Grasping for Straws
As Artists for Impact is a growing initiative itself, the team loves to appreciate others finding their own ways to make a difference - which is why we’re excited to let you know about Grasping for Straws!
Passionate about the health of the ocean and the animals in it, Hillary Bohm started Grasping for Straws to bring awareness to the issue of single-use plastic straws - something that may seem small, but quickly builds up to a major environmental risk.
“Straws can get lodged in sea turtles’ nostrils or end up in sea birds’ stomachs,” Hillary wrote in the caption of a post on the initiative’s Instagram, @graspingforstraws. “But I believe we can reduce our intake of this single use plastic if the restaurant industry and the people work together to spread awareness about the plastic in our oceans.”
Hillary has worked to spread awareness by reaching out through social media posts explaining the harmful effects of single-use plastic straws, as well as by sending letters to restaurants in the New Orleans area detailing the harms of plastic usage.
So what exactly are these problems caused by straws?
“Straws break down into microplastics, or tiny pieces of plastic. Microplastics are swallowed by animals… it’s crazy to think about how plastic can affect this beauty [of the Gulf of Mexico] underneath the surface,” another Instagram post explains.
Hillary goes on to state that this directly harms the food industry.
“Microplastics… have been found in fish’s stomachs. This may be a big concern for the seafood industry… and hits close to home since a big part of… the gulf coast’s economy is seafood.”
The ocean has been a lifelong passion for Hillary, leading to a volunteer job at an aquarium and, eventually, Grasping for Straws.
“The ocean has so many unexplored wonders it in. As a child, I… always enjoyed being in nature, observing its beauty and resilience, and being around animals. I have always been amazed at the ocean's biodiversity, but recently, that has been threatened, especially concerning the plastic in the oceans,” Hillary stated when asked what prompted the initiative.
A high school student with big dreams, Hillary hopes to continue the initiative throughout college and to help keep the ocean she knows and loves clean.
“I feel it is time for youth to become active in their community and take initiative… I want to start a conversation in hopes of conserving the ocean’s beauty so future generations can enjoy the animals and water that we do nowadays.”
Grasping for Straws can be found on Instagram @graspingforstraws.
Written by Ris Igrec