PENAMPANG: Students from SM St Michael here have brought their environmental awareness out from school and spread it to family members.
For Kimberly Perera, 14, who is in form two, the campaign to reduce the use of plastic bags is one of the main priorities for her family, especially when going out to the market or grocery shops.
“My family and I will use recycled bags each time we go out to shop or buy things from groceries because we want to make the campaign a success.
“I have learnt many things about pollution caused by plastics and we, the students are trying to spread awareness to everyone, including villagers near the school,” she said.
According to science and physics teacher Jennifer Asing who is involved in the school’s environmental activities, students of SM St Michael are also collecting rubbish from houses near the school every morning.
“Apart from collecting rubbish, we also have students from our school’s Kelab Pencinta Alam and Kelab Kebajikan cleaning the rivers of Putaton and Kibambangan once a month.
“We started the program to clean the rivers in April as one of the environmental activities to educate students and the people around both rivers,” she said at the launching ceremony of the No Plastic Bags campaign at the school yesterday.
Jennifer said the school welcomed any environmental activity that would better educate the younger generation.
For Rinaldo Leandro, 14, cleaning house and school compounds are also fun activities, where they witness changes among villagers who are not throwing their rubbish anymore.
“In school, we already practised no plastic bags even though we buy food in our canteen.
“We are encouraged to bring our own containers or using reusable tupperware provided by the canteen,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cosmas Ken, 14, said programs such as the no plastic bags had brought huge changes to the school where most students know their responsibility towards nature.
He said his friends were more aware that the world is facing climate changes and needed protection from the younger generation to survive.
Cosmas said the culture of reusing materials had taught him a better lifestyle and had managed to influence his family to do the same.
“My family use our own bags each time we go shopping and we are more aware that we need to plant more trees to have more oxygen,” he said.
Penampang district officer William Sampil officiated the event yesterday. Also present were the organizing chairman of the Penampang district No Plastic Bags campaign R. Balachandran, and SM St Michael principal Marie Yong.