Budget Cuts Waste Water

A dry river bed in the heart of Tehran. Water is more valuable in Iran than oil.

How much water do you use? We expect clean water when we turn on the faucet and forget that not everyone has lots of water. Not only Cape Town but three American cities could face severe water shortages soon.

Water is a valuable resource and the purpose of this post is for us to become aware of the amount of water we use. We are unaware where our water comes from and the chemicals with which we pollute it. Every time we turn on the tap we should think about the amount of water we use, and be thankful for clean drinkable water.
I am on a road trip through the southern part of the United States. Arkansas and Louisiana are dripping with water puddles overflowing streams, trees standing in water, wetness and mud everywhere. Oklahoma and Kansas are overcome with drought and wild fires. I realize some of this is normal for these areas, but not these extremes.

Budget cuts keep a running faucet from being fixed. Is there a volunteer to help?

Whether we live where it is wet or dry we should heighten our awareness of the amount of water we use. It is ridiculous to stay in a hotel where the water drips all night, and when informed they will usually write-up an order to try to get it fixed.
I was at Louisiana State University, and it was impossible to turn off the faucet in the restroom. When I reported the faucet to officials they said it had been like that for a while, “Budget cuts keep it from being fixed!” they told me. Could a volunteer near Alexandria, Louisiana fix that faucet? Constant running and wasting of water makes no sense!

With climate change many believe the wars of the future will be about water. Think about it, everyone making small changes and reducing the water they use can make a big difference!  Earth911 has good ideas to reduce water use, but should also add, fix those leaky faucets and toilets. Read here ways to reduce water use. https://earth911.com/home-garden/conserving-water-at-home/

Everyone making small changes, can make a big difference!

The Horrifying Impact of Plastic Pollution

This is the third blog this week I have done on plastic. If this doesn’t cause you to reduce plastic use, nothing will.  Plastic is harmful to wildlife, but it is also ending up in our food. Make reduction of plastic-use a daily habit.

Photo: Shutterstock

 

“The horrifying impact of plastic pollution on marine life is well documented.  Greenpeace found that plastic pollution in the ocean has negatively affected at least 267 species worldwide, including 86 percent of all sea turtle species, 44 percent of all seabird species and 43 percent of all marine mammal species. Large pieces of plastic floating in the ocean are easily mistaken for food by seabirds, whales, dolphins and turtles. When plastic is ingested by these animals, it blocks their digestive tracts and gets lodged in their windpipes, cutting off or filling their stomach, which results in malnutrition, starvation and death. It also causes fatalities due to infection, drowning and entanglement.” Earth911. Read the entire article here 

Simple ways to reduce your plastic pollution:

Bring you own bag
Bring you own bag
  1. Start simple and add one idea at a time
  2. Bring your own shopping bags
  3. Buy bulk and refill your own containers
  4. Don’t purchase bottled water
  5. Say “No” to straws, plastic spoons, forks, and knives
  6. Always choose glass containers over plastic!
  7. Never purchase Styrofoam (Be aware of meat and produce trays)

How can we be more sustainable?

wpid-wp-1417263708700.jpeg“Don’t buy me stuff that will wind up in a landfill. spend some time and make memories with me instead” Weatherman Paul Douglas

The shopping and entertaining season is upon us.  How can we be more sustainable in our purchases and lifestyle?

Our choices can help people Thrive!

A Startibune.com letter to editor today:

“The holidays can make us feel trapped by traditions that dictate what we buy, where we travel and who we see. For those looking for more freedom of choice this season, I recommend scrutinizing how you spend money and what cultures and policies those dollars ultimately support. Was this gift made in America? How does that store treat its workers? Is my credit card helping finance the Dakota Access pipeline? While such choices may appear innocuous, their aggregate impact can shutter businesses and victimize people both near and far. Or — if we think critically — our choices can help people thrive.

The election has passed, but we can vote with every dollar for the type of world we endorse and wish to promote.”  Robert Beets, Minneapolis

And ideas from Earth911 to make less trash http://earth911.com/living-well-being/zero-waste-how-to-make-less-trash/

https://www.givingtuesday.org/    13086949_1065267483539895_4417987934062182771_o

What can you do?

 
 

 

 

 

Say “No” to Plastic Bags!

Get in the habit of bringing your own bags shopping.
Get in the habit of bringing your own bags shopping.

I do the majority of my grocery shopping at food coops, but when I visit regular grocery stores I am appalled by the number of plastic bags leaving with purchases. I know most them aren’t recycled.  My city will put fees on some plastic bags in 2017, and I can’t wait!!  It will be a fabulous education tool for many people!!

Below is from Earth911.com, and contains some information I didn’t know, how the below businesses have reduced plastic bags. Please shop retailers that protect our earth.  I haven’t shopped at all these retailers so please let me know if this information is accurate???

From Earth911.com: “Did you know that studies have shown that about 12 million metric tons of plastic debris, including plastic bags, has accumulated in our oceans around the world? Due to this pollution, more than 100,000 marine animals die each year due to plastic entanglement! That is a startling number – and one that doesn’t show any signs of slowing its growth.”  Read the entire article here.

These are the retailers to patronize!

  1. Adidas
  2. Ikea
  3. COSCO, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
  4. Whole Foods
  5. Local Coops Earth 911 gives a shout out to New Pioneer in Iowa City. I shopped there while traveling this summer and recommend shopping there if you are in Iowa City or traveling along Interstate 80 through Iowa.

And more on plastic pollution here.

The plastic bag fee in Britain has reduced plastic bag use by something like 80%!

Reduce Consumption and Waste

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Earth Day Zero waste tips from http://earth911.com  Take a zero-waste pledge.

Challenge yourself to focus on the first of the 3 R’s and REDUCE your consumption
• To better visualize your efforts, use a glass jar or bowl to collect your waste for the day
• Use cloth produce bags for buying in bulk
• Visit a local farmer’s market for fresh produce, meats and cheeses.
• Bring lunch in a glass container or jar.
• Carry washable utensils and a cloth napkin in your lunch bag or purse.
• Take this day to de-junk your mailbox by removing yourself from mailing lists of unwanted promotions and catalogs. Earth 911

This is a good list, but to be really zero waste you need to compost food

Refilling a bottle of olive oil.
Refilling a bottle of olive oil.

scraps, and reuse and refill jars

Take a zero-waste pledge:

http://earth911.com/earth-day-pledge-2016/

The amazing Johnson family and zero waste: http://earth911.com/home-garden/7-steps-zero-waste-lifestyle/

Have a GREEN, red, white and blue!

Bee balm for July 4!
Bee balm for July 4!

Ways to make your 4th of July more Green!

From Hennepin County:

With a little planning, it’s easy to make your Fourth of July celebrations red, white, blue and GREEN. Follow these tips to make your Independence Day celebration a little more environmentally friendly:
• Recycle! Provide your 4th of July guests with recycling containers or ask your host for one. Print recycling labels for free at http://www.hennepin.us/eventrecycling.
• Use your own dishware instead of disposable paper or plastic plates and silverware. Although you may spend a few extra minutes at the sink, the extra effort goes a long way in reducing waste!
• Grocery shopping for the 4th? Remember to bring your own reusable shopping bag.
• Provide reusable food containers for guests to bring leftovers home, or encourage your guests to bring their own. You’ll have less to clean up and avoid food waste!
• Look for air quality updates and avoid having a bonfire during poor air quality days. MPC.com
• Traveling around town for the 4th? Bike or use public transportation instead of driving if possible.
• Buy 4th of July decorations that can be reused every year instead of decorations that can only be used once.

http://www.pca.state.mn.us/    http://www.hennepin.us/

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Three Simple Tips for Going Green

recycle

Buy less,  Consume Less and Recycle More! 

AND

Shop Smart      http://www.doitgreen.org/  

Shop local, shop green
Shop local, shop green

 

Below is from Earth911.com and has some good ideas. http://www.earth911.com/living-well-being/how-to-go-green-without-going-crazy/

 

“1. Starting slow means sustainability. We have all experienced the rush of starting something armed with good intentions and enthusiasm, followed swiftly by crushing disappointment when we realize we have dropped the ball. Again.

As with anything in life, the process of creating Eco-friendly change has a far greater chance of sticking it out for the long-term if you take baby steps. Rather than making sweeping changes all at once, tackle one thing at a time – if you run out of window cleaner, replace it with vinegar and water.

When you have gotten the hang of cloth diapering and are getting more than three hours of sleep in a night, then tackle a backyard compost. Allow each change to settle in and become routine before you attempt a new one. This is less dramatic, yes, but far more sustainable.

2. Not being able to do everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything. So you can’t afford to buy organic, and using a clothesline simply isn’t going to happen in your fifteenth-floor apartment. Not being able to do everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attempt to enact change where you can.

There are hundreds of tiny ways you can create a greener life, from using public transportation to shopping secondhand. Many cost nothing at all, and take very little time. Shift your focus from what you’re not doing, to celebrating the positive change that works for you – and ditch the guilt!

3. It’s not what you buy, it’s what you DO. It truly doesn’t matter if you have the latest trendy green gadget, or if your closet is full of fair-trade, up-cycled, gluten-free clothing. It’s fantastic that these options are there if you need them but the simplest and most effective way to create a positive environmental impact is simply by reducing your consumption, period. Buy less.

The effect of this change is twofold: It reduces the amount of stuff that you have to pay for, store, maintain and dispose of, but it also shifts the focus of your efforts away from outward displays of Eco-trendiness, and frees up your time and money to enact real change instead.

An Eco-friendly life doesn’t have to be – and I would argue, shouldn’t be – expensive, time-consuming, or filled with guilt.

Remember these three tips: Start slow and start small, focus on what you can do, and remember that being green will always be infinitely more than the contents of your shopping cart.”  from Earth911.com

Buy LESS   http://getlesstoday.com/      Video