Global Goals

The Global Goals, What are they??

The Global Goals are an initiative of the world leaders to make a better world by 2030.
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Interview with Rob de Vrind

To stay in line with the Global Goals, our group wanted to have an interview with someone close to the subject at our school.
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Rookies Cantina

After an already pretty busy day of shopping and bowling, we headed to a local Mexican restaurant to close off our day. While driving to the place it really became apparent that infrastructure in the US was super car dependent. If you don’t have your own car, you can’t really go to a lot of places. This was evident by the huge parking lots in front of all the businesses and shops, the huge 6 lane roads with no sidewalks with tons of intersections and the fact that there were no pedestrians or public transport services to be found.
Alas, we arrived at the 1 story concrete rectangle that was our destination, appropriately named; Rookies Cantina. Being led inside you could easily see why people looked forward to going here; this place was as Mexican as you could get in Florida’s suburbia. The walls were covered in South American colourful decoration papers, with sandstone covered stucco walls.
The first thing that hit the table was not a menu, but rather the free chips and salsa. When talking about Global Goals, I could see this as either a good thing or a bad thing for the goal: Responsible consumption and production. Good because the more corn chips you eat, the less meat and artificially grown food you eat, but bad because at the end of the day, not all side dishes are finished, which amounts to more food waste.
Either way, the food was excellent, and one thing that was very eco-friendly was the ease at which you could get a doggy bag. I think most people are familiar with this concept, but seeing it actually being used in large scale was a new experience; and a good one at that.
All in all, a good restaurant with some small significance for our global goal research.

Marine discovery centre


When we went to the Marine Discovery Centre in New Smyrna Beach, we split up in to two groups. The Marine Discovery Centre aims so conserve and save the local marine life and strengthen the sediment of the mangroves and estuaries

When we parted our way with the other group at the headquarters, we took a short trip to the docks. Waiting for us there was the crew that would take us to Chicken Island. But sadly, there were no poultry animals to be found. What we did find was loads of trash, which I found odd since we were so close to the marine conservation centre.
Our task was to clean-up the beaches and highlands of the island which corresponded perfectly with global goal life below water and climate action.
The rubbish we found was composed out of all kinds of things. Styrofoam, micro-plastics containers, metal cans, and all other kinds of unidentifiable objects.

While the marine biology centre helped the local biodiversity and educating people, they also research new ways to improve the waters by analysing the plastic waste that is found and relaying that info to the authorities to not only clean up the trash, but also help preventing it from reaching to water in the first place.
By stopping people and industries from depositing trash in the ocean (whether intentional or not), They achieve more than just cleaning one or two islands every week.

Looking back at all our activities, this one was probably the one that has to most relevance for the SDG’s.

Disney spring


Disney Springs a highlight of the trip for most people, and it is clear as to why. Over 100 shops and 60 restaurants; one could spend an entire day wandering the winding paths between giftshops and beautifully themes districts.
But how sustainably is this park really?

While you might think that a multibillion-dollar company does not care much for the Global Goals, but Disney is surprisingly durable (or they have a really good PR company). With the rooms covered in solar panels, special actions for earth day, and a contribution to the Disney Wilderness Preserve, Disney Springs may not be as bad as we thought.

However, reasonable consumption and production is nowhere to be found. The underlying truth is that this whole park is just a giant shopping mall. And as George Carlin wisely said: ‘people spending money they don’t have on things they don’t need.’ At the end of the day, the only things they sell is overprices merchandise and food. This concept gets them two negative point for the Global Goals, those being: Reasonable Consumption and Production, and Sustainable Communities.

Canoeing


There really are only two things I could type about our canoeing trip in Wekiwa Springs.

One is about the fact that the alligator meat is caught locally and sustainable, and the other being about a group of researchers that were monitoring the wellbeing of the turtles. Both examples give a good insight as to how Floridians care for their marine life. While out canoeing between the alligators and great egrets, it’s easy to miss all the measurement taken to preserve the spring, but together with the Wekiva Wilderness Trust and the Florida State Parks, the conservation and preservation of these waters in constantly monitored.

A fitting Global Goals would be Life Below Water, and since the facilities on the docks ran on solar panels, Climate Action is also relevant.

Looking at the fried alligator bits being sold, the first word that comes to mind is not ‘sustainability’. However, some species of crocodile and alligator are invasive species, and are therefore worth catching and monitoring. Really, selling the meat as both a tourist attraction and food option is quite sustainable if you think about it.

Lastly the fact that in the area where Rock springs and Wekiva springs collide, researchers where monitoring and counting local turtles goes to show that this area is actively being looked out for. This is good thing for Global Goals Life Below Water as it helps the biodiversity and local marine life.

Architectural Sessons


Architectural Sessons
For some of these entries, it was tough to pair an activity and a Global Goal together. But this one straight forward. A Human Technology student and 2 Architecture students would go to an American Architecture class together. The global Goal for this being Good Education of course.

Arriving at the school at around 17:00, it was clear that this course was focused on students that worked during the day. In the Netherlands, we have some late-night lessons for older people that would like to make a career change, but ‘normal’ students rarely must stay at school past 16:00 (apart from some practical studies).

The classroom itself had a very technical feel to it. Every desk had its own desktop, and the walls were cluttered with projects and 3D prints from students. And of course, no classroom would be complete with a big red, white, and blue American flag.

The way that these students were being taught was also noteworthy, in that it resembled more of an afternoon hobby club than an actual collage class. There was no real introduction or tutoring, but rather, going straight into your project group and working on your architecture project.
While some students in the Netherlands may find this style of learning unhelpful or lacklustre, these students seemed to fine with it.
This may have to do with the fact that most of these students have a job at the side and going to an afternoon class where you would only listen for an hour would be uninspiring and boring. The fact that these people need a job to get a degree does not bode well for the US when it comes to the Quality Education and No Poverty Global Goal.

Overall, experiencing a lesson in America gave me some good insight in to how the schools operate, and how people view education.

Antique Shops



Even though these Global Goals entries are supposed to be only informative and analytical, I should mention that the visits to the antique malls and garage sales where only done by me (Toby) and Yvon.
Not a lot of people may know about the trips I took to the various thrift shops around Orlando, and trust me, you didn’t miss a whole lot.

Let’s start with the actual Global Goals that have to do with second hand shopping;
Reasonable Consumption & Production, No Poverty and Decent Work & Economic Growth.

By repurposing old furniture and items, a lot less ends up in landfills. For the goal Reasonable Consumption & Production, this means that less new products must be made, which saves materials and transport costs.
The fact that all these shops can make a living for their owners means more jobs and opportunities in the local area.
As for No Poverty, some old furniture is surprisingly cheap, which in turns gives less income families a viable alternative to modern furniture.

Of course, I went to these shops in search for cool Floridian antiques, but apart from 2 items, I did not find much. Still, it was good to see that in a 2-kilometre radius of our hotel, I managed to find 5 antique shops.