Saying no to single-use garbage

Perla Lara, Photo Editor

and answered questions while sitting on top of the table during the entire workshop. Photo credit: Perla Lara” width=”400″ height=”600″ /> Sierra Club Long Beach Group Chair Gabrielle Weeks presented in the Thursday Nov.19 Live Green Save Big Workshop. She asked, and answered questions while sitting on top of the table during the entire workshop. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Using baking soda mixed with coconut oil to brush your teeth is just one of many tips Sierra Club Long Beach Group Chair Gabrielle Weeks presented in the Thursday, Nov. 19 Live Green Save Big workshop.

After arriving almost 30 minutes late due to heavy traffic coming from downtown Long Beach, Weeks preferred not to show her PowerPoint presentation and conducted the workshop in a much less formal manner.

She chose to sit on the table that was set up on stage instead of in the chair behind it.

Weeks used personal anecdotes and humor and sarcasm to connect to the audience of over 27 students that had been waiting for her.

She started a conversation with the audience by asking them what they did to help the environment and continued to ask for the audiences input throughout the presentation.

The suggestion Weeks repeated most in the presentation was “use a whole lot of none throwaway things and really save yourself money, as well as being good for the environment and most importantly being a great example for other people.”

Weeks said, “The most important thing I convey to them [people in general] is just don’t use it […]

“Not using stuff if I go to the store and I forgot my reusable bag I don’t get the free one I just put everything back in my cart and take it out to my car and throw everything on the seat of my car, then when I get home I get my bag and stick it all in that, so just say no to single use garbage.”

Another suggestion Weeks gave the audience was volunteering to do the dishes this Thanksgiving instead of using plastic or paper plates.

She said, “One of the questions I get from our members in a drought is maybe with Thanksgiving and parties they should use throw away paper plates that way they don’t use the dishwasher when we’re in a drought, but if you think that through it sounds great on the surface, but paper plates come from somewhere usually Asia.”

They arrive in a very slow boat that’s burning fuel they land in the Port of Long Beach near where I live and a bunch of big wheels [trucks] whisk these thing to the Ralphs or the Costco wherever you’re going to buy your plates.”

Undecided major Sarah Michelle Escobar attended the workshop.

She said, “I’m someone who tries to live as green as possible I’m a vegetarian. I understood everything she was talking about and I have a lot of the same interest as the speaker.”

Weeks tip on how to conserve energy was new and helpful for Escobar, she said, “I just unplug everything, but she gave a tip on just putting everything on one power strip so that it’s much easier… my computer is always left on and so I think that would be a more energy efficient thing to do.”

Having run out of the scheduled time, Weeks met with students outside of the Teleconference room to answer questions they might have about the environment or the activities the Long Beach Sierra Club has available.

She also had some suggestions on how to make Christmas more environmentally friendly.

She tells people not to buy her things and instead donate to a charity organization she supports.

She said, “If they really need to buy me something I suggest they make a donation to the www.heifer.org in my name. It gives people farm animals so they can learn to be sustainable.”

Other suggestions she had were to make hand crafted gifts, and a gift exchange “so that everyone only buys one meaningful thing for someone, instead of each person buying a bunch of stuff.”

Weeks does about 15 presentation workshops throughout the year.

She said, “I do a ton of them in April. They want one for Earth Day and then they kind of forget the environment the other eleven months of the year…

“I do 15 of these [workshops] a year a bunch of them in April and then some throughout the year.”