Written by Sharona Madagie.
Four months ago, I was given the chance to fill in the role of becoming Embark’s new Media Coordinator. My journey to get to where I am now was a work in progress as I struggled to figure out what I wanted out of my Communications degree. I knew that I could come up with creative ideas and campaigns, and loved working with social media but I could not pin down what I was passionate about. For five years I was constantly writing papers and presenting projects but my heart was not into the things I was creating and researching.
Around this time last year, I took a course where my professor had students pick a topic of our liking, investigate further about it and present our findings to the class at the end of the semester. As a teenager, I have always been interested in the art and history of fashion but haven’t been able to delve into the topic of ‘Fast Fashion’, so I made it the area of focus for that course. In the initial stages of my research, I knew that fast fashion was a problem but as I delved deeper, I realized that its implications were not only social but also negatively impacted the environment, and at a global scale.
A couple months later, I was fortunate enough to land a co-op placement at the Vancouver Aquarium where I worked closely with one of their programs that focused on clearing Canadian shorelines from debris and litter. During my work term, I became quite acquainted with the fact that our consumption and disposal of waste, especially plastic, ends up coming back to harm our health through the food we eat, the water we drink, and our environment. It was from there where I began to be more conscious about my consumption of plastic and ‘stuff’ I did not need.
Those experiences as well as working for Embark has made me discover my passion for sustainability and strive to become a more responsible consumer citizen. I feel blessed to be part of an organization like Embark and working alongside such a passionate group of individuals and changemakers who are just as eager as I am in making SFU a more sustainable community.