Siblings Olivia and Carter Ries started their own nonprofit called One More Generation (OMG) back in 2009 in an effort to help clean up the environment for at least One More Generation… and beyond. As the founders of OMG and K-12 students themselves, they are constantly seeking ways for young people to be involved in the conservation and preservation of the natural world and wildlife… it’s what they love to do!
Olivia and Carter are pleased to announce the launch of their OneLessStraw Pledge Campaign for America’s K-12 students. Why did they create the campaign? Well, did you know that 500,000,000 plastic straws are used in America every single day and most never get recycled? That’s enough to fill over 127 school buses with plastic straws every day.
OMG’s OneLessStraw Pledge Campaign has three phases. The first started in August when Olivia and Carter reach out to organizations around the world, seeking partners for the campaign. Their initiative now has over 70 global partners. They also sent out emails to each and every school superintendent across the country advising them of the campaign.
The second phase is happening now in September where they are asking schools across the nation, and even in select countries, to have their students participate by signing a pledge stating they promise not to use a single plastic straw during the month of October. They are also asking students to get at least one family member to do the same. The pledge they sign allows the person taking the pledge to commit to a dollar amount they promise to pay for every time they forget to refuse a plastic straw. One hundred percent of funds collected by the students go to their school so they can afford to bring in more environmental education programs. They are also asking students to seek out at least one restaurant in their community that they can approach and ask to sign a pledge stating that they promise not to hand out straws during the entire month of October unless requested by the customer.
The final phase happens in October with students living up to their pledge and ensuring their family gets in the habit of saying “No” to plastic straws for the entire month.
In conjunction with the campaign, the newly launched OneLessStraw.org has tons of resources and features an interactive map which will showcase schools, businesses, and even communities that have taken the pledge. Campaign materials will also be available in Spanish.
Environmental education is being promoted for the first time through the authorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act. This gives K-12 students more opportunities to learn about conservation practices in conjunction with good stewardship. The OneLessStraw Pledge Campaign is designed to work with and support this new Act, and offer students ways to demonstrate their commitment and make a difference, all at once.
This September, challenge your students to sign the OneLessStraw pledge and consider using OMG’s Plastic and Recycling Awareness Curriculum in your classroom. Both are great ways to introduce your students to the impact plastic pollution has on the environment and gives them actionable steps to make a difference.
Have questions? Please email them to email@example.com.