Category: Environment

EV Charging Stations for Curbside Pickup | Solutions

Washington (GGM) Analysis | June 2, 2020

After three months of staying home, and my commitment to keep on keeping on because it truly is much safer at home, I’ve now become passionate about curbside pickup. It’s such a positive and beneficial reason to get out of the house while still maintaining safe distances.

Last night I had the great fortune of hanging out in Bertucci’s parking lot for ten minutes while I waited for my delicious, piping hot four cheese ravioli. (I love how hot Italian takeout is. If I make ravioli at home, it’s never the same temperature as that of an Italian restaurant. I’ll speculate it’s the oven.) I felt inspired while I waited and soon began to imagine a dozen EV charging stations under the pretty trees, with cars attached to each one. (This was a particularly beautiful parking lot. Big and spacious with lots of nature.)

Charging stations seem like the perfect solution for mitigating the negatives of safer at home. There are so many incentives that businesses can use to fund the installation of EV charging stations. Installing charging stations that are funded by incentives are a painless way for struggling businesses to create jobs. More charging stations, results in more EV car purchases, which results in even more jobs. More charging stations at restaurants in particular equates to increased curbside pickup. This is so easy, and it all begins with the plethora of available incentives and tax credits and partnership with governors who are hoping that businesses will cut emissions quicker to reach the state targets.

Thank you Bertucci’s. This vision all began with your outdoor sign letting passerbys know you were open for curbside pickup. I immediately pulled in and called from the parking lot. Maybe you can throwback to the 50’s and have rollerbladers deliver meals to the cars the way I’ve seen in movies, and have music blaring in the parking lot for a feel good vibe which will make us order more food and hang out longer.

Let’s DO THIS!🎸

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Strategic Solutions During a Crisis | Some Countries Can Multitask

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by Noreen Wise

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 21, 2020

When a country is unified during a crisis, the way we were following 9/11, as well as Hurricane Katrina, and the devastating Tsunami in 2004, then we can all work together to accomplish more. We do this everyday in our homes. We multitask during the pandemic, while maintaining everything we did before the stay home orders.

Beginning in January 2020, there was one huge headline after the next highlighting America’s largest corporations announcing their climate action agenda’s. Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, pledged $10 Billion to help fight climate change. Microsoft vowed to be carbon neutral by July 1, 2020, carbon negative by 2030, and to eliminate all the carbon it has pushed into the atmosphere since it was founded by 2050.

Other American corporations soon began following their lead. But when covid suddenly struck, climate progress was quickly back-burnered. It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it mustn’t be the outcome. If we can all multi-task, so can our corporations.

Effective leadership is strategic thinking, seeking effective opportunities to accomplish two important missions at the same time, especially when they align so perfectly. Corporations are having to rethink many internal processes. If US corporations took the time to weave climate initiatives into the covid planning framework, the United States would land much further ahead than where we are right now as we scan the horizon and process the massive looming climate crisis barreling toward us.

It was exciting to read in The Star, that Canadian President Justin Trudeau announced to Canadian companies, he would provide government covid loans, as soon as each company let the government know what they were “thinking about” climate. Huarray! That’s the way a leader gets climate action done. âś…

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Ottawa’s Climate Change Master Plan

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 19, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

With so much division and chaos in the United States right now, and the worrisome feeling that we’re falling behind on the substantial climate action progress we made in 2019, it’s inspiring to learn of a North American city that is all in on climate action forward motion right now, even during covid. Hurray!

Ottawa, the Washington DC of Canada, ROCKS!

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Ottawa’s “Climate Action Master Plan” is impressive with it’s simple, straightforward mission statement, tangible targets, guiding principles and priority actions laid out in a concise one-pager. This is the ideal recipe for success. And success in carbon reduction was Ottawa’s prologue in creating their Master Plan: 14% cut in the city’s carbon emissions from 2012-2018, and a 36% reduction in carbon emissions by corporations during this time.

“The Climate Change Master Plan is the city’s overarching framework to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and respond to the current and future effects of climate.” ~City of Ottawa

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Daily conversation focused on how to turn a negative into a positive and land on the bright side. A daily emotional 7 minute vitamin to boost your spirits. Podcast Host, Noreen Wise. TODAY’s Podcast: Have you ever had to launch into the unknown with just a promise and a prayer?

Ottawa’s Climate Action Master Plan Guiding Principles:

  • Responsibility – everyone in the community is responsible and needs to lower energy consumption and mitigate risks
  • Collaboration – all levels of government, all corporations, all citizens, utilities and stakeholders must work together to effect change and develop solutions
  • Municipal Leadership – the city will take the lead in fostering a joint partnership between corporations and the community
  • Coordination – the long term agenda must be strategic and harmonized
  • Equity and Inclusion – all decision-making processes must be equitable and inclusive

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Thank you, Ottawa! We’ll just follow your example.🌳

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Redesign of Products & Packaging for Zero Waste

Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 11, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

With an aggressive goal of zero waste in many personal products and detergents, new sustainability companies are blossoming, offering everyday essentials sold as solids instead of liquids, which can be packaged in paper or even more simply, without any packaging at all. One company in particular has an expansive zero waste product lineup, the Zero Waste Store.

Personal staples like shampoo and conditioner, and even laundry detergent, have begun capturing  consumer attention. Recycling has been a challenge during the stay home orders, resulting in stronger consumer awareness of just how much plastic packaging households toss out daily, and how quickly it accumulates in garages, closets and cars.

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I’m very particular in my preferences for personal products like shampoo and conditioner, and have been using one particular brand for many years. In fact, I have a huge crate of empty plastic shampoo and conditioner containers that I have to wash as soon as I have time. The problem is, I’ve become so busy that I never actually do have time. So, the pile keeps growing larger, creating a more daunting task, with no end in sight.

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Daily conversation focused on how to turn a negative into a positive and land on the bright side. A daily emotional 7 minute vitamin to boost your spirits. Podcast Host, Noreen Wise. Today’s Episode: How developed are your survival instincts? Two key essential traits.

The Zero Waste Store is an online presence with exceptional shipping procedures from a waste perspective:

  • everything shipped using plastic-free materials
  • 100% water activated paper tape
  • compostable shipping labels
  • recycled padded mailers
  • corn starch packing peanuts
  • everything 100% biodegradable

There’s no time to waste in confronting plastic waste. Covid has highlighted how imperative it is to be prepared and get out in front of life-impacting crises as quickly as possible. Switching to no waste products during covid, while we’re making so many other changes to our daily routines, is the ideal way to build strong habits during one crisis, that will help alleviate the impact of another crisis.

I can’t wait for my shampoo and conditioner to arrive so I can check it out. ♻️

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Plant Fruit Trees in Public Spaces to Fight Climate & Hunger

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 13, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

“It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees”  – Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, founder of the Green Belt Movement

The Trillion Tree Campaign was announced in January at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos 2020.* This bold initiative grew from the Billion Tree Campaign launched in 2006 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This bold vision which will hopefully motivate all nations around the world to participate, has already inspired 193 countries into action, planting 13.6 billion trees. Amazing results, but we’re still an incredibly long way off target.

So, let’s ramp it up. The brilliant concept of choosing fruit trees for public spaces, as well as private property that serves large groups of people, is significant. Recommended locations:

  • parks
  • school yards
  • playgrounds
  • library grounds
  • university campuses
  • churchyards
  • corporate campuses

Different types of fruit trees thrive in different regions of the country. It’s wonderful to see families stop and pick wild raspberries on the trails in my town. Here are a few that grow well in the East Coast, South & West Coast Regions:

  • apple
  • pear
  • peach
  • avocado
  • grapes
  • black berries
  • raspberries

 

 

According to the World Economic Forum video above, there are a number of cities who have jumped in with the dual purpose fruit tree initiative Not only do these trees cut carbon, they also curb hunger through healthy, nutritional means. When one solution can address two of the world’s most dire conditions, you know this is money and action well spent.

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Daily conversation focused on how we can turn a negative into a positive and land on the bright side. A daily emotional vitamin that will boost your spirit. PodcastHost, Noreen Wise.

With hundreds of thousands of American youth actively participating in plant-a-tree programs, as well as large corporations going in the effort, it’s time to promote the multiple benefits of planting fruit trees on a grand scale.

Let’s GO!

SOURCES:

*Trillion Tree Campaign, Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillion_Tree_Campaign

 

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Glass Solar Bricks Coming Soon

Washington (GGM) Analysis | April 7, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

There’s been some exciting climate news released during the tragic covid19 crisis, glass solar bricks will soon be here. According to Reuters, the new glass bricks will not only be able to produce sustainable energy, they will also serve as thermal insulation and allow sunlight in. Very advanced compared to the current solar panels that line roofs, farmers fields and desert land.

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Glass solar bricks won’t be able to replace solar panels, but new buildings will be constructed using futuristic bricks that will power the entire building. Now that’s brilliant, and a lot to cheer about when things seem so bleak right now. According to Bloomberg Green, solar installations have taken a nose dive while everyone is stuck at home trying to cope with their lives being turned upside down.

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The disruption may very well be a blessing for many many families and businesses, however. Solar power is an investment. We always want the most advanced technology when we put down our money. But, with solar power progressing in leaps and bounds, the advancements are happening much quicker than the 5-20 year solar loan payment schedules. I’m sure we’ve all had at least dreadful phone experience, where a few months after we upgrade, Apple releases it’s next iPhone iteration, letting all the air out of our tires as we’re forced to wait two years with our new old phones.

There’s nothing wrong with the current solar panels. They’re very effective, enabling families to save money, and in many cases make a significant amount  of money, all while lowering carbon emissions. But just as we saw with computers, smart phones, cameras… all technology really, the newer versions are always lighter, stronger, faster.

Best not to stress about dismal 2020 solar installations in the short term, we’ll definitely make up for it in the long term.🌱

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Protecting Our Water Supply Now More Than Ever

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 23, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

World Water Day was celebrated across the globe yesterday, Sunday March 22, 2020, and I must confess that I’ve never cared more about clean water than I do right now. In the past month, with coronavirus spreading like wildfire, and the CDC pleading with us to wash our hands for at least 20 seconds, many times a day, my water usage has tripled. When I add in how much more frequently I now do laundry, several times a week Water Drop Earthto scrub off potential coronavirus germs that I don’t want lying around my home, I’m stunned by how often I think of water.

The moment that pushed me over the edge, however, was when I was out searching for bottled water this week. Nearly every store was sold out. I finally had to pick through a few leftover brands that no one else wanted and found myself hyper-analyzing why no one else wanted them. Why were they left behind? Googling to see where the springs were, so many fears flooded my mind. Was it really clean water, or did the bottling company just turn on a lead lined tap in an old rusty warehouse sitting out by a superfund site that recently flooded after being hit by a water bomb, and I was I going to deeply regret this purchase one day?

There’s already enough to worry about with coronavirus, adding clean water to the list is not something that’s easy to process, yet here I am so concerned that I’m transforming into a clean water advocate / activist on top of being a climate activist. The two seem to go hand in hand.

As a United States Citizen, clean water is something I’ve always taken for granted. I don’t like to admit that. There are certainly many US citizens who don’t have clean water and are forced to suffer the consequences, either by purchasing purified water, or drinking toxic water the many potential health consequences. Sadly, there are several habits we adults have gotten into that we don’t necessarily realize contaminate our clean drinking water supply.

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First and foremost, walking our pets on a trail in the forest and not picking up after them (because we don’t think we have to). Guess what? We do have to. Pet droppings are washed into local creeks during heaving rains and land in our reservoirs, contaminating our drinking water. Period. That’s all we need to know. For those who don’t like plastic bags, and I get that, there are long handles pooper shoppers. I spotted a man just the other day with an awesome pooper scooper like the one below. What a simple & easy way to solve a life-threatening problem.

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World Water Day is a gentle reminder of how important clean water is for our survival. And since health is on all of our minds right now, and we’re in the midst of changing so many of our daily routines and habits, let’s rise to the challenge and commit to updating our pet maintenance habits as well. No time like the present. Amazon has just hired 100,000 new employees to process the influx of online orders now that we’re housebound.

Let’s GO!

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Time to Plant Climate Gardens While We’re Stuck at Home

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 14, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

Backyard gardens are one of the easiest most inspiring ways to lower our carbon footprint. Adding multiple layers beneath trees and along fences, lining the front of homes. Shrubs, flowers, vines, ground cover. Ivy and creepers up and down walls, around mailboxes and lamplights. International cities like London and Paris have perfected this.

The best part about zeroing in on a giant burst of nature as the solution, is that it works immediately, especially if we all collectively execute ASAP, during these next few weeks while we’re stuck at home hoping tp stay clear of the coronavirus pandemic.

Imagine the positive impact.

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In the nick of time, no less. We’re down to only nine years to save humanity from climatocalypse. So, the silver lining of being thrown into our current heart-wrenching calamity, with unexpected at-home time on our hands, is that we can pause and focus on the long term, and alter our destiny by conquering what otherwise would most likely be an improbable collective gardening effort.

Live in an apartment or condo? Balcony, patio and rooftop gardens or plantings on every available flat surface is a life-and-planet-saving difference. With a success rate as significant as this will be, at a minimal cost, we can all jump in first thing in the morning.

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Bringing back nature, will not only be a giant leap forward in our progress at lowering our atmospheric carbon level back down to 350 PPM, but has multiple other valuable benefits.

Nature improves mental health, not only an emotional positive boost, but a sensory one as well. Sunlight provides the much needed daily dose of vitamin D that will keep our outlook positive and optimistic. Additionally, nature’s scent has an array of therapeutic properties. Some species are calming and supportive, while others keep us alert and energized. There’s also the tangible, yet little understood, sentient characteristics of nature that indicate plants and trees can problem solve, even connect with other plants and animals, as well as communicate with each other, and some believe communicate with humans, in addition to nurturing humans,  .

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Considering how many alarming societal threats we face — climate, suicides, drug addiction, physical and mental health — the fact that nature can aid in improving every single one of these, is a very compelling reason to quickly sow our climate gardens during this unexpected period of being stuck at home (at least it’s spring, the planting season). In fact, there’s no better way to keep our minds off this extended emergency, than to dig into a powerful solution that will not only bring back nature, but will keep us calm in a crisis.

Once nature is back, the wildlife that goes along with it will also return. Our planet will be healthy again, which will make humankind that much healthier too. It all begins right now, during these mandated weeks of social distancing.

Let’s GO!

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Protecting Our Water Supply this Spring | Beware of Lawn Fertilizer

Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 8, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

After Trump’s recent roll back of Obama’s Clean Water Act, we have to be more mindful than ever of what we can do as individual citizens to be the stewards of our community water supply in the hopes that we can minimize the negative fallout now that these life-saving federal regulations have been repealed.

I feel traumatized by the horrible news that 60% of our waters will again be unprotected. Climate change has created a seemingly apocalyptic ripple effect from the fallout of the flooding and run off that occurs from the now regular rain bombs, as well as the threat of the new Category 6 hurricanes (not that the National Hurricane Center has officially added Category 6 to the Saffir-Simpson Scale, but recent Hurricane Dorian with winds of 185 mph that flattened the Bahamas, was so far off the charts there’s certainly been a fewa discussions about the need to do so).

Factor in the flooding of superfund sights alone, during this age of climate change, and the frightening consequences for future generations in the calamitous way that water pollutants cause birth defects. This reality is already rattling nerves and alarming homeowners close to these toxic sights. The unseen leaking of life-threatening pollutants  into ground water from buried storage tanks is certainly of grave concern, but all the more troubling is seeing the vacant wastelands flood and the damaging toxic waters flow through town drains as well as the surrounding nearby community property.

Farmland with pesticides and fertilizer is equally as concerning. Weather bombs know no borders. Heavy rains will spread these toxins for miles. They’re usually invisible, but the damage they cause humans is very tangible and physical.

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So with these significant issues now plaguing American communities this spring 2020, and some states stepping in to protect its waters and passing much needed state regulations, we have to do our part too, after all, we’re the ones with the most to lose.

We love beautiful lawns, or course. And we likely use fertilizer to make sure our yards have the right nutrients to nurture our favorite flowers, shrubs and trees. However the ammonium nitrate found in most sterilizers, amongst other hazardous nutrients, are the very pollutants that may cause birth defects after running down the town drains during heavy spring rains.

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Birth defects caused by the nitrates found in fertilizer:

  • spina bifida
  • cleft palate
  • missing limbs

Rules of thumb to avoid contaminating the town water supply?

  • home composting from food scraps that can be added to garden and yard soil
  • many town farmer’s markets now offer free compost
  • organic alternatives that are not water soluble like ammonium nitrate
  • don’t fertilize in the spring, wait until fall when there’s much less rain.

So let’s be more aware, and make a commitment to finding an alternative to fertilizing with heavy nutrients in the spring. We can do this!🌱

 

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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Powerful Impact of Meadows on Carbon Sink

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 24, 2020
NWHillReport-Pic by Noreen Wise

Thousands of innovators across the globe are aggressively working on inventing machines that will pull carbon out of the air and store it, or transform it into something useful. Recent news about Amazon committing $10B to combat climate change has created hope that some of these funds will be used to create innovative solutions such as carbon sequestration machines.

But we’re not there yet, unfortunately, so we have to maximize what’s currently at our disposal… nature.

Planting trees, of course, is number one priority.  However, often overlooked, but equally as important, in fact, maybe even more important than trees, are meadows. Expansive landscapes of open fields that contain a variety of plants have a magical way of funneling carbon into their roots and trapping it in the soil where it will be stashed even when the roots die.

According to the Scientific American on sustainability, “Carbon Off-Set Cowboys Let Their Grass Grow”:

“The best way to maximize the amount of carbon that gets trapped underground is to maximize grass growth.”

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The fact that so many different types of botanic species grow in a meadow, and their roots all intertwine underground, appears to be why meadows store so much more carbon than say tall and bushy shrubs. Once carbon is trapped underground, fungi feed off it, and according to the Scientific American, fungi are often consumed by microbes and worms which stabilizes the carbon.

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The western half of the country, with it’s massive open terrain, has a huge opportunity to maximize this opportunity and help the United States take giant steps forward in cutting carbon. Apparently, a cap & trade program that reward ranchers and land owners is already underway. According to Civil Eats, Indigo Ag, a Boston-based agtech company, has raised $600 million from investors to help farmers sink one trillion tons of carbon on their property. Farmers are paid $15 per metric ton of stored carbon.

It’s exciting to see that the economy that led to our stratospheric carbon emissions rate, can be used to turn the catastrophe around and inspire land owners to reach for an opportunity to reduce carbon just as quickly and significantly.🌱

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
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