In this issue : Eco-Schools; Green Fest; Food and Pesticides; Drought and Floods in India; The Tides of Saint Malo; Nova Scotia; Plastic Pollution; From the Scratch project; Fantasy creates empathy; and more
In 1987, a 74-year old rickshaw puller by the name of Bai Fangli came back to his hometown planning to retire from his backbreaking job. There, he saw children working in the fields, because they were too poor to afford school fees. Bai returned to Tianjin and went back to work as a rickshaw puller, taking a modest accommodation next to the railway station. He waited for clients 24 hours a day, ate simple food and wore discarded second-hand clothes he found. He gave all of his hard-earned earnings to support children who could not afford education. In 2001, he drove his rickshaw to Tianjin YaoHua Middle School, to deliver his last installment of money. Nearly 90 years old, he told the students that he couldn't work any more. All of the students and teachers were moved to tears. In total, Bai had donated a total of 350,000 yuan to help more than 300 poor students continue with their studies. In 2005, Bai passed away leaving behind an inspiring legacy. If a rickshaw-puller who wore used clothes and had no education can support 300 children to go to school, imagine what you and I can do with the resources we have to bring about positive change in our world! 2
Septembe Angles 4
NEKTARINA (S)PACE IS A WEBMAGAZINE PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY NEKTARINA NON PROFIT, A NON PROFIT, NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION. WWW.NEKTARINANONPROFIT.COM
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Nektarina (S)pace, Web Magazine Year 2, Double Issue # 15 & 16 , September 2013 Published by Nektarina Non Profit ISSN 1847 - 6694 Under Creative Commons License ENGLISH IS NOT OUR NATIVE TONGUE, BUT WE ARE DOING OUR BEST.
Working together towards a sustainable future. www.nektarinanonprofit.com
Nektarina Non Profit is a non governmental, non profit organization, and most of our projects are based on volunteer work. Our articles are a
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Founder; Creative Director & Editor-In-Chief: Sandra Antonovic
Photographers: Biljana Ilic Sandra Antonovic Thomas Arnbo
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Mirror, mirror on the wall A letter from the editor
By Sandra Antonovic
â€œEducation is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.â€œ Robert Frost
Having this quote in mind, how many of us can say we are truly educated people? September is the month when different international observances celebrate education, literacy and democracy, yet, often it seems as if 11
we couldn’t be further away from the three. It seems as we are still identifying schooling with education, while, in fact, the two are very much different. Having a degree might help you with certain things—getting a job, getting a visa, joining a society group and so on, but it doesn’t—it shouldn’t—define you as a person. Your ability to learn, your ability to love, your ability to feel compassion, and your ability to be happy—these are the things that are defining you as a person. And that, just as most other things in life, is a choice. Over 40% of people, once they finish university, never read another book in their lives. Surely they must be aware that there is more to be learned, but they choose not to do it. Education was never about the money. Schooling was always about the money. From the ancient times it was said that all you need for an education is a library. Library cards are free in most countries, and in countries where they are not free, their price is symbolic. If you can read, a library can offer you an education. Yet, you need to choose to THINK. There are many ways one can read, and comprehensive reading is just one of those ways. Comprehensive reading is reading with understanding—or, in other terms, it means that you are able to analyze what you have read, and learn from it. Most of the times all it takes is asking yourself simple questions— what happened, how it happened, why it happened, would I have done it differently and why, how does it make me feel, how does it relate to my life etc. 12
If you know a person who’s read the same book (or books) you have, you have a choice of entering a conversation, a discussion about what you both read. That discussion, too, is how you acquire education, and not just by learning another point of view on the book. During that discussion you learn how to express yourself, your thoughts and feelings, in a way that is easy for people to understand and relate to, regardless whether they agree with your thoughts or not. You learn how to talk. But most importantly, you learn how to listen. And here we come back to the quote from the beginning, a quote by Robert Prost, a Pulitzer Prize winner: “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence“. Here, again, we should choose to think when understanding this quote. Listening out of politeness is useless. Listening with comprehension is indispensable. Most people listen with the urge to respond, while they should be listening with the urge to understand. Being educated is nothing about the degree, it is everything about our ability to allow others to think differently, to experience differently and to deduct differently. It is our ability to allow others to express their thoughts and feelings. It is our ability to accept, and not judge, and it is our ability to change, and to adapt. It is our ability to embrace diversities and learn from them. It is, most of all, our ability to THINK. To question, to analyze, to reflect, to draw conclusions, to change opinions—ours and other people’s. Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor best known for his Meditations on Stoic Philosophy, said: “Everything we 14
hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.â€? Find your own voice, and let others find theirs. Be bold enough to think new thoughts, read every day, take long walks and reflect on things, never stop learning and always, always go back to the basics. At the end of the day, education, like everything else in life, mirrors our inner selves.
Eco-Schools is the largest sustainable schools programme in the world and is operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). We talked with Brid Conneely, International Eco-Schools Programme Director , to find out more about the programme and its activities.
Nektarina (S)pace: Eco-Schools was developed over 20 years ago. Could you talk about the programme?
What is its focus?
Who is the
programme targeting and how? Eco-Schools: Today Eco-Schools is the largest sustainable schools programme in the world. The concept is that schools join the Eco-Schools programme; they work towards a greener environment in their school and surroundings; and when they have achieved certain criteria described in the Seven Steps they can fly the Green Flag. The idea for the Green Flag is Danish, its design is French, and it is the same flag that is flown all over the world. In 2013, we have 55 countries running the Eco-Schools programme.
There are over 14 million students and over 1 million
teachers active, from
kindergarten to university level. In Ireland, Malta,
Portugal and many other countries the programme has extended to other areas, such as
Eco-Centres, Environmental Clubs and Green Campus.
Our focus is empowering students. We empower them to be the change our sustainable world needs. And we do so by engaging them in fun, action-orientated learning.
Eco-Schools targets schools of course, and how we do that varies in the different countries. For instance, when Poland joined FEE in 2005 the first programme they rolled out was Eco-Schools.
National Operator in Poland contacted the Ministry for Education there, and educational departments in all regions. She attended educational conferences and held presentations for teachers and heads of schools about how to run the Eco-Schools programme. Poland now has 210 schools on board and of these 126 have been awarded the prestigious Green Flag. Poland attained its first Green Flag in 2007. Two years is the average amount of time it takes for a school to go through the Seven Steps.
The Seven Steps is our change framework for continuous
improvement and is the cornerstone of Eco-Schools.
Operator in each country continues to support and advise, and when schools join up, they are encouraged to contact local authorities and local media as part of the Inform and Involve Step to work alongside the school and spread the word. Generally it is the mayor of the city, or Minister for the Environment who awards the Green Flag. Indeed I was at an event in Malta at which the President awarded Green Flags to different institutions on the occasion of Maltaâ€™s 10th anniversary running the Eco-Schoools programme. Nektarina (S)pace: Eco-Schools has spread to many countries. Could you explain how that process started and progressed, and how it looks today? 19
Eco-Schools: Eco-Schools developed as a response to needs identified at the 1992 Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. We launched in 1994 and the first countries to run the programme were: Denmark, UK, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands and Spain. From the beginning it was agreed that the national and international aspects of the programme are equally important. Each country has a slightly different educational system, and so the Seven Steps are designed
so that each nation can integrate each step best into their system, while at the same time all countries are agreed on the general guidelines of the Seven Steps which are international. A small country school with 10 classes is very different to a modern city school with 1000 pupils, so the original concept was to show and highlight the opportunity that everybody has for improving their immediate environment, and then to continue to create possibilities and encourage further improvements constantly.
This means that many small concrete solutions can be
introduced to schools immediately and these can be developed and improved upon.
What underpins the Eco-Schools programme and the
Seven Steps is the idea that the Eco-Committee is representative, democratic and active.
The majority are students, and teachers,
technical staff, canteen workers, ground staff etc also take part. Work is done in Themes and it is all very structured and therefore easy to implement. It was originally based on EMAS (the EUâ€™s Eco-Management and Audit System). By 2000, there were 16 countries registered who were running the Eco-Schools programme. In that same year, FEEE lost its third E which stood for Europe and South Africa joined the family. There was of course great rejoicing, and WESSA, the organisation that runs Eco-Schools and the other FEE programmes in South Africa, now handles 1,028 schools and has awarded 701 Green Flags. 23
On the Eco-Schools tenth anniversary in 2004, the programme had 4.5 million students, over 200,000 teachers, over 12,000 schools and almost 2,000 local authorities. Nektarina (S)pace: How would you summarize the impact Eco-Schools is having on both pupils and teachers? Eco-Schools: I have only been International Director for almost a year, and the impression I get when I talk to pupils and teachers is that they have this empowering feeling through Eco-Schools and Green Flag of: ‘We are all in this together,’ and ‘Together we can change the world!’ A recent survey (July, 2013) carried out by Keep Britain Tidy, concluded that “the Eco-Schools framework positively supports schools to deliver effective environmental education, and also indicates that schools that embrace education for sustainability are also schools that succeed and do well.” It is not easy to get an overview of all of the effects of Eco-Schools all over the world, however, below is another figure from part of a survey that was carried out in Sweden very recently. I think both of these figures show a very positive impact on pupils and on staff. A school in Japan has received the Green Flag for the first time, and the principle was very moved by the whole occasion. The Principle of Toda Elementary School in Japan wrote: “The whole process of acquiring the Green Flag has been a fantastic opportunity to experience the children’s motivation to work and act together. 24
I could feel that the whole school became one team working towards the same goal. We are very proud!â€?
Above: Extent to which eco-coordinators felt that the Eco-Schools programme contributes to ten elements of childrenâ€™s wellbeing.
Nektarina (S)pace: Please explain Eco-School's sister programme - Young Reporters for the Environment Eco-Schools: Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) is a network of international youth engaged in environmental journalism and Education for Sustainable Development. The International Director at FEE is Anna Normann. YRE is being operated in more than 25 countries. Participants are aged 11 - 21 and they investigate environmental issues and problems and report on them through written, photographic or video journalism, wherever possible proposing solutions. 28
YRE develops participants' skills and knowledge. Working with the YRE programme, gives them a deeper understanding of sustainable development, and enhances their communication and citizenship skills such as: individual initiative, team work, critical analysis, social responsibility and leadership abilities.
Nektarina (S)pace: In 2012 Eco Schools launched its World Days of Action. Could you please explain them in more detail? Eco-Schools: The idea behind World Days of Action is to show that students are leading the way, and to enable students to work more actively together in all parts of the world. World Days of Action is held in the northern hemisphere in the first full school week of November so this year it will be from 4 â€“ 10 November 2013. In the southern hemisphere is takes place in April and includes Earth Day, so next year it is 21 â€“ 27 April 2014.
Jan Eriksen, President of FEE, said: â€œWorld Days of Action encourages young people to be active and gives them the tools they need to collect results and share their success to inspire others towards positive behaviour change.â€? On Earth Day last, Eco-Schools launched our new Energy/CO2 Calculator. This allows schools who are working with the Energy Theme to begin to calculate the amount of energy the school uses and also to begin to calculate the amount of CO2 being used per person. We have made this available to all, so that schools in poorer countries and countries with organisations that do not have calculators on their websites can begin to use ours. Eventually we will have a baseline and then we will be able to see how much energy and CO2 is being saved. We were able to build this through generous support from our sponsor Staples. Nektarina (S)pace: What is next for Eco-Schools? Eco-Schools: Eco-Schools has already expanded into Green Campus in some countries, and Environmental and Activity Clubs in others. These expansions will continue, and we will develop our websites to give more details about these so that more institutions can come on board. I would like to focus more on teacher trainer colleges and institutions, as well as on design schools. I feel that a green future is also highly dependent on sustainable design being integrated at the earliest 31
Nektarina (S)pace: In 2011 Eco Schools launched "Connect". Please talk about "Connect", but also about the connection between Eco-Schools and Earth Charter. Eco-Schools: Eco-Schools Connect is a website which allows teachers and schools to connect; learn about how other schools and countries are dealing
The problem we encounter again and
again is that individual students, teachers or schools hear about 32
Eco-Schools and want to join. However, in order to run the programme in a country a nationwide NGO first has to join FEE. It can take a long time to find the right NGO in each country and FEE does not have the capacity to actively promote our programmes at the moment. So, we have to reply to all these individuals telling them these facts and asking them to approach a suitable NGO and get back to us. Unfortunately, there is quite a deal of administration involved. Eco-Schools Connect, YRE-Connect and World Days of Action were introduced to allow these individual schools, teachers and eventually pupils to connect with us and interact and learn from what other schools publish and upload on the websites. We donâ€™t want to leave anybody out in the cold. We hope to work a lot more closely with Earth Charter also in the future. The only thing that is holding us back is lack of staff resources and time .
possible point. I could, and would, like to see us working more in partnership with Cradle to Cradle initiatives and with institutions like the Ellen MacArther Foundation which are really looking towards the future. Singapore and India are the newest countries to come on board and I am really looking forward to working with these countries. Large countries like India really make a difference. The youth there are incredibly aware of the climate change and they are champing at the bit to get going with the Eco-Schools programme.
Two other large
countries, China which joined in 2007, and the USA which joined in 2009 are also beginning to make a difference. These countries now have respectively 148 and 451 Green Flags flying and greening their landscape. I am really looking forward to developing more initiatives with them. We are working on apps, in order to allow students to be more connected with one another and not having to depend on teachers and schools, however, there are security issues to take into account, and it is rather slower moving than I would like.
Learning Through Play 38
Artists Speak Up for the Climate Across
New York City Ten Days of Public Art Installations Designed to Draw Attention to Climate Change
For 10 days, New York will be near bursting with creativity as diverse artists compete to draw attention to climate change as part of the Human Impact Institute’s Ten Days of Climate Action. The events will kick off with a free launch party open to the public on Friday, September 20. Ten Days of Climate Action is an initiative of the Human Impacts Institute designed to bring together creative minds – artists, writers, actors, filmmakers, musicians and performers – to install climate-inspired public works throughout New York City. These events are designed to broaden the climate conversation, to encourage us to think more critically about our actions and their impacts on our climate, and to inspire action. Each installation will be evaluated by a panel of judges, and the winners – rated according to it’s climate change connection, creativity, and how well the piece inspires climate action – will receive $1,000 in cash prizes. “As New Yorkers who lived through Hurricane Sandy, we need to make the world understand that climate change is real and that it can be devastating,” said Tara DePorte, founder and director of the Human Impacts Institute. “I’m awed by these artists who are leading the way and using their talent to engage us to take action against climate change.” 51
The events include everything from dance performances to a series of short films to the reading of an eco-themed play. All are free and open to the public, and many are interactive. Human Impacts Institute will host a fundraiser on October 8, where the events’ winners will be revealed alongside the first Climate Action Audience Choice Award, special VIPs, and more (tickets available at: ClimateActionAwards.bpt.me/) The panel of experts judging the competition includes Colin Beavan, author of No Impact Man, award-winning film maker and photographer John Fiege, Paul Morris of PEN America’s, and Evan Van Hook, who teaches environmental law at Columbia University and works as the Corporate Vice President for Health, Safety, Environment, and Remediation for Honeywell International. “When our climate changes, our lives change,” DePorte said. “It’s time to take a stand, and these artists are doing just that.” Ten Days of Climate Action is an official part of Climate Week NYC since 2011 and is supported by the Brenner Family Foundation. Below is a complete list of events, and a short description, for the Ten Days of Climate Action. For more information on the 10 Days of Climate, please visit: HumanImpactsInstitute.org/10DaysofClimate.php 52
Day 1: Friday, September 20 Launch Party Have fun with the Human Impacts Institute crew at this year's Ten Days of Climate Action Launch party, half pubcrawl and half educational carnival, across three of downtown’s eco-friendly businesses – Freitag, Green Depot and Little Cupcake Bakeshop. Enjoy free drinks, dessert, and great, green giveaways. When: 6-8pm Where: Begin at Freitag, 1 Prince St (@Bowery), NY, NY.
Day 2, Event 1: Saturday, September 21 Draw the Line Join the crew from 350.org to protest the Keystone XL oil pipeline and draw a line around the parts of Manhattan that will be underwater in the future. When: Noon Where: Battery Park, NY, NY.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA SATELITE EVENT Day 2, Event 2: Saturday September 21 The Tree Veneration Society Pitch in as the Tree Veneration Society of Australia combines traditional forms of global tree worship and community art to adorn, decorate and celebrate local trees When: 5-10pm Where: Beams Festival, Balfour St, Chippendale, Sydney, Australia. For more information: BeamsFestival.com.au/ 54
Day 3: Sunday, September 22 Re: Spectré Spend the afternoon on the Queen’s waterfront and experience the power of Anthony May's sculpture – a pixilated rearrangement of a tree trunk uprooted by Super-Storm Sandy – connecting technology, disaster and climate. When: 2-4pm
Where: Socrates Sculpture Park, LIC, Queens.
Day 4: Monday, September 23 Extreme Whether Get a sneak peak into a family divided by the fossil fuel industry as a climate scientist struggles to tell the truth about global warming, his daughter struggles to save the frogs, while his sister wants to frack, with this live reading of excerpts from the upcoming play from the award-winning Three Theatre Collaborative. When: 7:30-9pm with networking reception Where: Columbia University, Schermerhorn Auditorium, Room 501 (enter building, walk up one flight of stairs and auditorium is directly in front of you) View Campus Map. Limited seating is available – first come, first served. 55
Day 5: Tuesday, September 24 Pipelines and People Walk by to see this animated, video installation by Mechthild Schmidt Feist about dirty energy, fracking, and the Keystone XL pipeline. When: 7-9pm Where: East 26 Street (midblock between Park Avenue + Lexington Avenue), NY, NY.
LONDON, ENGLAND SATELITE EVENT Day 6, Event 1: Wednesday, September 25 Postcards from the Frontlines Be a part of the action as the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) uses imagery to help you communicate what home, in the context of climate change, means. Your personal message will then be sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. When: 11am-6pm Where: Big Trees, Little Bees Pop-up Shop, 20 Fouberts Place W1F 7PL, London, England. For more information: EJFoundation.org 56
Day 6, Event 2: Wednesday, September 25 Human Impacts Climate Action Film and Theatre Festival Explore as the evening opens with six short, climate-focused films that take on topics like native salmon fisheries, the myth of "clean coal", locavores and communities organizing against fracking. Then stay for the global premier of the short play from Superhero Clubhouse, Don't Be Sad, Flying Ace, which explores how people react to extreme events. End the night with drinks and eco-action networking with a Human Impacts Institute and Organizing for Action networking social hour. When: 6:30-9:30 with networking reception. Where: Grace Church High School Campus, 46 Cooper Square (between East 6th and Astor Place), NY, NY. Limited seating is available â€“first come, first served.
Day 7: Thursday, September 26 Zeitegeiber German for “time giver,” Zeitgeber, by Sara Roer, is an improvisational – and interactive – dance piece that explores urbanites’ connection to the natural world. When: 5-7pm Where: Times Square, 46th Street (Between Broadway and 7th Avenue), NY, NY.
Day 8, Event 1: Friday, September 27 Adapting to Change Cycling Tour Jump on your clean transportation machine (aka bicycle) and join Green Map's ride through Manhattan’s Lower East Side to explore both the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and local solutions to the devastation. When: 6-8:30pm Where: Will Start in Tompkins Sq. Park center circle, East of Ave. A and North of East 7th Street, NY, NY.
Day 8, Event 2: September 27 Fashion Forward Even climate can be cool! The NAC Fashion Committee presents a runway fashion show that will showcase the couture collection of Gregor Marvel with a Berlin Cabaret theme. Showing how fashion can help reduce the wastestream and compliment your waistline, Marvel uses vintage fabrics (think old curtains, sourcing old dresses and fabrics through word-of-mouth) in his designs. Limited seating is available â€“ first come, first served. When: 9-9:30pm Where: National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, NY, NY 10003
Day 9: Saturday, Sept. 28 Tidemarks Interact with an outdoor "living room" installation informed by the memories of displaced personal belongings scattered throughout NYC post-Sandy. Discover "hidden" videos and art through interactive QR codes with Sue Allbertâ€™s latest work. When: 12-6pm Where: Southside Connex Street Festival, Havemeyer Street between South 4th and Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY.
Day 10: Sunday, Sept. 29 Lexicon of Sustainability Have a drink on us when you enjoy this inspirational photo exhibit by the Lexicon of Sustainability of sustainable food producers from across the United States. When: 2-4pm Where: Environment Furniture, 352 Bowery, New York, NY (between Great Jones and East 4th Street), NY, NY.
The mission of the Human Impacts Institute is to foster sustainable human impacts on ecosystems through inspired engagement, leadership, collaboration, knowledge-building and creative expression. We promote healthy community development by connecting communities through a shared awareness of, and accountability for, the natural environment. Using NYC as a laboratory, the Human Impacts Institute connects global communities in resource sharing and environmental awareness. Our program participants commit to conscious environmental decisionmaking, take responsibility for their environmental impacts and are dedicated to long-term solutions .
Green Fest Film Festival
Belgrade GREEN FEST is a unique event in the region of South East Europe that binds environmental and cultural activities through film screenings, workshops, lectures, debates, exhibitions and innovations which are shaping this festival into the form that connects and brings together people of all professions and ages. Film program of International Green Culture Festival called GREEN SCREEN FEST attracts large audience and it is divided in two main segments: Amateur and short film competition program and revue program. Video activism has always been important part of the festival and Call for proposal every year gathers hundreds of films from around the globe. Taking part in the festival is easy, just visit www.greenfest.rs and find out! Scientific and educational segment GREEN FIELD explores new knowledge and tendencies in the environmental and creative education through the use of pear to pear and expert approach and new technologies. Activities within this programme encompass workshops, lectures and debates tailor made for the primary, secondary and university students. Of course, more than 1000 participants are a guarantee for learning, socializing and new friendships. Festival space and halls form the GREEN SQUARE, welcoming point and open space dedicated for exhibitions, art installations, innovations and various green products and initiatives. Complex, yet simple space, invites you to explore new ideas that will build new green future for all. This year, 4th edition of the festival will be held from November 13th to 15th in Dom omladine Beograd under the slogan - Four colors of green. Become the part of the global green community. Share your vision of sustainable future! Participate!
The Horror Of Plastic 72
What is plastic pollution? Plastic pollution, the accumulation in the environment of man-made plastic products to the point where they create problems for wildlife and their habitats as well as for human populations. In 1907 the invention of Bakelite brought about a revolution in materials by introducing truly synthetic plastic resins into world commerce. By the end of the 20th century, however, plastics were found to be persistent polluters of many environmental niches, from Mount Everest to the bottom of the sea. Whether being mistaken for food by animals, flooding low-lying areas by clogging drainage systems, or simply causing significant aesthetic blight, plastics have attracted increasing attention as a large-scale pollutant. Plastic is a polymeric material—that is, a material whose molecules are very large, often resembling long chains made up of a seemingly endless series of interconnected links. Natural polymers such as rubber and silk exist in abundance, but nature’s “plastics” have not been implicated in 74
environmental pollution, because they do not persist in the environment. Today, however, the average consumer comes into daily contact with all kinds of man-made plastic materials that have been developed specifically to defeat natural decay processesâ€”materials derived mainly from petroleum that can be molded, cast, spun, or applied
nonbiodegradable, they tend to persist in natural environments. Moreover, many lightweight, single-use plastic products and packaging materials, which account for approximately 50 percent of all plastics produced, are not deposited in containers for subsequent removal to landfills, recycling centres, or incinerators.
Instead, they are improperly disposed of at or near the location where they end their usefulness to the consumer. Dropped on the ground, thrown out of a car window, heaped onto an already full rubbish bin, or inadvertently carried off by a gust of wind, they immediately begin to pollute the environment. Indeed, landscapes littered by plastic packaging have become common in many parts of the world. (Illegal dumping of plastic and overflowing of containment structures also play a role.) Studies from around the world have not shown any particular country or demographic group to be most responsible, though population centres generate the most litter. The causes and effects of plastic pollution are truly worldwide. According to the trade association PlasticsEurope, world plastic production grew from some 1.5 million tons in 1950 to an estimated 260 million tons in 2007. Compared with materials in common use in the first half of the 20th century, such as glass, paper, iron, and aluminum, plastics have a low recovery rate. That is, they are relatively inefficient to reuse as recycled scrap in the manufacturing process, due to significant processing difficulties such as a low melting point, which prevents contaminants from being driven off during heating and reprocessing. Most recycled plastics are subsidized below the cost of raw materials by various deposit schemes, or their recycling is simply mandated by government regulations. Recycling rates vary dramatically from country 76
to country, with only northern European countries obtaining rates greater than 50 percent. In any case, recycling does not really address plastic pollution, since recycled plastic is “properly” disposed of, whereas plastic pollution comes from improper disposal.
Plastic pollution in oceans and on land Since the ocean is downstream from nearly every terrestrial location, it is the receiving body for much of the plastic waste generated on land. It has been estimated that 6.4 million tons of debris end up in the world’s oceans every year and that some 60 to 80 percent of that debris, or 3.8 to 5 million tons, is improperly discarded plastic litter. Plastic pollution was first noticed in the ocean by scientists carrying out plankton studies in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and oceans and beaches still receive most of the attention of those studying and working to abate plastic pollution. Floating plastic waste has been shown to accumulate in five subtropical gyres that cover 40 percent of the world’s oceans. Located at Earth’s midlatitudes, these gyres include the North and South Pacific Subtropical Gyres, whose eastern “garbage patches” (zones with high concentrations of plastic waste circulating near the ocean surface) have garnered the attention of scientists and the media. The other gyres are the North and South Atlantic Subtropical Gyres and the Indian Ocean Subtropical Gyre. 77
In the ocean, plastic pollution can kill marine mammals directly through entanglement in objects such as fishing gear, but it can also kill through ingestion, by being mistaken for food. Studies have found that all kinds of species, including small zooplankton, large cetaceans, most seabirds, and all marine turtles, readily ingest plastic bits and trash items such as cigarette lighters, plastic bags, and bottle caps. Sunlight and seawater embrittle plastic, and the eventual breakdown of larger objects makes it available to zooplankton and other small marine animals. In addition to being nonnutritive and indigestible, plastics have been shown to concentrate pollutants up to a million times their level in the surrounding seawater and then deliver them to the species that ingest them. In one study, levels of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), a lubricant and insulating material that is now widely banned, were shown to have increased significantly in the preen gland oil of streaked shearwaters (Calonectris leucomelas) after these seabirds had been fed plastic pellets culled from Tokyo Bay for only one week. There are also terrestrial aspects to plastic pollution. Drainage systems become clogged with plastic bags, films, and other items, causing flooding. Land birds, such as the reintroduced California condor, have been found with plastic in their stomachs, and animals that normally feed in waste dumpsâ€”for instance, the sacred cows of Indiaâ€”have had intestinal blockages from plastic packaging. 78
The mass of plastic is not greater than that of other major components of waste, but it takes up a disproportionately large volume. As waste dumps expand in residential areas, the scavenging poor are often found living near or even on piles of residual plastics.
Pollution by plastics additives Plastic also pollutes without being litteredâ€”specifically, through the release of compounds used in its manufacture. Indeed, pollution of the environment by chemicals leached from plastics into air and water is an emerging area of concern. As a result, some compounds used in plastics, such as phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE), have come under close scrutiny and regulation. Phthalates are plasticizersâ€”softeners used to make plastic products less brittle. They are found in medical devices, food packaging, automobile upholstery, flooring materials, and computers as well as in pharmaceuticals, perfumes, and cosmetics. BPA, used in the manufacture of clear, hard polycarbonate plastics and strong epoxy coatings and adhesives, is present in packaging, bottles, compact discs, medical devices, and the linings of food cans. PBDE is added to plastics as a flame retardant. All these compounds have been detected in humans and are known to disrupt the endocrine system. 79
Phthalates act against male hormones and are therefore known as anti-androgens; BPA mimics the natural female hormone estrogen; and PBDE has been shown to disrupt thyroid hormones in addition to being an anti-androgen. The people most vulnerable to such hormonedisrupting chemicals are children and women of reproductive age. These compounds have also been implicated in hormone disruption of animals in terrestrial, aquatic, and marine habitats. Effects are seen in laboratory animals at blood levels lower than those found in the average resident of a developed country. Amphibians, mollusks, worms, insects, crustaceans, and fish show effects on their reproduction and development, including alterations in the number of offspring produced, disruption of larval development, and (in insects) delayed emergenceâ€”though studies investigating resulting declines in those populations have not been reported. Studies are needed to fill this knowledge gap, as are studies of the effects of exposure to mixtures of those compounds on animals and humans.
Solving the problem Given the global scale of plastic pollution, the cost of removing plastics from the environment would be prohibitive. Most solutions to the problem of plastic pollution, therefore, focus on preventing improper 80
disposal or even on limiting the use of certain plastic items in the first place. Fines for littering have proved difficult to enforce, but various fees or outright bans on foamed food containers and plastic shopping bags are now common, as are deposits redeemed by taking beverage bottles
responsibility, or EPR, schemes make the manufacturers of some items responsible for creating an infrastructure to take back and recycle the products that they produce. Awareness of the serious consequences of plastic pollution is increasing, and new solutions, including the increasing use of biodegradable plastics and a â€œzero wasteâ€? philosophy, are being embraced by governments and the public.
How are single-use plastic carryout bags harmful to the environment? 1- They are consumed in extremely high volumes (approximately 22 million per year in Bellingham). 2- They are made from non-renewable resources. 3- They are designed to be disposable (rather than reusable) average time used is 12 minutes. 4- Most are down cycled; not recycled. 5- They are a significant and visible component of litter. 6- They remain in the environment as marine, storm drain, and beach pollution. 7- Plastic does not biodegrade it photo-degrades and while smaller; it remains forever. 8- Plastic bags are a significant hazard to marine animals and birds, which often mistake them for food. 9- Beach and ocean clean up is of no use, unless the migration of plastic bags and other plastic pollution which ultimately migrates to our oceans is stopped at the source. The demise of the oceans and its mammals and birds will continue to get worse.
Why are reusable bags better for the environment? The environmental degradation that is caused by the continued use of single-use carryout plastic bags and paper bags is a very compelling reason to use reusable bags. Reusable bags do not pollute the environment, and help reduce landfill waste because they are used again and again. Therefore, Bellingham residents and taxpayers do not have to pay the clean-up costs and landfill fees related to disposable of single-use carryout bags. Visit www.facebook.com/bagitbellingham and find out how a community is making a positive change. 83
Projects we like:
Outdoor Libraries Slovenia www.knjiznicapodkrosnjami.si
Being part of the sustainable food chain By Priti Rajagopalan
On my way to the supermarket yesterday, following my habit, I carefully jotted down things needed for my pantry. It was the usual: fruits, vegetables, pulses, milk, yoghurt, protein bread, sunflower seed butter, vegetarian cheese, nuts. This was the typical Indian vegetarian diet that I inherited from my parents. My formative years were in a household where eggs were forbidden and bringing meat in would cause disownment. Most of our vegetables and pulses came from farms and gardens nearby where no big agro corporations had yet set foot. As I grew up and went into professional sports, my diet included a bit of eggs now and then but consuming meat was something I could not psychologically get myself to do. So, I grew up with no worry of E.Coli or many other pathogens making their way to my stomach. And my mother carefully cooked the egg so she it would not risk my health in any way. 102
There was one major difference between my list today and couple of months or years back. I had insisted on buying organic and had phased myself out of all packaged and frozen food. I even jokingly told my brother “95% of the supermarket does not belong to us”.
another small difference; my food bill had shot up by almost 60%. It is almost like unhealthy, pesticide laced, additive filled food had been incentivized.
During one of my grassroots work in food security I happened to travel to northern India where I heard about the “cancer express” that ran
For the uninitiated, Bhatinda is a grain and cotton hub in north India, which benefited by the Green revolution that swooped the nation in the 1960s. The health department has estimated the number of patients in the region at 120-125 per lakh against 71 in the rest of India. The last year alone has seen an increase in patients to a staggering 80%. The surface water has found to be contaminated with arsenic, cadmium, chromium, selenium and mercury. In a country where healthcare is expensive and often limited, prevention is definitely better than cure. But, how can a farmer prevent this and most importantly how can I contribute? These thoughts passed my mind while I silently watched the documentaries “Cancer train” and “Pesticide Boom”. 103
I did a quick analysis of the pesticides Indian farmers used as opposed to the farmers in the west. Many of the chemical fertilizers like Endosulfan are still being used as a miracle-agrochemical in India and China but are banned in EU, US, New Zealand and Australia. Since, agriculture is one of the most important sectors of an economy, the corporations are interested in profiting but the lack of public education has lead to us not knowing what reaches our plate. 104
The government has a very important role to play here and does the health research committee. Increasing number of statistics are pointing towards the risks and hazards associated with pesticides and fertilizers.
The foremost step in this regards would have to be the Right to information â€“ right to know what substances constitute the chemicals that go into our food and in our environment. The second would have to be upgrading of our testing standards that must resonate with the health issues being faced by citizens over a period of time. The third and the most important would be educating the masses, because once the audience is aware of the problem it would definitely lead to increased government action.
Priti is a Environmental and Sustainability researcher interested in food and energy security. She prides in having worked on the ground in waste management, climate adaptation and sustainable education. She can be reached on email@example.com and found on her twitter handle pritiriyer
Indiaâ€™s drought and heavy rainfall : A natural calamity or a man-made one? By Suresh More
In India, dry months before the onset of the monsoons result in frequent blackouts due to empty hydropower dams, water shortages in posh colonies in cities, and even riots over water when back-up water tankers are called in to residential areas. Poor approach to conserving and managing water resources is the crux of the problem. In India rivers, streams and lakes are polluted beyond belief, and illegal, unregulated over-extraction of groundwater has left a serious water crisis in many parts of the country. Maharashtra is the worst example of poor water management and its impact on water management.
Basic water conservation through projects such as
rainwater harvesting has been lacking. An analysis by the South Asian Network for Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) disputes rainfall in Maharashtra in 2012 is lower than in 1972, when the region faced it worst ever drought.
meteorological and agricultural point of view, this year’s drought cannot be called worse than that in 1972. It is possible that hydrologically, this year’s drought may prove to be worse than 1972 for some districts,” said the March report. “The blame for this lies entirely on wrong decisions about building unviable and undesirable large dams, wrong cropping patterns, diversion of water for non priority uses, neglect of local water systems and unaccountable water management.” Maharashtra has the largest number of dams in the country – more than 109
3,000 â€“ built to not only generate power, but also to provide water for millions of farmers and service the stateâ€™s burgeoning industries. However, reports suggest that despite billions of dollars invested, irrigation coverage has only increased by 0.1 percent over the last decade. â€œIf non-sustainable land and water use continue, the drought will spread even when rainfall is normal. The most vulnerable immediately are the poor who will be forced to migrate as environmental refugees. Agrarian distress and farmers` suicides will increase because farmers have spent huge amounts on costly seeds and chemicals, and crop failure will make the debt trap a death trap.
Floods From 14 to 17 June 2013, the Indian state of Uttarakhand and adjoining area received heavy rainfall, which was about 400 percent more than the benchmark rainfall during a normal monsoon. This caused the melting of Chorabari Glacier at the height of 3800 metres, and eruption of the Mandakini River which led to heavy floods in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Western Nepal, and acute rainfall in other nearby regions of Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and some parts of Tibet. Heavy rainfall for four consecutive days as well as melting snow aggravated the floods. Unprecedented destruction by the rainfall witnessed in Uttarakhand 110
developmental activities undertaken in recent decades contributing to high level of loss of property and lives. Roads constructed in haphazard style, new resorts and hotels built on fragile river banks and more than 70 hydroelectric projects in the watersheds of the state led to a "disaster waiting to happen". The environmental experts reported that the tunnels built and blasts undertaken for the 70 hydro electric projects contributed to the ecological imbalance in the state, with flows of river water restricted and the streamside development activity contributing to a higher number of landslides and more flooding. It is believed that a combination of events caused the devastation in Kedarnath town. A massive landslide curred upstream in the north-east region of the Kedar valley. At the same time heavy rainfall formed a small lake in the north-west of the valley. The debris from the landslide and water from the lake travelled down the slope, channelled into the glacier, and came down to Kedarnath town. The National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM), in its reports on the Uttarakhand floods, has blamed â€œclimatic conditions combined with haphazard human interventionâ€? in the hills for the disaster. Besides the rain water, a huge quantity of water was probably released from melting of ice and glaciers due to high temperatures during the month of May and June. The water not only filled up the lakes and rivers that overflowed but also may have caused breaching of moraine dammed 111
lakes in the upper reaches of the valley, particularly during the late evening on June 16 and on June 17, killing about several hundred persons; thousands went missing and about 100,000 pilgrims were trapped. The NIDM report says that the Alaknanda and the Mandakini caused much destruction because they returned to their old course where
buildings were constructed over period of time.
turned into a major disaster when people along with their properties and infrastructure occupied such areas without adequate information, knowledge, awareness and preparedness against the potential disaster,” he added.
Sustainable development’s only possible with ecological balance— Magsaysay awardee Chandi Prasad Bhatt is a noted environmentalist and a pioneer of the tree-saving Chipko Andolan in Uttarakhand.
World Bank report: Global warming could lead to more extreme droughts in large parts of India, resulting in widespread food shortages and hardship in the country, in the next few decades. The impact of a possible global temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius in the next few decades threatens to trap millions of people in poverty, according to the report. "Events like the devastating Pakistan floods of 2010, which affected more than 20 million people, could become common place. 114
More extreme droughts in large parts of India could lead to widespread food shortages and hardship," the report said. Another impact of climate change could be degradation and loss of reefs in South East Asia possibly resulting in reduced fish stocks and coastal communities, while cities could be more vulnerable to increasingly violent storms, it said. The new report builds on a World Bank report released late last year, which concluded the world would warm by 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of this century if we did not take concerted action now. This new report looks at the likely impacts of present day, 2 degrees Celsius and 4 degrees Celsius warming on agricultural production, water resources, coastal ecosystems and cities across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. The soaring temperatures will also drive regular food shortages in Sub-Saharan Africa. Shifting rain patterns in South Asia due to warming could leave some parts under water and others without enough water for power generation, irrigation, or drinking, the report said.
Beyond the Brink is a young filmmaker's take on the climate change debate. 18-year-old Ross Harrison spent a year chasing up experts, studying the news and filming to create a short documentary that answers the persistent questions, 'Are we really causing climate change?' and 'Who cares?'
The result is a 40 minute film about the knowns and the unknowns of the science, about the risks, and about being hopeful for the future too. It gives fresh perspectives on a subject that saturates the media, divides the public, but is still meaningless to many.
At a time when people feel overloaded by hype and put off by scandals, Beyond the Brink seeks to lay out how things really stand now. Interviews with Sir David Attenborough, Mark Lynas, David Shukman, Prof Dieter Helm, the UK Youth Climate Coalition, and Ross' grandparents among others.
You can watch the whole thing at www.beyondthebrink.org
Red Cross Asylum Centers and the Challenge to Work with Sustainability By Bettina Fellov
Refugee camps and refugee centers for people applying for asylum must be some of the worldÂ´s most diverse areas housing people of different races, from different countries, with different cultures, religions and brought up with different basic formation. Add on the linguistic diversity. Visiting refugee centers the huge diversity of people is striking. Besides the intercultural diversity the diversity amongst citizens with the same nationality is obvious depending of, amongst other things, social strata. In Denmark, Red Cross Asylum Department has 12 refugee centers and those centers are housing around 3-4,000 foreign citizens coming from more than 100 different countries. 118
Housing people from so many countries it is obvious that those people have different basic formation according to approaching issues as climate change, consumption of resources, CO2 emission, housekeeping etc. Some people being refugees in a foreign country will struggle with traumas and/or injuries. All will struggle with their own case and situation, attorneys, The Danish Immigration Service and the process applying for asylum. Add to that sorrows and loss. In a small community of an asylum center the diversity is huge amongst staff too, as they range the whole spectrum from hands-on staff, kitchen staff, technical staff, educators, nurses, doctor, support/contact persons, school teachers, admin staff and managers. Within staff the challenge is that asylum centers are kept open 24 hours a day. The staff works in shifts. Gathering all staff at the same time is quite difficult. And then there is still the climate change challenge that needs solving and there is the need to work towards sustainability and environmental balance. Danish Red Cross Asylum Department has been working to reduce consumption of energy and has, during many years, addressed environmental issues with regards to operating the asylum centers. In 2011 the department made a program to be implemented in all Red CrossÂ´ asylum centers in Denmark. Having a common program makes it easier to obtain reductions in 119
energy consumption and to implement environmental friendly solutions and as people applying for asylum move around in between the centers the campaigns and methods will be recognizable. In Denmark the asylum centers have different functions, one is a reception center, one receives unaccompanied children and another one receives people having physical or psychological injuries etc. The Red Cross Asylum Department is independent according to organization and economy and is not connected to Red Cross Humanitarian Organization which means the department does not benefit from collections or sponsors. The economical basis in the Department is influenced by politics and decided by the government. It is administrated by The Danish Immigration Service. Red Cross Asylum Department is operating for The Danish Immigration Service and is an emergency organization which means that the organization has to be ready to receive an unknown amount of refugees at any time. Not knowing what tomorrow will bring, the organization has to be adaptable, on a daily basis, to any changes impacted by the number of refugees and people applying for asylum. Working as consultant for Red Cross Asylum Department in 2011 I shared my methods to teach and my methods to make behavioral changes within energy consumption and environmental friendly 120
operation of buildings. Having taught these topics before, to people applying for asylum, it was interesting to come back this month to do a repetition course and to ask how the implementation of the energy and environment program has been developing.
At this point the Red Cross Centers are on the same level in their campaign, and campaign materials are shared across the asylum centers. In some centers the refugees are actively working, planning and processing the efforts and campaigns that will result in reduction of energy consumption. In Jelling Asylum Center they have a mentor program where refugees which have been in the center for a while serve as mentors for newcomers. The mentors in this asylum center work on energy consumption and have been very active in composing the campaigns that are available for all centers. These mentors are in contact with Vejle Municipality, Green Forum, where they are taught how to make campaign photos and texts.
One of the mentors is Mousthapha Elimane Diop. He has been very engaged in developing campaign materials and in starting up a system to sort out glasses and metal from waste. During environment week at Red Cross Asylum Center Jelling, Mousthapha won a drawing competition for campaign drawings to be used in all asylum centers. 121
There is a good will in Red Cross to work on energy issues, though there are some limitations. In normal houses and flats it is possible to adjust energy consumption, for example by lowering the heat during the night, switching off , so on. That might not be possible in an asylum center as people might be traumatized and have difficulties sleeping and therefore need to be up at night time without feeling cold. I other areas lights might be kept on at all times, people in order to make people feel safe.
At this point, one and a half year after starting the implementation of the energy program, it looks promising, as electricity consumption has been reduced in almost all centers. Working within the program in the centers is a challenge as there as there are no incentives (linked to the energy savings) for the refugees, meaning that reductions in energy consumption are based on good will. This effort is quite important and it needs to be looked at from both a climate change perspective and a socio-economic perspective - people achieving asylum will move from the center to their own flats where they will have to cover their own expenses for the consumption of energy and water. Having worked in non profitable housing associations my experience is that some refugee families would be very surprised with their bills for energy and water consumption. As a staffer in Red Cross Asylum centers, working to reduce energy consumption and protect the environment you have to be very patient, 126
as the asylum seekers you work with one week might leave your center the next week, hence you will need the patience to restart the process over and over again, with new people. It might be difficult to see progress in such circumstances but you have to keep on working on energy reduction, believing that refugees leaving your center will apply what they learned as they move into a flat in Denmark or as they are sent back to their origin country if they are not granted asylum.
Overview of the energy program at The Danish Red Cross Asylum Department:
→ Common energy policy → Common understanding and values → Common flyer about energy savings in 8 languages besides Danish and English → Common posters in all centers about energy consumption → Common film material → Common knowledge and education of staff
In order to keep anonymity of people applying asylum in Denmark it is not possible to show photos of people applying for asylum participating in courses or any programs to reduce energy consumption. Photo of Mousthapha Elimane Diop is allowed by Mousthapha Elimane Diop himself. In photos you see staff attending seminars and Asylum Center Kongelunden. 127
Can Learning to Install Your Own Solar System Save You Money? By Liz Nelson
As technology and innovative methods have decreased the manufacturing costs of photovoltaic equipment, many are installing solar power devices en mass across the globe. However, paying for the installation of this form of renewable energy could cost you quite a bit of money as a homeowner. If you are technically inclined, could learning how to install the system yourself save you money? If you are comfortable with working on power lines, then the answer would be, "Yes." 128
1. Need it All - Depending on your area, you could benefit from incentive programs from the power companies and/or tax credits from local and Federal governments. However, the entire amount is still needed in order to pay the installation company to equip your home with this method of power generation. Although you could finance the installation, are you prepared for a continuous bill that could be up to 20 years before you actually break even from the investment? 2. The Inverter - One of the most expensive pieces of the entire solar system is that of the power inverter. This allows you to change the DC current of photovoltaic equipment to the AC standard that most devices 129
need to utilize. These inverters can make up 75-percent of the entire amount of setting up your own solar array. However, this is also dependent on the supported power of the unit. A 1500 kilowatt inverter will cost less than one that supports up to 5000 kilowatts. 3. Panels are Cheap - The panels themselves are inexpensive compared to the other equipment that you'll need for efficient power generation. These photovoltaic cells can be purchased from sites like eBay from respectable companies providing quality panels. A lot of five panels to produce 1.25 kilowatts can be bought for one-third of what you'll spend on the inverter. If you're not a fan of eBay, there are plenty other online sellers of photovoltaic panels that are comparative in price. 4. Batteries - Deep cycle batteries can be equally as expensive as the inverter if your looking for one that can provide 32 kilowatt-hours of power per charge. As many homes don't require such an output, many of the batteries you may be looking at will be around a third of what the inverter sells for. Keep in mind that the larger battery you have, the less chance your system will suffer loss of power at night or during inefficient solar
5. Grid-tied or Not - Before you decide to build your own solar power system, you should decide on whether or not you are going to develop a system that is grid-tied or not. A system that is tied to the power grid sends excess power to the community as well as supplies your own home 130
with power from the grid if your system doesn't generate enough at any given time. Off grid systems rely specifically on the solar array for power. This will impact how much money you are going to spend in hardware for your solar system. As there are many tutorials and videos on the Internet detailing how one can install a solar power system, the question should be, "Are you comfortable enough to install a power system yourself?" Some areas may require the expertise of a licensed electrician or you could be fined for developing a grid-tied system. Regardless of this area specific requirement, the actual development of the solar array can be far less expensive than you may realize. If you are interested in developing your own system, take a few hours and calculate what kind of a system you'd need and compare it to how much you'd have to pay an installation company. You may be shocked to see how much of a difference it makes.
This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from WhiteFence.com. She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17 @ gmail.com.
Education For Sustainable Development (ESD) in Japan “Integrated Studies” and “sustainability” in curriculum Prepared by Livia Minca
“Integrated Studies” was introduced in the Japanese school curriculum from primary to upper secondary school levels in 2000 before the resolution on the Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) was adopted in 2003. This is not an independent subject but integrated lessons across subjects. It covers topics across traditional subjects and allows for implementation of instruction and learning activities related to education for the sake of international understanding, information education, environmental education, health and welfare education, and other educations. The knowledge and skills are developed by integrated learning activities whose content is based on students’ personal interests. Teaching hours decreased from 105, 70 and 105 to 70, 50, and 35 for primary, lower secondary and upper secondary respectively after 2011. This topic of Integrated Studies serves as a foundation for ESD. In order to advance ESD activities effectively, the programs in Integrated Studies should be linked comprehensively and promoted continuously to learning activities. To assure this, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology supports: 1) the formulation of the Basic Plan for the Promotion of Education, which identifies ESD as a critical component; 2) the revision of Courses of Study to allow for ESD topics to enter various subject areas; and 3) the expansion of the UNESCO Associated School Network (ASPnet). 133
Although the Integrated Studies hours declined in the recent curriculum reform, ESD practice survives in various other subjects because the new Course of Study mentions sustainability, which provides the foundation of ESD in school. Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU) introduced good examples of the practices in a Guide to Developing and Using ESD Materials. It collects 13 good ESD practice, explains a common approach to ESD and justifies with competency what students and adults would obtain through the practice. The National Federation of UNESCO Association in Japan also assists the fund for school ESD programs. Course of Study, the national curriculum standard, mentions a “sustainable society” in some subjects such as social studies, science and moral education. Course of Study sets the content and goals of instruction so that school teachers can design their lessons based on the aforementioned “sustainable society.” In addition, foreign language activity is a compulsory lesson for primary school since April 2011, and therefore, some teachers and scholars may find good opportunities to blend ESD practice with English lessons.
Organizations out of School The ESD concepts are so wide that its practices are not always limited to school campuses. UNESCO introduced strong initiatives for ESD practice taken by private and/or nongovernmental stakeholders. 134
UNESCOâ€™s report revealed that there was little content in typical informal and non-formal education practices from the whole world survey. Active collaboration and cooperation between schools and non-official providers are sometimes very important for significant learning in ESD.
Although Japan has not accumulated the experiences enough yet either, academic societies promote activities and research on ESD. For example, the Japan Association for International Education leads the interactions between researchers and social science teachers, and the Japanese Society of Environmental Education has a good relationship with science teachers. Both academic societies actively publish articles on ESD in their journals.
There are more movements for research and development at the private sector. Development Education is quite a common concept for both local actors and school teachers who deal with international education: The teachers, students and civil organizations constantly hold joint projects and workshops for better practice. One of the most active organizations is the Development Education Association and Resource Centre in Japan. For ESD-domain activities, ESD-J is one of the largest NGOs, and takes initiative for cooperation among civil organizations, officials such as the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Environment, and practitioners. 135
Education For Sustainability Nova Scotia Canada
hotography by Sandra Antonovic 145
One Hundred Thousand Welcomes Nova Scotia is one of the Atlantic Provinces of Canada. Nova Scotia consists of a very large peninsula (known as the "mainland"), connected to the province of New Brunswick by a narrow strip of land, and includes Cape Breton Island, which is now joined to the mainland by the Canso Causeway. Nova Scotia was one of the original four provinces that became part of Canada in 1867, and as of 2011 had a population of 922,000 people, of whom 44% live in the capital city, Halifax. "Nova Scotia" is Latin for "New Scotland", and Scottish settlers brought culture and traditions that continue to this day, albeit now mixed with the cultures of native Mi'kmaq and settlers from numerous other places. For a population just under a million Nova Scotia is remarkably diverse, Mi'kmaq, Scots descendants, black Nova Scotians, French Acadians, Annapolis Valley farmers, Cape Bretoners and Haligonians all forming distinct groups with their own unique quirks, culture and language. 146
The novel "Rockbound" is written entirely in the South Shore dialect of the fishermen of that region, a fusion of Shakespearean English, German and unique local idioms.
Champlain named Nova Scotia
"Acadie" and claimed it for France in 1604. French immigrants settled the area and became prosperous farmers and fisherman until officially expelled by the British in the mid 18th century - their lands especially on the South Shore to be repopulated with "foreign Protestants" meaning mostly Dutch and German. Many areas still retain a strong Acadian French culture, including the largest francophone municipality, Clare in Digby County and Argyle, in Yarmouth County.
Nova Scotia hosted the World Acadian Congress in 2005. The Louisiana "cajun" is a slang adaptation of "Acadien" in the French. Longfellow's poem "Evangeline" celebrates the victims of the Expulsion, as does Zachary Richard's drum and voice song "Reveille". Because of the expulsion, French is far more commonly heard in New Brunswick.
Halifax, the capital, is one of the oldest cities in North America and was a critical sea link during World Wars I and II. The infamous "Halifax explosion" caused by collision of two ships in Halifax Harbour in 1917 was the worst man-made explosion on Earth until Hiroshima in 1945. Halifax today is an education and high technology center with over a dozen post-secondary institutions including Dalhousie University and substantial operations by major high-technology firms. Academics have unusual influence in Nova Scotia perhaps because of the concentration of them in the capital. Many have even written legislation. Unless you are a winter surfer, or like to snowshoe, then it is probably best to visit Nova Scotia sometime June-Oct when the weather is warm, the skies are blue and the water may be less frigid. The main byways are along the coast, and a lot of small shops and restaurants are open around the coast during the summer months. Watch out for mosquitoes and horseflies in the summer, however, especially after a storm. 148
"I have travelled around the globe. I have seen the Canadian Rockies, the American Rockies, the Andes and the Alps and the Highlands of Scotland; but for simple beauty, Cape Breton outrivals them all."
Alexander Graham Bell
The Tides of Saint Malo By Camilla Lærke Lærkesen
Saint Malo is both an old city and a large area located
France on the coast of the
Although it is a tourist destination it is easy to find a quiet spot to watch
disappear and the live sea bed emerge. Brittany is the French region with the longest coastline, known for its impressive tides, history of pirates, the seafood and their legends of supernatural creatures. I visited Saint Malo with the eyes of a tourist
tales of the locals. 172
Behind the walls
For most people Saint Malo refers to the old city surrounded by stone walls. Located on the coast of the English Channel, Saint Malo used to be a city of what we today call corsairs, privateers or even pirates. The privateers or corsairs were private people authorized to attack foreign ships in the channel during wartime. Some claimed and sold the vessels and values and some just received a tribute to let them pass. It brought wealth and magnificence to the city. Perhaps that is why Saint Malo, through times, has fought for independence. They have an old saying about how first of all they are Malouins, then they are Bretons and if anything is left, then they are French. Nowadays it might still be true and though the people of Saint Malo are proud of their city, their cuisine, their history and their very own flag, they do not seem to feel as if they are above the rest of us. They are welcoming and they love telling stories from the area. It does not go unnoticed that it was the Malouin, Jacques Cartier, who is credited for the discovery of Canada and naming of MontrĂŠal. Jacques Cartier was a sailor and explorer chosen by the French king to lead expeditions to North. 174
The kitchen of Saint Malo is reflected in the location of the city with the sea all around. Seafood is not only on every menu in town it is also some of the cheapest food you can order. Les moules frites is a classic and is served in all kinds of variations.
Besides seafood, the French gallettes are very famous. Gallettes are pancakes with different kind of stuffing. The quality and stuffing varies from the regular with ham and cheese on the go to the fancy gallette restaurant with the best fresh ingredients and stuffing like chorizo or salmon.
Creperie Margaux is the last of its kind. The focus is on the quality and the ingredients. They have taken gallettes up to a higher gastronomical level. Less is more when the ingredients are wisely chosen and here you can find scallops, chanterelle and green asparagus. That is also why the restaurant does not serve any other kind of food â€“ except of course crĂŠpes for dessert. The owners are experienced in the restaurant industry. Pascal works part time as a food critic and his wife grew up with her father who ran a Michelin restaurant in East France. The name of the restaurant shows their dedication to their colleagues in the business Margaux is the name of the previous ownersâ€™ daughter. She was born with an autoimmune disease and when she was 15 her father heard about an American method that might help. All his friends in the food industry in the area helped collecting money to pay for the therapy. When he opened the creperie he named it after his daughter and when Pascal and his wife bought it they thought the name had more meaning than any name they could make up and decided to keep it. 179
If you are in a mood for a dessert, just look for the square with the giant line through it. At the beginning of that line there is a huge counter full of ice cream , artisan both in taste and in the way it’s presented, as only the homemade kind can be. It is well known as the best ice cream in town— the Sanchez’s homemade ice cream. If you do not have the patience to wait in line – walk down the street to your right and you will find a café with the biggest ice cream desserts and biggest pieces of cake and biggest fruity drinks you have ever seen.
Excursions from Saint Malo The main attraction in Brittany are the tides that rise up to 10 meters. Sometimes the beaches are wide and endless â€“ and just a few hours later they are gone, as the tide comes in. You can walk for hours in the sand along the coast of Saint Malo. But beware of the time and bring time tables. The tides are not the same every day and beaches have parts that do not have the stairs leading up and away from the beach. Rumor has it that when the water comes in it is as fast as a horse galloping and the horror stories of those who forgot spreads through the history of Brittany. Still, you should definitely visit the coasts, find a nice spot and watch as the water rises or falls. You can actually see it moving towards or away from you. Walk around and look at the shells, the crabs, the small fish and all the sea life. It is alive right under your feet. On hot days a lot of people are spending time on the beaches surrounding Saint Malo. When the tide is low you will see a swimming pool containing sea water emerge right outside the city walls. Three walls are built to keep the deep water right on the beach when the rest disappears several kilometers away. You can walk on the walls all around it and jump from the tall diving board. When the tide is high all you can see is the top of the diving board which looks like a ladder in the middle of the sea. 185
If you prefer a safer distance to the waves there are long tracks with a great view along the coast around the city, Cancale. It is the track of the old custom officers. The title sounds very formal but back then it has most likely been a look-out track for the privateers. The trip can be combined with the famous Sunday markets in Cancale.
Dinan is known as one of the most well-preserved cities in Brittany. It is beautiful with its small, curvy, stone paved streets, with the river and stone bridges. You will notice that the buildings get wider as they get higher. Once upon a time, you only paid taxes based on your ground floor and in order to pay less and still have some space the upper floors were build larger than the ground floors. Everywhere you look first floors are leaning out above the streets. 189
ART Copenhagen By Bettina Fellov
Art Copenhagen is being held for the 17th time and exhibits art from galleries from 15 different countries. Art Copenhagen presents up-andcoming galleries , but also established ones. Those galleries bring contemporary art from all over the world. You can read more here: www.artcopenhagen.dk
Being at ART Copenhagen was really an eye opener for us, seeing beautiful art and so many top professional galleries. We saw acrylic paintings, oil paintings, sculptures, ceramics, photo, plastics and many other arts. The visit gave us a lesson in pricing the art too. We spent three hours at ART Copenhagen and we were totally saturated with art and could not be more content once we left.
From Iceland we saw beautiful paintings by Soffia Saemundsdottir and Hrafnhildur Inga Sigurdardottir. Both artists illustrate landscape using really profound colors and leaving the viewer with a deep wish to go to Iceland to experience the nature as it is in their paintings: harsh, deep, restful and with a touch of sweetness and kindness.
Soffía Saemundsdottir studied at the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts 1987-1991. She later graduated with a MFA degree from Mills College in Oakland, California. Soffia has exhibited around the world both in solo and group exhibitions. She was a prizewinner in the International Winsor & Newton Millenium Painting Competitions and she got the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painting and Sculpture award in 2003.
Soffia Saemundsdottir's works contains “landscape, nature, language and a feeling of belonging somewhere or to someone”. You can read more about her artist statements here: http://www.soffias.is/ sample5_2_english.html
Hrafnhildur Inga Sigurdardottir paints the most beautiful paintings illustrating landscape in her surroundings. It is Iceland, water, water vapor and the moods of being right in the rough nature. She challenges you to like dark colors and the expression of nature. Soffia and Hrafnhildurs pieces of arts are at Galleri Fold in Iceland.
June Jin was born in Korea in 1977 and was adopted in Denmark where she grew up. Nowadays June Jin lives and works in Copenhagen. June Jin has artistically traveled far and wide, before she found her métier as a painter. After her graduation from College of visual art & design in 2000, she has been around in decoration for museum exhibits, set decoration for television, TV commercials and also assisted other artist in their art-production. In 2007 she chose to jump out as a full time artist. Her expression form is oil-painting on canvas and plexiglass and she combines both materials as well. Her paintings are fusions between the old masters like Rembrandt van Rijn and modern design. This is her way to update the great old masters technique to the modern world. June Jin’s main mission is to get you to reflect. To get you out of your habitual thinking – to get you to think out of the box. She is trying to seduce your brain with her underplayed aesthetic paintings. 197
Photographer Ádám Magyar we met at the stand of Faur Zsófi Gallery, a Hungarian gallery. Seeing the photos of Ádám Magyar you could spend loads of time looking for details and wondering how and why. Amongst many photos the photo I liked mostly is the photo of people in a square.
I am still wondering about the expression of every person. Why do they transport different things in different trolley â€“ where are they going and with what purpose?
Mikael Olrik Mikael Orlik is a Danish artist, educated architect from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Mikael has been working as architect for many years and in recent years he paints. Mikael wanted to write a book about walks in the countryside and moved to Provence to work with book. The book was never written as Mikael started painting watercolors of the landscape in Provence. In 2008 Mikael went to New York to visit his brother and already knowing New York well he got totally passionate about the city motifs and started his production of paintings of New York. Mikael was granted with a scholarship residence by Bikubefonden which gave him the opportunity to go to New York in 2010 and paint. Mikael Olrik has published a book with his paintings and descriptions of New York. The title of the book is “Walks in My New York - An Artist´s view”. The book will be launched in spring of 2014 in the USA. Mikael Olrik´s book is beautiful and from each page you can feel that Mikael really feels at home in New York. The book guides you through many areas in New York. The watercolor paintings in the book invite your imagination to see what is besides the paintings as all paintings are done out of the paper, leaving you with the sense that something more is going on in the location. The book shows you New York, and the description of the areas in the book is contemporary knowledge about the areas and at the same relevant historical knowledge. 204
At ART Copenhagen I met Mikael and his wife Lone and he told me several times that Lone is his source of inspiration, his muse. Seeing his huge paintings at his exhibition in ART Copenhagen I can tell that Lone is doing a really good job as a muse. Walking around MikaelÂ´s paintings you get the feeling of wanting to go to New York. They are so beautiful in the colors from bright happy colors to pitch black skyline with light shining from the many windows in the skyscrapers. You get the feeling of wanting to be a part of the painting. Mikaels paintings was brought to ART Copenhagen by Gallery Knud Grothe.
The Shipping New 212
Open your mind Fantasy creates empathy By Bettina Fellov
Unannounced, a woman appeared one Thursday afternoon looking for Gallery ART Fellov´s address and she met us on the street. Having a leaflet in her hands the woman invited us to participate in an event on the bottom of an abandoned swimming pool. Her name was Susanne Gargiulo, one of five people who planned this event.
The event is about collecting money for an orphanage in Katmandu, the title of the event is “Open Your Mind” and the subtitle is “Fantasy Creates Empathy”.
Susanne Gargiulo asked us if we would be interested in taking some of our paintings from the gallery and bringing them to the empty swimming pool. We said “why not”, it was a good cause.
Imagine being in an empty swimming pool, listening to guitar playing by Martin Aaes Pedersen, with an underlying soundtrack of neighing horses, running water, a bottle being opened and wine poured in a glass etc. Imagine an opera singer, Pernille Madsen, dressed in a red evening dress, pushing a cleaning trolley while she is singing , sometimes wearing golden shoes and sometimes wearing green flippers.
Having that in mind you get challenged on your fantasy and imagination as you are served a drink while you have no idea what the drink is. You 215
are eating a fried egg on a piece of black bread which is actually a cake and the egg yolk is the pastry crème. The mussels prove to be steamed cod and the coffee proves to be lobster soup. The kitchen at Bella Sky Comwell was behind the food fantasy.
Challenging evening for your senses and all to support an orphanage in Katmandu and it is happening miles and miles away from the orphanage in a small village in Dragør and I really wonder how did that happened. Actually Henriette Bergmann Hansen, one of the people behind the event, has been a travel guide in Nepal and India for many years and being on duty she met another traveler guide in Katmandu, Ramesh Khatiwada, and as they met frequently working , they often drank tea together during their breaks. At those tea breaks Ramesh Khatiwada often spoke about doing something that would influence the life of street children. Henriette told him “If you really are going to do something I promise I will support you.”
And one day an orphanage was a reality and Henriette stuck to her word and supported Ramesh Khatiwada by trying to raise money to keep the orphanage running.
The orphanage actually started with only three children in 2003 and has expanded to 26 children, though sometimes there are more kids at “My Home” . The capacity of the orphanage is 30 kids.
All children in the orphanage are sent to a private school in order to get an education and all the children are doing fine, 24 of them are amongst top 10 in their classes. Besides offering a home and education “My Home” helps out the local community for example, arranging the campaign “Clean up in Your Neighborhood” to draw attention about how important hygiene is. “ In 2013 “My Home” reintegrated six of the children with their biological families and “My Home” keeps following those children and supports them so they can continue with their education. The costs of the orphanage is around 21.000 US dollars per year and while Ramesh Khatiwada, the president of “My Home”, works raising money in Kathmandu, Henriette Hansen and a group of Danish women volunteer raising money in Denmark. Ramesh Khatiwada is working to establish a new project educating women and mothers from the slum to become housekeepers and
waiters in hotels in Kathmandu.
You can read more about “My Home” following the link: http:// www.myhomekathmandu.org/index.php?page=home 219
September Events Galleri ART Fellov
September 19th ǀ 7-9 pm ǀ Holistic Childhood and Education by Ingelise Hallengren Holistic Childhood and Education is the title of a book though it is also a definition of a happy child life according to Ingelise Hallengren. Ingelise Hallengrenen does not grab this perception out of the blue as she has been working professionally as teacher and as alternative practitioner. Her perception is based on knowledge and experience meeting all aspects of a child´s development. At this event Ingelise Hallengren will talk about the diverse impacts a child meets from conception until it becomes a young human being able to take care of herself or himself and able to be responsible for his/her life and meet the world with a good self-esteem. 226
September 22nd ǀ 2-3 pm ǀ Oscar and Olivia by Thomas Mygind Christensen Oscar and Olivia are siblings and are the main characters in two books for children. The books are written by Thomas Mygind Christensen and he also illustrated the book. The content of the books are about children´s imagination and their exciting experiences. Thomas Mygind Christensen will visit the gallery and read his books for children. The books are available in Danish though apps for IPad and Iphone are in Danish and English. The books are reviewed in this magazine.
September 26th ǀ 7-8 pm ǀ Children in grief by Lise Helborn Do you dare being responsible and break the silence when children are in grief? It is a responsibility of adults to exceed the invisible border according to children in grief, to break the ice and dare more than silence. It is about talking with the children and daring to ask them what happened and asking them what they are thinking about the incident and how their feelings are. Remember to exceed just a small invisible border can be a huge step for a child in grief. It will help the child to move away from silence and isolation – to children the experience of silence feels like a curse. Lise Helborn is educator and grief pilot. 227
Thomas and the book
Oscar and Olivia
Oscar and Olivia are siblings and main characters in a new book series for children. At this point two books in a coming row of four have been published. The titles of the books are “Oscar and Olivia´s Space Adventure” and “Oscar and Olivia and the snot draw”. Thomas Mygind Christensen, the author and illustrator of both books wanted to write good and nice illustrated books that could be converted to an app where the impression of reading a book or having a book read to you should be book like, though adding music and soft movements in the app, experience scales up the book. The app for “Oscar and Olivia´s adventure in Space” is available in English for iPhone and iPad from the App store.
In the two published books about Oscar and Olivia their adventures begins in the children´s room and are based on the fantastic fantasy of children. Having red both books they took me back to childhood to have a glance of my own fantasy adventures. The books reminded me of my own
children and their
adventures when being small kids.
The books can be read to the children aged 3-7
between 7-9 years old will be able to read them with support from an adult.
The illustrations in the books Thomas Mygind Christensen made himself and the flamboyance is noticeable. The coherence between the books is obvious as elements from the fantasy adventure in space in the book “Oscar and Olivia´s Space Adventure” such as a spaceship with space monsters and a truck with bank rubbers in book two are exposed as toys either in a shell or hanging from the ceiling. It seems judiciously and with intension that children by learning the characters to know will question the border between fantasy and “real life in the books” giving a platform for a good talk reading the book for children.
Electric Dreams 234
GO By Bettina Fellov
Stumbling over GO â€” the first magazine about electric vehicles in Denmark, I was wondering what was going on with electric vehicles in Denmark and how the future electric vehicles will look like. Ebbe Sommerlund is journalist and co-owner at the magazine GO. Ebbe has become an expert in cars through his lifelong interest in cars. Formerly Ebbe has, amongst other things been editor of the magazine Vmax
www.motorjournalisten.dk, which is an advanced blog that he edits as his hobby. Electric cars in Denmark do not deliver the success story everybody was dreaming about. The current status is that electric cars are growing in the car market, though not as fast as the industry hoped. Norway is the leader â€” there, the electric cars are in top five of all sold cars. Denmark is behind, as people in Denmark do things out of habit, and as car expense is a huge post in family budget, people are more careful. 236
Electric cars have been marketed in Denmark as a revolution and as a car for everybody though as the scope of driving is limited the electric cars are for few persons. The first marketed car was Renault Fluence Z.E (Zero emission), the car was a modified Fluence and the battery was placed in the trunk giving very little space in the trunk. The electric car marked internationally has a sunshine story and that is according to Ebbe Sommerlund the car Tesla, it is produced in California and can drive 4-500 kilometers in one charge and it costs 600.000-900.000 DKK. It is a car that drives fast having 416 hp, stepping on the speeder you feel being pushed back in the seats. Tesla Model S has been launched this year.
Tesla Model X is a SUV and is launched in 2014 and Tesla is working to produce a mainstream model which is very exciting as it could change the electric car marked. Nissan and Renault are some of the biggest actors in the electric market and their cars get better and better. Renault ZOE can drive between 100-170 kilometers in a charge. And in Denmark the price makes it competitive to normal cars, which is heavily taxed compared to electric cars which is excempted from taxes.
The German carmaker BMW is launching a new electric car in Norway this year, the BMW i3 and the car will arrive in Denmark in spring 2014. BMW i3 has 170hp and a part of the chassis is built of carbon fibers which normally is quite expensive though the BMW i3 is in the same price level as NissanÂ´s electric car - LEAF. BMW i3 is also available in a version with a range extender, a small gasoline motor, which can charge the battery, though in Denmark it means that buyers have to pay high taxes as a gasoline car , which more than triples the price.
In the future we can expect more hybrid cars, electric cars also driven by fossil fuels. The reason is that carmakers cannot meet emission regulations in the future with combustion engines alone.
Ethanol can be produced from many things, though the tax structure in Denmark means that ethanol is not worthwhile at the moment. If ethanol is produced from waste products straw it can make sense. Nothing can match electricity in cars. Electricity is the most efficient way for driving as in a gasoline motor a lot of the fuel will transform to heat through combustion and be a waste according to propelling the car. In a combustion engine friction will swallow energy too. In electric cars there is very little energy loss due to heat or friction.
Alternative fuels for transportation could be hydrogen though at this point private cars are not available in Denmark. The Municipality of Copenhagen has bought several hydrogen cars, Hyundai IX35, in order to test them in a large scale test. The combustion product from hydrogen cars is water vapor but the energy loss converting hydrogen to electricity is in the same scale as fossil fuel combustion engines.
On top of all the insight Ebbe Sommerlund gave me on cars and mostly electric cars, I asked Ebbe how he would predict the future for electric vehicles in Denmark. Even being journalist for the new magazine GO, Ebbe Sommerlund predicts that it will take decades and maybe even four decades before electric cars are widespread in Denmark. The last words Ebbe Sommerlund told me when speaking with him was: â€?You owe yourself to drive an electric car as there is no noise and it drives fantastic. Noise from the wind and from tires is not gone and you might hear a little noise accelerating and when braking though it sounds as a diminished noise a bit like driving in the tubeâ€?.
Notes, sources and acknowledgments fo
or September issue of Nektarina (S)pace
Published on Sep 18, 2013