One Plastic Bag

Thanksgiving provides a time for reflection. Family. Job. Friends. Health. Seat-warmers in my van. Coke Zero. A microwave. Electricity. Clean water. I am sure you could add more to the list.

Having lived in a third-world country for two years, I learned to be thankful for the everyday conveniences we have on a daily, hourly, minute basis. Trash pick-up is one of those conveniences I am thankful for. When the heavy rains came in the Dominican Republic, trash flooded the streets. Daily, I would notice garbage lying around. And the smell. The foul aroma clogged my plugged nostrils and I could hardly breathe.

A swelling of thanks rose within me as I read One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia. Miranda Paul shares the story of change, illustrated beautifully by Elizabeth Zunon. Plastic bags have many uses, and I am thankful. But living in a condition with no garbage system poses a problem. Isatou noticed the growing problems the piles of plastic bag garbage was causing. Goats and other livestock were dying. Gardens were affected. Something needed to change. As in Ada’s Violin, the creativity of one person sparked hope and an answer.

View the book trailer (1.34 min.) and be drawn into the story of change, of hope, of making a difference.

Learn more about how the women of Gambia create the bags from the founder, Isatou Ceesay.  Information on how to help this organization is also listed on this video. (9.27 min.).


Savorings for reading and writing for One Plastic Bag:

  • Repeating Structure
  • Making a Difference
  • Believing in Yourself
  • Persevering
  • Varied sentences
  • Author’s Note and Timeline

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