Impressive Christchurch teenager E Wen Wong is on a mission.
E Wen’s interest in the environment piqued at age 10 and led her to launch P.S.Our Beaches, to inspire, educate, connect and challenge young people concerned about sustainability.
“I had to do something,” she says. “I am astounded by the amount of plastic in our communities and want to help people learn about plastic, because people can make a difference.”
Her group grew from local friends to include members in Portugal, Thailand, America and Canada, and a recent two-day conference brought together more than a hundred 12 to 24-year olds.
“Lots of speakers discuss topics youth think about, but usually only older people get to hear them. We will inherit the problems, so need information too.
“The conference took nine months to plan and I thought it would be a one-off, but it can’t be. People want a repeat in other places, so we’ll see what happens,” she says.
One thing that will happen is more tree-planting, following one such conference session. No surprises there – E Wen is a member of a school group which has planted a forest and is considering starting another one.
Next year will be her last at school. She plans to study environmental law and public policy, before working in environmental law while operating an environmental social enterprise. “A combination of profit and purpose,” she says.
She laughs that her father warns people his daughter is “into” the environment, but with her view firmly on solving future problems, E Wen won’t be stopping any time soon.
“P.S.Our Beaches is driven by a passion for ocean advocacy and leaving a positive environmental footprint. We can all reduce pollution and its impacts on our beaches. Look up ‘ocean soup’ and you’ll understand,” she urges.