May 30th, 2008
I had the pleasure of being able to speak to a group of 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at Creekside Elementary School here in San Diego on Tuesday night. The topic of discussion was a recent article written by Michael Pollen for the New York Times, entitled “Why Bother.” His article discusses quite a few issues, but the main theme seemed to be about the importance of “doing something” to benefit our environment and ourselves (and more specifically, starting your own vegetable garden). Pollen includes some interesting facts about human specialization, personal responsibility for the environment and the bane of cheap energy.
So…the kids and I talked about a couple of simple (but important) things that Pollen pointed out in his article: Growing your own garden and going vegetarian one day a week (eating less meat). They were enthusiastic and really knew a lot about both topics. It was refreshing to see that many of them were already growing their own fruits and vegetables at home. The students understood that having a garden symbolized more than just growing food. They knew that it saves money, brings neighbors closer, produces less greenhouse gases, creates less waste, increases independence, it’s good excercise, and the list goes on.
This was the first time I’ve ever spoken to an audience (nevermind, young students) about these topics, but I felt it went very well. The kids were great participants in the conversation and I was shocked at how much they already knew about the environment and food. I left the school feeling encouraged that the next generation are more aware of their actions and will hopefully be good stewards to this planet.
Thank you Creekside Elementary for giving me the opportunity to speak with you.