Reduce Food Waste

end food waste

Wasting food is an enormous waste of valuable resources!

Not only does wasting food, waste valuable resources and lots of water, but also food in our landfills decomposes creating and giving off methane gas which is a harmful air pollutant contributing to global warming.
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)

Food waste from PBS:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/food-waste-is-contributing-to-climate-change-whats-being-done-about-it

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

Overperform October

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
– Albert Camus

October is a magical month bursting with rich colors of red, orange and yellow, with a background of green. Stunning! Go for a walk or bike ride! Love our fragile planet!

Nature overperforms in October, and we need to respond by overperforming to take care of her! Every action matters.

Protect our beautiful world!

Unfortunately, 2022 has been an awful year for bad storms, and this year’s extreme weather is worse than in the past, and sadly future weather extremes will be worse than what we have seen this year. The good news is that it is not too late; scientists agree that we can still avoid many of the predicted impacts of future climate change, but only if we take compelling and urgent climate action. Because elected officials are slow to respond, we must all take individual climate action.

We are in a climate crisis, a plastic crisis, a democracy crisis, mental health crisis and a lying crisis.

We need to work overtime to protect our planet!

What can we do? Individual action is a powerful tool for reversing the climate crisis especially when millions of us unite together. The Actions for Happiness calendar below will help you navigate in a positive way through each day. Add your own daily positive thing to do for the Earth; use less plastic, drive less, waste less, vote, and always tell the truth, Demand people you know tell the truth and never share anything that might not be true. Like a historian check all your sources for truth! Finally, vote for our planet and truth!

Everyone can play a part by raising their voice, sharing solutions, and advocating for change –

https://www.startribune.com/climate-change-made-summer-drought-20-times-more-likely/600213266/

Communicating on Climate Change | United Nations 

Wealthiest 10% Responsible for Nearly 50% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Study Finds – EcoWatch 

Climate Change: Everything You Need to Know – EcoWatch

Overperform this October, be optimistic, have fun, and enjoy this magical time!

Too Much, Not Enough

Drought, famine, flooding, storms, hurricanes. We are living at a time of extremes. There is either not enough water or too much water? Is our beautiful fragile planet paying us back for all the abuse it takes? I think the warming of the oceans has a lot to do with our extremes. Our oceans absorb the carbon dioxide and pollution causing them to warm and oceans have a lot to do with weather systems. Climate change also impacts the intensity of Hurricanes. In recent years, a higher proportion fell into Category 4 and 5, a trend that is expected to continue.

We aren’t doing enough to stop polluting our air. I love this climate poster but it is missing one crucial aspect: Use less plastic! Plastic production is a big contributor to more air pollution. Plastic is made from fossil fuels and contains many harmful chemicals. Also, there is new evidence that plastic pollution is making our oceans more acidic. https://health4earth.com/2022/07/26/how-about-a-dose-of-chemicals/

Our planet needs everyone to do their part. Start by driving less and buying less, and many of the others will fall into line! Individual action is a powerful tool for reversing the climate crisis, especially when millions of us unite together.

Reading list:

Amid a massive American clean energy shift, grid operators play catch-up – Minnesota Reformer 

House Committee Investigates the Role of PR Firms in Spreading Climate Disinformation | Sierra Club

Dutch City Is World’s First to Ban Meat Advertising – EcoWatch

Climate Change Leaves Flood Maps Outdated, FEMA Says – EcoWatch  

Pakistan Floods: What Role Did Climate Change Play? – EcoWatch

Tell President Biden and U.S. climate negotiators: The world must address climate losses and damages (sierraclub.org) 

The Planet | Alexander Verbeek 🌍 | Substack 

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!

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?

Holding Hope Alive

We need a dose of good news!

A deal, for now
This is from David Leonhardt of the New York Times
The U.S. has a uniquely important role in fighting climate change. It has produced far more greenhouse gases over the course of history than any other nation and remains a leading emitter today.
Many parts of federal policy shift back and forth over time. Taxes rise and fall, as do spending on anti-poverty programs and the military. If a package of policies doesn’t pass one year, it might pass in a future year, and the long-term trajectory of the United States probably won’t be affected much.
Climate policy is different.
The world has already warmed to dangerous levels. Heat waves, wildfires, droughts and severe storms have become more common. The Arctic is melting, and seas are rising. If countries do not act quickly to slow their emissions of greenhouse gases — and, by extension, slow global warming — the damage could be catastrophic, scientists have warned.
The U.S. has a uniquely important role in fighting climate change. It has produced far more greenhouse gases over the course of history than any other nation and remains a leading emitter today. In recent years, the U.S. has done considerably less to reduce emissions than Europe. The U.S. also remains the world’s most powerful country, with the ability to influence climate policy in China, India and elsewhere.
Until yesterday, the Democratic Party seemed as if it were on the verge of squandering a major opportunity to combat climate change. Democrats control both Congress and the presidency, and yet they had been unable to agree on a package of climate policies to accelerate the use of clean energy and reduce emissions. Senator Joe Manchin had been blocking any deal, and the Senate is so closely divided that the Democrats cannot afford to lose a single vote.
Yesterday, however, Manchin appeared to change his mind. He announced that he had agreed to include hundreds of billions of dollars for climate and energy programs in a bill that would also reduce prescription drug prices, raise taxes on the affluent and shrink the federal deficit.
If Manchin and other Democrats remain united, it would be a very big deal. “This has the opportunity to be an enormous breakthrough for climate progress,” Sam Ricketts, co-founder of Evergreen Action, an environmental group, told The Times.
It’s especially significant because congressional Republicans have almost uniformly opposed policies to slow climate change (a contrast with conservatives in many other countries). And it remains unclear whether Democrats will again control both Congress and the White House anytime soon. If Congress fails to pass a climate bill this summer, it may not do so for years — while the ravages of climate change worsen.
After all the recent bickering among Democrats, I know that many people remain skeptical that they actually have a deal until Congress has passed a bill. That skepticism makes sense. Last night’s announced deal between Manchin and Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the Senate, is different from a complete bill that can pass in both the Senate and the House.
But I would say this: If this tentative agreement leads to legislation, it will probably have more lasting importance than anything else President Biden signs in his first two years in office.
David Leonhardt

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)