Ban the Bag Youth Summit Debrief
By: Angelica Astorga
One World Club; King Drew High School
On Sept 25th 2016, fifty-five students from all over the greater LA area gathered at the Rio de Los Angeles State Park Recreation Center for a day of teen networking, environmental education and campaign planning. Angelica Astorga from Club Heal the Bay’s One World Club at King Drew Magnet High School remembers the day fondly:
During the Youth Summit all members interacted during the different workshops and became more educated on Prop 67—a proposition on the November ballot that would ban single-use plastic bags throughout the state of California—while simultaneously learning about the efforts they can make to lessen pollution within their own communities. The speakers and Heal the Bay representatives kept a lively learning environment while educating on the importance of maintaining our marine environments.
Beginning our day, the representatives that attended this summit from my school (along with all other attendees) were asked to introduce ourselves to other students that we were not acquainted with. After, we engaged in a group activity where we guessed the path that trash travels through to reach the ocean by arranging photos sequentially. We discovered as a group, that all of our street trash and pollution washes into the ocean after traveling through the storm drain system.
Lastly, we participated in 3 small workshops that were to help prepare us for our own Reusable Bag Day event at a grocery store in our respective communities to raise awareness of Prop 67, giveaway FREE reusable bags to customers, and to educate the public on the dangers of pollution.
A funny part of the summit was when we watched the video on the plastic bag’s journey through the storm pipes to the ocean and the video used satire to lighten the mood when in reality it spoke about something that was serious and harmful.
A fun part of the day was when we got to spray paint our own Pledge Banners—a cloth sign that people can sign as their pledge to voting YES on Prop 67, or their pledge to tell a voter to vote YES. A lesson I learned is that we always need to leave enough spray paint for our fellow peers to create their own art.
This project that we will participate in makes One World’s club members excited to be a part of politics and environmental issues all at once. We are looking forward to working towards hosting our Reusable Bag Day Giveaway event at a grocery store in our neighborhood.