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22 April is International Mother Earth Day (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH SPANISH ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION)

24/7 VALENCIA: WHAT IS ECOEMBES?

ECOEMBES:: “Ecoembes is an environmental organization that promotes the circular economy through the recycling of plastic containers, cans and cartons (yellow container) and cardboard and paper containers (blue container) throughout Spain.

This would not be possible without the commitment of all citizens and that is why Ecoembes works to bring recycling closer to their day-to-day, both at home and outside of it, in their leisure moments, when traveling, in their places of work and in schools.

We take care of the planet.

We are aware that the future of our planet depends, to a great extent, on educating and raising awareness among the new generations from their earliest ages.

For this reason, Ecoembes has been developing initiatives such as EducaEnEco and Los Profes Cuentan for years to promote environmental education and the awareness of the little ones about the importance of caring for our environment through recycling.

We educate with environmental look.

‘Naturaliza’ wants to go one step further, introduce the environment in the classrooms and take the classrooms out into the environment.

The project is part of Ecoembes’ commitment to promote the circular economy – reduce the consumption of natural resources and promote recycling and contribute to improving the planet. We believe in a circular system where everything is transformed and used and, aware that this challenge entails a profound transformation throughout society, we set up Naturaliza to promote this change in mentality from education.”

24/7 VALENCIA: COULD YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT INTERNATIONAL MOTHER EARTH DAY?

ECOEMBES:: “To act globally we need to act together. The Earth is the home we all share and we can only take care of it by uniting under the same banner.

April is the month when the planet seems more alive than ever. Spring arrives and with it, its sounds and smells. Everything is filled with new flowers and a pleasant temperature envelops us. A month in which the calendar marks a very special date for us: 22 April is International Mother Earth Day, a day to remind our students and their families that the Earth is all we have, nothing more and nothing less than our home, and that is why we must take care of it as it deserves. And that was precisely the purpose of the first Earth Day in history, back in 1970: on that Wednesday 22 April, 20 million people took to the streets to demand better care for our ecosystems, our air, our animals and our rivers. Today, more than one billion people in 190 countries celebrate this day every year with different activities, contributing to the fight against the climate crisis and reminding us, once again, that we only have one planet and that it is our duty to learn to take care of it. And since it is in small gestures that big changes begin, Naturaliza encourages you to approach this Earth Day with your students through various activities to demonstrate what we can achieve if we work together.

Design the Earth flag

In recent years we have been learning to be of our planet, to recycle, to take care of our surroundings and to respect the environment. We have learned to change small things in our daily lives so that both teachers and students can be more sustainable, both inside and outside the classroom. And we have done this as a team because we know that the fight against the climate crisis can only be fought if we tackle it together.

We all have a place in this mission, without distinction, because environmental problems affect us all and it is up to us to find solutions. But to act globally we must first act locally, thinking of our planet as our home, a place where everyone is invited and where there are no borders that divide us, because we all want the same thing: that the Earth never ceases to be our home. But words are often carried away by the wind, so to give more volume to our message, we invite you to think about what you think the flag of our planet would look like together with your class. How could it best represent the fight for the climate? Would it carry a symbol or just a colour? What colour? Which colour do you think best represents what we want to show? Why? What shape would this flag be?

That’s a lot of questions, but don’t let your students worry: there is no wrong answer! Every way of thinking is unique and all ideas are good when it comes to caring for our planet. In fact, it is not the first time that someone has come up with a flag that represents the Earth as if it were just another country. The best known example is that of activist John McConell who, in 1973, took his pencil and created a flag to raise awareness of environmental issues. Every Earth Day, his creation resurfaces, featuring a version of a NASA photograph of the planet.

The Spaniard Pedro Manuel Quesada presented this proposal in 2008, it is composed of four stripes of blue, green, brown and orange.

The International Flag of Planet Earth, on the other hand, was designed in 2015 by Oskar Pernefeldt to remind people that we share this planet, regardless of national borders, and that we must take care of each other and the environment in which we live. The blue represents water, without which we could not survive. The intersecting circles form a flower in the middle – a symbol of life – and represent that everything on Earth is connected.

And there are a thousand more examples! But I’m sure you and your students also have a great idea in your heads – why don’t you get to work?
And after designing the flag… let’s have an event!

Your flag will be the loudspeaker of your own message, so it needs to be seen. Once you have it, we suggest holding an outdoor event with your students and even other classes to raise your flags outdoors, for example in the school playground: you can put them on a pole or hang them from the school windows so that everyone can see them. To celebrate Earth Day in style, you can organise a small ceremony in which you read a short text about the importance of taking care of the planet. At Naturaliza we suggest that you prepare, either on your own or as a group, a manifesto where you explain why it is important to celebrate Earth Day and how you are going to do it from now on. To do this, we suggest you answer the following questions:

What worries you most about the future of the Earth?

What three rules do you think children of your age could apply to take care of the planet?

What does reduce, reuse and recycle mean to you?

What do you think you can teach the children who come after you?

How can you get involved in caring for biodiversity?

What needs to change in the way we live?

And here is an example of a manifesto to inspire you. But remember, it’s the ideas of each student and teacher that count – let them flow!
Don’t forget the hymn…

Since music is the best way to make our ideas known, it’s also important to choose an anthem for this Earth Day ceremony. Have you heard any planet-related songs you’ve liked recently? We have a few in our Spotify playlist, but we encourage you to include songs that you and your class think represent your values.”

Interview by 24/7 Valencia team

Article copyright 24/7 Valencia

More info: https://www.naturalizaeducacion.org/

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