Recent Good News

This is my occasional series on good news stories, I hope you learn something about the world and communities working together.

** Students of America stand up to their elected officials and the NRA. “We have the right to go to school without fearing for our lives!” Read at future leaders

** Across the Atlantic Ocean some awesome things are happening in regards to eliminating plastic. First, Queen Elizabeth declares war on single-use plastic at the palace and eating establishments that are part of the Monarchy. Also, a British supermarket eliminates plastic

** The marvelous country of Taiwan has set up a plan to eliminate single-use

Hotel in Taiwan

plastic from their country.  Read here

** A group is planning to plant over a billion trees in Trump’s Forest to counteract the negative environmental damage being done in the United States. Read at Trump Forest

** Below is from https://www.ecowatch.com/  about the positive things that have happened in renewable energy during 2017

  • The cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70 percent since 2010 in the U.S.
  • With no fuel cost and lower operating and maintenance costs, solar and especially wind are outcompeting even the most efficient new gas plants in states like Texas.
  • Renewable energy is creating jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy in the U.S.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, solar installer is the fastest-growing occupation in the U.S., with wind technician coming in at a close second.

Other good news stories: https://health4earth.com/2018/01/29/our-world-is-moving-in-the-right-direction/

 

Massive Threats to Our Oceans

Minnehaha Creek drains into the Mississippi River which runs to the Gulf of Mexico

I’ve pledged to reduce single-use plastic in my life, Refuse plastic straws & cutlery, use refillable water bottles, coffee cups, & bring my own bag to the store. Together we can do this! Join me & take the challenge  Mick Jagger

Why would you ever purchase bottled water? It contains plastic fibers. Read here

Two thirds of our earth is covered by ocean, and our oceans are paying a price for our behavior on land.

The Mississippi River water shed drains much of the United States.

This afternoon I walked over the Minnehaha Creek, and saw plastic bags stuck in the ice. I live 1,500 miles from an ocean, but this creek, a few blocks from my house, drains into the Mississippi River which runs into the Gulf of Mexico over a thousand miles away.  When the ice melts, this plastic will probably take a long journey down the Mississippi River and end up in our oceans.What we do to the land, we do to our water.  Most ocean pollution starts out on land and is carried by wind and rain to the sea. Plastic from the land ends up in the ocean and plastic is so durable that the EPA reports “every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” Even the pristine Arctic Ocean is being inundated with plastic. Read at Arctic. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zy5c-BZUjHQ  See this video how Norway recycles plastic.

The second threat to oceans is our warming planet. Oceans in 2017 were warmer than they have ever been.  Most of the heat from our warming planet is absorbed by the oceans. More than 90 percent of the Earth’s heat related to global warming is absorbed by the ocean.  Read at ocean heat.

What are the consequences of warming oceans?  Warmer oceans could bring storms, rain droughts and winds like we have never seen.  The hurricanes in Houston and Puerto Rico are just examples of what could come. The warming ocean melts the glaciers faster causing sea rise.   Cities and countries will be under water if this trend continues, and many people will become refugees having to move inland causing refugee crisis to get worse and worse. Unfortunately, this is only going to continue with extreme drought in some places and too much water in others!

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42947155

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/ocean_plastics/

Ten Days of Love

Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.” Francis Moore Lappe

Love our earth

What better week than Valentine’s week to show love for our earth. Take the 10 for 10 challenge. Can you score a perfect 10 by completing these initiatives? Maybe you already do these things? Take a breath, slow down and think how you can positively make a difference. It’s easy, and I hope you learn something. Let me know how you do. Good luck!

Day 1 Go meatless, extra points if you also go vegan!

Day 2 Go plastic-free, no straws, plastic utensils, water bottles or containers, unless of course they are reusable.

Day 3, Reuse Day. Bring your lunch in a reusable containers, and remember your

Bring your own water bottle

reusable water bottle.

Day 4, Leave your car parked day. Walk, bike, car-pool or use public transit.

Day 5, Take a walk day. Enjoy the outside as you walk, listen for birds, the wind, water? What nature sounds do you hear?

White-throated sparrow

Day 6, Water-Use Day. Become aware every time you use water. Is there a way you can reduce your water use?

Day 7, Cut Food-waste Day, Clean out left-overs and produce. Make a soup, a stir fry or wraps with your left-overs.

Day 8, Chemical-Free Day. Use vinegar and baking soda for cleaning, and shop for organic produce. Read about chemicals and air pollution here.

Day 9, Reusable-cup day. Bring your re-usable cup to the coffee shop, to meetings, and to work.

Day 10, Gratitude. Be thankful for our beautiful planet. What was the best thing about the past week? Could you complete 10 for 10?

Super Bowl of Recycling

Can the Super Bowl go zero waste? If they can, so can you!  Minneapolis, location of Super Bowl 52, is an incredible place to go waste-free. We have recycle containers everywhere, and we have weekly home compost pick-up.  Hennepin County and Minneapolis are committed to less landfill waste.

I think the NFL is sending an important message, “It is important to reduce our waste!” Yes, one big event is important, and we all need to educate ourselves and try to reduce our own waste. Read about the Super Bowl at zero waste.

Most communities don’t make it as easy as Minneapolis, but in tiny steps, we can all do better.  Everyday I think about how I can generate less waste, and I know for a zero waste mentality to be successful, it must be EASY!

An easy way to reduce waste is to think REUSE. Before you throw something away, buy something new, or recycle something, ask yourself, “How can I reuse this?” I purchase products in glass jars that I will reuse, and I do reuse them.  I believe in real dishes, real silverware, and cloth napkins. My reusable water bottles travel with me, something the NFL doesn’t allow at games!  I reuse my plastic produce bags over and over, and take my reusable containers to fill with bulk items weekly. Hennepin County has a good list of how to start reusing, read it here.  Remember to start easy, and you will get better, as you learn more ways to reduce and reuse.

Cloth napkins are the best!

I would start with cloth napkins as the easiest. As you get into the reuse mindset you will see many things you can do to reuse and reduce on your own. Good Luck!

You don’t need  plastic bottles!

Get out those real dishes, glasses and silverware for your Super Bowl party and have fun.

 

 

 

 

Entertaining? Three Easy Ways to Cut Landfill Waste

Dr Seuss
Dr Seuss

My series, 31 days of less waste continues. Three easy ways to cut landfill waste this week:
** Always use real plates, cups, glasses and silverware.

If you lack enough real dishes

Use real dishes
Use real dishes

for your party or dinner, borrow from a friend or relative. The quality of your party improves 100% even if everything doesn’t match. It will still make your event special. Using paper/plastic plates and glasses creates lots of landfill waste.

 

** A very wasteful trend has developed. Often the only water served at parties is water in small plastic bottles. Serve municipal water in real glasses. A great way to cut waste and save money is to drink water from public water systems. Run tap water through a Brita or other water filter and you have water better than bottled water. Water filters can be recycled at Terracycle.com

No need for plastic bottles!
No need for plastic bottles!

** Get in the habit of using reusable table napkins. Make your own napkins from remnant pieces

Cloth napkins are the best!
Cloth napkins are the best!

or purchase napkins from reuse stores. Use your imagination, wash cloths or bandanas also make good napkins. They don’t need to match, I like a contrasting colors look.

 

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. (EPA)