Paddy Pallin is proud to once again be supporting Speaking 4 the Planet in 2017. Since Paddy Pallin was founded in 1930, we have had a strong commitment to positive environmental action. This commitment was started by the founder Paddy Pallin and is continued today by his family Robert, Nancy and Tim Pallin. Paddy Pallin is excited to help inspire today’s youth and our future leaders to become articulate advocates for healthy communities and a healthy planet What is speaking for the Planet Speaking for the Planet (S4P) is an annual public speaking, and arts competition for high school students. Each year, the UN’s World Environment Day theme provides the focus for the talks and performances. Originally designed as a competition in public speaking and drama for high school students, Speaking 4 the Planet has evolved to encompass art and video-making; it has also expanded into primary schools, where it is called, Kids 4 the Planet. Paul Tiffin from the Paddy Pallin Miranda store presenting awards to the participants The competition provides a platform for young people to showcase their passion for change and their talents in public speaking and drama. In front of peers and three experienced judges, students bring out their best skills in persuasion, communication and performance to address the UN’s World Environment Day theme. The competition has three categories: prepared speech, impromptu speech and Impromptu drama. Students are asked to make their presentations a bit quirky! This encourages them and inspires the audience to think outside the box Developing Future leaders Paddy Pallin appreciates the way S4P fosters community engagement. The competition focuses the minds and actions of students, schools, local councils and community organisations on real world issues – environmental, social, political – that will affect students’ and societies’ choices in the future. Through S4P students are given a voice in the debate about what is needed to support a healthy planet, they are able to make a local contribution to some truly important global issues. In 2017 Speaking 4 the Planet continues to grow, with a number of NSW high schools participating. For more details on Speaking 4 the Planet head here. Be inspired by Mahnoor Laiq winning speech from the Liverpool Speaking 4 the Planet event. Connecting people to nature Before I start my speech, I would like everyone to just close their eyes for a moment. Imagine yourselves by a pond, a river, a forest, anywhere outside where you would go. Think about the calming sound of waves crashing against rocks, of leaves blowing around in the wind. Now open your eyes! Did any of you feel that? That calmness! Even just the thought of being outside in nature soothes us.How amazing! Good morning invited guests, students and teachers. We’re all here today to really understand the connection we have with nature. All of us have it! It is the thing that connects all humanity. A connection to nature is a sense of joined destiny and belonging between humans and the rest of the natural world. As of 2009, 93% of teens and 77% of adults were online, according to an Internet Project Review. Kids ages 8 to 18 spend an average of 7.5 hours a day, 7 days a week, plugged into computers, TV, cell phones and more. It’s concerning when a child would rather have a phone in his/her hands than being outside playing. How many of you would rather be on your phones texting than being outside in nature? I’m certain that the majority would rather be on their phones. Not just you, but me too. However, all of us must be trying to create a deeper connection with nature. We can keep a sense of connection strong by experiencing nature often, through all of our senses: going for a walk with the dog, feeding fish or even just smelling the rain; I personally have always enjoyed going down to a park in Prestons, where I grew up, just to breathe in the fresh, clean air and that has always made me feel so stress free and good. Research shows that there are important, positive connections between human health, intelligence and nature. The Children and Nature network conducted a study where children ages 2 to 5 were closely observed after natural elements had been added to their playgrounds. These studies revealed that children are healthier, happier and perhaps smarter and more creative when they are connected to nature. When we are connected to nature, we appreciate the trees and the blue skies but we can do more than just this, don’t you agree? For example, food comes from supermarkets. Wrapped in plastic, right? Just by growing our own fruit and veg, even on small balconies, we can create a strong and very necessary bond with nature. There is no Wi-Fi in the forest, but I promise you will find a better connection because we were born out of this nature. Without it, we are nothing! Absolutely nothing! This type of connection has an uncountable amount of benefits, as I have mentioned before. Without this connection, bond and love towards nature and Earth, we harm not only ourselves but our future generations as we do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors but we borrow it from our children. It’s disappointing to hear that children nowadays lack this connection, many not knowing that a baby cow is called a calf and names of trees and flowers have gone from junior dictionaries to make way for words like ‘broadband’ and ‘analogue’. To increase the connection with nature, we must firstly make a commitment to connecting with it. Be alone in nature, really think about it all. Give the environments personalities even, make sure that you take in your surroundings. Notice all the bumps on a small rock, the different colours on a flower and the high pitched sound of a bird. See it, hear it, smell it and feel it! Allow yourselves to enjoy it! “To forget how to dig the Earth and tend the soils is to forget ourselves”, said Mahatma Gandhi. So open the door to the outside and support the wonderful connections with nature! Mahnoor Laiq Malek Fahd Hoxton Park Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.