Joseph Thornton


To Be An Upstander

My upstander project was focussed around the topic of ocean pollution. My team hoped to figure out what is the cause of ocean pollution to better understand the issue as well as how we can help prevent it from continuing. An overwhelming fact that we instantly found was that plastic causes a huge part of the pollution in our ocean. We now had the root cause figured out, we had to use that information as a way to figure out what our action to counter the issue would be. Further thinking came to the realisation that one of the most commonly used forms of plastic are water bottles. Of course our action can’t be to just stop water bottles from being made, that would cause major dehydration for many. Instead we made an alternative, reusable water bottles, stopping the build up of plastic in the ocean, and providing people with hydration. Being an upstander to me means to look at the world, find a problem, and fix it. This doesn’t mean that the issue is instantly fixed, but it means the person focuses on and strives to make a change to end the found issue. What I learned about myself as a person in this upstander project is that when it comes to time management I still have room to grow. I learned as an upstander I need to know how to prioritize my actions and better use time to spread awareness and educate. Next for the actions for my upstander issue I’d like to reach out to more companies asking for assistance in the providence of the funding and materials for the bottles to be sold to our school. My advice for fellow upstanders is to not overestimate yourself with your actions. Make all of them reasonable and attainable. And the last thing I’d like to say is, try your hardest!

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