The 10 days challenge

Consumerism is a major cause for destruction of the environment. Young people in North America and Western Europe spend between 20 & 45 hours per week in front of TV, computer and video games. This way of life has deep impact on their physical & mental health, including their relationship with their environment. The marketing industry uses these media to advertise products and make children & teens believe that they «need» them. Products include food, clothes, music, language, behavior, etc. Pediatricians & psychologists say that impacts include self esteem, obesity, attention deficit disorder, eating disorders, criminal car driving, decrease of empathy, physical & verbal violence, etc. Since the year 2000, U.S schools have experienced the SMART Program: Student Media Awareness to Reduce Television. Since 2003, over a hundred schools in Québec & Ontario have experienced the 10 Day Challenge, motivating students to reduce media viewing time. How do these programs empower youth and parents to participate? Evaluation of such programs by students, parents & teachers show positive results from such participation. How did such results reach environmental education goals? How can teachers include cultural environment in their work and platforms?

PURPOSE

1. The cultural environment is part of the environment 2. Damages caused by the marketing industry and youth exposure to media 3. Understanding the power of these industries on overconsumption of the resources of our planet 4. Empower participants with educational tools to challenge cultural environment in their schools HOW 1st part: studies about this issue of cultural pollution 2nd part: discussion with participants about the problem, the damages, and the solutions INTERACTION

a) Listening to questions about the welcoming of the cultural issue in the environment movement

b) Report from victories by students and staff in schools where challenging cultural pollution was experienced

c) What conditions allowed such victories?

d) Resources available in English and in French, in the U.S. and in Canada.