#1LessStraw targets students and restaurants to help educate the public
What do two teens, a bunch of students and disposable plastic straws equate to? They equal one large campaign to bring awareness about the danger that plastic straws bring to our waterways and oceans.
Carter and Olivia Ries, ages 15 and 14 respectively, are no strangers to working on environmental issues. They started One More Generation (OMG) when they were still in elementary school. Their passion for educating fellow students has taken them around the world. One More Generation has worked on protecting rhinos to sea turtles and teaching children the importance of recycling and not polluting the planet.
Carter and Olivia have now set their sights on one of the most ubiquitous polluters that no one thinks about – disposable plastic straws. Americans use an estimated 500 million plastic straws every single day. That equals 1.6 straws for every man, woman and child living in this country every single day. If you were to take an entire day’s worth of plastic straws we use in one day, it would fill up over 127 school busses. Another way to illustrate the problem is to think about all those straws, end on end. They would stretch around the world 2.5 times, each day.
The campaign consists of three targets for participation: individual students, schools, and restaurants.
Individual students can take a pledge to not use straws during October. They ask one adult family member to do the same. If the student catches the adult using a straw during October, the adult pays a pre-determined dollar amount to the student. The student donates the collected funds to OMG at the end of October. OMG will use the funds to teach more students about plastic pollution.
The second group is schools who will sign up students to charge a family member but this time it becomes a fund raiser for the school. The school will use collected funds for environmental education in the school.
The third target group is restaurants. During October, restaurants are asked not to hand out straws unless customers ask for them. Wait staff can wear buttons educating customers about the campaign. Restaurants save money on having to purchase less straws.
The One Less Straw campaign has over 80 partners to help spread the word. Carter and Olivia set a very ambitious target of 50,000 for the entire campaign.
To take the pledge, visit: www.onelessstraw.org.
The OneLessStraw pledge campaign is sponsored by One More Generation (OMG) and its partners. OMG is a nonprofit organization founded by Carter and Olivia Ries back in 2009 when they were 8.5 and 7 years old. Carter and Olivia have become world renowned for their work on plastic pollution education and animal conservation.
By: Jim Ries
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