Fourth Graders Fundraise, Ask Governor to Reduce Plastic

by | Apr 5, 2019 | Community, Homepage News, Sustainability, Virtues

Fourth graders ask their school community (and Governor Murphy) to help cut back on plastic and save the ocean.

”Dear Governor Murphy, Our science class is learning about plastic in the ocean. I’m writing to share some facts about why New Jersey should help by using less plastic material and replacing it with reusable materials. Will you please consider banning plastic?” So begins a letter from The Willow School fourth grade class to the New Jersey governor.

Willow’s fourth grade students are studying the ocean in their science class, learning that life started in the ocean, which is now home to as many as 100 million species. They’ve also learned that those animals are dying at an alarming rate thanks to the abundance of plastic in our oceans.

“About 100 million animals die from plastic in the ocean each year,” fourth grader Callen said. But all is not lost. “We are here to help these animals,” Callen added. His class has taken on this issue, aiming to make an impact with their letter to the governor, a special reusable bag fundraiser, and personal pledges to reduce the amount of plastic they use in their own lives.

“The problem with plastic is that people think that it’s easier to use, but it’s hurting the environment, especially the ocean,” explained fourth grader Dylan.

“When plastic gets in the ocean, animals can eat it or get stuck in it. Turtles, dolphins, crabs, sharks, sea horses, seals, and coral all get stuck,” added Franki.

Fourth graders hope that Governor Murphy will help reduce the use of plastic in the state, but they’re not waiting for public policy to encourage others to make a difference.

“You can help by not using plastic straws in restaurants and using reusable water bottles, containers, and other reusable shopping bags,” Dylan urged her schoolmates, teachers, and parents in a recent presentation fourth graders led at Willow.

The students designed their own reusable bags and will be selling them at the school to raise money for 4Ocean, an organization dedicated to actively removing trash from the ocean and coastlines. The students’ reusable bags, made from recycled bottles, feature their drawings of sea creatures.

“We designed our bags to encourage people to use less plastic,” fourth grader Collin explained. Students sold the bags on Monday, April 8, in the Willow Schoolhouse lobby after school for $12 each…and they sold out!

“If we stop using plastic, we can all make a difference,” fourth graders conclude in their letter to the governor. It’s a future we’d all love to see!

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