The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Remember when the pandemic first started and nature felt like it was healing while everyone was stuck at home? The skies cleared, the water cleared and the animals came out. Unfortunately, for the environment, that did not last long. Aside from the fact that the pollution continued, we also started using masks and single-use plastics again for sanitary purposes. It seems that humans had not learned their lesson, and so climate change-related disasters kept on occurring. However, I am not here to tell you the world is ending because we are all terrible. I am also not here to show you all the darkness in the world. Instead, I want to focus on a positive experience that I learned a lot from during the pandemic.
Last January, I was contacted to volunteer for Environmental Defence Canada (EDC) as a Lake Water Ambassador, as a part of their Water Ambassadorship they wanted to start. I wasn’t fully sure what that meant, but it felt right to work towards something I am passionate about, so I agreed. In May of 2021, I started my ambassadorship.
The goal of the Lake Water Ambassadorship was to raise awareness about our Canadian lakes and some of the issues around them. The target audience was the youth, so EDC decided to recruit young adults. With respect to this, social media was a huge part of my ambassadorship. Between the time I had been contacted and the time I started, EDC was working hard to figure out what the best way to raise awareness would be. During that time, I decided that my method of spreading the message to my followers would be through my art. I have always loved creating art with meaning behind it, and this was my chance to really make an impact.
We (the Water Ambassadors) worked closely with our supervisor to create a 12-week plan that would engage people and teach them about the issues concerning Canadian lakes. The way I engaged my network was through social media by preparing prompts, surveys and asking my followers to share their experiences with me. I also focused on linking my personal experiences and passion for art to get people to see lakes in a different light.
So, back to the question of what it means to be a Lake Water Ambassador. It means that I was creating content and using content created by EDC to share with and inform my followers and friends on social media about lake issues. I did this because it felt like it was time to do my part, to hopefully teach at least one person one new piece of information that they can then teach someone else. The personal satisfaction, as well as the knowledge that I came out with from this experience, was everything I had hoped for.
To access resources, sign petitions and join their movements, make sure to check out the environmental defence website.