Month: July 2020

How to turn Plastic Free July into Plastic Free Forever!

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!

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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’s What Can You Do page 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.

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Instagram – @zerowastedoc

Tl;dr

  •  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

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

10 Amazing Female Vegan Mega-Stars

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!

  • Miley Cyrus – Singer, song-writer, & actress
  • Alicia Silverstone – Actress, Clueless sensation 
  • Natalie Portman – Actress, activist, & Harvard Graduate 
  • Taraji P. Henson – Actress & author 
  • Gisele Bundchen – Supermodel
  • Mayim Bialik – Actress & neuroscientist 
  • Kat Von D – Tattoo Artist & entrepreneur 
  • Mya – Singer, producer, & actress 
  • Ruby Rose – Model & actress
  • Beyoncé – Singer, The Queen B

Twitter – @MeatlessMonday

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!

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.


3 Must Haves for New School Year | Eco-Friendly Parenting

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!

Tl:dr

  • 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

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.


Is Elon Musk Mother Nature’s New Price Charming?

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.

Twitter- @tedcruz

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!

Tl;dr

  • 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

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

Top 3 Vegan and Eco-friendly Solutions to the Planet’s Period Problem

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.

Plastic.

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.

Instagram– @theoceanproject.sey

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!

Tl;dr

  • 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

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.


Tulsa and Tesla: Newest Battleground in EV Fight

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.

Twitter – @GovStitt

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.

Twitter – @Tulsa4Tesla

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. ♻️

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.


No More Oil | A Call to Action

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. 

Twitter – @SamTalksTesla

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. 

Twitter – @ClausMiler17

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.

Twitter – @JohnEG78

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.  

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

Raising Pro-Planet Pre-Teens

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

tl;dr

  • 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

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

The Footprint of Your Food | Vegan Scene

Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 9, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings

Many of us know about the widely successful climate campaign #Change1Thing. The idea is fantastic. People need to feel empowered; we need to feel like there is something we can do to combat the massive problem we are facing. #Change1Thing does that! With each metal straw and every reusable bag, consumers feel like they are slowly turning the wheels in the right direction. Still, if you are looking at your latest zero waste purchase, and wondering if this is enough to reduce your carbon footprint, then you’re in the right place.  


Let’s think about plastic bags. These single-use shopping bags produce 6 kg of CO2 per kg of plastic used to create them. When you swap out plastic with your favorite reusable tote at the grocery store, you make an impact. However, you could quadruple that impact, only by switching up what goes in that tote as well—according to the Environmental Working Group, EWG, lamb and beef combined produce nearly 67kg of CO2 per kg consumed. In contrast, foods like tofu and broccoli produce only 2 kg of CO2per kg consumed. Foods like lentils are even more environmentally friendly, coming in at only .9 kilograms.

Environmental Working Group – Meat Eater’s Guide Report

Switching to a plant-based, vegan, or vegetarian diet is one of the most powerful changes you can personally make to combat the climate crisis. If this all sounds lovely to you, but you can’t quite see yourself being vegan just yet, that’s okay. Making one plant-based change to your daily routine can still have a significant impact. After all, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, has reported that the greenhouse gas emissions from animal agriculture are comparable to those produced by residential and commercial activities. That means, if everyone ditched meat and dairy for the year, it would be like we all turned the gas and electric off in our homes and businesses for that year too! 

Twitter – @gattomatti

Come back every Thursday to learn more about the role veganism plays in combating climate change!

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.

America’s Global Corporations | Do the Right Thing

Washington (GGM) Analysis | July 8, 2020 by Noreen Wise

With so much government disfunction in the United States, it’s life-threatening for US global corporations to wait for US laws to be passed in order to act on climate. All must quickly rise to the occasion and do the right thing for climate’s sake.

EU countries, Canada, and China are shining beacons from hill tops. Most are moving briskly into sustainability and renewable energy, while the majority of states in America are stymied by legislative impasses. Large portfolio management firms as well, those managing many trillions of dollars, are dumping fossil fuels and other “old world” stalwarts, and quickly buying into the future. It reminds me of the late 1990’s when all the new tech giants began emerging.

The most maddening part about the corporate landscape and climate action and inaction, is that the majority of American global corporations only adjust their practices in those states or countries that pass green laws. They apparently refuse to apply the new best practices, such as mandatory composting and single-use plastic bag bans, to all their locations today.

Twitter @SASB Services

Profit over lives creates climate injustice which fuels the climate crisis. It also kills. It’s time to hold corporations accountable by boycotting. I love Wegman’s. However, to see paper bags being used in New York Wegman’s after the single-use plastic bag ban went into effect there, but seeing plastic bags in Virginia stores because there’s no ban in Virginia, resonates as irresponsible and harmful to millions. Yes, Wegman’s does have a plastic bag recycle bin which may ease their conscience, but it’s still only a quarter-step forward when American corporations need to be sprinting into the future to catch up with all of our allies.

How about McDonald’s in Halifax Nova Scotia, Canada, which passed a law mandating no food waste, and requiring all restaurants to compost. McDonald’s is apparently rejecting the law and allowing customers to toss food waste much to the dismay of Nova Scotia, when it should be abiding by Canadian laws as well as applying these same principles to their American locations despite the fact that there’s limited legislation in most states.

Twitter @qwag

America has fallen so far behind that we’re being humiliated by much smaller countries who are are seizing the moment and charging into the future.

Dysfunctional local, state and federal government doesn’t have to be an obstacle to implementing climate solutions. We American citizens, as well as corporations big and small, can act on our own. In fact, we simply must.

Let’s GO! If corporations like Wegman’s and McDonald’s and so many others have lost their way and can’t start sprinting, we consumers must say “enough is enough” and begin boycotting. Period. No time to waste. Just like with covid, immediately implementing effective solutions is a game-changer. Dragging our feet is a killer.♻️

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.