The Story of Plastic: Owning the Solutions
The Story of Plastic won a 2021 Emmy in the category of Best Writing: Documentary, highlighting the need for systemic change to address our most pressing climate issues. On March 8, we joined three powerful women taking strides in tackling the plastic crisis. They discussed ways for each of us to take action to mitigate the pervasive use of plastics.
Here is a simple waste audit to assess how much you dispose of each week.
Step 1: Set Up
- Print (or better yet, write on scrap paper) the Weekly Waste Tracker Worksheet
- Post this worksheet next to each waste receptacle with a pen/pencil
- Encourage everyone in your house/office to get involved
Step 2: Track what you waste
- Record items as you dispose of them. Which category do they fit into, and how are you disposing of them?
- Tally how many of each item goes into the receptacle and notice which appear the most frequently.
Step 3: Review your waste at the end of the week
- What was the most commonly disposed item? Which category surprised you?
- How is your home set up to accommodate each category?
Step 4: Choose to reduce: a) Landfill waste b) Recyclable plastic c) Compostables d) Other Recyclables (feel free to minimize all waste, but every step counts!)
- Which lifestyle change could you easily adopt to minimize this waste?
Step 5: Identify Goal
- How much would you like to decrease your waste by?
- Reach out to Bedford 2030 if you have questions on how to reduce or recycle properly.
Step 6: Repeat!
- See if you can change your habits by shifting to reusables or choosing materials other than plastic.
- Celebrate your success at taking Climate Action NOW! Share your progress with your friends, family and Bedford 2030!
More Advocacy Options
- Read Plastics Are the New Coal and Plastic- The Elephant in the Climate Change Situation Room, Courtesy of Beyond Plastics, former Congressman Richard Ottinger and former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck.
- Visit https://www.storyofstuff.org/plastic/ for advocacy opportunities.
- Urge members of Congress to co-sponsor the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act of 2021, holding producers responsible and reducing the amount of plastic we make, use once and throw away.
- Sign your organization on to this letter to the NYS Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader by Wednesday, March 16 at 5:00 PM. You can reach any state Assembly member by calling the Assembly Switchboard at 518 455 4100. The State Senate Switchboard is 518 455 2800.
- Write a Letter to the Editor of your local paper about the need to reduce plastics. Here is a sample, provided by Beyond Plastics.
- Choose a Habit of Waste and make a change!
Shelley Mayer, New York State Senator,
Sheila Morovati, Founder HabitsofWaste.org
Rachana Shah, Zero Waste Consultant & Representative for Beyond Plastics.
Sarah Douglis, Strategic advisor and Founder SolTide Consulting & Bedford 2030 Board Vice President
Shelley Mayer, New York State Senator
Shelley Mayer has spent her career as an advocate for New Yorkers. She is an experienced and progressive leader. Shelley was elected to the New York State Senate to represent the 37th District in an April 2018 Special Election, and she was re-elected in November 2018 and 2020. Prior to her time in the State Senate, she served in the State Assembly for six years.
Shelley has been a champion for children and public schools throughout her time in the State Legislature. From 2013 to 2017, Shelley served as the Chair of the Assembly Education Subcommittee on Students with Special Needs. While representing the City of Yonkers in the Assembly, Shelley prioritized delivering for the city’s 26,000+ public school students. In 2019, after being re-elected to the State Senate, Shelley was appointed to serve as the Chair of the State Senate Education Committee.
Sheila Morovati, Founder HabitsofWaste.org
Sheila Michail Morovati is the President and Founder of two non-profit organizations, Crayon Collection and HabitsofWaste.org (H.o.W). Habits of Waste focuses on finding solutions to shift habits of waste among mass society. With a Sociology degree from UCLA, she has successfully been growing her non-profits since 2013.
Sheila spearheaded the ban of plastic straws, utensils and stirrers in the City of Malibu and more recently, through her #CutOutCutlery campaign, she convinced UberEats, Postmates, Grubhub and Door Dash to change the default setting in their applications (globally) so that no one receives plastic cutlery unless requested. She is now embarking on shifting the societal mindset around plant-based eating, with the campaign #8Meals and associated App to help individuals get started.
Rachana Shah, Zero Waste Consultant and Representative for Beyond Plastics
Rachana is a zero waste consultant, activist, public speaker, and mother of 2 young children.
Currently, Rachana works at Common Ground Compost LLC doing zero waste consulting for corporate offices, residential buildings, and food service businesses, helping them plan and launch successful organics collection programs, conducting zero waste audits, and more. Prior to this Rachana worked with schools keen to join NYC’s Zero Waste Schools program or to begin composting programs. She is a Beyond Plastics certified Speaker, Climate Reality certified Leader/Speaker, and graduate of the DSNY’s Zero Waste Academy. She has worked in the waste space both domestically and abroad, and has a background in Complex Systems.
Rachana lives in Queens in NYC, which is her favorite city on the planet because she can pursue her love of Brazilian martial arts, African dance, and Mexican food all in the same day and with just a metrocard and a dream! Still, she is determined to create a slow life in a fast city.
Sarah Douglis, Strategic advisor and Founder SolTide Consulting, Bedford 2030 Board Vice President
Guided by a profound commitment to positive change with measurable impact, Sarah Douglis has spent the past two decades championing environmental responsibility by cultivating effective partnerships and generating philanthropic strategies for family foundations, Fortune 500 brands, and non-profit organizations. As the founder of SolTide Consulting in 2013, Douglis focused her expertise in partnership cultivation and management to help her clients implement effective strategic philanthropic advising, corporate social responsibility strategies, integrate philanthropic business development, foster dynamic coalition building, and effectively amplify their public relations initiatives.
Sarah volunteers as the Vice President of Bedford2030 and is Chair of the Development Committee as well as being a mentor to the Greenlight students. She also received the honor from Bedford Magazine as one of the 2019 “ Bedford 25” celebrating residents who are dedicated, creative and influential in the community.