Environmental Justice - Where we would put waste / management systems in certain places? Where are the benefits?

Water pollution- Where does pollution go?

How will climate change effect certain countries more than others? Powerful Western countries created the problem, but other countries will have more consequences... Power dynamics...

Food justice: Catherine Lemmi's site -

Earlier Environmental Science Topics
  • teaching herbalism and plants' healing power
  • Miwok culture and spiritual health from connection to earth
  • watershed activity (using paper bag or hands) and pollution
  • Bayview Hunters Point - environmental justice unit
  • soil testing - cost prohibitive?
  • vegetables and chemicals testing
  • composting program in school

Environmental Justice - Who gets the benefits? Who gets the ill effects? In my city?


Possible Curriculum Flow:
Students should help generate this list:

Exploration for maps

positive (+1s):
community gardens

negative (-1s): Locally Unwanted Land Uses (LULUs).
wastewater treatment plants
recycling plant
power plants
large freeways
Superfund sites
transportation hubs
farmland pesticides
steel, iron, blast furnaces
oil refineries

Plot on a map
Create a ranking of zipcodes with positive and negatives.
Correlate zipcodes with census data to race, income, working people, college degrees.

Analyze data. Interpret data...

Why do you think this happened?

Group discussion:
How could a city decide to more equitably distribute environmental positives and negatives within its limits?
What should our city do in the future?

Empowerment around issues -
Write a city council person?

Principles of the Environmental Justice Movement

The result of the 1992 National Law Journal report concluded that the EPA had discriminated in its enforcement of Environmental Protection Law Report, which was intended to remedy the reality of environmental racism in the United States. Consequently, in 1991 at the First National People of Color Leadership Summit meeting in Washington D.C., the Principles of Environmental Justice were adopted. These principles represent an initial rallying cry on behalf of those inhabitants, human and non-human, who are the victims of environmental injustice, and eventually established a context for a guide to action regarding governmental legislation. Those principles are:

  1. Environmental justice affirms the sacredness of Mother Earth, ecological unity and the interdependence of all species, and the right to be free from ecological destruction.
  2. Environmental justice demands that public policy be based on mutual respect and justice for all peoples, free from any form of discrimination or bias.
  3. Environmental justice mandates the right to ethical, balanced and responsible uses of land and renewable resources in the interest of a sustainable planet for humans and other living things.
  4. Environmental justice calls for universal protection from nuclear testing, extraction, production and disposal of toxic/hazardous wastes and poisons and nuclear testing that threaten the fundamental right to clean air, land, water, and food.
  5. Environmental justice affirms the fundamental right to political, economic, cultural and environmental self-determination of all peoples.
  6. Environmental justice demands the cessation of the production of all toxins, hazardous wastes, and radioactive materials, and that all past and current producers be held strictly accountable to the people for detoxification and the containment at the point of production.
  7. Environmental justice demands the right to participate as equal partners at every level of decision-making including needs assessment, planning, implementation, enforcement and evaluation.
  8. Environmental justice affirms the right of all workers to a safe and healthy work environment, without being forced to choose between an unsafe livelihood and unemployment. It also affirms the right of those who work at home to be free from environmental hazards.
  9. Environmental justice protects the right of victims of environmental injustice to receive full compensation and reparations for damages as well as quality health care.
  10. Environmental justice considers governmental acts of environmental injustice a violation of international law, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and the United Nations Convention on Genocide.
  11. Environmental justice must recognize a special legal and natural relationship of Native Peoples to the U.S. government through treaties, agreements, compacts, and covenants affirming sovereignty and self-determination.
  12. Environmental justice affirms the need for urban and rural ecological policies to clean up and rebuild our cities and rural areas in balance with nature, honoring the cultural integrity of all our communities, and providing fair access for all to the full range of resources.
  13. Environmental justice calls for the strict enforcement of principles of informed consent, and a halt to the testing of experimental reproductive and medical procedures and vaccinations on people of color.
  14. Environmental justice opposes the destructive operations of multi-national corporations.
  15. Environmental justice opposes military occupation, repression and exploitation of lands, peoples and cultures, and other life forms.
  16. Environmental justice calls for the education of present and future generations, which emphasizes social and environmental issues, based on our experience and an appreciation of our diverse cultural perspectives.
  17. Environmental justice requires that we, as individuals, make personal and consumer choices to consume as little of Mother Earth’s resources and to produce as little waste as possible; and make the conscious decision to challenge and reprioritize our lifestyles to insure the health of the natural world for present and future generations (ejnet).