Miss Chinese International Jennifer Coosemans wants to encourage a greener future

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      Last month, Vancouver resident Jennifer Coosemans was crowned Miss Chinese International in Hong Kong. And the 21-year-old is hoping to leverage her pageant victory to promote research into environmental solutions.

      Coosemans recently told the Georgia Straight by phone that she studied chemistry for three years at the University of Northern British Columbia, where there’s a bioenergy plant that converts wood waste to heat the campus.

      “I think that’s really inspiring for British Columbia,” she said. “I think we should be consuming less.”

      The Terrace-born Coosemans, who is of half-Belgian and half-Chinese ancestry, took a year off from UNBC to compete in Fairchild TV’s Miss Chinese Vancouver pageant, coming first in December. She noted that Vancouver is playing a big role in promoting global awareness of sustainability.

      “I really support everything going green,” Coosemans said.

      One of her challenges as Miss Chinese International is improving her Cantonese.

      "I'm still studying," she commented. "I can speak a little bit and I can understand a little bit. It's coming along little by little."