“Planting the seeds in a garden you never get to see” 

Beach cleanup with the Precious Plastics Pearson College Team

By Catherine Grammond

Living on campus at Pearson College UWC for the past two years has made me realize that, as youth, our actions have a more significant impact than society has led us to believe. As I first arrived, I realised that no concrete actions were being taken by students or staff members to reduce the ecological impact our community had. A few students and I committed to take matters into our own hands.

One of the main issues on campus had been the improper management of waste. Since the resources to educate students and residents about waste management was not enough to solve the problem, we decided to start our own plastic recycling system and Precious Plastics Pearson College was born. We raised $10,000 CAD to buy the machines that would transform plastic waste into new items such as bowls, which we would then sell, creating a circular economy, with the profits funding other student-led sustainable initiatives.  

What impact did we have? Was it merely a drop in the bucket? But if you want to grow a forest, someone must plant the first tree. However small your idea may be and as local as the impact might be, your actions will eventually have contributed to the broader fight against the climate crisis. 

A bowl made entirely from recycled plastic by the Pearson College Precious Plastics Team

Quote in title by Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton

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