In honor of Earth Day, Northeast Michigan youth are participating in the Northeast Michigan Earth Day Bag Project. This project allows students to learn more and raise awareness about the dangers of single-use plastic, like plastic bags, for the local environment and watershed. This project idea originated from the Earth Day Groceries Project, a world-wide activity coordinated online to develop educational activities on Earth Day.
Working in partnership with the Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, its community partners, and local grocery stores, students decorate paper bags to convey messages regarding conservation and preservation following a discussion about the dangers of using plastic bags. These bags will then be distributed to customers on Earth Day, April 22nd.
The students’ campaign aims to lower the use of plastic bags, which have harmful environmental consequences, and to advocate the use of reusable bags. Single-use plastics, like plastic bags, are especially dangerous to area watercourses since they can enter into the ecosystem and break down into microplastics. Microplastics are small pieces of plastic that can absorb pollutants. Confused as food, they are commonly consumed by fish and birds; this consumption can ultimately lead to the animal’s death.
This simple learning project allows students the opportunity to provide a great environmental service as well as the ability to take an active role in making a positive contribution to their community. Support these students in this community effort to keep the Great Lakes plastic-free by using reusable bags!
Led by Huron Pines AmeriCorps members serving at the U.S. Forest Service in Oscoda, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade Alcona students learned about the impact of marine debris. Partnering with Harrisville Harbor Grocery, the students decorated paper grocery bags to highlight the importance of conservation and reducing our use of disposable plastics. On 4/22/16 (Earth Day), the bags are distributed to Harrisville Harbor Grocery customers to increase community awareness.
Led by Huron Pines AmeriCorps members serving at NEMIGLSI and Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Michigan State University Extension staff, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in Alpena Public Schools learned about the impact of marine debris and connected these messages with their community. Students from Besser Elementary, Ella White Elementary, Hinks Elementary, Lincoln Elementary, Sanborn Elementary, Wilson Elementary all participated in this project! Working in partnership with Neiman's Family Market, over 600 Alpena students decorated paper grocery bags to educate their community about the impact of plastic pollution and the importance of reducing our use of disposable plastics.
In addition to Alpena Public Schools, All Saints 7th and 8th graders informed their school how plastic impacts marine environments, and following this lesson, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th graders decorated these bags to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic bags for our Great Lakes.
As part of their Environmental Service Learning Class, Onaway High School students educated students from the Elementary School about the impact of plastic pollution and marine debris. Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students then decorated paper grocery bags to raise community awareness about these issues. Working in partnership with Tom's Family Market in Onaway, 500 student-decorated bags were distributed to customers on Earth Day.
Oscoda High School Biology students explained how plastic impacts marine environments at Richardson Elementary. 4th graders then decorated paper grocery bags to raise awareness about the dangers of plastic bags for our Great Lakes. Working in partnership with Roger's Family Foods and ACE Hardware, 200 student-decorated bags will be distributed to customers to raise awareness about the impact of marine debris and what we can do to help!