Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Student-Initiated Action for the Environment: Just the Beginning

For several years now the efforts of our Green Team and ISKL environmental pioneers have been geared toward setting up frameworks of operations such as recycling, paper usage, electricity auditing and financial support. The concept of student involvement, empowerment and stewardship, however, was an elusive goal whose day, it seems, may have finally arrived. Students were, of course, exposed to environmental issues in a series of courses, but actual hands-on opportunities were limited. The issue was not so much establishing opportunities for students to participate in hands-on environmental initiatives - such as Malaysia Week or after-school clubs - but creating a structure that would allow students to recognize their own political and social power and become involved in environmental stewardship opportunities of their own accord.

This year's High School Earth Club has stepped forward in this regard. Their initiatives, largely due to the efforts of their leadership (headed by Kegan Chang, Earth Club president) are starting to make an impact. Their first two initiatives involve taking over the organization, planning and logistical framework of the Community Recycling Program at Ampang and the creation of a student-led composting program on campus. The participation in these efforts has been limited largely to those in the Earth Club, but certainly this development heralds a new age for student-initiated environmental action!

We hope that these initiatives will mark just the beginning of a new sense of empowerment and environmental engagement. For the time being, there is much to be done. If you care to support the HS Earth Club in these efforts, ask away, participate in recycling and/or composting, and celebrate the changes being made by our student leaders (elected or otherwise).

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