Youth hold forum on climate change

Youth present climate change prevention ideas to be funded by Sackville Town Council

Gill Hill/Argosy

The Mayor’s Roundtable on Climate Change, a discussion about climate-related issues, held a youth forum on climate change on Oct. 2. On Friday, Oct. 11 youth from Sackville gathered again at Tantramar Regional High School (TRHS) to discuss ideas presented at the last forum and decide which to propose for Sackville’s 2020 sustainability budget.

The first proposal, mentioned by Natasha Gosselin, MASU sustainability coordinator and Argosy reporter, is developing a recycling and compost program for apartment buildings. Gosselin said that there are 700 apartments in Sackville that do not have recycling.

Gosselin also mentioned that a previous Sustainable Sackville plan had wanted to “Integrate multi-unit apartments into wet/dry program.”

“This from a long time ago,” she said. “They said they were going to recycle but they never did.”

The group also plans on proposing a new composting plan. As of now, Gosselin said, “normal compost goes into organic landfill. They could have a separate compost that the town could come pick up once every two weeks and turn that specifically into fertilizer.”

“There is [compost pickup] for houses, but not for apartments,” said Simon Cope, a third-year student who attended the forum. “It is just such a huge waste when you throw everything in the garbage.”

Sustainable business ideas were also discussed at the forum. Gosselin suggested proposing that Sackville should “have a plan implemented for a zero-waste store in their next budget.”

Those attending also mentioned starting a tree-planting initiative in Sackville. They plan on doing this by working with Community Forests International (CFI), an environmental non-profit that has an office in Sackville. CFI is holding a talk on forests and floods at Mount Allison on Oct. 16.

Gill Hill/Argosy

Lastly, the group spoke about adding murals around town that are related to the climate crisis. “Sometimes it can be good to give people a visual of what happens [if environmental problems are not addressed] and then it looks good too,” said Gosselin.

Some TRHS students who have been involved in the climate strikes started a club at their school that speaks out about environmental issues.

“It’s sort of a breakout group of Sackville Youth Climate Change Coalition, which organized the climate strikes,” said Quinn Macaskill, a ninth-grade student who attended the forum. “We created a Tantramar version of that where we can work on some of the things we’re doing with the other group but also focusing more on the school and things to improve there.”

Macaskill said that it was important for youth to get involved because “It’s our future that is going to either be a great future or a not so great future depending on the results of the climate crisis.”

A public presentation of ideas for the 2020 budget will be held on Oct. 21. Here, the ideas brought up at the forums will be proposed to the municipal government. This is a public event that anyone from the community can attend.

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