This week, please become conscious of buying less and using less plastic. Get outside and notice the beauty of spring. I saw my first butterflies, and the migrating birds are on their way! Happy Earth Day!
Tag: Buy less
Celebrating Our Beautiful Earth
What are you looking forward to this April?
Every Day is Earth Day!
April is earth month. Do one thing each day to make the world a cleaner kinder place. Sign up here to do an Earth Month Challenge: Earth Month Ecochallenge 2023: Sustainable Development Goals – Home Page
Here are some other ideas:
My Earth month suggestions and the things I do most days are to purchase less junk, reduce my plastic use, pick up litter, and work hard to end food waste.
How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint – A Year of Living Better Guides – The New York Times (nytimes.com) Drive less, reduce meat consumption, don’t waste food, and be a wise consumer.
Five things we learned from the new climate report Five things we’ve learned from UN climate report – BBC News
This month calendar has lots of ideas to be healthy and active. Add picking up litter and being kind to your daily activities.
Letter to the Startribune editorial page: While it is exciting that spring is coming, now is the also the time we see all the trash that has been snow-covered during our long winter. In this state of 10,000 lakes and many beautiful rivers, too much of this trash will end up polluting our waters if not cleaned up. I urge all reading this to do your part, and encourage others, too, to pick up as much trash as you are willing and able. If you are a homeowner, perhaps you can start with the trash in the street in front of your house. Perhaps carry a bag while walking and pick some up while exercising. Anything is a start and appreciated. Dave Councilman, St. Louis Park
What are you looking forward to this April? Enjoy, and make it worthwhile!
There are Things You Can Do Everyday
We can all make a difference!
As our planet continues to warm, we are facing many consequences. California is facing incredible rains, Europe has unheard of winter warmth, and where I live, we have smelly bad air warnings. We cannot throw up our hands and claim there is nothing we can do. Every activity we participate in affects our warming planet. Can we buy less, drive less, eat less meat and use less plastic? Little things make a big difference.
10 Things You Can Do to Help Save the Earth – EcoWatch
2022 Extreme Weather Disasters in the US Cost $165 Billion, NOAA Says – NBC New York
2022 was the world’s fifth-warmest year on record (msn.com)
If you can, stay off the road two days a week or more. You’ll reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,590 pounds (721 kilograms) per year [source: EPA]. It’s easier than you think. You can combine your errands — hit the school, grocery store and dog daycare in one trip. And talk to your boss about teleworking. It’s a boon for you and your company. But being car conscious also means maintaining your car on a regular basis. You can improve your gas mileage by 0.6 percent to 3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, and be sure to make necessary repairs if your car fails emission [source: EPA].
Give Up Plastics
The statistics are shocking: People around the world buy 1 million plastic drinking bottles every minute, and use up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags every year. Humans are addicted to plastic, and hardly any of it — about 9 percent — gets recycled. A staggering 8 million tons (7.25 metric tons) ends up in the ocean every year. Break the cycle. Stop buying bottled water. Say no to plastic shopping bags and use cloth bags instead. Don’t use plastic straws. Drink from a reuseable cup instead of a plastic one. Avoiding plastic can divert a ton of waste from the oceans and landfill.
Clean air and clean water are better for all of us. Buy less and drive less.
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.
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)
July should be one of the best times of the year. Make a choice to have outdoor time, listen to the birds and look for butterflies. Turn off phones and your TV and make a choice to enjoy your environment.
Enjoy the beauty of July!
Make a choice to be kind and work to be resilient. Make a choice for clean air by buying and driving less, and you will be doing something good for the earth. Make a choice to use less plastic and eat healthier. Wise choices will help you be happier. The Actions for Happiness group have lots of good choices for a happier July. Good luck!
Chin up, chin up
Put a little laughter in your eyes
Brave it, save it
Even though you’re feeling otherwise
Rise up, wise up
Make a little smile begin
You’ll be happy hearted
Once you get it started
Up with your chinny chin chin!
~ E.B. White
March for Ukraine
Buy less, waste less and use less energy!
Two bad things are happening in the world. Europe is at war in Ukraine, and a new UN report says climate change is going to cause many future problems. UN climate report: ‘Atlas of human suffering’ worse, bigger – StarTribune.com
We know the drill to help ward off climate problems, drive less, use less plastic, eat less meat, and reduce food waste. Buy less, waste less, and use less energy!
Every day I take three breaths for peace to help Ukraine. Here is a list of organizations to support and help Ukraine: See below and Donate to the fund of the National Bank of Ukraine – Official website of Ukraine
I was in Ukraine in 2013. The people were very kind, helping us get around, take public transportation, and order food. My husband and I loved the beautiful country and kind people!
Yes, we are under stress worrying about Ukraine and climate change. Below is the mindful calendar for March to help maintain our mental health.
Medical supplies from the United States and Europe because Ukrainian suppliers ran out of gear and medical supplies. For more information go to razomforukraine.org.
United Help Ukraine is providing lifesaving first-aid kits to the front lines. The organization also helps the families of those wounded or killed in war and gives support to displaced people from Crimea and eastern Ukraine. For more information go to unitedhelpukraine.org.
Sunflower of Peace is raising funds for first-aid medical backpacks for paramedics and doctors on the front lines. Each backpack has the ability to save up to 10 lives, according to the organization. For more information go to facebook.com/sunflowerofpeace.
Ukrainian Red Cross Society: Volunteers and staff provide first aid in areas where medical access is limited. Funds will be used to support those in need, blood collection, mobilization of volunteers and resources and emergency activities. For more information go to redcross.org.ua/en.
Help for children: UNICEF is ensuring Ukrainian children have access to safe water, nutrition, health care, education and protection during the invasion. For more information go to www.unicef.org/ukraine/en.
Voices of Children provides psychological and psychosocial support for children caught in the middle of the armed conflict. For more information go to voices.org.ua/en/.
Journalism: The Kyiv Independent, a Ukrainian-English news site, provides up-to-date information of Russia’s invasion. Its fundraising site can be found on GoFundMe.
3 Sustainable Choices
A new year, new habits!
“Small acts when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world!” Greenpeace
The new year has arrived, and we all have the best intentions to have a fresh beginning. With all the uncertainty and discord around us, focusing on something bigger than ourselves helps to rise above all the confusion. Choose to do things that are fun and make you feel better about your place in society.
New goals and new ideas help stimulate new interests and are good for our mental health. First of all, don’t worry about being perfect, just do something different. No one is perfect, but if everyone does something it adds up to big things for us and our community.
Millions of people around the world have been harmed by storms and our warming world during the past year. With all the harm humans have done to our planet the last hundreds of years, our warming Earth is struggling to find some equilibrium, and we can all lessen our negative impact. By reducing our consumption of the Earth’s resources, we can help our corner of the world and make a big difference. My ideas are to help you think of ways you can make a positive difference and hopefully have fun!
Every day my household works on three big things to reduce our consumption of the Earth’s resources:
Reduce meat consumption
1. Cutting meat consumption and always celebrating meatless Mondays. There are so many meatless options in the frozen food section of grocery stores it can be easy and fun. The hard part is finding meatless options without increasing plastic pollution. Here are some ideas to get you started. Vegan Recipes To Help You Eat Less Meat : Life Kit : NPR
Quick & Easy Vegetarian Recipes | EatingWell
Vegan Recipes To Help You Eat Less Meat : Life Kit : NPR
How is plastic in our food affecting our health?
2. Reducing plastic is paramount. Plastic creates waste and litter, it contributes to climate change, pollutes our water and is harmful to wildlife. It is concerning how plastic affects our health and what it’s impacts might be for us. We have a lot to learn about how plastic is harming our health. Please reduce your consumption of plastic. Start by using reusable bags, cups and bottles, and then you will slowly learn new ways to reduce plastic in your environment. So much plastic can’t be recycled, but if you must purchase items in plastic, make sure it can be recycled.
Irritable bowel syndrome linked to more microplastics in gut (nypost.com)
30 to 40% of food in the USA is wasted!
3. Reduce Food waste. Food waste is a total waste of water, labor, time and energy. First start with your shopping, don’t buy more than you can use. Buying in bulk is a good way to regulate how much you purchase (bulk can reduce plastic waste also). Second, staying on top of what items are in your refrigerator/freezer is extremely important. Maybe have an “eat first shelf.” I keep a container in my refrigerator to accumulate celery tops and other vegetable scraps for weekly soup making or stir fry. Finally, turning leftovers into a new meal is one of the best things about cooking. Make it fun and challenging! Wraps and rice bowls are winners!
How to Reduce Food Waste | Sierra Club
Below are many ways you can help our planet and also your soul:
Opinion | 10 New Year’s Resolutions That Are Good for the Soul – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
7 Ways to Make 2022 More Sustainable – Plastic Free Home – Environmental and Zero Waste Blog (theplasticfreehome.com)
13 sustainable choices for your green life | Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (state.mn.us)
3 eye-opening, science-based New Year’s resolutions that could help everyone | PBS NewsHour
“We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place–or not to bother” Jane Goodall
Our actions and daily choices speak to the world we want to create. This holiday, we can choose to make friendly choices for our planet. Instead of buying new decorations use what you have and follow these simple steps to make your decorations, gifts, and gatherings more sustainable: Seven tips for an earth-friendly holiday season (worldwildlife.org)
Look at the materials gifts are made from and keep sustainability in mind. Use paper products made from recycled materials and avoid single-use plastics that can’t be recycled. Buying secondhand items like vintage clothes, furniture, and refurbished technology is another great way to gift more sustainably.
Look for cards and wrapping paper made from recycled materials. Avoid foil-backed cards or those with **glitter—which aren’t recyclable.
Glitter is a microplastic!
** Reasons to avoid glitter:
A few facts about glitter will surprise you!
- Glitter is made of a microplastic known as Mylar, which is hurting ocean life
- This plastic accounts for 92.4% of the 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean
- Marine life is mistaking glitter for food, which is damaging their livers
- Every tiny sparkly bit takes thousands of years to break down
Seven tips for an earth-friendly holiday season (worldwildlife.org)
5 Changes to Make Your Holiday Celebrations More Sustainable (thespruce.com)
3 Major UK Retailers Are Banning Glitter This Christmas Over Environmental Concerns – EcoWatch
Reuse on America Recycles Day
November 15, is America Recycles Day. After so many years I am still surprised how hard it is to recycle in the United States. In my travels across America I can go weeks without seeing a recycle bin. In Europe often recycling is front and center, not perfect but it is seems a priority.
I have been surprised to learn this doesn’t always mean the product is recyclable????
Unfortunately it is still very hard to recycle plastic correctly in America. Paper/cardboard, glass and metal cans work well, but plastic, please read on.
Plastic recycling is very challenging. There is very little regulation of plastic in the United States. Plastic producers claim recycling is the answer to their products, but they don’t want any responsibility to pay for recycling or disposal of their products. They often they say their plastic is recyclable, when in fact it might be just one per cent recyclable or not at all.
Why is plastic recycling so hard? First there are those recycle 1-7 numbers. For something to be recycled it first needs to be collected, and then sorted into those numbers. Next, it needs a market, or someone to buy it. All this makes plastic recycling expensive for communities (tax payers) and it is labor intensive.
I am fortunate to live in a county (Hennepin) that makes this a priority, and I can’t express my gratitude to them enough!
Both Maine and Oregon have passed legislation to hold producers responsible for recycling and disposing of their products. This is a beginning and it is hopeful that more regulation of plastic could happen. As consumers we also have responsibility, when we purchase plastic we reinforce the idea that this is OK, and more of it is produced. The plastic chemical companies are gearing up to produce more plastic for the future, lets work to hold them accountable! Talk to your elected officials about how plastic producers should be held responsible for what happens to long lived plastics after disposal. Manufacturers also need more integrity in labeling what is in their plastic products.
On America Recycles Day recycle more of your paper/cardboard, glass and tin cans, and recycle plastic bottles and containers, but also begin to REDUCE your PLASTIC consumption. Always bring your reusable cups/bottles, and bags for a start.
Big new goals on America Recycles Day https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/581578-epa-issues-national-recyling-plan-with-goal-of-50-percent-recycling
Make it a plastic-free day!
Buying in bulk and refilling your bottles is the next step in reducing plastic.
Reading and watching list:
Maine Will Make Companies Pay for Recycling. Here’s How It Works. – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
John Oliver Takes on the Plastics Industry – EcoWatch
California Just Passed 5 Mega Laws to Fight the Plastic Crisis – EcoWatch
Plastics recycling is 90 percent garbage, John Oliver says, but that’s not your fault and there is a fix (yahoo.com)
Watch Story of the Bottle! – Greenpeace
Virginia Governor Takes Action on Single-Use Plastics – EcoWatchBreak Free From Plastic Pollution Act Receives National Support – Center for Biological Diversity
May March sunshine on your shoulders make you happy!
Happy March! Be kind to the Earth, be kind to yourself, and be kind to others! The Actions for Happiness calendar ( below) has many good suggestions to be more mindful and spread kindness.
March brings me joy. The longer days and the hope of spring are motivators to get outside and notice the changes, even if it is just melting snow. Everyday the outdoor world is waiting to be explored, your own neighborhood is perfect. Even 5 minutes of mindful observation will lighten your mood. Breathe, smell the earth, let the sun, rain and snow tickle your face, touch the wind, talk to the trees, hear the sunrise/night fall, smile and be kind.
This March pay attention to how you can reduce your carbon footprint: Can you reduce idling your car or drive less? Can you eat less meat and waste less food? How can you reduce the waste and plastic you generate? Can you buy less things and be a smarter consumer? Just doing a little bit can make a positive difference. Thank you and good luck!
Embrace Winter challenge: Go bird-watching or stargazing – StarTribune.com
Making ourselves worthy of our vaccine – StarTribune.com
UN Releases Scientific Blueprint to Address Climate Emergencies – EcoWatch
Sounds of Silence: The Extinction Crisis Is Taking Away the Earth’s Music – EcoWatch
Enjoy many good suggestions below to have a Mindful March: