As an environmental nonprofit, we know a thing or two about plastic pollution. We wrote the Great Lakes plastic-free pledge, we developed a plastic-free toolkit for our advocates, we empower volunteers to host over 900 Adopt-a-Beach cleanups each year.
But how green are the staffers at Alliance for the Great Lakes? We decided to challenge three staffers to a work-week without single-use plastics, where they would film their slip-ups, challenges and work-arounds for living plastic free.
Our Senior Volunteer Manager, Tyrone Dobson, runs the Adopt-a-Beach program. For his Week Without Plastic, he faced an early challenge with traveling at an airport while abstaining from single-use plastic. See how he did!
Anna-Lisa Castle, our content manager and staff writer, double booked her week without plastic and wisdom tooth surgery, adding a medical complexity to her challenge. Things like gauze and pills often come with single-use plastic. Watch how she tackled recovery, being a dog mom, and trying to be plastic-free.
Our Water Policy Strategist, Sheyda Esnaashari is usually good about being green and eco-friendly. She proudly washes and re-uses her snack baggies. But when faced with a Week Without Plastic, this coffee lover had a hard time not reaching for creamers and snacks.
Ultimately, our staffers learned that even the best intentions fail in a world wrapped in plastic. While it’s important to forego plastic bags while grocery shopping and bringing your own mug to the coffee shop, systematic change is also necessary. The plastic pollution problem is complex. We need thoughtful solutions that balance the needs of people and the Great Lakes.