Climate change is a serious issue that will affect future generations even more than it affects those currently contributing to (or denying) the pressing problem. Many young people already realize the great challenge laid out before them to clean up the mess left by their ancestors. Instead of furthering the problem or adopting the ways of their predecessors, many of the members of the next generation want to start changing Now.
One school in Littleton, Colorado has turned itself into a demonstration in sustainability. Mackintosh Academy began this experiment by winning the President’s Environmental Youth Award with their proposal to install solar panels on the roof of their school. This was the first step in a chain of events that led to the idea of creating a smart village on the school campus. The entire campus became one self-contained classroom where the students studied conservation and sustainability and worked toward the goal of zero waste by means of recycling and conservative energy practices.
Ironically, the students discovered that the ways of the future might be centered around remembering the ways of times past. They studied and put into practice ancient conservation methods such as terrace farming used by the Incas. They built greenhouses and started compost heaps. They grew produce and sold it to support future efforts. The students practice simplicity and even have a “how low can you go” day in which they consciously try to avoid using any more electricity than their solar panels provide.
These students have realized that in order to have a better Tomorrow, we must make changes in our attitudes and routines Today, starting precisely NOW.