The sustainability focussed Which Media Festival of Schools is now well underway and our unique writing competition, 500 Words for Our Future is running alongside these very special community events.
We want to hear from young writers from right across the UAE, so why not put pen to paper, you might just win AED250 in book vouchers to indulge your love of the written word further still!
Today, we are very pleased to present eight of our favourite 500 Words for Our Future competition entries so far! Is your entry here or can you spot the words of a pupil from your school? There is still plenty of time to share your thoughts on what a sustainable future might look light. Click HERE to share your entry with Which Media and the Festival of Schools. (Parental permission is required).
Angad Pandey, Delhi Private School – Dubai
All the things that surround us have their own little home, the stars have the night sky, the wind has the fleeting hug of the leaves, millions of beautiful little creatures are hidden in the meadows and plains, and the birds are nestled in groves. When their melodious singing meets the incoming disturbing noise of crowding cars, in each feather covered chest, a little heart quivers in trepidation, terrified of the destruction of their homes while we live unbothered.
There are always two ways to look at something, optimism, and pessimism, and unfortunately for our ecosystem and environment, the latter presents the more realistic picture. Several species of animals are turning extinct every single day, oceans and water bodies are getting smothered with pollutants and the ice caps and glaciers are melting. Most of the world’s population still reels in poverty and hunger and is affected by gender equality, illiteracy, etc. Destruction of our environment and ecosystem has been rampant since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, which was a turning point in the drastic change of our climate.
In his 2009 article, ‘A Safe Space for Humanity’ Johann Rock Strom, Professor of Environmental Science at Stockholm University, enlisted nine planetary thresholds on which our ecological system depends. Three of the nine planetary thresholds, namely climate change, biodiversity loss and nitrogen cycle, have already been crossed. We are headed towards a world in which humanity’s carelessness with production and consumption has further exhausted and already depleted earth. The coming decade will be critical for our planet.
Although the damage done to the ecosystem and environment is irreversible, sustained efforts to rehabilitate and rejuvenate the ecology of earth could be important to avert a global catastrophe. The situation may seem dire but there is a glimmer of hope. The Sustainable Development Goals launched by the UN will flow in heavy investments for the right cause to take care of environmental, social, and economic problems all over the world. Many investments in achieving our sustainability goals are taking place all over the world. There will be many “disruptive” innovations in the field of sustainability.
Sustainability will not be a separate function in organizations, but every function will embrace sustainability. The ‘asset-based’ economy will give way to ‘user-based’ concepts, where every resource will be used optimally. Slowly but steadily, sustainability will become the world order, which means that no policy, no economic practice, no new initiatives will be devoid of the concept of sustainability. Progress is critical if we want to change our environment for the better and head towards a more sustainable and environment-friendly earth.
We all need to put our efforts into making our planet a better place to live for ourselves and our future generations. Remember, the future of the world is in our hands, and we possess the choice that will make or break the future of our planet.
Leru Isaac Africa Catle, iCademy Middle East
We do not throw plastic and paper in our house bin. We collect empty materials to recycle and throw them every week at the cycle are in our village. We turn off the light if not in use. We have a laundry schedule to save water and electricity. Air conditioning units are turned off in the rooms that are not in use. Do this and you are already helping Earth, so you learned small deeds can do big changes.
Nileena Marian Jonesh, GEMS Millenium School, Sharjah
The Green Village Jendouva, a small village in Tunisia, was once famous for its farms, picturesque beauty, and thick forests. After decades, it is now in the news for its barren land, drought, starving people and pollution. Renowned environmentalist Adam read the news and decided to start ‘Protect My Nature’, an NGO in the barren village. The people there were relatively poor and not well educated. In the past, they depended on their farms for livelihood. He made them realise that when they exploited nature for their greedy needs, it got replenished. The villagers were pleased to join the organisation and were grateful that he adopted their village for its betterment. They took it as a final call to wake up.
The Head of the village had a daughter, named Floria. She was a nature lover and happily joined the NGO. This motivated other parents to send their kids to him. Floria was excited to be a part of the climate action programme of Professor Adam. Professor spoke about the need for sustainability and the importance of recycling to protect our nature. He also added that we couldn’t reverse what we have done but reduce the damage. Every time you do something, think of the world around you and act sensibly. Excessive use of fertilisers has made the land less fertile and barren. E-waste, burning and excessive use of single-use plastics cutting trees resulted in global warming, melting Himalayan glaciers and much more. He gave them the details of 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations, which can create a significant impact in saving mother earth.
Professor Adam involved the students in the project, and they started collecting the recyclables from the villagers, planted more trees in the village, took awareness sessions for the villagers about the vital role of mangrove plants in the ecosystem and plastic pollution. Their activities motivated the neighbouring communities to go green, and Professor named it Green Village. Floria suggested to villagers how a vegetarian diet can reduce carbon footprint. Slowly they could feel the positive changes in the harvest, and more people were attracted to their motto. The media covered their activities, and Professor Adam managed to get grants from the government for their eco-activities. Villagers spent time talking about what they could do more in sustaining the natural resources. Shifting to renewable resources like solar energy, wind energy, and hydropower was another revolutionary movement in a small village like Jendouva.
Community garden with organic vegetables and vermicompost was a hit, and there was high demand for their products. Every terrace was utilised to grow vegetables for their need, and the crisis of vegetables and fruits were solved. They also strived towards keeping their village clean from plastic waste. Recycling papers, cans, plastic bottles were another initiative of the Protect My Nature organisation. More members joined the organisation, and ‘Protect My Nature’ received many global recognitions. Through their actions, they showed the world that nothing unnatural should be allowed to mix with nature.
Advait Nair, Delhi Private School – Dubai
The fire burned all away. Everywhere there is ashen dust. The tree’s all gone which joyfully swayed. There only remains a wailing gust. Ohh, what all troubles a cinder caused, a cinder of man’s own creation.
Now that all is in inferno, the world is just hell’s reincarnation. And now the barren soot all lies, the world has become cold and bland. In all the eternal silence though, now emerges a new green plant. The nature will never stop.
Alas, mankind knows only to rob.
Hawa Aijaz, GEMS Millennium School, Sharjah
A year before, on 11th July 2020 was a day that changed my life.
I learned that we need to save Non-renewable natural resources for our future generations. If we don’t, we can’t have a sustainable future for many generations to come. “Think sustainability. What will the next generations drink? Don’t throw it away, it can be used in some other way.”
That day was a small anecdote of mine something that happened while I was away far from home. All the citizens of Boston were combating for Non-renewable sources like oil and natural gas. Plus, my friends too, tried their uttermost best to stop me from going as they were afraid of how would they stop the villagers from fighting? I, however, didn’t listen to them and went with my family. We were moving to a new city that was Chicago. Chicago was just magnificent. One year later I found out that Chicago and Boston had become very important. Well, what did I do next?
My family was at a conviviality for Maria’s birthday. Maria was my little sister’s friend. They were friends for 5 years. So they missed each other very much. While they were away at her party I and my friends met at Glenview. They had moved to Chicago a month ago. We knocked at every door asking the people to join us in making a sustainable future but unfortunately, everything went in vain. Everybody that we met said “We don’t care. What do we have to do? There’s nothing important if there’s no sustainable future.”
We shared a solicitous look. I had to be at my home before sunset and what could we do? There was no hope in all of us until an idea struck Ruby’s mind. She said, If we could all help clean the environment, hoist up the trash and recycle them we might be able to save the future. So the next day we got our families to be in downtown Chicago and started to work on our errands. The governor of Chicago saw us working and said “What are you doing here, dear citizens of Chicago?”
My family responded “Your Excellency, please do understand us. We need a sustainable future for our generations living. If we can’t people will not be able to survive. Hearing this the governor of Chicago walked away. He spoke to the headmaster of the city. Everyone received an invitation to be at the city square at Chicago.
The next day all the people of Chicago gathered at the city square. The headmaster said “Dear Citizens of Chicago, I understand you want to continue your work but this is a very important matter. While the governor of Chicago was at downtown Chicago. There he saw 3 families who working for a sustainable future. Oh my goodness I and my friends were so excited. Then the governor of Chicago said “I hereby declare that you all will work for a sustainable life and future”.
Nikolai Kolomeitcev, iCademy Middle East
These days we litter a lot, imagine what will the future look like if we still litter? In this essay we are going to talk about what is the cause and effect of littering and about what we can do in future to prevent a pollution pandemic.
The cause and effect of littering, pollution starts from basic stuff like throwing a plastic water bottle on the ground, or not throwing out trash in the right place, etc. Also pollution happens by accident, like in a full trash can outside a wind blows and some trash falls out. Not everyone is going to bother himself to pick up the trash and put it back into the trash can and there come caretakers or cleaners who clean outside but they are also not robots so still the trash isn’t fully cleaned. Same with oceans, they also get polluted, people of course can take boats and pick trash that is floating. First of all, a lot of trash could sink underwater, second of all most boats work on fossil fuel which is really bad for ocean and its creatures.
In 2021 people start to see how pollution effects our planet and they see that fossil fuel isn’t a way for transportation and they start to use electricity for different vehicles like the electric Tesla car, people even made ocean trash eating robots that just slowly sail in the water and eat trash. They work hours without breaks for a whole day and barely need any human help. It is really good that people make robots and vehicles that work on electricity but still ordinary people should clean parks and playgrounds, people shouldn’t get lazy from cleaning because there are robots that clean it for them.
I think in future we are going to stop using fossil fuels because it is really hard to get and electricity can be made from sunlight energy and wind energy. In conclusion, people will solve the problem with pollution by not burning fossil fuels and use electricity, and will find a way out by not burning trash because burnt trash also causes pollution of air. I hope we will be wiser in future to care more about our planet.
Zehna Imran, iCademy Middle East
People have been thinking of all kinds of futures. Always, people imagine that the future is totally great, but in fact, there will still be many problems in all aspects. So sometimes I think of the past, too. Maybe in the past, the life was also great in some way. When it comes to the future, I often think that it is a different world. Many things will be invented and used for a lot of things. The means of transportation will be changed a lot. For instance, people will drive the small vehicles which have wings with them so they could fly high. Also, some kinds of the vehicles even have the jet engines so they could also fly fast like jet planes.
Everybody wants to have one because it is cool when you drive it go and from school or work, but you must get the license first. So, some people may choose other ways. One is the magnetic train. In the cities, there will often be many cars flying over your head during rush hours. In this situation, you must not want to fly your car into the terrible mess. What should you do? You can take the magnetic train. It floats on the air by magnetic force so there is no friction between the train and the ground; therefore, it can be very fast and people like to take a long-distance trip by the magnetic train as well as a short one.
And what kind of energy will people use in the future? Gasoline? Electricity? No. I think the most possible energy for using in the future is solar energy. Because the energy we use now will be run out of in the future such as gas, gasoline, and coal. They all are fuels. It means that if you want to get energy from them, you must burn them first. Thus, you can get what you want, but also, they cause air pollutions. So the best way to get energy is solar system. We cannot use sunlight directly, but we can turn it into some kind of energy which can be used like electricity. Besides, in the whole process, it would not cause any pollution. That is why future people will use it as the best energy resource. And I think they will improve the system over and over to make the most use of it. In my opinion I think the future will be better than the past and it’s good to think of things that are gonna come later on.