An initial step to learning more about our consumption society is to view an informational video called Story of Stuff (2007). The video is already 9 years old, but still presented valid knowledge about the truth about waste and that fact that “there is no away.”Contrary to what our modern, capitalist society likes us to believe, the waste that we create as individuals and as a society does not magically disappear once it goes in the trash can because we live on a planet with finite resources and space.
A lot has happened since my last past, namely, I enrolled, studied and completed a doctoral program at Chulalongkorn University. My interests in conservation, social enterprise and sustainability led me to the Environment, Development and Sustainability Program. It was an intense 4 year period as a doctoral student learning about sustainable development and international policy. For the last 2 years, I concentrated on my research and every waking moment was spent wondering if and when I would finish this massive task.
While I’m glad that my PhD program is behind me, I’ve learned so much from that experience and it has heightened my confidence that more people need to become aware and take action on the massive destruction that humanity is doing to the Earth and each other. Keeping that in mind, I’ve decided to stay in the teaching profession but have shifted to the high school level where I can teach my favorites subjects, biology and environmental science. Given the freedom and resources I have available, I think it’s an excellent place to and continues my goals of educating young people about the environment and sustainability. It’s already been an exciting month and a half where I’ve begun to see how young minds are more pliable than adults and our hope really does lie in changing the minds of the future members of Thai society. It feels good to be back in the trenches again as an educator with a mission.
The last few weekends I have been working on the
preparations for my vegetable garden. During the last few months,
my father put some of the leftover pulp from composted pineapples
in the ground. Now, we added more layers of organic compost, this
time mostly from leaves and grass clippings, as well as cow manure.
We also put a fence with netting around the area. This is to make
sure the dogs don’t get into the garden, since they love to dig and
chew. Three weeks ago, we started some seeds in small folded-paper
pots filled with a mixture of soil, coconut coir and manure. Most
of the vegetables have sprouted and the seedlings are ready to go
into the ground. I’ve also started more seedlings last week. This
time I have some sage, Thai pumpkins, Baby Boo pumpkins, dipper
gourds, and butternut squash. The last three were from seed packets
that I bought at the Jim Thompson farm for 20 baht. Each packet
only had 4-6 seeds so I take extra special care of those ones. This
Bangkokian can wait to see it when everything is in the
I’ve heard about the Jim Thompson Farm in Pak Thong Chai in the past in Nakhon Ratchasima province before but have never had the chance to visit. The reason is that it is only open to the public during a short period in the winter. This year it is open from December 18, 2010 to January 9, 2011. The farm features an eco-cultural tour showing the silk worms and mulberry farm, pumpkin patch, sunflower fields, Isan village and local artists.
I hope to go to the farm this weekend before my chance is gone for another year. It’s a three hour drive from Bangkok, so it can be a day trip for Bangkokians. It would be a great place to spend the day with the family and I think kids would really enjoy it.
This video is from the Global Social Venture Competition – Southeast Asia 2010 (GSVC-SEA) of Freehap. This team won at the regional finals and when to represent Southeast Asia at the Global Finals at the University of California, Berkley in April 2010. Part of Freehap’s charm is their energy, creativity and spontaneity which aligns with their idea of Free Happiness, shortened and combined to create the name “Freehap.” The members of the group represent Chulalongkorn University and Thammasat University, both of which are top universities in Bangkok, Thailand. View the video to see the winning business idea presented by Freehap at the GSVC SEA final round to a respected and diverse panel of judges.
This video is from the Thailand Authority of Tourism (TAT) and highlights some of the wonderful natural beauty of Thailand. It also encouraged everyone to “Keep Thailand Beautiful” so that we can all continue to enjoy Thailand’s beautiful flora and fauna for many generations to come.
Eating your fruits and veggies will help you have a long and healthy life. Especially if you grew those fruits and veggies yourself in your garden without the use of pesticides or other harmful chemicals. This video shows an elderly couple still enjoying their veggies, despite some difficulty in chewing, and their por peang lifestyle.
This video highlights The Cambodia Project which presented its Social Impact Assessment (SIA) at the GSVC Global Finals at UC Berkley in 2009. The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) strives to elevate the visibility of new ventures through their annual business plan competition. GSVC organizes and hosts a social venture business plan competition that provides a global forum for entrepreneurs to showcase their plans and for investors to support groundbreaking social ventures. The Cambodia Project was chosen as a finalist by the Columbia Business School to travel to California to meet with social venture capitalists in the San Francisco Bay area to raise interest and capital, in leading to the organization’s 2009 summer mission in Phnom Penh.
About The Cambodia Project:
The Cambodia Project is a US based nonprofit organization whose mission is to build sustainable communities through secondary education, in developing countries, beginning in rural Cambodia.
The Cambodia Project believes, if poor, rural children worldwide have access to comprehensive secondary education that is both economically and environmentally sustainable; if their families have access to high quality health services, then economic and community growth will be stimulated, helping to alleviate the cycle of poverty in developing communities.
The Cambodia Project’s holistic education initiative is to construct environmentally friendly, economically sustainable, community managed secondary schools (grades 7-12) in rural Cambodia that employ highly trained teachers, and offer students excellent academic courses and life skills. The Cambodia Project’s mission is supported by three pillars: health services for students and staff, environmental sustainability in the schools’ construction and maintenance, and economic growth from local agriculture revenue generation streams.
For more information on The Cambodia Project please visit: http://www.thecambodiaproject.org/