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Video: https://drive.google.com/a/challoners.org/file/d/0Bw8GAtedH0ymZURQUlVKZjItZjQ/preview

Year 7 were recently treated to an intriguing day out to The Crystal in London. The purpose of the visit was to make us aware of sustainability in urban areas. We were fascinated and slightly worried as we heard about what would happen in the future if we carried on living our current lifestyle. As we were taken around the building by our informative tour guide, we had the opportunity to try several interesting activities. These included jumping on a platform to produce energy, moving our arms to create kinetic energy and attempting to run a city with a huge sum of money (fake, of course!) on a computer screen.

The Geography visit started with us being taken to a dark room. As we sat down, a graphic of tiny babies inside a womb appeared. The screen changed into different pictures with incredible statistics. Something that stood out for me was that the Earth’s population is predicted to be over 9,000,000,000 by 2050. It got us thinking that there would be many less jobs available and as a result more people unemployed. There will also be far more people to feed with even less food on the Earth. Then came the idea that should we enforce a limit on how many children someone should have, like the policy implemented in China, because the planet will not be able to handle having the increasing number of humans in the future. We gazed in amazement as the graphics started to move along the floor but it did not take us long to realise what this visit was about, and the seriousness of the issue of sustainability. And so, this was the perfect introduction to what would be an excellent trip.

Our group discussed the idea of having platforms that create energy when someone walks on them installed across all of London: as it is a busy city it could make a huge impact on the planet. But whilst that would be an effective and efficient method of producing electricity, it would be an extremely expensive task. Unfortunately, it was hard to produce a large amount of energy on these platforms, which we discovered as we had a go on one of them ourselves. Two people jumping up and down could not even power an electric car for five seconds! And so, we were left to think of more plausible methods to produce energy. Questions were fired across the room of numerous ways we could improve as we discussed potential solutions.

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We were also quite worried about the amount of water we use in countries where it is readily available. Leaving the tap on when brushing your teeth and having baths on a regular basis does not seem as if it should make much of a difference. But when we added up a whole household’s usage of water, we were shocked to see what an effect it had. Our tour guide told us that around 97% of the Earth is made up of water. However, only around 2% of this water was accessible and drinkable. But she also said that some people are trying to create a filter that converts salt water to safe, drinking water. We weren’t sure if there was any other way for there to be more clean, fresh water unless we wasted less. This trip really emphasized how we must make a significant change to the way we live our lives!

Year 7 left The Crystal with a completely different view of life. We knew more about sustainability in an urban area, and I personally will appreciate electricity much more than I used to. I would like to thank the Geography Team for organising such an enthralling trip which evoked many questions about our current lifestyle.