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Lecture 2

ENV 1101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Pie Chart, Noora, Meta-Analysis

Environmental Studies
Course Code
ENV 1101
Sonia Wesche

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Mayers !1
Cassidy Mayers
November 20, 2015
Data Analysis & Final Report

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Mayers !2
ABSTRACT: In this paper, we report some reflections on sustainability literacy in higher
educations and out in the community. Starting from an examination of the knowledge individuals
have on sustainability, we introduce the concept of sustainability literacy and from there focus
our attention on our findings and draw conclusions where they can be drawn. Based off of this
report we are able to get a better understanding of who needs to be made more aware of our
current issues with sustaining the environment and what could be done to change that.
Sustainability literacy is defined as the knowledge and mindset that help compel an
individual to become deeply committed to building a sustainable future and that allow him or her
to make informed and effective decisions that reflect positively on the environment. The term
was first mentioned by the environmental consultancy Forum for the Future, an organization that
has worked extensively with the higher education sector in recent years in exploring the
implications of sustainable development. They suggest that a sustainability literate person is
someone who understands the need for sustainable development, has the abilities to act in favour
of it, and can recognize others’ decisions and actions that favour it. It isn't about improving
education, but rather about changing moral attitudes and behaviour.
What is expected to come from spreading awareness on sustainability literacy is, an
increase in caring about the future of society and intergenerational equality, the empowerment of
students and a heightened belief that they can make a difference and, an increase in personal
willingness to participate in solving societal and environmental problems. Expressed at the
highest level, a sustainability literate person would be expected to understand the need for
change to a sustainable way of doing things, individually and collectively have sufficient

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Mayers !3
knowledge and skills to decide and act in a way that favours sustainable development and, be
able to recognize and reward other people’s decisions and actions that favour sustainable
development. A sustainability literate person will have sufficient knowledge and understanding
to talk to others in a positive and engaging way about matters relating to sustainable
development. They should be able to make coherent arguments as to why change in behaviour is
needed and how it can happen in practice, using examples taken from their own life experiences
and linking that to their values. They should be able to make links between the social,
environmental and economic aspects of sustainability and make connections between their
neighbourhood, their workplace and what is happening globally.
“… the people who will succeed fifteen years from now, the countries which
will succeed, are those which are most based on a sustainable vision of the
world. That is what we should be training people to do.” (Rt Hon Charles
Clarke, 2003, p.1)
Teaching students about Sustainability literacy relates to uOttawa and other university
campuses in the sense that it helps students develop styles of thinking, attitudes and skills to
create a just and sustainable future for all.
“The goal is to develop a citizenry empowered to make decisions that will
improve the state of ecosystems, the economy and the health and well-being of
people on the planet. Sustainability education involves every subject taught in
school. Many schools have green initiatives like recycling, a school garden or
environmental club, typically involving a limited number of people and a small
fraction of school activities. In contrast, a truly sustainable school will, in time,
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