Earth day the virtual way
On April 22nd, 2020, people all over the world gathered to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
Here at the Aga Khan School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the COVID-19 lockdown meant we had to find creative ways to encourage our students to celebrate from home. Earth Day raises awareness about climate change and environmental protection. It is a day to remind all of us to look after our Earth so that we can enjoy its beauty and resources for many years to come. Over a billion people around the world now celebrate this day by organizing community events such as marches, beach clean-ups, and tree planting. This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns resulted in many cancelled Earth Day celebrations.
So, instead of having an Earth Day assembly or special event at the Nursery School, we teachers and our students decided to convey our messages digitally. We wanted to inform others that we must all protect our planet, and explain how they could play their part from home.
Our message was loud and clear: no matter how big or small the impact, you can and should do your part. Students came up with innovative ways we can all make a difference from home, including using reusable bottles instead of plastic, turning off lights and taps when they are not in use, eating ice cream from a cone instead of a cup, using both sides of a paper when drawing and writing, making art out of unused or old household items (such as toilet paper rolls), eating fruits rather than pre-packaged foods so there is less plastic waste, and littering less.
Our students are doing their part in saving our beautiful planet Earth, and they invite you to do yours. After all, this pandemic is a reminder that if we don’t immediately change how we treat our planet, we will be faced with more challenging times in the future.
By Erem Kassam, Early Years Coordinator, Aga Khan Education Service Tanzania