About Us — Who Are We?
GreenHeart Education Is . . .
GreenHearted.org is a primer on
transformative education for sustainability ...
what you'll need in order to green your classroom,
your curriculum, your school community,
and the heart of your life's work as a teacher.
Julie D. Johnston, BA, BEd, MAdEd
I'm a teacher, teacher trainer, adult educator, and former Coordinator of Environment and Sustainability Programs at an independent boys' school in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
I started out as a French as a Second Language teacher, but that morphed into environmental education when I found my activist's voice to save a beloved river (the Nechako, in central British Columbia). Transformative sustainability education is now my focus.
In 2003, I completed my master's degree in adult education, with a focus on environmental adult education. My research looked into barriers and enticements to environmental learning and action; my thesis is entitled Sustainable Development Learning as Enticement to Environmental Action.
I've had the opportunity to present environmental education workshops in Canada, India, Thailand, the Philippines and online. Most recently, our workshop, Greening the Heart of Education, has been presented to teachers in Ethiopia. I have also worked with educators in Malaysia, the USA, and Kenya (where I helped with the permaculture school garden program for Kasanga Girls School).
I work with preschoolers to adults (most of my experience has been with middle school students and student teachers), and I love working with all ages in a wide variety of settings.
I still want to believe that a happy, healthy and sustainable future for our grandchildren is possible — if we rekindle our inherent love for the Earth and Mother Nature, FAST.
Peter D. Carter, MD
Peter is a retired doctor, after nearly 40 years in practice as a family and emergency physician, first in England and then in Newfoundland and British Columbia, Canada.
When his sons were born, he became actively involved in environmental, peace, and sustainable development issues, especially as they relate to children's health. (Fatherhood created that urge to leave the world a better place as a legacy for his children.)
As a founding director of CAPE (Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment), Peter presented on sustainable development and environmental health policy issues in Canada and the United States.
Peter has since launched the Climate Emergency Institute, which helps digest and summarize the climate change science research for laypeople.
Peter is also an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC 2014, 2018) and the co-author with Elizabeth Woodworth of Unprecedented Crime: Climate Science Denial and Game Changers for Survival, with Clarity Press.
"We began as a mineral. We emerged into plant life and into the animal states, and then into being human, and always we have forgotten our former states, except in early spring when we slightly recall being green again."
— Rumi, The Dream That Must Be Interpreted
Julie and Peter Together
Yes, we're a pair (for over 30 years now). We fell in love on Earth Day 1991. And what a time we've had together since then! After 22 years in a Gulf Island community in southern British Columbia, we now make our home in Victoria, Canada, near Vancouver.
We make a great team. Peter has a rational, science-guy kind of brain, while I have a humanities background and lean more towards the intuitive. We spend most of our time researching environmental issues (especially global warming / climate change, which is the greatest threat ever to the survival of humanity and most life on our precious planet). In fact, Peter works full-time now at synthesizing the climate change research and reporting what he's learned to others through online films, presentations, websites, academic journal submissions, social media posts, and articles in print media.
We've had good times and bad times together throughout our years of activism and environmental education — when I'm feeling despondent about the future we humans are creating for the children of all species, Peter inspires me to keep at it. When Peter feels the weight of the world on his shoulders, I'm able to lift his spirits.
It's not easy doing this kind of work alone. Finding yourself at least one kindred spirit is vital. We're happy to serve in that role if there's no one in your family, school or community with whom you can share your green journey. Feel free to
if we can help out in any way.
Here we are in a more "casual" setting (geared up for ziplining — a fun way to travel downhill that uses no fossil fuels).
GreenHeart Education Philosophy — What We Believe In
Our care and concern for children and the rest of Nature leads to our vision and philosophy, integrating the environmental, social, and economic aspects of how we all learn and live on Earth.
Here is what we believe:
- We can green the "heart" of education.
- We can love all of the children, of all species, for all time. (With thanks to William McDonough)
- We can build community in harmony with each other and the rest of Nature, using sustainable development learning.
- We can run an equitable economy while conserving the natural world. Indeed, we must transform from a fossil fuel-based economy (The Burning Age is Over!) to the safer, cleaner, healthier, more equitable, more peaceful and more beautiful economy built on perpetual, everlasting sources of energy (Let's Leap to the Solar Era).
- We can develop in ways that meet the needs of everyone in the present (intragenerational equity) without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (intergenerational equity). (Adapted from Our Common Future, Brundtland Commission, 1987.) Though we can't be greedy at the same time.
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