I need a boost of positive energy, and these stories are full of hope and energy. I hope these positive stories get your week started with gratitude and full of positive energy. Enjoy!
** McDonald’s has announced a new commitment to sustainability. The fast-food chain will launch recycling in all of its restaurants and by 2025, 100% of its packaging will be sustainable. I am assuming this means compostable or recyclable? Also Boston will ban plastic bags, and Iceland and Denmark are doing research to create biodegradable plastic bottles.
Drive less: Walk, bike, ride share, Carpool, combine errands, and take public transport.
Protect butterflies and bees: Add more pollinator friendly plants to your yard or balcony, and eliminate your use of pesticides, and all chemicals in your home. Your family, your pets, birds and butterflies will be much healthier.
Reduce or eliminate beef from your diet. Producing beef uses lots of energy! Go meatless and fishless several days a week!
Reduce all plastic use, and recycle, recycle and recycle everything you can. Always work for zero waste.
Become a climatarian: Always consider the earth when you make decisions
Walk: Everyday get outside to enjoy nature.
Finally, work to elect leaders that believe in climate change, clean air and clean water, and support clean renewable energy solutions
Ways to be a better environmental steward from Ecowatch
From Earth911 ways to be more sustainable. Read at Earth911
We now have plastic in our water and in the fish we eat. Do we really want to put plastic fibers into our bodies every time we eat and drink?
I have three simple thoughts about litter and recycling today: First, countries that have less plastic have less litter. Second and third, if everyone would recycle more, and change the plastic bag habit, it would make a big difference on our planet.
Here is an interesting plastic comparison for you. This is based on observation during the past month while I have been travelling through Central Asia and Iran. Central Asia uses very little plastic except for black plastic bags for purchases and plastic bottles for soda. Iran by contrast uses lots of plastic. Beside plastic bottles, restaurant food, hotel towels, and many things that don’t need to be, are wrapped in plastic. Plastic cups and straws are used in Iran, but I saw none in Central Asia. Where would you guess there is a terrible litter problem? The contrast was enormous. I brought Iranian plastic home to recycle.
Governments clearly need to become aware of the problem, and businesses like Coca Cola need to take more responsibility for the plastic they produce.
While I was thinking about this I came across an excellent essay by ECOwatch with great suggestions for everyone (see below) But keep it simple and by recycling and reducing plastic bags you can make a big difference on our earth!
Complain to retailers. Pressure retailers to do away with over-packaging.
Support plastic bag bans, polystyrene foam bans and bottle recycling bills.
Use natural clothing fiber rather than synthetic clothing, as synthetic cloth releases plastic fiber in every wash cycle.
Choose to reuse. Neither plastic shopping bags nor plastic water bottles can be easily recycled.
Deposit return schemes are highly effective ways to reduce plastic bottle waste. In Germany, where a bottle-return program is in place, nearly 98 percent of plastic bottles are returned.
Recycle. If you must use plastic, try to choose #1 (PETE) or #2 (HDPE), which are the most commonly recycled plastics.
Avoid plastic bags and polystyrene foam as both typically have very low recycling rates.
Seek out alternatives to the plastic items that you rely on.
Pressure politicians. Governments should be funding research into microplastics and regulating and incentivizing changes in plastic production and consumption.
This shouldn’t surprise me, but I am upset to read about the plastic trash in the Arctic Ocean. Plastic trash is now so ubiquitous that researchers have found hundreds of tons of it floating in the Arctic Ocean. Read the whole story here.
Why shouldn’t I be surprised by this? The “local control” advocates, in the Minnesota legislature are trying to derail Minneapolis’ plastic bag ban from happening later this year. I have just returned from a road trip to Washington, D.C. and I found only a few places to recycle along the way, most on college campuses. I could go on and on about what I see throughout the world in regards to plastic trash. A sad story about a whale collecting all this plastic . Our earth has a massive problem!
Where are the companies that manufacture and make a profit on this plastic and Styrofoam when it comes to clean-up?
The oceans belong to all of us. No one has the right to pollute and trash the ocean or the rivers or lakes.
What can you do? Have plastic-free shopping trips by bringing your own containers, and never purchase products on Styrofoam trays. 2. Encourage your community to put up and maintain recycling containers. 3. Pick up trash on your walks. 4. Recycle everything you can. 5. Always bring your reusable bags shopping.
Last, a remote Pacific island has become a reservoir for the waste of the world as it piles onto this pristine island.
I am craving good news, and am constantly looking for good news stories. Please send me good news stories you have. Solar power dominates the good news, but wind energy and Ashley Biden are heroes also.
2. China doubled their solar power in 2016. They now have more solar power than any other nation. Read about it here.
3. Ashley Biden, daughter of Vice President Joe Biden, Has her own made in the USA clothing line and donates the profits!
4. Another fun story at Texas A&M. Texas A&M’s bike lane glows due to a solar luminescent paint. It soaks up the sun’s rays during the day and emits light when it gets dark. The lane is also the nation’s first to receive the Federal Highway Administration’s approval for the green coating it used.
5. Wind energy breaks a record. On February 12, a wind power record was broken for the Southwest Power Pool, states from Montana to Louisiana. Over 52% of the electricity for fourteen states was generated by wind power. The entire story: wind power
Please send me other stories of things that are making the world a better place. Thank you.
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.
“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:
Start simple and add one idea at a time
Bring your own shopping bags
Buy bulk and refill your own containers
Don’t purchase bottled water
Say “No” to straws, plastic spoons, forks, and knives
Always choose glass containers over plastic!
Never purchase Styrofoam (Be aware of meat and produce trays)
As Wisconsin and the world have probably just experienced one of the warmest years on record, Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, is deleting climate change from existence, or trying anyway. Sorry governor, climate change is not going away!
I have a cabin in Wisconsin, and can rattle off the climate changes I have seen in just the last few years: First I have lived through three very dangerous storms. All three were 100-year events with flooding and loss of many trees. Second, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan, lakes surrounding Wisconsin, are warming at a pace never seen before. Third, good winter snow is a thing of the past. Either it doesn’t snow, or after it snows, it rains or warms up making winter sports icy and dangerous. We experience long droughts, then too much rain at one time. And finally, the night temperatures are rising; it doesn’t get as cold on winter or summer nights. Where I sit in Wisconsin the climate is changing!
The governor must feel the need for some attention, or maybe he is applying for a position in the Trump administration? What is the purpose, to waste taxpayer money?
As a taxpayer in Wisconsin I do not appreciate such a waste of time and resources. Can this be good for the Wisconsin economy? I know people who refuse to spend any money in Wisconsin. They drive through refusing to stop or spend a dollar. Why would businesses want to locate in such a backwards place?