Tag: sustainability

Overhauling the Packaging of Consumer Brands | Circular Economy

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 13, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 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
  • straws
  • plastic film wrap
  • frozen food bags (nearly all vegetables are sold in non-recyclable bags)
  • cereal box liner
  • chip bags
  • granola bar, candy bar and nearly all snack items wrappers
  • six-pack rings
  • plastic hangers
  • 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.

Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.09.07 PM.png Thankfully, innovative sustainability companies have done just that. According to Healthy Human, the following are the top sustainable packaging innovations of 2019:

  • 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

Screen Shot 2020-02-13 at 10.09.27 PM.png

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 refuse to buy particular brands because of the packaging, corporations will soon wise up.

We can DO THIS!~

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantLogoNWST-75

ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300

Climate Change & Education | US Botanic Garden in DC

Washington (GGM) Analysis | February 2, 2020
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

With Italy’s official announcement at the beginning of the new year, that all schools will now teach sustainability & climate change, many American educators are looking for ways to incorporate climate change lesson plans into their curriculum.

This is a big deal. Education will curb the fears that many young students harbor when they hear repeated warnings about the future. News flashes on phones about apocalyptic wildfires that killed a billion animals, and destroyed thousands of homes, is massively anxiety provoking. Lack of information fuels their concern, and action oriented facts curb it.

With this in mind, it was very exciting to see the impactful event at the US Botanic Garden on Capitol Hill Thursday evening January 30, 2020 for teachers in the Washington DC and outlying suburbs. Interactive tables, featuring climate change lesson plans, were spread throughout the breathtaking flora. Sustainability, the environment and nature were also included. Very inspiring. Nature itself is therapeutic. Studying nature along with climate action will improve the mental health of our youth as we rush to adapt to the crushing reality of the climate crisis.

HillReport2-2-2020a

Modeling the importance of composting was powerful, especially on Capitol Hill where Mitch McConnell is blocking compositing in the dining halls in the Senate and House office buildings.

The following are several of the innovative lesson plans featured at the event:

  • Renewables and Nonrenewables, Oh My!
  • Waste Less, Recycle More
  • Greenhouse Manual by the US Botanic Garden: “exploring ways to incorporate a greenhouse as a hands-on learning environment for students of all ages.”
  • School Tree Planting Program
  • Native Knowledge, Teaching America’s Whole Story – created by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian
  • Living Earth Teach-In: Sustaining our Future through Indigenous Knowledge
  • Air Quality Action Guide
  • What You Should Know About Ground Level Ozone and Particle Pollution
  • An Educators Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE)
  • Oh, and creating seed pizzas that will make spring planting so much easier (this was amazing)

HillReport2-2-2020b

HillReport2-2-2020c

© Copyright 2018 – 2020. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantLogoNWST-75

ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300

State Blue Wave Arriving | 2020 Climate Action

Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 30, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

There are two new Democratic governors arriving into office next week, one of which flipped the governor’s seat from red to blue. Kentucky’s Andy Beshear, stunned the GOP with an unexpected upset that outed Trump and McConnell ally, Matt Bevin. Louisiana’s John Bel Edward, held off a fierce rival backed by Trump, and will return to Baton Rouge to finish the progress he started four years ago. There’s so much positive energy for long awaited changes (sidelined by Mitch McConnell the past three years at the federal level, particularly in 2019 with the Democratic House passing nearly 400 bills that are currently stacked under McConnell’s desk), that constituents feel optimistic much needed legislation will soon follow.

IST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300n November 2016, the year Trump came into power through the electoral college rather than popular vote, the net outcome on the gubernatorial side of things was 33 red governors and 16 blue. But, after three years of Trump’s continued defiance of the rule of the law and our Constitution, Americans appear to be venting their frustration through their choice of governors. The tides have shifted significantly with Democrats picking up 8 governorships. After the 2019 election, there are 26 red governors and 24 blue.  Just one away from being an even split.

Voters are hoping to see legislative movement with these gubernatorial pivots, particularly gun safety legislation and clean energy & sustainability. States with Democratic governors for more than a decade, are much further ahead with clean energy infrastructure and regulation, and their low carbon levels reinforce the positive impact legislation has on outcome. The states that have flipped from red to blue recently, now have to catch up. The ones that remain red will be left in the dust.

HillReport12-30-2019a

But all eyes should be on Virginia in 2020. The governorship, and both levels of the state legislature, are now blue. The Virginia legislative calendar begins next Wednesday January 8, 2020. Mom’s Demand Action and the NRA will both be descending on the state capitol in Richmond the first day to lobby the new arrivals about gun safety. Virginia is a state with two extremes. Charlottesville highlighted the tension. Trump has fueled the stormy division in the two years that have followed since that tragic day in Charlottesville, August 12, 2017.

One step at a time. Our Founding Fathers taught us that the way a democracy works is through the art of compromise. Let’s get this right! ~

HillReport12-20-2019b

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

Climate Change’s Impact on America’s Favorite Pastime | Sports

Washington (GGM) Analysis | November 22, 2019
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

America’s passion for professional sports, particularly baseball, is under severe threat from climate change. So with our favorite pastime now in peril, it becomes a powerful wake up call that should motivate us into quick action. The intense heat during summer months is impacting both the enjoyment and health of fans and players alike. More must be done ASAP.

  • High temperatures have resulted in several ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300
    teams reinventing their stadiums. The Miami Marlins, Houston Astros as well as four others are now equipped with air-conditioned stadiums with retractable roofs to ensure the well being of all in attendance.
  • Other teams adapt by changing their playing schedule, going to bat at midnight. This might be enjoyable on a summer Saturday night, but would be a nightmare during the week.
  • Wrigley Field in Chicago was dangerously hot this past July, with the heat index temperature reaching 107 degrees. The stadium set up cooling stations and offered fans free ice backs. Coaches were on a mission to keep the players hydrated. This required a significant amount of work and was clearly a borderline health risk. Hopefully, the powers that be are taking notes and finding a better solution for the future. This wasn’t a one-off but is rather a dire climate emergency that will escalate.
  • In October 2018, not a single American sports stadium made the top 5 sustainable stadiums in the world ranking. (1) Amersterdam ArenA,  Netherlends (2) National Stadium, Taiwan (3) Mineral Stadium, Brazil (4) Fisht Stadium, Russia (5) Khalifa International Stadium, Qatar.
  • However, the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta has deemed itself the “‘most sustainable sports venue in the world.'”
    • 4,000 solar panel
    • 2 millions gallons of stormwater capture
    • Water conservation

HillReport11-22-19a

  • The first “Zero Waste Super Bowl” was held in 2019 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota. The mission was to maximize recycling. The success rate reached 90%.
  • Recycling at America’s massive sports complexes must become a VERY big deal if we are to lower the carbon needle. It’s much more simple than most realize. There are now regional composting services that will assist with this. According to the Sloan Blog, Patrick Boyle, the Sloan Director of Corporate Sustainability, lowering waste at stadiums is a matter of limiting choices so that all refreshments are served using compostable plates and cups. This enables all waste to be thrown away in the same bin and picked up by one truck.

HillReport11-22-19b

Some sustainability focused stadiums are taking climate action one step further and getting players involved in educating fans on the importance of recycling and sustainability. The Sloan Blog notes that stars are assuring the public that “Ordinary people can make a difference.”

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

Energy-Storage Batteries | A Whole New Industry

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Analysis | September 16, 2019)
NoreenProfilePicHillReport-75 by Noreen Wise

With the global climate crisis focus upon us, which begins Friday September 20, 2019 with a massive worldwide #ClimateStrike, and continues for a full week of events, the entire globe will be fixated on how we can quickly find and execute the cure and save millions of lives, and in certain regions, entire populations.

ST-Saga-CovFrnt-72dpi-300This year has seen an unprecedented uptick in the switch to solar energy, with California leading the way.  EV car sales are leaping tall buildings. The increase in clean energy is so significant, that the new big industry mushrooming overnight is that of storing excess clean energy, to be used after the sun goes down, or when supply runs out. There are investors and innovators popping up in many countries, looking to produce the highest quality energy storage batteries — small ones for homeowners, and massive ones known as “utility scale” for corporations, towns, cities, etc.

It would be very smart if fossil fuel communities jumped in quick to seize the opportunity and transition coal and oil workers into clean energy storage careers.

Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 5.04.44 PM.png

Batteries are very important in enabling energy companies to store the excess energy generated by a sunny or windy day, to then be used at night, or on a very still day, when there’s no strong wind force. Critical requirements for high quality energy storage batteries include the following:

  • Capacity & Power – measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), we should get stackable kind so we can easily increase capacity as need grows
  • Depth of Discharge (DoD) – the amount of the battery that has been used, a battery’s use level has a floor; the higher the DoD (ie 80%), the more the battery can be used before needing to be recharged
  • Round trip efficiency – it takes a certain amount of energy to store energy, so the higher the efficiency, the more energy you’ll receive from your battery; the efficiency rate is measured as a percent, the higher the percent, the higher the efficiency (30% is bad, 80% is good)
  • Battery life & warranty – clean energy storage batteries have a “cycle” of charging and draining; battery life is listed as a specific number of cycles, ie 4,000; a warranty will read something to the effect: 4,000 cycles or 8 years at 65% of it’s capacity… meaning at the end of the warranty the battery will have only lost 35% of it’s initial capacity.
  • Manufacturer – there are no so many different brands that it’s difficult to determine which is the best, so it’s important to compare using the above four critical features

Screen Shot 2019-09-16 at 5.10.55 PM.png

Companies around the world hoping to become the top clean energy storage producers. Here are 7 to keep your eye on:

  • Tesla
  • Vivint Solar
  • LG Chem
  • Eos Energy Storage
  • Sonnen
  • Nissan
  • Sunverge

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

 

Think Green When Making Weekend & Vacation Plans

Washington (Gallant Gold Media Hill Report | Perspective | March 17, 2019)
NoreenByLine by Noreen Wise

GREEN should forever be at the forefront of our minds whenever we make weekend plans as well as vacation plans.

Climate Action, is nothing more than a resolution. A proposal. An urgent call of action to help address the most challenging crisis facing America and every nation around the world. Climate change impacts all of us. The traumatic reality brings our diverse global population together through a shared purpose.

With the arrival of spring, we can move into the GREEN fast lane and start planting trees. As many trees as space allows. Pakistan has planted over a billion trees. The most important step for us to remember here in America is that steady consistency is the best path forward. Let’s be inclusive. Let’s create a vision for solving this crisis that the vast majority will identify with and participate in. No closed doors. No closed minds.

Here’s a quick lesson on how to properly plant a tree:

Have fun! Make it a family or friend event. It’s wonderful to know that around the world, communities are gathering to plant trees. Not only will this reduce carbon, it will provide cleaner oxygen and a more beautiful environment that will add cheer to our lives. Health and beauty are worth fighting hard for.

Screen Shot 2019-03-17 at 10.05.08 PM.png

© Copyright 2018 – 2019. ALL Rights Reserved.
GallantIcon-mini-a