In the coming weeks, you may find youth and children of Millburn, New Jersey, surveying their own homes, neighborhoods and community facilities, identifying things that stick out to them or things that bother them in their environment. Their inquiry stems from the Eco Ambassadors program, which launched its first summer pilot in Millburn.
On Friday, July 12th, the Center for Sustainable Development’s Education Team, in partnership with the SDSN’s Global Schools Program and Design for Change, began the Eco Ambassadors’ workshop to put into motion communal action to protect the environment. The initiative is driven by youth, children, and parent mentors, who identify and resolve an environmental issue of their choice.
Starting with participants as young as seven years old, they brainstormed environmental issues they would like to investigate further in their own communities. Local environment pioneers shared their own experiences. Java Bradley, founder of Java’s Compost, shared his own story of starting his company with his wife Michelle, after noticing the lack of composting services in Millburn. Jack Westlake, a recent graduate from Environment and Sustainability program at The University of the South, gave a flavor of the emerging field of environment and sustainability studies to the young participants and how sustainability issues will become even more critical in the future.The workshop also included the discussion of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), along with the Design for Change guide on how to tackle issues– to take issues through the process from ideas on possible change into actionable solutions.
The series of environmental action in the next nine weeks will culminate in a presentation at one of the side events of the 2019 International Conference on Sustainable Development, held at Columbia University in September.
Stay tuned for the environment solutions devised by Millburn’s youth!