Elena Westbrook’s poem was selected to run with a Waste Management outreach campaign focusing on Spanish speakers. Contributed photo

Elena Westbrook’s poem was selected to run with a Waste Management outreach campaign focusing on Spanish speakers. Contributed photo

Redmond writer’s poem featured in recycling campaign

A Redmond resident recently had her poem selected as part of a Waste Management campaign tailored toward Spanish speakers in Puget Sound.

Elena Westbrook wrote a short poem, known as an ode, which competed against more than 100 others to be featured in the campaign.

“I hope that inspires a person to think about it twice before they would throw a can, that hopefully they’ll think about, to have a conscience,” she said.

The campaign was orchestrated by the C+C organization on behalf of Waste Management and includes television and radio advertisements as well as fliers.

Westbrook said it is important to reach out to people in their native language because many times translations from English to Spanish contain errors or phrases that cannot be easily translated.

For example, she said there is no direct translation for the word “driveway” in Spanish.

“I think that it will make more sense for people,” she said.

She also hopes it will foster a sense of empowerment and ownership.

Fely Oropeza, with C+C, said the campaign was for Latinos and crafted by Latinos.

While Westbrook’s poem is short, it says a lot in under 50 words.

Westbrook got interested in environmental causes after watching “An Inconvenient Truth.”

She also became a writer after watching the documentary, and is working on a historical novel.

But the ode to recycling for Waste Management is her first piece of published work.

“I was very glad they had this opportunity in particular for Spanish speaking writers,” she said.

The poem is featured below in Spanish with an English translation following.

“Reciclaje”

tu eres el granito de arena,

tu envías un mensaje de amor

a generaciones futuras

en latas

y botellas de plástico limpias,

tu escribes un pacto

de preservación

en papel seco,

tu empacas siglos de

respeto al planeta

dentro de cada bote de reciclaje,

tu eres compromiso

“Recycling”

you little grain of sand

you send a love message

to future generations

in cans

and clean plastic bottles,

you write a pact

of preservation

on dry paper,

you pack centuries of

respect to the planet

within each recycling bin,

you are commitment

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