Virtual programs: backpacking school and ‘past plastics’

We will have two separate presentations at our August Innings. 

View the recording of this presentation here!

Outings – Virtual Backpacking School

The outings group will present on their in-person Backpacking School and the series of virtual educational programs they developed in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The presentation will include a review of the Zoom tools they have used to make the virtual programs interactive. The presenters are Nancy Ball, Barry Randall, and Denise Tingle.

Nancy Ball has been camping and hiking her whole life and has been leading backpacking and adventure trips since 2005 to destinations both close to home and all over the world. This year she launched her new business: Summit Trek & Travel. She is an Outings Leader and an instructor for the Backpacking School.

Denise Tingle has been camping/hiking/backpacking for 45+ years.  She is the Hiking Committee Chair for the Miami Group Sierra Club as well as an instructor for the Backpacking School. As an Outings Leader, she leads cycling rides and backpacking trips.  Her passion is backpacking and cycling and she loves being in the outdoors!

Barry Randall has been camping and backpacking for the past 50+ years. He is currently the chairperson for the Miami Group Sierra Club Outings Committee, where we plan and lead a variety of outdoor adventures, including backpacking, for all skill levels. He leads many of our chapter’s backpacking trips and is an instructor for the Backpacking School.


Fighting Plastic Pollution during the Pandemic – A Time to Recalibrate?

Past Plastic Cincinnati is a grassroots campaign the Sierra Club spearheaded 12 years ago. For our August Innings, members of Past Plastic Cincinnati will report on the coalition’s 12-year campaign to reduce plastic waste in Cincinnati. Meeting every month, its members, chaired by Marie Kocoshis, work to engage community groups to educate the public about runaway plastic consumption and the hidden costs to human and ecological health. They lobby City Council to pass legislation to ban single-use plastic bags in Cincinnati. (The ban is currently on hold due to the pandemic.) Our Call to Action will be aimed first at Ohio House Bill 242, which, if passed in the Senate, would ban fees on plastic containers in municipalities such as Cincinnati. Elissa Yoder-Mann, Ohio Sierra Club’s Conservation Program Manager, will tell us about the status of the bill and the actions we can take to persuade our Governor to veto the bill. To boost their profits, the plastic industry is exploiting fears of virus contamination to push plastic as safer than reusables (a brazenly false claim) causing many cities to pause their bans.

Looking at the broader picture, it is clear we must take this fight beyond raising public awareness and blocking governmental policies. Covid-19 forces us to radically reevaluate the human impact on the health of our planet’s living ecosystems of which we are a part. We know we cannot recycle our way out of the plastic pollution crisis. As consumers, we must leverage our buying power and take this fight right to its source: Let’s call out the world’s top polluters and make them answerable for the true cost to the planet. We will explore innovative alternatives to plastic as well as models for shopping in a circular economy. The idea of the “Smart Supermarket” is not a pie-in-the sky notion. The concept is being launched in countries around the world as we speak. Can you imagine a supermarket with no plastic?

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