Odes to Recycling: Local poets have their say during virtual open mic night

Poets get ready to participate Thursday night in a virtual community poetry open mic with a recycling theme.

Lynnwood residents came together Thursday night to share poems they had written about recycling. The virtual community poetry open mic event was put on by the Waste Management team and the Lynnwood Recreation Center, with 18 people signed up to read their poems and express how important recycling is to them.

Poems were read in Ethiopian, Spanish, Korean, Vietnamese and English.

Many participants expressed that they had grown up being taught about how important recycling is, for not only the local community, but for the entire planet. Reducing the amount of waste humans create is essential to keeping the planet clean and healthy.

“What goes around comes around, and stays around,” Gloria H. stated in her poem, hinting at the fact that the immeasurable amount of consumable goods created and quickly thrown away is not going to disappear. She urged listeners to be mindful of what they are consuming as well as throwing away.

A few readers touched on the volume of things that get thrown away that could easily continue being used for other purposes. Poet Ayet uses recycled materials to create toys for children in her neighborhood. She’s found many ways to turn unwanted items into a child’s favorite possession, she said.

“Another man’s trash, another man’s treasure,” said Anthony H. in his poem. He uses recycled materials to create art pieces. He was excited for the opportunity to read his poem about two things he finds extremely important: artistic outlets and caring for the planet by not creating more waste than is necessary.

One poet, Melissa, was an elementary school student. Her poem was all about turtles — her favorite animal. She pleaded with the community to not let more plastic end up in the ocean, which is the cause of death for hundreds, if not thousands, of sea creatures every year.

The first 12 people who signed up to read their poems received a $50 Visa gift card. A raffle was also held at the end of the event for two $200 Visa gift cards for viewers who had not read a poem, but had attended.

This event was put on as part of the Odes to Recycling campaign, which was started by Waste Management team in 2018. The campaign’s focus is to bring attention to the local communities about how vital recycling is to the welfare of the planet.

Note: the works of all poets are attributed to the names they used during the presentation.

— By Lauren Reichenbach

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