Girl Scout Shelby O’Neil is passionate about the environment and protecting marine life, and was concerned about the detrimental effects plastic straws have on our oceans.
She began reaching out to large companies, including Delta and Costco, to draw attention to the detrimental effects plastic straws have on our oceans and to urge them to decrease the amount of plastic they use.
When Shelby’s email crossed the desk of Dignity Health President and CEO Lloyd Dean, he and the organization were extraordinarily quick to respond.
In just one month, Dignity Health staff mobilized to eliminate all plastic stirrers and straws within its cafeterias across the entire system – accounting for more than 50% of all straws currently used across Dignity Health hospitals. This is a major undertaking across Dignity Health’s 39 hospitals spanning California, Arizona, and Nevada, and with its 60,000+ employees.
The reduction accounts for approximately 11,000 straws/stirrers per day, 350,000 per month, and 4M per year!
For Dignity Health, it’s not just a matter of doing what’s right. As Dean said in a reply back to Shelby, “there is a direct connection between the health of our planet and the health of our patients.”
This fantastic result from Shelby’s emails just go to show how one person- regardless of their age- really can make a huge positive difference to the world.