This Global Encounter seeks to raise awareness to the ongoing issue of plastic pollution. In today's society, we often see photographs, read articles, and listen to the news about all the plastic that is floating in our oceans and sitting on our beaches. It is very easy to sit back and watch it all happen. It is even easier to be a part of the problem. This Global Encounter aims to get people off the couch and out in the world aiming to help solve this global issue. Plastic is killing our planet and we, as humans, are to blame.
"Don't Let The Mermaids Cry" is aimed to be a worldwide project that any school or learning environment can participate in. Before anything, we aim to educate first. A few facts and statistics that should first be known are as followed:
-In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments—like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles—are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.
-Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
-The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.
-Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.
-Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year.
-Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean's surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
These are just some of the hundreds of plastic pollution statistics out there. By providing real statistics to learners, we are aiming to open their eyes about what is happening around them. We truly don't realize how much damage we are causing when we choose to have a "lazy moment" and throw out our plastic water bottle instead of waiting to recycle it. If every single person in the United States alone has this "lazy moment" ONCE per year, that is approximately 325 million plastic water bottles that could potentially end up in our ocean. Now imagine how much higher that number is each year knowing that some people do not recycle at all!
So what do we do?
Upon learning about plastic pollution, we encourage interested schools to set up 2 to 4 field trips per year. These schools can visit any beach, park, public place, etc. The aim of the field trip is to simply pick up as much trash and plastic as possible. We encourage everybody to separate each specific type of garbage that they find so they can record the numbers between each trip. Upon completing 2 trips, they are ready to participate in the video conference.
During this video conference, we hope that multiple schools are able to sign on together. This adds a collaborative aspect to our global encounter and shows students how widespread of a problem it is. We hope to have schools comparing the amounts of each type of trash and plastic that they find. This will help open eyes to how something as simple as a straw can be so bad for our environment.
Our options are not limited to just school field trips. Knowing that bus costs and planning can be difficult at times, we encourage groups of families and friends to make time to participate in our program as well. Even making it a fun beach day and setting aside 1 hour to cleanup can help immensely.
Upon completing a clean up project, learning the facts, and participating in our video conference, all participants are now leaders of the "Don't Let The Mermaids Cry" movement. We will encourage them to keep participating in clean-ups and encouraging others to recycle and learn the facts! If everyone on this planet made one positive gesture to help our planet yearly, we would already be on a road to preserving our planet longer.
Is there anybody out there to help inspire us?
Yes! His name is David Katz. David is the founder and CEO of "The Plastic Bank", the world’s only organization to monetize plastic waste and provide an opportunity for the world's disadvantaged to collect and trade plastic waste as a currency.
David Katz is the recipient of the 2017 United Nations Lighthouse award for Planetary Health, recipient of the Paris Climate Conference Sustainia community award, is the Past President of the Vancouver Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and named the Entrepreneur Organizations Global Citizen. He has also been named one of the world’s most compassionate entrepreneurs by Salt magazine.
His humanitarian work has also earned him international recognition. Katz has been featured in Forbes, TIME Magazine, Fast Company and National Geographic. He's featured in an award-winning documentary and starred in an international reality television show. David is a steward of the earth and a champion for the poor.
Katz participated in a TED Talk in which he raised awareness to plastic pollution and shared his story.
This information was found on TED.com.
David Katz would be an appropriate and informative person to take part in our video conference because he can talk about "The Plastic Bank" and how we can work together as schools to do projects that are similar. He is a true hero who found a way to turn 2 global problems (pollution and poverty) into a movement to help. He is inspiring and genuine. David Katz speaks very professionally and emotionally, and he would be a great person to add into the "Don't Let The Mermaids Cry" movement.