Full Name and Title
Vivien Bian, Research intern
My interest in environmental protection started with a tree-planting trip to Inner Mongolia in 2014, where I witnessed desertification of the Khorqin Grassland. I went back in 2016 to interview the staff of the NGO I worked with, and was able to learn more about their "people first" principle. It's amazing how these transient events inspired most of my subsequent major decisions in life. I am now a third-year undergraduate student in the McGill School of Environment, with a minor in Health Geography. I am interested in the interdisciplinary field between environment and population health, and cannot wait to contribute to the research aspect of my internship at CRPC.
Why did you join the climate movement/what pushed you to become interested in climate change issues?
The bottom line is, I want to be able to have children in the future knowing that they would have a good life. Also, it is difficult to attend McGill without caring about the environment: the campus is politically active; there are so many student-led movements, initiatives, and related academic resources available.
What is one achievement you are proud of?
In the summer of 2020, I interned at a Shanghai-based company that is building China's first zero-waste e-commerce platform. I was able to organize a Bring-Your-Own-Mug campaign for Plastic Free July. After days of contacting hundreds of local cafes, I was able to secure collaboration with 33 of them. The cafes agreed to offer discounts to customers who bring their own mugs, while our company provided exposure for them. In the end, we were able to save approx. 1300 single-use plastic cups for the month of July!
What are some climate change initiatives you are currently taking part in?
Besides this internship, I currently sit on the McGill Science Undergraduate Society Environment Committee. Due to online learning this semester, we plan to use our social media platforms to highlight McGill students' sustainable practices around the world during the pandemic.
What do you think is the most effective way for people to take climate action?
For an average citizen, voting and consuming consciously are our best bet. For people in different professions, it is important to bringing awareness into our careers. Sustainability should be omnipresent in all professions, rather than a niche area of interest.
What is a fun fact about yourself?
I know how to make the BEST vegan cookies, ever.
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