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The Presence and Impact of Power

On Tuesday morning, St. Clement’s School welcomed Dr. David Suzuki, renowned scientist and environmentalist, to speak to our students from Grades 1-12. We were thrilled to have him with us and greatly appreciated his messages about the importance of water, fire, earth and air, and our responsibility in ensuring that these four resources are cared for. Dr. Suzuki shared his belief that humans are very powerful, and it has been because of this power that many humans have done significant damage to our planet.

Our girls then presented a number of activities and initiatives aimed at having a positive impact on sustainability, and their work was impressive. While I know that this work is meaningful to our girls and staff as they support environmental issues, I am often disappointed by a disconnect between the articulated desire to ensure a sustainable environment and the lack of follow-through in making it so.

For many years we have been asking our students and staff to bring travel mugs or to use them when heading out to Yonge Street to grab a hot or cold drink. Years ago, we even insisted that if someone was getting take-out food from one of our local businesses, they take their own reusable container to the restaurant. While we have many in our community who are mindful and bring travel mugs and reusable water containers, there are still too many who do not.

After Dr. Suzuki’s visit, there was a notable difference in how people were approaching environmental issues at SCS. I am thrilled that his message made an impact, but I am concerned that it took a ‘powerful’ presence to effect change.

Each of us has the power to make a difference. When it comes to the environment and ensuring that we are taking care of our water, air, earth and fire, we must remember to use our own power positively to effect change- every day.

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