DEL MAR — A local Girl Scout troop completed the first step in earning the organization’s highest award, and in doing so was recognized by city leaders at the May 15 meeting.
For their Bronze Award project, Emma Hannah said she and the other members of Troop 4503 — Mattea Battenfield, Rhedis Dickens, Sheila Menon, Alondra Rivera and Alexis Quesnell — decided to learn how plastic bags negatively affect the environment and “how we can help fix this.”
“Doing research at school, we found that many Americans find plastic bags convenient to use but they don’t understand what they do to the environment,” Mattea said. “Paper bags have problems, too, and aren’t any better.”
“Paper bags are surprisingly harmful to the environment,” Alexis said, noting that millions of trees are needed to make them. “If we keep doing this there might not be any trees.”
Mattea said the girls concluded that only reusable bags should be used and “Californians should lead the rest of the country in doing this.”
“Reusable bags are easy to use and better for our world,” Alexis said, adding that they are “inexpensive and … simple to use and you can always stash one in your car.”
“To show how we can conserve and not waste, the troop used plastic bags to make a small rug,” Rhedis said. “It took about 80 bags to do only this, showing that we can easily reuse things like plastic that can be recycled for a good purpose.
“This helps because it prevents plastic from remaining in the environment and teaches people in Del Mar at events we’ve gone to that you can reuse and how it helps,” she added. “Making the world a better place starts with small things like this.”
“These girls are definitely making the world a better place and we thank them very much for their service to the city of Del Mar,” Assistant City Manager Kristen Crane said. “They were great assistants to the city of Del Mar in spreading the word to the community about the plastic bag ban.”
The Bronze Award, given only to Girl Scouts at the junior level, is the first step in earning the Gold Award, the equivalent to the Boy Scouts’ Eagle Award. Only 5.4 percent of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award.
The girls must spend a minimum of 20 hours exploring their community. They then choose a project, plan it, put it into motion and spread the word.
The Del Mar Hills Academy fifth-graders volunteered during the city’s screening of the documentary “Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic?” and handed out free reusable bags at the holiday happenings event in December.
“Congratulations on all your good work,” Mayor Terry Sinnott said.