Paper Or Plastic? NO!

I have saved something very special for the final contest in the Big Binder Eat Local Challenge.  I genuinely hope that even after this challenge, we can all continue to make choices that will impact our community for the better. 

You know I love the Zoo, so it should come as no surprise that my family attended the first “Party For The Planet” there on Earth Day.  My husband and I were thoroughly impressed by some Thornapple Elementary School’s Environmental Club members who gave a brief presentation about the need to utilize reusable grocery bags, and then gave bags away to encourage making this choice.

The Environmental Club was started in 2000 by Dr. Linda Ernst for this very reason. Under her direction it has grown from 12 to 40 children in the past seven years and now participates in a variety of projects such as picking invasive weeds, membership in the international children’s program Roots & Shoots, making crafts out of recycled projects, and setting up recycling stations.  By recycling printer cartridges and a setting up a new Paper Gator program, they are also able to donate to the John Ball Zoo Footsteps to the Future Program, The Kent County Humane Society and Heifer International‘s Read to Feed Program. 

Phew! If these third and fourth graders can do all that; what can you do? Start by saying no to paper OR plastic.

Regardless of where we shop, we need to get our goods to the car (or bus) one way or another. When you are asked if you would like paper or plastic; you can tell them that you would like to use your own reusable bag. 

This is a clever segue into today’s contest; a canvas bag giveaway by the Thornapple Elementary School’s Environmental Club. This is a great big sturdy canvas bag that will serve your grocery-getting needs for a long time.

Enter the contest by leaving a comment below thanking these awesome kids for all of their hard work.  They feel so strongly about their purpose that they have donated fifteen bags (wow!) to give away. Thanks for participating; and good luck!



Filed under Contests, EatLocalChallenge

15 responses to “Paper Or Plastic? NO!

  1. Dan

    I’ts amazing what kids can do. Thanks to all the kids that participate in preerving our earth.

  2. thediaperdiaries

    I have been talking about this for so long, but have not purchased a bag yet. I am sick of the plastic bags piling up in my house. This is an awesome contest.

    Thanks kids, I am inspired by what you are choosing to do with yourselves at such a young age.

  3. Deb

    It is inspiring to see kids succeeding where so many adults (including myself) fail. Thank you!

  4. Megan

    These kids are inspiring! I’ve been toting my little canvas bags but I’d love to get my hands on a bigger bag (I can’t leave the grocery store without half a cart full!). Also, on the topic of preserving our environment, check out West Michigan Eco-Center on Division to purchase environmentally friendly products. Check out their space on myspace too!!

  5. I am so inspired by these kids. I can only hope that my own little environmentalist will grow up to do something as cool as this! We need to get through Kindergarten first though before she starts coming up with cool projects like this one. 🙂 Thanks to all the kids for their hard work….I would so LOVE to win one of these bags!

  6. adventuremom

    I have longed to start bringing my own bags too but just have not done it. Maybe this is the push I was waiting for. Great job kids! You inspire me to make my children even more aware of what they can do to change the world!

  7. urbanmom

    I couldn’t bear to throw away so many plastic baggies for my child’s school lunch on a daily basis, so I found a great lunch box that creates no waste. I found it at and I think the food gets eaten so well because the presentation of it looks so good.

    p.s. – I just discovered your blog and it is now a daily read!

  8. Jenniflower

    Thanks kids for all the inspiration! Keep up the good work!

  9. callmeabookworm

    Good to see the future generation being so environment conscious. The least we can do is not worsen the planet we’ve borrowed from them.

  10. I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Or maybe it should have been let them teach us and lead the way. I continue to be amazed by the strength and sincerity of children. I love this contest. Did I say “LOVE”??

  11. Rose

    This is sooo awesome!!!!!! Thank you for being an inspiration and a reminder that no matter how big or small you are, we are all responsible for the health of our planet. What a wonderful teacher to those kids. How can my babes get signed up for a program like this in the future? I want to see others at my future Meijer trips with reusable bags. I need a large reusable tote! 🙂

  12. Silly Sister-in-law

    Great idea!, I reuse bags often. Keep up the great work kids!

  13. Sarah

    Way to go kids. This is really important. Thanks for making us all more aware.

  14. Spartanjill

    We need to learn a few things from those young minds. Thanks for brining it to everyone’s attention.

  15. Brendalynn Eustice

    I am so proud of these children for taking the initiative to do something positive for our enviornment. And everyone laughs at me for being “annal” and washing out all our plastic for recycling, even the used plastic silverware left over from kids birthday parties. I am glad our young are thinking about the planet and how it will be years from now if more people don’t take more care!!!