The Clubs encouraged all students to take the RE SUP Challenge which was created by Tom Jones, motivational speaker, social activist and SUP (stand up paddleboard) athlete. RE SUP involves sorting and counting the different types of plastic a household uses over the course of one week. The core element is a consumer plastic assessment chart, designed to give people baseline data on their current weekly consumption.
After establishing a baseline, participants then set actionable goals for reducing plastic usage. RE SUP is a long-term campaign to reduce single-use plastics by connecting the global crisis of ocean plastics with its local roots. RE SUP works with local communities to find creative ways of reducing plastics in our oceans.
Countryside is the first elementary school, outside of California, to take the Challenge. Approximately 75 Countryside students and their families took the RE SUP challenge during the month of April. Students who completed the challenge were rewarded with a RE SUP kit which included a stainless-steel water bottle, stainless steel straw, bag, reusable take-out container and eating utensils.
Single-use plastic makes up half the estimated 300 million tons of plastic produced annually worldwide. That’s 150 million tons manufactured merely to be thrown away. Not all plastics are bad, but RE SUP believes convenience plastics aren’t worth the environmental damage they cause. Plastic production has increased by an average of 5% during each of the past 20 years. The only sustainable way to reverse this trend is changing consumer behavior.
Jones, who takes his message all over the world, included a stop at the Countryside Cares Student Volunteer Club/ Green Club meeting March 6. In a special all-school assembly, Jones brought his message and the RE SUP challenge. He asked students to get personally involved in “Rethinking Single Use Plastic.” Tom also talked about his upcoming “Pacific Plastic Paddle” from San Francisco to Oahu, Hawaii to boost awareness about plastics and trash in our oceans. The RE SUP Challenge is sponsored by GYM GUYZ.
“The RE SUP challenge is a great way to get kids involved for such a great cause, and to have a company like GYMGUYZ covering the cost of each kit… is a huge contribution to bringing this together,” said Jones.
Jones shares his motivational messages throughout the world and works to raise environmental awareness among children and adults.