By Mitchell Clarke
A group of students at Emerald Secondary College are trying to better the community and help the environment by bringing attention to the “horrendous” state of rubbish pollution.
Students as young as 12-years-old have come together to participate in an international competition for Future Problem Solving Australia, an organisation which brings together over 140 schools across the country, with the aim of solving worldwide issues from the perspective of the next generation.
The team at Emerald SC are working to launch an innovative concept called ‘S.T.O.P’ which stands for ‘Stop Trashing Our Planet’.
Principal Jodie Doble said she is incredibly proud of this young group and the work they are doing.
“S.T.O.P. is a team of the new generation who want to do something about the future, our future. This program is for the community, because it is their problem,” S.T.O.P member Ruby Rose said.
“Our version of S.T.O.P. is not just about promoting a better environment but including the community in this change. We are creating a lasting world for everyone and everything.”
On board with the project is Member for Gembrook Brad Battin, who was impressed with their dedication to the cause.
“The students at Emerald Secondary in the S.T.O.P program are leading the way,” Mr Battin said.
“In a recent podcast with me they showed their knowledge on the environment and the willingness to do the extra research.
“The school, their parents and the community should be very proud of these young people working to make a difference.”
The team of year seven and eight students have realised the significantly growing problem and attribute it to a lack of education on recycling and waste pollution.
Currently focused on spreading awareness on the topic, their goal is to create a reverse recycling machine, where the community is able to put in empty bottles and can and receive coupons and money in return.
“One of our problems with this is that people don’t know about the problem and don’t care about this growing problem,” Ruby said.
“But we do and we want to change the future to help the environment and make a more sustainable future.”