It’s no secret that the Earth is polluted. If there is one common trait among humans, it is that we have a terrible habit of throwing away lots of stuff, with no sense of its true expiry date. In recent years, the effect that toxins and waste have on Earth has become notable. Ms. Jaqueline Collins’ Art Foundations class is focusing on one aspect of this- wildlife. Species that are crucially integrated into the ecosystem are dying off quicker than humans can respond.

In Canada alone, mammal populations dropped by 43 per cent, fish populations dropped by 20 per cent, and some types of birds have lost between 43 and 69 percent of their populations. This sharp decline is being caused by many things- all of them driven by humans: overfishing, deforestation, habitat destruction, and changing weather patterns, just to name a few.

The goal of this project is to encourage students to think about the effect their lifestyle has on the planet. “The project was really fun and allowed you to be more creative and use your imagination to create something real,” said grade 11 student, Leah Nathorst.

The class is creating small solutions to these issues: taking shorter showers, refusing straws or plastic bags, etc. “I do really hope that things turnaround sometime soon with our direction in taking care of the planet,” said Ashlyn Quilapio, grade 11 student.

Students found and collected trash to use in this project. The only rule for collecting was that the garbage had to come in a variety of textures and colours.

Large corporations want to make people believe that climate change is the fault of common citizens who don’t take 3-minute showers and avoid being accountable; meanwhile, millions of tons of CO2 are dumped into the atmosphere. According to a 2017 case study, approximately 100 companies are responsible for around 70% of global emissions- two of them are Shell and Chevron.

There is time, though barely enough of it for humans to change their habits and lifestyles. Should they not, irreversible changes are closer than we think.