2nd term has begun

School has been going on for two weeks, and I finally feel like I’ve done enough work to be able to sit back and write a blog post. In addition to all normal coursework, we have to start coming up with IA (internal assessment) topics for most of our subjects, as well as an EE (extended essay) topic in two subjects. Thankfully, I already have some of these topics and ideas sorted out – although I have no idea when I’ll actually find the time to write the essays!

In Choir, we have moved away from English songs and to a Mandarin song that has the direct translation of “Mice love rice”. I am unfortunately not yet at the point where I can understand written Mandarin, although it is very motivational to start learning a song and then recognize a whole bunch of the characters!

This week we had “Sustainability COP day” on Wednesday – it was very interesting. Jacqueline and I presented our recycled paper proposal to the first-years, and if all goes well, the school will be using recycled paper (as well as less paper!) starting from next school year! Then Lizette Smook came to talk to us about some elements of sustainability, after which we disbanded to go to different sustainability talks.

The one that stuck with me the most was Tracy’s (from Plastic-Free Seas) talk about plastic beads (microbeads) being used in beauty products (like scrubs). The vast majority of scrubs actually use plastic beads as the “exfoliation” part. Whereas natural scrub would use sugar or salt as exfoliants (sufficient to exfoliate once a week), most companies now use the microbeads, which are smaller and smoother, meaning that they exfoliate your skin so little that many companies actually recommend you use their products every day. The problem with these microbeads is that when they are washed off your face and into the sink, they are not filtered out of the sewage system. The microbeads go directly into the sea, are eaten by fish and then subsequently by humans. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure ingesting plastic isn’t very good for your health!

There is a mobile app called “Beat the Microbead” which you can download for free. This app contains information about products with and without microbeads. Or, if you don’t want to download the app, you could always just read the back of the product. If it says “microbeads” or “polystyrene”, you know there is plastic in your product.

The rest of this week has been spent working (I finally finished my Norwegian Written Assignment and sent it off to my Norwegian tutor), rehearsing (for what, I’ll tell you in about a week) and sleeping. It looks like 2nd term has arrived, and is here to stay…

PS: This website is good for seeing how sustainable, healthy and socially responsible products and companies are. Check it out!

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