Ever since I started the Take Back The Filter Campaign, and especially since it’s ended, I’ve been getting emails from folks with ideas for additional campaigns for me to start. And what I say to them is, “Hey, that’s a great idea! Go for it!” I’m just one person who had a bone to pick with my water filter company. You guys may find other issues that particularly stick in your craw. (Okay, what’s all this picking and sticking? I don’t even know what these expressions mean.)
Don’t wait for someone else to start a movement. Start one yourselves. The Internet makes it possible for regular folks like you and me to reach the world and get heard. At some point, I plan to write a book report on “What I learned from starting a campaign.” But not tonight. It’s late, and I’ve got to get up early and carol tomorrow with a bunch of pre-schoolers at a senior center. (Part of my intention to enjoy the season this year rather than avoiding it.)
Instead, I want to talk up a couple of campaigns begun by some other regular women who saw something that ticked them off and decided to do something about it.
1) Disposable Timing Chips: Robbie from Going Green Mama is irritated that the 2009 OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis, Indiana will be switching from reusable timing chips to disposable ones. For anyone who has no idea what any of those words meant, I will explain.
Participants in running races wear little devices on their shoes which are encoded with their racer ID number and record what time they step on special mats placed at the starting line, finish line, and sometimes other spots along the route. This allows the runners to receive an accurate running time and finishing place and also ensures that they run the specified route and don’t take short cuts. I know this because I used to run races. Ah, maybe someday I will again…
Anyway, in the past, the timing chips have been little hard plastic thingies that you pick up before the race, attach to your shoe laces, wear during the race, and then return to the race organizers at the end. Yes, they are plastic, but they are used over and over again.
But now, some organizations are switching to disposable chips in order to avoid the hassle of having to collect the reusables. And this move has Robbie up in arms. It doesn’t take that long to collect the reusable chips. And disposables will just add more waste to an event that’s already full of waste to begin with (disposable water cups, energy bar wrappers, etc.) So she’s started a campaign and would like you to join her.
Please read Robbie’s post and then send an email to the race organizers letting them know what you think about disposable plastic. And while you’re at it, let them know Aquafina bottled water is also not eco-friendly, no matter how many recycling stations they set up. (You can read about that issue in Robbie’s post, too.)
2) Plastic at Costco: Last holiday season, I wrote a post about all the unnecessary plastic at Costco. A few days ago, I received an email from Ursula Myers who was also ticked off by it and wanted to know if she could use my image of apples encased in plastic for a petition she was creating in response.
My reply, “Of course you can!” I can’t think of a better use for it.
Ursula’s Costco petition is hosted on the Care2 web site here. Please sign it and pass it on. (E-mail, blog, tweet, you know.) And while you’re at it, how about calling or writing Costco and letting them know what you think directly?
Are there any plastic issues that are particularly maddening to you? Anything you’ve been wishing someone would do something about? Why not jump in and start your own ruckous this holiday season? It’s good clean fun for kids of all ages!