Grade 12 student Taija Edgar submitted the award-winning essay on local waste reduction

CCRD Award Winning Essay: Waste Reduction and Management

From a First Nations perspective we believe in thanking, respecting, and caring for the land, because it is always caring for us

The Bella Coola Valley is one of the most beautiful communities in the world! We are so lucky to live here. To show our appreciation for this land we must do our best to protect it from harm. Waste management, and the reduction of one-time-use products, are essential to keeping our community clean.

From a First Nations perspective we believe in thanking, respecting, and caring for the land, because it is always caring for us and and all of our needs. Our people, our ancestors, have lived here for thousands of years and so it is very sacred to us. We want our future generations to be able to experience what it is like to live in such a beautiful place, just like we have been blessed to; not only for First Nations, but for all who call this Valley home.

Water is an important and sacred part of our land. Humankind, and the precious animals who we share this land with, need clean water to survive. It is important that we take care of it and keep it clean not only for our community members, but for the salmon, wolves, bears and deer and all the other wildlife that share our environment. We have one of the best water supplies in the world, and it is amazing and such a blessing to think that it is right at our fingertips. It is essential that we protect our most valuable resource.

Tourists travel from afar to come here and see how beautiful our community truly is. There is so much natural beauty our home has to offer. The Valley attracts tourists from around the world to come and enjoy the views of our mountains, the flow of our river, our wonderful hiking trails, and the simplicity of our lives. It is important that we keep our land clean because tourism helps our economy.

There are many things we can do as a community to ensure we keep our land and waters clean. Firstly, we can stop littering. But to encourage people to stop littering we could put more garbage and recycling tins out around the community. We can also stop using and buying plastic water bottles, and buy good durable water bottles that we are able to use over and over, and get our fresh water from our sinks.

We can do the same thing with plastic bags. Instead of having to buy them at stores we can start using bags that can be reused. Rather than buying packaged food products from the store we should start buying more locally.

It is also important to recycle whenever possible whether it is clothing, paper, plastic, or cans. And to always remember: the less we want, the more we will have. So we, as a community, need to sit down with our families and think of how we can change our impacts on the environment.

 

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