The article is devoted to the analysis of the role that environmental education and upbringing play in the formation of eco-friendly awareness and thinking. The author outlines that at the moment, it is becoming clear that it is impossible to overcome the ecological crisis exclusively by technical means. It is also noted that the creation of a system of environmental education and upbringing is one of the most important ways to overcome the environmental crisis. The result of the work of such a system should be the formation of a developed eco-friendly awareness among all age and social groups. Theoretical bases. The features of environmentalism and the principles of eco-friendly awareness formulated by N.F. Reimers are reviewed; the main requirements for modern environmental education are analyzed. Special attention is paid to ecological culture in the philosophy of ecology. The scientific and educational projects in the field of ecology aimed at the exchange of experience and practical skills between the older and younger generations are described. As part of the course "History and philosophy of science" at the Institute of philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, postgraduate students of biological specialties are taught a course on the basics of bio-and ecophilosophy to develop a holistic worldview in the field of science under study. It is concluded that environmental education contributes to the development of eco-friendly awareness, ecological culture and eco-friendly thinking, which is the most important condition for overcoming the environmental crisis and the harmonious coexistence of humanity and nature.