Day 338 – Traditional farming takes can take up a great deal of space and require a lot of water. Sadly, our planet is running out of space and fresh water. To help alleviate the problem, companies are creating vertical farms. One such company is Plenty, located in San Francisco, California.
Vertical farms provide numerous advantages over traditional farming.
A perfect environment is offered, avoiding the unpredictability of changing climates.
No bleach or pesticides used on plants. No GMOs.
Crop yields are increased over 350x compared to traditional farming.
Hundreds of acres of farmland are compacted into the size of a big box retail store.
There is no denying that the planet is changing and that climates around the globe will begin to undergo major changes. Many have already started the transformation. Vertical gardens will be key in providing people with fresh produce.
Day 337 – Back on Day 240, I wrote about Looptworks. They take material destined for the landfill and create items for reuse. They have bags of every kind, aprons, clothes and face masks. I thought I would share even more suggestion for upcycled gifts.
Nowhere Collective – This gift guide lists numerous artists using recycled materials to create their upcycled items. Amazing one-of-a-kind gifts to give to friends and family.
Upcycle It Now – A mother-daughter company that has a three-pronged mission: give materials a second life, create useful and beautiful goods, and provide skilled jobs for their community.
Upcycled – Based in Missoula, Montana, this shop features arts and crafts from local Montana artisans.
Upcycle That – Not only do they sell upcycled items, but also give a wide range of ideas and tutorials for upcycling different materials and making unique items.
Etsy – There is a plethora of artists on Etsy selling their upcycled gifts.
Uncommon Goods – They are known for their unique gifts, but they also have numerous upcycled gifts, as well.
Day 335 – You may be already done with your holiday shopping. Or you haven’t even started. Whatever the case may be, it’s always a great idea to purchase gifts that will help people and the environment. Not only will you feel good giving special gifts to family and friends, but you can feel good that your gift will have a positive impact on the planet.
Here are 15 ideas from posts that I have written this year.
Day 333 – Kamikatsu, Japan is a beautiful mountain region that has a total population of 1,500. In 2003, Kamikatsu became the first in Japan to issue a “Zero Waste Declaration.” The idea is to prevent the waste from happening at it’s origin. Making changes to manufacturing, logistics, and consumption systems is key to reducing waste.
The town residents held many discussions and decided to have each household compost kitchen scraps and bring other wastes to the town’s waste station. Waste was initially separated into nine different categories, eventually increasing to 34 categories with the start of the Zero Waste Declaration and then 45 categories today. The recycling rate surpasses 80%.
“Kamikatsu Zero Waste Center embodies the principle of Zero Waste as an earth-friendly complex facility that adds the functions of education, research, and communication to a waste-sorting treatment plant, aiming to recreate community and develop the region.” – nakam.info
The Zero Waste Center not only collects 45 different categories for recycling or reuse, but it also has a hotel, a community hall, a laboratory, and a resell shop. It is truly the blueprint for sustainability. Every town needs a Zero Waste Center. It may not be located in a lush mountain region, but it will make an immense positive impact on the planet.
Tomorrow, a playground that helps flooding issues.
Day 332 – Over the year, I have mentioned a couple companies that make compostable straws and recyclable plasticware (made from recycled plastic). Well, I wanted to add one more company to the list of sustainable options when it comes to straws and cutlery.
The SeaStraw Company offers straws and cutlery that are made from renewable forestry and backyard compostable, or contribute to a circular economy through reusability. They offer paper straws, steel straws, silicone straws and cutlery made from Birch wood. They provide these sustainable options for at home use or for businesses.
The materials used are:
SF Certified Paper & FSC Certified from renewable forestry
Vegan wax and ink
Certified gluten free
BPA free – silicone and stainless steel straws
The folks at SeaStraw started the company because they believe that small actions add up and inspire wide-spread impact. Just starting with a sustainable straw, or spoon, or fork, can lead to bigger and better decisions that will help the planet.
Tomorrow, a zero waste center every needs in their neighborhood.
Day 328 – Most of us don’t give any thought about how long it takes for common items to decompose. We tend to toss things into the trash and never think about where it goes from there. Many everyday items are here to stay for a very long time.
Here are 20 items and the length of time it takes for them to decompose.
Plastic bags – It can take up to 1,000 years to decompose.
Cigarette butts – 10 years
Plastic straws – 200 years
Wet wipes – 100 years
Plastic 6 pack holders – 450 years
Tin cans – 50 years
Tires – 2,000 years
Nylon fishing net – 40 years
Plastic bottles – 450 years
Synthetic fibers – 100+ years
Aluminum cans – 80-100 years
Hairspray bottles – 200-500 years
Shoes – 25-40 years
Disposable diapers – 500 years
Lumber – 10-15 years
Batteries – 100 years
Ink Cartridges – 450-1,000 years
Glass – over a million years
Aluminum Foil – never
Styrofoam – never
We all need to think twice before we throw things away. We need to ask ourselves a few questions.
Can this be recycled? Items in bold print can be recycled.
Can this be reused?
Can I avoid using this item in the future?
We are running out of places to put our trash. We need to make changes now.
Day 327 – I’m sure we have all used them at some point. Sticky notes have been around since 1977. They are very convenient and that sticky adhesive allows them to be placed pretty much anywhere. I never gave much thought about the amount of paper wasted every day due to the use of sticky notes. Thankfully, MC Squares has come up with a solution.
They have created reusable sticky notes.
They can be reused 2,000 times.
MC Squares will replace any reusable sticky note that doesn’t last for 2 years.
They stick to shiny surfaces like magnets to metal.
Stickies are sustainably made with wind power in the USA.
Besides keeping 2 billion notes from going into the trash, MC Squares has also planted over 50,000 trees.
MC Squares also has a wide variety of other reusable products, like calendars, charts and notepads.
Reusables are a huge piece to the sustainable puzzle.
Day 325 – It’s World Fisheries Day! The first World Fisheries Day was celebrated on November 21, 2015. The day is dedicated to highlighting the critical importance of healthy ocean ecosystems and to ensure sustainable stocks of fisheries in the world.
So, today was the perfect day to write about the large amount of seafood that is wasted every year. It is estimated that every year, almost half the seafood supply in the United States is lost, amounting to nearly 500 million pounds of protein waste. Globally, we lose 110 billion pounds. Getting fish from the sea to the table takes many steps through the supply chain. With each step comes a great deal of waste. It is estimated that 17 to 22 percent of fish caught in the US are discarded before reaching port. On top of that, many fish spoil during transport. Even more goes to waste at the markets and once they reach households.
Thankfully, there are some companies trying to combat the waste. They’re making fish jerky, turning fish skin into wallets and coin purses, making bioplastics for fish packaging, and much more.
There are things you can do to reduce seafood waste:
Choose seafood caught or farmed via environmentally sound methods.
Don’t be afraid to purchase frozen seafood.
If possible, buy whole fish straight from the source.
Find uses for your leftover seafood.
“If current trends in overfishing and ocean pollution continue, scientists estimate that we’ll run out of seafood by 2050. Reducing global seafood loss will not only cut down on waste and reduce the amount of discards dumped back into the ocean, it’ll help combat overfishing and hopefully maintain a protein-rich supply of seafood to nourish a growing global population.” – Sierra Club
Tomorrow, the amount of waste one person creates in a year.
Day 323 – Happy World Toilet Day! I thought it was the perfect day to talk about keeping your toilet bowl clean in an environmentally friendly way. On Day 21, I wrote about Blueland and their line of cleaning products. The people friendly ingredients are packaged in compostable bags. When the tablets are added to water in reusable bottles, various cleaning products are produced.
I was very excited when I heard Blueland added toilet bowl tablets to their product line. One tablet and a toilet brush and you have yourself a clean bowl. The Toilet Cleaner Set comes with a tin and 14 tablets. Refill tablets come in a compostable bag, so absolutely no waste.
Another great way to celebrate World Toilet Day is to help build toilets in countries where they are not available. Who Gives a Crap donates 50% of their profits to ensure everyone has access to clean water and a toilet within our lifetime. They offer toilet paper made from 100% recycled paper or bamboo. It is packaged in brightly colored paper, so there is no plastic to discard. We have been using Who Gives a Crap since January and LOVE this company so much!
The next time you are in the bathroom think about the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. Poor sanitation contaminates drinking-water sources, rivers, beaches and food crops, spreading deadly diseases among the wider population. It’s a convenience we usually take for granted.