by Rinka K. and Annie L., HS GIN students
In the Concordia GIN (Global Issues Network) club, students are active global citizens who volunteer in activities to save our environment and Earth.
There are various organizations in China already working on plastics, electricity, as well as food waste conservation. However, many students are reluctant to work on marine animal conservation and other environmental issues such as biodiversity and global warming, mainly because they believe it is challenging - as high school students - to make a change on such a big scale issue.
Our marine animal conservation group (Annie L., Julia M., Rinka K.) is deeply rooted in the idea that every effort counts towards a bigger change. We are committed to the conservation of the ocean and its marine life. The health of the ocean and marine life are often taken for granted and, as a result of the increasing population and wasteful practices, the ocean appears to be vulnerable to harm. Being fully aware of this reality, we couldn’t sit down and take no action.
In April, our marine conservation group joined forces with Hands on Shanghai, a volunteer organization in Shanghai, to cooperate in a beach clean up held in Nanhuizui/Fengxian beach. 25 students from all across Shanghai signed up, including us, to show our passion for the environment and many held a strong desire to preserve the environment in Shanghai, China.
It was a really inspiring trip especially because we often don’t encounter these meaningful volunteer activities every day, and we managed to collect almost a bag full of trash. Altogether, our Hands on Shanghai group was able to collect 6 kilograms of trash. Through hard work, we collected plastic wrappers, used foam, a plastic water bottle still half full of water, fragments of broken glass, take-out boxes that were covered in oil, used ropes, and a box of used wet wipes. This experience renewed our knowledge of the seriousness of waste pollution in Shanghai, and we hope to spread this awareness across Shanghai in the near future.
It was a pleasure being able to work in the marine conservation GIN club this year and we hope that we can continue this next year as well.