I was considering a post about what to bring to the Biggest Week this year but after talking with Dakota (another Birdfreak but more importantly our “let’s get rid of plastic” advocate) decided to change course just a bit.
First off, I really hope to see a lot of people at the Biggest Week in American Birding this year! (And there is still time to register!)
One of the greatest things about this event has to be the crowds! Wait. Huh? Yes, the crowds! Last year as I stood on a boardwalk with over a hundred people watching a Hooded Warbler it was such a cool feeling because how many times do I see a gorgeous bird and have no one to share the experience with?!
I don’t think I’d like to bird watch with hundreds every time I go but I believe the Biggest Week is a chance to celebrate birds with the entire world and we all know promoting the love of birds will lead to CONSERVATION of them! This event is especially great for new or beginning birders because there are birds and bird experts everywhere.
Birding gear for us includes bins, a spotting scope and our Kaufman Field Guides but over the past couple of years we’ve started thinking about what not to bring.
This year the Birdfreaks are continuing a personal challenge to use less single-serve items and as little garbage as possible. We hope that other birders might want to take on this challenge with us!
The “rules” are simple and “to the best of your ability”:
No plastic, single-serve containers!
Many birders are already conservation-minded so it’s likely already happening. Refillable water bottles, reusable sandwich bags, bringing your own food (disclaimer: there are a lot of great places to eat in the area and we still encourage you to check them out!)
But, if you are considering trying to reduce your use of plastics it can seem daunting at first. A couple small ways could be to buy a few reusable lunch bags, bring your own water or buy snacks that aren’t individually wrapped. Glass coffee cups are a great replacement for those throw-away gas station cups and often places charge less if you bring your own cup.
We are finding new ways all the time to use less and it’s pretty fun (and a bit addicting).
Here are a few examples:
ChicoBags are great and last a long time!
These are glass but the silicon casing prevents breakage if dropped
We can buy a glass jar of applesauce and fill these containers again and again
The Birdfreaks’ Mom (Grandma to some) is pretty good at jazzing up our reusable bags for carrying stuff
One thought on “Gearing up for the Biggest Week in American Birding: A Challenge”
Nice article, thanks. You make a very good point about recycling and plastic. It makes me mad to see so much plastic trash lying around all over the place these days. I know some people probably don’t realize the harm it can cause to wild birds (and other wildlife too of course) but even so, there’s no excuse for anyone leaving their trash behind them. It’s just laziness.
Anyway, I’ll get off my (eco-friendly) soapbox now 🙂