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GESM Opens Environment Awareness Week

The German European School Manila (Deutsche Europäische Schule Manila) or GESM launched the Environment Awareness Week on Monday, February 17. Gracing the opening program were two very important guests -- Rep. Eric Olivarez, Congressman of Parañaque's 1st District and environmentalist Irene Mejer, founder and president of the zero-plastic store Eco Shift.

The opening began with a performance of the GESM primary school choir, led by teacher Torsten Herzog. They invited everyone to sing a song for the environment, and this served as the prelude to the special guests' talks.

An advocate of environmental policies, Congressman Olivarez talked to the students about Parañaque City's newly signed ordinance that bans single-use plastics from all commercial areas. He also talked about the so-called "1-liter challenge" where people are encouraged to show on video how they can optimize their water consumption with just one liter's supply of it. This is to raise awareness about how much water we consume and how much we can actually save by being more mindful about how we use it. Before the end of his talk, he passed on the one-liter

challenge to the students in attendance, and encouraged them to post their videos on-line in order to spread awareness about environmental protection.

The Congressman also took time to walk around the Eurocampus, complimenting its greenery and well-maintained environment.

Irene Mejer followed the Congressman Olivarez' talk by introducing her store, Eco Shift,

and what it means to reduce the use of plastic in our everyday life. Eco Shift sells hygiene essentials such as shampoo bars, soaps, and other products that are hand-made, plastic-free and responsibly produced.

The store kept a booth on campus where they offered their products for sale for the rest on the Environment Week's opening day.

On the subsequent days, primary students from both German and International Sections undertook in several activities and workshops geared towards imparting environmentally friendly behavior and raising awareness on sustainable practices.

A highlight of the week is a fashion show by primary students showcasing artistically designed costumes and artwork made from recycled materials. The students donned their colorful and amusing works and presented them to fellow students and teachers in a catwalk that took place inside the Eurocampus auditorium -- a nod to the German Karneval or Fasching that was also being celebrated in the school in the same week.

by Shadin Kitma


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