Poor use of plastic at Tedx | Letters

I would like to commend Gary Franklin and the TEDx team for organizing a great day of insightful, inspiring and thought-provoking speakers – including islanders Drs. John Moali and Adam Summers. The topic this year was the future – and many speakers reflected on the role of technology in making a better world.

But, I am saddened that the organizers of such an event choose to offer bottled water – in plastic bottles. While it is true that plastic water bottles are ‘convenient’ that is precisely why Al Gore titled his book “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Two reusable plastic bottles were included in the swag bags. The San Juan Community Theatre recently installed one of the new water fountains where you can bring a refillable water bottle from home and fill it before attending a show. I find it especially ironic and tragic that while giving away free reusable water bottles, bottled water was also provided – especially given the nature of the event. I would like to thank the theater for taking action to reduce the amount of plastic that is added to the planet.

The last speaker was a space engineer. He ended his talk with a photo of Earth taken by Apollo Astronaut Edgar Mitchell who reflected on what it is like to see our planet from space: “You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it.” Many of us probably feel the problems facing the planet are too big or aren’t in our backyard, but using refillable metal (or plastic) water bottles is a small step each of us can take to move this planet in the right direction. And who knows, if enough people take those first steps we will suddenly find ourselves miles ahead.

It would be wonderful if more organizations/businesses follow the lead of the San Juan Community Theatre and stop selling bottled water, especially those whose mission is to protect our resources such the San Juan Historical Park (National Park Service) and the concession at Lime Kiln State Park.

Judith Chovan

San Juan Island