Although Earth Day isn’t until April 22, the Foundation’s Education Committee likes to plan ahead. We believe Earth Day is an important day that allows us to focus on what we can do for the planet that is our home. Before the pandemic, the Foundation had an Earth Day teach-in for students from South Kitsap High School where we would bring in people from the Environmental Protection Agency to talk to the students about their jobs, environmental issues, and how to heal environmental ills. We hope to return to that model this year with the possibility of having people from the Kitsap Conservation District join us.
This year we’d like to do more than just a teach-in event. We’d like to widen our reach to connect with a broader, more diverse audience. As the Education Committee chair, I’ve been considering what that might look like and looking for inspiration. Sometimes inspiration comes from unexpected directions. I have a Little Free Library and recently found a young adult novel by James Patterson that someone had left in it. The book was about a 12-year-old genius named Max Einstein and her genius friends at the Change Makers Institute. The Change Makers Institute works at tackling the big issues facing our world. There are currently four volumes in the series. In the latest volume, the kids look at how they can address the issue of climate change.
One of the things that struck me about the solutions the kids brainstormed in the book is that because climate change is a global issue, a lot of the solutions are huge undertakings. When the solution is presented as reducing carbon emissions by a significant percentage by a future date, it doesn’t seem like something that the average person can accomplish. However, if a solution is for people to choose one day a week to not drive, or to institute a meatless Monday, plant a tree, or to paint their black roof white, all things make the seemingly impossible actually possible for the average person. Ordinary citizens making small personal changes can have a big effect on the climate.
The Education Committee is going to be looking at ways that we can encourage people to take the personal actions that they can as part of our Earth Day celebration this year. We’ll be brainstorming ideas in the next few months and strategizing how we can most effectively encourage people to make their own commitments to fighting climate change. If you have ideas and want to share them with us, you can email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.