Environmental education combats `nature deficit disorder’ among children

Capital News Service
LANSING — By the age of 5, the average child will have watched as many hours of television as the classroom time it takes to earn a college degree. “In essence, a 5-year-old has the equivalent of a college degree in television watching,” said Tom Occhipinti, the environmental education coordinator for the Department of Environmental Quality. “The youngest generation today is not getting outdoors at all. They’ve got too much indoors to keep them busy.”
Occhipinti’s program produces environment-related teaching materials for schools across the state. Television, computers and video games keep young people inside at an unhealthy rate, Occhipinti said.