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Toward Sustainability Foundation

2017 Gulf Of Maine Institute, 501(c)(3)

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10 in 10

November 18, 2018

The title 10 in 10 is a project to pick up 10 pieces of plastic in 10 minutes on October 10th. By removing plastic from our environment, we are raising awareness about our use of disposable plastics. The amount of plastic our ocean carries to our shores needs action by all communities. The idea is supported by the Gulf of Maine Institute and being used across the Gulf of Maine by students and educators. Our mission stretches from Nova Scotia to New England. The purpose is to create opportunities for community-based stewardships to gather plastic and generate awareness about the use of disposable plastics. By picking up 10 pieces of plastic in 10 minutes, we can reignite our passion to rid the ocean of garbage plastic. 

 

Hopefully, more communities will get involved! 

 

Go 10 in 10!

 

Every time I bike home, go to the beach or run, I see plastic, everywhere. 

 

Usually, when I see plastic on the ground or in the water, I continue on with my day and leave it. I think, “it’s just garbage,” what harm could it do?  A lot, actually. 

 

I recently learned, those pieces of plastic garbage that I see every day, eventually end up in the ocean. Plastic on the roadside washes into drainage ditches, which flows into brooks.  Brooks empty into streams. Steams meet rivers and lakes, and eventually, that roadside plastic ends up in the ocean. 

 

You might be questioning, how could a huge piece of plastic end up in a fish? It doesn't. That big piece breaks down into many small pieces, and those end up in the ocean.

 

Small fish eat the plastic thinking that it looks a lot like their food.  Then a bigger fish eats the small fish. As you know, human beings are at the top of the food chain, which means we are dining on seafood full of microplastics. 

 

To prevent thousands and thousands of harmful plastics from getting in the ocean, I have come up with an idea. 

 

What if everyone could pick up 10 pieces of plastic in 10 minutes on any beach or waterway, and do it on October 10?  This is where we get the catchy 10 in 10 (on 10 / 10).

 

I have been working with teachers in my hometown of Kentville, Nova Scotia, to organize this event. We also have schools across the Gulf of Maine in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine involved.  With a little luck, we are hoping it will go global in a few years! 

 

 On October 10th, the schools involved are going to go to a beach or waterway to pick up plastic with the proper supplies. The students should receive brief training on what to pick up. The motto is: If you can’t identify it, don't pick it up!  

 

Once at the beach, students will separate into different groups so that everyone can have a job within the group. Some kids will be picker-uppers, some will hold the garbage bag, and one person will write down ‘what’ and ‘how much’  they picked up on data sheets. Once they’ve finished, the teachers can provide age appropriate extension activities to students, to make it an even more educational field trip. 

 

An example of an extension activity:  Once back at school, students can combine all the data sheets into one. From there, they can analyze how much of each type of plastic they picked up, graph it, and compare the results to other schools. 

 

The point of this project is to remove plastic from where we see it, raise awareness about our use of disposable plastics, and provide action information. This community-based stewardship is designed to help communities fix a shared problem. We can help the environment by changing our attitudes towards plastic. Consumers need to be educated about plastics and where they end up. Eventually, everyone will need to pick up plastic whenever they see it. Hopefully, participating in this event will encourage others to continue the efforts. A big goal is to have everyone reuse plastic to make other objects, or recycle it, so that big pieces of plastic can be made into a reusable product. 

 

We need kids to be aware of this problem because we need to solve it for the future of our planet. However, we need all the help we can get. Encouraging educators and students to participate in this amazing event, will make a difference and it can create a continued habit of ridding the earth of garbage plastic. The best part is educators and students can collaborate with other communities and schools to share their ideas, while learning they can make a difference. 

 

 

 

By picking up 10 pieces of plastic in 10 minutes, you will save a fish, an animal, and our ocean.  We might never have a life free from microplastics, unless we do something about it now!   It doesn't just have to be for students because...  

 

Anyone can do 10 in 10.

 

Pick up 10 pieces of plastic in 10 minutes, anywhere where you see it.

 

Pick up 10 pieces of plastic in 10 minutes, no problem!

 

(To organize your own outing, just contact 10in10gomi@gmail.com, and we will send you the data sheets and other resources needed). 

 

 

Oliver Baker is a student at Kings County Academy in Kentville, Nova Scotia.

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