Keeping the Environment Clean

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Hola Global Grade 3,

 I have a quote, quite an old one, to show you thoughts of the environment are not just a modern idea…

That which is not good for the bee-hive cannot be good for the bees.

Marcus Aurelius (121 - 180)

Roman emperor, philosopher

Meditations, bk. 6, sct. 54.

 Over 1800 years ago a Roman emperor recognized if what we do isn’t good for the environment, it can’t possibly be good for us. It makes me wonder why many still don’t understand the message. Yet, from your final thoughts, I can see you understand…

 “we wish people would work TOGETHER to help take care of the environment!”

Here is a picture I found on the web. It is a NASA photo taken by the Apollo 17 crew. When out in space, you can see the entire world as a planet in space. It's the only world we have. If we don't take care of it and care about the people in it, we can't just pack up and go somewhere else. We need to keep our home clean.

 Like many things in life, we need to make choices and try to lead by example. Mayor Nenshi was setting the example by formulating his challenge and then being seen to take part. You have all set an example for your community I know you will carry throughout your lives.

 For me, picking up papers and other rubbish around the school was a positive thing to do although I had seen teachers punish children by making them clean up. Children knew I carried jellybeans in my first aid kit for any diabetic children. They knew if they had picked up papers around the school they would be given some for their efforts.

 Looking at the two options and what might result…

  1. Picking up rubbish as a punishment – People grow thinking such an activity is a negative experience and something not to do. Littering can then be a protest of what has been or a sign of indifference.

  2. Picking up papers by choice – People grow thinking of such activities as positive experiences. They see keeping the environment clean as a good thing.

Your experience has been positive and you have discovered how effective keeping the environment clean can be. You have discovered the benefits of being change makers and how we can all help others even if only in small ways.

According to an old saying, “From little seeds, great trees can grow.”

This school year you have all planted many seeds and they have already started to grow strong and tall. The butterfly wings have flapped and we wait to see the positive changes the future may bring.

From my research, I can see your school year has only two weeks remaining at the time of this post. I would like to thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences with me. Your posts always seemed to send my mind off in different directions and led to a number of extended comments. 🙂


Teacher, NSW, Australia


One thought on “Keeping the Environment Clean

  1. The Grade Three Bloggers

    Hola Ross!

    Thank you for your wonderful compliment … it made us feel GREAT to know that our blog posts have inspired you as MUCH as your comments have inspired AND taught us!

    It was hard to believe that Marcus Aurelius wrote the beehive quote almost 2000 years ago. It makes us wonder if littering was a big problem 1800 YEARS ago too! It MUST have been if Aurelius was writing about taking care of the earth and the earth’s creatures! We know there weren’t as many as 7 billion people living on the earth … like there are now. Mrs. Renton told us a little about the Middle Ages. Some of us have seen some National Geographic shows on T.V. that have told us about what towns and cities were like in the Middle Ages. There were a lot of diseases, like the black plague, back then because when people went to the bathroom, or they had scraps left over from dinner, and they would just throw ALL this stuff out the window. People walking below, in the streets, would get dumped on and covered with all kinds of disgusting garbage. They also almost NEVER washed themselves, either. Rats and other animals that can cause diseases LOVED to live in the streets of these towns and cities because it was easy to get food!

    One thing we discovered was that when there weren’t a lot of people on the earth … there wasn’t as much garbage because people lived off the land. We are SO lucky to live in a time where people recycle … and cities take good care of landfills. But … we did a little more research because we wanted to know if recycling and taking stuff to the landfill was really working. When we dug a little further to find out how long it takes for things that SHOULD be recycled to decompose if they were sent to the landfill instead, boy … were WE surprised.

    Here is some of the shocking information we discovered:

    – glass takes 1 to 2 million years to decompose
    – plastic bags take 20 to 1000 years to decompose, depending on the kind of bag
    – aluminum cans can take 200 to 500 years to decompose.

    To read MORE … check out THIS blog:
    Wow. On top of THAT … we discovered that gum NEVER decomposes because it is made with non-biodegradable materials like latex or rubber.

    We don’t think that picking up garbage should be a punishment … it should be something that EVERYONE does because it is the RIGHT way to take care of the earth and the people and animals that live on it.

    Ross, we have learned SO much from you. Thank you for helping us to learn by stretching our learning and helping us to grow our wings.

    We have one LAST post that is ALMOST ready to publish … we hope you check it out!

    The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂


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