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.

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.

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.

Solving the Microplastic Problem with Waves

Day 355 – Microplastics are becoming a very big problem in our waterways. They have been detected in our rivers, streams, oceans and every other body of water. It would be difficult to find a place where microplastics are not present.

Microplastics are released into the environment as cosmetics, clothing, industrial processes, and plastic products like packaging, break down naturally.” – Good News Network

Dr. Dhany Arifianto from the Institute Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember in Surabaya, Indonesia, created a filtration prototype using acoustic waves. The waves are able to create a force that is able to separate the microplastics from the water. The prototyped device cleaned 150 liters of polluted water per hour and was tested filtering three different microplastics.

The next step in studying these waves is to determine their impact on marine life. Being able to rid the waterways of microplastics without negatively affecting wildlife will be very crucial in the success of the acoustic waves.

Tomorrow, stormwater solutions.

Palm Oil: To Boycott or Not To Boycott

Day 354 – There’s a lot to consider when deciding to use products with palm oil.

The negative aspects of palm oil:

  1. Logging for large palm plantations causes deforestation and biodiversity loss in the tropics.
  2. The palm oil industry demands cheap labor and inflicts human rights violations on its workers.

It’s hard to avoid palm oil. It’s in a lot of our everyday products. Processed palm oil is a common ingredient in cosmetics, shampoos and soaps, toothpaste, deodorant, and laundry detergent. It’s also a common ingredient in processed, packaged foods ranging from candy bars and potato chips to bread and instant noodles. 

So is boycotting palm oil a good decision?

According to the Sumatran Orangutan Society, a boycott unequivocally would not help workers, forests, or orangutans. On the contrary, it could have unintended consequences, like increased demand for soybean or sunflower oils that require five to 10 times more land. Or it could depress palm oil prices, encouraging its use in biofuels and livestock feed — products whose ingredients receive less scrutiny from consumers. In addition, about 4.5 million Indonesians and Malaysians currently earn a living from palm oil production. We know the industry is in need of fundamental change: The status quo fuels child labor, worker exploitation, and sexual abuse. Yet a wholesale boycott that could deprive workers of a primary source of income without recourse.” – Earth911

The best we can do is read labels carefully and do a little research as to where the palm oil we are using is coming from. Knowledge is truly power.

Tomorrow, the solution to removing microplastics from the ocean.

Tips for a Sustainable Christmas

Day 348 – Christmas is right around the corner. So, I thought I would share a few suggestions on how you can make your holiday a little more eco-friendly.

  1. Reduce Packaging – Consider using reusable bags, boxes and cloth wraps to give your gifts. If you do use wrapping paper, use paper that can be recycled or composted.
  2. Reduce Single Use Plastic – Christmas is the perfect occasion to bring out the good dishes. Avoid using disposable plates and utensils.
  3. Use LED Christmas Lights – As the old strands of lights start to go out, replace them with energy efficient LED lights.
  4. Reduce Food Waste – Plan accordingly and make sure you are not making too much food. If there is food left over, make sure to send some goody bags home with your guests. Try to avoid throwing food away.
  5. Buy Local – If you’re still looking for that perfect gift, try to buy local. Not only are you supporting small business, but you are also cutting back on your carbon emissions.

The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. It’s also the perfect time to show your family and friends how much you care about them and the planet.

Tomorrow, non-leather belts.

Toolkits to Help You Live a More Sustainable Life

Day 347Sustainable America has created a series of useful toolkits to help people live a more eco-friendly life.

GUIDE TO WASTING LESS AND BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE HOME

The guide covers the following:

  1. Sustainable Steps for the Whole Home
  2. Kitchen & Dining Room
  3. Living Room, Family Room and Den
  4. Laundry Room
  5. Bedroom
  6. Bathroom
  7. Home Office & Workspace
  8. Garage, Basement and Outdoors

A TOOLKIT FOR STRENGTHENING YOUR LOCAL FOOD SYSTEM

The guide covers the following:

  1. Supporting Your Local System
  2. Building Your Own System
  3. Investing in Greater Change

A NEW TOOLKIT FOR COMMUNITY CHANGE

The guide covers the following:

  1. Food
  2. Environment
  3. Fuel

TOOLS FOR REDUCING IDLING

Whether you want to educate drivers in your neighborhood or launch your own idling reduction campaign, Sustainable America has a range of resources and toolkits designed specifically for you.

There are so many resources available to us. Many are just a click away. Living a more sustainable life does not have to be a lonely experience. You have plenty of help.

Tomorrow, tips for a more sustainable Christmas.

Keeping Up With the Joneses Does Not Help the Planet

Day 346Merriam-Webster defines keeping up with the Joneses as, to show that one is as good as other people by getting what they have and doing what they do.

We are all familiar with the phrase and most of us, at some point, have been guilty of doing it. It’s not always easy to avoid and more times than not we might not even know we’re taking part.

If we are always trying to keep up with what other people have and what they are doing, we will find ourselves purchasing things we don’t need and maybe even participating in things we would rather not. In the end it is a great deal of waste.

By taking on a more simplistic way of living, we can avoid the competition and the unnecessary purchases and accumulation of stuff.

A minimalist lifestyle is the process of identifying what is essential in your life and having the courage to eliminate the rest. When you remove the unnecessary, you free up your time and capacity to focus on the things that truly matter in your life. Less is more.

Minimalism does not mean you have to get rid of all your belongings or never purchase new things. It does mean that you will take time to consider if the stuff in your life makes you happy and has a purpose. It means you’ll take the time to consider if the items you’re purchasing are necessary, quality made and maybe, go a step farther, and ask how it impacts the planet.

For all we know the Joneses are broke and not very happy. So, there’s really no reason to want to be like them. We don’t need the extra stress and the planet doesn’t need all that extra stuff.

Tomorrow, interactive initiatives that will help you live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Green Apps Helping You Live an Eco-friendly Life

Day 344 – I tried writing this post a few times and ending up changing topics, because I couldn’t find a good number of helpful environmentally friendly apps. So, when I saw the post by Earth911, 10 Green Apps To Help You Live More Sustainably, I knew that this would be a good time to share the information. With a new year closely approaching, these apps can help your resolutions to being more eco-friendly, become a reality.

Here are five from the list:

  1. iRecycle – iRecycle is Earth911.com in your pocket, the premiere application for finding local convenient recycling opportunities when you are on the go or at home. iRecycle provides access to more than 1,600,000 ways to recycle over 350 materials in the United States. Our daily sustainable living articles, podcasts, and recycling how-to guides are available any time you need information.
  2. Too Good to Go – Join millions of food waste warriors by downloading Too Good To Go – the world’s number 1 app for fighting food waste. Pick up delicious meals and ingredients from local stores. Each year, 40% all edible food in the US is thrown away. At Too Good To Go we want to put an end to food waste by creating a world where food produced is food consumed.
  3. GreenChoice – We rate food products and curate the best options for you & the planet.
  4. ShareWaste – We connect people who wish to recycle their food scraps and other organics with their neighbors who are already composting, worm-farming or keep farm animals. Now you can divert organic material from landfill while getting to know the people around you!
  5. PaperKarma – PaperKarma provides the largest directory in the US for opting out of junk mail, including: Catalogs, Charity Donation Requests, Credit Card & Insurance Offers, Direct Marketers, Local Mailers, National Mailers, and Previous Resident /Occupants’ Junk Mail.

Making a positive impact on the planet is just an app away.

Tomorrow, plastic roads.