Building on our successful Plastic Pollution Webinar for Kids, Beyond Plastics and Green Ivy Schools invite kids ages 7-13 to participate in a Virtual Plastic Pollution Act-Athon on June 25th at 2 PM ET! Join other young people in using your creativity and passion to send a message to the biggest producers of plastic pollution that they need to fix the plastic pollution mess they’ve made.
Registration for our June 25 Act-Athon is now CLOSED. But don’t worry, we will host more events! Click here to join our mailing list so that we can notify you when our next event is scheduled.
Participants will choose from four projects led by teams of experienced and passionate youth mentors (see bios below!) to work on in small groups during the Zoom Act-Athon.
PREVIEW THE PROJECTS
Team Clear Oceans: Save the Oceans from Microplastic!
Mentors: Mary Lempres and Fionn Ferreira
Because plastic gets into our water supply, our oceans now contain millions of tiny pieces of microplastic in every cubic meter of water (that’s about how much fills your bathtub). Microplastic is like dust – it’s so small you can barely see it. The tiny particles get consumed by sea creatures which end up in our global food chain (including the food we eat!)
Join mentors Mary and Fionn to develop a creative visual campaign –think photos, video, artwork, and graphics — to raise awareness and help stop microplastic pollution of our water supply. These visuals will be shared via social media.
Fionn Ferreira hails from Ireland. He made big news in 2019 when he was awarded $50,000 as a winner in the Google Science Fair for his innovative method of removing microplastics from water. Watch this video of Fionn explaining his idea. And this one. And this one. Fionn curates a planetarium, is a chemistry student at the University of Groningen, Netherlands and engages in meetings with industry leaders and policy makers to discuss and combat the issues of plastic pollution. Follow Fionn on Instagram and Twitter!
Mary Lempres is a New York City-based artist, researcher and educator interested in the use of sustainable materials in art and design. Mary is interested in the use of new and old cultural technologies as sustainable solutions: from the use of agricultural waste as a plastic solution to mesh netting for fog harvesting. Learn more about her creative and innovative work on her website here. And check out her YouTube video showing you how to make your own bioplastic. Mary currently works and studies at Pratt Institute, where she studies Art & Design Education and manages Pratt’s Math and Science Department’s teaching and research laboratories while adapting lessons to bridge the fields of art and science. Follow Mary on Instagram!
Team Nestlé Bottle Ban: Stop Nestlé from Polluting with Plastic!
Mentors: Joanna Argudo and Olivia Chiossone
Did you know that Nestlé (yes, the same company that makes chocolate and sooo much more!) is one of the biggest plastic polluters in the world? And that one of Nestlé’s most popular products is water, sold in single-use plastic bottles all over the world.
Join mentors Olivia and Joanna in telling Nestlé it’s time to stop making plastic water bottles. Team Nestle Bottle Ban will be working creatively (drawing, painting, digital art) and persuasively to send a message to Nestle, influencers, and customers like schools, sports teams, politicians, and more, asking them to stop packaging their products in single-use plastic. All artwork and public messages will be shared on social media.
Olivia Chiossone is from New York City where she first began working in plastic pollution and environmental education as a Volunteer at the New York Aquarium. She went on to be a founding member of the Youth Advisory Council for The Climate Museum and the Co-President of her high school’s environmental club. She continues to work with the New York Aquarium in education on marine life and conservation. She is now an environmental studies student at Bennington College, where she first became involved with Beyond Plastics.
Joanna Argudo is a New Yorker who has volunteered with the New York Aquarium, educating the public on marine ecology and supporting a petition to protect the Hudson Canyon Marine Sanctuary. She also participated in the Unleashed program for girls who are going to shape the future and spoke at their 2016 Unleashed “Brave Summit”. In 2018 she interned with Leaders of Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF), a program run by The Nature Conservancy, where she conducted marine research, removed invasive plant species, and cared for endangered species. She is a certified diver and has worked with the Billion Oyster Project in restoring the NYC Harbor by using oyster reefs, which filter the water and protect NYC from storm damage, floods, and shoreline erosion.
Team Coca-Cola Cleanup: Make Coca-Cola Responsible for its Mess!
Mentors: Maya Faulstitch and Leela Sotsky
Did you know that Coca Cola is the #1 plastic polluter in the world, producing 3 million tons of plastic every year? That leaves the public with a big plastic mess. But who is responsible for cleaning up that mess? Right now, it’s governments and citizens but there is a policy called “Extended Producer Responsibility” (EPR) which means that whoever makes the mess has to clean it up (including paying for that cleanup).
Join mentors Maya and Leela in telling Coca Cola that it’s time for them to take responsibility for the pollution they’ve created. Team Coca Cola Clean-Up will combine poetry and persuasive writing in a social media campaign that educates the public about Coca Cola’s polluting behavior and asks everyone to unite in putting a stop to it.
Maya Faulstich is a rising 8th Grader in Maine who is passionate about finding alternatives to plastic. In her research, she discovered Ecovative Design, a company that produces mycelium-based packaging and other materials that offer an Earth-friendly alternative to plastic. Inspired by Ecovative, she purchased some mycelium and some biodegradable packing peanuts and performed her own experiment to see which dissolved better and faster. This past school year, she wrote an essay about Extended Producer Responsibility and created a comic to raise awareness of how much plastic people use in a day. You can find all these things on her website.
Leela Sotsky is from NYC and has been an activist for as long as she can remember, starting in her teens as an intern for Engineers for a Sustainable World and then as a youth advisory councilmember for The Climate Museum, the first museum in the United States dedicated to the climate crisis. She also worked as an Explainer at the New York Hall of Science. Today, she works in the Department of Ecology & Evolution at Stony Brook University.
Team Eco-Hero: Design a Superhero to Fight Plastic Pollution!
Mentors: Nyah Alexis, Srichchha Pradhan, and Madeline Canfield
Do you have a favorite superhero? The world really needs a new one right now to fight one of our most dangerous villains, plastic pollution. Join mentors Nyah, Srichchha, and Madeline in building the world’s first plastic pollution hero. This hero will need special powers, a catchphrase, and a distinctive look – maybe even a theme song…
Team Eco-Hero will design a hero that confronts companies, politicians, and others who are polluting the Earth with plastic, telling them to stop and helping them understand how much their pollution is hurting our environment. We need artists, creative writers, and planners!
Nyah Alexis started her activism as a high school intern at the New York Botanical Garden teaching children plant and animal science while conducting research on endangered plant species that lived in the garden, including the impact of climate change. Most recently, Nyah has become a Citizen Science Teaching Fellow Bard College, where she will guide first year students through a 2-week long Citizen Science experience. Specifically, she will teach the chemistry and biology around the impact companies have when they dump waste into the water supply, and monitor lab research and water testing in the Hudson Valley.
Srichchha Pradhan (Sri- cha) is a student in the Environmental Studies and Entrepreneurship program at Bennington College in Vermont. She first learned about the problem of plastic pollution through classes with Judith Enck (Obama appointee for the EPA) and through her internship with Beyond Plastics. As an international student from Nepal, Srichchha holds nature and wildlife close to her heart and is willing to stand up for environmental rights wherever she goes. Right now, she works as an Intern in the area of Continuous Energy Improvement at Bennington College while also continuing to learn about climate change. Srichchha is also a passionate advocate for helping stray dogs. Follow Srichchha on Twitter Facebook and TikTok!
Madeline Canfield is an 18-year-old climate activist from Houston, TX. As a teen, she began her activism with a local hub of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led organization mobilizing for a Green New Deal in communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis. She serves as the Political Actions organizer for Sunrise Houston, a position in which she has collaborated on various protests, town halls, and political forums. As a founder of Houston Climate Strike, she helped to orchestrate three Houston climate strikes as a part of the US Youth Climate Strike movement, including the historic 9/20 Global Climate Strike. She also serves as a member of the Partnerships team at the youth climate justice organization Zero Hour.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? REGISTER!
Once you’ve registered for the Act-Athon, you’ll receive a confirmation email that includes the Zoom log in and a link you can use to let us know what project(s) you’re most excited to work on.
SEE WHERE OUR PARTICIPANTS ARE FROM
MEET OUR FACILITATORS
The workshop will be facilitated by Jennifer Congdon, development director of Beyond Plastics, Dr. Jennifer Jones, founder of Green Ivy Schools, and Olivia Chiossone, student at Bennington College, class of ’23.