On Tuesday the 5th of June, on World Environment Day, Grant Pereira from the Green Volunteers and Sea Shepherd Foundation came to visit the Regent’s School, Pattaya. He had come to establish a Butterfly Garden, which was accomplished with the help of the Year 11 students and the GoldFish Garden team.
Mae working in the butterfly garden.
Joyce and I had assisted Mr. Pereira in taking him to his talk venues and so were able to learn more about his background and his outlook on the world. He spoke of his battles for the environment and the places he’s been - we couldn’t name a country that he hadn’t set foot on before! He always made good chatter with the teachers too and his engaging talks were filled with stories of his life as an environmentalist.
At the end of his talks he would advise us on how we could become a better person environmentally; little adjustments to our lives such as turning off the water as we brush our teeth, recycling all recyclable materials and respecting animals - the little things we are always told, at school, to do. However, as well as advice, he has given us an idea of how great of an impact such simple actions could make.
It was amazing how easy it is to save our planet; we just lacked collaboration throughout the globe. Moreover, it was not just about making Earth sustainable but also to make sustainability a legacy - to hand down these simple ideas for future generations!
His humor and honesty allowed us to feel empathy towards environmentalists like him and towards animals. He showed us how animals have feelings too, they can get bored or stressed out just like us. They can communicate with us in their own ways and show affection, anger and sadness.
Mr. Pereira felt injustice towards wildlife and so, for the last 33 years, he and his team has been standing up against governments and large corporations on behalf of the animals and the environment. Some posters from his campaigns can be seen on the eco notice board under the clock tower (at the Regent’s School)!
Over the next few days we gardened together for several hours at a time. In the beginning we asked him what we could do with the insect-eaten plants, and along with a simple and chemical free recipe, he told us that eaten plants were what we wanted for our new garden. This tiny jungle-to-be was created for caterpillars and ladybugs to feast away at the flowers and the leaves!
By the end of it all, our garden became full of many little critters including salamanders, snails and butterflies. They had come together to create a little community within our school grounds. We are very proud of our new garden and hope we can enjoy gardening with Mr. Pereira again during his next visit. We also appreciate his contribution to our school’s leadership and environment pillar; since as well as posters and leaflets, he has given us inspiration, motivation and a full plant nursery! These ideas and concepts will stick with us forever, and so now, it is our turn to share this legacy with the world!
Students digging compost.
Mr. Pereira sharing his knowledge about seeds.