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Climate Change Leaves Flood Maps Outdated, FEMA Says – EcoWatch  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 ūüĆć | Substack 

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‚Äôt safe to drink anywhere on Earth, due to the presence of PFAS or forever chemicals found in food packaging, electronics, cosmetics and cookware.‚ÄĚ  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 ‚ÄėForever Chemicals‚Äô – 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.

Sweep Up Pick UP

Clean a storm drain week!

The official Adopt-a-Drain Fall Leaf Cleanup Week kicks off  Monday, October 11th, and runs through Sunday, October 17th.

Leaves in the street plug storm drains and pollute our waterways.



Storm drains feed directly into our local lakes and rivers, unfiltered, so it’s important to keep them clear for cleaner and healthier waterways. Fall is an especially important time to keep the leaves that are collecting on our streets and sidewalks out of our storm drains. While they might be “natural” debris they become pollution when large quantities hit the water, break down, and become food for algae. 

poster for clean water

Keep our waterways clean!

Learn more at: https://adopt-a-drain.org/

World Water Day

Climate change will affect the availability, quality and quantity of water needed for basic human needs, thus undermining enjoyment of the basic rights to safe drinking water and sanitation for billions of people, warns the latest UN World Water Development Report.” United Nations

Today as we are all advised to wash our hands because of our world crisis, please take a moment to pause and think about our water. On World Water Day become mindful of your relationship to water on our planet. How do you use water? How many times during the day do you turn on the water faucet? Who keeps the water we drink and use safe? How does the water get to our houses? What can we do to conserve and keep our fresh water clean and safe?

The water we have on Earth is the only water we will ever have. It is used and reused as part of the water cycle. Please be mindful how you use it.

The largest fresh water lake
Lake Superior

Plastic bags are choking our Earth

Target Petition Urges Retailer To Ban Plastic Bags

Dear Target. Please ban plastic bags, or charge 25 cents per bag. Putting a cost on bags would make individuals value them, and hopefully reuse them, not just let them fly onto the streets and landscapes.

I get so tired of seeing plastic bags blowing on the street and fields, hanging from trees, left in bus shelters, and stuck in street gutters. These bags can last for hundreds of years, and then might only break into tiny pieces of plastic. They are made to last! It is time corporate America, Target and others, to step up and take leadership on our plastic problem. Also, each of us needs to take responsibility and always bring reusable bags shopping.

Retailers think they are doing enough by offering recycling of plastic bags. In fact only 5% of plastic bags are recycled, but according to my local recycler there isn’t much of a market for the recycling of plastic bags.

The best thing you can do is bring your own reusable bags!

health4earth
Bring your own reusable bags.

 

Some states and cities have banned single-use plastic. Read more here

 

2019 World Water Day

We love lakes! Keep them clean.

We love lakes, we love rivers and streams, and we love our oceans.¬† March 22, is World Water Day.¬† Clean water is a human right and should be available to every human being. ¬†Unfortunately, some of us have too much water, but many don’t have enough water, and the water they have is polluted.¬† I am lucky to live in a place with lots of water, but it is a struggle to keep it clean. Many live with polluted wells and water from farm pollution. Why they have allowed farm run-off to pollute their wells is beyond me??? The farming industry has gotten away with polluting our water, and for some reason they now think they have that right. Where I live, farm run-off is the number one cause for the pollution of our water ways and ground water. Lack of regulation on agriculture can harm water resources when raising pork, beef and other livestock, along with sugar beets, corn and soy beans.

There are industrial cities like Houston, Texas, that allow industry to pollute air and water.  Stronger regulation is needed to stop water and air pollution, but that is not happening in the United States anytime soon.

Agriculture and industry are major water pollutants, but so is plastic. As the spring flooding overflows the banks of creeks and rivers the winter trash is getting washed off the land, into our waterways, then into our oceans. With some personal responsibility we all can make a difference with our behavior to water.

The Mississippi River water shed is flooding carrying plastic and farm pollution to the gulf of Mexico. Graphic by Jon Platek

What can we do to keep our water clean?

On this World Water Day weekend I challenge you to go meatless, I challenge you to go plastic-free, and I challenge you to get outside and pick up trash.

The Problem With Plastic

How are you reducing your plastic footprint?

Plastic lasts more than a lifetime! Humans have created 9 billion tons of plastic since 1950 and most of this plastic still exists on earth. Only 9 percent has been recycled, and 11 percent incinerated. That leaves much of the plastic ever produced floating around in our waterways, poisoning fish, or releasing chemicals in landfills. As citizens of this planet we should be doing everything we can to reduce the amount of plastic we use.

The PBS NewsHour is doing an interesting series on plastic this week. I hope you will watch.  See below:

 

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/plastic-lasts-more-than-a-lifetime-and-thats-the-problem

Earth Day 2018

My message for you on this Earth Day is, “Young people want a livable future!” All of us can make a difference for that future. Not just on Earth Day, but everyday!

The theme for Earth Day 2018 is, “End Plastic Pollution” Here is an interview with the founder of the original Earth Day.

If we continue the path we are on with plastic pollution, we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. Business lobbyists are working hard to make sure we use plastic products. Laws are being passed to stop cities and counties from banning plastic bags and plastic/Styrofoam containers. We are in a sad place when the lobbyists have more power than the common good of everyone. These lobbyists make me more determined than ever to boycott their awful plastic products.

Nice screw-top glass bottles that I can reuse forever! #reusable

What are some ideas to reduce your plastic use? Here is an excellent article from Minnesota Public Radio(MPR) on what you can do about plastic pollution.  When a plastic product comes your way, ask yourself: Do I really need this, or can I use something else? Chances are you can say no, and yes. 

Each one of us can make a huge difference.  On Earth Day 2018 set a simple goal for yourself, something that is easy to do. Maybe just keeping your reusable bags in the trunk of your car, or refilling olive oil and balsamic vinegar bottles at your local grocery. Maybe refusing to purchase anything in Styrofoam or never again using a plastic straw.  You know your situation, what works for you?

Make sure your environmental goal is easy to accomplish, and something you have a passion or interest to accomplish. Remember, our youth want a livable future.

There are always new things you can purchase in bulk, instead of plastic. My newest way to avoid plastic using bulk hemp seeds to make hemp milk . Trying to reduce one plastic container at a time!

https://health4earth.com/2015/04/20/happy-earth-day/

https://health4earth.com/2016/04/22/everyday-earth-day/

Earth Day tips from Ecowatch

 

Make a Difference

Working together we can make a big difference!

From Walking for Waterways and more: https://health4earth.com/2018/02/19/massive-threats-to-our-oceans/
https://health4earth.com/2017/02/15/surprising-microfibers-in-fish-and-food/
https://health4earth.com/2018/04/05/break-free-from-plastic/

Break Free From Plastic

https://twitter.com/Greenpeace/status/981256135243063296/video/1

Everyday there is a new report about the world’s terrible problem with plastic pollution. How did we ever get to this point where plastic pollution is everywhere and so harmful? A world summit is needed to manage this problem. The plastic bottle manufacturers need to be held responsible, but all of us are to blame for the amount of plastic we purchase.

Some co-ops and grocery stores have fabulous selections of soaps and oils to refill your bottles

Everyone uses plastic and we are all to blame! Plastic is used and thrown away by the wealthiest and poorest¬†people on our planet. It is almost impossible to avoid. I have been working on reducing my plastic for years and become better every week at eliminating and evaluating what I purchase. Twice a week I take by reusable bottles to food coops and refill with bulk items. I reuse plastic produce bags over and over and¬†think “zero waste” as I shop.

Plastic manufacturers should never been allowed to make a¬†plastic product that might last 500, maybe forever. Elected officials should have put some regulations on them. From Greenpeace: “So what needs to happen is that these changes must come from the top ‚ÄĒ multinational corporations like Coca-Cola and Nestle need to be held responsible and switch their single-use packaging to more sustainable options, but we also need to acknowledge our responsibility when we choose those products.” Tamara Adame

Say “No” to plastic bags!

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) floating off the coast of California now measures 1.6 million square kilometers (about 1 million square miles), according to a startling new study. It is 16 times larger than previously thought, and growing! To put that into perspective, the clump of trash is about the size of three Frances, or twice the size of Texas.

What are you doing to reduce your plastic pollution??