Whatever problems the world faces, there is always the issue of the Environmental Pollution. In a capitalist society which relies on continual growth as a mark of its success, resolving this issue is challenging. The issue is further exacerbated by the increasing world population.

Schools have the ability to develop and implement policies and programmes to promote Sustainability locally and globally

The solution lies in educating not only young people, but adults as well. However, if education is to be effective, schools unavoidably will bear the larger responsibility. It is up to the adults to make decisions which facilitate the education of students. Space needs to be made in the curriculum for all children to learn about the issue of environmental pollution.

From primary school onwards, children would be required to not only learn about sources of pollution, but also the solutions and what is being done. The information and facts are important. Not only should children learn about the causes of, and possible solutions to environmental pollution but they should also be encouraged to put theory into practice – encourage your children to be environmental warriors.

Everyone of course, is entitled to their opinion. However, the overwhelming evidence points in the direction that human activities are damaging the world in which we live -in some cases this may be irreparable. We do not want enter into a feedback loop for global warming – then there would be no coming back.

Be aware of easy solutions which may appear to offer a solution but in fact cause a greater problem than they create. For example, biofuels may appear to be a substitute for petroleum. But what has to be taken into account with biofuels, is the amount of deforestation it may cause. Unless trees and other plants are grown specifically for the purpose of deforestation, using biofuels results in greater destruction of the environment.

Education is a doubled edged sword. It is the road to salvation. Not only does it enable people in developed countries to understand the problem and to find solutions, but it also helps solve the problem of an ever-increasing population in developing countries. Educating girls in developing countries, is one of the largest single contributors to controlling the population growth. Evidence indicates that girls who do not complete Year 7, have an average of 6 children. Those who complete Year 12, have an average of 2 children.

One of the greatest challenges is international cooperation. What countries have to understand is that they must sometimes forgo their national priorities for the greater good- that is if progress is to made.

We can always work in our own sphere. Make your School green. To find some suggestions on how this can done, read our June newsletter.

About the Author

PhD in European Languages and Cultures (specialising in Literary Translation) Department of International Studies Macquarie University