April 27, 2011

Plastic Challenge: Carter & Olivia, Week 1

Carter & Olivia's

Name: Carter & Olivia

Week: 1

Location: Fayetteville, GA

Personal Info:

We are two elementary students who started our own nonprofit to save endangered species and to clean up our environment. Check us out at www.onemoregeneration.org

We challenged our school to a week long Plastic Awareness Program. Each day all students were asked to bring in their plastic trash from home. We collected the trash and talked about what they brought in daily and about how they could change their habits going forward to reduce the amount of plastic trash they accumulated.

We provided curriculum for all the classes and students and each child in our school and teacher received a free biodegradable reusable shopping bag

At the end of the week, we tool all the trash and created a giant Sea Turtle Sculpture before bringing the plastic to our local recycling center.

Total items: As much as we could collect

Total weight: 120-lbs

Items: Recyclable
All 120-lbs worth of Plastic trash was turned over to the Atlanta recycling center which takes all forms of plastic.

Items: Nonrecyclable

What items can I easily replace with plastic free or less plastic alternatives?
Single use shopping bags, all water bottles and most prepared food packaging

What items would I be willing to give up if a plastic free alternative doesn’t exist?
Bottled water and shopping bags

What items are essential and seem to have no plastic-free alternative?
Most packaged food containers

What lifestyle change(s) might be necessary to reduce my plastic consumption?
Always remembering to store your reusable bags in your car and never to buy drinks in plastic bottles

What one plastic item am I willing to give up or replace this week?
shopping bags

What other conclusions, if any, can I draw?
It is easy to cut our consumption of plastic down dramatically by just paying attention when we shop. Such programs as the Plastic Awareness Week needs to happen all year long ;-)

Question…
How can we get schools nationwide to adopt our Plastic Awareness Week?

2 comments
Carter & Olivia Ries
Carter & Olivia Ries

Beth,

This is Carter. Thank you for the kind comments. Yes we noticed that we had collected lots of plastic food packaging. Most of it was used for fruit and prepared meals which you get at a grocery store. We had no idea that we collected so much of these types of containers. We all learned to look a little closer to what we buy at the grocery store from now on.

Thanks for creating such a great program and for posting our results. Our school made the front page of several papers and we have since been contacted to help several schools host the same type of event. We are so excited that we can motivate so many to want to also make a difference.

BTW, if anyone wants to see our daily results, they can visit our website at www.onemoregeneration.org Also, in late February (on my 10th birthday) we launched our "Say No To Plastic Bags" Coalition. If anyone is interested in getting involved, they can contact us via our website as well.

Best regards from the entire OMG Team ;-)

Beth Terry
Beth Terry

Carter and Olivia and Fayetteville Montessori School students, I'm really proud of you for your Plastic Awareness week efforts. Besides grocery bags and bottled water, is there any other food packaging that you think you could avoid?