THE GREEN LANE DIARY
Green Cross Japan (GCJ) launched the Green Lane Diary project in 1999 to promote environmental education for children in Japan. For 3 months, elementary school students – ages 6 to 12 – keep a log of their sustainable activities, related thoughts and observations. This environmental diary raises the children’s awareness of their impact on, and the importance of caring for our planet in their daily lives.
Since its launch, a number of other Green Cross National Organisations (GCNOs) have adopted the environmental diary. Green Cross Sri Lanka (GCSL) has been running the project since its own launch in 2005. Green Cross Australia implemented the diary from 2010 to 2013, and Green Cross Korea from 2011 to 2013.
The Green Lane Diary consists of two parts. The first part is a “Guidebook” from which students learn about various environmental themes such as water, energy, wastes, climate change, SDGs, etc., as well as what they can do in their daily lives to protect the environment. The second part is the “Diary Pages” that has columns for 12 weeks (for 84 days), in which students keep a record of their daily actions and observations to protect the environment.
Each year in Japan, around 100 000 students work on the Green Lane Diary. The project is officially recognised by the Japanese ministries of the Environment, Education, and Foreign Affairs. In the 19 years since its start in 1999, to its most recent run, around 1.5 million children have joined the Green Lane Diary.
To encourage students and recognise their achievements, the Green Lane Diary Contest is held each year, and their best works are praised in an award ceremony.
In Sri Lanka, 8 000 Grade-5 students (10 years old) participate each year in the Green Lane Diary. Like in Japan, GCSL holds the Contest and award ceremony annually. The top students even get to travel to Japan and attend Japan’s award ceremony, and to exchange their views on the environment with their Japanese peers.
Since the start of the environmental diary project, nearly 2 million children around the world have learned about the importance or caring for our planet through the Green Lane Diary. The grand scheme is to increase the number of people who will have started caring for the environment from childhood, and who will grow up to be even better stewards of The Earth, for the benefit of future generations. This is what the Green Lane Diary is all about!