One Less Straw Update Spring 2018
When Olivia and Carter created the OneLessStraw Campaign, they mapped out a five year roll-out plan. Year one was designed to target the individual user and restaurants. They set out by creating an easy to follow Infographic which highlighted some of the issues caused by our continued mindless use of single up plastic straws.
They created an opportunity for students and even entire schools to get involved and task them with the responsibility of sharing what they learned with family members.
Next they added support materials that restaurants could use to help educate their customers about the restaurants efforts to reduce their plastic footprint. They came up with a simple campaign button that servers could wear that proudly announced that the establishment “Only Serves Straws Upon Request”. Thanks to a small grant they received, they had enough money to purchased 1,000 of the campaign buttons and gave them free of charge to any restaurant that wanted them. The buttons were an instant hit, first they were free, second they communicated the intent of the program and third the buttons helped educate people about the issue and gave them an opportunity to be part of the solution. So far in the first year alone, Olivia and Carter have sent out over 18,000 campaign buttons and due to the popularity of the concept, the buttons have now been translated into 12 languages.
When Olivia and Carter first set out to try and raise awareness, they never dreamed the campaign would be so successful. In the first year alone they have already had almost 5,000 people sign the online ‘individual pledge, their list of global partners which include schools, restaurants and other like minded organizations has almost exceeded 500 partners from all over the globe and the number keeps growing. Year two of the campaign is aimed at continuing the outreach efforts with individuals, schools and restaurants but Olivia and Carter are also targeting the hospitality industry, airlines and sporting arenas. They are already working with the busiest airport in the world Hartsfield International Airport and they have recently been contacted by DFW airport. They have also been working with airlines such as Delta Air Lines and they are in talks with Virgin Atlantic as well. They also recently partnered with the Lonely Whale Foundation and will be hosting a Strawless Atlanta event which will emulate the success of the Strawless Seattle event.
Go Blue Awards
We are so honored to have been nominated for the Ninth Annual Go Blue Awards hosted by the Loggerhead Marinelife Center and we were even more surprised to learn that Olivia and Carter were chosen as the winners of the Blue Hatchling Youth. The competition was tough, and we think all the nominees are winners. Check out the complete list of Finalists.
In December of 2017, we were invited by our friends at Plastic-Lite Singapore to come and present at the Green Drinks Singapore’s 10th Anniversary event. Singapore is one of more than 660 cities with a Green Drinks presence. Started in 1989 in London, the Green Drinks movement is a self-organizing network that is meant to be simple and unstructured. I had a great time meeting everyone at the event and look forward to continuing our mutual work towards cleaning up our environment.
While in Singapore, we were invited to come and present our OneLessStraw Campaign to the students at United World College. Our friends at Plastic-Lite Singapore helped set up the meeting with this prestigious International School. The students will all be signing our OneLessStraw pledge. Stay tuned for more updates and make sure to visit the school’s website.
During our trip we also met an amazing family who sincerely cares about what is happening to our environment. We were so impressed with their passion and commitment, we invited Gauri and Angad to consider joining our global Youth Advisory Board. Check out the heartfelt video from Gauri and please share with youth and adults all over the world. This is how you make a difference and change the world!
World Ocean Summit
Olivia and Carter had a fantastic time attending the World Ocean Summit in Mexico in March. They were invited to share their efforts to combat single use plastics at the Round Table event hosted by Catherine McKenna, Minister of environment and climate change, from Canada. They also shot a video about the issue with Minister McKenna here.
They had numerous interviews and met up with lots of friends such as Dr. Sylvia Earle and our friends David and Wendy from The Peter Benchley Awards and March For the Ocean.
They also spoke at the conference about the need for school systems around the world to make environmental education mandatory starting in elementary schools. The President of Iceland agreed and has asked us to discuss ways that our Plastic and Recycling Awareness Curriculum can possibly be introduced in his country. Olivia and Carter also met our new friends at Dopper from Holland and the folks at By The Ocean We Unite.
In late April, Olivia and Carter will be speaking at several schools in FL as part of their Earth Day events. In early May they both will be traveling to Rome, Italy where they will be working with the US Embassy and supporting the embassy’s Earth Day events. The US Embassy has set up presentations at several international schools in three major cities. We will be posting updates on our Facebook pages so stay tuned for all the latest.
Olivia and Carter know that this is just the tip of the iceberg and they are rolling up their sleeves as they get ready to achieve even more in 2018. If you too would like to learn more on how you can get involved, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly get you started. Remember, “Anybody can make a difference… if we can, you can too”.