November 9, 2015

Dear Division 16,

Some of you will remember that last year we completed an assignment where Division 16 students contributed photos on the theme of “Community” as inspired by a feature in the English newspaper, The Guardian.  This feature is called “Witness” and asks members of the public to contribute photos, videos or writing in response to a theme. You can see the pictures submitted by last year’s students on our blog here:

Guess what, this month’s Guardian Witness project is “Are you helping solve climate change?”

As this is something that has been woven through the start of our Hydrosphere unit, I’d like you to think of a response to this assignment and post your answer to the question here on the blog.

In order to complete this assignment, you will need to look at the website for the question and to read the responses contributed so far by the British public.  Here is the link to the assignment on The Guardian webpage: You can see the assignment, and the 12 contributions by the public so far.

For your response, please answer BOTH of the questions below:

  1. Post what you are doing to help solve climate change.  This could be a way of thinking, some specific actions or decisions you or your family have made.
  2. Respond to one of the contributions on the website that have been posted and evaluate whether you think this contribution will make a difference, and whether this is something you would consider doing with your family or in your community.

I look forward to your responses!




    #1 I think that by making more electric cars and lower the price will help as well as have more charing stations around. Every house should have a low flow toilet and a little cap on all the taps to make sure less water comes out and have the water saving kits brought back.
    #2 Solar power, hybrid car and insulation I think that those things will defiantly make difference to climate change and if everyone starts living this way the world could start changing for the better. I think that my family would love to start living this way but currently my family can’t have an electric car because we don’t need a new car for the time being.

  2. den10@sea43

    #1 My family is a big biking family and we bike lots instead of using are cars. Also when we got are car we made sure that it did not run on harmful gas.
    #2 In Isiolo some one posted a photo of a group of women celebrating because they got a solar panel. I think that this is a great way to redouse climate change because they are not using as much bad gasses and they are protecting there nature there and I think that it is great that they are doing this because where they are has lots of wild life so it is great that they are protecting it. Also I think that it is great that they are doing things to stop climate change all around the world which makes e so happy.

  3. Rouge

    In my family we have been turning down the heat and we have been mostly walking or using the bus to get places. I think that it is very important to take different ways of transit that use less fuel and cause less pollution and/or smog. I always recycle, and compost food waste. Also at one of my houses there are multiple recycling bins that specify in all different kinds of waste and plastic. I wish that my family drove an electric car (I would love a Tesla) because it saves and reduces the use of gasoline and fuel, which creates less reasons to frack for fuel. I also always try to make energy and fuel decisions around what will use the least amount of fuel and what is energy and environmentally friendly.
    I think that the solar panels will make a big difference to climate change and the amount of fuel we use. When solar panels are used properly they create energy produced from the sun. They are both easy-to-use and energy efficient. It will make a difference because we will use less fossil fuels, and replace toxic fuels with an earth friendly, and healthy fuel that comes from our natural resources. I think that by 2020 everyone in Vancouver will have one and it will cut back on our fuel usage so much.

  4. Amethyst

    1. I’ll start of with vegetarian and I always have been so I didn’t just become vegetarian because we learned something about it. Also my family we always by free range eggs for the animals because it’s wrong to put a whole bunch of chickens in one tiny cage. I don’t wear real animal fur because you either cut of all the hair on the animal and it’s really cold or kill the animal and use the hair for clothing and the actual animal for food.

    2. Well the person who said that they’re vegetarian as well. I definitely think that it will help because being vegetarian or vegan keeps the animals stay alive for longer and the animals should just have a happy and safe life. Also I sometimes think about if I were in the position of the animal and someone killed me and ate me which makes me think that if humans get to have a happy, safe and wonderful life why shouldn’t the animals too. We’re actually animals well mammals and we don’t get eaten.

  5. xaxo6 04

    #1 In our house we don’t have a car, we try not to turn on the furnace and we try to save as much water as possible we also have a rain gage to store rain water.We can still do more though such as take shorter shower and keep the landfill garbage at a minimum.
    #2 Like DLTMGYD I think solar power, hybrid cars and insulation would benefit people if there were more of it.
    Because our insulation keeps the heat in and if there were more insulation we wouldn’t have to use the heater as much. Also solar power and hybrid vehicles could be combined so we could maybe have roads that are powered by solar power or instead of roads we have tracks.

  6. Crazychicken lover

    1#I am not doing much to prevent pollution and climate change but i am doing small things like using less water on the tap when i am brushing my teeth or when i am washing the dishes or when im doing the laundry use not harmful chemicals just in case they lwak out and affect the groung in a bad way. We are thinking of buying bicycles for our family so we dont have to harm the enviroment so much. I am not a vegetarian and i probably eat ALOT more average meat a person should eat but i dont buy animal fur products and i always recycle:-).

    2# I think the one about local food markets are important because if you buy more localy grown food in your province or town or even country it will make a huge diffrence about the freshness and the quality of the food that u are eating. Like in peggys class we watched a very long documentary about organic and unorganic foods and how important it is. There was one part in the documentary about the corn used in products all over the world like ketchup,citric acid, other types of chemicals and it was very shocking to see how it was made.
    I think that it would be important because it is important about our bodies like in the documentary lots of fast
    fast food things are used in corn products like cornstarch and other things. Because if we has more organic things like more farmers markets the world would be fresh and new and we would be proud of it.

  7. crazymemeslol123

    #1 I would like to help take down the fracking and climate change in Vancouver and other country’s because the companys would not stop taking fresh water from lakes,streams,and creeks if they keep continuing this they will take all of the fresh water we drink will not be there anymore and the gas and oil companies most stop the fracking because if you don’t the underground water will turn into dangerous chemicals inside of lakes and when people swim in them who knows what can happen they might have dangerous side effects or they could just be instantly killed by the water and it would be because of fracking and eating animals that deserves better in life is just really horrible people just go around taking animals to there so called“farms” when they actually mean slaughterhouses those poor animals will be terrified with fear and they might die horribly.

    #2 I don’t know if going vegan is a good thing for climate change but it will help a little in climate change and the couple who said they watch something about cows and they never want to eat meat again. I think of this I think this will help climate change a lot saving a lot of animals when we go vegan they can live peacefully and quietly and enjoy there awesome life like we humans do animals and humans are not that different well they are but they want to live as long as us so we should let them live their lives undestrubed by gun fire or animals scearming for help.

  8. the DUDE

    The things we do for the environment: Me and my mom always walk to school. At our school we try to eat a lot of vegetarian food. Also, when we leave the house, we try to turn all the lights out and turn down the heat. We take short showers. We recycle!

    I noticed that a lot of people on the website talked about switching their diet to eating no meat. I thought that point was pretty interesting. That is actually a good idea because taking care of a cow takes up a whole field, and the cow would eat most of the crops as well. This means that your happy meal is actually an 80 pound cow.


    #1 One of the things that my family does to prevent climate change is composting and recycling every thing that we can, so that there is less garbage in the landfills that gets burned releasing lots of Co2 (Carbon), into the atmosphere.
    #2 I think that the idea of having a local food supply will not only make it so there is less importing, reducing carbon footprint emissions but will also make it so that the local environment is healthy and balanced.

  10. Shadow145

    1# I think that to help save climate change would be making electric cars a lot cheaper to buy, using less water, powering down electronics and walk or bike whenever possible.

    2# using solar power like that picture when everyone celebrated that they got solar panels and having hybrid cars.

  11. super cheese cake

    1. I think we can use more electricity cars but most of the electricity cars were really expensive and the company should make them cheaper so that more people will buy it. We could also use less hot water for consuming less electricity. In our family we turn off the switch right after we use it.
    2. I agree with the using solar power because there are lots of lots of power in sun light and we can use solar power to make electricity because it’s considered as clean energy and it won’t hurt earth. It will not harm human either so I think that is a really good idea. But the only question is the power is still not quite enough for us so I still support wind power because it doesn’t harm either earth or human beings.

  12. Purple Pickle

    Some things my family and I are doing to help in climate change is by sometimes taking advantage of nice days by getting around by bike, walking and public transit. My family also has a fuel efficient car and we also take advantage of a car share program. My family also composts and recycles and re-uses things when we can. We also try and conserve water by taking shorter showers and turning the water off when brushing our teeth, etc.

    I agree with the first comment saying “don’t fly” because planes use up tons and tons of gas and you could go on a road trip if the place you want to go to isn’t over sees, my family and I could consider this because we don’t even fly very much anyways.

  13. The Baconator

    #1to reduce climate change our family turns off the lights and only use the car when necessary. We do this because we want to save the environment and save money.
    #2 someone said this: We have insulated our house. We put up solar panels, we drive a hybrid car and make protests on the use of coal and fracking. I think that this is amazing! I don’t believe that people have spent this money and time to save the environment! I think that if more people do this we will see BIG changes.

  14. smeagaleater10

    #1 My family is not super environmentally aware but we have made decisions that will eventually help the environment like: my Dad biking to work, my brother biking to school, turning down the heat, recycling, and turning off the lighting and water after we are done using it, etc…
    #2 The one that I’m responding to talked about insulating, hybrid cars, and solar powering I think that it’s a good idea because it makes a difference and making a difference us how you stop global warming. My family is building a new house, we hope to install solar panels and insulate our house.

  15. baconguy

    #1. Some of the things that we do in my house that help stop climate change are recycling and composting and only using reusable bags when shopping. We also have appliances that use less energy.
    #2. The comment that I looked at was a comment that said that the person had bought a solar powered car. I think that having a car like that would be great for the environment. I talked to my mom and she said that she would consider it and that it is a good idea.

  16. PG Dinosaur

    #1 I have been turning the tap off when I’m brushing my teeth, turning lights off when I’m not using them, not flushing the toilet until necessary, and unplugging computers and electronics at night to help solve climate change. My entire family is dedicated to doing our part in our home to use less energy.

    #2 The contribution that I looked at was the Scottish man who is riding his e-bike from Glasgow to Cape Town. I think this is a good contribution that will make a difference because people can see how much a regular person can contribute to the awareness of climate change. He will bike though many at-risk areas, and show people what it looks like. This is something I might consider doing when I’m older, because I would love to help raise awareness about global warming, and green energy solutions.

    This is a link to his video:

  17. balloongirl123

    1 My family offend use the car because but sometimes we walk. I would use less water and using a lot of electricity because if some people stays home and just play there technology that is sometimes wasting a lot of electric and also the same as water when I brush my I would turn off the water sometimes.

  18. Joaquin what you are doing to help solve climate change. This could be a way of thinking, some specific actions or decisions you or your family have made.
    2.Respond to one of the contributions on the website that have been posted and evaluate whether you think this contribution will make a difference, and whether this is something you would consider doing with your family or in your community.

    1# My family tries to turn off the lights when we are not in a room, sometimes our house is very dark but we are used to it now and we try not to leave the faucet running when we are brushing our teeth. There are 6 of us so we try to encourage each other to take shorter showers, but sometimes a long hot shower just feels so good when you are tired. We recycle a lot and we compost, if we didn’t do this we would make a lot of garbage because we are such a big family.

    #2 Carbon Capture for a profit, converting CO2 to rock is a smart idea I think but it will be hard to put the carbon into the rock, I think it will make a big in difference if it works, it will be interesting to see if this works.

  19. Ginger

    Once a month, my dad and I go to the bottle return-it center and we return all of the bottles and cans that we have emptied that month. I think that this is a very efficient way of helping the environment and making a little money. What makes this even better is that I am saving the money that my family earns to go on a Me to We trip to India so that I can help people in other countries live safer and healthier lives and contribute to reducing global warming. Also, my family recently installed an outdoor clothesline. This way we can reduce our energy use through not running our dryer as often.
    My favourite contribution to the Guardian Witness webpage is the solar panels placed in Isiolo, Kenya. These solar panels will help the people in Isiolo create more clean energy, which they can use to make their lives more efficient. I would definitely consider getting a solar panel in our yard or on our roof as it would help us conserve and create energy from renewable sunlight and lead to a greener future.

  20. The Bean

    #1 My family’s house has a lot of windows which gives us a lot of natural lighting so we don’t use as much light during the day. We also fully use our compost and recycling containers. We try to buy local food when we can but we usually buy in bulk which reduces packaging. Both my parents have to drive to all around Vancouver for work but we try to walk or bike when we can.
    #2 I thought one of the more recent ones was the most interesting. They talked about a plan called the Kadir-Buxton near zero Co2 plan. There was some amazing facts about ways that the population could reduce the Co2 we emit like covering buildings in a material called Starlite which is lightweight, cheap, durable and reduce the amount of required air conditioning. It’s also fire resistant and fires produce lots of Co2. The writer also noted that about 20% of emissions would be stopped with the electrification of cars, which is actually a lot less then I expected. Our house was rebuilt a few years ago and had I known some of this information then I probable would have been more interested in making it a less energy reliant building.

  21. TechNerd

    Me and my family have done many things this last couple of weeks to help solve climate change. What we have been doing is taking shorter showers roughly around 5 minute showers, We have turned the tap on for a shorter time when washing our hands and have used the dishwasher instead of hand washing the dishes so less water is used. My Family is particularly concerned about our drinking water, For example we are concerned that too much water is being used for fracking and that the BC Government really doesn’t care about how much water companies take. I have chosen to respond to a response on the website to a Family who bought a fully electric car. I think what this family did, Transitioning from a Gas car to a Fully electric car which let out no emissions was a great step to solve climate change and pollution, If we all bought these cars over Gas cars we would all make a difference and shortly we would have a greener environment and would have all contributed something to solve climate change.

  22. DancingPorcupine

    1. Something that I do to help solve climate change is that I am vegetarian so by not buying or eating meat I can make sure that there are more animals being free in the wild.
    2. I think that the most interesting one was the one about the Kadir-Buxton plan. I think that this could help with climate change because the material is much better than using wood to build houses or other buildings because you dont need to cut down trees to get it.

  23. Sr.Fruitcake

    #1 We try not to fly to much for holidays. We take public transit instead of driving to soccer practise etc. We rinse out plastic bags and reuse them and recycle as much as possible. We compost, and conserve energy. We hang dry our clothes in the summer instead of using our dryer. Those are some of the things my family does to conserve energy.
    #2 The first contribution to the guardian is the one I will respond to, I think that is a big adjustment to his way of life. It will be a bug improvement to his emission levels. I think that it will make difference and it is some thing I would consider doing. Although not many people have the cash to do things like that. I think that if we all had the money and did that it would make a big difference and soon I think that we can do that more.

  24. Soccerboy123ABC

    #1 by making more electric cars and putting down the price will encourage more people who use cars more than walking and biking to get an electric one and then learn how much damage his little car did to the world. we also take a lot of dirt out of the composter so we don’t have to buy it.
    #2 solar power hybrid car . i think it is a good idea but maybe if he did something public that showed how much money he saves,that it might be more convincdible for more people.

  25. Pandatush

    1. My family and l try to minimize using our car and to try and walk to destinations that are walkable to. That way we aren’t releasing fossil fuels into the air.
    2. I really think solar panels and electric cars would make a difference. Solar panels would be really helpful and powerful in the summer. The sun is out giving us warmth and a source of light. The Suns literally calling out at us saying use my energy. Solar panels are great and prevent climate change. Electric cars are great too. People who worry about the environment don’t have to walk to a grocery store that takes an hour to get to by walking and not driving. They can drive electric cars and not feel the guilt.

  26. Arctic owl

    1# my family dose not really ever use our cars to drive to school except when its raining really hard . My family dose not throw out plastic bags we keep them because they might come in handy some time who knows ?
    2# I think that electric cars are really great for helping climate change .We can also try to help deforest station so were not letting bad carbon into the air something we can all do put up signs and if your felling good about it maybe even protest

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