At International Leadership Training Conference (ILTC), we had an amazing opportunity to participate in a J-Serve experience to model how to bring one home for our communities. The program began with an inspiring video of a teen speaking about climate change at a huge conference for policymakers. This video motivated us and excited us about what was to come in the rest of the program.
Around the world, people have a wide range of ideas for how they think they are helping the planet survive. Many of the stigmas around recycling, water conservation, and food accessibility were shattered at the end of the evening.
In one rotation, we were shocked to see how much water we all use on a regular basis. We were tasked with carrying gallons of water in a bucket across a large field. The water in the bucket represented how much we use in a day, which was an astounding amount. We don’t think about how all the water from showers, toilets, drinking, food, and more adds up to something that’s not so light.
Another rotation focused on our usage of plastic water bottles. A TedTalk by Irena Rompa illustrated the insane amount of plastic bottles used worldwide. Rompa shared that only 1 in 5 bottles are actually recycled, which truly puts our waste into perspective. However, Rompa took on an optimistic standpoint which gave us a sense of hope. We learned that the primary way we can help is by using reusable items and limiting our plastic use.
In the last rotation, our peers facilitated a discussion around access to healthy food. We learned about "food deserts" (places in which healthy food is inaccessible) and how they lead to poor dieting and malnourishment. Gratitude was prominent throughout the discussion as we realized our privileges and became aware to the overlying issue around the world.
We concluded the night with a group discussion on how we can apply what we learned to protect our planet. After this program, we were all energized to make BBYO a more sustainable organization.
Zoe Sher is a BBG from Mid-America Region #1: Kansas City Council who loves to hangout at Target.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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