On April 22nd, 2011, the Earth celebrated its 41st Earth Day. This day was founded due to a crude oil leakage in 1969, California, US, which led Senate Nelson to advocate the need for a designated day for the Earth to recall the Earth’s preciousness and its vulnerable nature. As a result, Dennis Hays, a Harvard student at the time, was chosen to declare the foundation of the Earth Day. Moreover, 20 million American citizens launched a campaign urging others to live environmental-friendly lifestyle. Since 1970, the Earth Day has officially become an internationally celebrated day for the sake of the Earth and its well being.
Picture of the first earth day, US, 1970/ picture by Google
Korea also celebrated the Earth day this year. One of the events was the ‘2011 Unplugged Concert’. It was held in the City Hall Oval, where hundreds of people brought their own musical instruments. However, the instruments had to be played ‘unplugged’ to electricity. The whole concert was very dimly lighted compared to typical concerts, but it was intended to save electricity. The electricity used during the entire concert was fulfilled by the power generator that citizens generated all day long. It was a very meaningful concert in many ways and gave people a refreshing jolt- that there were endeavors around to be found that anyone could contribute to save the earth.
‘2011 Unplugged Concert’ held in the City Hall Oval/ picture by the writer herself
These days, more and more students are getting interested in learning about the environment. However, the endeavors are often short-termed or hard to reach by students. All in all, , students cannot make changes in the world only with their passion. But, some excellent programs are being organized to help students raise awareness about the environment through actions.
In Jungnang Youth Center, the ‘Environment Club’ was organized, consisting of high school to middle school students. It is supported by Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. While many of the environment-related programs only last for several months at the most, this program is held throughout a year, emphasizing the importance of consistent care for the Earth. “Tuvalu”, it is called. The name is after a nation which is having problem with drowning underwater by the effects of the climate change.
'Tuvalu' environment club, in Jungnang Youth Center/ picture by the writer herself
The program has its unique and friendly approach towards studying current environmental problems: traveling and observing nature. It is different from any other environment related events – it is more than hard lectures, or hearings that only plea for people to think of environment because it is a moral issue. To describe its motto: ‘A good education is made with one fourth of theory and the other thirds of practice and application.’
What the world really needs is action, and mankind’s introspection towards their regrettable deeds/ picture by
On April 9th, 2011, orientation for the club was held in Jungnang Youth Center by Park Cha Yong, the Team Manager for the project. He said, “Many of us do know there is an environmental problem, but we don’t know by heart why it is desperate and time sensitive.”
Kim Mi Kyung, a mother of a male participant quoted, “It is an issue we all have to take in seriously. It may seem trivial when we act environmental-friendly out of pure love for the earth, but I believe my child should have his responsibility towards the world he would soon be in charge.”
A female participant, Hong Ji Soo(15), “My dream is to become a veterinarian, and I have realized the number of species were decreasing because of human activities that are detrimental to ecology, consequently leading to climate change and environment destruction. I would like to realize the seriousness of current situation through experiences on the environmental front borders, because it seems it would never come to me when I am in my chairs. I want my children to know that the earth is a good place to live.”
It is a great scene to notice that many students believe environmental needs more than academic research and debate. What it really needs is action, and mankind’s introspection towards their regrettable deeds.