In the next few weeks Teach the Future Scotland will be launched. This will be led by a group of students across Scotland and supported by Scottish Youth Climate Strike (SYCS) and NUS Scotland.
Meanwhile, they have written to John Swinney MSP the cabinet secretary for Education in the Scottish Parliament asking for an economic recovery that creates green jobs and improves the mental health of young people. In the letter, they highlighted the need for a green recovery urging that all existing education buildings be retrofitted to a net-zero standard, and all new education buildings need to be built to a net-zero standard. The letter is here. ∫∫∫
The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), which represents recycling bodies in 102 countries. says that consumption of single-use plastic may have grown by 250-300% in the USA since the coronavirus pandemic began. Much of that increase is down to demand for products designed to keep covid-19 at bay, including masks, visors and gloves. A forecast from Grand View Research estimates that the global disposable-mask market will grow from an estimated $800m in 2019 to $166bn in 2020. As the Economist noted, pity the oceans.
And then there’s the huge growth in on-line shopping where plastic packaging is widespread, and this is often plastic that cannot (yet) be recycled. Not to mention the growth in the consumption of take-away foods and supermarket home deliveries all of which can be plastic-heavy. Industry insiders worry that many the gains recently made in relation to single-use plastics may have been lost. ∫∫∫
National Insect Week encourages people of all ages to learn more about insects. Every two years, the Royal Entomological Society organises the week, supported by a large number of partner organisations with interests in the science, natural history and conservation of insects. Their website has details of a photography competition, and discover insect pages. There are also learning resources such as a Garden Entomology booklet. You can also help scientists know more by making a biological record, that tells them where and when you saw something. There’s also an insect isles project. ∫∫∫
The Economist has detail about Brazilian deforestation. It reports that an area the size of France has lost its trees since 1970, and that most of the current losses are illegal. The article reports on the difficulties in getting accurate data on how Brazil’s exports of soya and cattle depend on deforestation. Its usual high quality graphs can be seen here. ∫∫∫
World Scouting has launched Earth Tribe a new education initiative for environmental action. This is a a global movement of young people taking individual and collective action for the environment. Through a series of Earth Tribe Challenges, there will be opportunities to create personal journey to tackle some of the most pressing environmental challenges facing the planet: climate change, fossil fuel reliance, rising consumption habits, and a loss of nature and biodiversity. ∫∫∫
CPRE is launching a Post-coronavirus regeneration manifesto to discuss how government should help us regenerate ourselves, our green spaces and our rural economies. Speakers will include:
- Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee
- Mike Amesbury MP, Shadow Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government
- Caroline Lucas MP, Former Leader of the Green Party
The event will take place from 9 to 10 am on Wednesday 1 July 2020, with a copy of CPRE’s manifesto, an agenda and joining instructions provided in advance. Just click this Eventbrite link to reserve a place. ∫∫∫
UNESCO strongly believe that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) can contribute during and after the pandemic by helping to build resilience and to transform our lives towards a more sustainable world. It is planning a series of monthly webinars between September 2020 – April 2021 to explore the “transformative power of ESD” for creating the world beyond Covid-19. These are organized in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany and the German National Commission for UNESCO and will inform the discussions at the World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, which will be held from 17 – 19 May 2021 in Berlin. In turn, this will begin the new programme ESDfor2030. More information will be shared through the ESD newsletter and the UNESCO websites in due course. ∫∫∫
UNESCO also asks: how can ESD be supported digitally and remotely and how can ESD happen in environments with little access to technology during the pandemic? UNESCO would like to hear from you with details of the creative solutions you have found to practice ESD digitally or remotely during the pandemic. It would like to share stories and good practices through webinars, its website and other channels to provide opportunities to learn from the community. So, If you have an ESD and Covid-19 story to share, you can submit a short description (in French or English) to firstname.lastname@example.org by 20 July 2020. ∫∫∫
The Voucher Alarm website has tips on saving energy, water and other items; many of these have an environmental theme. ∫∫∫
This year’s TEESNet conference will take place online on Thursday 17th September 2020. Its theme is: Education as a Pedagogy of Hope and Possibility: The Role of Teacher Education in Leading Narratives of Change. Organisers say that the conference seeks to address the pivotal role of teacher education in promoting collective, critical and creative responses, and that it will “provoke exploration of, and address responses to, global challenges and the ways in which these challenges suggest different approaches or narratives.” Early bird tickets are available until June 30th. ∫∫∫