I've always loved the ocean. In seventh grade, I started volunteering at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. I was upset to learn that many sea animals eat plastic trash, thinking it's food.
I decided to do something to educate people about this problem. In 2017,1 founded Jr Ocean Guardians as part of my work with the Girl Scouts. We hold presentations at schools to teach kids about plastic waste.
I wanted to reach businesses too. I decided that if I learned of a company that used a lot of plastic, I'd send it an email urging it to cut back. What's the worst that could happen if they don't respond? I thought.
One day, I saw a commercial for a health-care company. People in the ad were using plastic straws. I googled the contact info of the company and emailed its president. I told him how plastic can harm the environment and asked him to consider using more sustainable options.
I was so excited when he wrote...