This year marked the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day celebrations all over North America, as well as around the world. The origin of Earth Day links back to the works of Gaylord Nelson and Rachel Carson and their work and dedication to the Earth’s environment. They were able to stand by their values because they felt the direct connection with nature, the outdoors and an approach towards environmental education that brought people together from all walks of life.
Currently, we are in a precarious situation. On one hand, we have Greta Thunberg, an environmental activist in her teens, taking a stand in the global arena. On the other, we have a rising number of K-12 students who say they feel they are losing their connection to nature.
Related content: How STEM learning invigorates classrooms
What is nature deficit disorder?
In an interview, Richard Louv explains that “nature-deficit disorder” is not a medical diagnosis, but a useful term to describe what many believe are the human costs of alienation from nature.
● Diminished use of the senses
● Attention difficulties
● Higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses
● A rising rate of myopia
● Child and adult obesity
● Vitamin D deficiency, and other maladies
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