TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — A group of environmentally conscious kids put big smiles on the faces of a few Tybee restaurant owners and employees over the weekend.
On Sunday, children with the Tybee Island Maritime Academy’s (TIMA) Environment Club made stops at Salt Island Fish and Beer, North Beach Bar and Grill and CoCo’s Sunset Grille.
They wrote thoughtful advocacy letters to the owners, thanking them for their efforts to switch to paper straws and reduce plastic in their establishments.
The students and their parents visited the restaurants, along with Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman and Tim Arnold of Tybee Clean Beach Volunteers, so the kids could present and read the letters to the restaurants as a token of their appreciation.
“Dear North Beach Bar and Grill,” one letter said. “Thank you so much for switching to metal silverware and paper straws/containers. It has greatly reduced the amount of trash and junk on the beach.”
It was clear that the kids really made the day of the restaurant workers and owners who received the letters.
“This has been absolutely amazing, it’s a great group of kids, and the fact that Ryan took the time to write this letter to CoCo’s and picked us as his favorite restaurant, I’m so impressed with this,” CoCo’s owner Tracy McMahon told News 3.
Her restaurant has done away with plastic straws, and after trying paper straws for a while, they’ve decided to ditch straws completely.
“I cannot wait to frame it, it’s the best letter I’ve ever gotten,” McMahon said.
CoCo’s also uses reusable bags wherever possible and does not use styrofoam products.
“Coco’s has helped spark a big change in our local beaches being clean,” said Sam Glauner, a TIMA Environment Club member.
“There was a bunch of plastic on the beach, now they’ve switched to more eco-friendly products, and we really enjoy that,” Glauner said.
The TIMA Environment Club decided to write these advocacy letters after a recent clean beach sweep.
The group advocates for clean beaches in the Savannah area and works to get other people involved in keeping the area free of litter.
“Oftentimes, businesses don’t get a whole lot of compliments, you know, they get complaints sometimes,” said Mayor Buelterman, who noted that these restaurants are sacrificing some of their profits to do right by the environment.
“Getting the compliments from young people, especially kids this young, is very meaningful and I appreciate everyone who put this together,” he said.