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New Orleans Celebrates World Environment Day

Updated: Aug 9, 2018

By: Kevin Fitzwilliam

Recently I experienced a gut-wrenching feeling upon reading a headline that a Pilot Whale died in the ocean after ingesting 80 plastic bags. I could not bring myself to read the article. The fact that human impact upon the planet has reached this level should shock us into an intensive period of self-reflection. In some corners of the world, including New Orleans, that’s exactly what is happening. Last month in New Orleans World Environment Day was celebrated at the Carver Theater, as students, mayors, activists, and corporate-sustainability representatives from across the country gathered to make commitments and motivate each other to do more for eliminating plastic waste. I was there representing Atlas Handmade Beads, which offers handcrafted, eco-friendly alternatives to Chinese plastic beads. It was particularly inspiring to hear from a contingent of students from Atlanta. A 17-year-old started a One Less Straw campaign, a 15-year-old created Plastic Pollution Awareness Day in Georgia, and an 11-year-old and 12-year-old are trying to ban single-use plastics from schools. It was encouraging to listen to several elected officials representing the Mississippi Rivers Cities and Towns Initiative, which focuses on improving the ecological health of the river.

For those of you working tirelessly on behalf of the environment, know that there are other environmental foot soldiers who are equally as dedicated to the cause. Want to be a part of the solution? Email me at info@atlasbeads.com to tell me what you are doing to help shift New Orleans away from plastic. 

Kevin Fitzwilliam is a Fellow with Environmental Entrepreneurs and is the owner of Atlas Handmade Beads, a New Orleans company helping to move the Gulf South beyond plastic beads (atlasbeads.com). He can be reached at info@atlasbeads.com.