In 2002, San Francisco set its sights on becoming the first waste-free city in the United States. Since then, the Golden City has proven itself to be a national waste management role model. Phase 1 of the city’s masterplan was to divert 75% of its waste by 2010, which it artfully achieved two years early. The speed of San Francisco’s success was likely tied to California’s Integrated Waste Management Act of 1989 which mandated that each local jurisdiction in California divert 50% of its waste materials. California fined cities $10,000 per day if they fell below 50% which led to strong compliance.
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.
Some people fall easily into the “dog people” category, some into the “cat people” one. If you are not either of those, you may be a “worm person.” Even if you love dogs and cats, you might be surprised to discover the advantages of worms for your lifestyle and your garden. Though not cuddly, worms make great pets. They don’t smell, they are clean, and they don’t have to be fed every day (or even every week). Worms don’t disturb the neighbours. They have a symbiotic relationship with insects. Worms don’t need pet sitters when you go away for a month. Even if you don’t need a new pet, the advantages of worms are worth investigating.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 10, 2020 byNoreen 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.
Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 6, 2020 by Noreen Wise
It’s exciting to think about all the ways we can rush forward on the climate front in 2021, with John Kerry as the US Climate Envoy, and our 46th President, Joe Biden promising to rejoin the Paris Agreement on the day he’s inaugurated, January 20, 2021.
methane doesn’t last as long in the atmosphere as carbon (9.1 years vs 200 years), but is a major contributor to global warming all the same
our soil is desperate for nutrients
composting our food waste at homes, eateries, and cafeterias, and mixing it into the soil in our communities, solves two crises at the same time, curbing global warming by cutting methane emissions while simultaneously increasing carbon sink in soil
nourishing our soil with compost instead of fertilizer will also cut down on the pollution found in our water supply by scaling back on the fertilizer toxic run off that occurs when it rains and through lawn watering
South Korea has already banned food waste from landfills. Washington DC, has proposed the same. On October 22, 2019, the Zero-Waste Bill was introduced, proposing the elimination of food waste from the DC landfills. DC has an exceptional composting infrastructure already in place. Give and take, collecting community compost at multiple farmer’s markets in the city while offering it to residents for free at these same locations.
In learning the logic behind the composting movement, it’s now very important that we act swiftly to adapt to the changes required. Every household should make this easy transition ASAP. Once cured, which takes 4-6 weeks, adding home compost to home gardens or a nearby forest is one way to make good use of home compost. Additionally, the vast majority of local communities on the East and West Coasts have composting facilities for residents, and many collect compost at the farmer’s markets each week as well.