From Bars to Classrooms … Evolution of a Campaign

Hello world! Hello dear readers! 😀 Finally I want to give you an update about my campaign on plastic straws. It’s been a month almost since I started and I must say I am very happy about how it evolved.
There are 60 places (bars/restaurants/pubs) and among these over half agreed to stop using plastic straws starting in January 2019. What surprised me was that some didn’t wait for January and decided to opt for paper straws immediately.
Over half means the majority: the majority of people, if given an opportunity to change and choose between going in the direction of sustainability and do good to the world, will choose that way. 😀
The minority (and I’m telling you, the campaign ain’t over yet) is reluctant to change for different reasons, let me illustrate the excuses people adopt to keep using plastic straws:

We keep them for children… if a child asks you a straw you can’t not give it to him/her
Uhm well, I even went to interview children and ask them if they really needed straws to drink. They told me they never (or very rarely) ask for one, it’s usually the adults who give it to them. Why? Two are the main reasons: 1. adults assume the child can’t drink from the glass, but it’s not true because once a child ends sucking from the bottle he transitions to drinking from the glass directly; 2. adults think that if the child has a straw he/she will less likely spill the drink and get dirty, hence the adult doesn’t need to be too careful to the child (this is called laziness). And when a child does ask you for a straw, we adults can explain them why it’s better without it. Many bar owners tell me it’s not their duty as it’s not their child. I think we should ALL participate consciously in the education of the children. I say consciously because we are still unaware of the fact that we are all indirectly educating children.

– I don’t know what are the alternatives nor where to buy them
For this matter I’ve physically found where one can order sustainable straws in Giaveno. I have also made a research of Italian online shops for paper, or biodegradable straws. When doing such a campaign it’s important to know your territory in order to aid people to change, many don’t buy online and need a local store that sells these alternatives. So keep in mind…

– Sustainable alternatives are more expensive
True!! And it’s not a bad thing I ended up thinking. Why? Because it will put you in the situation of thinking whether you need or not that thing. Is it necessary? Like really necessary? It is the beginning of asking important questions. When things are cheap we don’t question the fact that maybe we don’t need them, this means we will be more likely to produce more waste. How can you value something that hasn’t been valued from the start?

And at last you meet people who tell you there are worse things to think about and that they are older than you and have seen and understood the world, unlike you duh
Ehh these people exist and it’s ok 🙂 I learned that sometimes it’s easier to raise a wall and live in your beautifully protected garden believing outside is evil and nothing you do will change that. I learned to smile and leave those people in their garden 🙂 Why? Because you can’t change who doesn’t want to change, you can have power over people who are already on your same path or are ready to walk on it.

From bars….. to classrooms….. Marta, the owner of the Caffe’ Delle Arti, gave me the idea to include a local school. So naturally and unexpectedly a collaboration was born between the elementary/middle school, the bar, a highschool and myself. What we will create is this:
A group of highschool girls and I will create educational workshops for the children to talk about the harms of plastic materials such as straws, bags and cutlery.  The middle school is entitled to make the logo that will be chosen  through an exhibition at Marta’s bar and the winner will have the logo exposed in all the bars/restaurants/pubs of Giaveno who stopped using plastic straws.

I am also in contact with a group of women from the Association Donne Di Valle, who organise art workshops using materials we usually throw away. These women have the wisdom and the manual skills to re-use and re-make that which for most would be considered garbage!! I would like them to collect the plastic straws and use them for the workshops in the local schools.

Soooooooo it’s all moving… the project has a life of it’s own I am simply accompanying it ❤

Me Interviewed for National TV

I got interviews quite a lot about this and it’s super positive. It’s good to talk about something concrete that is being done, this way perhaps more people will get inspired to come out of their shell and act. Every drop is necessary to the ocean.

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