Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 9, 2021 by authorNoreen Wise
It’s a brand new day, filled with so much hope. We have a new administration, expressing a multitude of positive and inspirational words of wisdom and transformative goals, as well as outlining the steps forward that will lead us toward the achievement of these goals. It all begins with each of us participating.
Washington (GGM) Analysis | May 9, 2021 by authorNoreen Wise
Soil and dirt are not the same thing, according to geologist and author David R. Montgomery. Dark brown soil is life, teaming with microbes, the engineers of all the nature that flourishes above ground. Microbe rich soil contains major amounts of carbon and moisture. Soil is the very thing that sustains our existence on the planet.
Washington (GGM) Analysis | March 19, 2021 byNoreen Wise
With thecircular economynow in full swing outside the United States, it becomes that much more clear just how many everyday items cannot be recycled. The reality is alarming. We’ll never reach zero waste unless we find innovative solutions to meet this imperative.
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.
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 | 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 13, 2020
by Noreen Wise
With the advent of the global circular economy movement, it soon becomes clear just how many everyday items can’t be recycled. It’s quite alarming. We’ll never reach zero waste unless we find innovative solutions to meet this imperative.
Take plastic, for example. The following plastic packaging/ additional items cannot be recycled:
plastic single use shopping bags
plastic film wrap
frozen food bags (nearly all vegetables are sold in non-recyclable bags)
cereal box liner
granola bar, candy bar and nearly all snack items wrappers
any plastic containers that can’t be cleaned, ie toothpaste tubes
Back before I was aware that these particular pieces couldn’t be recycled, it was exciting to end the month with an empty kitchen garbage bin. But now that I’m in the know, and I see the waste stack up, I feel maximum frustration. We have to stop, focus and fix.
Loop, Returnity and Share Pack – companies that enable consumers to conveniently return packaging either by dropping off at targeted locations, or sending back in company provided totes
Plant based packaging – plastics made from plants
Edible packaging – typically this is seaweed, hopefully they’ll soon find additional alternatives
Plantable packaging – contains seeds so the packaging can be planted after use
Compostable plastic alternatives
Minimal packaging design
Upcycled or recycled packaging
Sustainable packaging solutions are here. All we need now is to grow demand which will come from our consumer decision making. We simply must be motivated to seek these sustainably packaged products out and use our wallets to influence corporations to switch. If we all refuseto buy particular brands because of the packaging, corporations will soon wise up.