Global food waste is one of the most upsetting failures in the complex web of our dirty energy linear economy, particularly food wasted in the United States where we’re so capable of creating systems to manage food efficiently, with little or no loss.Continue reading “Food Waste Urgent Priority if We Are to Stay Below 1.5ºC”
Washington (GGM) Analysis | June 9, 2021 by Catherine Zacuto, M. Ed.
What can be done about climate change? A lot! Many of us are busy making significant changes in our everyday habits to become more sustainable and lower our carbon footprints. However, there are a few tricks that have yet to be applied on a grand scale, and now’s the time. If you compost, you are part of a growing wave of people concerned about soil health. Because soil stores a significant amount of carbon, keeping it there is vital in the fight against climate change. This is especially significant in agriculture, with its vast acreage. Soil, not to be confused with dirt, is an ecosystem in itself, with millions of microbes and insects which are responsible for plant growth. Maintaining a natural, undisturbed balance in the soil’s ecosystem leads to a higher level of carbon storage as well as strong, healthy crops. “No-till” farms help make this happen. They are an arrow in our quiver of weapons to fight climate change.Continue reading “No Till Soil Is a Climate Solution | Act Now”
Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 5, 2021 by Pamela Scaiff (Canadian)
When was the last time you reached for a paper towel to clean up a mess? Has COVID got you using more? How much do you pay for paper towels each week? Each month? Each year? Or in a lifetime? Do the personal finance math and then the ecological math and you may find yourself questioning whether paper towels really add quality to your life! Did you know that Americans use more paper towels per capita daily than either of their neighbours?!Continue reading “Paper Towel Alternative! | Build Back Better”
Spending the past nine months in Canada during Covid, all in on sustainability immersion, taught me a lot. In fact, I’ve completely reinvented myself in such a short period of time. The most startling aspect of my metamorphosis was understanding how easy it is to live sustainably when everyone in a given community is doing so. Stronger together. My bud, Canadian sustainability guru Pamela Scaiff, is the master of sustainability and has been my supreme guide for the past four months. I’m thrilled that she agreed to share her wisdom with all of us.Continue reading “A Sustainability Journey | Build Back Better”
Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 5, 2021 by Catherine Zacuto, M. Ed.
Saving a forest is big news these days, and just what we need to energize us. Each day, we practice sustainable living – reusing, reducing, recycling, upcycling. Every bit helps ward off climate change. So when IKEA buys a gigantic forest, saving it from development, and promises to manage it sustainably, we have reason to celebrate. We have a partner that values the science behind climate change and is willing to invest in the future. IKEA’s recent purchase of 10,680 acres of Georgia forest, and its commitment to maintain it responsibly, lend hope to all the eco-warriors out there fighting the good fight.Continue reading “IKEA | A Leader in Sustainability”
Washington (GGM) Analysis | January 31, 2021 by Catherine Zacuto, M. Ed.
It’s cold out there! You might be wondering about how to keep the kids busy, active, and productive. While remaining tucked away in the warm, cozy house, you can occupy them as they get ready to be Climate Superheroes! The hope of spring can inspire everyone to dig in and prepare for the near future, a future made better because you are helping fight climate change.Continue reading “Winter Activities for Kids | Climate Change”
Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 10, 2020 by Noreen Wise
Compost is a big deal in the calculus for increasing carbon sink in our soil. It provides one of the most effective methods for the US public to assist with cutting carbon as deeply and swiftly as possible.Continue reading “Compost & Carbon Sink| Climate Action”
Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 8, 2020
by Noreen Wise
Composting is quickly becoming a very big deal. Knowing what can be composted, particularly at home, will net many positive rewards for you as an individual as well as your household, the environment, and for contributing in the lowering of global atmospheric carbon levels.
Since there are so many benefits to composting, the sooner we start, the better. For the most part, it’s broken down to a solid mix of “Greens” and “Browns,” the add a bit of water to the bin. Per the US EPA, the breakdown is as follows:
- all fruits & vegetables scraps
- coffee grounds & tea bags
- egg shells
- grass clippings
- yard trimmings
- house plants
- animal manures (except dog and cat)
- shredded newspaper
- dead leaves
- pine needles
- paper napkins
- straw and hay
- corn stalks
- dryer lint
Check your city to see of they have compost drop off stations. Many towns and cities do. Washington DC for example, has compost drop-off at every farmers market, and during winter, there are three locations, one of which is opened on Sundays. Spring and summer months, the public can pick up compost for free to use in home gardens.
We’ve got this, LET’S GO!~
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Washington (GGM) Analysis | October 15, 2019
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.
According 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
So, take the leap. It’s super easy and will instantly contribute to carbon reduction!
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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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