Wicor Primary School
As WWF Green Ambassadors we wanted to capture the spirit of the global event of Earth Hour for our school. Although the underlying motivation of the event is to raise awareness of climate change, we felt that a more ‘tangible’ response, in which we could involve our school community, might be more appropriate.
Scientists accept, without dissent that climate change is occurring and that it has been to a great extent exacerbated by human activity. Underlying this activity, is the relentless growth in consumer lifestyles with more and more of us wanting more and more. Put plainly, human greed is a key factor in climate change. This in turn delivers a double-whammy. Earth’s resources are finite and one of the main side effects of climate change is to put pressure on these finite resources. Increasing worldwide crop failures is but one example.
We believe that the message of human greed and its impact on finite resources is a message that is relevant and within the remit of our primary curriculum. To this end we decided to take a resource that the children know well and one that has been in the news recently – chocolate. Producers are warning of a potential chocolate shortage.
We have invited children, families, members of the school community and other selected ‘targets’ to make a pledge to go without chocolate for at least two weeks – it might be longer if they wish. Those of us who choose to abstain from eating or buying any chocolate for a period of time, will in effect be experiencing the consequences of a worldwide chocolate shortage. Put another way – this is what happens when something becomes scarce or disappears altogether (as it did with the introduction of rationing in the war).
So the pledging and abstinence has started, children are learning about rain forests, deforestation and fairtrade, and we hope to hold our own summit regarding sustainability on March 27th where we will hear the views of our children.
Contributor: Alison Nash