E-Commerce Comes At A Price

How can E-Commerce be more environmentally friendly?

 

wp-1457214784188.jpegAs a person who prefers to walk or take the bus to do my shopping, I thought Fed Ex and UPS delivering packages was a good thing; it cut down on my driving. packages came in cardboard, not plastic, and it seemed like an efficient way to shop. I don’t like some of the oversize shipping boxes, or the Styrofoam and packing peanuts I see littering the street.  The article below came as a surprise to me.

Online shopping has not helped the environment. It is not a sustainable way to live!

http://www.startribune.com/speedy-e-commerce-comes-at-a-price-to-the-environment/369384321/

What can you do instead? 1. Bundle your own shopping trips into one trip. 2. Slow down, do you really need an item shipped to you in 2 hours? 3. BUY LESS 4. Return Packing peanuts to UPS. 5. Reuse packaging.

What can shippers do to be more sustainable? Refuse to use Styrofoam? Bundle their deliveries? What do you think?

From http://www.earth911.com/

Are there more sustainable packing alternatives?

Biodegradable packing materials offer a low-waste alternative to polystyrene packing peanuts. High-profile companies, including Dell and furniture-maker Steelcase, have already embraced a foam-like packaging made from mushrooms, eliminating the waste from polystyrene.

When shipping packages yourself, simply use paper from your recycling bin to insulate breakables rather than reaching for polystyrene peanuts. Crumpled newsprint, junk mail and other waste paper will do the job just as well and will be far easier for your recipient to recycle.

 

Where Have All the Pollinators Gone?

Plant your yard with plants the bees, butterflies and birds love
Plant your yard with plants the bees, butterflies and birds love

Each of us is so unaware of the damage we are doing to our earth.  This week I was at a seminar on pollinators.  Minnesota has lost two of its native butterflies, the Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skippering.  and many more bees and butterflies are declining in numbers. Also, I was surprised so many people don’t know about neonicotinoids.  Neonicotinoids are harmful systemic pesticides that weaken pollinators

Round up kills the plants bees and butterflies love!
Round up kills the plants that bees and butterflies need for food and egg laying !

Why is there is so much buzz about bees during the winter?  The United Nations announced that we are loosing many of our important pollinators that are vital to the pollination of many important food crops.

What is causing this loss? The major reasons we are loosing species of native butterflies, bees and birds is because of mono-crop planting, habitat loss, and our obsession with pesticides.  The combination of these three is making it hard for pollinators to survive.

Even a small yard can make a difference for pollinators.  First, add more native plants to your yard, they don’t need chemicals.  Plant for different bloom times, diverse flowers, and never purchase a plant treated with neonicotinoids ! Be careful and read directions with any chemicals you use on your yard….Try to go without!  Finally, bees and butterflies love blooming dandelions and clover…Let them bloom, then weed them out!

Below is from http://www.wildones.org/ What are native plants?

  • Native plants are needed as host and nectar plants as our native butterflies, bees and birds go about pollinating our food plants as they forage for their own sustenance.
  • Native plants have deep roots which absorb excess rainfall and prevent water from running directly into our rivers and streams helping to provide clean water for everyone.
  • Native plants instead of turf lawns help reduce our carbon footprint.

A Lot more to read:

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/26/decline-of-bees-poses-potential-risks-to-major-crops-says-un

http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2016/02/wild_bees_path_extinction.html

http://ecowatch.com/2016/02/26/save-the-honeybee/

http://www.xerces.org/providing-wildflowers-for-pollinators/

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/26/468241649/report-more-pollinators-species-in-jeopardy-threatening-world-food-supply

http://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/ipm/what-is-a-neonicotinoid/

Our Shared Responsibility!

12783686_10153903627054454_3345670645835104296_o“We need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by politics and greed.”

Super Tuesday, Please Participate!

Rising Oceans and A Migrant Crisis

The Oceans Are Rising
The Oceans Are Rising Faster than they have in 3,000 years

2015 was the warmest year on record, and January 2016 was the warmest recorded. Alaska, Minnesota and Wisconsin have enjoyed a mild winter.  The winter warmth has been pleasant, and because this is just weather, it will probably be brutal next year.  It is the long-term trends that are troubling.  Sadly, the problem lies in our oceans.  Eighty to ninety per cent of this heat goes into the oceans.  So of course the oceans are rising with the melting glaciers. Also, as the oceans heat they expand taking up more space. With record warm years, no wonder that the oceans are rising at a very fast rate.

Our planet is already in crisis as migrants are leaving Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries. We haven’t seen anything in compared to the migrant crisis that will be created by the rising oceans. Those living on the ocean coasts and the islands that will be inundated and disappear will need to find new homes .

The Syrian crisis was caused in part by our warming earth, the continued rising of warm oceans will create migrant problems that will be an even greater challenge! Miami, Venice, Bangladesh and London are a few that could disappear.  Where will these people forced out of their disappearing cities, farms, and villages go?

Denial of our man-made climate crisis will not continue to work, and everyone needs to take personal responsibility to reduce their carbon footprints.  Just committing to turning off lights and to drive less can make a big difference.  What is one thing you do?

Read more below:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/02/22/seas-are-now-rising-faster-than-they-have-in-2800-years-scientists-say/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/02/23/as-the-arctic-roasts-alaska-bakes-in-one-of-its-warmest-winters-ever/?utm_content=buffer586cc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2016/02/17/january_2016_was_the_hottest_january_on_record.html

Our Earth Looks Very Fragile!

The Earth’s atmosphere “looks very, very fragile” and “like something that we need to take care of.” Scott Kelly

10562721_920150908051554_7226343502310981013_o

Scott Kelly returns from the space station on March 1, after spending 365 days in space. He spoke on CNN about his year in space and what he has observed.  See his CNN interview below:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/11/health/scott-kelly-space-station-sanjay-gupta-interview/index.html

This Makes Me Sick

999922_619252368141411_1083645899_n (1)This week 5 activist judges on the U.S. Supreme Court delayed implementation of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. A delay that could throw clean air into years of litigation.  This also gives China, India and other countries an excuse to delay their own clean-air plans to reduce dangerous carbon emissions.

This past December 195 nations came together in Paris for an incredible historic agreement. They agreed to work together to reduce carbon emissions.  A corner-stone of this agreement in the United States was to require states to reduce their carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. To accomplish this states need to switch from dirty coal and oil to the renewables of solar and wind, or however the state chooses to get to a 30% reduction.  Twenty-seven states are protesting these new rules, and the Supreme Court says these lawsuits need to finalized before the Clean Power Plan is implemented. My rural electric cooperative does not support clean air initiatives because they don’t want to pay for it. This is a lack of vision for the future. I think that switching to renewables will be cheaper for consumers in years to come!

What these climate deniers don’t understand is the cost of doing nothing about air pollution is much more expensive. The oceans will continue to warm and rise, storms intensify, and the clean up and health issues will continue to cost billions of dollars a year. Many lives will be lost because of this lack of vision for the future.

This makes me sick! Cough Cough!

http://phys.org/news/2016-02-poor-air-quality-million-worldwide.html

“We can no longer continue treating out addiction to fossil fuels as if there is no tomorrow, or there will be no tomorrow!” Desmond Tu Tu