The article considers the issues of ecological education of schoolchildren, in particular, the development of environmental awareness and environmental competence. An analysis of theoretical and applied research led the authors to conclude that the concept of environmental consciousness and the environmental competence developed on the basis of that competence are incomplete. It lacks an element that reflects the safety of the subject of environmental activity. Foreign concepts of ecological consciousness are critically evaluated, including as a necessary element of such consciousness a “guilt complex” for former non-ecological behavior. The paper demonstrates the harm of such concepts to the psychological health of the student. It shows empirically that the problem of the safety of environmental actors is especially relevant for schoolchildren. Lacking sufficient environmental competence in the field of hygiene and hazard assessment of household waste, survey data shows that they are unprotected in environmental terms. The paper concludes that modern environmental education programs should include, as a necessary element, provisions on reasonable prohibitions on environmental activities. Sections on teaching safe behavior when participating in environmental activities should also be included in environmental education programs for schoolchildren.