Monday, May 16, 2011

Earth Day to May Day

Blogging is tough when there is so much going is the case with our Bag It Bellingham effort to reduce single-use carryout bags in our town! With April as "Plastic Pollution Reduction Month" we packed in the education and outreach events from community screenings of award winning film "Bag It" and "The Clean Big Project" to tabling at the Downtown Farmers' Market, visiting neighborhood meetings, and Earth Day celebrations at Western Washington University!

Mayor Dan Pike spoke at the university's Earth Day celebration and participated in our Reusable Bag Challenge. Anyone who packed all the groceries in our Bag It Bellingham reusable bag in 30 seconds or less received a bag.
It wasn't easy and the Mayor did it have to watch the video to find out! Seth Vidana, the Office of Sustainability Coordinator challenged the Mayor's record and is quite the grocery packer. Check out his video where he also shares what Western Washington University is doing to reduce single-use plastic carryout bags! We had many other contestants who all loved the challenge, including the Bag Monster!

At the 10+ April events, we spoke with over 1,500 people who signed a letter to the City Council showing their support for the proposed bag reduction ordinance along with generating over 75 volunteers! The support has been unanimous across the city with only a handful declining to sign the support letter, which brings us to May Day! Bag It Bellingham and our City Councilmember Seth Fleetwood met with the Bellingham Herald's editorial board. It was like defending a thesis, only not knowing what their opinion would be on the proposal. May 1st, the Herald's opinion article stated "Limiting Plastic Bags is the Right Thing to do" and their article spells out why. This month we continue our outreach...and now we're up to over 2,100 letter supporters with more events to attend! The challenge of helping our community learn more about reducing plastic pollution is worth it and we look forward to doing our proportionate share of taking care of the planet one step at a time, one day at a time, one community at a time, knowing that every day is Earth Day.

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