What SUP: Algalita’s International Youth Summit


Dominick Lanni

Seniors Lauren Kim and Jinno Vicencio stood tall as they represented SUP club at the International Youth Summit for plastic ocean pollution solutions

Sustainable Urban Pioneers (SUP) club was invited to attend Algalita’s International Youth Summit on Feb. 26, where students from all over the the world who understand the severity of the ocean plastic problem discuss ideas on how to monitor, raise public awareness and ultimately reduce non-biodegradable waste.

Algalita’s fourth annual International Youth Summit provided students with a real-life skill set to take out into the world. Workshops included activities that focused on plastic pollution and lectures from keynote speakers.

SUP club, led by seniors Lauren Kim and Jinno Vicencio, is now in the works of partnering with other students around the world and implementing activities to make schools and communities a more eco-friendly place.

“We all had different ideas on ways to mitigate plastic pollution, like using reusable sporks and using beeswax wraps as opposed to single use plastic bags,”  Vicencio said.

While at the event, Kim and Vicencio were able to work closely with students from Redondo Union high school and share ideas to lessen the plastic pollution in their community.

“We made a board presentation and that helped supply us with money to order and provide free metal water bottles to all of our students at our high school,” junior Mia Furman said.

Students who participated in this event were able to connect with one another and understand that they are not alone in this fight against plastic pollution.

“We aim to implement refill stations around Woodbridge to encourage the use of reusable water bottles. Overall, it was an amazing experience and although I had my doubts, I am glad I went,” Vicencio said.

With new information and contacts that SUP Club made at the summit, club members plan on hosting a variety of workshops for students, Including a beeswax wrap workshop. Students can use these beeswax wraps to cover food or bring snacks in to eliminate saran wrap and ziploc bags that most of students use.

Lauren and Jinno’s involvement in the Plastic Ocean Pollution Youth Summit really sparked their efforts to implement awareness to the issue,” environment science teacher Laura Mattair said. “He and Lauren are coordinating a workshop later this month so that students can make these beeswax wraps and learn more about plastic pollution and the alternatives to plastic wrap.”

Another idea that the SUP club has is to bring awareness to the growing plastic pollution in the ocean.

“[We could] collect plastic bottles and then create a plastic turtle at our school, when students participate and add to the turtle they would be entered into a raffle for a reusable straw or spork,” Vicencio said.

With the additions of solar panels in the parking lot and the SUP club’s future endeavors to lessen the plastic pollution, it is evident that Woodbridge is becoming a more eco- friendly place.