High School Kids Urge the World to Take Overconsumption Issues Seriously
Monterrey, Mexico and Seoul, South Korea – The enthusiasm of Centro Varones and Hanil High School students literally filled both classrooms with high energy. Teachers and administrators were watching the interaction among students closely. As presenters make their way through the web camera, the insight on everyone’s minds was “how to remediate the impacts of over-consumption around the world in a sustainable way.”
Over-consumption is a significant issue facing local communities, whole nations, and the entire world. Over-consumption drains natural resources, generates waste and hampers the development of people. Often, this consumption has tremendous negative impacts on human health and natural environment that need to be addressed immediately.
In the IVECA program, Centro Varones and Hanil High School students took a moment to reflect on things we consume every day. How much is necessary for a healthy life? How much can be deemed excess and where does it go? What can be done as alternatives? All of these questions are addressed in the live discussion.
Overconsumption—commonly referred to as an intangible problem—pose an unusual issue for these high school students from Mexico and Korea. Since the beginning of November until mid-December, these ideas have been in brainstorm mode. Apart from the regular school work, these participants are largely hopeful about what they could do for the issue. However, the task was not easy — creating a campaign to combat the causes and impacts of over-consumption.
“Think about your long-term goals. The purchases you make today… will it bring the happiness and security of tomorrow?”, asked students from Centro Acadêmico Varones, Mexico. Approaching a more self-analytic mode, Cheong Sang’s group from Hanil School shared data gathered during the IVECA program explaining that from 2006 to 2016 the electricity usage of major advanced countries had dropped, but that of South Korea had increased by 41 percent. The group then displayed their solution for energy overconsumption of their country.
Through the activities, students could be naturally guided to think critically for the real-world problem-solving, which is a required high-level skill for the 21st century. By constantly exchanging their perspectives with partners from different countries, students were able to improve their intercultural competence of global citizens who would make a better future.