With a movement to “Ban the Straw,” Emerson Elementary students recognized a need for change in their own school. They created posters, worked to educate fellow classmates, began a petition campaign, and contacted district administrators. As a result, plastic straws are now used in Elmhurst D205 lunchrooms only if requested by students.
Members of Emerson Elementary School’s Conservation Club recently led a successful effort to limit straw usage in elementary lunchrooms. Under the direction of Mrs. Caryl Witt, club sponsor and first grade teacher, students researched the effects that discarded plastics have on the environment and especially the toll on ocean animals.
Straws are not recyclable in most facilities because of their size and degraded plastics are finding their way into the oceans where they are ingested by marine wildlife and then become part of the food chain. As club member Joaquin Pinedo stated, “Straws are used for seconds and here for centuries.”
One member appreciated how the club’s efforts are also a global campaign. When on vacation in Florida, Jake Boeckel shared his picture with club members. It was taken next to a restaurant sign urging “Skip the Straw, Save the Seas”.
As Dr. Seuss’ character the Once-ler stated in the book The Lorax, “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” These students understand that things must get better and they are making a difference.
The Conservation Club students are: Jack Bowgren, Sammy Cogan, Maddie Ludwig, Samuel Potturi, Maggie Richerson, Fili Rojas, Addison Bean, Klarissa Chavez, Stella Cliffel, Elsa Crotty, Mia Eupierre, Emily Lombardi, Griffin Maier, Jack Porterfield, Oliver Prokop, Ethan Tornabene, Jake Boeckel, Amelia Crotty, Evangeline Lopez, Trevor Mann, Joaquin Pinedo, Dylan Boling, Jack Daly, Will Kendrick, Ella Richerson, Addison Tomasetti, Elyssa Hall and Joseph Zbiegiel.