Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No Connection

Just got back from the Earcos teachers conference held in KK, Borneo. The theme of the conference was; Our Global Impact My Responsibility, Service, Stewardship and Sustainability.

I started to feel uncomfortable about this conference when I found out that it was going to take 4 flights in total to get to this beautiful island paradise. At the time I didn't connect sustainability and the fact that the cost to stay in the beautiful 5 star resort for 4 night would pay my mae ban's salary for 2 months.

My roommate and I both felt distressed and I felt like I had made decisions about the conference without much thought. We decided to take action. We approached the gentleman who was in charge of the conference at the Thursday night cocktail hour and made a request. We asked if we could address the teachers the next morning before the keynote speaker and invite others to join us in a dialogue to look at ways to offset our carbon footprint at the conference and at future conferences. He said yes. The next  morning we ended up meeting with about ten other interested teachers and we came up with some great ideas like, providing teachers with community service opportunities before, during or after the conference, having a vegetarian day during the conference, having a way to offset our carbon footprint based on the air travel to get to the conference available to us at the conference. If you traveled on Malaysia Airlines  you can click on the link to find out how to offset your carbon emissions due to your flight.  We will organize a way for our fellow concerned colleagues to communicate and continue to work on ways to make conferences 'more green'.

1 comment:

  1. That is a powerful post, very honest and full of aligned insight. As your weary roommate from the conference, I appreciate the taking thought-to-action approach to support the theme of the conference: My Responsibility. I am pleased to learn that others from the conference are also interested in finding new means to support our impact from traveling (as it only makes sense especially to a group of highly educated people that are the International Educators Community). After all, it is up to US, as individuals, to be responsible for our own actions and to be good models for our global learners. I am looking forward to "our" (collective) solutions!