Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ecological Awareness

The 7th and 8th graders were treated today with a speech by keynote speaker Margaret Swedish, founder of Spirituality and Ecological Hope and author of “Living Beyond the End of the World; A Spirituality of Hope.” She took students on a journey through the Earth over time, showcasing our ecological footprint over the span of her life. “In just 62 years, the Earth has changed dramatically. We’ve done a lot of damage to this place we call home.” Showing the students photos of how Earth appears from outer space, they were amazed to see that even though the United States isn’t the largest country on Earth, we the largest ecological footprint. They also learned that if every country had the same standard of living as us, we would need almost 5 whole planets to support the usage. “We are now at a point that we are living beyond the ability of the Earth to support us, “Swedish explained.  “We are in debt and we are spending more than we currently have. We are in debt with the planet and the planet can not replenish it.”  She then challenged the students to think about things in their lifetime that they could do to help diminish their ecological footprint. Danny suggested finding new ways to recycle plastic and safer ways to mine resources. Students were shocked to find out that plastic never breaks down. Swedish stated: “Think about how much plastic you use…..you go to the store, you get something in a plastic bag. You buy bottled water and soda. Every 5 minutes of every day in the United States, 2 million plastic bottles are used.  It’s one material that the Earth is not able to break down, ever. If all the humans disappeared from the earth today, 10 thousand years later there would still be plastic. Where the plastic ends up is forever.” Seventh grade student Sully D. remarked; “we need to start cleaning up the world because it’s a big mess. Soon, we’re gonna run out of resources.”
Danny K explains his suggestions on reducing our ecological footprint

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