Cleaning and Gardening – Activity and Service
As students we have been learning about the vital roles of plants , trees and the importance of cleanliness that is to be practised in the environment. For the past couple of months I had been noticing that a lot of waste had accumulated in the backyard of my building . The range included from tiny plastic packets of tobacco to huge black polythene bags lying on the soil. I was quite disappointed to look at the maintenance of the backyard garden , thus I took the initiative of improving the state of the garden. The first step was : cleaning and scraping off the possibly harmful wastes on the ground and the next step was to plant a few saplings and water them daily . I also made sure to go and check upon them daily and do a cleaning of the backyard garden whenever necessary . The learning outcomes under this activity are the following:
LO1 – Identify own strengths and develop areas of growth :
During this CAS experience , I realized that I was very much passionate about this whole gardening activity and when it was executed according to the plan , it gave me a boost to pick up a new garden space and begin the same process there as well . I was able to execute my plan accordingly and being passionate about gardening the plants and taking care of them and thoughtful enough to clean the space from plastic trash made me realize that this is my newfound strength where with determination and focus , I was able to achieve what I wanted to . On the other hand , I also learnt the local names of the plants which I’d planted there with the help of the gardener and the Internet which anwsered the curious questions I had about each of the plant.
LO3 – Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
For this experience , I had made a plan and divided it into several stages . The first stage was to check and look for a surrounding and garden like space where I could clean it first and then grow plants . After finding a suitable spot at my building’s backyard , I began with the cleaning and picking up trash such as plastic water bottles , polythene bags and paper cups and trash on the garden space and collect them in a bin . After the cleaning process , I contacted a local gardener and asked him about the plants that I could grow in the backyard . With the help of the gardener and my younger sibling , I was able to plant 15 young saplings in a proper manner and could water them . From then on , I took the responsibility of the plants growing in the backyard by regularly watering and checking upon them and cleaning them .
LO4 — Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
This activity required the regular observations and maintenance where I was responsible to water the plants and check upon their state , clean the garden and remove the wastes . I try to take a round over there once in two days with gloves and a big waste collecting bag . Planting the trees isn’t a day’s task , it requires regular visits and care .
LO6 – Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
Cleaning the garden which was ruined because of the plastic wastes that were dumped over there is not only a local issue but a global issue . Countries at large generate a lot of waste which is not managed efficiently , it is either dumped in the landfills where it further degrades the land-soil quality , or it is littered in the water bodies which affect the marine lives severely or it is burnt which again contributes to air pollution . With a rising population and increasing demands for more resources , waste has become an increasing problem . So , to begin at a small scale I have tried to regularly clean the surrounding garden area and make it plastic and waste free. During one of the cleaning episodes at the garden , I found a few large black polythene bags stuck beneath a weak layer of soil and was astonished to see that it was torn into fragments which can possibly contribute to microplastic and disrupt the healthy environment of the soil. By the end , I was able to collect a huge bag full of waste.
LO7 – Recognize and consider the ethics of choices and action .
By taking gardening as a CAS experience , I recognized the consequences of my choices and the action i.e. the activity that I was going to perform under this CAS experience. Gardening contributes towards a greener planet and contributes to cleaner air and ecosystem .
The LEARNING ATTRIBUTES which I could identify myself with are as follows :
Caring – Gardening and taking care of plants helped me to realize that plants as tender as these also required caring and not just nourishment through water , nutrients and ample sunlight . Gardening and sowing new plants contribute to a healthy planet no matter how small that contribution might be and this that activity which will help make a positive change in the environment for a better future .
Balanced – During this activity I realized that by taking care of the plants and following the entire process from cleaning the garden space from trash to watering the planted plants , actually made me feel better and lighter . It felt like a duty towards the environment which was necessary and fulfilled . This also somewhere down the line helped me in my personal development by being a responsible person toward the environment .
Reflective – This activity made me realize and reflect upon my duties as a responsible person towards the nature and made me think about the years it would take to restore the imbalance caused by anthropogenic activities . It made me realize of the dreadful future we might have , if actions are not taken care of at this stage of time .