47 years ago, Earth got a day to be recognized. April 22nd has been designated as Earth Day. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin founded Earth Day in 1970 following a massive student's anti-war and peace movement of the previous year. The goal was to bring environmental preservation onto the United States’ political agenda. That first year, 20 million people all across America protested together against the deterioration of the Earth and it’s environment.
Since then over 184 countries and more than 1 billion people have joined the movement through different initiatives such as tech-ins, conferences, workshops, marches and thus building the world’s largest environmental movement.
This year, the Earth Day campaign focused on global environmental and climate literacy. The goal is to bring awareness to all students around the world for them to become the voices of tomorrow about climate change and environmental issues.
“Education is the key to advocacy and advocacy is the key to change.”
JUCCCE follows this year’s theme by developing a robust and engaging curriculum to educate young students in China about the importance of healthy eating habits for personal and planetary health. The Food Heroes Program use world-expert nutrition and health information, game strategy, and immersive learning to improve children’s diets.
To promote Food Heroes, on Wednesday, April 26 2017, Peggy Liu - Chairperson for JUCCCE - spoke at the Western International School of Shanghai (WISS) in front of over 100 students age 11 to 15 as part of the WISS Earth Week program. With an interactive presentation, Peggy was able to get all the students on stage to participate and internalize the critical messages of Earth Week.
The presentation was focused around 4 essential questions:
1. How are people responsible for creating climate change problem?
2. Does anyone have a plan to save the Earth from climate change?
3. What are 3 things I can do to make the biggest contribution to our Earth?
4. How can taking care of the Earth help take care of me?
Through those 4 questions we were able to cover a great number of topics such as food waste, the negative impact of processed sugar, deforestation, dying bees, beef pollution, car and coal pollution and ways to deal with them. After this talk, the goal is for the kids to become climate change experts themselves and spread the word on what they have learned to their fellow students, friends, families and teachers.
As of April 2017, there is a concrete plan to solve the climate change problem. The newly released book “Drawdown” describes the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming. Food is actually a big part of the top 20 solutions suggested in this book. Other initiatives in the book relate to education for women around the world, alternatives to refrigerants, green transportation development, and more. Engineering and Science play an important role in developing these substantive solutions. As a matter of fact, this year’s Earth Day organizers also teamed up with the March for Science in order to promote the importance of Science in our societies and encourage thorough scientific research in all fields.
JUCCCE advocates three simple steps that every individual can follow in order to help the Earth’s climate change problem:
(1) reduce your food waste
(2) eat a plant-base diet
(3) stop using disposable plastic
By following those 3 simple steps everyone helps taking care of the Earth and since the Earth is our home we are helping ourselves.