This is a guest blog post from Anna Hughes, one of Atlanta's green youth leaders
On Saturday October 12, 2013 I ventured downtown to the CNN building to attend a workshop entitled ACE Youth Action Lab (YAL) and had a blast. This workshop focused on the topic of climate change and how it is affecting our world today. Little did I know that almost every activity I do affects our environment. For example, just driving my car and charging my phone releases more emissions into Earth's atmosphere than usual. Now if I knew that before, I would not be charging my phone all the time in the car. Also, throwing away plastic bottles does not help either. Over 75% of waste is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it. We generate 21.5 millions tons of food waste each year. If we composted that food, it would reduce the same amount of greenhouse gas as taking 2 million cars off the road. And why don't we do it? Most Americans do not realize by just doing a small task like making a compost, it would help our environment so much. People do not hate the environment, but our parents grew up in a society that was not conscious of how important the environment is and how much effort it takes to not pollute it. So let's change that.
Just like the Lorax says, "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not." We can inform the people to care and make better choices by using the media technique of a call to action. A call to action uses words to urge the audience to take an immediate action such as "Write Now", "Call Now", or "Click Here". By creating this call to action, people become informed about many different ways they can help improve the environment. My favorite activity of the workshop was creating a call to action. Even though we did not have to write ours about climate, I was able to understand why they are so important.
Here is mine:
"My name is Anna and I am a dancer. Dance is my form of expression that makes me feel the most beautiful. Through the blood, sweat, and tears I hope you can see the love, dedication and passion I have for dance. I would not trade anything in my life for the feeling I get when I dance because it feels as though my soul has reached enlightenment. If you do not think dance is life, let me show you how to breathe. Click here to donate to support the arts."
By doing anything that you love, your love for life deepens and gives you a profound sense of respect for everything in your life, which includes the environment.
We had a great group of kids who all wanted to learn more about what we could do for environment. Everyone was able to work together and share knowledge with others that not everyone knew about. You can see pictures from the workshop here.
I am so glad that I was able to participate in this workshop that furthered my knowledge of climate and made me want to do more with preserving our environment. Because of this workshop, it has inspired me to join the eco team at my school, and to think more about what I can do to help our environment. I really enjoyed learning about how media can be connected to climate change by presenting a call to action which can help inform people of what they can do to help. I am hoping to work more in the field of preserving our beautiful Earth and I hope you will too!
Here are some great websites that give tips of how you can start the process of saving our environment: