Ethan organises student strike for climate action
A Year 8 student at Brisbane Water Secondary College at Umina was the driving force behind the March 15 student strike in Gosford for climate action.
Ethan Hill said he saw the first school strike for climate action in 2015 and wanted to do something so he decided this time he would organise it.
About 350 students and supporting adults turned up for the strike at the Anglican Church in Mann St, Gosford, including students from Woy Woy South Public School and 30 other regional schools.
They came to protest against the Federal and State Government's lack of action on climate change.
"There were over 350 people in attendance from babies through to grandparents,'' Ethan said.
"All of them are fearful of what the future holds if we don't take urgent action."
A total of 75 stories written by students were delivered to the office of the Federal Member for Roberston Ms Lucy Wicks.
Ethan said the letters included the following quotes:
"This is the world our generation is growing up in and it's dying" (13 year old).
"There is no Planet B and I want to have a good future" (11 year old).
"Save the Earth - we notice" (6 year old).
"If we continue like this, we will have no future" (10 year old).
"The Government doesn't listen" (13 year old).
"Important grown-ups just don't care enough" (6 year old).
"I don't know if I'll be alive to see my grandchildren grow up" (13 year old).
The rally was addressed by two students as well as Ethan.
An eight-year-old from Take Three for the Sea spoke about turtles and the impact on gender from increasing water temperatures.
Ethan spoke about waste management.
"Did you know we throw out one tonne of plastic every single minute. This is terrible!" he said.
"This means we will throw out 120 tonnes of plastic just while we're here today.
"But plastic isn't the most thrown-out item, can anyone guess what it might be?
"It's actually food.
"One third of our red bins are edible food waste.
"You're probably thinking: food is biodegradable, what's the big deal?
"Well, when biodegradable waste enters landfill, it releases a green house gas called methane which is 23 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming.
"So how do we stop Australia's massive waste problems?
"Well it's all in three simple steps: reduce, reuse, recycle.
"Reducing is an easy way to help the environment.
"Reducing includes not buying excessive packaged products, fixing any broken items instead of putting it out for council for pick up and planning your meals to reduce food waste.
"But if we're not going to use single use plastics what are we going to use?
"Well, we reuse.
"Hands up if mum or dad brings a reusable shopping bag when they go to the shops?
"Hands up who brings their own coffee cup to their favourite cafe?
"Hands up who takes their own water bottle to school or work each day?
"Hands up who takes their own cup and straw to Maccas when you get a thick shake?
"Reusing is a great way to help the environment but, it doesn't always work, so we go to our last resort: Recycling.
"Here on the Central Coast, we can recycle paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and containers, steel, aluminium and aerosol cans, and glass bottles and jars.
"But not everything fits in to those categories, such as plastic bags and wrappers.
"These items can be taken back to your local Coles where they will get made into useful items such as outdoor furniture for schools.
"I'd like everyone just to have a little think about some little things we can do to reduce our waste."
Rally, March 15
Ethan Hill, Umina
Reporter: Merilyn Vale