Sunday, June 3, 2012

Action ideas from York+20: Children take over Rio+20!

In (newly renovated sustainable) Joseph Rowntree School, New Earswick, York, UK, a small revolution is taking place. Quite literally. Young students of the school aged between 11-18 are organizing York+20, engaging children in sustainable development by organizing a series of events. 

For MyCity+20 it's particularly exciting to see their innovative action strategy. For this, they are organizing many activities that are very impressive. Apart from debates between young people, local and national MPs (where Adrian Ramsay, the deputy head of the UK Green Party will be present), they are also organizing a flash mob and a self-written environmental musical including music from all over the world. Another interesting idea is the 'dedicated pledge-wall' where invited guests write a pledge about what they will do to improve the environment after the summit. 

Before the event itself they are also running many other sustainable activities including:
-a drop-down day within the school, on the 12th of June, where we invite young people to take part in a range of environmentally friendly activities including making bikes out of old un-used parts, i.e. creating recycled bikes
- conducting some research in the local pond and sending the data off to the Natural Science Museum, - creating recycled clothes for a recycled fashion show
- creating films on saving the planet and putting on plays on the topic of sustainability.
-Sending a video recording of three questions to the Nobel Laureates from the Earth Summit in Rio, and seeing their answers on the 18th of June

During the event to, they will be: 
- Raffling off signed books by popular UK teen writer Cathy Cassidy and sending the proceeds to green charities plus a school project which sponsors two students to go to school in Malawi
- An "edible insects" stand from FERA. 
- Calculating a carbon footprint and literally create a to-scale foot print "shoe" made out of cardboard which needs to be worn by volunteers during the whole event, to show how much impact we actually have on the world! 

Inspired by Severn Suzuki's speech at the Rio conference in 1992, the young students have brainstormed a series of creative, thought provoking action plans that is an inspiring example to everyone.