When Sherry was a child, part of her Sunday included flying kites, going for walks on trails, and enjoying her natural surroundings outside of the city with her family. They would spend hours outside soaking up the sun and appreciating nature’s beauty, often until sunset. On one of these outings, her sister wanted to pick a beautiful flower. Her mother explained the role that flowers play in the pollination process, and the importance of pollination in the food cycle. Her mother taught Sherry and her sister not to take anything from nature, and not to leave anything behind, as disturbances can interfere with natural processes. Sherry recognizes this as the experience that ignited her passion for nurturing and preserving the natural environment.
The means through which Sherry fulfilled her passion for the environment came through when she was in elementary school. She realized that many of the items discarded by her classmates and left at the curb on garbage day would end up in the landfill. She approached her teacher and suggested that they try to divert some of the waste from the landfill by way of reusing and recycling. In grade 8, she discovered upcycling when she transformed an old, broken lamp into a new, eco-friendly lamp. Transforming what, to the casual observer, appears to be a piece of garbage, into something new and useful helped to further Sherry’s passion for preservation and upcycling. She brought her newfound talent for upcycling with her into high school, where she continued to repurpose items. Sherry even made her dresses for school events out of repurposed material.
More recently, as a university student, Sherry is now educating herself about the science behind climate change. One thing that stuck out to her, was the effect the meat industry has on the environment, specifically it’s large carbon footprint. This sparked a new direction in Sherry’s mission of environmental conservation: she started promoting economic, environmental and health benefits associated with the reduction of meat consumption. Through the Meatless Monday Club at York University, Sherry distributes recipe cards and personal tips to help people with the transition to a more plant-based diet.
Her education in tandem with her love of the natural world fuel her desire to positively impact the world around her. Sherry’s passion for preserving the world’s natural resources has encompassed her whole life, and has become intertwined with who she is.
In 2013, Sherry started an Upcycling Movement which encouraged students to repurpose old materials. In the first year, 47 schools across the Kitchener-Waterloo region were motivated to take part in this initiative. The exhibition has grown in size every year after, and this year the 4th annual Upcycling Exhibition will be accepting submissions from the whole community, not just students.
Sherry was a Youth Editorial Board Writer on The Record newspaper where she promoted positive environmental practices
Sherry founded the Meatless Monday Club at York University in 2015, which provides the campus community with resources about how to incorporate Meatless Mondays into their lifestyle. The club has grown to over 600 registered members, and is recognized by York University Sustainability as an official green club.