Thanks to a collaboration with other positive climate partners in Baltimore like Sierra Club, Maryland Environmental Health Network, and Chesapeake Climate Action Network, our organization helped to pass Baltimore's most progressive climate resolution yet! Councilman Zeke Cohen was the key legislator behind this resolution, and we are proud that Baltimore has taken a stand against our federal government administration and chosen to symbolically join onto the Paris Climate Agreement. Check out the Baltimore Sun and WJZ news stories, and see the pictures below for the amazing rally/press conference we had prior to the City Council meeting.
Sadie and I have been swamped with end-of-school-year final exams over the month of May, but we did have time to represent at Baltimore's 2nd annual Floatilla, a kayak rally in the Inner Harbor for clean water. We were elated to bring the plastic-free harbor message to the event and lobby together for a solution to the pollution.
Next up? A rally on land for a Baltimore that commits to positive climate action. Join us next Monday, June 19 from 4-5 PM in front of City Hall to encourage our councilmembers to vote to keep Baltimore in the Paris Climate Agreement.
What have we been working on for the past month? A Baltimore Beyond Plastic banner! We spent a couple of nights sketching out our logo and painting the beast... isn't she beautiful?
On April 29, students from Towson University brought our banner to the People's Climate March in Washington, D.C. They also handed out Baltimore Beyond Plastic flyers and publicized our organization.
We are so proud to have made a mark at the climate march, and we are thrilled to now have an organization banner to display at future events. And speaking of future events, we have been invited to be the student keynote speakers at the MAEOE Youth Summit next Thursday, May 18. Come catch our talk and hear from other student environmental advocates! Check out our event page with more information.
Our keynote speaker was Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, who led an amazing discussion on health disparities and environmental justice. Over 100 students talked about problem areas in their communities and how to make change happen!
Our youth leadership summit is coming up soon, and we're expecting over 70 participants! Join us!
Over the next month, we will be participating in two climate-related events, and we are very excited to link the plastic pollution reduction initiative to the climate change movement. We will be bringing Styrofoam artwork and signs to a Climate Pageant being hosted at Light City Baltimore on March 31 and April 1. And for the nationwide People's Climate March on April 29 in D.C., we will be bringing a youth delegation. For either of these events, check out our "Events" tab, and stay tuned for more as we delve into climate advocacy.
We've been getting a lot of attention about our cause on ABC2, the Real News Network, and FOX45! Check out clips below.
Claire Wayner and Mercedes Thompson successfully got a resolution unanimously passed in the City Council on 2/27/2017 in support of the bills going through Annapolis that would phaseout the use of expanded polystyrene. Read more about it below!
Co-founders Mercedes Thompson and Claire Wayner sent the editor of the Baltimore Sun a rebuttal to "Polystyrene is no health hazard." Read below the published letter to the editor or view it by clicking the link: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-plastic-letter-20170227-story.html
We are two high school juniors at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, and we continue to see the negative impacts of polystyrene foam on students and on Baltimore City. Polystyrene foam trays are used to serve hot food to Baltimore students every day, which concerns us given how the plastic is manufactured. The two most well-known chemicals used are styrene and benzene. The National Institutes of Health's National Toxicology Program deems styrene "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" and benzene a known human carcinogen. Styrene can leach into hot foods and can be found in elevated levels in human fat tissue. This is a sign of long-term absorption and not simply short-term presence in the body before excretion.
We've been busy the past two weeks with introducing a resolution in Baltimore's City Council that would support the statewide Styrofoam phase-out. The resolution will be introduced at next Monday's hearing at City Hall at 5 PM and will be put to vote for immediate adoption. Hopefully, it passes!
To keep building on our momentum, we are rallying in front of City Hall on Friday, March 3 from 4-5:30 PM. With art activities, sign making, and chants, it's going to be a fantastic and energetic time, and we hope you can join the movement then.