Everyday there is a new report about the world’s terrible problem with plastic pollution. How did we ever get to this point where plastic pollution is everywhere and so harmful? A world summit is needed to manage this problem. The plastic bottle manufacturers need to be held responsible, but all of us are to blame for the amount of plastic we purchase.
Everyone uses plastic and we are all to blame! Plastic is used and thrown away by the wealthiest and poorest people on our planet. It is almost impossible to avoid. I have been working on reducing my plastic for years and become better every week at eliminating and evaluating what I purchase. Twice a week I take by reusable bottles to food coops and refill with bulk items. I reuse plastic produce bags over and over and think “zero waste” as I shop.
Plastic manufacturers should never been allowed to make a plastic product that might last 500, maybe forever. Elected officials should have put some regulations on them. From Greenpeace: “So what needs to happen is that these changes must come from the top — multinational corporations like Coca-Cola and Nestle need to be held responsible and switch their single-use packaging to more sustainable options, but we also need to acknowledge our responsibility when we choose those products.” Tamara Adame
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) floating off the coast of California now measures 1.6 million square kilometers (about 1 million square miles), according to a startling new study. It is 16 times larger than previously thought, and growing! To put that into perspective, the clump of trash is about the size of three Frances, or twice the size of Texas.
What are you doing to reduce your plastic pollution??
Can the Super Bowl go zero waste? If they can, so can you! Minneapolis, location of Super Bowl 52, is an incredible place to go waste-free. We have recycle containers everywhere, and we have weekly home compost pick-up. Hennepin County and Minneapolis are committed to less landfill waste.
I think the NFL is sending an important message, “It is important to reduce our waste!” Yes, one big event is important, and we all need to educate ourselves and try to reduce our own waste. Read about the Super Bowl at zero waste.
Most communities don’t make it as easy as Minneapolis, but in tiny steps, we can all do better. Everyday I think about how I can generate less waste, and I know for a zero waste mentality to be successful, it must be EASY!
An easy way to reduce waste is to think REUSE. Before you throw something away, buy something new, or recycle something, ask yourself, “How can I reuse this?” I purchase products in glass jars that I will reuse, and I do reuse them. I believe in real dishes, real silverware, and cloth napkins. My reusable water bottles travel with me, something the NFL doesn’t allow at games! I reuse my plastic produce bags over and over, and take my reusable containers to fill with bulk items weekly. Hennepin County has a good list of how to start reusing, read it here. Remember to start easy, and you will get better, as you learn more ways to reduce and reuse.
I would start with cloth napkins as the easiest. As you get into the reuse mindset you will see many things you can do to reuse and reduce on your own. Good Luck!
Get out those real dishes, glasses and silverware for your Super Bowl party and have fun.
The challenge begins, how can we use our holiday left-over food? My full refrigerator is daunting, and I am determined not to waste any of it. The freezer is one of our best tools to save food, but also using left overs in a new creative way: wraps, rice bowls, tacos or enchiladas, soups and stir fry. Save The Food has ideas to reduce food waste: https://www.savethefood.com/
Tonight I am serving. “Make your own rice bowl!” choosing heated leftovers to put on a hot bowl of brown rice in the fashion of a salad bar.
Not only does wasting food, waste valuable resources and lots of water, but also food in our landfills decomposes creating and giving off methane gas which is a harmful air pollutant contributing to global warming.
From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills. (Source: EPA)
Eight more ways you can spread kindness. These are my ideas for a kinder week for us all: Friday, December 8, Celebrate Friday by smiling at people. Saturday, December 9, Bring your reusable bags shopping, and be kind to the earth. Sunday, December 10, Practice forgiveness. Monday December 11, Start the week right and donate to a local food shelf. Second Harvest Tuesday, December 12, Think of that person you have been meaning to call for a while, and dial them for a positive chat. Wednesday, December 13, Be kind to the earth and donate to Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) Thursday, December 14, Make it a zero landfill waste day: Recycle, compost, and reuse. Friday, December 15, Friday gratitude: Today think of the people you are thankful for in your life.
“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
• 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
I have just spent the morning in a seminar learning about the new organic compost program in Minneapolis. With an obsession for reducing trash I work on this daily, but just can’t see how to get to zero waste. We purchase in bulk using compostable paper bags, and refill every bottle with items that are available.
One woman, Bea Johnson, has been able to accomplish zero waste. What is the most amazing of all, she and her husband have two sons!
Here are Bea Johnson’s 10 easy steps to zero waste living:
Turn down freebies from conferences, fairs and parties. Every time you take one, you create a demand to make more. Do you really need another “free” pen?
Declutter your home, and donate to your local thrift shop. You’ll lighten your load and make precious resources available to those looking to buy secondhand.
Reduce your shopping trips and keep a shopping list. The less you bring home, the less waste you’ll have to deal with.
Swap disposables for reusables (start using handkerchiefs, refillable bottles, shopping totes, cloth napkins, rags, etc.). You might find that you don’t miss your paper towels, but rather enjoy the savings
Avoid grocery shopping waste: Bring reusable totes, cloth bags (for bulk aisles), and jars (for wet items like cheese and deli foods) to the store and farmers market.
Know your city’s recycling policies and locations—but think of recycling as a last resort. Have you refused, reduced or reused first? Question the need and life-cycle of your purchases. Shopping is voting.
Buy primarily in bulk or secondhand, but if you must buy new, choose glass, metal or cardboard.Avoid plastic: Much of it gets shipped across the world for recycling and often ends up in the landfill (or worse yet, the ocean).
Find a compost system that works for your home and get to know what it will digest (dryer lint, hair, and nails are all compostable).
Turn your home kitchen trash can into one large compost receptacle. The bigger the compost receptacle, the more likely you’ll be to use it freely.