Milan, for the Green & Blue party, workshops to introduce children to biodiversity and commitment to the environment

“We must leave the door of duty and into the window of pleasure, scientific discovery, observation”: Federica Buglioni, Andersen 2022 Prize, refers to children and the way of convincing them to eat even the strangest vegetables and (from some) hatred. He has just completed the two workshops inspired by his book Naturalists in the kitchen (Topipittori red) at the Green & Blue Festival. But the concept could be extended to include the sustainability challenges we face as a united society, and the appointment that the Gedi group is arranging today and tomorrow at the Franco Parenti Theater is trying to tell.

Get out of the logic of duty: understand that vegetables are good first and foremost, that being sustainable first and foremost means living better, even immediately. In his laboratory, Buglioni brought various leaves and seeds to the children, all edible: cabbage, rosemary, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, Belgian salad, red radicchio. “The first thing the kids say is: it’s not leaves, but vegetables. They don’t connect the edible element with the natural,” he explains. In the flower beds of the mysterious baths there are many food plants, and who knows how many, even among adults, have noticed them. For example, artichoke bushes over two meters tall, some in flower.

At Parenti Green & Blue, the festival to understand how to help the environment

by Vittorio Emanuele Orlando



“Kids are all little scientists. I’ve been doing cooking workshops for kids for 15 years: everyone starts saying ‘I don’t like it’, then they will eventually eat them. The eyes of those sitting at the table”. In the laboratory proposed by the cooperative Koinè, children can create their own seedbed by selecting and planting vegetable seeds, aromatic herbs and plants to attract pollinating insects.

In the afternoon, two workshops organized by Mani Tese: in the first, children simulate a session of the UN General Assembly to understand international dynamics, the interests of different countries, inequalities. Everyone speaks on behalf of a country and can propose a key goal that all 193 states must respect. In the second workshop, each child takes the place of a peer from another part of the world to try to understand what social exclusion, inequality, discrimination and deprivation of rights mean. Onlus Ambiente Acqua on the other hand pushes us to reflect on each person’s consumption of water and how to reduce it.

At the entrance, a photographic exhibition dedicated to the effects of climate change anticipates some reports that Contrasto photographers are making for Green & Blue, which will be presented at the end of the year at MAXXI in Rome. Massimo Siragusa immortalizes the desertification that affects western Sicily, the Francesca Anselmi glaciers and Po in danger. Valeria Scrilatti documents some projects in Italy that deal with research, monitoring and conservation of biodiversity. Mattia Balsamini talks about the ecological transformation of industries, Lorenzo Maccotta about new energy technologies. While Mattia Zoppellaro went to societies that fought for sustainability, such as San Giovanni a Teduccio in Naples, where the solar panels in a single building drive the homes of forty families.

In the Library, Christian Aletti, a volunteer from the Varese club Legambiente, provokes adults in a workshop, where he reads a few sentences and asks those present to divide the space between pros and cons: Comparisons and discussions arise, which continue even at the end of the workshop. Among the most divisive phrases: “Maintaining a sustainable lifestyle worries me because I will no longer be able to enjoy the comfort I am used to”. There is also talk of nutrition, veganism, artificial meat. “People want to have their say, get involved. And this approach to confrontation between peers in a safe and peaceful space is very helpful,” explains Aletti, who with the Youth4Planet project from Legambiente brings these debates to universities, schools, volunteer camps, summer camps.

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From Iowa, USA, came the twins Derek and instead Alex Koops, 21, domino artist. They created a planisphere design with seven thousand dominoes: 12 hours of work, six each, which will drop a few hours after finishing in about 15 seconds. They started building giant pictures with dominoes ten years ago: “We will be about 200 domino artists in the world”, they say, “we show what we do on YouTube”. Their channel is called DaksDominoes. I’m at the Franco Parenti Theater as part of a Philip Morris campaign trying to raise awareness about not throwing cigarette butts on the ground. The concert show in the pool closes the day. Among the guests: Malica Ayane, Francesca Michielin, Paolo Nori, Paola Giannotti, Marina Rei, Casadilegno. Tomorrow talks and debates.

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