Kirsch Center

Kristin Sullivan - Environmental Studies

Instructions for Environmental Action Plan

In written form, you may keep a journal, try the "newsletter" style, and/or parts of your paper may be in matrix form. Please copy double-sided and turn in your paper without a cover, thanks! You may include pictures integrated into the text if you would like. Use your class notes, your solutions calendar, your text and packet, recall the class examples. Ask me for help. This paper may range from 5 pages to ?. You have plenty of choices and leeway. Please fit the following sections to what works for you. This is your environmental action plan! You do not have to use everything mentioned in each category below; these are merely suggestions.

Four sections of your plan: Ecological Integrity, Human Systems and Environmental Degradation, Social Issues, and Sustainability Goals.
  1. Introduction and Ecological Integrity
    • Environmental history: Family history and tie to the land. Who do you look up to and why? Have you had an environmental role model in your life?
    • Mission Statement: Includes philosophy, ethic. For example, you may discuss how you will become better informed about how your actions impact the environment. Or, you may include information regarding changes in your behavior due to your increased environmental awareness.
    • Mandatory part of the assignment: You must include this in your Environmental Action Plan!
      Ethics and Reflections in Nature: Visit an outdoor NATURAL area. Hike around, sit and ponder. Where did you go? What did you see? What did you learn about the organisms around you? What about environmental awareness? How did this experience relate to your environmental action plan? Did you reflect on ecosystem services or sustainability?
    • Career plans and/or educational plans
    • Terms that you may want to use: ecological integrity, worldview, world ethic, and living democracy.
  2. Human Systems and Environmental Degradation
    • How do you use natural resources? Include use of resources used and pollution generated, For example, the 4 R's, chemical use inside and outside the home, transportation, products that you buy, etc.
    • What is your impact on the environment?
    • Terms that you may want to use: environment, environmental degradation, natural resources, high waste society, resource consumption
  3. Social Issues
    • How does your use of resources impact others?

    • Communications: Communicating to others (discussion, awareness building).

    • Politics: involvement, volunteering or becoming a member of a non-profit organization, etc.

    • Think about above with respect to biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, pesticide and chemical use, energy, outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution, water quality and quantity, solid and hazardous wastes.

    • How does you car impact the atmosphere? How does your air conditioning, heating, and lighting impact the atmosphere/environment? How does your landscaping impact native species? How does your diet impact species worldwide?

    • Think about individual and societal impacts. For example, how do your choices impact other cultures and countries?

    • Think about environmental injustice/racism issues. What is environmental justice?

    • Terms that you may want to use: cycle of poverty, high waste society, resource consumption, sustained yield, living democracy, environmental justice, environmental leadership, renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, regional approach to energy.

  4. Sustainability Goals

    Definition of sustainability: ability of a system to survive for some specific time. Definition of sustainable system: system that attains its full-expected lifetime.

    • Timeline for Implementing Projected Behaviors - What have you started to do (what is your current timeline?), what you will begin over the next year (short-term goals), what you will do over the next two to ten years. (long-term goals)

    • Possible Categories: preserving biodiversity, promoting sustainable agriculture, pesticide and chemical use, saving energy, outdoor air pollution, indoor air pollution, saving water, decreasing water pollution, decreasing solid and hazardous wastes.

    • Use the two class handouts: on my examples of an "Environmentally Responsible Lifestyle" and the "101 Things You Can Do" handout.

    • See Appendix 6

    • Why should you care? Why should you care about native species of plants, insects, etc? Can your simple choices make any difference? How can you make a difference?

    • Think about your impact in the home, at work, at school. For example, products you purchase, resource use, etc.

    • Terms that you may want to use: pollution prevention, worldview, environmental management plan, sustainability, sustainable systems, sustainable society, renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, environmental leadership

  5. Conclusion


Last Updated: 9/8/09