Panthers Of Iskl #2 - Haider The Young Environmentalist
Celebrating All You Are with Haider M.
This week Panther People caught up with Haider M., a Grade 5 student and passionate environmentalist who put his problem-solving and communication skills into action to lobby an international hotel chain to reduce their use of single-use plastic water bottles.
Haider shares his story with us…
Haider, can you explain why you decided to take action?
I was staying at the hotel, and I noticed they were giving everybody a plastic bottle every day. I didn't want to use that much plastic, so I decided to send an email to the General Manager of the hotel.
"Hi, sir. I have noticed that many hotels in your chain are using plastic bottles, which are very harmful to the environment … On average, one-room uses four bottles per day, and in the hotel, you have 301 rooms.
'That makes 1204 bottles, every single day. At school, I am an active member of a group called Bye Bye Plastic Bags, and our research shows that it takes 450 years for one plastic bottle to decompose entirely, and all the plastic ends up on beaches and in the ocean.
'Since you are using so much plastic, it will fill the ocean near all your beach resorts.
'Here are some suggestions for things you could do instead of using plastic water bottles: use refillable glass bottles, put jugs in the room to refill every day, and place two to three water dispensers on each floor for everyone to use.
'Using plastic bottles also discourages people from coming to your hotel. I hope you can help with this situation. I look forward to your response and hope to hear from you soon."
I met with the manager who said the hotel has an action plan, and by February 2020, they plan to put water dispensers on each floor so people can go and fill up their water bottles. He said he was impressed, and he hoped that other people would be like this. He also sent me this email:
"I am impressed as well to learn about your activities at your school, and it would be an absolute achievement to have more and more children of your age or even younger to be engaged and show concern on our planet's future."
How did you know about the problems associated with single-use plastic?
We have been learning about it at school, and on Friday afternoons, I go to the 'Bye Bye Plastic Bags' club, where I've learned a lot about why we need to stop using plastic. We even made a poster that we place around the school, and we are now making a website to inform the public regarding plastic reduction.
Why are you so passionate about the environment?
It's really bad for our planet. The plastic ends up in the ocean and harms the animals. It also ends up in landfills.
What are your suggestions to help us reduce our use of plastic?
One can use refillable water bottles, cloth bags, and metal straws.
What does Be All You Are mean to you?
It means to try your best in everything you do and not to give up easily.
Next week Panthers of ISKL will feature Izyan Nadirah, the Fields and Grounds Manager of ISKL, who also happens to be an avid agriculturalist, and how her upbringing influenced and changed her to be who she is today.