The environment is an abstract concept referring to interaction between physical, biological, economic, social and political aspects of ones surroundings. The growing challenges facing our environment have made it necessary for humans to focus critically on possible actions that could be done on some special days of the year to address the current environment crisis. A symbolic date in this regard is considered as a day loaded with special meanings referring to occasions when people meet to focus on pertinent social issues in an effort towards reversing , promoting or addressing them. The ‘environment’ aspect may not be very straight forward in some days and it requires one to be very innovative in making the day more biased towards appreciation and conservation of the environment. For instance the world human rights day may be more biased towards a political dimension. A critical look at the days theme and activities however may suggest possibility towards the other dimensions (physical, biological, social, economic aspects) of the environment.
The special symbolic dates are not indicated clearly on the ordinary calendar used in schools , offices and homes. The calendar only shows the new year day, Labour day, religious days such as Easter and Christmas, and political days such as Madaraka, Mashujaa and Jamhuri day in Kenya. International days are many, varied and occur throughout the year.They are usually advertised through the electronic and print media such as newspaper, radio, television and on websites of institutions. However little is said of what the people should do especially in the local context to promote concern enjoyment and improvement of local environment. This blog gives a brief overview of the special symbolic days and suggests examples of activities that can be undertaken to make the day more meaningful and enjoyable. The activities are addressed from a school‘s, family and community context to suit various needs. For the school–based activities, emphasis is made on the need to involve as many subjects (courses) as possible. This is in recognition of the fact that environmental education is integrated in all subjects (courses) of the academic curriculum.
It is my hope that you will read more about symbolic dates from this blog, select a special day and make it enjoyable and memorable within your local context to promote conservation of our environment
© Ayub Macharia, April 2014