Today, Go Green Go is pleased to kick off our Chatting Green Q&A interview series with Brenda Metcalf, Executive Director of the Environmental Education Council of Ohio (EECO).
EECO leads in facilitating environmental education that fosters global stewardship and a sustainable future for all Ohioans. Their vision is for all Ohioans to be environmentally literate and engage in decision making that ensures sustainability for future generations.
Tell us a little about the Environmental Education Council of Ohio, and what environmental projects you are currently working on.
The Environmental Education Council of Ohio is a membership based non-profit that primarily provides professional development. We have been providing cutting edge workshops, conferences and sound science environmental education for over 50 years. We partner with ODNR, ODE and OEPA on various projects. Our over 25 year partnership with OEPA- Office of Environmental Education has provided us with resources so that we can have an eight region structure. This regional structure gives EECO an extremely valuable infrastructure for distributing resources. We are proud of the EECO Team of Regional Directors, Board of Directors and Advisory Council Members. This team has been able to provide education to thousands of educators and hundreds of thousand of students. We are creating an every growing legacy of outdoor and environmental education for the future.
What is your organization’s biggest need right now?
EECO is always looking for new sponsors and partners for events. We are also currently recruiting new members to the organization, to our committees and to our Board of Directors. EECO is especially looking for current environmental or STEM professionals who are willing to volunteer to talk to students about their careers. Due to COVID we have moved all of our career chats and presentations into a virtual format for the safety of all involved.
“We all can make a positive impact if we are proactive about our decisions and actions.”
What environmental issue means the most to you personally and why?
The Climate Crisis is the most important issue to me personally. It affects everyone, even the deniers. I take the climate crisis to heart because I have seen the change and damage the heating of the earth has caused. I would like future generations to be able to enjoy nature as I have been privileged to do so. I am heartbroken when I hear students express their fear and hopeless feelings they have about their futures. We have to do better for our children and grandchildren. We all can make a positive impact if we are proactive about our decisions and actions.
What was your inspiration to get involved with environmental issues?
I was blessed with parents that took our family camping as much as possible. They encouraged free play, exploration and inquiry into nature. My love of nature came early and was expanded by a junior high Science Teacher. Mrs. Maxfield made me realize that just because I was female it did not mean that I had to focus on “Home Economics.” That is the subject most young woman were push toward back in my day. Though I was one of few young woman who wanted to pursue Science, she empowered me to follow my passion.
How can concerned individuals make the most positive impact with regard to the environment?
Again, be proactive, make positive decisions about your daily routine. Research products before you purchase something to be able to make a choice about what has the smallest carbon footprint. Simply not purchasing as much “stuff”, eating lower on the food chain, recycling/reusing what you can and being wise about your family size are all goals that can be easily attained. By doing what you can, you can help the climate and the future of our planet. Educate yourself about what you can do!