Committing to Sustainability with a Splash

03 September, 2021
#Student Life

Committing to Sustainability with a Splash

With a message in a bottle, our students promise to take action for a greener future 

By Swiss Education Group

2 minutes
1MYAC

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Change begins and ends with choices. It’s choosing one kind of food over another or choosing to travel by bus, but mostly, it’s about choosing to care. Once you start caring, other adjustments are going to start happening, probably small ones at first, but the mindfulness that comes with caring about something will naturally affect even our smallest of actions. 

And what happens if one million people start caring? And make the choice to support each other by participating in something that will help them see the impact of their small decisions on the world? 

This is the question that the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) asked themselves. Since 2015, the organization has been developing international initiatives to elevate the voice of young people when it comes to climate change.  

The most recent project is their 1 Million Youth Actions Challenge (1MYAC). The idea is for one million young people to commit to implementing personal actions to contribute to one of the four following Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs):  

• Goal 6: water and sanitation 
• Goal 12: production and consumption 
• Goal 13: climate 
• Goal 15: biodiversity 

Whether participating in this challenge individually or as a team, young people are choosing to act and to support each other in moving towards a greener future.  

Young people are choosing to act, and to support each other in moving towards a greener future. 

On August 24, 2021, students from our Brig campus marked their commitment to this challenge with a splash. Standing on the shrinking glacier that is the source of the Rhône, the students were able to see with their own eyes what the continuation of global warming will cost.  

Standing on a glacier

“Walking inside the glacier where its waters originate was a wonderful and revealing experience,” said Jorge Arnanz, Undergraduate Program Manager at César Ritz Colleges, “While the beauty of the glacier and its environment is unparalleled, learning how fast it is melting and the negative consequences this will have on our ecosystem (just one hour from our campus!) has shocked all of us, and makes us ask ourselves what we can do to fix this situation…” 

For a start, they put their promises into written words. Students wrote down their dedication to participate in the 1MYAC and put their messages into bottles, which they then placed into the source of the Rhône on a symbolic journey. From the mouth of the glacier, the bottles will travel all the way to Marseille, where they will be fished out of the water as part of the official IUCN Conservation Congress event, attended by Emmanuel Macron.   

Our students will be able to track their actions, gain inspiration when it comes to implementing them, and see the progress of others. In this environment of hope, support, and care, a million young people will strive to make a difference. 

In a tunnel of ice

In this environment of hope, support, and care, a million young people will strive to make a difference.

Jorge Arnanz commented that “We feel truly privileged to be a part of the 1MYAC initiative and to offer our students the opportunity to take action and fight for a more sustainable world, with the support of national and international organizations.” 

We are so proud of our students, who are making choices that reflect our values here at César Ritz Colleges... A million small changes can lead to a big difference! 

#Student Life

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By Swiss Education Group