The world around us, both the living and nonliving elements of nature, are the foundation of life. It is crucial that children not only live with and appreciate nature, but actually live a life in nature, connected to nature. People are not just another element on Earth. We are the earth and it is us. There is a oneness and we hold a role of responsibility in caring for it.
The earth sustains and provides us with all the essential elements to live – air, water, soil, food, shelter, and energy. We depend on the earth and all living systems for our survival. People are not separate from the earth, but interconnected. There is a reason why people talk about the “web of life.”
When children learn to love the earth they are inspired to explore what it means to care for the earth. It is through a deep connection that they then seek to learn how to become actively aware and take responsibility to ensure that their everyday decisions and actions care for living and non-living things, such as animals, plants, soil, water, and air. Learning and living by the ethic Care of Earth means, as the ancient proverb says, taking our place as responsible caretakers today knowing that we are just borrowing it from our children’s children.