Earth Guardian Youth played a major role in Boulder's 350 Global Work Party. They opened the Day with a rockin iMatter kids-v-s-global-warming pre-March from Naropa Campus to CU Campus. The"Children's Torch of Hope" dedicated by the Dalai Lama and a eight foot Polar Bear lead 137 Marchers on a cool rainy.
They were received in the Glen Miller Ball Room by Boulder organizers and participants of the 350 event. The kids Presented the "Torch of Hope" and spoke to the crowd about why they were committed to working hard NOW to make a difference.
The Earth Guardians offered two youth led workshops at CU, "Colorado Kids Committed to Cutting" a "how-to"
workshop for kids, teaching them about the issues of carbon, and guiding them in making a committment to their future by cutting their own personal carbon output. The second workshop "Catch that Carbon" was a get your hands dirty workshop. With generous logistical and materials support from the City of Boulder, the Earth Guardians and 45 friends planted three big trees in Beach Park. Our own Mayor Susan Osborne came out to lend her support. It was inspiring to see how many young people showed up to support, and are committed to making a positive difference in their Community.
Mayor Susan Osborne joins the Boulder Earth Guardians and other youth to plant three big trees in Beach Park
In the News - The Daily Camera
"Young people had a major role in Boulder's 350 Global Work Party to combat climate change.
The Sunday event included a youth march, youth workshops and youth speakers. Children and teens planted trees, promised to cut back on energy consumption and urged adults to join their efforts.
"We wanted students to really understand the issue," said Amy Atkins, a volunteer organizer for the event. "They're the generation that's going to be inheriting the Earth -- and they're the ones that are most able to do something. They understand that they can make a difference."
On Sunday, more than 5,500 events in 176 countries were planned, all centering around reducing carbon emissions. More than 1,000 of these events took place in the United States, with about 55 located in Colorado. The level of carbon dioxide deemed acceptable in the atmosphere by scientists, including NASA's James Hansen, is 350 parts per million. This number inspired the first 350 event held last year, as the current level of carbon dioxide is at 392 ppm and rising.
Cities celebrated the day by planting trees, painting the tops of buildings white and installing solar panels. Boulder organizers, however, decided the city needed more than one event. Boulder's participation in the 350 Global Work Party included more than 40 workshops, a youth march, midday rally and evening "carrotmob" party at the St. Julien Hotel. The St Julien won the party by bidding against other area businesses and committing the greatest percentage of the party's profits -- 50 percent -- from food and drink sales to carbon-reduction efforts.
At the rally, Leslie Glustrom, co-founder of Clean Energy Action, encouraged participants to focus on a positive future, not what's gone wrong, when talking to people about climate change."We have to speak the truth and let people know where we're headed," she said.The workshops, with titles ranging from "Ask Me About My Ego" for eGo CarShare, and "How to Save the World by Composting," were held at Naropa University in the morning and at the University of Colorado's University Memorial Center in the afternoon.
There were lessons on how to make face cleansers and scrubs using oatmeal, strawberries, yogurt and sugar in one room and a talk by a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist on the certainties and uncertainties of climate change in another.
"I want a more sustainable future," said Justin Stevenson, who participated in the event. "The system right now is running us into the ground and polluting the Earth. I hate pollution. I want to help out."
The youth "iMatter March," set up by the Earth Guardians, wound from Naropa to CU and was led by an 8-foot-tall polar bear. The Earth Guardians also offered a tree planting and a "Colorado Kids Committed to Cutting their Carbon" workshop. During the workshop, young people brainstormed ways to cut carbon, including eating more local, organic food and carpooling, before committing to practice at least five environmentally friendly actions in their daily lives.
Harper Corum-Var, a 12-year-old student at Boulder Horizons Middle School, said Earth Guardians participated because "it's a great opportunity to educate other kids about the state of our planet."
"We're trying to make change, but that can't happen without a lot of people," Harper said. Reporter Kelly Lane contributed to this report.