By Elizabeth McDonald
On Tuesday, November 7th, two Alpha students set out to teach a full classroom about sustainable consumerism. Carrie Ng and Victor Yin, Grade 12, hosted the BYSN November General Meeting as Co-Chairs of the Burnaby Youth Sustainability Network, assisted by Emily Ng in Grade 10. They hoped to show how it is not only easy to create many common household products yourself, but oftentimes financially economical and environmentally sustainable.
Participants were able to make a melt-and-pour soap as well as a natural brown sugar body scrub that only requires two ingredients. At the end of the day, participants were invited to share their creations with the help of a custom Snapchat Geofilter.
“The workshop took a lot of planning and hard work. We’re really happy that it went really well and that we were able to inspire students to create change in their communities! We wanted to show how easy it is to be sustainable. Anyone can do it and it’s fun too!” Carrie Ng said.
But that’s not all Alpha’s been doing for our planet. On November 29th, Alpha students Kimberly Cheng and Yin attended a meeting at Moscrop Secondary regarding a district-wide initiative supported by BYSN to switch to sugarcane paper. Sugarcane paper is forest-free, more environmentally friendly than 100% recycled paper, and can be just as cost-competitive as regular paper. Further consultation and evaluation is required at the district level before the switch is made, but the earliest that sugarcane paper is implemented within the district would be in late March 2018.
December 5th marked another important day for BYSN, where the December General Meeting was held at Burnaby North. A speaker from the Force of Nature Alliance spoke about the Site C dam in British Columbia and led the group through an interactive activity.
“Sustainability is something both Carrie and I are really passionate about, and it’s really exciting to see so many other students in our local community be excited about it as well!” Yin said.
The Burnaby Youth Sustainability Network is a student-run network that aims to connect all Burnaby high school green teams. They will be hosting more general meetings throughout the year where anyone is invited to attend for free. To learn more, please visit the BYSN’s Facebook page at facebook.com/thebysn.