Scholars discuss methods to improve the environment


Photo by Kelsey Misbrener

Kelsey Misbrener

The U.S. isn’t the only country focused on “going green.”

In Ecuador, Bangladesh, Lebanon and Indonesia, high schools incorporate environmental awareness into everyday life.

Four international scholars from those countries spoke Tuesday in White Hall as part of the “Cultural Dialogue” series on the topic of “caring for the environment.”

The scholars agreed global warming is a huge problem, along with different natural and man-made disasters specific to their region, like logging or forest fires.

To conserve energy and preserve the environment, the schools’ teachers said they try to educate their students.

“We have made a school flower garden, planted more trees and clean our school environment every day,” said Swapur Mohajon, an English teacher from Bangladesh.

Betty Rahmawati, a social studies teacher from Indonesia, said she doesn’t depend solely on the government to improve the environment; she thinks it’s everyone’s responsibility.

“I point one finger to the government but four fingers to me,” said Rahmawati.

In her school’s “Think Globally, Act Locally” project, students must make a plan of action that goes along with one of the five R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, respect and replant.

Some students choose to make a nursery and others organize tree-planting events.

“The agent of change in this project is students – not us,” Rahmawati said.

Fabiola Cordero, an English teacher from Ecuador, said a student invented a water treatment system that treats water in 24 hours so it can be used for irrigation.

Following the discussion, Daniel Mahony, dean of the College of Education Health and Human Services, presented the scholars with certificates for their efforts.

Rita Palkovic, senior middle childhood education major, said she was impressed that other countries take initiative to help the environment in the schools.

“A lot of educators say, ‘The government will take care of it,’” Palkovic said, “but I think kids have a lot of pull.”

Kelsey Misbrener is the College of Education, Health and Human Services reporter.

Contact Kelsey Misbrener at [email protected].