Ernie the Elk & Friends make an annual appearance every spring from February through May in local third grade classrooms to talk about the harm plastic bags and single-use plastic cause to local wildlife and ecosystems every single day. This year, EAS+Y volunteers–led by EAS+Y Board Members Wendy Neuman and Kristen Costello–put on the show for over 500 students at eleven different local schools.
Inspired by a real life elk with plastic bags stuck on their heads, Ernie the Elk & the Plastic Bag Dilemma details Ernie’s struggle to remove the bag, but in doing so, how it can harm the other ecosystems around him. The good news is that many students are already aware of the harm of single use plastic, but many were still in shock regarding the impact such choices by humans can have on our delicate ecosystems.
Students also received a free reusable bag handmade in Colorado by the Green Bag Lady. Along with her volunteers using donated fabric, she sews bags to donate and give away for FREE in exchange for the promise to use the bag in place of single-use plastic or paper. She made 200 bags to give out to students — EAS+Y supplemented the rest to bring the total to 500 bags given out.
A huge part of EAS+Y’s work in the community is education and outreach at local schools, organizations, and businesses. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got a group of folks interested in learning more about sustainability and what you can do or if you’d like to be a puppeteer with us next year!
Photos: (Above) Board Members Wendy Neuman and Kristen Costello talk about reusable bags after performing a puppet show at a local school. (Right) Tammy the Trout, Ernie the Elk, Poppy the Ponderosa Pine, and Betty the Bird get ready to perform. (Below) Letters from students at Parmalee Elementary describing how the show impacted them.