Washington (GGM) Analysis | November 15, 2019
by Noreen Wise
It was an emotional day on Capitol Hill with defamed ex-Ambassador for Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, testifying in the second impeachment hearing for Donald J. Trump. The details outlined by Ms. Yovanovitch were critical and seem to have sealed Trump’s fate. I speculate he’ll be impeached by New Years Eve 2019.
Meanwhile, a few hundred yards away, in the warming sunlight, Jane Fonda rallied Americans with her sixth Friday Fire Drill. Her mission is to draw awareness to the Green New Deal and the important role fossil fuels have played on our climate’s demise.
Fonda was not arrested today, but she prides herself on the positive impact her protesting and subsequent arrests have had on the climate emergency cause. Today’s climate focus was on our oceans and rising sea levels as well as the urgent need to break free from plastic.
Although Fonda wasn’t arrested, two of her tag-along friends were: Marg Helgenberger and Robert Kennedy Jr. It seems these wonderful climate activists consider their arrests their red badge of courage.
The holiday shopping season has arrived. It’s imperative that we keep our resolve to act now on lowering atmospheric carbon levels by the choices we make during the holiday season. Every tiny decision will save a life. For example, it’s advised that no red meat for any festivities. Avoid plastic packaging. Buy grocery products in glass bottles. Let’s promise to keep our eyes wide open as we claw through the packed aisles, and make the right selections when we reach toward a store shelf.
Another positive choice is to buy local. It’s mind boggling how dramatic this simple decision can make. Again, it’s all about being aware, and making a commitment in advance to save our oceans and brighten our children’s futures. We can do this!
Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 31, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings
We encounter so many choices throughout the day— cream or sugar, french fries or salad, paper or plastic. No matter how small the decision may seem, each choice is an opportunity to vote. Each and everything you do as a consumer is significant; it tells corporations and businesses what is important to you, what you are willing to compromise on, and what you are unwilling to be a part of.
If you participated in Plastic Free July this summer, your vote against plastic waste was cast 30 times in a row! You, along with 250 million others, told the world that it’s time to ditch destructive single-use plastics. According to the 2019 Annual Report produced by the Plastic Free Foundation, in July alone, this initiative was responsible for avoiding 825 million kg of plastic waste. With the upward trend in membership and participation of this non-profit group, the 2020 report should show an even greater impact!
Twitter – @Greenpeace
Now that it’s August, let’s keep the momentum going. Last year, 16% of Plastic Free July participants were inspired to continue their efforts throughout the year. Keep making the decision to choose sustainable and reusable bags, cups, and straws, and that percentage is sure to rise.
Visit the Plastic Free Foundation’sWhat Can You Dopage for more information on how to change up your routine for the better! Whether you switch up the type of laundry supplies you buy, or you simply buy a bamboo toothbrush, let people know! Tweet your successes with hashtags that promote sustainability and a plastic-free lifestyle. Doing so will motivate you to keep going, and it will inspire others to do the same.
Instagram – @zerowastedoc
Everything you do as a consumer is significant
In July 2019, the Plastic Free Foundation was responsible for avoiding 825 million kg of plastic waste
250 million people participated in Plastic Free July in 2019
16% of participants continued on with plastic-free lifestyle changes throughout the year
Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 30, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings
Everywhere you go, you are seeing more and more about veganism and plant-based diets. Whether you’re walking down the street and see a billboard for Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, or you’re perusing down the “Plant-Based Protein” aisle in Target, it’s hard to ignore that times are changing. Veganism is here, it’s becoming more accessible, and it’s not going anywhere. As inhabitants of this earth, we should all be excited by this.
Twitter – @MealsVegan
The vegan lifestyle combats animal cruelty, disease, and of course the climate crisis. Eliminating animals and animal products from your diet significantly reduces water consumption, land usage, and CO2 emissions. According to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA, 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions are caused by animal agriculture!
If that doesn’t inspire you to make a meatless change, maybe this will. Here is a list of 10 Amazing Female Mega-Stars who are completely committed to veganism!
Not only are these stars plant-based, but they are making big strides in the vegan community! Alicia Silverstone, for example, has been vegan since 1998. Silverstone is the co-creator of myKind Organics, a line of vegan vitamins. Natalie Portman produced the film, Eating Animals, in 2017, and she regularly speaks out on animal rights and environmental issues. And we all remember how Beyoncé encouraged her fans to become vegan by offering free concert tickets to meatless converts.
Whoever your favorite celebrity is on this star-studded list, they would all agree, taking a chance on a plant-based diet is the way to go!
Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 27, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings
As August nears, so do thoughts of sending your children back to school. If it were any other summer, you would be budgeting for clothes, scheduling haircuts, and debating with your kids about why they don’t need the latest Louis Vuitton Supreme sneakers. Instead, due to the global pandemic, you’re reading and re-reading governor briefings and state guidelines for re-opening in the fall and wondering about the efficacy of remote learning.
No doubt, things will be different this school year. Your child may return to school in the fall using a hybrid model, or they might be 100% remote. No matter what avenue is taken, you still need to prepare. As an earth-conscious parent, we know how important it is that your back to school list is sustainable.
We talk about plastic a lot, but one of the biggest offenders of the climate crisis is our paper consumption. According to the Environmental Professionals Network (EPN), each person in the U.S uses 749 lbs of paper per year, resulting in massive deforestation. Adding insult to injury, so much of this paper does not get recycled. Paper waste makes up 26% of landfills, resulting in the production of methane, “greenhouse gas with 23 times the heat-trapping capacity of carbon dioxide.” Because of this, the reMarkable 2 should be the first item on your shopping list.
This next generation “paper tablet” is wildly versatile. It looks, feels, and even sounds like a pencil and paper, offering your child the creative experience they are used to. It is ultra-lightweight and compact, and all of your child’s notes will be automatically uploaded to the cloud. So, finally, everything will be organized, and nothing will get lost!
Twitter – @Ayo_d10
The next item of the list, of course, is cellphone related. Nowadays, if you have a school-age child, the chances are that they have a mobile device. Without a doubt, they will be looking for a new case for the start of the school year. For this request, consider buying your young one a Pela phone case. Pela cases are nonsynthetic and are Certified Climate Neutral. These stylish accessories are plant-based and made from recycled materials, making them completely biodegradable and compostable! With tons of styles that fit AirPods, iPhones, Samsungs, and Pixel phones, your child will be excited to make this eco-friendly switch.
This last item was definitely not on your back to school list last year: a face mask. Disposing of single-use face masks is posing a real threat to marine life. To combat this dangerous trend, try switching to a reusable mask made from upcycled materials. Lumily is an ethical brand that focuses on sustainability as a part of their business model. They offer a variety of CDC certified reusable masks made from 100% responsibly sourced cotton. An added bonus: Lumily will donate a mask to someone in an underserved or vulnerable community for each mask purchased!
Twitter – @craigtimes
With these three small changes to your back to school shopping, you and your kids can make a big impact on the globe!
Come back every Tuesday for more Eco-Friendly Parenting tips!
Concerns about COVID-19 will most likely affect the way your child returns to school in the Fall
Try to keep sustainability at the forefront of thought when curating your child’s back to school list
Each person in the U.S uses 749 lbs of paper per year
Paper waste makes up 26% of landfills, resulting in the production of methane
Methane in landfills has 23 times the heat-trapping capacity of carbon dioxide
Try limiting your family’s paper waste with the purchase of a reMarkable 2
Try replacing plastic phone cases and AirPod cases with a compostable Pela case
Face masks, gloves, and other PPE are posing a major threat to marine life
Purchase a CDC certified reusable Lumily mask, made from 100% responsibly sourced cotton
Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 23, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings
In March of 2020, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, announced the search for the perfect location for his newest factory. Not unlike Prince Charming’s country-wide invitation to the castle ball in Cinderella, people far and wide waited in anticipation over Musk’s Choice. July 22nd, a statement was released, saying that the new facility will be built in Austin, Texas.
Unlike other car companies, Tesla far outperformed in earnings despite the global pandemic, reporting four consecutive profitable quarters. This boost for Tesla means a boost for the economy and a major boost for the planet.
Musk announced that the Cybertruck factory will be open to the public. With walking trails, bike paths, a boardwalk, and fish-filled streams, he described the park-like facility as an “ecological paradise.” This new destination will surely bring tourism dollars, but the real economic growth will come from the 5,000 new jobs needed at the site.
The economic buzz surrounding Musk’s latest venture is exciting, but the real news lies in the cars! Tesla promises that from the facility will come four new vehicles, the long-awaited Cyber Truck, the Tesla Semi, the Model Y, and the Model 3. The addition of these new EVs, along with Tesla’s unexpected boost in earnings, means more electric vehicles on the road. Considering the fact that every gallon of gasoline burned creates about 8,887 grams of CO2, this is very big news for Mother Nature!
On July 22nd, 2020, Elon Musk announced that the new Tesla factory will be built in Austin, Texas
Tesla far outperformed in earnings, reporting four consecutive profitable quarters
The facility will be a park-like destination boasting walking trails, bike paths, a boardwalk, and fish-filled streams
The new Tesla factory will create at least 5,000 new jobs
The facility will produce a Cyber Truck, the Tesla Semi, the Model Y, and the Model 3
Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 23, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings
You love your precious pug like a family member. But as you tiptoe towards greener choices, you may be wondering what effect dog ownership has on the planet. According to researchers at the University of California, an estimated 80 million dogs live in US homes today. On an annual basis, these animal companions consume as much meat and grain as nearly 40 million Americans. This alone packs a pretty big punch to the planet.
Add in the fact that most dog waste is removed using single used plastic bags, and many chewed up dog toys end up in landfills, and things start to look pretty bleak. What can be done? It’s not as if you are going to part with your sweet Schnauzer.
There are three easy and accessible changes you can make to dramatically lower your beloved pet’s carbon pawprint. The biggest impact you can make in reducing your dog’s contribution to CO2 production is eliminating meat from their diet. But can Fido really live without chicken and beef? The answer is yes, and quite happily! In switching to V-Dog vegan dog food brand, you will save a significant amount of land, energy, and water. For example, it takes approximately three acres of land to feed each meat-eating dog per year. In contrast, it only takes ⅙ of an acre to feed a V-Dog for the year!
Additionally, ditching single-use plastic waste bags will also a big impact. Try Moonygreen bags. They are 100% biodegradable, and being that they are made from plants, they are even compostable! As a plus, they are extremely affordable; you can purchase 120 bags for about $15. Lastly, making DIY dog toys out of reused and repurposed materials like old clothes or rags will also cut down on your pup’s contribution to landfill waste.
Come back every Thursday to learn more about the role veganism plays in combating climate change!
80 million plus dogs live in US homes today
Traditional dog food is producing the same amount of CO2 emissions as food for 40 million people. Reduce your dog’s contribution to CO2 production by switching to V-Dog Brand dog food
It takes three acres of land to feed each meat-eating dog per year. It only takes ⅙ of an acre to feed a V-Dog for the year
Moonygreen bags waste bags are 100% biodegradable and compostable
Use an old tee shirt to create an eco-friendly dog toy and cut down on plastic piling up in landfills!
Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 21, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings
Now more than ever, considering the measures that are needed to stay safe from COVID-19, keeping a clean home is rising to the top of the priority list. As a parent, you are diligent in wiping down surfaces, disinfecting door-knobs, and beating back dust bunnies. But as you recycle container after container of Clorox Wipes and Febreze, you may be starting to wonder what impact this is having on the planet. You might even be thinking about making some eco-friendly swaps to your cleaning routine.
You are not wrong to worry. The cleaning products that you are used to picking up at your local grocery store are incredibly harmful to the environment. Most wet wipes contain tiny plastic particles that never biodegrade and many aerosol cans used for freshening up contain toxic chemicals and neurotoxins— filling homes with formaldehyde and other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Though the Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in old aerosol cans associated with causing the development of a hole in our Ozone are banned, that doesn’t mean they are good for the environment. According to scientists at NASA, aerosol cans contribute to changes in rain patterns, lower air quality, and a higher carbon footprint.
These products are piling up in landfills, contaminating oceans, and wreaking havoc on our environment. But do the green alternatives really leave your house clean? The answer is yes!
For a truly green clean, try Young Living’s Thieves essential oils and cleaning products. Their formulas are 100% plant-based and will rid your home of germs and viruses. Not to mention their bottles are recyclable and promote sustainability. One 64 oz bottle of Thieves Household Cleaner combined with a reusable amber spray bottle and warm water can replace almost all of your household cleaning products for a whole year. Similarly, adding a few drops of their vibrant and health-promoting essential oils to your cleaning solution will virtually eliminate your need for harsh aerosol sprays.
Thieves received a B rating on the Environmental Working Group’s Guideto Healthy Cleaning— being beaten out by only one cleaner, AspenClean. Meanwhile, the most popular brands like Clorox, Fabuloso, and even Green Works earned F- ratings.
Consider changing up your routine for a healthier planet and a greener cleaner home!
Come back every Tuesday for more Eco-Friendly Parenting tips!
Concerns about COVID-19 have led to high cleaning supply sales
Most wet wipes contain non-biodegradable plastic fibers and some aerosol sprays may be causing changes to rain patterns across the world.
Clorox, Fabuloso, and even Green Works earned F- ratings on the EPA’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning
Switching to a more eco-friendly sustainable brand like Thieves or AspenClean will positively impact the climate crisis
Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 16, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings
For many of us who menstruate, a visit from Aunt Flo means a week’s worth of pads, tampons, and pantiliners paired with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and a sprinkling of Midol. Between cramps, bloating, headaches, and checking for leaks, we might be overlooking one major aspect of our periods.
Traditional period products are loaded with plastic. Wrappers, applicators, leak guard liners, and even the products themselves have plastic interwoven in the fibers. These tiny applicators may not seem like much, but they add up. According to National Geographic, Americans purchase 5.8 billion tampons annually. The global number is a staggering 17 billion 400 million! Even worse, the plastic in period products cannot be recycled, as they are considered medical waste— this means that these products ultimately end up in landfills and oceans.
If you are looking for a vegan and planet-friendly way to reduce the negative impact of single-use plastics during your period, don’t stress. You have 3 easy sustainable options! You can try reusable pads, menstrual cups, or period panties. Throughout my last three cycles, I decided to give each a try. I purchased BugaluBaby Bamboo Cloth MenstrualPads, an OrganiCup, and a couple of pairs of Thinx underwear.
I found BugaluBaby on Etsy. I’ve never been big into pads, but these pads come in a variety of fun prints, made with bamboo, and come with a handy “wet bag” for convenience. They are also easy to wash and are very cost-effective, costing only $25 for a pack of 9.
Thinx underwear boasts a similar idea, but it feels less like a pad. In my experience, you can wear one pair throughout the day while still feeling clean and dry. This option works and works well, but it is a little less cost-friendly, costing between $24-$39 per pair.
Lastly, the OrganiCup is a soft, flexible, reliable option that comes in a variety of sizes. For those of us who are comfortable with insertable sanitary items, this is a great option. It is incredibly sustainable and cost-effective. One OrganiCup lasts two years, and costs only $28! All three products have their consumer perks, and most importantly, they are vegan and pack a punch in the fight against the climate crisis!
Twitter – @Thinx
Come back every Thursday to learn more about the role veganism plays in combating climate change!
Over 17 Billion tampons flood landfills and oceans each year
The plastic in pads, tampons, and liners are a major contributor to the climate crisis
Sustainable vegan period options DO exist
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly change, try BugaluBaby Bamboo Cloth MenstrualPads, an OrganiCup or Thinx underwear
Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 15, 2020 by Erika Browning
In 1901, oil was discovered in Tulsa—the Red Fork area to be exact, which is where my grandfather lives to this day. Within a short five years, Tulsa was declared the “Oil Capital of the World”. This title has been worn proudly by this incredible little city for well over a century. It’s a source of pride that locals have rigs on their land or receive mineral rights for oil supplies.
Beyond Tulsa’s history, its present is also wrapped up in oil. Conoco Phillips is headquartered just a short 45 minutes away in Bartlesville. Oil giants like Waite Phillips, and William Skelly made astronomical amounts of money off the oil that sits underneath the city. When oil prices dip, the effects are felt economically by thousands of Oklahomans. Financial investments depreciate, jobs are on the cutting board, and families worry about paying bills. And that’s just a threat that can be seen coming—let alone when an unforeseen shock to the system occurs. The latter effect was painfully felt when my husband’s company laid off a significant number of its workers during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. This is a company that hasn’t had such a layoff in its entire 100 years.
Despite its reliance on oil, Tulsa is also a thriving, progressive city. Citizens are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of life. I often call Tulsa “my little purple mecca in a desperately red state”. In June 2020, it was announced that Tulsa was in the final running for Elon Musk’s new Tesla truck plant—against Austin, TX. While I do sincerely love the diversity and culture in Austin, Tulsa desperately needs this.
The Tesla Cybertruck Gigafactory would bring in up to 10,000 jobs to a city that deserves to be appreciated. Tulsa offers the romantic pull of Route 66, a diverse populus and a storied history of hard working men and women. There are currently several charging stations for electric vehicles in the Tulsa area, with many more planned as the need arises. With the apparent reversal of our local energy dependence on the horizon, some die-hard oil folk might be resistant to the idea of Tesla being such a prominent fixture in Tulsa. But I assure you, more citizens are in complete support of this move than not.
Why can’t oil and renewable energy coexist? Sure, the goal is ultimately to end our dependence on fossil fuels, especially if we have any hope of leaving a sustainable planet for future generations. One thing I have learned about my fellow citizens is this: we are reluctant to change but when given the right guidance and tools, we don’t need to be afraid. It could be just the step we need to kickstart climate change in the right direction in one of the most conservative, oil-dependant states in the US.
Oklahomans aren’t stupid, we are proud. We are a large group of people who have had to adapt for generations. Change may take a bit more time, and we are behind the coastal states, but I believe this could make a great impact in leading to change. I also firmly believe that should the country see such a deep red, oil loving state turn its sights to EVs, it could snowball through to the rest of the red states. ♻️
Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 14, 2020 by Erika Browning
We have all heard the warnings. Personally, I can’t remember a time in all my 42 years where the big “what ifs” weren’t on a constant loop. What if we don’t loosen our grip on fossil fuel? What if we don’t find alternative energies? What if we don’t recycle & continue to fill up precious land with our garbage?
My questions go a bit deeper. As an expat living in Europe, I was utterly shocked at the lengths people go to to try to turn back the doomsday clock on climate change.
Imagine how baffled I was when I learned that not only are Europeans, (Germans specifically) willing to work towards saving the planet, they are adamant about it. Don’t dare try to stick a plastic bottle in a regular rubbish bin. Car not up-to-par on emissions standards? You’ll be needing a new one that can pass muster. I took trains all over that magnificent countryside. Fields of solar panels lined the tracks in several regions, side by side with fields of hops or vineyards. Modern windmills generate energy, dotting quaint farms that don’t look as if history has touched their walls in centuries.
Coming from a lifetime in the United States, specifically a city that was quite literally built on a giant oil well, I’ve fully experienced the rabid grip this country has on its oil. As I write, I am looking across the river at massive refineries, smelling the by-products & seeing lights flicker as workers pass by. When an organization does something like offering up alternatives to oil, the whole state gets fired up. This is people’s livelihood! This is people’s land that has provided for them for well over a hundred years.
These are people whose whole lives have revolved around oil: whether it be production, sales, manufacturing, or, of course, consumption. I suppose the difference between here and Europe could be something as simple as “cultural history”. But I believe more strongly that most of the reasons that Americans are so opposed to change is information related, whether accurate or not.
We all can agree that something must change. Someone, somewhere must find a way to point their fellow countrymen in the right direction. But how? Let’s start with education. For the next several weeks I will be sharing some ideas, both large and small scale, that you can use as a consumer to make a positive change. I will be dutifully researching various methods that worked elsewhere and finding paths to apply those same methods in this incredible country.
Whether it’s setting up a recycling program in your area, or petitioning for charging stations for electric vehicles, we will come up with some easy ways to make changes to your community, and maybe some ways that will be met with some resistance but also with the tools you’ll need to get these ideas in play.
We have to do better. Our kids and grandkids deserve to live life in a safe environment that won’t be detrimental to their health and well-being. It’s time to start caring about the planet we are leaving behind, in fact, it’s past time.
Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 14, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings
Whether you’ve been working on building a more sustainable lifestyle for a while or you are a total newbie, you don’t want to be the only one in your family running around your house turning off lights and pulling recyclables out of the kitchen trash. Everyone in the house needs to get involved. You may be thinking easier said than done, especially if your kids are a bit older.
But I have good news! If you are raising a tween or young teen, it’s not too late to become a Pro-Planet Parent! Start small by making a few changes that shed light on specific causes and encourage eco-friendly behavior. Buying your son or daughter a 100% recycled 4Ocean bracelet is a great first step! 4Oceans is a global initiative dedicated to cleaning up the world’s oceans and spreading awareness. For each bracelet purchased, they promise to pull a pound of plastic out of our waters. Since 2017, they have removed 9,381,011 lbs of garbage from the ocean and coastline.
4Ocean – Loggerhead Sea Turtle Beaded Bracelet
Are you looking to make even more impact? Get your tween to look at thredUP for their next clothing purchase. This online secondhand store is a sustainable choice for the whole family. According to thredUP, the average article of clothing is worn only seven times before it is thrown directly into the trash. They claim that if everyone switched to secondhand purchases, we could collectively save 6 BILLION lbs of CO2 emissions per year.
Twitter – @thredUP
Another way to reduce your teen’s landfill waste and contribution to lowering CO2 emissions is to swap their favorite print magazine with the E-Copy. Doing so will help your young one realize that sustainable earth-conscious choices do not necessarily mean compromise. It can actually put some money back in their pockets! An annual online subscription to the popular magazine, Girl’s Life, is available on Barnes & Noble Nook for under $20!
Come back every Tuesday for more Eco-Friendly Parenting tips!
Twitter – @Girl’s Life Magazine
Become a Pro-Parent Parent: Help your young teen make earth-conscious choices
4Ocean promises to pull 1lb of plastic out of the ocean for every bracelet sold
Since 2017, 4Ocean has removed 9,381,011 lbs of garbage from the ocean and coastline
Switching to secondhand clothing purchases, like thredUP, could save 6 BILLION lbs of CO2 emissions per year
Switching from print magazines to E-Copies lowers landfill waste and produces less CO2