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April 27, 2009

Dear Oprah:

Have you been reading my blog?

As one of millions of viewers that saw your Earth Day show about the impact of plastic in our oceans and in our environment last week, I thought. “is it just possible?”  I was thrilled to see many of the images and issues that people like me, in the Green Movement, have been trying to bring to the forefront were given attention on your show.

Millions of viewers now are aware of the Pacific Garbage Patch … and aware of the unintended consequences of the indiscriminate use and improper disposal of plastic bags, bottles, etc. Can I say WOW and thank you?

This one show will bring more attention to these issues than years of hard work by concerned organizations and blogging by people around world, including me. The “Oprah nod” means “saying no to plastic” is the real deal. This is a shot in the arm . . . a new beginning and the next logical step in a process to clean up our oceans and our environment.

On a personal note, my involvement came about because I couldn’t get those pictures of those birds and the plastic they had consumed out of my head. It was as if God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Save my birds.” You know better than I . . . once the universe hands you a task you are compelled to act. Once those pictures really sink into a person’s consciousness it is hard to stand by and do nothing.sml-plastic20stork

How can anyone forget the turtles, the trash on the beaches, and the trash in the stomachs of the other forms of marine life?  Fish, sharks, whales, dolphins, porpoise, pelicans, seagulls, etc.; the reefs that support so many forms of life . . . all are negatively impacted by our (unintentional) thoughtlessness.

Ironically, I recently placed your name on a list of people and corporations that I felt should to be contacted because of their ability to affect real change regarding these issues. Deidre Imus is also on the short list; as is  Publix Supermarkets, Home Depot, Coca Cola Corporation, Target, CVS, Pet Mart, and Walgreens.  Each one is on the list for valid reasons.

Why the list? Because once one begins really investigating plastic usage it becomes readily apparent that this is much more complicated than choosing to use less plastic. The truth is that plastic usage permeates almost every facet of out lives . . . its everywhere! It is everywhere! Effecting meaningful change on any level will require collaboration on many levels that include the consumer and corporations.

Today, an honest evaluation of how corporations are doing to reduce the use of plastic and or their re-cycling efforts will show a grade of D or F. Sorry, many are trying, but that’s the reality. There has been some forward movement, but the effort, for the most part has been perfunctory at best.

Some companies are offering re-usable bags for sale. Customers who shop at Publix can bring back some of their plastic for re-cycling, but boy does that program need improvement! That’s why Publix, Walgreens, and Home Depot are on the short list.

Ocean Keepers is committed  to showing businesses a cost effective, positive, consumer friendly, brand enhancing manner to meet the needs of the environment & consumers no longer willing to use plastic. We don’t need more government in our lives to tell us to behave in a responsible manner . . . to reduce the plastic usage.


Now for  a shameless plug.

For us to have a measurable impact, one that is real and lasting, Ocean Keepers needs to be able get our message out. We’re here to facilitate the needs and interaction of consumers and corporations so we can reduce the amount of plastic in our lives.  This can be a win, win, win situation for all.

Please donate to this site.  We welcome monetary donations,  but your continued involvement in unnecessary plastic usage is also welcomed.  We’re  open to suggestions and  referrals . . . anything that helps us move forward.   There is so much to get accomplished.  The development of new educational videos for the site along with the development of resource materials, presentation materials, and so much very more requires the support of people who believe in this cause.

BTW, I’d be happy to come to Chicago and give your company a complete plastic usage evaluation.  I’d love to be able to give your company an “A”!  I’d also be happy to talk to your staff and show them some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned since I began using less plastic.   It does take some time and thought to change old habits, and integrate new routines into to a new life style.  Saying I’m going to use less plastic is one thing . . . doing it is something else!

Just a thought!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ron Losch permalink
    April 28, 2009 11:22 am

    You are mistaken about Publix. They do offer reusable bags for their customers, as well as giving free reusable wine bags for their customers.
    They also have recycle bins for paper and plastic that allows customers to recylce their plastics.
    Please go to their web site for more information on Publix’s sustainability programs.

    • April 28, 2009 2:19 pm


      Please read the post again. I indicated Publix does offer reusable bags and that they a have a recycling program in place.

      In fact, they are doing a better job than most, but their program has A LOT to be desired. I am quite serious. I would like to sit down with their management and design a truly effective program. I love Publix for many reasons and I believe they are trying, but a fair evaluation of the OVERALL program, IMHO is that it is barely rates a passing grade. This is an observation . . . not a criticism. I am a business woman, as well as a consumer. I am pro-business and have purposely not singled any company as a villain. Again, my comments are observations.

      Let me give you one example. Question, are you trying to re-cycle the plastic you are using now? The reason I ask is because once a person has collected their bag of plastic bottles, or other bags . . . now what? My city doesn’t have a program in place. OK, so I use the Publix recycle bins. What’s the problem? They are too small I can barely get what I bring into the bins. One family’s plastic and little room to drop it off.

      At some store locations the bins are hidden away and worse still, pray tell where do we put all those useless clam shell containers? If the lettering on the outside of the bins is to believed, Publix is only accepting foam egg cartons and plastic bags. See, those bins hardly begin to address the problem.

      I will be writing to the President of Publix. I am going to request a meeting to discuss their plastic recycling program and I’ll get readers of this blog updated as to their response. Working together, we can design a program that would make Publix the model for the entire grocery industry.

      BTW, where does one get the free reusable wine bags? They are not at any of Publix stores I shop at.

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