Throughout my degree, and even now, I always get asked what my ideal job would be. My answer always used to be “something that involved conservation”. Then I graduated, and realised that jobs are hard to find, so I started to be more sensible with what I applied for, and applying for jobs that I didn’t really find exciting, but were sensible options.
Recently, I spent a few days teaching kids (and adults) about plastic pollution with the Ocean Action Pod in Sydney. After this experience, I realised that I need a job where I’m not stuck in an office all day, where I can have meaningful conversations with people, and more importantly, where I feel like I’m making a difference!
At The Ocean Action Pod, we taught kids about plastic pollution through engaging games, and visual representations of pollution. My favourite exercise involved teaching kids about microplastics by using a sandpit. In that sandpit, were heaps of microplastics that the kids would use sieves to find and collect. This taught kids that at a first glance, it looks clean, but when you start digging, you find a whole bunch of plastic pollution. Then you would ask the kids questions to get them thinking, such as “do you think this belongs here” or “is it easier to pick up bigger plastic rather than these tiny pieces?”.
Some kids are really switched on, and their parents are already teaching them about living with less plastic, whereas others are completely clueless about the whole situation. I met an amazing kid named Emily, who started an environmental and sustainability club at her school!
This experience made me feel as though I was making a difference, because hopefully they would then go home to their parents, tell them what they’ve learnt, and live a more sustainable life.