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SDG 15: Protect ecosystems, forests and biodiversity loss

Reshveny Sanmugam's picture

reduce plastic waste

The past couple of years, we have been seeing the effect of increased plastic consumption and the damage it does to our environment. Growing up, this was not something that worried me. I am ashamed to say that I was one of the many who never monitored my plastic consumption behaviour. As I got older, I read and watched the adverse effects plastic brings about to our planet. That's when I decided that I needed to do something and I cannot be this ignorant. I have been conscious of my plastic consumption over the last 3 years. Some of my actions are as follows - opting to use metal straws, bringing my own reusable bag to supermarket, investing in KeepCup, using biodegradable plastic bags for trash bin instead of plastic bags. I know that I have much more to learn and change. I am taking this pledge to be more conscious of my plastic consumption and encourage everyone around me to be more mindful of their plastic consumption.


Shinta Nourma's picture


I put one highlight on my personal Instagram account to raise awareness about a sustainable lifestyle. Remember it is not only important to advocate yourself, but other people too! I am not perfectly zero-waste at this point, but I am trying my best.


Shinta Nourma's picture


I keep a container on my kitchen counter to collect food scraps that I will compost at the end of the day.


Shinta Nourma's picture


I propagated this beautiful plant from a friend's garden and made a beautiful pot by recycling an empty liquid soap container. I had lots of fun getting creative and made this! There are a lot of things you can do to reuse empty containers from food or beauty products! Be creative.


Peiyi Chen's picture


I would like to see more pet-friendly public places like restaurants, gardens in China. Every pet would be taking good care of and no more stray animals


Rebecca Walters's picture

Citizen Science

I believe that encouraging an appreciation for and connection to life on land, promotes care for life on land. After the devastating bushfire season, citizen science provides a way for people to actively contribute to saving species and find hope in the healing environment. Citizen science is scientific research conducted by the general public. It can gather evidence of the changing climate, generate interest in the environment, and bring a community together. That is why my Green Step pledge is participating in citizen science by using the app, ClimateWatch, and documenting life on land through photos and videos on a weekly basis. PROGRESS: I have recorded film footage including of blue-faced honeyeaters building a nest and hatching young, taken photos of plants like the one above, and performed weekly recordings of a deciduous tree’s leaf loss and generation of new leaves that I uploaded to the ClimateWatch dataset to contribute to evidence for the impacts of climate change on biological life cycles. Appreciating Australia’s rich biodiversity through citizen science, encourages me to continue developing my sustainable practices and make positive changes in my own life.


Xiaoyu Liu's picture

reuse instead of dispose

Start using non - disposable containers, bags, straws, table wares, chopsticks.


Yashodha Sivakumaran's picture

Always pack a ‘thank you’ bag

All the extra time to myself during Melbourne’s lockdown served as the perfect opportunity for me to explore my surroundings and reflect on my habits. I’m blessed to live not too far from the coast and thus the beach became a haven of sorts for me to escape the confinements of home and enjoy the vastness of the shoreline (during my daily assigned hour of time outdoors). Sitting by the sea however, was oftentimes more confronting than it was relaxing. Although it saddened me to see the amount of rubbish pilled up and littered across the sand, I decided that disappointment alone was futile and I had to take action to improve the situation instead of absolving myself of personal responsibility. Ever since the start of lockdown, I have taken a bag with me every time I visit the beach and spend the last 10 minutes before leaving to pick up any rubbish on the sand that I had passed on my way there. Some days the bag is full and other days there is much less, however the bag never comes back home empty. To me, this serves as a reminder of the responsibility I have to my environment, regardless of whether or not I caused the litter. If I’m able to enjoy the beach without any personal cost, then taking a few moments to clear up my surroundings serves as a ‘thank you’ to the environment for my enjoyment and time spent appreciating the atmosphere. Always packing what I consider a to be a ‘thank you’ bag has been my One Step pledge that I plan to take beyond the beach and adopt in other environments, including future time spent on campus.


Rachana Manjunath's picture

When I am in Victoria

I believe our sustainable planning varies according to the location and demographics. For instance, renewable resources preferred in Western Australia is Solar, but the suitable sustainable way of generating and sourcing energy in Tasmania is Hydroelectric power. So, according to our inputs, we model and build our sustainable environments. Victoria, proudly known as the Educational State of Australia, hosts around 490K students, including domestic and 40% international students. The universities are spread across various suburbs of the Melbourne Metropolitan area covering all four directions except few campuses within the CBD region. Naturally, around 400k students are based in the University suburbs. The average demographic age in these suburbs is 23 years old. The average distance between 2 Universities is about 11kms, which makes the Suburbs more educated and diverse, which gives us enough space and resources to facilitate precise waste treatment individually. We throw the waste into respective allocated bins and think we are helping the recycling process. But four bins given by the local council does not solve all the problem. Further, every six months, new students move in, and many students move within the suburbs. As an international student, I have observed that we tend to shop the immediate requirements such as new laundry baskets, containers for the kitchen, heaters, etc., without thinking twice when we move in. The average study duration for students is estimated to be two years. Whenever we carry out or change the place, the suburban streets are left with much-unwanted plastic and other wastes because students think the products are cheap and long-distance movement of these small home products is a burden. Embodied energy and CO2 footprint of these small products in the manufacturing and recycling phase are ten times higher than the transportation and use phase. After careful observation and analysis, I have taken one step of not hurrying about shopping for a new home and reducing possible waste thrown out when I leave. Instead, I have taken the initiative of buying only food essentials in the initial 45-50 days, such as a recyclable bag, collecting cardboard from online orders. Once I complete my 45 days stay in Victoria, I accumulate a pasta jar, ice cream box, and so on to replace buying new things. My next step is to highlight this blind waste to fellow Victorian students by sharing our Victoria home tips during Orientation and University activities as essentials. My following action is to create a universal hub for all Victorian Uni students to plan separation of waste into even more specific categories, such as submitting weekly soft plastics to nearby Coles or Woolworths situated in 2.5kms radius of each suburb. Followed by promoting water-saving Faucets in kitchen stinks, bathroom tap, and gardens around the house and campuses, collecting electronic waste from the respective suburbs, and reallocating between University and local council for the University research training for both students and researchers and finally composting. As most of the suburbs facilitate a share house experience for most students, I have planned to compost our regular food and green waste to grow desired plants. Forming Victorian students hub during our stay will surely influence the Victorian environment.


Sunny Nguyen's picture

Mask off the Environment

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the increased usage of disposable goods; cutlery; straws and especially, masks. Whilst an essential aspect to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it has detrimental impacts upon the environment. It has implications on the future of medical PPE. How can be we become more environmentally sustainable in a world that is heavily reliable on disposable PPE? An optimal solution is one that can be disposed of without environmental damage and does not compromise the quality of medical PPE. Thus, my commitment is to advocate for sustainable options around Monash University, specifically biodegradable or reusable materials. My 3 actions are: 1. Promote- engage with people in the community through social media on the importance of resuseable utensils 2. Campaign- advocate the idea of biodegradable PPE with organisations, including the university. 3. Model- act as a role model through taking responsible actions. This includes using sustainable utensils and encouraging other to do the same.



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