Category: Nature

A REAL Solution – Urban Tree Canopy | Act Now

Washington (GGM) Analysis | November 9, 2019
NoreenByLine-a by Noreen Wise

The emerging concept of “green intelligence” is bringing much needed analytical assessments to the attention of mayors across the country.  We understand the ST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-300importance of planting thousands of trees in our local communities. But apparently, where we plant trees really makes a difference.

How do we determine the best locations for each household to plant ten trees? Thankfully, the USDA’s Forest Service Northern Research Station has just released a valuable analysis termed UTC, Urban Tree Canopy. The UTC Assessment is made up of geospatial data that can be used to strategically outline where exactly new trees should be planted in a town or city, and approximately how many will net the maximum benefit. It can be used as a guide in every city in America to identify which areas in each city need more tree work and tree TLC. New York City’s Hudson Yards’ revitalization is an excellent example.

By the way, Urban Tree Canopy is the complete tree mass — made up of branches, leaves and stems — that covers the ground when looking down from above the treeline.

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Here are the facts:

  • Trees make a vital, positive impact on all communities, particularly cities where there’s a dense population
  • Trees improve storm water run-off by capturing rain water in their canopy and discharging it into the atmosphere.
  • The EPA asserts that, “Tree roots and leaf litter create soil conditions that promote the infiltration of rainwater into the soil.”
  • So with more trees, there should be less street flooding.

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  • Trees provide shelter from the heat, and lower urban temperatures.
  • Trees reduce air pollution by absorbing toxins into the roots, bark and leaves. Trees also absorb a significant amount of CO2, as well us provide us with the oxygen we need to live.
  • Once trees have been planted, wildlife habitat will soon follow. This rich habitat includes wonderful insects, birds, bats, butterflies and small mammals.

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  • Trees beautify our communities which increases property values and improves our mental health.
  • In fact, Thomas Jefferson, and our founding fathers for that matter, strongly believed that trees and gardens were so critical  in ensuring our emotional strength and stability, that they insisted trees be planted across Capitol Hill and that a Botanic Garden be established at its base.
  • Trees improve the economic viability of a city or town.
  • Trees nurture the community spirit and strengthen community ties. In this day and age with the opioid crisis still haunting our communities, it’s nice to know that we can grab onto something positive, inspirational and healthy that will improve our quality of life and draw us all together.

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The facts are clear. Numerous life saving benefits, and a plan that the whole community can participate in. Team work. It’s time to attend town hall meetings to discuss our local community’s Urban Tree Canopy assessment. Did our mayors and town counsel members even read the UTC released by the USDA’s Forest Service? Let’s find out.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

Setting Up Our Home Compost Bins ASAP

Washington (GGM) Analysis | October 15, 2019
NoreenByLine-a by Noreen Wise

For the millions of us searching for effective next steps in reducing atmospheric carbon, as well as lowering our personal carbon footprints, having a home compost bin is a significant step forward. The best part, is how easy compost bins are to step up and maintain.

ST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-300According to Exploring Green , Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, 51% of trash is compostable. This food that is thrown away in landfills turns into methane. Methane increases global warming 21 times that of CO2. But when food waste is composted and then layered into the soil, the soil becomes so rich with nutrients that it substantially increases the amount of carbon the soil can sequester, which lowers our atmospheric carbon level, and reduces the global temperature.

Homes, restaurants, and large dining facilities — whether that be school cafeterias, hospital and corporate cafeterias, mall foodcourts, and large banquets and conference centers — should all be tapped into the simple compositing process. Be on the lookout at restaurants in your area. Most healthy and organic venues now have compost bins.

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There are many ways composting space can be set up. It all depends on where you live and whether you’re able to have a larger outdoor bin.

  • In the kitchen, it’s best to have a small bin, with a handled bucket  that can be lifted out of the lidded container.
  • All food scraps we normally stuff into the sink disposal, will instead by placed in the compost bin.
  • The small compost bin should be emptied each night into the larger bin that is either stored in the yard or garage.
  • It’s important that the large bin is ventilated, and turned with a large stick once a week.
  • Air enables the compost to process faster.
  • An official compost bin has a lower hatch close to the ground, that can be opened when the compost is ready, and easily removed to place in soil around the yard.
  • If you live in a condo or apartment and want to keep everything light, you may want to try a small lidded container on your porch or patio that you can empty by layering into a nearby forest floor regularly.

 

Hands emptying a container full of domestic food waste
photography by AdobeStock

Schools Districts have jumped into the act in a big way, transforming the composting process into a learning lab. Many schools share their composting efforts through social media and it’s very exciting to see students energized by being part of this planet saving effort.

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Teachers really enjoy these interactive, climate action learning labs, too. Win/win experiences are positive and invigorating, making learning fun and joyful. What parents doesn’t love that?

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If you don’t have time or yard space to set up and maintain your own compost bin,  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… literally.

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So, take the leap. It’s super easy and will instantly contribute to carbon reduction!

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

Longworth HOB & Critical Compost | Climate Action

Washington (GGM) Analysis | October 4, 2019
NoreenByLine-a 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.

ST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-300The main TIERS:

  • Individual carbon footprint
  • Corporations, businesses & organizations
  • Local, state & federal government and agencies
  • Farms
  • Nature
  • Miscellaneous

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.

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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.

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Trash sign at Longworth HOB dining hall. A red asterisks has been placed on the items that can be composted. The uneaten food would have to be removed from the packaging before it’s dumped into the compost bin.

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.

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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.

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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!

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

Seriously, Switching to Solar Now Is So Easy | Check This Out

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 6, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

During this urgent global climate crisis, with all eyes are on the world’s atmospheric carbon level — measuring 415 PPM in May 2019, with the goal of returning to the late 1980’s level of 350 PPM — we must immediately change gears following the catastrophic loss of a large chunk of the Amazon rainforest due to ferocious forest fires.

SOLUTION: It’s time to step up the America’s transition to solar energy. ST-SAGA-CovFrnt-72-250
Additionally, let’s plant more trees on every continent ASAP.

In July 2019, the atmospheric carbon level actually dropped a bit to 411.77 PPM which was very exciting. There are so many countries and so many millions of global citizens working tirelessly, making sacrifices and changing our lifestyles in our effort to lower our carbon footprint, which in turn lowers the atmospheric carbon level. It’s nice to see that our committed efforts are netting positive results. It was only a few weeks later, however, that the Amazon rainforest was consumed with fire. Argh, now the CO2 level will rise again.

So, we must move quickly to counter the effects of the fires.

We know we’re going to have to switch to solar at some point, let’s take the leap right now so we can save more lives. There are much too many benefits not to switch ASAP:

It’s exciting to find excellent resources that make transitioning easier. EnergySage is just that, a user-friendly resource that makes the transitioning process stress free.

It only takes a few clicks to save the world and our futures… Let’s Go!

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantGreenSmileGold-75

House Passes Climate Action Now Act | HR9

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Opinion | May 4, 2019) –  The Climate Action Now Act (HR9) was passed by the House on Thursday May 2, 2019. Very encouraging event in the midst of a tumultuous week of shock and disappointment related to the William Barr Hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

This is the first climate crisis legislation to pass the Congress “in nearly ten years,” according to Bill sponsor Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL). HR9 will keep the US commitment outlined in the Paris Agreement, to reduce carbon emissions in the United State by 26-28% by 2025. HR9 prevents the Trump Administration from leaving the Paris Agreement. There’s a bipartisan group of 23 governors, nearly 300 cities, and 2,000 businesses who have all pledged a commitment to stay in the Paris Agreement. The US House of Representatives has now been added to this list.

HR9: To direct the President to develop a plan for the United States to meet its nationally determined contribution under the Paris Agreement, and for other purposes.

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HR9 gives the President 120 days to submit the United States Climate Action plan to assigned congressional committees as well as to the American people.

  • House Committees: Foreign Affairs and Energy and Commerce
  • Senate Committees: Foreign Relations, Environment and Public Works, and Energy and Natural Resources

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Despite the Trump Administration announcing it was pulling out of the Paris Agreement on June 1, 2017, the United States went of to reduce carbon emissions by 42 million tons in 2017 the largest reduction by any one country on the globe. Our massive landmass and population can successfully tip the carbon scale. If we can stay committed on a daily basis to do everything in our power to cut carbon – all those very small everyday choices: recycle, reusable bags for all shopping not just grocery shopping, LED lights, tighten faucets after using so no dripping, plant a tree with family and friends once a month, walk more drive less, solar energy – it will become so engrained in our way of life, it won’t feel like extra effort.

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We can do this! Let’s go for a carbon reduction goal of 100 million tons in 2019. Next step for HR9 to become law, is passing the Senate.

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.

GallantGreenSmileGold-75

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