When Kristen Brown helped her late father, Gordon Dancy, market his latest invention as a teenager, she thought she was helping to save the planet by eliminating resource-intensive paper bags.
She never imagined that as an adult, she’d be working to eliminate that same invention.
Dancy, as it turns out, invented and helped popularize the high-density plastic bag that now clutters the landfills and waterways of almost every major city in the world.
Today, Brown is a consultant for the US EPA, and has built a career around teaching cities how to reduce waste and eliminate unsightly litter–especially disposable plastic bags.
This October, Brown turned her efforts to the supermarket industry in the MY ECO School Reuse Challenge. It’s a collaborative challenge that pairs schools with local grocery stores to ignite behavior change from disposable plastic and paper bags towards reuse.
Brown says that if 100 families reuse their bags each week for one year, a school can prevent 100,000 disposable plastic bags from entering the waste stream.
The Challenge uses the MY ECO Shopping bag system, a 4-in-1 reusable bag system that Brown created after constantly forgetting to take her own bags into the store when shopping.
Students sell the bags as a fundraiser for their school, and their store partner rewards the families each time they use the system through a special bag code.
“Staring with the next generation of shoppers, we need to actively promote change from the bottom up,” say Brown. “In the next 5 years, it is our goal is to create partnerships between 4,000 stores and 10 million students.”
Teachers and kids can find information on how to register their school at www.getmyeco.com.
Image Credit: getmyeco.com