Where it all started
Jeffery Jiang just finished his 2B term studying Environment and Business in the Faculty of Environment and is currently on co-op in Toronto. "I chose to study Environment and Business because I knew that it was a unique program that provides students with foundations in both business and environmental studies". Strengthening his passion for environment, he became inspired to take action beyond his studies to reduce current environmental issues.
This summer, Jeff went to the UK to attend Merit360, an international program run by World Merit that helps young change-makers from around the world create action plans that address the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "The two week program changed my life (no exaggeration) and helped me find my passion for tackling plastic pollution", says Jeff. From the program, Jeff built life-long friendships with people from India, Indonesia, Ghana, Morocco, America, Belize, and the Netherlands, and launched his campaign at the Houses of Parliament in London, England.
What is 'Global Warning'?
The purpose of Merit360 was to create passion projects related to on of the 17 SDG's and to 'find your why'. Reflecting on his experience, Jeff recalls, "By asking myself why I had a problem with plastic pollution, I realized that I had a problem with people perhaps not knowing the consequences of plastic pollution or not caring about the effects of plastic after being thrown away." In Ontario alone, one billion plastic bottles are sent to the landfill every year and it takes 3 times more water to create a bottle than to just fill it up. Plastic pollution can be found from landfills on land all the way to rivers and oceans - and the land and marine life in these ecosystems - and Jeff believes we are too reliant on plastic products.
With a two-fold mission to increase society’s awareness about plastic pollution and to reduce plastic consumption he named the campaign 'Global Warning', because plastic pollution is a global issue that needs to be addressed. The goal of the campaign is to introduce legislation in Canada to put warning labels on plastic bottles. This idea stems from warning labels on cigarette packages and having seen the successes that the labels have had in reducing the number of smokers.
"In a perfect world, I would love for this initiative to be adopted by the Canadian government where legislation is created that requires warning labels to be placed on plastic water bottles", says Jeff.
How to get involved
To support this initiative, Jeff is calling for anyone who wants to address the issue of plastic pollution to support his campaign. If you are looking to be a part of his development team check out Global Warning Campaign on Facebook.