• Radhika Iyengar

Who wants to be an EcoKing or a Queen?

Ishaan Bharadwaj

Millburn Middle School

Hi! My name is Ishaan Bharadwaj. I am a 6th grader at Millburn Middle School and I am part of the Eco ambassador's club. This year my family decided to have an environment friendly Thanksgiving. On Wednesday afternoon, the day before Thanksgiving, it was a half-day and I was bored. My mom was doing her usual Thanksgiving preparations. While I was just sitting down, I thought about the wastage each year at the end of Thanksgiving parties when we would have one or two garbage bags filled with wasted food, one-time use cutlery, wasted cups and napkins, and more. Think about how much your street wastes. How much your town wastes, how much the state wastes how much the country wastes! if you think it's just a little or it's just one day, the amount of wastage that happens every Thanksgiving throughout the world each year can't be fixed. It is so much, that it is leading to a big disaster. So this year, I decided that my family would be the one to start the change, not just to change this Thanksgiving, but to initiate a change in the small world around us.

We told all our friends who were invited that we are having an eco-friendly party. I wanted to be more creative, so I made a board with rules and the guest who followed the rules the most would be crowned ECOKing & ECOQueen. We started preparing for the plastic-free party. We took out all our glassware, metal spoons and forks, and glass cups. We removed all plastic items including serving bowls and serving spoons and table cloth. We cooked everything at home and we requested our guests to bring food without plastic packaging as well. None of the food used plastic packaging, plastic cans or plastic covers because everything was homemade! All the guests were very cooperative and followed the rules. They were, in fact, having fun playing the game and were very sportively trying to win the ECOKing/ ECOQueen title. They even helped clean the dishes. At the end of the day, I was so happy to see our garbage can barely filled up. I think our Thanksgiving this year did make a difference to the environment. My biggest takeaway from this event was that it is not very difficult to go plastic-free in your parties and by making it fun with a game you can send the message across in a fun way while doing your part to save earth.

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