Brothers educate children about plastic dangers
Plastic is everywhere. From food packaging to computers to the cars we drive. Two North Kitsap brothers are teaching kids how they can make personal changes to help our oceans and the environment.
The duo is preparing for a Pacific Coast road trip that’s about reducing the use of plastic.
For brothers Nick and Hans Schippers educating kids about the dangers of plastic in our oceans has become a labor of love.
“We grew up outside and always playing in the ocean,” said Hans Schippers. “We started seeing marine debris and stuff in the water. It’s not right, it doesn’t belong there, so we decided to take action.”
With three environmental degrees between the brothers, and a partnership with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, they have a goal and message about consumption habits and how plastic can impact marine life and, in turn, all of us.
“Clean beaches do start at home and you can use the power of your wallet to take the environment into consideration,” said Hans Schippers.
Nick Schippers said they are focusing on kids K-through-12 and are trying to reach 10,000 kids from Washington to San Diego.
The brothers plan to get there by June in their Bluebird Bus turned education mobile.
“We’ve just been building it out and getting it ready to teach outdoor classes and travel all the way down the coast to engage kids and local communities in the conversation,” said Hans Schippers.
The lesson on Thursday afternoon in a 7th grade science class at Brighton Middle School in Mountlake Terrace is about the 8 million metric tons of plastic that goes into our oceans every year.
That sobering figure from the Ocean Conservancy got the attention of young students on Thursday.
“I was surprised at the amount plastic on the beaches in places that you would go on vacation,” said Aislin Travis, a student at Brighton Middle School.
The current brings an unbelievable amount of plastic to the beaches of the Hawaiian Islands, especially the island of Molokai the brother said.
“There’s plastic bottles, cones, spoons, literally everything under the sun and it has American writing on it, Japanese writing on it and Chinese writing on it,” said Nick Schippers.
The goal in every classroom is to create awareness and inspire the next generation to be part of the solution for a cleaner environment.
“I’ve known it’s been an issue, but now I want to get more involved, I want to help out more, I want to try and make a difference,” said Travis.
The brothers say they plan to target Title 1 schools that many not have as many resources for environmental education.
They’ll be teaching in Washington for most of December and will then head the south after the New Year.