By Arunima Gupta (13S03D) & Tharun Ragupathi (13S03N)
Let’s be honest. Our world isn’t perfect, and while we may talk about worsening environmental conditions, are we really doing anything at all?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably 16 or 17 years old. You live in a country that boasts itself a garden city. Trees line our streets, and we’ve established several laudatory environmental policies. We’re safe from climate change then, aren’t we? There’s nothing to worry about, right?
Given that global temperature increases every year, it is highly likely that the entire Greenland ice sheet could melt, resulting in a rise in global sea levels by seven metres before 2100, a deadly increase given Singapore’s low-lying nature. Both our Central Business District and airport would be submerged by the time your grandchildren are your age today, cutting off two vital sources of revenue to our country.
But this doesn’t have to be a reality. The world can change. We can change. Most importantly, though, you can change. Change begins within, and One Earth’s activities reflect just that. Our club tries to bring about change from within individuals, within our school and within our community.
Club meetings usually consist of environment-related service activities, planning sessions and occasional outdoor trips, though we do visit other schools and institutions to spread the green message. Not only does this allow us to positively impact society, but also learn about our strengths and flaws as well. Since members are encouraged to embark on their own service projects, they benefit both tangibly and intangibly from the One Earth experience.
Our club’s activities provide opportunities for unconventional service activities such as mangrove salvaging and rescuing horseshoe crabs, as well as opportunities to go outdoors and visit local nature spots. Club sessions are also a means of interacting with like-minded individuals from school. From a more practical perspective, it presents a chance to do lots of service and carry out projects of one’s own design, which receive due recognition from the school.
Highlights for this year include the National Environmental Workshop, Inter-house Competitions, J1 Camp, as well as numerous Outdoor Trips and Service Activities (Mangrove Salvaging, Horseshoe Crab Rescue, Book-reading at NLB, Beach Clean-up, Birdwatching and many more!). Members will also get to attend environmental conferences, and will work on group social service projects which explore various aspects of environmental conservation in Singapore. Activities differ from year to year, depending largely on the batch’s interests. For instance, the 2012 batch organised an Earth Hour Concert where profits were donated to the World Wildlife Fund.
Another interesting aspect about One Earth is the community. Since environmental issues are pretty much universal, our club attracts a wide range of people from different backgrounds in terms of interests, subject combinations and working styles. This entails a fun and diverse club committed to a common goal. “This helps especially when we come up with unique ways of planning events and each person is also able to contribute in their own way,” said member, Arunima (13S03D).
Club sessions are once a week on Fridays from 4-6 pm. The selection process is just a short interview. Not to worry, being a hardcore environmental enthusiast or having done environment-related service projects is not a prerequisite. As long as you are interested and want to make a difference, do sign up!