Climate Change as viewed by students at Mants’aseby Elaine Herbert on 02/07/18
During the school holidays some of our teenagers worked on a project about climate change. Naturally much of what each child wrote in his/her essay also appears in other essays so the following is a summary of their efforts.
Climate simply refers to the average weather over a long period of time.
Climate change is caused by greenhouse gases that allow the short waves from the sun to enter our atmosphere but trap the long waves that the earth radiates out - causing a build-up of energy. This energy is not evenly spread over the globe as winds are constantly blowing somewhere. So what is done in one part of the world could have effects far away.
Climate is affected by many practices all over the world which, over time, cause climate change.
There are many factors affecting climate change negatively and if these are ignored, it will cause more severe weather. There can be too much wind, drought, heatwaves or floods. By reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted we can help to lower the chances of such extreme weather.
But before we spend too much time looking at what other people are doing in other parts of the world, we should consider carefully what we are doing at Mants'ase to help stop the march of climate change.
Since we know what causes climate change, we can help to combat it and here at Mants'ase Children's Home we help care for the atmosphere by:
• Planting Trees. We plant as many trees as we can. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and many trees use lots of carbon dioxide in the manufacture of their plant food. These trees also produce fruit which is very nice for us to eat and saves money.
• Replacing Trees. Deforestation is the cutting down of trees without replacing them. When those trees are cut down there is going to be a lot of carbon dioxide released into the air and this causes climate change. But at Mants'ase we use as few trees as possible for firewood, or for building materials. We have planted more trees to replace those we have cut down, trees which store carbon and so help to protect the climate.
• Having only one vehicle, our vehicle is regularly serviced and therefore releases a minimum amount of greenhouse gases. The vehicle is seldom used by one person or for only one reason. Trips to town are planned so that as many things as possible can be done in one trip - this further cuts down on greenhouse emissions from the vehicle and reduces each person's carbon footprint.
• Recycling. Although we don't have a formal recycling plan as in the cities, we do recycle. Food waste is fed to animals. Clothing is passed on to younger children if in good condition. Our pre-primary teacher uses cardboard boxes, magazines etc. to make toys and teaching aids and when we have emptied jars, bottles and plastic containers (and if we have no other use for them) we give them to those in our community who make good use of them.
• Buying in bulk. Whenever it is practical to do so, we buy in bulk. This means there is less packaging, therefore less waste. Very little ends up in the rubbish pit.
• Using less manufactured goods. We use the products of industries, but by reducing the amount of manufactured goods we purchase we are helping to reduce the need for greenhouse gas producing industries.
• We use solar energy to pump water from underground and we supplement our water supply using a roundabout pump. Whenever we play on the roundabout, water is pumped up from underground into a storage tank. Therefore the roundabout pump uses no electricity.
• We have solar geysers to heat water for washing ourselves and our clothes, and for general cleaning purposes. The solar geysers use a very little bit of electricity.
• We do not have wind turbines at Mants'ase but we do use wind energy almost every day when we hang our laundry outside to dry. The laundry is dried by the sun and the wind. On windy days the laundry dries much quicker.
• We walk to and from school and church. By walking whenever we can instead of using a vehicle we are being kind to the atmosphere.
• We switch off electrical appliances, for example: lights, when they are not needed.
• We have our own vegetable garden. By growing as much of our own food as we can, we are cutting down on the transport of food to us. This helps reduce carbon emissions into the environment. There is also less waste (decaying food puts carbon back into the environment) and no packaging is used for the vegetables we grow ourselves.