We’ve all heard this or similar questions throughout our lives, often they come from within, and they always come up when the stakes are high and the challenge is large. On a recent trip to Central America the severity of our plastic pollution crisis was present in litter lined streets and smoldering piles of disposable packaging filling the air with the scent of burning plastic. My initial reaction to that experience was, “It doesn’t matter if Sustainable Seacoast makes a difference back home, the real problem is too big.” I started thinking about ways of giving up, how to explain to our supporters that plastic pollution can’t be solved and we were doomed to failure so why bother. Shortly after returning to the Seacoast disheartened, I was telling the Sustainable Seacoast origin story to someone when it hit me: Here in America we are responsible for much more plastic pollution then Central America, the only difference is, we are disconnected from it. We have systems in place to whisk the plastic away and pile it up where we don’t have to look at it, rather than in our back yards. We need to stay committed to our mission!
Of course you can make a difference!
Don’t let yourself or others discourage you from believing that each and every intentional decision you make can have a lasting positive impact on yourself, the community, and the environment. You don’t need to defend your choices, you don’t need to convince others, your biggest influence is in the wake of your actions.
4 Ways you can make a difference and reduce plastic pollution.
1. Become a Sustainable Seacoast Patron Member. Our collective commitment to reducing plastic pollution in the restaurant industry presents a powerful message to restaurants that we care and we want to support restaurants that care about reducing plastic pollution. For only $25 a year, you directly support our education, consulting, and support services to both Restaurant and Patron Members. Membership Benefits include:
- Perks at Member Restaurants
- Invitations to pop-up events at rotating Member Restaurants
- Invitations to members-only educational events
- Free/reduced costs to film screenings
- Access to Member Restaurant Directory
- Access to networking opportunities with restaurants and other members
- All the warm fuzzies of knowing you’re making the world a better place!
Become a Member 2. Support Businesses Working to Reduce Plastic Pollution. Seek out the businesses that are taking steps to help you with your commitment to transition away from Single-use plastics. Choose restaurants from our directory, start conversations with other businesses about their practices, shop locally and ask for plastic and package free alternatives. 3. Volunteer Locally. This one has a double benefit! Obviously the organizations you work with will benefit from your commitment toward our common mission. But the unsung benefit is that you’ll be meeting and working with other passionate folks in your area, creating new friendships and connecting to the community! Here are just a few of the wonderful Seacoast area organizations aligned with reducing plastic pollution and local community support.
- Blue Ocean Society – Beach Clean-ups and Skip-the-Straw campaign
- Surfrider – Beach Clean-ups and Skip-the-Straw campaign
- Seacoast Science Center – Conservation & Education
- Seacoast Eat Local – Local food & Farmer’s Markets
4. Be Patient and Committed. This one is tough, and it’s where we become most susceptible to those doubting thoughts and comments. As with anything else in life, tackling plastic pollution is a journey, it will be filled with challenges, setbacks, and successes. Acknowledge your victories and embrace your setbacks as opportunities to learn. We’re incredibly inspired and motivated by the support we’ve received from the Seacoast community. With your help we can create restaurant experiences that are free from single-use plastic pollution. We’re incredibly inspired and motivated by the support we’ve received from the Seacoast community. With your help we can create restaurant experiences that are free from single-use plastic pollution.