A foreign exchange student from the Netherlands recently completed her Senior Project at the Environmental Nature Center where she shadowed our Naturalists as they taught environmental education programs. At the completion of her project, she interviewed our Education and Community Relations Director, Lori Whalen.
The student asked Whalen a plethora of questions regarding the ENC and its effectiveness in promoting nature and sustainable living in Orange County.
“The Environmental Nature Center’s hands-on education programs serve over 21,000 Southern California students annually, inspiring all generations to protect the natural world “, says Whalen. “We are our community’s foremost authority on ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education.”
The foundation of the student’s senior project is to discover ways in which major California cities can reduce its severe pollution problems. The proposed idea is shifting to electric means of transportation, industrial/agricultural production and heating.
“I agree that much of our air pollution can be reduced by utilizing green energy”, says Whalen. “But I also think that the causes of pollution should also be examined, beyond just that we’re burning too much fossil fuel. The biggest issues are overpopulation and climate change.”
Whalen even went as far as to provide the student with various tips that people can implement into their lifestyle to live sustainably and help reduce pollution. She urges people to consider riding bikes or walking more often, shopping locally and organically, having canvas bags with you everywhere you shop, etc.
In the end, the student was given the necessary knowledge to continue on with the project. Whalen, along with an exceptional group of volunteers and naturalists at the Environmental Nature Center have always provided the community with a helping hand, especially going out of their way to provide students with the necessary means to enhance their education and knowledge of the natural world. – Alejandro Reynoso, ENC Communications Intern