#SkipTheStraw comes to Northport

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#SkipTheStraw comes to Northport

Christina Faber, Guest Writer

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The E-Team invited third graders from the district’s Investigate program to the high school on Wednesday, March 27 to learn about marine life and how it is affected by plastic pollution and marine debris. The presenter was Allison Deperte from the Atlantic Marine Conservation Society. She began the presentation by talking about the various species of marine life that can be found in the waters surrounding Long Island, including whales, dolphins, and turtles. After an introduction to these beautiful creatures that live in our home, Ms. Deperte went on to discuss how human behavior harms them.

E-Team members listening to Ms. Deperte.

The kids watched a short documentary on straws, one of the main culprits of plastic pollution. Straws have been around since the time of the Ancient Sumerians, but have become much more popular and prevalent in modern times. A company like Starbucks uses one billion straws a year. The film emphasized the harm straws and other marine debris cause marine life, and the documentary included a disturbing scene of a biologist removing a straw from the nasal cavity of a giant sea turtle. Straws and other materials like it are hurting the creatures that we share a home with.

Ms. Deperte showing one of the many species we have in Long Island’s waters.

The children’s reactions to the consequences of our actions were so inspiring. They were really affected by the presentation. When Ms. Deperte listed ways they can help prevent the buildup of plastic, they were so excited to be able to make a difference. They now know they have to power to say no to single-use plastic in their daily lives; whether it’s refusing a straw at restaurants, bringing their own reusable utensils for school lunch, or buying a reusable water bottle.

Debra Cavaliere
Third graders listen to Ms. Deperte.

    Along with the third graders, the E-Team is looking to make a change in the daily habits of our school community, with the #SkipTheStraw campaign. For Earth Week, we will have a booth in the Commons where students can sign a pledge to not use single-use plastic. In exchange, they will receive a reusable meal kit including a metal straw and bamboo utensils. We hope this encourages a change of habit among our student body, and spreads awareness on how our daily actions have a large impact on our environment.