Tag Archives: environment

Is Bernie Sanders the only one still talking about climate change?

This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

The Democratic Party omitted any mention of climate change in its rebuttal Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address.

In his speech, Democratic Representative Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts didn’t bring up global warming, sea-level rise, or the surge in global greenhouse gas emissions, which threaten to become worse as the Republican White House ramps up fossil fuel production to unprecedented levels.

The 37-year-old former prosecutor and grandson of Massachusetts Democrat Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968, lamented the Trump administration’s “all-out war on environmental protection,” made a passing reference to a “coal miner” and lionized Americans with the courage to “wade through floodwaters, battle hurricanes, and brave wildfires and mudslides to save a stranger.”

Yet, like Trump, the Democrat neglected critical milestones in the climate crisis in his speech. Last year marked the world’s second-hottest year on record. The U.S. racked up a record $306 billion in climate-related damages. And fossil fuel emissions hit an all-time high as the rate of carbon dioxide pollution began increasing for the first time in three years.

Drew Hammill, a Democratic spokesperson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This comes against the backdrop of Trump dismantling U.S. policies to reduce greenhouse gases and slashing funding for research. The president, who has long mocked scientists’ warnings on climate change, announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, which has been signed by every other nation on Earth. In October, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, the federal government’s only major policy to reduce emissions. In his inaugural State of the Union address, Trump declared an end to a “war on American energy.” He took credit for the boost in fossil fuel exports that began under President Barack Obama, and he celebrated the end of a “war on beautiful, clean coal,” a bizarre statement at odds with the continued closures of coal-fired plants and the high-profile failure of a carbon-capture coal plant last year. The president noted “floods and fires and storms,” but did not mention the overwhelming scientific consensus that a warming planet has made the weather events worse.

The GOP remains the only major political party in the developed world to oppose the widely accepted science behind human-made global warming as a platform issue. Yet Democrats’ criticism has focused more on their opponents’ climate denialism than on policies to drastically curb emissions, leaving the party without any grand vision to address what they routinely call the greatest environmental challenge of a lifetime. A tax on carbon ― the policy proposed by Reagan-era economists and nominally supported by Big Oil ― remains the foremost idea on the table.

Kennedy’s dynastic roots and impassioned speeches defending health care laws have made him a rising star in the party. While he isn’t known for his environmental stances, he earned a 96 percent lifetime score on the League of Conservation Voters’ ranking.

Even the State of the Union statement issued by Rhode Island Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, considered one of the most hawkish Democrats on climate issues, snubbed climate change. He did, however, rail against the Trump administration’s plans to open nearly all federal waters to oil and gas exploration, noting that the proposal put “the local commercial fishing industry and the Ocean State’s coastal economy in harm’s way.”

By contrast, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent, pointedly skewered Trump for ignoring climate change.

“How can a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention climate change?” he said in his own rebuttal. “No, Mr. Trump, climate change is not a ‘hoax.’

“It is a reality which is causing devastating harm all over our country and all over the world, and you are dead wrong when you appoint administrators at the EPA and other agencies who are trying to decimate environmental protection rules and slow down the transition to sustainable energy.”

Sanders is scheduled to participate in a “Climate State of the Union” on Wednesday evening hosted by the environmental group 350.org.

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Is Bernie Sanders the only one still talking about climate change?

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Make a Pledge to Nature This Year

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Make a Pledge to Nature This Year

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8 Ways to Go Green While Getting Fit

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Committing to a healthy lifestyle is No. 1 on the to-do lists of so many of us this year. I can’t deny I’m in that group. If you’re with me, these eight easy tips will help you green your workout routine whether you’re just starting (or restarting) your fitness journey or continuing your already-established regimen.

1. Use a Reusable Water Bottle

Capitalism and marketing have created a bottled water surge in the U.S. Don’t fall for it! Plastic water bottles are a huge environmental pollutant and require harmful fossil fuels to be made. Americans buy 29 billion plastic water bottles a year, and only one of every six is actually tossed in the recycling bin. The others sit in landfills for up to 450 years before degrading.

Rather than contributing to environmental devastation by plastic bottle, I encourage you to switch to reusable drinkware. Bottles made from aluminum, stainless steel and BPA-free plastic are all great choices for eco-friendly thirst quenching.

2. Ditch Disposable Towels

Most gyms advise members to wipe down equipment after a sweaty training session. Handy wet wipe dispensers stand by to help you accomplish this. Unfortunately for the planet, wet wipes aren’t recyclable.

Look harder and you might find a bottle of cleaning solution and a reusable cloth towel for you to wash your workout machine. This waste-reducing tactic is a much greener option than using single-use towels. Ask an employee for help if you can’t find any wet wipe alternatives at your gym.

3. Enroll in a Green Gym

Gyms across the country are taking on eco-friendly initiatives. Solar panels on stationary bikes, treadmills that generate energy, water bottle filling stations and recycled equipment are a few things that earn gyms the “green” title. Look for one of these innovative facilities near you or ask your favorite gym about their environmental policy. You can — and should — embolden them to adopt more green practices.

4. Solar-Charge Your Phone

Using reusable energy instead of burning fossil fuels is so important for the environment. We all should be using solar power — or some other source of renewable energy — for everything. Sometimes that’s difficult, though. Until you go completely solar, you can start by getting a solar-powered device charger or power bank. That way, you can jam out to your pump-me-up playlist guilt-free while you sweat.

5. Master the Five-Minute Shower

There’s nothing quite like a refreshing shower after a tough gym session. It feels great to wash away the sweat that comes with a workout and emerge feeling fresh, clean and ready to take on the day (or night).

More than two gallons per minute are flowing down the drain from the moment you twist that nozzle. Remember that the next time you’re tempted to take your time in the shower to relax your tired muscles. Taking shorter showers is an excellent way to be eco-friendly. Invest in a shower timer and aim for five minutes.

6. Fuel Sustainably

There are many environmentally friendly ways to fuel up before or after a workout — are they part of your routine? Next time you reach for the protein powder or chomp down on an energy bar, ask yourself what it’s made of. Many of us choose to make shakes with whey protein, take harsh supplements or eat processed energy bars — because that’s what everyone does, right?

Whey protein is actually derived from animals and is part of a grossly fossil-fueled industry. Consider switching to a plant-based protein powder, like those made with brown rice or peas, which can be just as effective as whey protein in helping you reach your fitness goals and is much better for the planet.

I understand the appeal of the energy bar — it’s portable, tasty and filling — but the kind of energy bar you eat is crucial. The optimal bar is one with whole ingredients, like fruits and nuts, and no artificial sweeteners. Nutritionists suggest bars with at least five grams of protein, three grams of fiber and less than five grams of fat. A snack with these qualities is sure to keep your energy high and hunger satisfied.

Alternatively, pack a handful of almonds or a hard-boiled egg for a quick and natural energy boost.

7. Bike to Work

To drive or to bike? It may seem like an easy choice on a chilly morning before work, but you may not realize how beneficial hopping on your bicycle can be. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint, you’ll burn fat and improve heart health. You may even inspire your colleagues to green their commute, too! If biking to work isn’t an option, use two wheels for running errands around town.

8. Recycle Your Gear

Step away from the dumpster. When you’re ready to replace your old gear, donate or recycle it to give it new life instead of sending it to a landfill where it will pollute the environment for decades. Thrift stores will accept gently used workout gear as donations, and there are many organizations dedicated to providing donated gear to those in need. Nike, for example, takes donations and recycles old shoes into new apparel, footwear and surfaces.

Now get out there and break a sweat! Your body will thank you, and if you keep the earth in mind, it will thank you, too.

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What Is Nanotechnology and How Can It Change Our Lives For the Better?

Nanotechnology is the study of extremely small particles, or nanoparticles, and how these can be manipulated and controlled in useful ways. Nanotechnology is currently being used in hundreds of common products, including batteries, sunscreens, antibacterial products, scratch-resistant coatings, electronics, plastics, and even food and cosmetics.

But this technology is so new, many of us know very little about it. There are also many concerns about its safety for human and ecological health. Let?s shed some light on this important topic and its potential impact on our lives.

WHAT ARE NANOPARTICLES?

Nanoparticles are any particles of matter small enough to be measured on the nanoscale. This is the same scale used to measure atoms and molecules. In fact, many biological and natural systems occur at the nanoscale. The protein hemoglobin that carries oxygen in our blood is only 5 nanometers, or 5 billionths of a meter, in diameter.

Other natural nanoparticles are being investigated for possible use in nanotechnology. For instance, scientists are currently researching the strength and flexibility of spider silk, which is reinforced by natural nanoscale crystals. And they have already copied the nanostructure of lotus leaves to create water repellent surfaces in fabrics and other materials.

WHY USE NANOPARTICLES?

What?s wrong with regular-sized particles, you may ask? The difference lies in what scientists call the ?quantum effect.? Larger particles of matter, such as gases, liquids and solids, have very predictable qualities. Whereas, matter can have unexpected behaviors at the nanoscale. These quantum effects can include properties such as greater strength, lighter weight or increased chemical reactivity.

For example, gold nanoparticles react differently to light than their larger-sized counterparts. Gold can appear red or purple on the nanoscale. Also, it?s been found that gold nanoparticles selectively accumulate in tumors. It?s not known why they do this, but scientists have been able to use gold nanoparticles to create more precise imaging and laser destruction techniques that can target tumor cells and avoid harming healthy cells.

Another important quality of nanoparticles is their significantly larger surface area compared to regular particles. The surface area of a particle is what allows for reactions with surrounding materials. A large particle of matter will have a limited amount of surface area. Whereas, there can be trillions or more nanoparticles in the same amount of space as a larger-sized particle. That means they can have trillions of times more surface area for reactions.

This is important for many different technologies. Scientists are researching nanoengineered batteries and fuel cells, where enhanced chemical reactivity could potentially produce cleaner, safer and cheaper ways to produce and store energy. Nanoparticles? larger surface area also holds great potential for products such as water filtration systems, pharmaceuticals and clothing insulation.

HOW IS NANOTECHNOLOGY USED?

The use of nanotechnology has exploded over the past few decades. More and more manufacturers are including nanomaterials in a vast array of products. In fact, over 1,600 products are known to contain nanoparticles today. And research is ongoing, so you can expect to see a lot more in the near future.

These are some examples of current products and technologies that incorporate nanomaterials.

Biomedical

Nanotechnology is used in many areas of health care, including wound dressings with nanoscale silver as an anti-bacterial agent, and synthetic bone based on nanoparticles that can be inserted into areas where natural bone is missing or broken.

Electronics

The field of nanoelectronics has created many advances, including faster, smaller and more portable electronics with increasingly large amounts of data storage. Ultra-high definition screens use nanotechnology to produce more vibrant colors and improve energy efficiency. Nanoscience is also behind bendable and flexible electronics that are being introduced in medical and other applications.

Clothing

Nanoscale additives and surface treatments have created fabrics that resist wrinkling, staining and bacterial growth. Some fabrics can even provide lightweight ballistic energy deflection in personal body armor.

Energy

The Shenhua Group, one of the world?s largest coal companies, is using nanotechnology to liquify coal and turn it into gas. This could bring a major change to global energy production as countries with large natural reserves of coal, such as China and the U.S., now have the potential to manufacture gasoline.

Sunscreen

Certain sunscreens contain molecularly-engineered nanomaterials that absorb more light than normal brands and spread more evenly on your skin compared to the thick, sticky sunscreens you might be used to.

Cosmetics

Encapsulating or suspending ingredients in what?s called nanospheres or nanoemulsions can increase their penetration into your skin. Many different products use this in some form. For example, in 1998, L?Oreal introduced Plentitude Revitalift, an anti-wrinkle cream that used polymer nanocapsules to deliver active ingredients into deeper layers of skin.

Food

Nanoparticles made from clay are being used in lightweight bottles, cartons and packaging films to create an impermeable barrier to gasses such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. In addition, storage containers are being made with silver nanoparticles embedded in the plastic that will kill any bacteria present.

IS NANOTECHNOLOGY SAFE?

Nanotechnology has the potential to transform our lives for the better. Cheap, lightweight solar plastics are being developed that could make solar energy more widely available. Nanoparticles have been discovered that can easily clean up toxic chemical spills and air-borne pollutants. Lightweight nanomaterials may even hold the key to expanding space exploration.

Despite these potential gains, nanotechnology has a shadow side. It?s a very new science, and therefore, we have no way of knowing the long-term effects of releasing nanoparticles into our environment.

Studies funded by agencies like the National Institutes of Health and the Environmental Protection Agency are looking at potential safety concerns associated with nanoscale materials. But, it?s difficult to keep up with this rapidly expanding technology.

And perhaps more concerningly, the nanotechnology industry is largely unregulated. Companies aren?t required to label products containing nanoparticles, and there are no recognized standards on production and handling of nanomaterials. The National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety recommends that precautions be in place to avoid worker exposure to nanomaterials, but this is still primarily left in the hands of the employers.

In addition to human health concerns related to nanoparticles, we also do not know the potential affects on our planet and ecosystems. Studies have shown that some nanomaterials are toxic to species such as algae, invertebrates and fish. Disturbing evidence has also found that nanomaterials can be transferred across generations in both animals and plants.

One of the best ways to keep yourself and our planet safe is to stay informed about this new technology. Check if any of your commonly-used products contain known nanoparticles on The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies website. Speak to your local politicians about what they?re doing to ensure the products of nanotechnology are safe.

And don?t hesitate to share what you know with others. The more everyone knows about nanotechnology, the more likely it is that manufacturers will be held accountable to effective health and safety standards.

Related at Care2

Will Nanotechnology Help or Hurt Our Environment?
What Is Rising CO2 in Our Atmosphere Doing to Our Food?
5 Household Items You Should Be Buying Organic

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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What Is Nanotechnology and How Can It Change Our Lives For the Better?

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Megafire – Michael Kodas

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Megafire

The Race to Extinguish a Deadly Epidemic of Flame

Michael Kodas

Genre: Nature

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: August 22, 2017

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company


A brilliant exploration of the rising phenomenon of megafires—forest fires of alarming scale, intensity, and devastation—that explains the science of what is causing them and captures the danger and heroism of those who fight them In Megafire, a world-renowned journalist and forest fire expert travels to the most dangerous and remote wildernesses, as well as to the backyards of people faced with these environmental disasters, to look at the heart of this phenomenon and witness firsthand the heroic efforts of the firefighters and scientists racing against time to stop it—or at least to tame these deadly flames. From Colorado to California, China to Canada, the narrative hopscotches the globe and takes readers to the frontlines of the battle both on the ground and in the air, and in the laboratories, universities, and federal agencies where this issue rages on. Through this prism of perspectives, Kodas zeroes in on a handful of the most terrifying and tumultuous of these environmental disasters in recent years—the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona that took the lives of nineteen elite “hotshot” firefighters, the Waldo Canyon Fire that overwhelmed the city of Colorado Springs—and more in a page-turning narrative that puts a face on the brave people at the heart of this issue. Megafire describes the profound impact of these fires around the earth and will change the way we think about the environment and the essential precariousness of our world.  

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Megafire – Michael Kodas

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Physics of the Future – Michio Kaku

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Physics of the Future
How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100
Michio Kaku

Genre: Physics

Price: $2.99

Publish Date: March 15, 2011

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Seller: Penguin Random House LLC


Imagine, if you can, the world in the year 2100. In Physics of the Future , Michio Kaku—the New York Times bestselling author of Physics of the Impossible —gives us a stunning, provocative, and exhilarating vision of the coming century based on interviews with over three hundred of the world’s top scientists who are already inventing the future in their labs. The result is the most authoritative and scientifically accurate description of the revolutionary developments taking place in medicine, computers, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy production, and astronautics. In all likelihood, by 2100 we will control computers via tiny brain sensors and, like magicians, move objects around with the power of our minds. Artificial intelligence will be dispersed throughout the environment, and Internet-enabled contact lenses will allow us to access the world’s information base or conjure up any image we desire in the blink of an eye. Meanwhile, cars will drive themselves using GPS, and if room-temperature superconductors are discovered, vehicles will effortlessly fly on a cushion of air, coasting on powerful magnetic fields and ushering in the age of magnetism. Using molecular medicine, scientists will be able to grow almost every organ of the body and cure genetic diseases. Millions of tiny DNA sensors and nanoparticles patrolling our blood cells will silently scan our bodies for the first sign of illness, while rapid advances in genetic research will enable us to slow down or maybe even reverse the aging process, allowing human life spans to increase dramatically. In space, radically new ships—needle-sized vessels using laser propulsion—could replace the expensive chemical rockets of today and perhaps visit nearby stars. Advances in nanotechnology may lead to the fabled space elevator, which would propel humans hundreds of miles above the earth’s atmosphere at the push of a button. But these astonishing revelations are only the tip of the iceberg . Kaku also discusses emotional robots, antimatter rockets, X-ray vision, and the ability to create new life-forms, and he considers the development of the world economy. He addresses the key questions: Who are the winner and losers of the future? Who will have jobs, and which nations will prosper? All the while, Kaku illuminates the rigorous scientific principles, examining the rate at which certain technologies are likely to mature, how far they can advance, and what their ultimate limitations and hazards are. Synthesizing a vast amount of information to construct an exciting look at the years leading up to 2100, Physics of the Future is a thrilling, wondrous ride through the next 100 years of breathtaking scientific revolution. From the Hardcover edition.

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2 national monuments in Utah are about to lose most of their land

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2 national monuments in Utah are about to lose most of their land

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8.3 Billion Reasons to Break Free From Plastic

Ever since seeing the now famous YouTube clip of a sea turtle with a straw stuck in its nose, I?ve made an effort to avoid plastic straws. When I go grocery shopping I take my own bags and I also make a point of eschewing the single-use bags in the fresh produce section (much to the consternation of the person weighing my fruit and vegetables).

I try to buy things packaged in glass, I drink filtered tap water and wear flip-flops made from recycled rubber. There are plenty of zero-waste activists out there who make my efforts seem positively puny, but at least I?m doing something, right?

It?s better than doing nothing, sure, but when you consider that humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, you realize its time to up your game.

I mean, it?s a little embarrassing to learn that Rwanda has banned plastic bags in their entirety and the campaign to eliminate plastic straws was started by a nine-year-old, when you?re still buying the occasional single-use plastic item just because it?s easier.

As if that wasn?t enough of a wakeup call, I then found out about Break Free From Plastic, a global movement on a mission to stop plastic pollution for good. With The Story of Stuff Project as one of their anchor organizations, members on almost every continent and the likes of Greenpeace joining forces with them, Break Free is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.

All the Plastic Ever Made: Breaking Study Tallies 8.3 Billion Metric Tons

There?s literally a ton of plastic garbage for every person on earth. Think about that for a moment and then ruminate on this: of the 8.3 billion tons of plastic produced since the 1950s, over half of it was made between 2004 and now.

We all know that plastic is a problem, but whether it?s the desire for convenience, the fact that we?re lazy or that the problem just seems overwhelmingly large, we?re all acting as if nothing?s wrong. That has to change.

I caught up with Shilpi Chhotray, Senior Communications Officer at Break Free From Plastic to find out how. Her suggestions for effecting change at both a domestic and civic level are more than doable. Literally, we have no excuse not to implement them.

Shilpi isn?t just paying lip service to the movement either. She?s implemented these practices at her own company?Sumudra Skin + Sea?as well. She?started the?skincare line with an ?ocean-first? business model (Sumudra means ‘ocean’ in Sanskrit)?that uses?reusable glass containers?instead of plastic and edible-grade kelp as an ingredient source.

Photo Credit: Sumadra Skin + Sea

How did you come to be involved in the Break Free From Plastic movement?

I’ve been involved in ocean advocacy for a decade and became immersed in plastic waste issues a few years ago through my work in stakeholder engagement with an ocean plastic lens. I took a deep dive, if you will, on the major players (the companies creating it and the organizations fighting against it) and the key research around the issue during this time. In July 2017, I was recruited to take the role as a Senior Communications Officer to amplify the work of the organizations behind the movement.

We?re each drawn to the causes we support for different reasons. What prompted you to focus your efforts on ocean conservation?

It was a study abroad trip to Cairns, Australia, home to the Great Barrier Reef, when I was a college undergrad at Virginia Tech University. Being exposed to the human impacts on the environment, specifically the ocean, sparked a lifelong desire to protect our blue planet. I took my interest a step further and focused my efforts in graduate school on marine protected areas, or creating underwater national parks to safeguard earth’s most precious resources. After being introduced to the rocky intertidal ecosystem (and the magical world of seaweeds), I was inspired to study marine organisms through underwater exploration via scuba (and a human-powered submersible in a later position!).

The stats released in the latest study (8.3 billion tons of plastic produced since 1950) are overwhelming to say the very least. Is it really possible to turn the tide on plastic pollution?

And to add to that, only 9 percent has been recycled since, which sparks two major considerations not being discussed enough: first, the global north (US + Europe) export copious amounts of waste overseas and second, recycling is clearly not a viable solution to the plastic waste crisis.

It’s absolutely possible to turn the tide on plastic pollution and that’s what Break Free From Plastic is all about. By emphasizing source reduction and investing in zero waste solutions at the city-level, we can greatly combat plastic waste ending up in our ocean, roads and waterways.

For instance, one of our member organizations in the Philippines, Mother Earth Foundation, helps cities develop programs to manage their waste. In the city of San Fernando 75 percent of waste gets composted or recycled and they aim to hit 93 percent. Mother Earth’s President, Froilan Grate says, “If you truly want to stop ocean pollution, it starts on land, which means rethinking how we manage our waste.”

What do you say to the person on the street who thinks the problem is too big to fix?

We created the problem in the first place so we can also fix it. We HAVE to fix it because we’ve already reached the tipping point of acceptable levels of plastic pollution. Microplastics (broken down from larger pieces of plastic) are literally everywhere, from fish to seabirds to our sources of drinking water, and even sea salt and beer.

Using a reusable bag and skipping the straw is good place to start, but it’s a terrible place to stop. My colleagues at SOSP for instance, encourage a culture of ?leveling up? by taking these practices to your communities ?your office, your child’s school, after school clubs and even your favorite caf?, to effect widespread change.

Where you go next is to engage at the civic level. Talk to the companies! If you don’t like the business practices, tag them on Facebook, write to them about your concerns. You can also write to city government officials to pass regulations…these are all important steps to effect systems change.

I love this quote from our Campaigns Director, Stiv Wilson: “Our consumer muscles have gotten really strong and our citizen muscles have gotten really weak. Not everyone is an activist, figure out where you can contribute and plug in.”

How can we as individuals make a difference? Can you offer some suggestions (small and big) of changes we can make in our daily lives?

It’s important to make smart purchasing decisions and avoid brands emphasizing a throw away lifestyle (single-use plastics). Break Free From Plastic member organizations in the Philippines recently conducted an 8-day coastal cleanup and brand audit in Freedom Island, a critical area for migratory birds, to identify the most polluting brands. Turns out, six international brands are responsible for roughly 54 percent of plastic packaging pollution found there.

Among them are corporate behemoths like Nestl?, Unilever?and Proctor & Gamble ?parent companies of the brands sitting in your kitchen and bathroom right now. Break Free From Plastic is encouraging anyone doing coastal cleanup activities to combine it with a brand audit, because coastal cleanup is simply not enough. For more information visit Plastic Polluters.org.

There are greener alternatives that are better for us and the planet. Personally, I’ve transitioned to shopping for groceries in bulk, buying less, and a lot of DIY. Even slowing down and dining in can help reduce single-use plastic waste, and it’s more fun too!

What is the one thing you?d really like people to understand about the negative impact of plastic that we might not already know?

Plastic pollution is not just an ocean issue, it’s a social justice issue impacting low income people of color who are often on the front-lines of the crisis fighting incineration (or burning of plastic waste) for the safety of their communities. Many of these communities are also in Asia and being blamed for the waste they didn’t create, the waste coming from the developed world.

At Break Free From Plastic we are shining a spotlight on innovative and scalable solutions created by our Asian colleagues, focusing on zero-waste cities and making sure the responsibility falls on the corporations accountable.

Was being a socially conscious brand on the cards from day one for Samudra Skin + Sea or did the brand?s ethos evolve over time?

Absolutely ?it’s a social venture. We have an ?ocean-first? business model, which means protection for the ocean is the foundation for all aspects of our methods and mission. For instance, we hand harvest the wild seaweed used in our products to ensure the regenerative properties of the plant continue to thrive for generations to come.

We have a zero-waste packaging model which means all of our products are encased in reusable glass jars with bamboo lids and/or compostable boxes certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Our soap bar in particular, created for hair and body, eliminates the need for bottled shampoos and conditioners. We strongly advocate a ?less is more? mentality and repurposing and reusing when possible.

Our mission includes partnering on marine conservation campaigns that benefit people and marine life. The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito and 5 Gyres (who is also a Break Free From Plastic movement member) are two fantastic organizations we work with to communicate efforts around ocean stewardship. Personal wellness and ecological integrity need to go hand-in-hand, and Samudra is bridging that gap.

With so many people doing what they can to effect positive change in the world, it?s hard to just sit back and pretend that plastic is someone else?s problem. It?s everyone?s problem. In my own life, I?m definitely going to try harder to reduce the amount of waste I generate. What about you? How will you #breakfreefromplastic?

Related Stories:

5 Human Habits Harmful to Ocean Health

How to Tell if Your Sunscreen is Damaging Coral Reefs
22 Freaky Facts About Plastic Pollution

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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8.3 Billion Reasons to Break Free From Plastic

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Wildfire smoke adds apocalyptic hellscape to Disneyland’s attractions.

Sorry to ruin the party, but a report from the Food Climate Research Network casts doubt on recent suggestions that pasture-raised cattle could sequester massive amounts of carbon in the soil.

By nibbling plants and stimulating new root growth, the old argument goes, cows can encourage deeper root networks, which suck up more carbon. Proponents of grass-fed meat have embraced these findings, saying that pasture-raised livestock could mitigate the impact of meat consumption on the environment.

The new report — cleverly titled “Grazed and Confused?” — acknowledges that pastured cattle can be carbon negative, but this depends on the right soil and weather conditions. In most places, according to the report, grazers produce much more greenhouse gas than they add to the ground. It is an “inconvenient truth,” the authors write, that most studies show grass-fed beef has a bigger carbon footprint than feedlot meat. “Increasing grass-fed ruminant numbers is, therefore, a self-defeating climate strategy,” the report concludes.

Fortunately, grass-fed beef is not the only solution being bandied about: Research shows that a small dose of seaweed in livestock feed could drastically reduce methane emissions. And if you really want to reduce your impact on the climate you could, you know, stop eating meat.

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Wildfire smoke adds apocalyptic hellscape to Disneyland’s attractions.

Posted in alo, Anchor, ATTRA, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, Paradise, Ringer, solar, solar power, Uncategorized, wind energy, wind power | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Wildfire smoke adds apocalyptic hellscape to Disneyland’s attractions.

California plans to reject a controversial natural gas plant, embracing a cleaner future.

Sorry to ruin the party, but a report from the Food Climate Research Network casts doubt on recent suggestions that pasture-raised cattle could sequester massive amounts of carbon in the soil.

By nibbling plants and stimulating new root growth, the old argument goes, cows can encourage deeper root networks, which suck up more carbon. Proponents of grass-fed meat have embraced these findings, saying that pasture-raised livestock could mitigate the impact of meat consumption on the environment.

The new report — cleverly titled “Grazed and Confused?” — acknowledges that pastured cattle can be carbon negative, but this depends on the right soil and weather conditions. In most places, according to the report, grazers produce much more greenhouse gas than they add to the ground. It is an “inconvenient truth,” the authors write, that most studies show grass-fed beef has a bigger carbon footprint than feedlot meat. “Increasing grass-fed ruminant numbers is, therefore, a self-defeating climate strategy,” the report concludes.

Fortunately, grass-fed beef is not the only solution being bandied about: Research shows that a small dose of seaweed in livestock feed could drastically reduce methane emissions. And if you really want to reduce your impact on the climate you could, you know, stop eating meat.

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California plans to reject a controversial natural gas plant, embracing a cleaner future.

Posted in alo, Anchor, Citizen, FF, GE, InsideClimate News, LAI, LG, ONA, organic, Paradise, PUR, Ringer, solar, solar power, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on California plans to reject a controversial natural gas plant, embracing a cleaner future.