MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
As a journey of environmental cleanliness ends, cadettes of the Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni Girl Scouts planted a Maple Fern Tree aboard MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, May 14, 2014.
Each year the girl scouts go on a journey according to the Girl Scouts Manual. The name of this year’s journey was the “Breathe Journey”, which taught the girls about the environment, air, pollution and how to decrease pollution in the air, on the ground or in the water, explained Lance Cpl. Kristin K. Kahalewai, a troop leader for the Girl Scouts.
Exposure to pollutants is associated with numerous effects on human health, including increased respiratory symptoms, hospitalization for heart or lung diseases and even premature death, not to mention the hazardous effects on the environment, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the World Health Organization, pollution in both urban and rural areas caused an estimated 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide in 2012.
“I hope they carry the lessons they learned during this journey with them for the rest of their life,” said Kahalewai. “Pollution is a big problem that tends to get ignored.”
The cadettes braved the rain to accomplish their mission of promoting clean air and beautifying the living space for the Marines aboard station.
“The entire journey was to inspire the girls about the good around us and how to preserve and promote it,” said Kahalewai.
Not only was this experience used to inspire the girl scouts but cadettes hope their actions will help encourage others to make a difference.
“I think planting the tree will help inspire a lot more adults to do the same,” said Alexis Flick, a cadette in the MCAS Iwakuni Girl Scouts. “Adults can take more initiative than us girl scouts, so I hope they see how much we are able to do and try to do more.”