In celebration of Earth Day last month, we held a virtual event talking about sustainability and how au pairs and host families can help their communities thrive today and in the future. Presenter Mariusz Galcynski, an Education Researcher and Specialist in multicultural and international education, talked about how communities need cultural, artistic, economic, and environmental harmony to succeed.
“Sustainability is the ability to keep thriving. Meeting the needs of the present without comprising the needs of the future. It’s the harmony between systems.” Mariusz explained.
In this event, participants learned, discussed, and shared their own thoughts on the sustainability issues they saw within their communities. Mariusz taught that even beyond Earth Day, there are so many ways people can make the world a better place through sustainability, whether that’s through simple life changes or bigger actions.
Participants were divided into smaller groups where they were asked to discuss and draw sustainability issues on a shared virtual white board. In these groups, au pairs and host families alike explained the environmental, cultural, and social issues they saw in their communities. Daneila from Mexico said “After coming to the U.S., I noticed a lot of food waste.” Host Mom Lina from California said “There’s a lot of trash and litter around the area. Like on the sidewalks, parks, and highways, which is so sad to see.” Other groups also brought up issues like, pollution in the oceans, the overuse of plastic, and water waste. This started an important discussion about sustainability and the problems that affect the world.
Together, au pairs and host families reflected on ways they can make the planet a more livable place for future generations. Mariusz explained that it all starts with identifying the problems they witness in their own communities. From choosing more biodegradable products to participating in organizations that help clean litter off the streets, they found that there are many ways people can help out. For au pairs, this lesson was something they could apply to the local neighborhood they currently reside, and to their own home countries and beyond. It also taught them that despite being a part of a diverse community of participants from all over the world, that they have a shared experience and many commonalities whether it is cultural, geographic, or economic with one another.