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Celine Cousteau: Environmentalism Should Be Taught In Schools

First Posted: 04/06/10 01:30 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:05 PM ET

Cousteau

It must be eco-school day. This morning, we wrote about a contest for America's Greenest School and 5 Green Tips For Students, and now we come across Celine Cousteau -- that's Jacques Cousteau's granddaughter -- saying kids ought to be taught environmentalism at a young age.

It's part of a longer interview in which she discusses what she's up to. Read the whole thing here, or check out the salient parts below:

What would you advise parents who want to educate their children about environmental issues during their travels?


First of all, I don't understand why environmentalism isn't part of every curriculum in schools. You teach biology, so why not make that connection for the kids? In terms of travel planning, I would really pay attention to where you choose to go and teach the kids why you decided to bring them to a particular place: because they compost, because they have solar panels, because they have educational eco programs, etc. The consumer demand has to be the driving force for places to go green.

What are some eco-focused kid's programs you would recommend?

Not just to plug my father's non-profit, but I really do think the Jean-Michel Cousteau "Ambassadors of the Environment" (www.aote.org) programs are really great for kids. And they've been really successful in promoting awareness and educating. At the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman, for instance, they launched the kid's program but soon the parents started coming along, so they had to expand the program. Another place I have heard about is a program called Green Chimneys (www.greenchimneys.org), based in Brewster, NY, where city-kids learn about nature and the environment. Clean up the World (www.cleanuptheworld.com) is another program I am involved in as ambassador; they have tangible programs with partners around the world and anyone can get involved.

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Filed by Dave Burdick  |