Put your eco-literacy to the test! Are the following statements true or false?

1. If everyone in the world lived like an average American, we would need 5 Earths to sustain our lifestyle.

2. The hole in Earth’s ozone layer actually reduces the greenhouse effect but allows harmful UV radiation to pass through.

3. It takes 1800 gallons to grow cotton needed for one pair of jeans.

If you’re like half of all Americans, you may have had to look these questions up on the internet to find out they are all true, but these are some of the topics students are beginning to learn in the classroom thanks to a focus on environmental literacy. Environmental literacy not only means understanding the science of the environment and understanding society’s impact on the natural world, but also being able to make informed decisions to actively help the global environment.

Although schools across the United States still have a long way to go before all their students are environmentally literate, California had a recent victory in environmental literacy. With the support of over 130 organizations and state leaders like Senator Ben Allen, Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, California Governor Jerry Brown approved a one-time budget of $4 million to fund environmental literacy in the state in 2017-2018. According to Ten Strands, this budget allocation will allow school districts to utilize community-based environmental education providers and ultimately improve critical-thinking and problem-solving skills about environmental challenges that will benefit students in schools, in their communities, and in the workplace. Way to go California!

Grades of Green supplements environmental education and literacy through experiential learning with our 40+ Activities that can be accessed online and implemented in the classroom, our Trash Free Lunch Challenge which teaches kids why and how to reduce their waste, and our Youth Corps Eco-Leadership Program which empowers kids to lead an environmental activity of their own from start to finish. For more information on how our programs can improve environmental literacy, email info@gradesofgreen.org or call our office at (310) 607-0175.