From Robin's Corner: Flint Michigan Water Crisis

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I heard it on the news again. The scary news about Flint, Michigan and the unimaginable water crisis their beleaguered residents are currently facing. Beyond the myriad of infrastructure issues that need to be tackled and the high cost, I can’t begin to imagine the fear each resident is feeling every day  when they wake up knowing they’ve been drinking toxic water for well over a year. How frightening to now think and worry about what will be become of their health; their kids’ health and mental capacities, their family’s health, their friends, neighbors, pets and so on and so on and so on….. 

Today’s news was encouraging though as they reported a team of local Chicago pastors was driving a busload of bottled water to Flint to help some residents.  As a proud graduate of Michigan State University, I am a fan of all things “Michigan”. Urban Junket’s founder, Tracy Dyer, also grew up in Michigan and she’s also a Michigan State graduate (Go Green!).

Last weekend, I worked the Windy City Gift Show and had the pleasure of meeting two retail buyers from the Lobby Shop at Hurley Medical Center in Flint. They stopped by to check out our bags – it was our bright colors and cool styles which drew them in, but it was the fact our bags are made with recycled plastic bottles that sold them on Urban Junket. When I noticed on their buyer’s badges that they were from Flint, I had to share my sympathies and concern for the trouble I know they’ve been facing on a daily basis. I had to ask questions. I shared how my sister lives close by and what she and her neighbors were doing to help by donating water.

No doubt these two kind ladies and long-time Flint residents were beyond grateful for the support and water donations that have come their way. Countless celebs like Beyonce have made notable donations and others like John Cusack and Michael Moore (born and raised there) have sounded the battle cry. These ladies and all Flint residents could not survive without this type of support and their appreciation was clearly obvious. But, despite the glorious PR and necessary donations of clean water to their town, I was interested to learn that Flint is now also a city filled to brim with empty water bottles. Bottles, bottles everywhere – overflowing out of garbage cans (and hopefully recycle bins) everywhere, bottles rolling down the street on a windy day and laying curbside all over town. Not the worst of their worries to be sure at this stage of this awful game, but definitely an issue none the less. What to do with all those bottles?


“Small picture” thinking...I’m glad I sold them on Urban Junket; I’m happy I made the sale. That’s my job to sell bags and I love it. It pays my bills and helps to provide for my family (which I guess isn’t so “small picture” when I think of the “big picture” – we all need to make a living, right?). But in my “big picture” thinking mind...beyond just me and my family, I’m so proud to work for a company that values our environment and has been making eco-friendly products since 2010.

When Tracy discovered “rPET” fabric (recycled water bottle fabric), she was sold and Urban Junket took a turn for the GREEN. By using and reusing post-consumer materials to make fabric, we’ve done our small part at Urban Junket to reduce landfill waste and ocean garbage patches while also minimizing pollutants required in the fabric production process. How cool to be a part of the solution and not the problem. Check out our website and you’ll see how many water bottles go into making each UJ style. One bottle, one bag, one company at a time...hopefully taking a turn for the GREEN will become the business trend for a better tomorrow.

Follow the link below to help the residents of Flint



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