For those who have witnessed the impact that the arts can have on environmental education outcomes you may be interested in the July 2017 issue of the Australian Journal of Environmental Education Volume 33, Issue 2 It highlights a study Arts Education as a Vehicle for Social Change: An Empirical Study of the Eco Arts in the K-12 Classroom, a paper by Jeniffer Sams (Indiana University, USA) & Doreen Sams (Georgia College & State University, USA) The study "unpacks the role of the arts as change agents". The paper points out the gap in academic literature related to "synergistic work of the arts and sciences."
demonstrated by Reef Check
STEM subjects integrated with Arts benefit by opening students up to a new way of applying knowledge that ultimately has the capacity to create change. Research viewing the arts as a medium for sharing and influencing cultures between societies is cited and that early exposure to arts education and continued exposure to the arts can create a lifetime of original thinking and problem solving.
Using lateral thinking
to create coral from recycled
The study advises that artists have historically been the keepers of culture and social commentators and that "measures must be taken to address environmental literacy, environmental stewardship and sustainability from several angles." Find the abstract information here www.ausmepa.org.au
One common occurrence of plastic pollution on a beach is the humble(?) straw. 50-60 years ago we used to have paper straws that would degrade and before that we simply took a sip from a glass. Is it time to re-think getting sucked in by trends?
If you are a teacher in Tasmania, and you have the chance to do this, you should seriously consider a visit to the Woodbridge Marine Discovery Center. Your kids will have the best time and learn many very important things about this wonderful world!!
The Australian National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) have undertaken a study within their Tropical Water Quality Hub to determine what it is that people care about most in relation to the Great Barrier Reef's aesthetic and physical beauty. The study importantly bears weight on key criteria for listing the World Heritage Area as well as ecosystem health.
So what do people care about? Dr Nadine Marshall's CSIRO research has found that although the diversity on the reef relies on the coral system "people care more about abundant fish than live coral cover when rating the Great Barrier Reef’s physical beauty." It seems that the 1500 Australian's tested may not fully recognise the direct correlation between healthy fish numbers and corals. Find out more about the study here If you, your students or community wish to actively contribute to the ongoing education and growing body of knowledge about corals in your area you may want to check out Coral Watch here.
Australia is surrounded by sea. Disused packaging inevitably finds its way to the sea and back onto our beaches.
In years gone by Victoria had a return bottle and can for cash scheme which unfortunately was rescinded many years ago. They do have an active recycling program and some scrap metal businesses will buy cans for cash.
However South Australia who started their scheme in 1977 are now celebrating forty years in protecting the environment in this way. See more here
In 2012 the Northern Territory started a Cash For Containers program that has been going great guns and substantially reducing the number of containers going to tips or let loose into the wild.
Western Australia is going for a Cash-for-can recycling scheme where people will receive 10 cents for returning beer and spirit bottles, soft drink cans and various non-alcoholic bottles as well as small, flavoured milk cartons.
New South Wales with their Return and Earn and Queensland with their single use plastic bag band and Cash for Cans programs are coming on-board now too.
Here is a map provided by Wikipedia showing the recent changes and how Australian states and territories are moving toward South Australia's lead.
Good onya Aussies!! Only Victoria and Tasmania remain at sea.
These container desposit schemes will be a boon for our receiving waters and beaches that beset by plastic and packaging.