Green Cross International, in collaboration with Green Cross Japan, Green Cross Sri Lanka, Green Cross Australia and Green Cross Korea, recently published an article in Global Education Magazine, highlighting Green Lane Environmental Diary, “a global program to teach school children ‘not only by lecture, but by action’ on ways to protect, conserve and sustain the environment”. The Diary is part of the Value Change program of Green Cross, which stresses youth education about their responsibility to maintain the planet for generations to come.
Green Lane Environmental Diary was founded by Green Cross Japan in 1999. Since that time, the program has engaged approximately 1.2 million students in more than 8,000 schools in the Asia-Pacific region and hopes to expand to other regions of the world.
“The achievements are inspirational,” reflected Tsunehiko Kawamoto of Green Cross Japan. “Starting from small things such as saving water or electricity to picking up trash, children quickly realize the global perspective of the issue. Many students retain the ecological lifestyle after they reach adulthood. As a matter of fact, some of the students now research solar battery technology at universities because of their experience 12 years ago with Green Lane Diary. The potential of this initiative is great.”
The one difficulty the program has encountered has been sourcing funding for printing and distribution of Green Lane Diary materials. An online version of the Diary was conceived, but having a tangible magazine accessible to all children, especially those without internet access, has proven the most effective outreach. Some organizations like Green Cross Australia, have created Kickstarter fundraising campaigns to cover distribution and print costs, while other Green Cross organizations are seeking sponsors.
In light of the difficulties, the program continues to gain momentum. The engaging power of Green Lane Diary with children has helped it grow to four different nations in four different languages. The belief that children are the key to the planet’s sustainability is what has kept the program in motion for 15 years.