Three Simple Things

What Can I Do?

If you breathe air or drink water, you should care about the health of our Earth.

We all know the Earth is suffering. What we fail to recognize is that a sick planet leads to unhealthy sick people and for long-term consequences for our children. 

We must hold business accountable for the plastic they produce, and they must be held accountable if they pollute our air and water. Our elected officials need to be held accountable to hold oil companies and plastic producers to rigorous standards. Most important, we also have to hold ourselves accountable for how we pollute our air and water. Holding ourselves personally responsible is what we can control!

Even little things can make a huge difference if we work together. On Earth Day recalibrate your life to do three simple things a week to lighten our Earth’s load:

Choose one day to eat meatless, choose one day to not drive, and choose one day to be plastic-free. On plastic-free day don’t purchase or use anything plastic, and don’t or eat or drink food from plastic containers.

Don’t eat or drink from plastic

Every Day do something kind, and please take three breaths for peace in Ukraine.

Peace For Ukraine!

This reading list is too long, but I hope you can read at least one of these excellent articles:

On Earth Day ‘the world is not on track’ | Opinion – Minnesota Reformer 

Opinion | Enough About Climate Change. Air Pollution Is Killing Us Now. – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

3 eye-opening, science-based New Year’s resolutions that could help everyone | PBS NewsHour 

U.S. Has Highest Percentage of People Who Aren’t Worried About Climate Change in Survey of 31 Countries – EcoWatch 

Report lists Mississippi as one of ‘most endangered’ U.S. rivers | MPR News

‘Breakthrough’ Study Finds Microplastics in Human Blood – EcoWatch   

And from my city: Kick single use plastics. In Minneapolis, less than half of plastics are recycled. Most plastics are made from oil and gas. About 4% to 8% of the world’s oil product is for plastics, and most plastics are thrown away after a single use. Plastics collect in our lakes and rivers and break down into micro and nanoplastics. One way to help is to bring your own bag to grocery and convenience stores.

Coca-Cola produces 200,000 new plastic bottles a minute and sells 112 billion plastic beverage bottles worldwide every year for a total of roughly 3 million metric tons of plastic packaging. The majority of Coca-Cola’s plastic bottles are not recycled and only 11.5% are made from recycled material. Many of Coca-Cola’s plastic bottles end up littered in the world’s rivers and ocean.

Honor Our Earth

Honor the Earth through the food we love!

Within a few weeks scientists will be out with new data on our warming planet and how this warming is affecting all of us. By news accounts, it will not be good news. The study is out: climate study

There is no planet B!

 Many have of us have experienced the storms, floods and fires of the past few years. These will only get worst if we don’t stop the warming of our planet and find an equilibrium of Earth stability. Everybody has a part to play, and if everyone does just a little, it adds up to a lot!

There is no planet B and we all need to do better so our future generations can have a livable planet.

This week I attended a virtual workshop honoring the Earth through food.  Two big changes we can make to our lives to honor the earth and help reduce climate warming are to eat meatless one or more days a week, and really get serious about reducing food waste. 

We all know ways we can eat healthier. Reducing beef and pork in your diet is a win- win for the planet and can also makes enormous changes to better your health. Changing your diet could add up to 13 years to your life, study says | CNN

Eating for Health® : Bauman College | Berkeley, California

Shopping in bulk will reduce plastic in your diet!

I think a good way to eat healthier and eat less meat is to reduce your plastic packaging! Microplastics Could Harm Humans by Acting as Toxin ‘Magnet,’ Study Finds – EcoWatch  

Wasting food is a waste of our time, water and lots of energy.  It is something we all need to work on harder. In the United States 30-40% of our food is wasted. We can do better.

These were excellent suggestions from my workshop to reduce food waste:

1. Prepare meals with waste in mind. Work new meals around leftovers like into wraps, soups or rice bowls. 2. Plan meals ahead  3. Be mindful of the food you waste. How can you do better? 4. Optimize storage and maximize shelf -life. Check out storage options at savethefood.org  5. Shop more often and with a list  6. Be mindful of the food we eat and love.

Save The Food

 https://www.ecowatch.com/how-to-store-produce.html

‘Love Letter to Food’ Video Shows How Much Food We Waste (nationswell.com)

Love Food Hate Waste – Dianne – Bing video 

Our Actions Matter

What kind of world do we want to live in?

I think most of us would agree we don’t want polluted air and water, or a world without interesting animals, birds, and butterflies. Can we accept a world where people are staving to death? Do we want to live without diversity, in a mono-culture where we can’t accept anything different from how we live? Do we want a world where disrespect is accepted?

Too much food is waste!
How can you use those leftovers?

Several recent studies and events should wake us up and shake us to action. First a study from the United Nations that says we are going to have a food crisis if we don’t change our land use. We just aren’t going to have food for everyone if we continue on our path of land use and wasting food. The study encourages a reduction in our meat consumption. The raising of meat, especially beef and lamb takes an enormous amount of energy, land, and water resources. It also states we must stop wasting so much food. Read the study comprised by over a hundred scientists here.

Microplastic in Lake Superior
Lake Superior

Second, how about some plastic in your drink? Plastic is everywhere, and it might never break down. The amount of plastic microfibers in our water and air is troubling. Read about it at Plastic. Read about the plastic in the big lake at Lake Superior.

Bald Eagle
Smart environmental policy brought back the bald eagle

Finally, the  quality of life will decline if we don’t have song birds and crickets singing, if we don’t have eagles, hummingbirds or happy chickadees to entertain us.  We all want a world with penguins, giraffes and elephants. Our changing climate makes it necessary that we protect and support animals that will take longer to adjust to this change. Protecting some animals might be as simple as keeping oil and gas companies from drilling in certain areas. Read at Endangered Species Act . The Trump administration intends to end special protections of some of our most cherished animals.

Food waste picture
Wasting food wastes water, energy and labor!

What actions matter? These are the things my household tries to do everyday. If everyone does a little, it adds up to a lot!   1. Reduce food waste. This is the hardest, but the most important!  https://savethefood.com/  2. Eat less meat, https://damndelicious.net/2014/12/02/15-best-quick-easy-meatless-recipes/  3. Reduce our plastic foot-print and work for zero waste 4. Buy less stuff, and purchase items that will last, not junk! 5. Be kind. It would be a boring world if everyone had blue eyes, blond hair, tiny noses, and a perfect weight. Be respectful of our differences.

Everyone can help
Thanks for making a difference!

If everyone does a little, it adds up to a lot! Our warming planet is real, and we need to find ways use our land more efficiently, and to slow down our warming planet. What do you think? What kind of world do you want to live in?

 

What Does a Climatarian Look Like?

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?

Bulk shopping reduces food and packaging waste. Refill your own containers

** 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!!

This symbol means a lot more than to recycle. A circular economy manufactures and purchases goods from recycled materials.

** 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.

And from EcoWatch, things you can do to avoid climate catastrophe. From the Washington Post things you can do for our Earth.

 

Think Meatless

World Vegetarian Day

Also remember to not waste food!

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??

http://www.savethefood.com

Have an Eco-Friendly 4th of July

How can you have a plastic-free, vegan holiday celebration? There are now many good vegan hot dogs available!  Eco Watch has four good suggestions for an eco-friendly Fourth of July.  They have ideas to be plastic-free, how to eat vegan/vegetarian, ways to create less pollution, and how to choose the correct sun screen. Read them here.  

To their list I would add composting of your food waste, and controlling your noise pollution!

Happy 4th, America the Beautiful

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

 

 

 

 

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?

Be Healthier in 2018

  • Buy less stuff: Reuse, reuse and reuse the things you have
  • Reduce food waste: http://www.savethefood.com/
  • 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

Four Powerful Things You Can Do

Individually we are a drop, together we are an ocean.

As 2017 rolls out and 2018 rolls in, remember to set some environmental goals for the new year. As people of this planet earth we all should be aware of our warming climate, and how we are causing it!  Yes, it is very cold in many places this new year, but it is the over all tend that our planet is warming, not just one or two events, that we need to worry about. Extreme weather events, warming and rising oceans, and drought should not be ignored. CNN has an easy list of things you can do. Read it here.

Climate Reality, https://www.climaterealityproject.org/   has a more serious and difficult list, things most of us just don’t want to do, but should seriously think about! This is their list:

The four most powerful things you can do to fight climate change:

  1. Eat a plant-based diet
  2. Fly less, or not at all
  3. Drive less, or not at all
  4. Have smaller families

 

Climatarian, A New Resolution!

Lentil Stew for Meatless Monday
Lentil Stew for Meatless Monday (lentils from Montana, carrots and onions grown in Minnesota)

My series on reducing waste continues, #31daysoflesswaste

What is a Climatarian?

A Climatarian diet involves choosing what you eat based on the carbon footprint of the food, and using your power as a consumer to drive down the production of beef and lamb which have the biggest impact on our climate.  A climatarian is about eating local food to reduce transportation and reducing food waste.

Climatarian defined in NYT’s top food words 2015: http://nyti.ms/1SZ0jFc see http://bit.ly/goclimatarian for more info

What on Earth is a climatarian?

http://www.climates.network/climatarian

https://health4earth.com/meatless-mondays/

My easy suggestions to become a Climatarian

  • Celebrate Meatless Monday, and a few other days also
  • Shop food co-ops and eat locally grown foods.  Even in December I can find foods  grown in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • Walk or take the bus shopping, and grow and preserve your own food
  • Eliminate beef and reduce cheese consumption
  • Compost all food waste