In early December, partnerships from Korea and the United States came together to present mindful decisions to support UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Throughout the semester, high school students reflected on our daily choices that continue to produce negative effects around the world. After identifying two or three common choices and their impacts, students developed solutions for citizens to make conscious decisions in an effort to promote positive results. Group presenters highlighted choices to advance the progress of SDGs featuring environmental aspects and responsible consumption.
Climate change is noted to be caused directly by humans. It is human choices that affect the future of our global society. Students researched the consequences of specific choices and explained the best decision to their IVECA friends. Daily decisions that affect our environment include choice of transportation, duration of showers, consumption of food, and use of plastic products. Positive choices students proposed incorporated using a bicycle more frequently, taking short showers and being mindful of water consumption.
The current amount of product consumption by people around the world has created negative effects such as an increase in child labor, water contamination, and landfill usage. Korean students outlined three types of consumption; Impulsive, Conspicuous, and Imitation. Buying products from around the world has never been easier. With social media on the rise, consumers are quick to purchase items (Impulsive) to show a higher social status (Conspicuous) and fit in with others (Imitation). In order to combat this problem, American students suggested only buying what you need, researching products before you buy, and making the buying process inconvenient.
The goal of student presentations was met by raising awareness of how our everyday actions affect the future of our environment. An American student shared, “After all, I learned from you through IVECA, I am sure to make good environmental choices from now on. I plan on recycling more and reducing my consumption of unnecessary items for sure.” Through IVECA, students are making changes starting with themselves. It is beautiful to see future generations take accountability and make mindful choices for a global society.