Inspirational young people have brought concerns about our damaged planet into the mainstream. And youngsters are leading calls for more sustainable lifestyles, greener approaches to business and government action across the world. International schools are challenging themselves to tailor the education they offer to prepare their students to tackle the environmental problems we face.
"Educators must make all young people aware about sustainability as it's now a significant part of the culture students are growing up in. Moreover, children are increasingly interested in it," said Paul Schofield, the Principal of St Andrews International School Bangkok. "If schools don't get this right, where will we be in 15 or 20 years time?" he asks.
Young student leaders at St Andrews fueled the initiative to develop an action plan focusing on the changes they would like to see which would have the greatest impact on sustainability in their school and community. The 7 to 11-year-olds worked tirelessly during after school club time to put their plans into practice.
For example, after learning about the environmental effects of animal agriculture, children met with the school’s catering company to discuss lowering meat consumption. The students explained their reasoning to fellow pupils, teachers and parents during assemblies and events. All children provided feedback on the new menu and St Andrews became the first school in Thailand to implement Meat Free Monday.