As I am developing my understanding of what it means to be ecoliterate, I have found that everyone has different opinions on what the definition is and what it means to them. People also have their own stories to share when it come to ecoliteracy and being ecoliterate. Some may have seen examples of ecoliteracy in their homes from the siblings or parents, while others have seen examples from their grandparents. I personally have seen ecoliteracy shown to me through my oldest sister, Crystal. She has an admiration for nature and all living things. Therefore, she demonstrates with her actions and her heart that she wants to sustain the environment, “do what is right”, and make those changes or continue those patterns to “make it really count” to be ecoliterate. Like Capra says, “sustainability implies that . . . we must understand the principle of organization that have evolved in ecosystems over billions of years” (p. 10). What Capra means is that this understanding of sustainability and action of sustaining ecosystems is called ecological literacy, which is what my sister Crystal has demonstrated to me as I grew up.

An example of a poem that is similar to my understanding of ecoliteracy, written in my poem, is one written by Dacy Vance. Dacy gives examples that her grandparents taught her about ecoliteracy and some of the similar themes in our poems are “recycling” and keeping the environment and Earth “healthy” or taken “care” of. This is especially important to be ecoliterate because one needs to take care of the environment that we live in if they want it to be sustainable. We can’t have plastic bottles or bags being thrown out into garbage dumps and littering our environment because that would ultimately pollute our environment, make it sick and ultimately “crumble”. I agree with Dacy when she implies that we need to challenge ourselves to not litter and always recycle everything that we can because ultimately, this small everyday action will make our environment a healthier and more sustainable environment to live in.

A different example of ecoliteracy is shown in a letter written by Jessica to her parents. This letter is a bit different than my poem on ecoliteracy, but it is very insightful and meaningful. First of all, Jessica wrote her parents a letter and I wrote a poem about ecoliteracy. Second of all, Jessica thanks her parents for teaching her about making a long term difference in the environment by building up future generations. She says that she fears that the people who are not ecoliterate “will not always appreciate their environment and what it provides”. She says that people do not realize how much they “rely on farmers”, but they should because “nothing in our environment should be taken for granted”. I now understand that ecoliteracy is more than just being knowledgeable about and appreciating the environment, but that it is also sustaining it, and not taking it for granted. I thank Capra, Dacy, and Jessica for helping me on my journey to confirming, but also becoming more aware and knowledgeable of what it really means to be ecoliterate.



Capra, Fritjof (2007). Sustainable Living, Ecological Literacy, and the Breath of Life.

               Canadian Journal of Environmental Education, 12, 9-19.


My Eco-Literate Friend