Washington (GGM) Analysis | October 4, 2019
by Noreen Wise
Success in reducing atmospheric carbon levels to the targeted 350 PPM from the current 412 PPM will come from tiers of immediate action. If every tier nails its targets, we’ll save the globe and civilization. This should motivate us to Act Now, especially when we consider how basic and easy many of the “actions” are for lowering carbon.
- Individual carbon footprint
- Corporations, businesses & organizations
- Local, state & federal government and agencies
All we have to do as individuals is focus on the tiers that we fall under. The greatest obstacle to succeeding at carbon reduction though, is missing the small, easy opportunities that we fail to recognize. The ones right under our nose that we would be able to execute immediately if we were more aware.
Composting is the best example of a basic missed opportunity. For example, take the Longworth House Office Building dining hall in Washington, DC where thousands of constituents, lobbyists, and House Representatives eat breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday each week. Sadly, Longworth does not currently compost, despite the fact that the US Botanic Garden is across the street and would thrive on weekly fresh compost, as would the massive acres of capitol grounds that are also across Independence Ave.
According to Exploring Green , Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment:
- 51% of “trash” dumped into landfills is compostable
- Annually, the world throws away approximately 1.3 billion tons of food
- 3.3 billion tons of CO2 is released each year to process the wasted food (production, harvesting, transporting and packaging)
- Wasted food thrown away in a landfill releases methane
- Methane increases global warming 21 times that of CO2
- On the other hand, wasted food that’s composted and layered into soil, increases the soil’s nutritional content which increases the amount of carbon it can sequester
Thus, composting uneaten food at home, at work and in restaurants and dining halls is a no-brainer. In fact, many school districts are jumping in. Capitol Hill dining halls would only have to change one of its two trash signs to “FOOD/COMPOST.” This is so easy, it’s scary.
Our oceans sequester approximately 25% of atmospheric carbon and nature 28%. The big challenge with ocean carbon sequestration is that it increases water temperature as well as acidity. The increase in water temperature, melts the glaciers which raises the global water levels. The higher temperature also causes changing climate which becomes that much more extreme.
To save humanity from climate extremes, the focus is now on increasing carbon sink in nature and in soil, and trying to lower ocean temperatures. Nature — which means planting more trees and greens, and elevating the nutritional values in soil — is one of the new climate action touchstones on the carbon sequestration front. In short, compositing has become a vital necessity. Thus, missed opportunities sound the alarm.
Composting has become such a critical factor in the success of lowering our atmospheric carbon levels, that a whole new industry is starting to take shape. CompostNow.org is a compositing service for home, office, and restaurants.
- They provide heavy duty plastic bin
- They pick up full bin each service day, and leave an empty one
- They track waste & compost creation by the pound
- Members earn compost! Very easy and rewarding.
When the carbon facts are this simple and the cost a bare minimum, and #ActNow only a matter of changing signs, it’s unfathomable how anyone would pass on this opportunity. Come on, Longworth… let’s FIX THIS!
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