On Saturday 31.1 at 8.30 pm it’s time for Earth Hour
Last year over 5000 companies, millions of people in 135 countries took part in the greatest environmental manifestation. Be inspired to make changes in your daily life in order to minimize your ecological footprint. Below, my Finnish idol from the rock band Apulanta tells us that easiest is to change yourself and your family. Don’t wait for the others to move before you. //Vivi
In a fun way, the scouts learned to reuse and repair products
Throughout the week numerous of young people got the chance to discuss the meaning behind the words Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. But the best part for the scouts was to practice “reuse” – by trashing jamboree waste and creating new stuff from it.
Sharing tent with FAO and Solafrica
It was exciting to run my workshop next to big organisations such as FAO, Greenpeace, Solafrica, Friends of the Earth etc. in the Global Development Village.
The village hosted about 4000 young participants each day and the themes of the workshops were; Environment and Sustainability, Human rights, Peace, Health and Entrepreneurship.
This short history lesson reminds me about my favourite message:
We need to learn to live as if we only had one Earth.
I am a part of the problem, why I also can be a part of the solution. Yesterday I went by train instead of by car, since every change in lifestyle matters. But it’s not easy to learn to live without fossil fuels.
The Post Carbon Institute says: It’s not the end of the world but we have to do four things fast
1) Learn to live without fossil fuels
2) Adapt to the end of economic growth as we know it
3) Support 7 billlion humans and sustain the population on a sustainable level
4) Deal with our legacy of environmental destruction
I find the political part of environmental science more and more exciting every day. From being a typical Nature Science-person I nowadays find the area of environmental policy making very engaging.
Environment and Development on the agenda
Waste managent is a great concern for all of us. Photo: V.Pietik 2008 Cambodja
It is important that all people are aware of the environment we live in and people should be guided to act in a way that does not lead to the extinction of species or act against human rights. In Swedish society we have been able to neglect the huge impact our behaviour has on the worldwide environment.
My dream is to work with environmental issues in a developing country. In 2008 I carried out fieldwork in Thailand in order to write my Master’s thesis “Look beyond the bin” about recycling.
It’s not waste until it’s wasted
In Sweden I teach about recycling and re-use by combining the theoretical part with a workshop where the participants create jewelery from trash. I call it “Pimp my Trash”.
In the future I’d like to bring my workshop abroad and teach more people about the benefits of remaking waste.
Environmental science is like the other sciences a discipline where knowledge is generated by finding, organising, measuring, and by establishing laws by hypothesis formulation and testing and making models.
Use of solar power is better than charcoal in forest village, northern Bangladesh? Foto: V.Pietik 2009
Environmental science is a quite modern discipline and a rapidly growing field. One objective of environmental science is to understand the systems and the relationship between the man-made world and the natural environment. By knowing how the environment works, ground rules can be developed for how to deal with the environment more effectively in the future.
We are part of nature
Environmental science studies the physical systems (rocks, soil and water), ecological systems (plants animals and other life forms inhabiting the planet) and chemistry (the substance flow on Earth, contamination and toxics) (Rydén ed. 2003).
Environmental knowledge takes into account that we are a part of nature. One definition of environmental science is that it is the interface between society and nature since it studies the impact of humans on nature and vice versa.
Why is recycling still not fully developed? Why still dumpsites? This one from Lithuania, photo: V.Pietik 2009
Environmental problems calls for new methods in risk prediction
Within the environmental science the new characteristics of risk, risk management and the risk society (Beck 1992) are of a specific nature.
Scientific methods change by time and the contemporary features of many environmental problems calls for new methods for example in risk prediction. I dare say that one of the specific characteristics of environmental science is the reflection on the growing concern about the impact of human activity on the natural world.
The opening seesion for the 5th world summit is just about to start in ten minutes. People have travelled here from all over our planet and no one knows what the outcomes of this amazing gathering will be.
The arena floor is slowly filling up with participants and speakers. They sit down around the round tables, look through their “Survival guides” (the program for the summit), chat with old friends or say hello to the unknown person next to them.
The atmosphere is calm and filled with anticipation. I guess the participants has as high expectations as I do (mine are up above the arena roof).
My job is to go and look for participants so that no one misses the welcoming session. Since this is going to be magical. I know…since I listened to the sound check…
”Take a chance” is not only a well known ABBA hit song from the 70’s. It is also an implication which refers perfectly to this world summit. Why? During the next days people will come to Sweden from all over the world to discuss local solutions for global development problems.
Take a chance! to present a sustainability project you have been devoted to during the past few years. Share your story with others during a workshop.
Take a chance! to learn from other local projects, innovations and solutions to solve environmental problems and be inspired to design your own job.
A particular line from the ABBA song is stuck in my mind; “I’m still free, take a chance on me”, and it makes me think of the high unemployment rate in Sweden. Youth unemployment is a disaster. When and how are people supposed to get their working experience? By queuing at the employment agency? Young people who are eager to work hard for a more environmentally sustainable future should not be left outside the job market. Give them a chance.
My wish for all people with the power to have an impact: Support young adults to make a reality of their dreams, to practice their theoretical knowledge, help them to start their own enterprise or hire them to work for you.
There are so many environmental problems to solve and so many people in the need for a job.