Archive for August 15th, 2012

Change the World Wednesday – 15th Aug

I got dobbed twice last week for the same award. Cool, I am now a double Sunshine Award winner, that’s even better than an Olympic Gold. That’s something that I’ll never win, not unless they introduce leap-frogging supreme with walking sticks as an event.

Water was the theme last week. I didn’t have that much to say, as I am already pretty careful with my water.

The weather has become sunny, but not hot, so still having every-second -day showers. The neighbours haven’t complained yet and my students haven’t noticed, so there seems to be no harm done.

This week’s CTWW challenge is an important one because it’s about education. Educating the kids to do their bit.

This week, if you have kids, think of something which involves your children, which also creates waste or is environmentally unfriendly, and commit to changing it. For example, consider how your baby is diapered and whether or not there is a more Eco-friendly method. What types of materials does your youngster use when creating those artistic masterpieces? Does your teenager drive or walk to school … and what about school supplies? This week is all about greening our kids.

 

Or …

If you don’t have children, your challenge is to be an observer and then offer recommendations. Take a look at the families around you and talk about what you see working … and what doesn’t. Offer recommendations and helpful tips to assist parents in greening their children.

I have stewed over this challenge all day. You’d think it would be easy after raising 12; you’d think I had all the answers, but it doesn’t work like that.

Instead of offering advice, I am going to show you a situation near my home as an observer in the second part of the challenge.

Just behind where I live is the Rio Cabuçu. It’s close, about a three minute walk. It doesn’t look like a river; no rivers in Rio do, they’re concrete canals. Not at all like the city rivers where I grew up.

I am used to beautiful rivers, clean rivers, rivers with grassy bank, rivers where you can play, fish and scoop out a handful of water and drink it.

The Avon River, Christchurch

But, let me go back to the Rio Cabuçu in contrast.

Rio Cabuçu

You can neither play in, fish from, nor drink this ‘water.’ This photo was taken about a year ago; the river is currently wall to wall at the bend where the water flow is impeded by the rubbish.

The people from the small slum area (r) beside the river and those from the suburb to the left just throw their rubbish into the canal. The kids do the same; the kids are told to do the same. They have the same trice-weekly rubbish collections that we have, but they have no conscience. They are passing this lack of conscience on to their kids.

If you challenge them, they get indignant. The river floods with every rain storm and becomes a raging torrent that fills the canal washing all before it. And the cycle starts again. Household rubbish, tree trimmings, old furniture, dead animals, they even throw concrete rubble and bricks from building projects into the canal.

These families are poorly educated. The parents don’t know how to teach their children, and so the children don’t have any respect for their surroundings.

This is not just a case of advising the parents, it is a case that the whole community needs to be taken to task by officialdom and educated. Anyone like myself would be just considered a busybody.

I walk across this river daily and lament at the artlessness, hold my breath on hot days to avoid the stench, and wonder how can people do this to their own backyard.

This is why it’s so important to educate the kids.

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