Norman's Story

The gray whales have the longest migration of any animal. These majestic creatures spend most of their days swimming in the Pacific Ocean, making a 10,000-mile round trip from the Arctic to the Baja Peninsula each year. They can live for 70 years. That's what should be normal for whales; that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

But not for one whale. A young whale who needed to replenish its fat pad for the long trek. Who stopped to refuel in Puget Sound during April of 2010. Who ended up dying on the shores of Arroyo Beach, emaciated, with a gut full of garbage including over 20 plastic bags. Who ended up not even living 1/10 of its anticipated lifespan.

Is this the legacy we leave to our children? Whales dying on our beaches for our love of one-time use bags?

We'd like to think not. We'd like to think that small changes beget big differences.

That's why ReUsies is introducing Norman, the happy whale. Norman is our tribute to the life that the Arroyo Beach Whale should have had. A life where our oceans are clean, our rivers are pure, our parks are pristine and wildlife can lead a full life. What we’d like to think a normal life of a whale should be, could be.

In fact, Norman's name not only stands as a tribute to our whale, but it's also an acronym for Normal Oceans, Rivers, Mountains And Nature.

Norman is recognizing people and businesses who are making a difference. From creating and using reusable snack bags and sandwich bags to cleaning up a campground to restoring wetlands. You'll be seeing him around whenever he's happy with the work humans are doing to make the planet a happier one . . . for all animals.

Follow Norman on Twitter (@NormanTheWhale) and visit him on Pinterest to stay up-to-date with his latest news and appearances.

Norman's First Appearance: ReUsies.
This April, Norman is hanging out with ReUsies. ReUsies offers everyone the opportunity to make a small change that can make a huge difference. One small change of replacing a plastic baggie with a ReUsies snack bag or ReUsies sandwich bag can keep hundreds of plastic bags out of landfills, oceans and waterways. Each ReUsies bag replaces hundreds of single-use bags, providing a safe, nontoxic way for us to keep our food fresh and our planet safe. ReUsies are simple, fun and easy to clean and care for. Follow ReUsies on Twitter and friend ReUsies on Facebook.

Win a Norman ReUsies Bag.

Norman loves the idea of reducing plastic waste so much that he's asking everyone to make April 17 "No Plastic Bags For Lunch Day," with the chance to win a bag with him on it, just like the one in the photo. Won't you join ReUsies and Norman on April 17? Just pack your lunch in a reusable bag or container and share your contribution with Norman. Make sure to follow Norman @NormanTheWhale or share your story and pictures on our Facebook page -- those who do so from April 15 - 19 will be registered to win one of five Norman ReUsies bags.

A big thank you to our friends Robin Lindsey and the West Seattle Blog for the gray whale photographs.


Pack It, Snack It, ReUse It... Thanks for doing your part!