On the 22nd of April, we arrived early in Otocac and after some coffee we were preparing ourselves to introduce the seven of the Kuterevo volunteers in Otocac highschool. For an interesting education morning dedicated to the “Earth Day”, the volunteers prepared a little education programme/game for a group of students, where they learned more about what climate change is and what exactly is involved into it all. It is an interesting fact what kind of life-style people live in and how they deal with daily stuff that can make a great impact on the climate if you measure what the human demand is on the Earth’s ecosystem. Although the term ecological footprint is widely used and well known, it goes beyond the metaphor. It represents an accounting system for biocapacity that tracks how much biocapacity there is and how much biocapacity people use. And in order to educate this to highschool students we thought of something playful. For that we used the motto of the Earth Day 2013 “The face of climate change”. We tried to inspire the students to act and think on their own, showing them how climate change effects human and nature in general and trying to show them the whole picture.
After the class came in, we started to talk about the human faces around the world. For example, in America, they have a problem with big storms, in Bangladesh there is no more fresh water, the Niger river has no fish in them anymore and in Maldives they had to relocate because the sea level was rising. After introducing ourselves and getting to know the group, we talked a little bit about ecological problems in our own countries. Then we came to the concrete thing: educating the students in a playful manner. The class was split in three groups and each of the groups had a different theme and game. One group had to figure out what the life-cycle of a product was, to know what the footprint or environmental impact is of a product. The cycle from the moment the materials of the product gets extracted till the end of the product’s life (waste). For example what kind of materials do you need to create a mobile phone and what happens during the production until the end product of the phone you can find in the store. They had to think about what happens in each stage of production what was needed and what were the outputs to put back in the environment. The other group made posters about the faces of climate change, to realise the consequences of climate change but with correct ways to deal with it. And the third group made a table about what kind of daily things they do right now and think of their choices and alternatives to be more environmentally friendly in their own daily life.
After we all completed the different kinds of themes to approach and educate the students about the impacts from the smallest to the biggest details that effect climate change, the students presented their group work and what they worked on. To make the day complete we made a group photo of the students and the volunteers to add on the Climate Change Wall on the Earth Day website.