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matt

This reminded me of Fast Food Nation (the book, not the movie). A large portion of it is dedicated to public school lunch food. In most schools, kids are fed the lowest quality food allowed by law. But there are a handful of schools around the nation that have started programs that use either local produce and food, and other have started growing their own foods (which is a great way to include hands-on lessons in biology classes). I feel like the issue of disposable trays are part of much larger issues of waste and health. As you said, we aren't teaching our kids to be conscious consumers or mindful of their health. It's a shame that there are no programs (to my knowledge) that connect kids more to the foods that they eat and the waste that they create.

Greg Buck

Annie pointed out in "The Story of Stuff" that for every bag of garbage we create there are 70 bags of garbage created that we basically do not observe - something that recycling does as well; and yet as she pointed out recycling is desirable. This hidden waste is getting us into lots of trouble.

Here's some levers to consider for breaking this barrier.
- awareness of waste (e.g., stuff, food and electricity),
- acts of preventing waste,
- appreciation for the importance of ecosystem services (e.g., trees for climate control and facilitating the water cycle) and
- meaningful experiences of nature.

Richard Louv in "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder" excells at justifying engagement with nature. Unfortunately some of the people Louv cites as benefiting from nature also did great harm to the environment. Hopefully that incongruity will be remedied with the current and future generations.

John Harris Loflin

EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION ARE SIMIALR

The UN declared 2005 to 2014 as the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development www.gdrc.org/sustdev/un-desd/index.html

According to the DESD, children and youth must be involved in creating a sustainable future for the world they will inherent.

School boards and school staff involved in educating students for the students’ sustainable world have a moral obligation to model sustainability in energy efficient school buildings, buying green oriented goods, and an environmentally conscious disposal of the used goods.

As well, a review of the report shows education for sustainability and democratic education are similar. Democratic education prepares students to run the world they will inherit by having them (within reason) help run the school they attend. Our public schools have a moral obligation to move beyond the “paper democracy” of traditional civics classes. What is needed for sustainability is a “lived democracy” where students share in all school decisions that affect them. This enables self-governing citizens — students who, because their public schools modeled sustainability, are prepared for a sustainable world.

For more on DESD and democratic education see: The14th Annual International Democratic Education Conference Report, p. 2-6.
www.learningalternatives.net/main
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