Fairfax ReLeaf Board Member Kelley Wagnor raising her hand to take the verbal pledge not to use single-use water bottles.
Photo by Sara Holtz
The fourth-grade Girl Scout troop 3173 exhibited at Fairfax County's annual SpringFest Earth Day event. They were the youngest exhibitors. The girls are residents of Oakton and Fairfax, and attend Waples Mill and Hunters Woods ES.
These Girl Scouts have been working diligently to spread the word about plastic water bottles and the pollution they cause in the ocean.
After learning that plastics are expected to outweigh fish in the ocean in 2050, and that a garbage island twice the size of Texas is floating in the Pacific, Troop 3173 Girl Scouts decided to create a display to simulate the ocean of 2050 polluted by plastic bottles. As SpringFest attendees walked through the Plastic Bottle Ocean, girls explained that the average person in the US uses 173 plastic water bottles per year and only 23 percent are recycled. These fourth-grade Girl Scouts then invited people to raise their right hand to recite a verbal pledge not to use disposable, single-use water bottles and sign the pledge poster. People who signed the pledge were invited to take a Water Drop squeeze toy (stress ball) and comic books provided by Fairfax Water, and stickers and pencils made of recyclable materials provided by Clean Fairfax Council.
Many SpringFest attendees visited the exhibit including Clean Fairfax Council's Executive Director Jennifer Cole and mascots Bumblebee and Frog, all of whom signed the pledge. This Plastic Bottle Ocean display was particularly relevant and timely given this year's Earth Day theme was End Plastic Pollution.
Girl Scout troop 3173 is part of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation's Capital (GSCNC). Clean Fairfax Council, the SpringFest organizer, educates the citizens of Fairfax County on litter prevention and control, supports the county recycling program, discourages graffiti, promotes sustainability and provides environmental education to residents, businesses and students. Fairfax Water is a public, non-profit water utility chartered by the Virginia State Corporation Commission.