What is really good for us and for our planet?

Here is a challenge for older children, which will help to form critical thinking skills.

During the first stages as the Covid-19 pandemic spread in Europe, several cities saw a huge reduction in air pollution thanks to the lower number of vehicles circulating due to law restrictions. Tourism had temporarily halted and that reduced the amount of waste produced by hotels and other industries linked to the tourism sector.

However, that improvement was only temporary as now we start to find disposable PPE kits (form masks, gloves, suits and visors) thrown back into the oceans that some people of good will had started cleaning.

On top of that, some have now suggested that we should go back to using disposable plastic straws as they are more hygienic than the non-disposable ones. This is one example of how people (say plastic straw producers) are exploiting the fact that we “need” disposable plastic to survive Covid-19. The problem is that the need for plastic straws or other disposable items are an absolute necessity only for people with certain disabilities or other serious conditions. For the rest of us, things like this are an unnecessary luxury.

So here’s a challenge… Make a chart with three columns.

  • In the first column, list things that you have heard are necessary because of Covid-19.
  • In the second and third columns, respond YES or NO to these two questions about each item: Is this item really necessary for people? Is it good for the environment?

You may need to do some investigating in order to answer those questions. Please note that some things might look good when they are not, and other not so good-looking alternatives might be a better choice in the long term.

Once you have completed your chart, you may want to think of creative alternatives for the not-so-good items. See if you can come up with alternatives that would be good for all people and good for the planet too.

I am sure that you have the power to come up with the best ideas for our future. I would love to hear your answers and super ideas. If you would like to share them, please send them to Sr Imelda Ann.


Miss Franceschi