Author: Reshana is a student at Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School, NY.
Hello my name is Reshana. I am 12 years old and I attend Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School (MELS). This school, empowers students by helping them understand the impact of their daily actions as well as the actions of others. By using New York City as their extended classroom, students learn that sustainability means meeting our current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Through their authentic, project-based learning expeditions in all disciplines, as well as their experiences in science and technology, students become critical thinkers who gather information, carefully weigh their options, and make informed, thoughtful choices that effect change. Students, once empowered, will take action to maintain and create sustainable systems within their neighborhood, community, city, state, country, and world. Along with regular classes my school also has expeditions and case studies, which provide students with in-depth, investigative units of study across the curriculum that engage students in real-world learning experiences. We also have fieldwork and experts which allow student to work, serve, and learn outside of the classroom. My school is open to different things.
As I was saying before about my school having expeditions, our latest one is “The Price of Progress”. We have to give up something that pollutes the earth. For example fast food, computer, light etc. As we do this we must blog about it.
At the beginning of the expedition we watch a film called “No Impact Man”. This film was about a man who decides to give up electricity, restaurants, transportation, etc. for a year to help the environment and to show us that some of the things we use every day isn’t necessary. My ELA project is similar to “No Impact Man”. In order to do this project, first we created a list of 10 things that would be hard to give up from the hardest to the easiest. Once you have done, I recommend you pick something in the middle. After that you can start committing to your sacrifice for a month but if you are really committed to it you can do it for a year. I would advise you to keep a journal. Write everyday of how you are feeling about your commitment. I did this for my commitment. I had given up TV; I know people would say I am crazy for giving up TV, but I am not. When I gave up TV it was hard for a couple of days but then I got used to it. On some days I am tempted because those are the days my shows are showing, but I didn’t give in to my temptation, because I reminded myself why I was doing this and it worked. Since my class did the project in May and that was when all my shows were ending I was going crazy. I would try this another month in the summer because I am going to be outside mainly so I don’t have to worry about TV.
I would think no TV is still worth it. According to eva.gov/state in 2013 New York had the fourth highest average electricity prices in the United States. If you think about it, if my carbon footprint is only 25% (as a child) imagine what an adult might be and a family. Then each building in New York. Also, in 2011, New York was the eighth largest energy consumer among the 50 states. I could imagine that LA was number one, but we are so close to becoming number one with new technology coming out. We need to cut back on the products we are buying and making. According to my science class most of the products we use are made out of fossil fuel. In order to get this fossil fuel we pollute and cause destructions in so many ways. There is a lot that goes into making products we use. And when these products are discarded and thrown out we are still polluting.
With my school we are provided with many experiences that educate us in many ways. In ELA I learned that everything we use somehow impact the environment and how I can help to preserve the environment and its beauty by eliminating the things that cause the environment harm. Even though I gave up TV that only helped the environment a little. I feel like I could have helped the environment more by asking my family to do the challenge with me. In order to make a real difference we need to do this together. Our future generations deserves a better world. Don’t you think we need to save the environment and make a better future?