to the realization that I do not need to be as hard on myself about the lack of eco-literacy I withheld prior to this class. This reading explains that the current way of teaching environmental studies is causing a case of ecophobia “a fear of ecological problems and the natural world”. This is due to the curriculum focusing on the negative side effects of climate change and natural destructions. David Sobel believes that “we can cure the malaise of ecophobia with ecophilia –supporting children’s biological tendency to bond with the natural world”. Later, he writes about a classroom choosing to learn in the outdoors, where they chose to create their own wings and fly around like the birds they saw. They began to immerse themselves into the lives of the creatures they witnessed. By engaging in this type of learning the children are able to empathize with the animals they will later learn about in the classroom. I believe that the best way to introduce students to environmental studies is by allowing the students to engage their learning in the outdoors.