Estimated post reading time: 4 minutes

We at UrbanMeisters are excited at how the NextGen is waking up-to environment realities and taking matters into their own hand to go green. One such simple but great eco-initiative is #1LessStraw by super teenagers Olivia(14) and Carter(15) based in the US. These wonder kids have taken the pledge to go green and reduce their carbon footprint in small, easy to do steps. Here’s the low down on their One Less Straw Pledge Campaign.

 

Think Small to Go Green like Olivia & Carter

 

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Olivia & Carter were always conscientious kids who worried about our delicate environmental state. A question that kept nagging them was how to reduce their carbon footprint. Most of us don’t get down to any real action to go green thinking it requires a massive effort or too much trouble. But these teenagers had the maturity and foresight to realise that every small step taken becomes a big cumulative effort. It’s all about starting somewhere. So they decided to start with plastic straws! Why you ask?

Did you know that in America, an estimated 500,000,000 plastic straws are used every single day? In their own words, “That is like 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.  That is like over 46,400 school buses full of one-time use plastic straws that are ending up in our landfills and waterways. Sick isn’t it?” Plastic is all forms and usages has seeped in so much in our daily lives that it’s hard to root out. And while we’re all aware how plastic is injurious to our planet’s health, we continue to use it unabated. From drinking out of plastic to effects of plastic consumption on environment, Urbanmeisters continues to share information on this pollutant. Single use plastic consumption is a big problem and that’s why this duo decided to turn their attention to the seemingly harmless plastic straw. It’s small but big, it’s easy to curb the usage and it could be made into a lot of fun!

 

Go Green with #1LessStraw Pledge Campaign

Olivia and Carter have launched the global “OneLessStraw Pledge Campaign“.  It’s very simply about saying  ‘NO’ to single-use plastics such as straws.  The dynamic duo have thought trough all aspects and have launched this very structured pledge campaign in a systematic 3 phase manner:

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THE PLEDGE:

The pledge impresses upon the person to commit to a dollar amount (i.e. .50-cents or $1.00) they promise to pay for every time they use, or forget to refuse a plastic straw. All funds collected by the students go directly to their own school for special environment education programs. What a wonderful way to go green!

 

PHASE 1:

Launched in August 2016, this is when the siblings reached out to organisations around the world seeking partners for the campaign. You can check out all supporting organisations on the Partners Page. Schools were targeted primarily to reach out to students. After all this campaign is a ‘Go Green’ initiative from the NextGen for the NextGen! School superintendents across the country were contacted telling them about the campaign and taking the requisite permissions to take the pledge campaign live in schools.

 

PHASE 2:

Panned out in September 2016 when they followed up with the schools across USA and some select countries to have their students participate in the program by signing a pledge stating they promise not to use a single plastic straw for at least 30-days. At this stage participating students were also asked to get at least one family member to take the same pledge. Students are also actively encouraged to seek out one restaurant in their neighbourhood or community which could come aboard as a partner and pledge to #1LessStraw as well! The restaurant would have to pledge not to hand out straws for an entire month unless requested by the customer.

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PHASE 3:

Happening NOW! Action packed October for #1LessStraw Pledge Campaign. This is when the students have been asked to help ensure they and their families get into the habit of saying NO to plastic straws by taking a one month challenge. They’ve designed very cool pledge buttons and pins which the participants can get giving it a really cool vibe! Students will also have the opportunity to upload pictures of themselves and their families refusing a straw or even taking pictures of servers wearing the campaign buttons.

A big raffle with cool prizes too will be organised soon. Every pledge submitted is linked to the person’s name so the more pledges (either individual, business or school) the student gets, the better their chances of winning cool prizes.

 

How is it going?

The OneLessStraw.org website is now live and has lots of resources and a cool interactive map which will track the progress of the campaign around the country and even around the world.

The very first restaurant to join the campaign was North Beach Bar and Grill in Tybee Island GA and they are already reporting that their staff loves the idea and even the customers are gladly participating.  Check out the testimonial they sent.

Message from Kathryn Williams:

The pins are a hit!  Thank you again for including us in this project.  Progress is being made – I had lunch with 7 people today at the Grill.  Only 1 of the 8 asked for a straw and was then shamed by the rest of the group:)

 

What can you do?

TAKE THE GREEN PLEDGE NOW!

As you can see, the campaign is designed to be fun and produce long-lasting results.  We encourage everyone to download the pledge forms (also available in Spanish) from their website or complete the online version.

 

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SPREAD THE GREEN WORD!

If you have a school/district you would like to speak with about taking the pledge, just contact Olivia & Carter and they will guide you on how to go about it. If your organisation would like to be listed as a partner, just email them your logo and website link.

UrbanMeisters supports this campaign 100%. Two young bright people taking green matters into their own hands and trying to make a big change through a small but positive go green initiative deserve all your support. And most importantly your will to make the change with them.

We’ll leave you with Olivia & Crater’s simple but powerful words:

“Remember, anybody can make a difference… if we can, you can too.”

 

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