There was a story floating around the papers this week about a young child in Quebec who was not allowed to participate in an in-class draw for a stuffed animal for the egregious offence of daring to bring a sandwich to school in a Ziplock bag. It did not pass the environmental muster and the punishment was ostracization.
There is a big difference between teaching and coercion.
The problem here is that this does not teach a child this young anything but fear and the consequences of non-conformance. This is no teaching moment::- it is a fall into line or else moment. It is utterly ridiculous.
As eloquently put in the 3 February National Post editorial on the subject “Today’s green movement is as much about running other people’s lives as it is about saving the planet”. I would add that it is as much about meeting political ends as it is about meeting environmental ends. It is about creating a dogma and then inflicting it on everyone else. It is bad enough that we have to deal with this kind of nonsense as adults. It’s a sad statement that it has seeped into kindergarten.
I would suggest that most of us involved in the environmental industry became involved at least in part because of what we learned when we were young. We learned that the environment is in some ways imperiled through our proliferation and activities. We spend every day trying to make it a little better through better management of resources and better management of our wastes.
Informing and educating is the way to promoting environmental preservation and conservation forward. It does need to start at a young age and continue throughout our lives.
Punishing a kid with a ziplock bag is not the way to accomplish this.