A simple message from David Attenborough
A new year brings new energy, new projects and hope into our lives. May we move on to a positive new beginning for us all. One thing that 2018 told us is that our Earth is struggling with harmful human activity. Our warming climate and our dependence on single-use plastic can have tragic implications as we move into the future. We can’t predict the future, but plastic waste and climate change are not going away.
If everyone does a small amount it can make a big difference! I have two things you can do to make a big difference on the Earth this new year. Even if you change one thing you do, and focus on that one thing in 2019 you will be making a difference!
When I started this blog years ago, I was trying to get people to recycle. While I hope you will still recycle what needs to be recycled, it has become harder and harder to recycle that pesky plastic. Glass, aluminum and paper have markets, but we just use so much single-use plastic and there aren’t enough markets for plastic. Plastic can’t be recycled over and over like glass and aluminum.
We need to reduce our plastic footprint. Start by changing one thing you purchase in plastic. At our house we refill bottles/containers with bulk at our local coop: soaps, lotions, teas, nuts, rice and almost every dry product we eat. We make our own yogurt, humus and cashew milk. Even as hard as we work on this we can’t avoid all packaging, it is too ubiquitous. As human beings we haven’t figured out our complicated relationship with plastic. The best thing is to avoid it.
Tackling food waste is another way we can all make a difference. If you purchase in bulk you can get just the amount you need. Forty percent of our food in the USA goes to waste, I mourn the valuable water and energy wasted on uneaten food! How have you done on your holiday leftovers? Freeze, cook, eat that food! Be vigilant. I make it into game with myself to be creative making new items from left-overs to keep from wasting food. Just think of the water and energy that we could save! Also, rotting food waste in landfills creates methane contributing to warming the planet.
Some inspiration from Dan Rather: ” I stand at the precipice of 2019, alongside all of you, and breath deep a spirit of empathy and a determination to do our part to help make this world a better place.”
Happy hopeful new year!
Our everyday activities make a big difference and small positive changes by everyone, can make a big difference to the health of our Earth. A Climatarian thinks about their impact on the Earth everyday, and they work to reduce their daily impact.
The news just keeps getting worse and worse for our warming planet as some places are overwhelmed by drought and fires, and others are inundated with storms and water. Warmer air holds more water and has caused ocean levels to rise causing hurricanes to become more destructive. Wildlife and humans are on the loosing end of this destruction. The lives lost, and the struggle to survive and rebuild are staggering. We are facing a climate breakdown! Read about the latest climate report by the world’s scientists here.
Instead of trashing our air and water we need new paradigms to live by to protect our home. Our current United States government is determined to make this climate breakdown worse. Our warming planet is not going to heal itself. With a little personal responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint we can have cleaner air and water, and a much healthier planet. Let’s make it a team effort and make it a win-win for us all! As self-described Climatarian below are the things I work on everyday to reduce my footprint on Earth. To be successful start small, and when one thing becomes a habit try to add another.
Take personal responsibility to heal our Earth. My vision of a Climatarian is below. What is yours?
** Work for zero waste by reusing, refilling and refusing. This takes practice and commitment, but it is fun and easy once you get the idea of how, you can become an almost zero waster! Also, don’t waste food: Freeze and label your leftovers, and put them in wraps, stir fry or something you cook next. Be creative! Managing food waste takes constant vigilance. I will help you get started with zero waste, ask me how to begin????
** Reduce your meat consumption. We haven’t eaten beef or pork for many years, and I actually forget about purchasing from our local chicken source. Meat takes lots of water and energy to raise, and it is a terrible pollutant to our air and water.
** Drive less: No one wants to reduce their driving, but carpooling, public transportation and walking can be fun. Try it!!
** Consume less! The more we consume the more the planet suffers and the more garbage we generate. Buy less stuff and purchase things that last, and that you will reuse over and over. Try to become part of the circular economy.
For many of us the past few days have been sad and disappointing. We so want decision makers that we can trust, and who see a vision of justice and respect for all. There is much work to do so we have to jump out of our sadness and work for a better world. Our world still depends on how we each live our life everyday.
The next month is crucial to talk to those running for elected office. Candidates will be everywhere, at your door, at community events and hopefully having debates. Tell them what you expect and what is important so get your one minute speech ready. Take action on the issues that matter to you.
Candidates for office need to hear us say how important clean water and clean air are to us. They need to hear us say that we need plastic bag and Styrofoam bans. They need to hear us say we need easier recycling and organic compost. They need to hear us say it needs to be easier for everyone to vote. They need to hear us say there are too many guns on the street, and of course women’s health care and women’s right to choose. What is important to you? What is your one minute speech?
The quality of our world still depends on how we each live our lives. Get out there make things happen: Vote and get others to vote, be healthy and stop using chemicals, pick up trash, and everyday work for zero waste. Our world depends on how we each live our life and there are many people out there doing magnificent things.
“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, …courage, kindness. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. To live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” –Howard Zinn
World Vegetarian Day
Every year on October 1st, World Vegetarian Day kicks off a month of parties, potlucks, presentations, food tasting displays and lots of friendly discussions. For those new to vegetarianism, it serves as an enticement to give meatless fare a try (even for a day) and learn about its many benefits. And, of course, it’s the perfect occasion for vegetarians and those already moving towards plant-based diets to celebrate their healthy, compassionate food choices. Read the New York Times best vegetarian soups and stews here.
Eating vegan or vegetarian is awesome, but another thing is important also! Work to stop food waste!! Food waste is a terrible waste of water, labor and energy. Use up all those leftovers in soups, rice bowls, or wraps, How do use your leftovers??
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:
We need some good news, and thoughts of what is possible!
After a summer of hot weather, wildfires, and now hurricane season, some positive thinking energy is needed. This a collection of people, businesses and governments working to do good for our Earth. The following good news stories caught my eye:
I am going to start with two stories from France that were surprising.
A theme park has trained crows to pick up trash, especially cigarette butts. France also has a creative idea to put a tax on packaging that can’t be recycled. It would better if it was a tax on materials that don’t biodegrade, but any kind of tax is a great motivator, and a worthwhile education tool!
Also, in the European Union, the Greek Island of Tilos is going to be the first in the Mediterranean to power itself entirely with wind and solar. Read at renewable energy. And in Eastern Europe, Estonia is offering free public transport nationwide.
And good news in the United States, a non-profit in Durham North Carolina has started a program to use reusable containers for take-out. It is inspiring that Anchorage has banned plastic bags and Kroger stores say they are going to start phasing out single-use plastic bags. Like plastic bags, balloons cause litter and harm wildlife. Think twice before you use balloons, and read what is happening at balloons . Also, very good news, a judge has ruled that the Trump administration can’t change an Obama clean water rule
Good news from the Nature Conservancy: Inspiring stories of climate progress across the globe are a sign of what’s possible. http://bit.ly/2w6ozCt
“Too often leaders believe protecting nature … is at the expense of the economy or human well-being. I couldn’t disagree more strongly. We’ve made great progress quantifying what you can achieve by investing in nature.”
–Mark Tercek, CEO of The Nature Conservancy