Gonna toot my own horn just a wee bit on this Really Awesome Development. Last week, the city of Portland, ME, my current stomping grounds, banned single use plastic drinking straws (and stirrers and splash sticks – but that’s less catchy to say). The city ordinance was backed by the Surfrider Foundation Maine Chapter, of which I am a part. Surfrider led the charge campaigning to get straws banned – showing up to council meetings, going door-to-door with restaurants to gather information, and ultimately testifying to the harm of single-use plastic and the benefit of this ban in front of the city council .
This campaign was a powerful thing to be a part of. My personal three-pronged therapy for the environmental-crisis-induced-bummers is: 1. greening my own life through reduced consumption and better practices, 2. writing about all the rad stuff that gets lost in the noise right here on this very site!, 3. working with other people to affect positive change in my community. Being a part of Surfrider is big for #3. The current environmental crisis as a whole is too huge and overwhelming. Taking direct action with like-minded individuals returns a sense of agency and builds hope.
If you’re looking to take action, it’s better to do it together. The below R.A.D. organizations are probably active in your area. Check ’em out!