Jacquelyn Collinsan art teacher at Riverside and one of the Environmental Club sponsors, along with teacher Bryan Chan shared with The Eddy some insight into what the Environmental club is planning this year.

The focus of the club this year is to organize some local initiatives within the community of Port Coquitlam. The members of the club have decided to each pursue their own point of interest; some students want to build a greenhouse out of cast-away materials; another student wants to explore methods to appropriately deal with cigarette waste, a highly toxic material; others will look at local businesses and how they dispose of waste, exploring alternative methods that are more environmentally friendly. Grade 11 member, Liam Byrne wants to encourage community members to reduce plastic waste.  

Byrne is inspired to be part of the club because he feels local clubs and community events help people to act on their concerns about the environment. Greta Thunberg’s global movement can be put into action in the local community, but Byrne feels that people also must be willing to give up convenience in their lives if change can happen. ”It’s all about the individual person, and their morals versus convenience,” said Byrne. ”If a young person has concerns for the environment, but they value convenience a bit more, they won’t want to act on their concerns.’’ We live in a society built off convenience, and this practice has led to single use practices that waste massive amounts of product that could be re-used. 

 Collins also commented on things that Riverside students who aren’t in the club can be doing to help their local environment in small ways, starting with being more aware about the impact of consumerism. ”We could start with consuming less, we’ve been trained for the last 50 years to be good consumers, and that’s what keeps the economy running. But we have so much product we throw away and go buy new stuff again.”

 The Environmental club has been running for four years at Riverside and is always looking for new members. The club meets Wednesdays at Lunch in room 109. Anyone is welcome to attend and help support the local environment. 

image courtesy of Waste Management World