Buy Nothing Day

Use your power as a consumer to create a better world!

Today is Buy Nothing Day, it is a day to turn our back on the awful obsession with consumerism we have in the United States. The things we purchase put stress on all our resources, water, air, time, energy, and landfills. All the stuff we buy contributes to the climate crisis! Do you really need more junk? Give thanks for what you have and all the people in your life. Be grateful for our beautiful planet, and for all you have. Instead of shopping spend your day outdoors or spend time doing something creative. Instead of shopping for happiness take deep breaths and do something you love. All the state parks in my state are free today, and I’m off for a long walk!

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. (Source: EPA

The Story of Stuff – Story of Stuff  

 A consumer is powerful. The choices we make, and what we purchase changes marketing and products, and as consumers we can make a big difference by the choices we make.  These choices can make a positive change on the environment creating a more sustainable world. 

  • Heighten your awareness of packaging and waste, choosing products with minimal or no wasteful plastic packaging. 
  • Always shop with reusable bags. 
  • Never purchase products with glitter or Styrofoam. They can’t be recycled and are harmful to wildlife.
  • Shop reuse stores. Some of my favorite clothes and items come from consignment stores. 
  • Shop bulk items. 
  • Shop in bulkBuying in bulk is a good way to manage food waste, and plastic waste. Bring your own bags or containers. 
  • Shop retailers that pay living wages and are local over big box stores. 
  •  Buy nothing and reuse what you have! 
  •  Purchase items that will last instead of cheap junk. 
  •  Avoid all single-use plastic 
  • Make your own choices and be creative, don’t be owned by corporations like Apple, Target, Amazon etc. 

Recycle or Landfill?

It is America Recycles Day. Is it a joke or is it real?

Producers of plastic need to be held responsible for the environmental disaster they have created! What do all those recycling numbers (1-7) mean?

Are we living in a fantasy world about recycling? For many years I have been so hopeful and happy as recycling has become the norm, but now new studies show it is not as wonderful as we had hoped. Only 5 to 9 percent of plastic produced has ever been recycled. The fact is, a lot of plastic packaging, even with those silly 1-7 numbers, is NOT recyclable! Companies and plastic producers **greenwash by claiming to recycle more than they do, and they greenwash by claiming their product is recyclable.

What about recycling paper, metal and glass? Are these recyclables? Paper, metal, and glass are valuable to recyclers, and do have a new life when recycled. Paper, glass and metal all have markets for their recycled material and can be recycled over and over.

Plastic is another issue. Markets for plastic are scarce. Also, plastic is loaded with harmful chemicals, and after being recycled the toxics become more concentrated. Even though the plastic chemical industry says they are recycling their products, the reality is very different. It makes me very sad, but I’m afraid the recycling of plastic is becoming a myth

“There’s a long history of corporations, and especially plastic makers, touting their products as recyclable to prevent regulation and public backlash. Many plastic items in the grocery store have a set of three arrows forming a triangle with a number in the middle—but it’s not a recycling symbol. It’s a resin stamp indicating roughly the type of plastic it is. The petrochemical industry created it to make consumers think the item is recyclable.” Greenpeace Report: ‘Most Plastic Is Just Not Recyclable’

Landfill or recycle: Working to recycle is still better than sending the packaging to the landfill. The plastic will sit in the landfill 5oo or longer years, where at least with recycling there is a chance, maybe someday, it will be turned into something new. Officials where I live claim collected plastic is turned into decking, siding, and lawn chairs. I still hope that is the case!

As a society we need to hold the producers of plastic accountable to create a product that can be recycled, a product that doesn’t contain toxic chemicals. Producers of plastic need to be held accountable for their product’s end of life.

Please recycle as much as you can, but also reduce the plastic that you use and plastic. Our planet and your health will be better for it! Thank you.

**What is Greenwashing? Pretending to be greener than in reality you are.

TerraCycle Collects Plastic Waste. Does It Really Get Recycled?

(bloomberg.com)   Greenpeace report finds most plastic goes to landfills as production ramps up : NPR

Plastic is not Recyclable

If plastic were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Plastic is stuffed with harmful chemicals, and even though we are told it is recyclable this report shows how plastic recycling is NOT working!

Greenpeace report finds most plastic goes to landfills as production ramps up : NPR 

“More plastic is being produced, and an even smaller percentage of it is being recycled,” says Lisa Ramsden, senior plastic campaigner for Greenpeace USA. “The crisis just gets worse and worse, and without drastic change will continue to worsen as the industry plans to triple plastic production by 2050.”  

Coca Cola produces 3 million tons of plastic packaging a year – equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute. That needs to change.

World Clean up Week!

Everyday work for a waste-free world

https://www.worldcleanupday.org/

World Cleanup Day is the world’s largest one-day civic action engaging more than 191 countries to tackle the global waste crisis.
World Cleanup Day is not just about cleanups. It’s a strong and unique movement that shares the dream of a waste-free world.
Join World Cleanup Day on 17th September 2022!

100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet | Sierra Club 

17 Ridiculously Easy Things You Can Do To Help Save The Earth Every Day | HuffPost Impact

EcoWatch  10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth | HowStuffWorks

Wow, An Attractive Healthy Lawn

Every person on earth bears responsibility for good earth stewardship” Pope Francis

Northern Pearly Eye

How did we ever get sold on the fact that a green monoculture of a turf lawn was a good thing everyone wanted to copy? I love walking in green spaces, but should a green space have more variety than being just like everyone else trying to be like everyone else. Has our climate crisis brough us to a time we question the feasibility of maintaining something that harms instead of adding a positive to our environment?

What is my problem with a turf grass lawn?

First it takes lots of water to keep it green and needs poisonous chemicals. We have been in a drought, and homeowners are watering the sidewalk and the street trying to keep their lawns green. A weed free lawn requires lots of chemicals which run down the street into the storm drains and then into our lakes and streams where they stimulate the growth of algae. See the evidence on ponds and lakes covered with algae muck which can be fatal to dogs and wildlife. Muck covered lakes is not a natural happening!

A monoculture turf grass lawn has no benefit to pollinators. Pollinators love flowers free of chemicals and plants that are native to the area. They also like color and fragrance. The best is native plants have deep roots and can survive without much water.

Deep rooted native plants

You can create a friendly yard by just not mowing it, but I recommend thinking about a happy bee lawn. Bee lawns composed of various low growing plants don’t require chemicals and are not toxic to humans and pets. Also children can run and play on them just like turf grass. The butterflies and bees love diversity, scent and color. Some of my favorites are native violets and barren wild strawberries, both are very easy to grow and can be mowed a few times a summer. See the link below on bee lawns. Some people like non-native clover and creeping Charlie.

Violets are great for bee lawns.

Start with a small section of your yard, mow it short and work in some seeds (violets, strawberry, clover, creeping thyme, heal all) with a rake or hoe, and keep moist until you get some new sprouts. Find seeds at https://www.prairiemoon.com/

Nature’s Best Hope: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=doug+tallamy+videos&view=detail&mid=AB8B87BD969B5366B02BAB8B87BD969B5366B02B&FORM=VIRE by Doug Tallamy

How to save the planet starting with your yard: https://slate.com/podcasts/how-to/2022/08/how-to-save-the-planet-with-native-plants?fbclid=IwAR37nC8uiu9P6EoaXAF1Edm16g3zjKTCdx8zm1vH1JaZQdw0G9kQBqUgvK0

Mowing lawns as the climate warms (startribune.com) 

Endangered migrants come in all shapes and species (startribune.com)

https://www.pennlive.com/life/2022/08/bee-lawns-a-lazy-mower-way-to-help-pollinators.html

Everyday appreciating our beautiful earth, and working for healthy communities through less chemicals, less waste, And more fun!

PFAS “forever chemicals”

Clean water and air are important to our survival!

“Air, water and plastic pollution is a chronic challenge. Microplastics have been found worldwide, and the risk to human health is an open question.

New research as Stockholm University suggests that rainwater isn’t safe to drink anywhere on Earth, due to the presence of PFAS or forever chemicals found in food packaging, electronics, cosmetics and cookware.”  Paul Douglas, Meteorologist

Read about PFAS in our water here Most Rainwater on Earth Contains PFAS Exceeding Safe Levels, Study Finds – EcoWatch

When we don’t regulate what corporations and business can dump into our water and soil this is what we end up with.

More reading about PFAS:

https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-proposes-designating-certain-pfas-chemicals-hazardous-substances-under-superfund

Forever Chemicals, Plastic Waste – The World As Industry’s Toilet – CleanTechnica

PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ are everywhere. Here’s what you should know about them | MPR News

Massachusetts Sues 15 Companies Over PFAS Contamination – EcoWatch

3,240 Potentially Harmful Chemicals Found in Food Packaging – EcoWatch

20 Million Acres of U.S. Cropland May Be Contaminated by PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ – EcoWatch

What Can You Do About It? from Earth 911

While the EPA, state/local agencies, and the environmental industry at-large work to eliminate PFAS exposure risk, there are a few simple steps anyone can take to reduce exposure to these harmful chemicals.

  1. Start with awareness. Become aware of PFAS, the potential risk of chemical exposure, and spread the news. Reading this article is a good place to start.
  2. Research your local water utility to learn if the water supply has been sampled for PFAS. If they are detected, ask what is being done about it. Most water utilities provide periodic reports on water quality and can be found through the tap water database tool published by the Environmental Working Group.
  3. Look for PFAS-free alternatives in your consumer purchases. Inquire about everyday consumer products that may contain PFAS, including food wrappers, cosmetics, dental floss, and weather-resistant clothing. Look for safer alternatives. Although you will likely not be at significant risk by continuing to wear your PFAS-treated shoes and boots, the continued manufacturing usage of PFAS leads to the contamination of groundwater and drinking water, and the risk of health effects.
  4. I would add: Reduce the plastic you use for food storage, and the plastic you purchase. Also, don’t use non-stick pans.

August Actions

If you are not doing something positive (for the environment) you are part of the problem” Don Shelby, former news anchor

If everyone does a positive Earth action everyday it will make a big difference

peace on earth

Lift up our planet!

We all know the Earth is suffering, it is burning up. Floods, wildfires, record temperatures, and storms are harming many people. A sick planet leads to unhealthy sick people and for long-term consequences for our children. 

Every day in August plan a positive action of kindness for our planet. It doesn’t have to be difficult: Pick up a piece of trash. Bring your reusable bags and your reusable cup/bottles to work and shopping. Maybe decide to drive less by running one less errand or not idling your car. How about a plastic- free day? Maybe use up all your leftovers and waste less food. Maybe plan out a deep-rooted pollinator garden for your yard or clean a storm drain. Maybe have a meatless day? Good Luck and thank you!

More ideas here:

100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet | Sierra Club 

17 Ridiculously Easy Things You Can Do To Help Save The Earth Every Day | HuffPost Impact

Historic Senate Climate Deal Would Reduce Emissions 40% By 2030 –

EcoWatch  10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth | HowStuffWorks

The Actions for Happiness group have ideas for kindness. Be kind and include our planet too!

Be kind to our Earth too!

What did you do to help our planet today?

How about a dose of chemicals?

The accumulation of plastic in our bodies can be dangerous, especially for our children.

Plastic is everywhere and new and current research is showing it is not a healthy product for us to be using. Not only are our bodies contaminated by plastic microfibers, but also toxic chemicals such as forever chemicals (PFAS) and Phthalates. These chemicals accumulate and builds up in our bodies over time, which causes me to worry about the future of our children. See my ideas for reducing plastic at the bottom of this post.

“Every type of plastic contains unknown chemicals, and many of those chemicals may well be unsafe,” says Jane Muncke, Ph.D., an environmental toxicologist Plastic Products Contain Toxic Chemicals – Consumer Reports

There are of chemicals in plastic that are harmful for our body, and also bad for earth effect. To be wise, it’s better to at least reduce the use of plastic in our daily life. 15 List of Chemicals in Plastic – Properties – Dangers – AZ Chemistry

The first list of chemicals in plastic is Phthalate, the esters of phthalic acid. The main use of phthalate is as plasticizers, to increase flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. Factories made phthalate by reacting phthalic anhydride with alcohols. What Is Plastic Made Of? (reference.com)

Reading list:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/09/toxic-forever-chemicals-plastic-food-containers

Toxic Chemicals used in Plastic Manufacturing and Their Safer Alternatives (thomasnet.com)

Plastic Products Contain Toxic Chemicals – Consumer Reports

What can you do? Start the change to a plastic-free life now, but it takes years. Please don’t go buy all new things, just start replacing items as they are needed.

– Don’t eat on plastic or Styrofoam plates or use plastic utensils, and don’t drink out of plastic bottles.

-Always purchase bulk fresh fruits and vegetables and never in plastic containers or plastic bags.

-Choose glass over plastic, and transition to storing food in glass or metal containers.

-Never purchase # 7 plastic products. They are a mixture of different plastics.

-It is possible to live a good life without Baggies!

-Transition your clothes to natural fibers like cotton and wool.

Plastic Free July

Welcome to Plastic Free July

Be healthier and avoid the chemicals contained in plastic!

Plastic Free July is about creating awareness about our plastic problem and to encourage individuals to move to a plastic-free lifestyle. Working together we can make a difference to reduce our plastic use and create a world free of plastic pollution.

Other than being light weight, plastic is not a good product. It is made of fossil fuels, and the production of plastic creates air pollution. It pollutes our waterways and land. Plastic also contains toxic chemicals which can poison our food and health. https://azchemistry.com/list-of-chemicals-in-plastic

Plastic particles have been found in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Plastic has been found in our blood, lungs, and the clothes we wear and food we eat. A study says we eat a credit card of plastic a week. https://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/study-finds-we-eat-a-credit-card-worth-of-plastic-every-week/ Doesn’t this make you want to reduce your plastic?

Plastic reduction is not easy, start small with one thing to eliminate. I have 4 ideas for your #plasticfreeJuly: Start your #plasticfree month by deciding to bring your own bags and decide “no plastic bags” or use a reusable water bottle and choose not to purchase bottled water or soda. Or decide every bit of plastic you purchase must be recyclable (a lot is not), and then make sure it is recycled. Maybe, bare purchase your produce or meat without plastic. You know what plastic you use. Look at the plastic waste you create, what can you eliminate? Good Luck!

I challenge you to a July without plastic bags or plastic bottles.

States and Countries are changing the discussion on plastic:

Maine shifts the cost of recycling and trash to the manufacturers. Shifting the Costs of Recycling to Manufacturers, Not Consumers | Sierra Club

Landmark legislation in California will reduce single-use plastic by 25% over the next ten years. The ambitious law requires at least 30% of plastic items sold or bought in California are recyclable by 2028 and economic responsibility falls to producers. It’s the first state in the US to approve such sweeping restrictions. Guardian

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59357222  Ban on single-use moves forward in England

London theatre to ban visitors from bringing single-use plastic bottles | Royal Court theatre | The Guardian

Recycling Myth of the Month: Those numbered symbols on single-use plastics do not mean ‘you can recycle me’ – Oceana   

2022-tips-to-use-less-plastic | Choose to Reuse (hennepin.us)