Madagascar Needs Our Help

Day 308 – I am a big fan of World New Tonight with David Muir. I tune in everyday to watch. If I’m busy the DVR is ready to record the episode for later viewing. My family doesn’t quite understand why I watch. They believe it’s all bad news. Sadly, they are right. There is not too much good news being shared. Thankfully, the last segment is always a feel good story. Getting through all the negative news to hear the good news is well worth it.

At the beginning of the week David Muir shared a story about Madagascar. Unfortunately, this was not the last story of the show. It was not the feel good story, but just the opposite. The current conditions being experienced on the island of Madagascar are extremely dangerous and it is threatening the people, the wildlife and the land.

Southern Madagascar is experiencing its worst drought in 40 years, making the land here too arid to farm and leading to crop failure. For the past four years, the severe lack of rain has led to depleted food sources and dried-up rivers. Climate change has also led to sandstorms affecting these lands, covering formerly arable land and rendering it infertile. The situation has led to widespread malnutrition affecting more than 1 million people, and pockets of what the United Nations classifies “catastrophic” food insecurity signaling deepening hunger.” – World News Tonight

So, why should we care about Madagascar?

Madagascar is one of the world’s highest priority countries for biodiversity conservation due to its exceptional species richness, high number of unique plant and animal species; and the magnitude of threats facing these ecologically, culturally, and economically valuable resources. There are more unique species of plants and animals living in Madagascar than on the entire African continent and more than eighty percent of its species can be found nowhere else on Earth. Because of this exceptional uniqueness of species, the loss of one hectare of forest in this country can have a larger effect on global biodiversity than forest loss anywhere else on Earth, making Madagascar arguably the highest biodiversity priority on the planet.” – USAID

Madagascar has produced 0.01 percent of the world’s annual carbon emissions in the last eight decades, but it is suffering some of the worst effects. The people of Madagascar are suffering due to the carelessness of so many other countries. If their story doesn’t convince the world that we need to start reversing the effects of climate change now, then we are destined to experience the same conditions.

Click here to help families in Madagascar.

Your donation will go a long way.

  • $7 provides a month of school meals for a child in need
  • $15 provides a month’s worth of lifesaving nutrition to small-scale farmers
  • $25 provides 50 mothers with nutritious meals$50 provides a child with a year of school meals
  • $75 feeds a family of 5 for one month, providing staples like rice, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, flour, beans, and lentils
  • $1,000 can feed a family of 5 for one year.

Tomorrow, a farm in a major league baseball park.

What does a Circular Economy look like?

Day 172 – On Day 96, I wrote about the circular economy. However, I believe this topic deserves more attention. So, I’m writing again about the importance of a circular economy and what needs to be done to achieve one.

Sadly, 62% of consumers say that they are unfamiliar with the term “circular economy”. To better understand a circular economy, we need to understand a linear economy. In the linear economy, resources are extracted and turned into products that are disposed of at the end of their useful life. Many think that a circular economy is the same thing as recycling. Though, recycling is important, a circular economy involves so much more.

“The circular economy promotes the use of as many biodegradable materials as possible in the manufacture of products -biological nutrients- so they can get back to nature without causing environmental damage at the end of their useful life. When it is not possible to use eco-friendly materials -technical nutrients: electronics, hardware, batteries… – the aim is to facilitate a simple uncoupling to give them a new life by reintroducing them into the production cycle and compose a new piece. When this is not possible, it will be recycled in a respectful way with the environment.” – ActiveSustainability.com

In order for a circular economy to work, we need companies in critical sectors to improve their processes to make an impact.

  1. The Built Environment: Provide green renovation and the upgrade of buildings; improve building material recycling infrastructure.
  2. Plastics: Provide innovative alternatives and recycled packaging; improve the collection, sorting and recycling infrastructure.
  3. Fashion: Create rental and resale business models for clothing; improve the collection, sorting, and recycling infrastructure.
  4. Food: Support farmer transition to regenerative agriculture; support food surplus and by-production collection and redistribution.

Consumers will also need to take action to support a circular economy.

  1. Buy less. Don’t just buy less stuff, buy less electricity; less house; fewer, smaller cars. Take only what you need.
  2. Buy better. When you shop, buy the best quality you can afford or buy secondhand. Prioritize quality over quantity.
  3. Use what you buy more. It’s not about how long something sits in your closet or garage before you pass it on. It’s about making full use of the resources you consume. Wear out your clothes, repair household items and refresh instead of replacing dated décor. And when you can’t get any more use out of an item, recycle it whenever possible.

Shifting to the circular economy would change the trajectory of our climate crisis and growing economic instability. Now is the moment to invest in a circular economy model. If everyone embraces this opportunity, the next generations will be able to enjoy the economic, environmental and societal benefits of sustainable living.

Tomorrow, reasons why we should be protecting the rainforests.