I’ve been working on this blog for two years now, all alone with little help. Yes I’ve had support but nothing in the way of volunteer help from the general public.
I’ve seen people take trees and plants (newly planted) and had the farce of council workers cutting down wild flowers. Today I’ve noticed that almost half of the area I had designated as wild flower cultivation area for seed has been flattened by – well, people, (I assume youths) simply lying in it and flattening it all. My first emotion was rage and despondency, my second and much more (I hope) balanced – which was, how where they supposed to know and anyway it is a public space.
This got me thinking about Environmental Ignorance and how the message about environmental concerns isn’t really getting through at grass roots level, ok we recycle more and it’s become quite hip and cool to grow your own veg. But how much do the youth of today really care about environmental issues, wild flowers, the demise of the honey bee and the actions we can take to at least slow the whole process down.
I figure very little. And although there’s a part of me that says hey the flattened grass at least shows the small group of trees and wild grasses is appreciated – if only to sit down comfortably. As you eat chips out of a polystyrene carton, chuck it on the ground, forget to take your coat home and the leave litter everywhere – but appreciated for it’s comfort. But maybe a memory could be retained in the person that did that, for them to ask sometime in the future – where the hell has all the wild areas gone? And maybe that very person could decide to restore a little patch somewhere.
OK, all shout together – YOU’RE DELUDED!
And maybe I am, and you’re more than likely right. So what should we do to stop it, how can we change the ways of so many, stop litter and properly educate them about the way they can make a difference.
I believe the only way we can do this is to build a youth community service right into the curriculum! Simple solution to show young people of today that everything doesn’t just happen, there’s a cause and effect with everything we do. Making positive community service a compulsory part of the curriculum – “you’ve not done your 100 hours this year so don’t tick that box on your list of qualifications” – type of thing. This I think would make such a difference to the environment and communities in general. At very least it would show how your actions can have a detrimental effect in so many ways. And I’m not talking about just the environment there’s hundreds of ways the youth of today could make a difference and make them and use proud to live where we live.
This isn’t about youth bashing, it’s about bringing about a sea change in the way we all think, outside the bubble of our houses and more into the community. Building a community spirit rather than isolating the old from the young the families away from the singletons. Allotments aren’t just popular because you can grow cheap and tasty veg, they are a micro community where people share the same values and goals, help each other and pass on wisdom, where the old meet with the young and one elderly lady shows a young 4 year old the right way to prick out seedlings. That’s the real reason why allotments are popular – it’s community, valuing the energy of youth and wisdom of age and everything inbetween.
Ok I can rattle about Environmental Ignorance all I like but we won’t ever jump over that hurdle until Communities start to integrate properly. We should harness the energy of the youth to build the communities of tomorrow. Leave them alone at our peril because they will be the next generation of leaders and workers – and at the moment all I see is an ‘I want attitude, where celebrity is supreme, shopping centres are the new places of worship and the everyone will become famous one day mentality. OK some may say I’m as deluded as they are, but the youth of today can become the new breed they can be proud to live real and stop living ‘their lies’ – the lies of marketing, propaganda and consumption!
What do you say?