Perhaps Tolstoy had the right idea?
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself
I have blogged before about my problem with NIMBY’s and how we seem to suffer from that attitude more in this country than any other in Europe. I am trying to improve my families green credentials; our car is being down sized, we don’t use it for short journeys, we are much more aware of energy usage and we recycle everything we can. The younger generation also seem to embrace this approach much more readily than those of us of an older disposition! Perhaps this should tell us something?
I believe education has a lot to do with the way forwards on this issue. I am chair of Governors at the local Primary School – Edwalton Primary – which is a beacon school for sustainability and has, I would like to think, helped to make its pupils far more caring future members of society.
The school has a farm with sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and bees. The pupils look after the animals but are also aware of their long-term destination – the dinner plate. We have recently acquired a new building at the school which provides an ‘eco room’ useable by the community and groups with green agendas to meet and use the schools environment for its education.
The school also acts as a guardian for Rushcliffe Borough Council of the Meadow Covert, a wooded copse next to the school which also provides an outdoor classroom for summer teaching.
The recent changes to the school grounds has caused a move to some of the children’s gardens (they all have their own small plot). Rather than cause a problem this has exploded the interest in gardens and there is now a waiting list! The school grounds also look amazing because of the gardens!
All of this has been the culmination of many years of development at the school in relation to its sustainability and other green matters. The current Headmaster, Brian Owens has total commitment to the aims and beliefs of the school and is one of the most driven individuals I have ever met. The kids also have a huge respect for him and even more importantly are totally behind the ethics of the school – it is a very special place! Ask any of them and they really feel they belong to the school.
The school are also winners of the DCFS Award for Sustainable Schools – East Midlands Region, and Brian Owens has been awarded The GTC Carol Adams Memorial Award for Excellence in Professional Development, Equalities and Diversity.
Tolstoy was quite right, it is down to the individual to make the changes in society which will benefit us all, we cannot rely on our leaders and large industry to make these changes. We have started well with our kids – let’s now try and re-educate ourselves to help everyone – not just ourselves!