We Did It!

Day 365 – I may have been the one to write the posts, but you were the ones to read them. Thank you for inspiring me to share something everyday. I have learned so much and I hope you have, too.

I never thought this blog would lead to bigger and better things. From the people that have told me that they have started doing many of the things mentioned in the blog, to the Recycle Popup that was created as a result of my new found love of diverting waste. I look forward to seeing what 2022 has in store.

I know I will continue educating myself and sharing what I know with others. It may not happen through my daily blog posts, but I plan on finding new ways to encourage and inspire others to help save the planet. I hope you will continue to find new ways to live a more sustainable life, as well.

New Year’s Resolutions that will Help the Planet

Day 364 – Last year when I decided to write a daily post involving the environment, I wasn’t sure if I would stick with it the entire year. I can’t even tell you how many New Year Resolutions have been abandoned over the years. Now this particular idea was more of a project than a resolution, but nonetheless, something I wanted to do the entire year. I’m pretty happy that by tomorrow, I can say that I was able to follow through with my goal.

So, in today’s post I thought I would encourage you to start your own project or New Year’s resolution. It doesn’t matter what you call it, just try your best to see it through until the end. And maybe it leads to the next year and the next, and so on and so on. Maybe you decide to do something to benefit the planet every month. It could maybe look like this:

  1. January – Start composting, at home or with a commercial composter.
  2. February – Make an effort to do a better job recycling. Keep recyclables out of the trash and keep trash out of the recycle bin.
  3. March – Replace your single-use plastics with reusables. For example, stop using plastic water bottles and start using a reusable water bottle.
  4. April – Replace those single-use plastic bags with reusables. Switch out the plastic shopping bags, produce bags and Ziploc bags, with reusable bags.
  5. May – Avoid extra food packaging by avoiding individually wrapped items. For example, instead of buying individual bags of chips, buy a large bag and use reusable containers to create individual portions.
  6. June – Start cutting out meat once a week, maybe even twice a week.
  7. July – Avoid packaging by using reusable containers. Our hand soap and laundry detergent use reusable containers.
  8. August – Start looking at labels and seek out companies that are doing good for the planet.
  9. September – Exchange your throwaways with reusables. Swap your paper napkins for cloth napkins. Swap your alkaline batteries with rechargeable batteries.
  10. October – Turn down the extras. Say no thank you to the small packets of condiments. So no thank you to the complimentary items you know you don’t need or will not use.
  11. November – Put a sweater on and turn down the heat a few degrees.
  12. December – Consider sustainable gift giving and reusable or recyclable gift wrap.

If implementing a change every monthly seems too easy and not much of a challenge, then consider doing something every two weeks or even once a week. The more you can do the better off the planet will be.

Tomorrow, a look back at the year.

Inspiring Today’s Youth to Help the Planet

Day 362“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

We are the ones, the ones with a few years of experience, that need to inspire the youth to take an interest in how they can make a difference in the world and help protect the planet. It is through our actions that they will learn and discover how they too can improve the current state of the planet. If there is no one to show them the way, they can easily become discouraged and convinced that what they do or don’t do for the environment does not matter.

I’m excited for the composting program to start at my children’s elementary school. This will be an amazing opportunity to teach children how food impacts the planet in various ways. Whether it is teaching them that the waste produced leads to methane emissions, a key component of global warming. Or showing them that wasting food takes away from those that really need it.

I also can’t wait to see what my high school daughters achieve at their school once their environmental club starts after the winter break. This club has so much potential to inspire a great deal of young people to take an active role in helping the planet. I know they will truly make a difference in their school and in their own communities.

Take a little time to find a way to encourage the young people in your life to take action and make a positive impact in their homes, schools and communities, to help the environment. The future looks bright knowing our children want to help.

Tomorrow, the best sustainability newsletters.

Making a Difference in Chicago

Day 361 – Chicago has its fair share of problems. Crime, unethical politicians and the current state of our sports teams, are just a few of the challenges that residents face. Thankfully, their are plenty of amazing and wonderful things happening in the city as well. In today’s post I wanted to share information on a few organizations that are making a positive influence on the people of Chicago and the planet as a whole.

Plant Chicago

“We equip people and businesses with the tools to live more sustainably through community-driven, hands-on programs and innovative research projects. We are now in the process of renovating an abandoned firehouse as a center for circular economy programming in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago.” – Plant Chicago

CCRX

Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange is a nonprofit organization committed to the creative reuse and redistribution of surplus materials for arts, non-profit, education in the Chicago-area.

Community Glue Workshop

Inspired the repair cafe movement in Amsterdam, Community Glue Workshop’s goals are to divert repairable items from the waste stream (or repurpose them if need be), encourage critical thinking, debunk the relentless myth that newer is better and foster community.” Community Glue Workshop

The Chicago Tool Library

The Chicago Tool Library opened in fall of 2019. Located on the southwest side of Chicago, in the Bridgeport neighborhood, our non-profit lending library houses over 2,500 items that range from basic hand tools and table saws to ice cream makers and camping equipment. We are a forward-thinking organization hoping to help our city reshape its relationship to ownership, consumption, and creativity.” – The Tool Library

Chicago Green Theater Alliance

The Chicago Green Theatre Alliance was founded in 2014 with a mission to encourage, educate, and motivate theatres and theatre professionals to work together to adopt more environmentally-friendly practices.” – Chicago Green Theater Alliance

The Chicago Green Theater routinely hosts events that help the environment. They host textile and e-waste recycling drives, along with helping the theater industry adopt more sustainable practices.

There are so many more people doing great things in your community. Make it point to seek them out and support them any way you can.

Tomorrow, inspiring the youth to make a difference.

Christmas Tree Recycling

Day 360 – If you’re not boxing or bagging up your Christmas tree at the end of the season to reuse next year, then you either don’t have one or you have a real tree. And if you have a real tree you should not throw it away. In the city of Chicago you can have your tree turned into mulch

By foregoing the landfill, your tree won’t be rotting away releasing greenhouse gas emissions or taking up landfill space; instead, the mulch it creates will be used to benefit plants and soil at local parks and forests.” – Recycle By City

Chicago’s Tree Recycling Program runs from January 8th through the 22nd at 26 parks across the City. 

A few things to know before dropping off your tree.

  1. Only live/natural trees without flocking are accepted.
  2. No garland or wreaths.
  3. All tinsel, ornaments, lights, and stands must be removed.
  4. Plastic bags used for transport should also be removed before putting trees in the stalls. 

Six locations will also provide free mulch on a first-come, first-served basis, starting January 12th: Lincoln Park, Margate Park, Mt. Greenwood Park, North Park Village, Warren Park, and the Forestry Site.

To see a complete list of all 26 participating parks, click HERE!

If you don’t live in Chicago and want to find your closest tree recycling location, click HERE! Type in Christmas trees and your zip code.

Start the new year off with a gift to the planet.

Tomorrow, Chicago organizations helping the planet.

Easy Tips to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

Day 359Redfish Recycling has come out with some easy tips to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Reduce

  • Buy only what you will use – If you have leftovers of something, especially paint or chemicals, pass it along to someone who can use it instead of throwing it away.
  • Purchase products packaged with less waste – Always chose easily recycled products over wasteful ones, buy larger containers that you can divide yourself rather than single serve that use excess packaging, and reconsider bottled water.
  • Remember your grocery bags – Instead of taking home bundles of plastic bags, consider bringing reusable bags to the store. Most stores also offer paper and plastic bag recycling bins.

Reuse

  • Choose durable goods over disposable ones – One higher quality razor creates much less waste than multiple disposables.
  • Donate before throwing away – When getting rid of unwanted possessions such as clothing, appliances, or equipment, donate them to an organization that can reuse them. Places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are happy to repair and redistribute these items.
  • Use washable dishware over paper and plastic – Most restaurants are willing to fill your reusable travel mug instead of a disposable cup.

Recycle

A lot of what you cannot reduce or reuse can be recycled – in fact, the EPA estimates that 75% of everything we throw away can be recycled!

You can recycle:

  • Paper and Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Cardboard Boxes
  • Glass
  • Mail
  • Books
  • Paperboard Food Boxes and Cartons
  • Plastic (#1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
  • Metal
  • Aluminum Cans
  • Tin Cans

Make 2022 a year of reducing, reusing and recycling!

Tomorrow, ways to recycle your tree.

B-Corporations: Best for the World

Day 358 – I have written about B-Corporations throughout the year. These are businesses that put people and planet before profits. They have made a commitment to better their communities, ensure their employees work under the best conditions and that their product does not harm the planet and may even benefit it.

Every year the B Lab recognizes the top-performing B Corps creating the greatest impact through their businesses. The Best of the World highlights community, customers, environment, governance and workers.

Click on each category for a complete list of winners.

Best for the World: Community

Best for the World: Customers

Best for the World: Environment

Best for the World: Governance

Best for the World: Workers

Help support these amazing companies around the world that are making a difference in the world.

Tomorrow, choosing reducing over recycling.

Last Minute Gift Idea for the Conservationist in Your Life

Day 357 – You might have someone on your Christmas list that is a bit difficult to shop for. So, waiting until the last minute to make that purchase is even more challenging. Well, I have an idea that just might make the perfect gift.

This gift is ideal for the following person:

  1. The individual who never wants anything for Christmas.
  2. The individual who is concerned about the current climate crisis.

Give the gift of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere this season. Climeworks offers a variety of gift options.

  1. Nordic Explorer Gift – removes 25 kg (55 pounds) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for $28.
  2. Lapland Discovery Gift – removes 45 kg (99 pounds) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for $51.
  3. Arctic Expedition Gift – removes 85 kg (187 pounds) of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for $96.

Just to give you an idea, a typical passenger vehicle emits about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. So, this gift will only make a very, very, very small dent, but nonetheless, it will help us move in the right direction.

Tomorrow, the Best for the world.

Next Generation Stormwater Solutions

Day 356 – Flooding is becoming a real problem throughout the United States and many other places around the world. Large amounts of rain combined with a great deal of impermeable surfaces have created a very dangerous situation.

A company named Aquipor wants to help solve this problem.

AquiPor is revolutionizing hard surface building materials, improving the way urban stormwater systems work and interact with the natural environment. Polluted runoff is destroying our waterways and diminishing water quality in cities throughout the world. Our advanced technology is designed to be as durable as normal concrete, yet permeable enough to handle up to 25 inches of water every hour.” – Aquipor

Aquipor is trying to gather support for their product. They are currently running a crowd funding campaign and looking for investors. If their product does what it says it does, then it has the potential to save a countless number of lives and prevent billions of dollars in damage as a result of flooding.

Tomorrow, last minute gift idea for the conservationist in your life.