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Caylin Qiu
I am taking one step to change the way I shop and responsibly discard household waste. I have been following the efforts of The Ocean Cleanup over the past few years and it has astounded me the amount of rubbish that ends up in our oceans. Waste that is not responsibly disposed of has detrimental effects on all parts of our ecosystem. My local council has recently introduced organic food waste bins which has helped my family compost organic waste and help further separate and organise the way we discard household rubbish. I have used my free time to research ways I can further separate hard to recycle products. This includes bread bag tags, bottle caps, soft plastic, nail polish, batteries and elastic bands to name a few. I have been collecting these items until I am ready to take them to specific recycling centres for the proper recycling of these materials. Local supermarkets and schools around me also have designated soft plastic recycling bins which has helped me recycle more often. I have also helped reduce food waste by donating food to the Pardale Pantry, a local community shared pantry for excess food. This helps reduce waste and feed people that may be struggling with their next meal. I would love to look into helping food waste organisations and expand this community initiative to surrounding suburbs too. Another initiative I have been involved in is the Buy Nothing community groups where people share and give away items that they no longer need to people who need it more. This gives items a chance to be shared, reused and re-loved to other families instead of being incorrectly disposed of or stored until hard rubbish collection. I still believe there are a lot of items that I need to responsibly recycle and dispose of; I hope that throughout this year I am able to learn more about the cycle of waste management which will allow me to make educated and ethical decisions when I shop and dispose of household waste. I also hope to look into community veggie gardens to help with composting and sustainability efforts in my local area.
Junyi Xia
Many young people, especially students, do not have much money for food and may choose cheap, easy, nutrient-poor food. Therefore, my first action is to create a platform or website where people can share recipes to promote healthy eating. People who share their own homemade meals and write recipes. It can help others to learn how to cook. Secondly, we know that restaurants or food delivery sector continue to grow, but they inherently produce a large amount of plastic waste. Why not use returnable packaging? Therefore, the second action suggests everyone use returnable packaging. The school can post more about the benefits of using returnable packaging on social media and suggest everyone use it. The third action is to organise more planting events. Let students grow and maintain a vegetable garden in line. Also, students can share their freshly grown vegetables and herbs with family and friends. So everyone can enjoy the health benefits of more veggies.
Alanna Marsh
I pledge to actively and consistently divert my soft plastic waste from landfill by separating it from my general waste, and instead collecting it for drop off at a RedCycle supported location. I will be actioning this both personally and within my household, so I will ensure to educate my family of the importance of separating our soft plastics alongside communicating what items can be recycled via this process. I feel this is one change that is highly impactful and I am excited to get my family on board and involved in this action!
Rasika Mhetre
I take a pledge to have a sustainable lifestyle. Since the material and energy demands of modern society are increasing day by day, there’s a strain on natural resources. Everyone talks about reducing the garbage, recycling, and reusing the materials, but no one is very keen on reducing consumption. I have seen people who love to shop a lot as per the latest fashion trends. Most of them wear the new cloth hardly one or two times and then it becomes garbage. Fast fashion is not only increasing the garbage but it is also affecting the waterways and human health. The dyes used in the textile industry affect the marine environment as they are very difficult to treat. Removing the dye from the water requires ozone treatment which is highly energy-intensive and which again impacts the planet. Hence, I would like to create awareness in society that how we can have a sustainable lifestyle and contribute to having more greener and cleaner earth. Reducing the consumption at the source itself can make a huge difference to save the planet. Along with sustainable consumption, I am committed to reducing my carbon footprint by taking the following steps: • Use of public transportation • Avoid unnecessary shopping • Tree plantation • Avoid food wastage • Use Organic green processed products • Responsible electricity consumption • Use reused and recycled products • Promote awareness about water recycling and reuse for potable and nonpotable applications
Joanna Joseph's picture
Joanna Joseph
Babies, children, teenagers and adults need to be educated even if its at a basic level. If we start to teach children at a young age about the environment, the inequality that still exists, and the things that affect the earth in a negative manner we can see the positive impact that starts from there. It is important to understand how much of an effect literacy has. Not just about reading or writing but learning and critically analyzing about what's going on. Gaining knowledge is one of the most powerful tools one can have. It is only if one is literate can they also understand even more adverse effects that may occur. Therefore I believe this one small step for literacy gives everyone the power of knowledge and truth that can then help them understand problems and help us race towards better sustainable solutions. Starting small always ends up big, but starting small with literacy ends up with a huge positive factor for everybody.
Emily Clarke
My pledge is to move my money away from banks that fund fossil fuels and change my superannuation investment to sustainable choices. Despite the International Energy Agency stating that there is “no room for new or expanded gas, coal and oil projects”; and the big four banks committing to the Paris agreement, they are still funding huge fossil fuel projects each year. Superannuation companies are also cashing in on fossil fuel investments, but we can choose to move our bank accounts and super to a responsible lenders and investors. Many people are unaware that their money is being invested in this way and that they can make a choice to move away from unsustainable investments. If everyone did this, we could send a huge message to financial companies that it is not ok to use our money to fund climate destruction, and this could see them changing their lending and investment practices.
Han Nguyen
As a Monash Chemical Engineering Student, I always try to study, work and live in the most sustainable way. I have witnessed garbage bins full of disposable plastic containers and cups after lunch time, and I really want to change this scene. Imagine that tons of garbage would be dumped into the soil or the ocean, which will destroy the whole ecosystem. We are Monash University students, one of the universities with many activities to promote green lifestyle. Therefore, we need to be the pioneer in using reusable containers or cups, water bottles. It's not hard to do. Bring your own containers to the food court, grab lunch and enjoy with friends. It's not hard to do but you probably would save a fish from swallowing plastics.
Han Nguyen
As a Monash Chemical Engineering Student, I always try to study, work and live in the most sustainable way. I have witnessed garbage bins full of disposable plastic containers and cups after lunch time, and I really want to change this scene. Imagine that tons of garbage would be dumped into the soil or the ocean, which will destroy the whole ecosystem. We are Monash University students, one of the universities with many activities to promote green lifestyle. Therefore, we need to be the pioneer in using reusable containers or cups, water bottles. It's not hard to do. Bring your own containers to the food court, grab lunch and enjoy with friends. It's not hard to do but you probably would save a fish from swallowing plastics.
Matilda Webster
My pledge is to take control of my own car usage and the detriment that this has on our environment. Driving to and from university (not to mention the parking stress) is embedded into university life at Monash. With most students, I have spoken to choosing to drive to university. The toll that this has on our environment is immense, as most only drive themselves. Therefore, I pledge to car pool to uni or take other means of transport to reduce my environmental impact. This idea could be implemented across the university with monetary and practical incentives. Expanding the already existing carpooling scheme. Firstly, by allowing reduced parking rates or gift cards to students who utilise the scheme. And secondly, providing special parking zones to registered car pool users (reducing the Monash parking anxiety). Furthermore, this would also address inequalities within the university, allowing those without access to personal vehicles a more streamlined means of getting to class.
Rabani Budhiraja
Why do we not recycle all the waste that we generate? On average, 1500 plastic bottles and cans are thrown away every single minute in Australia. Even though most plastic packaging and cans are recyclable, the question is how much is 'really' RECYCLED? How many people understand how recycling works? How many people have recycle bins in their bathrooms and toilets? Very few! My aim is to recycle every possible plastic waste I can and to encourage my friends, family, and neighbors to do so too. I understand how frustrating it is to remove peals from those old shampoo bottles and to remove all the product inside- but I also understand the earth NEEDS us to take action. So I will!
Sophie Clarke
My goal is to help protect my local waterways and environment by joining litter clean ups in my local nature reserve each month and picking up rubbish when I see it on the street. Plastic Pollution in Port Phillip Bay is a growing problem that significantly threatens the ecological health of the Bay. When it rains in Melbourne, plastic litter flows from our streets into our waterways and storm drains and eventually ends up in the bay. It was estimated that in the year to February 2020, 2.5 billion pieces of litter flowed into Port Phillip Bay from just the Yarra and Maribyrnong rivers. Overall, litter is creating a huge pollution problem in our local waterways and our bay. This plastic and microplastic pollution impacts the health of the birds, fish and other marine animals that rely on these systems. Therefore, stopping litter from entering our waterways or removing it from the waterways before it reaches the sea is crucial.
Omar Alkantar
My pledge is to improve my management of personal disposable waste, that is to actively and consciously be aware of the manner in which waste from general consumption is disposed of. To strive for a sustainable society where people aren’t living in excess of their needs, reducing consumption is paramount. This is the first and foremost step in achieving this goal, however there will always be some degree of waste or by product, and my pledge aims to address this concern. The first step in this pledge and the one that seems most fundamental to me in our current society, is to become more educated and positively educate others on the complexities of waste disposal. I think there is a grand discrepancy between what is commonly known and what should be known regarding the correct processes to how to manage our waste domestically, and where the waste eventually goes. On average, 1 in 4 recycled items are contaminated and are sent to landfill across Australia, however this isn’t due to apathy. Various studies and qualitative data suggest that there is positive support for the need for proper recycling and waste disposal practices in Australia, and their confusion stems from 1. Lack of information, 2. Lack of clarity regarding the right way to do things. For this reason, I will strive to become adept and well versed with the right way to dispose of recyclable and non-recyclable waste. In the process I aim to be more diligent and aware of what I personally do and strive to support my wider circle of relationships. Coupled with that, currently implementing practical approaches for my household such as; having multiple smaller bins in each room to promote active correct measures, composting waste for home garden patch, whilst reducing landfill bound options. With these steps in place, I hope a trickle-down effect can ensue, where knowledge and careful practices are shared and passed on. Similarly, there will hopefully be an economic benefit along with the environmental contributions, it currently costs $235 per tonne to dispose of waste for local councils, with 315 thousand tonnes sent to landfill in 2020 alone. This will hopefully subvert those costs back to the individual and make the current council managed waste management systems more efficient. This pledge aims to satisfy goals 11 – sustainable cities and communities, 12 responsible consumption and production and 13 Climate action. Current Australian waste management systems are gradually improving following 2018, so too should attitudes of the population as well, to go above and beyond goals set by UN.
Tom Zhang
I'm a culprit of leaving electronics turned on because of the sake that "I'll be using it later". But later sometimes turns into never and I end up leaving my computer or laptop on for the whole day. So in future I'll be more aware of this, and actually turn off the electronics that I won't be using so I can reduce my carbon footprint.
Josephine Felisca Lourens
I thought being vegetarian will be really hard, but turns out it is not at all. The first reason I decided to eat only vegetables is because I wanted to clear up my faces from acne. However, getting to know the other benefit related to sustainability has made me to take this seriously. In addition, watching couple of videos on how butchers cut animals into meat has made me feel really bad. So I've tried to cook or pick the vegan option when eating outside, even though it is not 100%.