Too Much Seafood Going to Waste

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:

  1. Choose seafood caught or farmed via environmentally sound methods.
  2. Don’t be afraid to purchase frozen seafood. 
  3. If possible, buy whole fish straight from the source.  
  4. 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.

100% Recyclable is a Fantasy

Day 209 – Unicorns, fairies and 100% recyclable can all be categorized as fantasy. Major companies are labeling their plastic bottles as 100% recyclable which then allows the consumer to drink without guilt, knowing once empty, their bottle will be successfully recycled.

Sadly, that is not the case. In an article in The Magazine of the Sierra Club, Edward Humes writes about, how big beverage companies are leading us to believe that we are being environmentally friendly be choosing their beverages packaged in “100% recyclable” plastic. The truth is they are more likely to end up in rivers, oceans, roadsides, landfills, and incinerators than inside any sort of recycled product.

“On June 16, 2021, federal lawsuits were filed by the Sierra Club and a group of California consumers against major bottled water manufacturers Coca-Cola, Niagara, and BlueTriton (a subsidiary of global giant Nestlé). The suits allege that these companies’ labeling and marketing claims about the full recyclability of their beverage bottles are not just a little off, but blatantly false and a violation of consumer and environmental protection laws. They accuse the three global beverage titans of unfair business practices, false advertising, consumer fraud, and violations of state environmental marketing claims laws and Federal Trade Commission regulations.” – Edward Humes

Here is the problem with the 100% recyclable claim:

  1. The US recycling system is currently unable to recycle even a quarter of those supposed 100% recyclable bottles.
  2. The US lacks the capacity to recycle more than 12% of the bottle caps.
  3. The portion that does get recycled is never “100% recyclable”—about 28% is lost to processing or contamination and ends up in landfills.  

The article goes on to say, “FTC Green Guide regulations state that a company can claim that a plastic bottle is recyclable only if recycling facilities for that type of plastic are available to at least 60 percent of the consumers or communities where the product is sold. Under 60 percent, and all recycling claims have to be qualified on the label—such as saying, for example, “This product is recyclable only in the few communities that have appropriate recycling facilities.”

So, a company claiming to have a 100% recyclable product, but is only recycling 25% of that product is lying to the public. These false claims also make it very difficult for the consumer to make good decisions when purchasing products.

The brands specifically called out in the suits for allegedly deceptive recycling labels include Dasani, Arrowhead, Poland Springs, Ozarka, and Deer Park (in both lawsuits), and Niagara, Costco Kirkland, Save Mart Sunny Select, and Save Mart Market Essentials.

The law suit hopes to stop the false claims of these bottled water companies. One can only hope that these manufacturers start to take responsibility for their products and begin to offer something that is more inline with a circular economy. We can not continue to dispose of billions and billions of plastic bottles every year, with the idea that they are being recycled. They are not! Until manufactures take responsibility, the consumer needs to make decisions that will benefit the planet. Less plastic bottles is the only answer.

Tomorrow, disposable cups can be a thing of the past.

Sunscreen: Protecting you and the planet

Day 147 – When I thought about putting on sunscreen, I didn’t give much thought about the brand or what was in it. I just slapped it on and went about my day. However, this technique has become problematic with each passing year.

So, on this National Sunscreen Day, also known as “Don’t Fry Day“, I wanted to encourage everyone to wear sunscreen, but also consider a brand that is Earth friendly.

What is an Earth friendly sunscreen?

“Sunscreen ends up in the ocean and other waterways after you swim or shower it off. Common ingredients like oxybenzone, octinoxate, nano titanium dioxide, and nano zinc oxide can harm coral reefs and sea creatures. That’s why in 2018, Hawaii became the first state to ban the sale of sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate. And the Surfrider Foundation is campaigning for a federal bill that would ban those sunscreens from national marine sanctuaries.” – Sierra Club

It is clear that these chemicals are harmful to ocean life. However, it is unclear if these chemicals are harmful to us. Oxybenzone and octinoxate can be absorbed by the body and have shown up in everything from urine to breast milk. Personally, I do not need further studies to know I would rather not have chemicals in my body that are not supposed to be there in the first place.

A compiled a list from various sources of sunscreens that are good for you, the environment and your wallet.

  1. Raw Elements – Click HERE to read more about Raw Elements products.
  2. Bare Republic – Click HERE to read more about Bare Republic products.
  3. Think Sport – Click HERE to read more about Think Sport products.
  4. Badger – Click HERE to read more about Badger Balm.
  5. Coppertone Pure & Simple – Click HERE to read more about Coppertone Pure & Simple.
  6. Alba Botanica – Click HERE to learn about Alba Bontanica products.
  7. Wax Head – Click HERE to learn more about Wax Head products.
  8. Juice Beauty – Click HERE to learn more about Juice Beauty products.
  9. Banana Boat – Click HERE to learn more about Banana Boat reef friendly products.
  10. All Good – Click HERE to learn more about All Good products.

For more guidance when choosing a sunscreen, check out the Environmental Working Group’s guide to sunscreens.

I have All Good sunscreen on the way for our summertime needs. All Good is a B-Corporation, 1% for the Planet, Leaping Bunny Certified, Reef Friendly, Certified Organic Ingredients, Climate Neutral, Woman owner and founded company and use wild land farming techniques. WOW! Do I need to say more?

While you’re shopping for sunscreen this summer, don’t just keep your own safety in mind. Think about the bigger picture, as well.

Tomorrow, Costa Rica is making big changes and the U.S. needs to follow in their footsteps.

Valentine’s Day: Give Love to the Planet

Day 44 – A message from Sierra Club:

Although we can’t be with all our loved ones this year, the power of community has never been stronger! We want to help you spread the love this Valentine’s Day. Instead of sending a box of chocolates or a scooby-doo Valentine, give your loved ones the gift of a healthy planet. Make a donation of any amount in their honor, and we’ll send them an e-card letting them know you’re thinking of them.

DONATE HERE!

For a donation of $14 or more, we’ll also send your loved one a sunflower grow starter kit!* It’ll brighten their day and bonus, sunflowers are native across the US! 

The air you are breathing, the water you are drinking, wildlife and wild places around the globe and in your communities are under attack – let’s work together to preserve and protect our precious resources and wild places. We’ve set a goal to raise $1,400 as a Valentine’s Day gift to our planet, will you help?

Thanks for all that you do, 

Team Sierra

*We’ll send your loved one instructions to redeem their gift. Shipping takes 5-10 business days and is US only. Supply is limited and is first come, first served.

There are also countless other organizations you could donate to this Valentine’s Day. Find one that means the most to you and your loved ones.

Tomorrow, all decked out for Valentine’s Day.