It was so long ago when I attended school that I can scarcely remember a lesson. However, I’m sure, if I was pressed to answer whether or not I was told about the effects of waste in our environment, or the impact that one person can make or reduce on the planet, or even how the climate is warmed by the mass use of fossil fuels, my answer would be that nobody told me. Or, at least, not with enough emphasis to matter. Yet, these days things appear very different. Fortunately so, I must add.
The founder of Bare Necessities, Sahar Mansoor, recently attended the American Embassy School (AES) in Delhi as part of an Earth Week educational program for the students. Sahar, over the course of operating Bare Necessities, has run many workshops and talks like she delivered to the children on the 22nd of April. She has always aimed to spread awareness about how to move toward a zero waste lifestyle, sustainable living and minimising consumption in order to have a positive impact on the planet. She has presented on these important issues for young and old, but, well, it was a little different on that day.
At one of her sessions at AES, she was stunned by the thirst for knowledge the eighth graders had but more than that she was amazed, awestruck perhaps would be a more accurate description, by the high level questions that they asked.
None of those eighth graders were leaving it to chance to finish school saying that nobody told them about the waste problems our world faces, how they can help minimise impact on the environment or limit global warming.
Their questions, when I was their age, would not have figured in my mind. Not until I was more than a decade older. This, therefore, is a wonderful, profound realisation. The children of today are here, well educated and alongside us adults, to ensure that we can all, collectively, change the course we’re on in order to protect our precious environment.
They’re already on board. They have studied, they have researched, thought, pondered and found the information they need to form a solid foundation to grow from. All talks and workshops for this age group are invaluable, just as Earth Day is, not only for the children but for us much older than them who need to continue to see everything like they do, optimistically.
With an optimistic mindset that encourages us to communicate these issues with one another in order to fix the mess we’ve made, we can ensure that no future generations can say the words nobody told me.