Hello! My name is Kate Triggiano and I am the new Rethink Disposable Coordinator for Clean Water Action's ReThink Disposable program in New Jersey! Rethink Disposable's goal is to minimize the use of single use products: from shopping bags and food and beverage packaging, to plastic straws and water bottles. ReThink Disposable assists businesses by helping them reduce their dependency on single use disposables, while saving money through lower waste collection and supply costs.
I am a canvassing intern for the summer here at Clean Water Action in Rhode Island. In addition to knocking on doors, I got the opportunity to shadow State Director Johnathan Berard for one day to learn how the organization operates on the policy and lobbying side. It was incredibly informative and fun!
Every day in the U.S., people use 500 million straws a day - enough to circle to planet more than two-and-a-half times! Straws are now one of the top 10 marine debris items found on our beaches. And by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
So, what do we do about it?
I am a canvasser. For four months, I have been knocking on doors and talking to folks about environmental and public health issues with Clean Water Action. I recently graduated from Salve Regina University where I majored in biology with a focus on environmental sciences.
I always pictured myself doing research for an agricultural company or becoming some sort of laboratory technician, but I didn’t imagine I would be a community organizer for a nonprofit. I can honestly say I can’t imagine working for any other organization.
We lost the Pinelands.
Just like that; the Pinelands Commission in lockstep with Executive Director Nancy Wittenberg, struck down 40-years of carefully crafted protections last month that would keep industry out of the fragile forest preserve.
One wonders if those who voted in favor of the 22-mile, high speed gas pipeline even know the definition of the word “precedent,” which four past governors and the architects of the comprehensive management plan tried to drive home in letters to the commissioners.
Like many activists around the country, Clean Water Action's New Jersey office took the streets to protest and rally during the Women's March in Washington DC. We joined the sister march in NYC - both peaceful rallies with hundreds of thousands showing up to support women's rights, racial equality, environmental justice, and more.
The City of Alexandria is dumping raw sewage into our waterways - and has been for more than 40 years. Alexandria is not only putting public health at risk, it is also breaking state and federal law. This uncontrolled toxic dumping is not only health hazard to city residents and visitors, but also multiple downstream communities, and undermines the rights of Virginians to drinkable, swimmable, and fishable water.
It’s back, just like a bad dream. The highly controversial South Jersey Natural Gas application for a 23-mile, mile gas pipeline through the protected Pinelands forest preserve is back on the burner.
When I first moved to Rhode Island from New Jersey I didn’t know what to expect. I quickly learned that Providence was vibrant and lively with something to do on every corner. Despite its urban nature, I also learned that the people here cared deeply about the environment.