To be honest, listening to everyone else’s presentations, scared me. There was so much scary information that I had not been exposed to before. Even though it scares me, I think it was important for me to learn about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, overpopulation problems, melting glaciers, deforestation and loss of connection. All of these presentations have made me aware of the world both near and far. Awareness has been a huge part of my Action Learning process and also listening to everyone else’s has widened my awareness to things I was not interested in before.
My Action learning journey in the last couple of months really opened my eyes to the food that I eat and how much garbage comes from that food. Before starting this project, I never thought of these issues and now every time I go to the grocery store or am eating something, I am thinking of it. It was a difficult task to cut down on plastic bags/saran wrap and even foods with minimal packaging. I really had to think about what my best choice would be and act accordingly. This has really heightened my awareness about food/packaging and how I can make better choices for me and the environment. I came to school one day with my food in saran wrap and I actually felt guilty. I think this shows how awareness becomes internalized and makes us feel guilty or ashamed when we know the consequences of these actions. Now I feel that things like remembering to take my reusable bag to the grocery store or conserving water and energy have turned into everyday habits.
My journal this week I drew a representation of the wheels of awareness turning. The presentations, the class and my own Action Learning has really got these wheels of awareness going. Everywhere that I go now I am thinking about how “I need to shut those lights off,” making sure that I cut down on the time that I shower and watching what I eat. I was driving down Ring Road today and someone in their huge diesel truck was throwing pop cans and wrappers out of the truck. Honestly, before this class I probably wouldn’t have thought much about it, but now it made me so angry to see that. I wish more people cared about the environment and could partake in this journey of awareness. I was really excited to bring awareness to young children at Frontier School and get them involved in this process alongside me. They were so excited to be a part of this and help me with my project. We worked together the parents, teachers and students to make 3 garbage bags turn into 1. I think it is important to have support and a community base that will help in making these small changes into bigger changes. As an educator I will take these issues into the classroom to bring awareness. I also want to get children started early in caring for the environment and in doing the little things like turning off lights and picking up garbage to become a habit in their life.