When I reflect on the past five years of No Straw November, the journey of plastic pollution work has led me on a crazy path. Starting out as an eager 7th grader learning about sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium to an equally curious junior in college and a National Geographic Young Explorer, the events that lead to this moment are countless. I appreciate every single ounce of support I have ever received and continue to receive from people worldwide!
One voice CAN make a difference!
The first-ever corporate meeting I attended to try and persuade executives to care about our precious environment was with Costco in Seattle. The nerves I had felt carried over to the following day when I met up with Starbucks Headquarters Sustainability team. While both had different direct outcomes from those meetings, it was beyond an educational experience for me to learn that change does not come easy.
After gaining the confidence to speak to corporate executives, I decided to ramp it up a level and work with politicians. I had the honor to start my political career with the California Coastal Commission and the Commission's Executive Director Jack Ainsley on my No Straw November Resolution. Once passed by the Commission, my Resolution was then sent to Senate Majority Lead Bill Monning for passage in the California Senate and Assembly. With the passage of the No Straw November Resolution SCR-139 and Straws Upon Request AB-1884 Bill in California, my love for policy was cemented.
At this point in my life, I have gained a decent ability to speak to people regarding the environment. Thank you to everyone who has let me rant in your interviews and speaking engagements. Yet, I often find myself getting nervous speaking in front of my college classes but seem to have no problem speaking at events such as Dreamforce or a panel for #RaisetheGreenBar with Made Safe and Good Housekeeping!
This whole experience has really helped me grow as a person and understand the importance of community and support. I am incredibly grateful for the amount of both I have been immersed in these past five years. I look forward to seeing where the next five take us!
Join us throughout No Straw November as we reflect on major milestones, partnerships, and stories of everyday people making one small change to help our ocean and planet.