One summer afternoon in the late 80s, I must have been 8 years old, my two girlfriends and I decided to take a walk to the ‘lagoon’.
What we called the lagoon was a small clearing with a stream running through. The clearing was in the middle of our village but secluded by trees and greenery. It made us feel like we had entered the jungle.
Expecting to enjoy a picnic in our special spot, we were truly disappointed when we found the place covered with rubbish. I remember feeling deeply upset that someone would treat this space with so little respect. Luckily, my practical friend Linda had a brilliant idea. ‘Let’s clean up!’ she suggested and so we did. What started with disappointment, turned into an important learning experience which had an impact on my later life – clearly, otherwise I would not remember it to this day.
This experience led to two essential learnings. Firstly, I realised that the environment must be cared for and that it needs to be protected from destructive forces. Secondly, Linda’s hands-on approach showed me that we are empowered to take an active role when things bother us. At Little Scientists, we promote the development of a sustainability mindset in children and believe in children’s self-efficacy. Perhaps this day was one of these formative events that planted a seed for a life-long passion?