Friday, May 25, 2007

Close to Home - A Thai village under water

BBC NEWS Asia-Pacific The village that was swallowed by the sea

This BBC News artcile describes the plight of a Thai village just an hour south of Bangkok. Environmentalists claim that the erosion is probably "some of the worst in the world."

Climate change has resulted in more intense waves and rougher seas during the monsoon period," he said. "The average height of waves used to be between one and 1.5 metres, but now it has increased to between two and four metres high.
While locals have tried natural solutions like the planting of mangrove trees which typically encourage sediment, the saplings haven't taken because the waves are too big and the trees just get wiped out.

Dr Thanawat's solution? Concrete wave-breakers built 500 meters out. But the solution is only a study.

The question is, what can be done long term?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Earth Week & Fair

On April 23-27 ISB celebrated earth week. Each day had different themes all related to making people more environmentally aware and giving them opportunities to take eco action.

On Friday we had the Earth Fair and had over 20 companies and NGO’s at the event. We also had 10 student projects. I would like to extend a sincere thank you to each of you who participated in this event. The day was a huge success with about one thousand students going to the event and being actively engaged in learning about environmental issues and solutions.

Earth Fair Participants. Click to enlarge

We also have a photo gallery up of the fair.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Go With Da Fro

Plant a Tree Today is an UK Charity organization with offices in Thailand. As their name suggests they are particularly focused on addressing climate change in a proactive way by planting trees to offset carbon footprints.

At Plant A Tree Today we can't completely reverse the effects of deforestation and global warming, but we can discover how planting trees can help to combat climate change, provide sustainable economic development for developing countries and poor rural communities, and reduce the effects of natural disasters. We can make a difference.

Chris, a representative from PATT, unveiled their new campaign at ISB's Earth Fair. The new video clip features the talents of the Rapping Professor and shares the message of tree planting and positively combatting climate change. We have posted this video on our school site as well.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

No Idling at ISB

One of our accomplishments of the year was to implement the "No Idling" policy. Cars waiting in the parking lot must shut off their engines. This applies to the school buses as well, which were turning on their engines AND running air conditioning well before students were coming out to get on them.

This policy will significantly reduce emissions at ISB.

To see the poster in both English and Thai, click here.

For a poster of the image above, click here.

An Inconvenient Truth

The Green Panthers showcased the award winning documentary film, "An Inconvient Truth". As a result of showing this film with the entire MS and HS student body, students' awareness of global climate change was increased significantly.

Students wrote letters to former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore as a response to his film. The former Vice-President sent a response letter.

Future Plans

In the future we are hoping to do the following:
  • Have more of an impact in the cafeteria and add organic products, reduce waste, and use more eco certified labels
  • Work with Chevron to do an eco audit and measure ISB’s carbon footprint
  • Continue to build awareness and involve the extended community more
  • Form a partnership with Plant-a-tree-today and help ISB reduce and offset its carbon footprint
  • Possibly work with a company who makes biodegradable plastic out of tapioca.

Accomplishments of 2007

We are a group of environmentally conscious people made up of teachers, parents, and board members. Our aim to increase environmental awareness at ISB and more importantly, start making positive environmental changes to reduce the school’s Eco (carbon) footprint.

Green Panther goals are to improve ISB’s environmental performance by:
  • Activating environmental awareness, learning, and action
  • Analyzing consumption patterns and habits at ISB
  • Modeling responsible citizenship
  • Providing venues for meaningful social action
  • Reducing our impact on the environment

Some of the things the Green Panthers and ISB have done in 2006-2007 are:

  • School wide eco survey
  • Improved recycling center that collects batteries, tabs from cans, juice boxes, printer cartridges, and cell phone batteries
  • Have added very useful recycling containers throughout the school for bottles, cans, and paper
  • Blue box for each class for paper recycling
  • Reduced the plastic bag use in the cafeteria
  • Had a student logo contest
  • Stopped the use of paper cups for sports teams and helped encourage teams to use reusable water bottles
  • Reduced the amount of water bottles delivered because of a switch to water dispensers
  • Weekly eco tips in student bulletin
  • Weekend trip with 25 students to Khai Yai to work with Wildaid and learn about conservation
  • Had meetings with architect to ensure new building and campus design has the environment in mind
  • Bought 1000’s of dishes to use at events instead of disposable materials.Hosted environmental assemblies
  • Designed Green Panther t-shirts and stickers based on the student logos
  • Implemented a NO idling policy in the parking lot
  • We have shown the movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ to all of the middle school and the high school
  • This was built into curriculum and had amazing teacher support.We hosted Earth Week from April 23-27, culminating in a massive Earth Fair with several companies, NGO’s, organizations and students showing what they do for the environment

The Green Panthers Online!

The Green Panthers have joined the blogosphere!

The ISB Green Panthers are volunteers from the International School Bangkok faculty and community in Bangkok, Thailand. We strive to reduce the environmental impact of daily life at ISB as well as promote enviromental awareness throughout the school community about climate change, including ways that each of us can change to reduce our own carbon footprint.

We will be using this space to communicate news of upcoming events, advertise new events, and provide eco-tips for everyone to reduce their negative impact on the environment.

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