One of Royte's lines in our recent reading that struck me was: “It isn’t worth it, they said, to get worked up over paper versus plastic at the grocery store.” After this statement I responded pretty defensively, because I thought, wait we just had a whole BagFest over plastic bags and now they, the UCS, say it is not worth it to think about these “unimportant decisions.”
It raised a lot of questions for me, as far as the value, impact, and role of our BagFest. At this point I began to smile, I thought of the 25+ people that I spoke to while counting their bags. I thought of our impact, or footprint, that we made that day. I thought of all the things we learned and had fun with in class. And I think one of the best things was the relationships I built throughout this whole project. It was not about collecting 72,571 bags (that was awesome, though), but it was about the statement, the opportunity, the awareness, and the knowledge that came from BagFest.
Without BagFest in our community, who would have thought that in one day we could collect what Wal-Mart gathers in a month? If BagFest never would have happened, who would have believed that there is an importance in what we do as a community with plastic bags? Sure we all might only have 50 bags, but put them together and look at what our community has created. We recycled those bags that would normally either be thrown away or stuffed away. The community I think gained a lot of knowledge from this opportunity. It was not about collecting the bags, but rather taking the time to expand our knowledge of resources that are just waiting for the community. It was amazing and encouraging to see so many young children involved in this event. Also it was surprising how many people from all around the community cared.
Overall, I saw this event as bringing awareness to the community of the difference we can make when we all pull together, and what an impact that makes! I grew a lot through this experience. I found myself leading, teaching, and talking with people I never thought I would have an opportunity to. The relationships I built with my classmates were encouraging, motivating, and unique, because we were all going through an experience together. I do not think I have ever been involved in any other school activity that I felt so proud of and so self-rewarded by. So, is it worth it to get worked up over paper or plastic (or cloth)? I would say most definitely!