Article By: Ayla Ahmed
Did you know that recycling one aluminium can could save enough energy to run a TV for three hours? Or that in the last 50 years, humans have consumed more resources than they have throughout their entire history prior? This is what the Environmental Council (ECo) is all about. ECo not only spreads awareness on the dangers us humans pose to the environment but also comes up with sustainable and feasible solutions aimed at reducing waste production and energy consumption within the ISM community.
First of all, what exactly is ECo? ECo is a group of dedicated students working towards the central aim of uniting the student body as they spread awareness on just how much one can do to nurture their environment. Executive Director, senior Joyce Chen, states, “ECo’s mission is to involve our community in sustaining and safeguarding the environment.” The fact that their mission specifically targets, “our community” highlights how everyone, no matter their age, social status, or size, has even the smallest sliver of power to change the state of our environment. After all, in the words of Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
However, as you can imagine, this is no easy feat. What can a group of a few students do to change the actions and overall awareness of the entire school? Yearly, ECo sets a new target goal to accomplish within the course of the school year. Joyce tells BT that, “The target for ECo this year is to reduce the waste in the canteen by promoting better segregation techniques.” Past target goals have included decreasing electricity as well as paper consumption within school by a certain percentage. So how do you convince students to properly segregate their trash? ECo has taken a more indirect approach to this. Quite simply, they believe that if there is less trash, the issue of waste segregation can be minimized. Further elaborating on this point, Joyce states, “We encourage students to bring their own containers for drinks, so we implemented a policy where students can get a 5-peso discount if they bring their own bottles.” So, not only does this initiative reduce overall waste production, but it can also save you a lot of money in the long run. Did you know that if you brought your own container everyday for a month, you could save 150PHP?
Hoping to spread awareness on the rapidly expanding issue of environmental degradation, ECo is currently making reusable tarps to hang around school as well as organizing movie nights. In order to keep everyone posted on the progress made throughout each semester, Joyce tells us, “We keep track of the monthly electricity, water, paper, toner and now waste consumption/production data to see if we have increased or decreased our usage of resources. Every semester, we provide a report analyzing the trend shown in these data, and plan our projects accordingly.” This shows how if their initial approach does not seem to be making significant changes and improvements, ECo adjusts to a more efficient method.