A Choice to Save the Environment
Adopting the theme of Responsible Stewardship, members of the student-run organization All 4 One have decided to take up the challenging task of restarting the Meatless Mondays project at PASB. Meatless Mondays is an initiative created in the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health aimed to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases caused by meat production. This is because livestock production accounts for one of the greatest factors of global warming, for not only do they require forests to be entirely destroyed, but also their digestion produces methane. Brazil is specially affected by the red meat culture since over 90% of the Amazon deforestation is to give room for cattle farming, which is a major component of our economy. Furthermore, many renowned educational institutions such as Brown University and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey have adopted the Meatless trend. It is clear that PASB does need to take a stand upon this pertinent issue and act to reduce our school’s carbon footprint.
The group’s initial goal was to not serve red meat on Mondays, as it is more effective than having students pledge and keep reminding them not to eat the beef on Monday. Concurrently, awareness campaigns would happen in order to motivate students and staff to take a more environmentally friendly approach in their diet. The group communicated with the canteen, which was extremely supportive of the proposal and honestly wanted to contribute positively to the environment. Serving meat one day less a week, Di Comer would, consequently, purchase less red meat, and the school in general would reduce its carbon footprint. This was organized to start in the first week of April.
The canteen also requested that the group gets approval from the administration. The proposal was sent to the administrators, and the team got the reply that their efforts were “pointless”. This caused disappointment and lack of interest to continue Nevertheless, Mr. Zalba sent an offer for the group to present during Global Leadership classes. With moderate reluctance and general disbelief, the students took upon the responsibility to attempt to enlighten PASB to make better choices.
The lessons include making posters from leftover scrap posters and writing a song along with a pledge not to eat canteen meat on Mondays, and the team has further requested that those who have signed the pledge can wear jeans and red as a symbol that they have taken upon the commitment to a better word. The “pledge” alternative requires that students are constantly reminded in a long term process not to put red meat in their plate. The group hopes that, in the future, as students reduce their red meat consumption at school, the canteen will decrease their purchases. Although this is possible, it requires the entire school community to participate, remember, and, according to Mr. Martyn, time for the canteen to notice the decrease in consumption and thus reduce the quantity of red meat purchased. The group fears that this will get lost on its way for it is extremely complex and requires a long-term standing that may be beyond the team’s high school years.
Fundamentally, the pledge system is not the most effective way to reduce the carbon footprint the school produces as a whole. It is necessary, as was done with the elimination of plastic cups, to remove once a week only the red meat. Clearly, there is a variety of other options of protein intake for students to choose from. With a new administrative team arriving next school year the team will again attempt to communicate with them to make PASB free of red meat every Monday.
ABPA Animal Food Drive
In a demonstration of the PASB core value of Responsible Stewardship and in an effort to help the São Francisco Shelter, six sophomores have teamed up to take action about one of Salvador’s greatest problems: street animals. The São Francisco Shelter is currently run by the Brazilian Association for Animal Protection (ABPA-BA), and is in pressing need of support in order to feed all of the 400 rescued animals who make it their home. Financially, the shelter is only volunteer-run, receiving no government funds, thus donations are crucial to maintaining the quality of life of the animals who consume, in total, 90kg of food every day. Because this is such a pertinent issue in Salvador, the shelter is already overpopulated and struggles to ensure that all animals are properly fed.
Daniela Felipe, Luca Espinoza, and Yasmin Presídio (10A) along with Ana Carolina Fraife, Lucas Freaza, and Marina Siqueira (10B) have started a drive at PASB to donate food to the animals that need it the most. This is how we, PASB students, can make a difference. The team collected either cat or dog food until Friday, May 20th and donations were brought to either Mrs. Caldas’ (E007) or Mr. George’s (B002) room. Although the drive had that due date, donations are always welcome throughout the year. Just contact any one of the sophomore volunteers! The group is wholeheartedly grateful for all the support offered by Mrs. Caldas and Mr. Mercado, who have been truly helpful in ensuring the success of the drive! The group received over 90 kg of dog food out of their goal of 200 kg. Help reach the 200 kg by doing your part! The animals thank your contribution. The group members were filled with joy when they saw some kind-hearted people had also given toys and bowls for the dogs at the shelter.
If you have contributed and wish to volunteer your time and care to these wonderful animals, you may also give your love and attention by participating in the animal adoption fairs! These happen every Sunday, from 9AM to 1PM, at Praça Ana Lúcia Magalhães, at the end of the line of Pituba-Itaigara, near Tortarelli. Volunteers start working at 8AM, when they set up the café and bazar, and unload the animals from their crates. After setting up the fair and feeding the pets, volunteers choose to either sell the delicious food at the café or the variety of items from the bazar, or to find families who will adopt the animals. In working with the animals, participants are given a dog to walk around the park, and they try to find people who will want to adopt them. This requires experience and skills in communicating with people and dealing with the animals, but it is rewarding to see a puppy get a warm and loving family to live with. Adoptions are the most special moments at the fairs, and these instances bring tears and joy to every volunteer! If you want to dedicate your Sundays to supporting the animal cause, send the ABPA Facebook page a message or talk to any of the sophomore representatives and they will help you get involved. At the fairs, you may also donate cardboard boxes, newspapers, cleaning utensils, animal supplies, among many more items. There are also programs for monthly donations and animal sponsorships. Consult the ABPA website and Facebook page to learn more about how to contribute. Remember that the animals’ lives depend on us!
Closer to the Dream
The Bibliotecar GIN group, formed by Beatriz Barros, Bárbara Queiroz, Bia Soares, Alice Braga, Vitória Barcelos, and Fernanda Lima, held an intramural soccer tournament for the Elementary on Friday May 6th to raise funds to continue their project. The students plan to construct an entirely mobile library in order to spread the love for reading and motivate low-income Brazilians to pursue learning. They have already gathered many books, however, they still need the most important part of the project: the cart to take the books in.
Although not all of the 70 kids who signed up actually came to the tournament, it was still a huge success. The event gathered many children who came for an opportunity to play soccer with their friends and help a greater cause. Ms. Daniel’s cheerleaders also came to show their support, and one of the highlights of the event were their new, wonderful uniforms with pompoms and everything! The Middle School cheerleaders demonstrated the PASB core value of kindness when they taught the younger girls the chants they sang. There were also many other High School students who came to volunteer and help out at the Bake Sale for Bibliotecar. Their participation helped the team raise over R$1000 out of the total that they need of the remaining $2300 to purchase the cart and start moving their library across Salvador.
Overall, the intramural soccer tournament was a moment of great joy to all of those who participated! The group earned funds to continue their project, the kids enjoyed themselves and played soccer, the girls danced and cheered, everyone got their face painted, and it was a marvelous experience as a whole. The baked goods were beyond delicious, and the kids loved them! After this event, the group is even closer to being able to make their dream of a mobile library a reality, and the PASB community even prouder of them.
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