Plastics: What Does Being a Writer Have to do with Single Use Plastics?

Admittedly, the link isn’t something I had given a ton of thought until my writing buddy Jeanie Franz Ransom tweeted about National Geographic’s Planet or Plastic.  She just happened to tweet this as SCBWI members from around the world are heading to LA for the summer conference.  I have no clue how many people attend but it is massive and lasts four days.

Four days of disposable water bottles, plastic straws, utensils and all those name badge covers.  And I’m not picking on SCBWI.  It is an amazing organization.  This was just the event that happened to launch me into thinking about all that plastic.

Expecting SCBWI or any writers organization to solve the problem is ridiculous.  But as writers attending these events we can have a huge impact.  How?  Here are six suggestions.

  1.  Bring a refillable water bottle.  On the plane.  You can’t take it on full of water but you can take it empty and fill it at your destination.
  2. Don’t take straws.  If you simply have to have a straw, pack paper straws.  Don’t like paper straws?  I have a stainless straw that travels with my Yeti cup – car trips only.
  3. Do not take plastic utensils.  When we were cleaning out my dad’s house, I scooped up an old set of mess kit utensils that hook together.  You can also buy gorgeous bamboo sets that come with a spoon, fork and chop sticks.  These are going to go on my Christmas list and live in my purse.  I’m serious.
  4. At the end of the event, turn in your name badge cover.  It sounds like something small and unimportant but seriously.  A 1000 person event is 1000 little plastic name tag covers.  Turn it in so they can reuse it.
  5. All that leaves are my beloved pens.  I say this because I have just discovered pens that I love.  Ah, well.  Time to explore Cross pens that I can refill.  There are also some lovely bamboo pens.  I even spotted a bamboo fountain pen.  I can’t see traveling with that but if you eliminate the water bottles, straws, utensils and name badges?  There’s a lot less guilt involved in that pen that will last you a month.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we children’s writers worked together to drive this movement forward?  Think of all those little minds we can warp to our environmental ways.