On January 20, nine Youth Ocean Advocates marched down to Olympia to lobby for the Reusable Bag Bill. While it has already passed in the Senate, it’s very important that it passes in the House and becomes a statewide law, as thin plastic bags are getting into our water systems and the toxics are spreading into our fish (and other wildlife), and therefore into ourselves.
When we arrived we all agreed on one thing. The mission: Get as many representatives on board as possible. We were equipped with all our knowledge, personal stories, information about the bill, and most importantly, enthusiasm. We were broken into smaller groups and had members of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and the Woodland Park Zoo youth volunteer groups join us. We had a brief group meeting to discuss our plans and that was it—we were off to help save the planet.
Our meetings were only 15 minutes long, and we had to make sure everything was perfect. My group soon became a well-oiled machine, and each of us played an essential role. We figured out how to get directly to the point, and it was clear that the representatives, senators and staff members found it refreshing. We left every meeting smiling, determined to get another vote for our bill.
At the end of the day, spirits were up. We did it! Everyone we talked to was excited and willing to continue conservation discussions with us, and we had come together as a group. It felt incredible to have actively participated in change, and everyone agreed that we had to do it again. We owe it to ourselves and the animals we pledge to work with.