Aug 1, Overshoot Day

August !, is Overshoot Day #movethedate

What is Overshoot Day? It is the day the people on earth start using more resources than the Earth can renew. In other words the last five months of the year we are living on borrowed time using more resources than the Earth can regenerate. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when we (all of humanity) have used more from nature than our planet can renew in the entire year. To stay even we would need 1.7 earths to live on.  All countries are not equal in the amount of the earth’s resources they use. The United States is not great, using the most resources. The USA  would need 5 Earths to supply their needs, Australia would need 4 Earths to meet their needs, China would need 3 Earths, and India and many other countries helps balance it out and only would need 7/10th of an Earth to meet their resource needs.  Read more here.

We use the resources of 1.7 Earths.
We use more resources and services than nature can regenerate.

What about the future? I wish it were easier to solve this problem.  We consume too much and waste even more.  Everyday we need to think how important clean water and clean air are to our survival. Start by cutting  food waste, use fewer chemicals, strive for zero waste and quality when we make purchases, and of course, drive less. If everyone does a small amount, it can add up to a lot!

The Global Footprint Network has listed the four following solution areas to address ecological overshoot:

  • Cities: If we reduce driving by 50 percent around the world and replace one-third of car miles with public transportation and the rest by walking and biking, we can #MoveTheDate of Overshoot Day back 12 days.
  • Energy: Reducing the carbon component of humanity’s Ecological Footprint by 50 percent would #MoveTheDate 93 days.
  • Food: If everyone in the world cut food waste in half, reduced the Footprint intensity of their diets, and consumed world-average calories, we would #MoveTheDate 38 days.
  • Population: If every other family in the world had one less child, we would move Overshoot Day 30 days by 2050.

What are you doing to reduce your global footprint? Today as I was grocery shopping, refilling my containers, striving for zero waste, and being plastic-free.  What good ideas do you have?

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Jump Into July Happiness

Yahoo, jump into July!  We are half-way through 2018, so enjoy July and find extra time to enjoy the outdoors. Action For Happiness has a new July calendar. Always add a daily outdoor activity for your happiness. Load the Action for Happiness July calendar here.

It’s July and, yes, many places on Earth are hot, but I hope you still can get outside for walks, bike rides, or just sitting and listening. Appreciate the Earth’s amazing diversity and beauty this July.   Will our hot temperatures create more climatarians, thinking about how our actions affect the earth as we consume, eat, drive around, travel and waste?   A climatarian is aware of their complete footprint on Earth.  Maybe in July, strive for #PlasticFreeJuly  #ChemicalFreeJuly or #nofoodwasteJuly.

July happiness is being kind to yourself and others, being kind to our earth, and spending time in nature.

A song/poem for July

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
If I had a day that I could give you
I’d give to you the day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
If I had a tale that I could tell you
I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I
If I had a tale that I could tell you
I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile
If I had a wish that I could wish for you
I’d make a wish for sunshine for all the while
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me smile. John Denver

https://health4earth.com/reduce-chemicals/

 

 

 

Break Free From Plastic

https://twitter.com/Greenpeace/status/981256135243063296/video/1

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.

Some co-ops and grocery stores have fabulous selections of soaps and oils to refill your bottles

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

Say “No” to plastic bags!

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??

Super Bowl of Recycling

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.

Cloth napkins are the best!

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!

You don’t need  plastic bottles!

Get out those real dishes, glasses and silverware for your Super Bowl party and have fun.

 

 

 

 

Love Food, Hate Waste

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)

What Do We Want?

I want a world that treats all people with respect and kindness.

Be Kind

Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention.”
Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart    

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.

Other ideas for kindness: https://health4earth.com/2017/12/01/kindness-spread-it-now/