Uplifting Policy Solutions to Inspire your Students

December 13, 2023 , 7:00 pm 8:00 pm EST

Algalita Marine Research and Education is hosting a free virtual event, Uplifting Policy Solutions to Inspire your Students, on Wednesday, December 13th from 4-5pm PT. While this event is geared toward environmental educators, Algalita invites anyone who wants to learn about current policy addressing plastic pollution and related issues. The Algalita team will get you up to date on local California legislation, national policy, and global treaties including the Break Free From Plastic Act, The UN Global Treaty on Plastic, and more. Together, the group will discuss how to bring hope, inspiration, and motivation to students.

March 30, 2023 , 7:00 pm 8:00 pm EDT

Join A-Z Tackling the Impacts of Plastics & Petrochemicals with Bailey Fullweiler, MSSA. LSW., for a community of care, intentionally building a space, especially for environmental activists/advocates and those impacted by climate change & related disasters. Hosted by the Sierra Club.

March 21, 2023 , 6:00 pm 7:00 pm EDT

**Seguido en Español**

Join the GreenLatinos Water Equity Collective for an virtual encuentro highlighting how water shapes our Latine comunidades and why we cannot separate our inherent interconnectedness. We will also explore how the Supreme Court case, Sackett v EPA, is just another attempt to deny this reality and how we can find strength in our connections.

*Español*

Únete al Colectivo de Equidad del Agua de GreenLatinos para un encuentro que destacará cómo el agua moldea nuestras comunidades Latines y por qué no podemos separar nuestra interdependencia intrínseca. También exploraremos cómo el caso de la Corte Suprema, Sackett v EPA, es sólo otro intento de negar esta realidad y cómo podemos encontrar fuerza en nuestras conexiones.

July 17, 2023 , 9:00 am July 21, 2023 , 5:00 pm EDT

Join the Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, coming to you virtually July 17–18, 2023, with in-person regional days held on July 19th, 20th, or 21st (in-person or virtually, dependent on region).

The Teach Climate Network‘s climate change education conference is built by educators and climate change professionals from across the US, Canada, and the Pacific Islands. This year’s theme is “Shared Purpose, Shared Future.” This energizing experience connects educators to an engaged and authentic community seeking to build collective strength to inspire hope and action in our communities.

Gain access to:

  • Resources: Explore curricula and tools to teach climate change concepts in all subject areas and settings
  • Community: Connect with local leaders and learn about equitable solutions in your region
  • Teaching tips: Reimagine your classroom with pedagogies that support climate change education

With summer winding down in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s now back-to-school season for many. For parents and guardians, it’s an opportunity to equip your student or students with healthy plastic-free school supplies that minimize waste and maximize usefulness for the year ahead.

Back-to-school time doesn’t have to be filled with plastic wrappers, water bottles, pens, and other single-use plastics. Reusable, refillable, non-plastic school supplies like stainless steel lunch boxes and food storage containers are better for your student’s health, minimizing their exposure to the microplastic particles that all plastic shed. 

What’s more, when well cared for, these non-toxic, non-plastic materials and products will last, meaning you spend less time and money on supplies in the long run. Going plastic-free is better for the planet, too.

Read on to find our list of go-to plastic-free school supplies, plus other tips for taking the plastic out of your student’s school year:

Try These 5 Plastic-Free School Supplies

1. Stainless steel food containers

Lunchtime is a common culprit for plastic pollution in a student’s school day. If your student brings their lunch to school, there are many ways to keep the plastic out. Replace the typical plastic zip-top bag, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil with portable, sealable, stainless steel food containers from Plastic Pollution Coalition Business Members ECOLunchbox and Ahimsa. Ahimsa also sells stainless steel foodware.

2. Cotton and wool lunch bags 

Once you’ve eliminated plastic from the inside of your student’s lunchbox, it’s time to tackle the lunchbox itself. Used lunch sacks are a good option, and they are widely available at most secondhand shops. Look for plastic-free options such as old-school aluminum lunch boxes, or a lunch bag made from natural materials like this cotton and wool one from Life Without Plastic

3. Beeswax wrap 

From simply covering leftover food to folding up into a handy pouch to hold snacks, beeswax wraps, such as those made by Abeego and Khala & Co, are a useful item to have on hand during the school year. To care for beeswax wrap, simply wash off with nontoxic soap and cold water and let dry before its next use. Replace beeswax wraps when they appear worn out (they are compostable). 

4. Plastic-free school supply essentials 

Many back-to-school supply lists are unfortunately filled with plastic items (which, even worse, are often sold wrapped in plastic packaging). Shop for an excellent selection of plastic-free back-to-school essentials like notebooks, pencils, markers, papers, planners, and more from Wisdom Supply Co. 

5. Stainless steel water bottle

Studies show that there is 50% more microplastic in (plastic) bottled water than tap water. And plastic bottles—like all plastics—contain chemicals that harm human health. In addition to being healthy, plastic-free, stainless steel reusable water bottles are long-lasting, economical, and easy to use and clean. Klean Kanteen sells a wide variety of stainless steel bottles with different unique appearances to appeal to students of all ages, from toddlers to teens.

More Tips for a Plastic-Free School Year

· Shop for plastic free food 

First, consider what your kids will be eating: Try to purchase groceries in bulk that are not wrapped in plastic packaging, such as loose fruits, veggies, and nuts. Getting bulk plastic-free groceries is made simple at refill and package-free shops, which allow you to top up your own containers and bags with the food you need. If available to you, consider shopping for food at a farmers market for locally grown, unpackaged produce and goods. Or, buy a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share that will provide you with regular hauls of assorted produced and other farm-fresh foods weekly.

· Reuse what you already own

Before you head to the mall or buy back-to-school supplies online, reuse what you already own to reduce the amount of stuff you need to purchase. It can be a big moneysaver to reuse last year’s backpack if it’s in good condition, or repairable if it’s worn. Older siblings’ school supplies can sometimes serve as hand-me-downs. Three-ring binders, folders, rulers, scissors, and other similar supplies can be used for years if well cared for. 

· Buy second-hand

When clothes shopping with or for your student, consider purchasing clothes secondhand and avoid clothing made of plastic. Look for plant-based apparel by checking labels to see if clothing is made from natural fibers like cotton, hemp, linen, cork, and bamboo.

· Advocate for whole-school change

Check out resources such as our Plastic Pollution Coalition Members Cafeteria Culture, an organization educating and empowering youth to eliminate plastic from their schools; and Plastic Free Campus, which has created a step-by-step program for eliminating single-use plastics from schools. Surfers Against Sewage has also created two free accreditation programs, Plastic Free Schools and Plastic Free Communities, which are designed to lead your school or community through replacing single-use plastics with healthy, viable alternatives. 

Join Plastic Pollution Coalition and the movement to end plastic pollution; access our members, facts, solutions, and resources.

Individual change matters, but we also need wider solutions to plastic pollution. Send your student back to school plastic-free, and encourage your student’s school to go plastic-free!

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There’s no entry fee. Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2022.

Are you a TV writer who wants to share positive, inspiring visions of a better future for people and nature on screen? Do you envision a world free of plastic pollution? Well, now’s your opportunity to inspire change by entering the Blue Sky Scriptwriting Competition!

Instead of the typical dystopian hellscape of a scorched earth, polluted by plastics, plagued by injustice, and wrecked by war, can you envision a new utopia?

If our efforts to create a more just, equitable, sustainable world free of plastic pollution are successful, what will the world look like 25 to 50 years from now? At Plastic Pollution Coalition, we are doing all we can to make that world a reality. We know that because life imitates art, we need a culture shift in the arts and entertainment to help give rise to the systems change we need now. 

What brave actions will get us there? What new stories could we tell? What problems might humans face in the future—and how will they overcome the challenges we currently face? Now’s your chance to show the world!

About the Contest

We’re calling on TV writers to show us how they can Flip the Script on Plastics for a new, brighter future that could be featured on the screen.

Plastic Pollution Coalition’s friends at Hollywood, Health and Society are now accepting submissions for their Blue Sky Scriptwriting Contest.

In partnership with the Future of Life Institute and the Writers Guild of America East, Hollywood Health and Society is offering fellowship grants for television scripts that focus storylines in a world set between the years 2045 and 2100. They are looking for stories set in a future that people would aspire to live and thrive in, to help encourage us to make the changes we need now to get there.

Five fellowships of $7,500 each and one grand prize of $20,000 will be awarded. Selected writers will also receive mentorships and expert consultations for script revisions.

Writing to Inspire a Better Future

It can sometimes be challenging to envision a brighter future like the one described here while living in a world so often dominated by doom and gloom. But the research, innovations, policies and grassroot efforts necessary to change things already exist. People leading positive changes are showing us that it is possible to create a better world. And since we are human, there will still be plenty of drama and comedy to go around—showing us that entertainment and depicting an inspiring new reality can go hand in hand.

Writers may tell whatever stories they want to in a pilot script for a TV show set in this “Blue Sky” future. The only requirement is to show audiences how society has gotten there, along the way. 

How to Enter

To enter the contest, writers must submit the following materials:

  • 30- or 60-minute pilot episode script set in a “Blue Sky” future. 
    • Your script can be a comedy or a drama.
  • Logline 
    • One sentence description of the story and premise.
  • Brief treatment 
    • Include a description of key characters and how the premise unfolds over a few episodes.

The material must embrace the world we need by incorporating themes of:

  • Racial equity,
  • Climate change mitigation or adaptation,
  • Advancements toward peace, and
  • Beneficial use of artificial intelligence (A.I.).

For additional rules, terms and more information, and to submit an entry, visit the Blue Sky Scriptwriting Fellowship website.

There’s no entry fee. The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2022. 

The winning writers will be announced in October of 2022 at the annual Sentinel Awards. The grand prize of $20,000 will be awarded in early 2023.

This contest is sponsored in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

If you are an active member of the entertainment industry, we also ask that you take a moment to sign our Flip the Script on Plastics Pledge to show your support of our initiative.