‘Garbage island’ floats into Wyckham House
by Bryan Weismiller
Many students were shocked to see large netting and garbage strewn about Wyckham House on March 21. The “Garbage Island” display was part of the Oceans for the Future Campaign, a week long event put on by the Sustainability Centre.
Katie Robart, a third-year student, led the campaign, and was one of the fifteen volunteers who stayed up until 3 a.m. stringing netting and putting up posters in the student centre.
“I realized most people have no idea what goes on around the world because we’re so isolated here in Calgary,” Robart said. “I started this campaign mostly out of anger.
“I was upset because I couldn’t understand why people weren’t doing anything about it.”
Several events were planned throughout the week. Live demonstrations were held in Wyckham House, and several films were shown. Robart said all the volunteers care about the future of the planet and that’s what drives their passion. Over 40 people volunteered to help out with the campaign. She was quick to point that it’s not only “hippies” who volunteer at the Sustainability Centre.
“In the whole scheme of things, I’m trying to change the face of sustainability,” Robart said. “I don’t want to be looked at as an environmentalist problem.
“I think it’s an issue we all need to address, not just hippies.”
Robart admitted students don’t always have the time or budget to make radical changes. She said, cutting back on packaging, re-using containers and carpooling are easy changes, which “People hear all the time, but they’re still important.”
“All of us are going to lead the world some day,” Robart said. “We have such a huge voice, and I think people get so caught up in their lives and just how easy it is.
“You can go the easy way, but, I just want to make this life count, make it meaningful, and then I can be happy with my life when I’m done.”
Sustainability Centre’s Top 10 list of “What you can do.”
1. Make sustainable seafood choices
2. Buy ocean-friendly products
3. Minimize use of plastic
4. Clean up your neighbourhood
5. Support conservation and
6. Travel the oceans responsibly
7. Reduce household pollution
8. Don’t support sea mammals in captivity
9. Get education and vote
10. Become an activist. Spread the word.