Happy December! Being kind is so easy, and December should be a month of kindness. The Actions for Happiness Calendar is below. Earth kindness is also so important.
During December plastic waste and food waste increases. This December see how you can apply the some of the twelve Rs to reduce your plastic waste footprint. Start by banning all glitter from your home and always bringing your reusable shopping bags.
If plastic were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Plastic is stuffed with harmful chemicals, and even though we are told it is recyclable this report shows how plastic recycling is NOT working!
“More plastic is being produced, and an even smaller percentage of it is being recycled,” says Lisa Ramsden, senior plastic campaigner for Greenpeace USA. “The crisis just gets worse and worse, and without drastic change will continue to worsen as the industry plans to triple plastic production by 2050.”
Coca Cola produces 3 million tons of plastic packaging a year – equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute. That needs to change.
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.
September is a month of change. Many are going back to school, the weather is changing, days are shorter, and the monarch butterflies and hummingbirds in my yard are refueling for migration. May you take a lesson from the monarch butterflies to be energetic, happy and kind. What can we all do in our little piece of this vast planet to make the world and others happier and more kind?
Monarch butterflies bring joy
We all want our children to be safe, happy and kind. We want them to live in a healthy safe world. Some of this is hard to control, but we expect them to be safe while outside playing, walking to school, taking the bus, in their schools, and in in all aspects of their lives.
Have you thought of the unhealthy plastic children come in contact with daily? Plastic is loaded with unhealthy chemicals, and there are things you can do to reduce plastic exposure. Manufacturers use chemicals to make plastic soft and other chemicals to make it hard. We shouldn’t expose children to unhealthy materials especially when we have no idea what the long-term effects will be on them.
If you have children I would make an effort to reduce their plastic exposure.
Below are some ideas to reduce back to school plastic exposure. I am not recommending you go out and purchase new items, but hoping this list will give you ideas to reduce your plastic consumption, and reuse items you have within your household to keep children safe.
Lunchtime is a common culprit for plastic pollution in a student’s school day. If your student brings their lunch to school, there are many ways to keep the plastic out. Replace the typical plastic zip-top bag, plastic wrap, with aluminum foil, stainless steel food containers, or paper or cloth bags
2. Cotton and wool lunch bags
Once you’ve eliminated plastic from the inside of your student’s lunchbox, it’s time to tackle the lunchbox itself. Washable lunch sacks are a good option, and they are widely available at most secondhand shops. Look for plastic-free options such as old-school aluminum lunch boxes, or a lunch bag made from natural materials like this cotton and wool one from Life Without Plastic.
3. Plastic-free school supply essentials
Many back-to-school supply lists are unfortunately filled with plastic items (which, even worse, are often sold wrapped in plastic packaging). Shop for an excellent selection of plastic-free back-to-school essentials like notebooks, pencils, markers, papers, planners. Look for options that have less plastic!
4. Stainless steel water bottle
Studies show that there is 50% more microplastic in (plastic) bottled water than tap water. And plastic bottles—like all plastics—contain chemicals that harm human health. In addition to being healthy, plastic-free, stainless steel reusable water bottles are long-lasting, economical, and easy to use and clean.
Finally, have a new school year filled with happiness, kindness, and lots of new learning and ideas.
“One out of six children in the United States suffer from a neurodevelopmental disability, and there is strong evidence that links chemical exposures to neurodevelopmental delays.”
Many of the world’s plastic containers and bottles are contaminated with toxic PFAS, and new data suggests that it’s probably leaching into food, drinks, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products and other items at potentially high levels.
The first list of chemicals in plastic is Phthalate, the esters of phthalic acid. The main use of phthalate is as plasticizers, to increase flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. Factories made phthalate by reacting phthalic anhydride with alcohols.
The accumulation of plastic in our bodies can be dangerous, especially for our children.
Plastic is everywhere and new and current research is showing it is not a healthy product for us to be using. Not only are our bodies contaminated by plastic microfibers, but also toxic chemicals such as forever chemicals (PFAS) and Phthalates. These chemicals accumulate and builds up in our bodies over time, which causes me to worry about the future of our children. See my ideas for reducing plastic at the bottom of this post.
The first list of chemicals in plastic is Phthalate, the esters of phthalic acid. The main use of phthalate is as plasticizers, to increase flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. Factories made phthalate by reacting phthalic anhydride with alcohols. What Is Plastic Made Of? (reference.com)
Be healthier and avoid the chemicals contained in plastic!
Plastic Free July is about creating awareness about our plastic problem and to encourage individuals to move to a plastic-free lifestyle. Working together we can make a difference to reduce our plastic use and create a world free of plastic pollution.
Other than being light weight, plastic is not a good product. It is made of fossil fuels, and the production of plastic creates air pollution. It pollutes our waterways and land. Plastic also contains toxic chemicals which can poison our food and health. https://azchemistry.com/list-of-chemicals-in-plastic
Plastic reduction is not easy, start small with one thing to eliminate. I have 4 ideas for your #plasticfreeJuly: Start your #plasticfree month by deciding to bring your own bags and decide “no plastic bags” or use a reusable water bottle and choose not to purchase bottled water or soda. Or decide every bit of plastic you purchase must be recyclable (a lot is not), and then make sure it is recycled. Maybe, bare purchase your produce or meat without plastic. You know what plastic you use. Look at the plastic waste you create, what can you eliminate? Good Luck!
I challenge you to a July without plastic bags or plastic bottles.
States and Countries are changing the discussion on plastic:
Landmark legislation in California will reduce single-use plastic by 25% over the next ten years. The ambitious law requires at least 30% of plastic items sold or bought in California are recyclable by 2028 and economic responsibility falls to producers. It’s the first state in the US to approve such sweeping restrictions. Guardian
Working together, if everyone does a small part it can add up to a big whole.
May is an exciting month. The days are getting longer, and after a cold spring the changes in nature will be enormous and fast. I hope you can get outside every day and enjoy the beauty of the plants, birds, and butterflies of our planet.
Early blooming native plants. Enjoy!
If you breathe, you should care about clean air. The wild fires have begun, and people are driving their cars, using lawn mowers, blowers and spreading chemicals. All these things contribute to dirty air.
How can we make May meaningful? You can choose to do some of these things to help create clean air for all of us.
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:
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 sells112 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.
Do we really want to ingest plastic microbeads every time we eat and drink?
Currently I am participating in a community plastic challenge working to reduce the plastic we send to landfills. I’m challenging myself to think of new ways I can reduce plastic in my home and for my family. It is impossible to eliminate all plastic, but we can be healthier by reducing plastic’s impact in our homes and lives.
These are the things I am working on to reduce plastic in my home:
1. Purchase fresh unpackaged produce. Always travel with reusable bags and reusable bottles and containers.
2. Store leftovers in glass containers and jars.
3. Never purchase take-out unless their containers are reusable or compostable.
4. Only cook in glass or metal pans
5. Purchase glass containers over plastic containers. Good examples are mustard, honey, and vinegar.
6. Make a conscious effort to purchase clothes, towels and sheets made of organic cotton and wool, and keeping our surroundings dusted and vacuumed will eliminate some of the microplastics we breathe.
What are the facts we know about plastic?
-Plastic production pollutes our water and air
-Plastic microfibers have been found in the food we eat.
-Micro fibers of plastic are in the clothes we wear and therefore in the air we breathe.
-Plastic is the most common litter found in the oceans.
-Studies are just beginning on how harmful plastic is to our health.
Using glass containers gives me confidence we are reducing our plastic contamination