Jan Mar 2015

Jan Mar 2015
The Green Schools Movement

Let's make our schools go green

Green schools can actually make a difference. Several schools and authors tell us how: the stories that we have come across and the sheer numbers of schools that are trying to be part of the solution give us hope that the Green Schools Movement may be quietly bringing some sanity into the world.

Editorial

Awareness about the need of living with ecological wisdom is not lacking, going by what we see in the papers and the TV, almost everyday. Most educated people have heard of climate change and the importance of reducing our carbon foot print. (Most ‘uneducated’ people would anyway be living with a low carbon foot print)

A new Krishnamurti school quietly came into being when Pathashaala started on 19 August 2010 in a mixed age classroom with 14 students and 3 teachers. As one of the many projects of The School, Pathashaala began when KFI could complete the purchase of land at Vallipuram, 90 km south of Chennai in 2006, at an affordable price. The idea of a small residential school for 120 students emerged – we decided to start with class 5 and grow slowly.

Rema Kumar shares her experience of getting her students to reflect on the curriculum given to them by the school system and re-work for themselves more meaningful ways of learning about Mother Earth.

Schools, parents and children are focused on exams, college education and careers. While this may be considered natural, can we prepare children also, for a future that will be upon us in 10, 20 or 50 years? When the major day to day issues our children will have to deal with will include wholesome food without chemicals, our water and energy sources becoming scarce and waste disposal becoming critical and so on. More importantly, many of these issues can perhaps be dealt with only through cooperation and local community involvement.

In environmental circles, one hears often about green schools or eco-schools. We are talking here of schools that practise principles of green living, not ones which merely include environmental sciences as an academic subject. Since Governments do not have documented data about such schools, we decided to look up websites. NGOs and International Organisations supported by the UN do have some data, which we present below.

What is truly great can also be very simple.

For humanity, the perfect relationship is one of love 

The thoughts and sentiments I express in my writings have their philosophical foundation, but I lack the training of the professional philosopher. In India, philosophy infects the very atmosphere we breathe. Quite unconsciously, I shape all my thoughts and my life on the philosophical teaching of the Upanishads. I can therefore only discuss with you what I consider to be the central idea in our own religion.

Smart by Nature - the fruit of two decades of work by the Center for Ecoliteracy, a public foundation in Berkeley, California, dedicated to education for sustainable living - is the center’s framework for schooling for sustainability.