GFS alumni David Hayward (pictured left), class of 1968, is a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteer. His mission is to educate citizens about ways to help improve the health of our waterways. Third grade students chose water as their environmental action project this year and invited Mr. Hayward to visit and share his experience.
Students were fully engaged as they learned the story of Inky the baby pygmy sperm whale who was beached due to a stomach full of plastic. Coast Guard volunteers, among many others, helped to rescue and save Inky from the health issues caused by human litter. Inky's luck changed for the better. What about the other wildlife affected by litter?
How can we make a difference? There are many ways to help. Let's start with something simple, like using reusable bags for shopping and carrying personal items.
Did you know that...
- About 750 billion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year? Less than 1% of those bags are recycled.
- The rest of those bags end up in landfills or as litter in every ocean on our planet.
- Plastic bags photodegrade (not biodegrade) into smaller toxic polymers which contaminate water and soil.
- If you use a reusable cloth bag, you save 6 plastic bags per week on average. That's 24 bags per month. 288 bags per year. 22,176 in an average lifetime.
- If just 1 person in 5 did this we would save 1,330,560,000,000 plastic bags.
Some good news...
- China and Bangladesh have banned plastic bags.
- Ireland now charges consumers for plastic bags.
- San Francisco has banned plastic bags. Oakland and Boston are considering bans.
- Plastic bags are made from oil
- Reducing plastic bags decreases our dependence on foreign oil
- China will save 37 million barrels of oil each year because of their ban on plastic bags!
Thank you to Mr. Hayward for volunteering to make a difference by educating people and empowering them to feel like they CAN make a difference. Every little effort helps.