“The environment is where we all meet; where we have a mutual interest; it is the one thing we share.” Lady Bird Johnson
One presidential candidate has promised that he will eliminate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if he wins, which means we can kiss the best, most important parts of the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act goodbye, along with almost every other federal clean air and water safeguard.
And if you want even more evidence that this candidates extremism will mean havoc for our nation and our planet, look no further than his stance on the climate crisis: he has called it a hoax created “by and for the Chinese.” Read the entire article here.
I like these resolutions from the Sierra Club Sierraclub.org to start the new year and thought they had a unique twist. We can all do better and there are some good ideas here to get you started.
1. Keep the TV off.
2. Make dinner tonight. Why waste the gas and money to go out for dinner, when you can make a nice, hot meal right at home? Go with local, organic ingredients to step it up a notch. Not only will you be saving money, and help out the local economy, you’ll have leftovers for later.
3. Take a shorter shower.
4. Clean out your closet. It’s time to clean out all those clothes you never wear and put them to good use. Donate them to your local Salvation Army or upcycle them into something new. You’ll feel better for having cleared out some of the clutter, believe us.
5. Drop that paper towel. Sure it’s easy to just grab that roll of paper towels when there’s a spill or you need a napkin, but a regular kitchen towel does the same trick and reduces waste. It’s a hard habit to break. Just reducing use makes a difference and always use recycled paper towels.
6. Cut back on driving.
7. Sponsor a wild animal. Check out World Wildlife Fund WWF.org I just wish they would reduce all their mailings.
8. Recycle, recycle, recycle. Everyone can do better on this one!
9. Turn down your thermostats. This will help lower your energy usage, and your bills. And yes, that was plural. We’re not just talking about your heater and AC units, think about your refrigerator settings as well.
10. Protect clean air. A fresh, new year requires fresh air. You can help ensure by educating yourself and pledging to take a stand against toxins caused by coal mining. Visit the Beyond Coal website and sign the petition, donate funds, or volunteer time to fight for clean air throughout the year.
11. Make a compost bin. In general, it’s best to cut down on food waste when you can. If you have a yard, look into setting up your own composting. If you’re living in a smaller space, there are a couple different options to keeping your waste to a minimum. Try out some of these simple compost ideas.
12. Invest in rechargeable batteries. It may sound like an odd resolution, but think about the number of times you replaced batteries last year. We go through them quicker than we’d like to think, and much of the time they don’t get disposed of properly.
13. Switch to reusable bags. New year, new mottos! And we say that plastic is out and reusable is in. One of the easiest ways to help reduce plastic waste is to ditch plastic bags when shopping. You can purchase reusable bags or make your own. Either way, make a mental note to always keep one handy, either in your purse, briefcase, or glove compartment.
14. Donate blood.
15. Clean up your neighborhood. For today, start by taking a walk around the neighborhood and seeing how much trash you wind up with after a couple blocks. You’ll be surprised by what you find. It might inspire you to do more, whether you form your own clean up crew or join an outing near you.
We need your help—for the well-being of all species and especially for your family, friends and community. On September 21, WWF, in partnership with hundreds of other organizations, is participating in the People’s Climate March in New York City. And we need you to be there with us.
The march will kick off a week of climate action in New York and set the tone for world leaders as they head into a United Nations summit on the climate crisis two days later.
Together, we can cultivate a world in which people and nature thrive together. A world with an economy that works for people and the planet. A world safe from the ravages of climate change. A world with clean air and water. A world with healthy communities.
To change everything, we need everyone. Join us by marching in New York City or taking action on that same day from your home town.
How can you reduce your use of microbeads? By purchasing products at my local food
coop and refilling my bottles and containers, I have hoped I wasn’t adding microbeads to our waterways. Below from the Sierra Club is the best information I have seen on microbeads. Read to find out which products NOT to purchase, and how to get rid of them if you have any of the listed items!
Below is from the Sierra Club
HOW TO HANDLE MICROBEADS
BY BOB SHILDGEN
First let’s review. “Microbeads” are tiny beads of plastic less than a millimeter thick that are often added to cosmetics as exfoliants and cleansing agents. Even some toothpastes contain them. It may sound like a strange use of plastic, but cosmetic companies apparently found that microbeads were cheaper than non-synthetic alternatives. The beads themselves (also called “mermaid’s tears”) are made of polyethylene or polystyrene. They are not toxic, but can pass through filters in water treatment plants and enter the water system. There, researchers warn, they can bind to toxic substances such as DDT, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, and polychlorinated biphenyls. Creatures in the water ingest these now poisonous little pellets, endangering themselves and the food chain. Yeah, I know, it’s weird to think that by washing your face or brushing your teeth you might beget a mutant fish—or mermaid—smack in the middle of Lake Erie, but such are the risks of progress through chemistry.
So–the safest way to get rid of the stuff is to leave it in its container, tighten the lid, and send it to the landfill with your regular garbage where it’s quite unlikely to escape into the environment. But NEVER, ever, not ever, pour it down a drain or flush it down the toilet, because that’s exactly how it spreads into the watershed.
By the way, to find out if a product contains these deadly beads, check the label for “polyethylene,” “PE,” “polystyrene,” or PS. The organization, “Beat the Microbead” has a list of products known to contain the beads.
Some good news: The fight against these beady polluters is already having some success. Illinois has banned the manufacture and sale of products containing microbeads, and bans have been proposed in several other states. There is also a growing movement to ban the beads in Europe. The cosmetics industry itself is in damage-control mode as some major companies have agreed to replace the microbeads with safer materials. This is a hopeful sign, because, as we’ve noted before, the last thing we need is still more plastic in our rivers, lakes, and oceans. —Bob Schildgen