Discussing Environmental Sustainability with Drew Monkman

Mr. Rollwagen’s Grade 12 World Issues class welcomed guest speaker Drew Monkman on Wednesday, as part of their unit on Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change.
Mr. Monkman is a retired teacher, naturalist and writer with a keen interest in environmental education and how best to help young people acquire a love and appreciation for the natural world. It was particularly meaningful to have him speak on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day when students could think about how to connect the lesson to their own personal actions.
Students had some of the following takeaways from class:
  • We need to hit 0% carbon emission by 2050 and he also mentioned that Milan is opening their borders again and they are changing their city to be more eco-friendly.
  • I think climate change is a really important thing… we CAN make a difference and we need to make a difference.
  • I can start walking more and try to stay away from plastic. If I’m walking to the grocery store, I can bring my own bag instead of paying for a plastic bag.
  • I can eat more plant-based and I can send letters to MPs and such to ask for more inclusivity and more drastic changes on climate change bills.
Mr. Monkman also helped students consider how to listen to climate change opponents and present different standpoints, ways of reducing waste, as well as empowering the class to recognize how they could take action in their own personal life to make a change for the better.
Mr. Monkman concluded his presentation with this thought: “Let’s take advantage of this gift of time that we have right now to reconnect to nature and learn those local plants and animals and know what that bird is that is singing outside your window. Get outside and pay attention to all that surrounds you. Nature really does heighten our sense of wellbeing, both physical and mental… nature connection is more important than ever and can really make a difference to how we feel.”
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Lakefield College School is a private, coeducational boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12, located in Lakefield, Ontario, Canada.

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