This year’s World Science Day for Peace & Development fell on November 10th 2018. We have so many special days that are recognized almost every day and sometimes we may miss their meaning and importance.
Peace is described as freedom from disturbance and a state of tranquillity. Development is described as the process in which something grows or changes. I personally like the word “grows”. You could ask yourself, what really is World Science Day for Peace and Development all about?
It is the celebration of how science has impacted the “growth” of the world (there is that word again). Its main focus is to ensure that globally, society remains current with the fast-moving world of science, and our human impact on our beautiful world.
As you may already know, Green Schools NS has a central mission to educate Nova Scotian youth about wasting less energy, and how our energy consumption can impact our world. So, when I was offering engagements to schools for the week preceding this important day, I made sure to mention it. I visited a new Green School on this UN recognized day. Kingswood Elementary recently joined our province-wide network of Green Schools this year (2018-2019) and were very excited to welcome me into their school and talk about why being energy efficient is so important.
I started off a day of working with lower elementary, grades one and two, and they were great listeners and had insightful suggestions on different things they can do at school and at home to change their habits. Being young did not hinder them from noticing some of the steps in becoming energy efficient. Some ideas the students came up with were as follows:
1. Reduce, recycle and reuse. The students loved all the examples I showed them of different crafty things they can make out of old discarded items like plastic containers, cans or boxes. The absolute favourite was the Mason Bee Hotel made of a metal can. Many of the students were excited to try to make one themselves, and not only to reuse materials but also to help the bees.
2. Support local farmers. This is important because not only is it good for our bodies to choose healthy foods, but it is also good for our environment. Next time you have a cookie, think about how exactly it got into your hands. Was it locally made or was it imported from far away? How did that food get to you? Also, consider how it was processed. Did it come from a factory or a bakery? These are all things these young leaders considered.
Later on in the day, I visited grade six students at Kingswood. This group was very enthusiastic, even though the day was almost over. They listened intently as I spoke about this special day, and explained the relationship between human impacts on the environment and energy consumption. We discussed ways we can reduce our carbon footprint, and how scientific research contributes to making a better future. If we look back in history for the first electrical gadgets humans used, many were not environmentally friendly or energy efficient due to a lack of knowledge. Scientific discovery and breakthroughs can bring forward solutions to human problems, like energy efficient Energy Star products which reduce energy waste.
World Science Day for Peace and Development is so important. It serves as a reminder that humans have made progress in learning about our world, however, we must not forget that our needs and wants impact the rest of the world. I celebrated this day by helping students learn about scientific solutions to human problems, like implementing renewable energy sources and being more energy efficient.
~Ruvi Mugara, Engagement Officer