In a meeting at a co-working space to talk about environmental issues, Good Men Project contributor Jonathan Levy, aka “The Zero Waste Guy” picked up a bowl of candy from the coffee table that was set out for guests. Each candy was individually wrapped.
“And then you have THIS,” he exclaimed in frustration setting the bowl back down. “Plastic that is designed to be used for one single time. But that piece of plastic will last forever.” I sighed in agreement.
“Despite enormous efforts,” Jonathan continued, “Most plastic is never recycled. And incinerating it hurts the atmosphere. Plastic is created for the one use, thrown away, and lasts virtually forever on the planet.”
Now watch the video below, which shows what happens when you sift a random portion of a beach in Hawaii. The video has been called “mesmerizing“— but not in a good way. Unless it spurs us to action.
Kailua Beach this morning during the @kitv4 Good Morning Hawaii Show. Tomorrow we’ll be building a few of these at the @hnltoollibrary at @reusehawaii from 2-5. We’ll need them for Earth Day on April 22nd at Waimanalo. See you there!! Link to Earth Day event in profile. #sandsifter #microplastic #mesoplastic #oceanplastic #cleanyobeach #kailuabeach #earthdaynalo #plasticpollution @parley.tv @kccnfm100 @firstinshi
Let’s not forget the how life imitates art. We need to understand that the proliferation of plastics leads to abuse—abuse of our world, our animals, and ultimately our people, through climate change famine and war.
A different place where art and environmentalism collide is this beached whale made entirely of plastic. Designed to have people do a double take and then share photos on social media, it has done just that.
A short blog post by Seth Godin is called “Who cut down the last tree?” He talks about Easter Island, and how, when the people who lived on the island cut down the last tree on the island, the country descended into chaos, the food chain was broken and the population was extinct. Seth’s point was that by the time you cut down the last tree, it is already too late. Who is going to stand up and say “No!” to the second to last tree, or the third to last? Who is going to say “No more!”.
Who indeed? Never forget that it is up to us.
For a more detailed look at exactly how the population of Easter Island disappeared after the last tree was cut down, read this brilliant article by Jared Diamond.
So, what to do, what to do? Mobilize. It really is that simple. Mobile, take action—destroy a future of plastics and don’t let them cut down that last tree.
In our Rising Stars classes, we talk about “How to Get to a Tipping Point” in a very strategic way. According to Malcolm Gladwell, in his book aptly named “The Tipping Point“—an idea, product or movement gets to a tipping point in popular culture when it makes the jump from individuals to small groups to large groups.
Use this as a framework for your own mobilization strategy. Connect with individuals, connect with small groups and connect with large groups—all of whom have the goal of helping to solve this problem. Don’t do it alone!
Here are some ways:
Join our Environmental Activism Facebook Group. We are going to start weekly phone calls for environmental actives as soon as we get enough people raising their hands. Join us!
Support organizations like 350.org.
Greenpeace Philippines is the brains behind the amazing whale exhibit above. Like them on Facebook!
Connect with Jonathan Levy, aka The Zero Waste Guy on Instagram.
And finally—don’t underestimate the power of small actions. The Queen of England recently banned straws and plastic bottles from the Royal Estates. It cuts down on plastic, but it also takes a stand. We need more people saying “No more!”
Want weekly calls to discuss Environmental Activism? So do we! Click below to join our email list and receive information about our next set of weekly calls.
Find out more about the Carbon Bubble so you can help take an economic stance that will benefit the environment. Read:
Global Warming and the Carbon Bubble: A Reality Check by Carol Bluestein
The Smokestacks Come Tumbling Down by Alex Steffen
Photo: Plastic on candy, L. Hickey, Easter Island, Nicolas de Camaret / flickr
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Also by Lisa Hickey
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