Step 7 – Metamorphosis (Reflection)

1. Address the following questions:

a. What challenges did you overcome throughout this inquiry project? How did you go about
overcoming these challenges?

There were several challenges to overcome when carrying out our action project. Obstacles such as, group coordination, weather, getting lost, good locations, and equipment struggles. One of the more prominent examples is something we had to face before each clean-up. This was arranging our busy schedules to do the clean-ups. Between schoolwork, sports, jobs and personal commitments it was hard to find a day and time that worked for the three people in our group, but we did it in the end. We individually re-arranged our schedules and coordinated then all came together to help our community. Another notable example, as expected, was the less than ideal weather conditions. We knew that starting in the fall and continuing through the winter may prove difficult, and it did. One time it was pouring rain, another it had just snowed a lot, yet we still went out. We came prepared and did not let the weather stop us, then came up with solutions along the way to different problems we faced. Overall, no matter the situation, collaborating with each other and using problem-solving skills are how we solved most of our complications throughout the park clean-ups we accomplished. 
b. How did this inquiry change the way you think?

Our ocean clean-up action project definitely made think about other ways we could lessen the littering in our community parks and forests. It made me realize that even though our city is very clean, it could be cleaner. In order for this to happen, I think better education about recycling is need as well as garbages in more accessible areas. While we have a very good recycling system implemented, many people do not know all the exceptions as to what goes into which type of recycling. Just having the options is not enough if people are not aware of how to use them properly. In addition, I see now. that many more trash bins are needed, especially around parks and forests. While there are usually garbage containers in the main entrances, sometimes that is the only place they are found. So, when the general public is away from those areas and it is too much of an inconvenience, they may leave their trash laying around, rather than going out o their way to find a bin. Before starting this project I thought that no matter how far the trash bin is, one should go out of their way to do a small part in helping their environment, and while I do still believe this to be true, i acknowledge that this is not everybody’s way of thinking. If we want more people to stop littering, we have to make it more accessible.
c. How did this investigation impact your future decisions?

Rather than “investigation”, my action project has certainly had me reflect on the actions I take and may take in the future. After seeing how much garbage my group and I were able to pick up after only 3 clean-ups (200+ pieces), I definitely want to continue doing clean-ups. Whether it is for  Social Responsibility, or not. Going out and picking up garbage when you can makes an impactful difference. Parks are cleaner, the Earth is healthier, and you know you’ve created change. More than this though, I am going to dedicate time to informing myself about the exceptions to each different type of recycling so that I do not accidentally place an item in the wrong bin. Just because garbage is not on the ground, does not mean it is going to the right place. Another strategy that I have already done, yet will continue to do is to hold on to my trash until I am able to dispose of it properly. This is something everyone should do because you do not realize how much trash that is on the floor until you go looking for it. And I must say, it is a lot.
d. What impact will this investigation have on others locally and/or globally?

Hopefully our action project is able to show those reading that just going out for an hour at a time, perhaps with friends, and picking up a few pieces of garbage can make a difference. It makes a difference within our community because it creates a cleaner environment for the citizens of Coquitlam to walk, play, and enjoy. Then of course, it does a small part to help climate change globally as it may save a few hundred pieces of garbage stay out of our rivers or oceans.Or even if it simply stays on the ground it may not decompose for years, leaving garbage, covered or not, littering our Earth. This is why proper disposal of all trash and recycling is so important.

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