Green student awarded scholarship

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 April, 2007, 12:00am

A Canadian International School student has been awarded a major university scholarships in recognition of his work for environmental causes.

Nathan Putnam, 18, is one of 15 students to receive the C$5,000 (HK$34,800) scholarship, sponsored by Toyota Canada in aid of Earth Day, and the only person from a school outside his home nation.

'I was quite surprised but I am glad I did win as paying for university is difficult enough these days so any help would be most welcome,' said Nathan, who plans to enter the science faculty of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, next year.

'Right now I haven't decided exactly what I want to study but I'd like to do something related to biology or environmental science.'

Nathan achieved the award due to his passionate activism for environmentalist causes at Canadian International School, ranging from establishing the now-flourishing environmental club and organising beach clean-ups to introducing an organic vegetable garden and placing thousands of plants around school.

This academic year he successfully lobbied the principal to sign a 'green school' agreement that has introduced sustainability to all parts of the school's running.

'I feel very strongly that as students we need to do our best to protect the environment,' he said.

Nathan said he was raised with 'good Canadian values towards the environment', and felt a duty to spread that among his schoolmates.

'My biggest achievement has been the green-school programme,' Nathan said. 'It is a very broad initiative that affects every aspect of the school, including things like turning off lights and air-conditioners when we don't need them.'