The average American generates about 2,072 pounds of trash per year. And in total, America produces 254 million tons of trash per year. We only recycle about a third of that trash. And on a global scale, humanity produces 2.6 trillion pounds of garbage per year. (Titlemax).
Where does all this garbage go? Landfills and the world’s oceans. Many reports estimate that by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. (One Green Planet)
Obviously the problem of pollution must ultimately be solved by world governments. But as world governments increasingly fail to do what needs to be done, it is up to us as individuals to try and do our part.
Some people are making an effort to adopt what is called a “zero waste lifestyle” in order to reduce their personal carbon footprint. And some people are so good at it that they only generate one mason jar of garbage per year.
People who adopt a zero waste lifestyle have given up on plastic and other disposable amenities in favor of anything re-usable. Many people are familiar with the practice of using re-usable bags at the grocery store, or bringing a mug to Starbucks instead of getting a disposable cup. But zero waste folk go even further than that, going as far to even do re-usable diapers, re-usable feminine products and re-usable toilet paper. It may sound icky, but it’s not impossible, and doesn’t even have to be unsanitary when done right.
Here are some tips below from One Green Planet:
1) Get rid of disposables in your kitchen.
- Replace paper towels with reusable rags.
- Pack to-go meals with reusable sandwich bags.
- Use Non-Disposable or biodegradable dinnerware.
- Always bring your own shopping bags.
- Earth friendly sponges.
2) Buy in bulk
- Bring mason jars to the grocery store to hold bulk items or foods from the deli counter.
- Consider buying bulk castile soap to use as hand and dish cleaner instead of buying a bunch of little bottles of different cleaners.
3) Eat your leftovers
- Forty percent of all food goes to waste in the U.S.
4) Shop second hand
- Carbon Trust estimates that CO2 emissions associated with clothing account for three percent of global emissions. This number includes out-sourced production, shipping, washing, and drying. Shopping second hand saves good clothing from a landfill and reduces the overall demand for clothing production.
5) Take care of clothes
- Buying fewer items of higher quality will save you money in the long run and make it more likely you will take the time to mend rips and tears instead of throwing it out.
6) Bring your lunch
- Disposable lunches (to-go packaging, plastic utensils, etc) generate 100 pounds of trash per person annually.
7) Go digital
- The average office worker uses two pounds of paper per day! Take notes on your laptop and communicate with your colleague’s via e-mail rather than using paper.
- Unless your office has gone completely paper-less, chances are there are stacks of paper that could be recycled. While reusable water bottles are the BEST option, any plastic water bottles should be recycled as well.
9) Simplify cleaning supplies
- White Vinegar and baking soda are all natural alternatives to dangerous chemical cleaners. They are versatile, effective, and eliminate plastic bottle waste.
10) Make your own cosmetics
- Save money, avoid harsh chemicals, plastic containers, and packaging by making your own cosmetics. Check out Free People’s blog for instructions on how to make your own natural cheek and lip stains, perfume, shampoo, make-up remover, and more. Also be sure to check out OGP’s very own DIY beauty guides right here.
Here’s a new facebook group I created dedicated to fighting human made climate change, finding solutions and raising awareness.
First of all, what needs to be understood in the conversation about climate destruction is that this has the more grievous consequences for the survival of the human race itself. It’s not just the polar bears. It’s not just the ice caps. It’s the future of the human race.
Now whatever happens, nature will survive. In the Earth’s 4.5 billion years of existence, nature has endured 5 major mass extinctions that destroyed most of the life on the planet (at least 60%), and nature will survive humanity, even if it takes a couple hundred thousand or million years for nature to get back on track. However, it is not certain that humanity itself will survive.
Today, mankind is presiding over what scientists are unanimously describing as a sixth major mass extinction event.
According to the Living Planet Report put out in 2014 by the World Wildlife Fund, humans have killed up to half of the wildlife on the planet in the last 40 years (World Wildlife Fund). And according to the Living Planet Report put out in 2016, this level of decline could increase to two-thirds by 2020. And now a recent study 2018 has said that humans have killed off 83% of wild mammals.
What is also terrifying is that the Permian Extinction (the most deadly extinction event on Earth) may have been caused by circumstances similar to the causes of global warming today. A team of researchers from Canada, Italy, Germany and the US say they have discovered what caused the Permian Extinction. According to a paper published in the journal Palaeoworld, volcanic eruptions pumped large amounts of carbon dioxide into the air, causing average temperatures to rise by eight to 11°C. This melted vast amounts of methane that had been trapped in the permafrost and sea floor, causing temperatures to soar even further to levels lethal to most life on land and in the oceans.
Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, has said, “If there were a large methane release, which is now possible because of the instability of the methane hydrates underneath the Arctic continental shelves, the off-shore waters, that could quite easily give rise to a very large [methane] pulse.” He was one of the authors of a paper in the journal Nature, which suggested it was possible for a truly vast amount of frozen methane to be released over just 10 years – a blink of an eye in geological terms, which could theoretically lead to similar events that caused the Permian Extinction (Independent).
So this is the key issue we face today. This should be a political focus, a spiritual focus, and a psychological focus of all our current endeavors. Doing what we can to stop this destruction before it is too late.
METAL GAIA ARTICLES
Humans Are Paving the Way for a Sixth Major Mass Extinction (World Future Fund)
Sixth mass extinction: The era of ‘biological annihilation’ (CNN, 7-11-17)
Study: We’ve wiped out half the world’s wildlife since 1970 (VOX, 9-30-14)
Are We in the Midst Of a Sixth Mass Extinction? (New York Times, 6-1-12)
Extinction Threat, A Call to World Leaders at Rio Earth Summit: (CNN World News, 6-20-12)
According to the article above: 41% of amphibians, 25% of mammals, 13% of birds, 30% of conifers and 20% of all plants are all threatened with extinction.
One in Five Mammals Threatened With Extinction (Common Dreams, 11-3-09)
The survival of 17,921 species is in jeopardy.
Almost 50% Of The World’s Primates Are In Danger Of Extinction (CNN, 8-5-08)
Habitat destruction as well as hunting are the greatest threats to primates today.
In America (and throughout other parts of the world) there is a strong discussion of “human rights.” Humans have a right to this, and humans have a right to that. But we’re only one small species in the vast web of creation. What about the laws of the planet? The laws of Mother Earth?
In Bolivia, they have such a thing. “Ley de Derechos de La Madre Tierra” (The Rights of Mother Earth). This law holds that the land is sacred. It is a living system that has the right to be protected from exploitation, and creates a set of distinguished rights for the environment.
The Law of Mother Earth includes the following rights for the planet:
1. To life: The right to maintain the integrity of living systems and natural processes that sustain them, and capacities and conditions for regeneration.
2. To the diversity of life: It is the right to preservation of differentiation and variety of beings that make up Mother Earth, without being genetically altered or structurally modified in an artificial way, so that their existence, functioning or future potential would be threatened.
3. To water: The right to preserve the functionality of the water cycle, its existence in the quantity and quality needed to sustain living systems, and its protection from pollution for the reproduction of the life of Mother Earth and all its components.
4. To clean air: The right to preserve the quality and composition of air for sustaining living systems and its protection from pollution, for the reproduction of the life of Mother Earth and all its components.
5. To equilibrium: The right to maintenance or restoration of the interrelationship, interdependence, complementarity and functionality of the components of Mother Earth in a balanced way for the continuation of their cycles and reproduction of their vital processes.
6. To restoration: The right to timely and effective restoration of living systems affected by human activities directly or indirectly.
7. To pollution-free living: The right to the preservation of any of Mother Earth’s components from contamination, as well as toxic and radioactive waste generated by human activities.
The document also has a set of obligations that are the duties of the people to the environment. You can see more of that in the information below.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING LINKS
Law of Mother Earth Complete Text (World Future Fund)
Law of the Rights of Mother Earth (Wikipedia)
In response to an Administration and Congress that seems hostile to science — particularly in regards to climate change — there is going to be a March for Science in Washington DC, this year, on Earth Day.
There are also a growing constellation of marches around the nation set for that day.
What began as a Reddit conversation has grown into a movement of scientists and science lovers standing up for evidenced-based policy making and inclusivity in the science community.
The date of the march isn’t just an average Saturday. April 22 is Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970.
The original Earth Day is seen by many as a turning point in the environmental movement. The year itself also marks a major turning point for the U.S. government and environmental policy. In 1970, Richard Nixon signed the Environmental Protection Agency into existence and it began operating that December.
I usually don’t post politically oriented stuff on here, but I think this goes beyond politics. It is dangerous to me when politicians have so little regard for facts and scientific reality. Somewhere around 99% of scientists around the world state that climate change is a reality, whereas only 50% of U.S. politicians agree with this. Without support for the greatest minds our society has to offer, we’re not going to go anywhere as a country or as a people. It was hostility to intellectualism that thrust Europe into the Dark Ages. There is so much potential in our day and age. Potential to explore the stars. Potential to power our cities with sunshine and wind. Potential to unlock the secrets of the human mind and genome. We can’t give that all up now out of fear and hate.
So if you’re interested in standing up for science, definitely check out this link.
Update: I just joined a chat room with the organizers. So I’ll post more updates if I get any relevant information that needs to be posted here.
Not to be confused with the Polish Metal band Behemoth, this is a Chinese movie. Zhao Liang’s film Behemoth provides a striking view of the environmental and health costs of coal mining and consumption in China. The film borrows its plot structure from Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, as a coal miner suffering from lung disease. This coal miner guides the audience through a modern-day hell, purgatory and heaven – the coal mines and cities of Inner Mongolia.
Our little green friends play a vital role in the eco-system. Yet now they’re vanishing off the Earth at an alarming rate.
“It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Population by population, species by species, amphibians are vanishing off the face of the Earth. Despite international alarm and a decade and a half of scientists scrambling for answers, the steady hemorrhaging of amphibians continues like a leaky faucet that cannot be fixed or a wound that will not heal.”
“Large scale die-offs of frogs around the world have prompted scientists to take desperate measures to try to save those frogs they can, even bathing frogs in Clorox solutions and keeping them in Tupperware boxes under carefully controlled conditions to prevent the spread of a deadly fungus. Will it ever be safe to return the frogs back to the ecosystem from which they were taken?”
Hopefully this problem can be solved before it’s too late.
Currently the 2015 Climate Change Conference is being held in Paris, France. It will go from November 30th – December 11th.
Yet how effective have these climate ‘talks’ been? And is that all it is? Just talk?
Since the first climate summit 20 years ago, carbon dioxide emissions have soared (not decreased) and the pace of destruction is accelerating. Climate scientists say that sea levels, for example, are rising three times faster than predicted and that the Arctic ice is vanishing at rates unforeseen.
If we allow carbon dioxide concentrations to reach 550 ppm, that means the global temperature will continue to rise for at least another century. We have already passed the 400 mark – a figure unseen on earth for 3-5 million years, and in the last ten years, we’ve seen the nine hottest years on record.
But of course greenhouse gasses aren’t the only issue at hand.
The reality is that humans are presiding over an era of mass destruction on planet earth. Scientists are calling the human era (the Anthropocene Age) an era of mass extinction. In 40 short years, our economic systems have destroyed half of the wild life on the planet according to the world wild life fund.
This is not to mention that little is being said by global elites about the most environmentally destructive industry in our time – the agriculture industry. While it was barely mentioned in the climate talks, these big agriculture businesses account for nearly 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
So what we have is an era in which the leaders and elites deliver feel good sound bites and lofty rhetoric. There are always ‘talks’ about change and endless ‘conversations.’ Sure, around twenty countries have taken a pledge to reduce their CO2 emissions, but what rules have been put into place to force these promises into action?
And even if these countries do reduce CO2 emissions, that’s not the complete problem.
The real problem is that today’s societies and governments are based on a system of endless growth that cannot possibly be sustained. The same leaders who deliver happy talk about saving the rain forests and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, are the leaders who profit from the machinery of environmental destruction and corporate greed.
The truth is that we cannot live by systems of endless growth on a planet with finite resources.
So the truth is that a corporate cabal has hijacked our democracies and governments. Our so called liberal leaders have done little to nothing to stop the break neck speed of climate change and environmental destruction. Many of the so called liberal reformers who deliver rhetoric about saving the planet and climate change, are also the people who voted yes for the TPP and cheer on fracking. It’s okay, it’s called ‘natural’ gas – so that means it’s natural right? Never mind the fact that this process releases methane into the air, which is 20 times more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide.
So in our time we have the growth of environmental fads, such as buying $50 dollar light bulbs and fair trade coffee. Things like this make people feel like they’re doing something without changing the actual infrastructure of the problem.
This would be like if a dragon were flying around, raining hell fire and destruction from above, and people cheered one another on for painting the dragon’s toe nails green (instead of…you know…slaying the dragon).
So a lot of this feel good talk and fake reform is dangerous – more dangerous than doing nothing in some ways. It’s dangerous because it creates the illusion that we’re doing something about our problems, when we’re actually not. This way, people don’t rise up and demand change, because they’re fooled by the lies of the fake reformers.
But the reality is that if people don’t push for REAL change, Mother Nature will push these changes herself. It’ll just be a change that human beings won’t like very much.
The reality is that the coming destruction as a result of humanity’s excesses won’t happen in a linear fashion, as part of some carefully calculated trend. The destruction will happen all at once because our ecosystem is interconnected. It’ll be a widespread domino effect. We’ll see the crash of our food systems, destroyed due to a lack of genetic diversity, and the death of natural pollinators – like the bees. We’ll see the rise of droughts, disease, coastal flooding and mega-storms.
So the reality is that change is coming one way or another.
We can either be a part of the change or be on the receiving end of it.
It would be great if our leaders could peacefully put through needed reforms. And it’s great that people are talking about environmental reform. But if real environmental change doesn’t come, there will be a need in our time for people to put forth new political ideologies – for people to be willing to take down the current infrastructure of runaway corporate greed. This may involve violence. This may involve civil disobedience. But it’s near certain that the people benefiting from the planet’s destruction are not going to stop unless someone makes them stop.
The people presiding over this system are not good people. The problems of today aren’t a temporary hiccup in a gleaming machine of progress. What kind of people would preside over the destruction of half the planet’s wildlife? What kind of people would abide the greatest income inequality of our time? The answer, is sick, disturbed people. These people are spiritually and mentally sick, and they are a byproduct of the fact that the world has been run off of sick religious ideas for a while now.
In our time there is a need to become spiritually attuned to Nature – as our ancestors were in the days of old. Soon Nature will call for warriors to take a stand against evil and greed. Will you heed the call of the Earth?
To interrupt my long stasis from blog updates (been a busy month with visiting my new born nephew, and all sorts of other stuff), I would like to bring you this exciting news. New Zealand has just set a new precedent for how a nation should think about nature and its animal brethren.
For a long time many people have believed in foolish things about animals, such as the idea that animals “don’t feel pain.”
There’s this idea of “sentience” that certain animals have a more valuable existence than others, because their thought process is more complex.
However, New Zealand just said ‘to hell with that,’ and has now announced that ALL animals have feelings. This has set the precedent for the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill, last month, to prosecute people involved in animal abuse/cruelty, as well as to ban animal testing and research. Much of the testing of products on animals can be done via other means. For example, many cosmetic companies will put their products in an animal’s eye to see if it causes them pain.I’m sure there’s a better way to conduct that kind of research.
Hopefully other countries will begin to follow New Zealand’s example in the protection of animals from abuse and cruelty.
Our lives are no more valuable than theirs. The first step towards living on this planet in a sane manner is to start seeing our furry friends as relatives, not as lifeless tools.
Once our days were timeless. Now they are scheduled. We give our entire lives – and planet – to money. But what’s left over after the money? Once there was clean air, yet now it’s polluted. The soil was once pure and now it is toxic. One fifth of the world’s people are starving, even though there is enough food for all. The corporation’s main resource is us. As long we are money driven slaves, we’ll fight their wars, work in their factories and spend most of our lives trying to make a wage before we die.
But there is another way. We need to carve it out for ourselves. We need to think for ourselves. We need to have the courage to build a new and better world. We are a majority. The wealthy elite are a minority. Let’s not let them destroy our future.
Definitely a video that everyone should see. Very brilliant and thought provoking.
Nature Is Speaking – Julia Roberts is Mother Nature | Conservation International (CI)
Nature has been here for billions of years. She has made and broken species greater than us. Our actions will determine our fate. Nature is prepared to evolve, are we?
HOME: WATCH DOCUMENTARY HERE (Embedding is disabled)
“We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth’s climate.
The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and HOME has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being.
For this purpose, HOME needs to be free. A patron, the PPR Group, made this possible. EuropaCorp, the distributor, also pledged not to make any profit because Home is a non-profit film.
HOME has been made for you : share it! And act for the planet.”
HOME official website
PPR is proud to support HOME
HOME is a carbon offset movie
More information about the Planet
This Scandinavian production draws on some of the observational strategies of Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi, allowing us to reflect on patterns and phenomena of human and natural existence from both intimate and sweeping viewpoints.
It is good to be optimistic about the future, but we can’t ignore the current destruction of the planet.
Any society that allows the destruction of life’s foundations is insane.
What if we thought we only had a year left on this planet, would our actions be different?
Nature is not an infinite resource that we can just use and abuse like toilet paper, nature has her limits.
The only thing that I disagree with about this video though is that I do not promote the use of drugs for any reason.
I don’t reblog articles very often, but I found this to be a very helpful guide for those who wish to start their own homestead or farm. Living this kind of lifestyle can help you better live out your spiritual connection, your values and can be very healthy. Just be forewarned that such an endeavor will be a LOT of WORK!
I’ve had a few people in the last few months ask me about starting a homestead or a small organic farm. A “homestead” or, if you are in the UK “smallholding” refers to a personal or family plot of land where food is grown, animals are tended, and the household economy encouraged (e.g. home crafts and food preservation) with the goal of increased resiliency and self-sufficiency. I thought I’d take the time today to talk about the resources and considerations one needs to do so using permaculture design principles and what I’ve learned from the 5 year process of converting my 3 acre piece of land into a small homestead. I’m also going to talk through what I learned and some of the mistakes that I’ve made in the hopes you don’t have to make the same ones.
Your Motivation for Homesteading
I think its important…
View original post 3,037 more words
Nature is an eternal life force, a force that human beings depend upon to live.
Yet our current world order is destroying this vital life force.
Will there really be enough for all by the middle of the century, if human beings continue on this path?
Watch the video above for a vision of the future if reform does not come.
We have an economy that is bigger than our planet.
Our planet is full, full of us and our stuff.
Infinite growth on a finite planet is not working.
We cannot see the issues of our planet as individual issues.
They are complex and interconnected.
Reconnecting ourselves with the Earth is the first step to fixing the problem.
That, and admitting that we have a problem and that this system isn’t working.
Living a sustainable life doesn’t always mean living without comfort.
This article shows how Earth Ships implement the technology of the 21st century, and do so in a sustainable and earth friendly way.
Imagine living in a house that helps you grow your own food – pretty neat huh?
Also, according to this article, Earth Ships are more affordable than regular houses.
The only thing that would probably get in the way are neighborhood zoning laws.
Sigh, bureaucracy is a bitch.
In Spain the Winds of Change Are Coming
Read Article Source Here (Spanish Wind Association)
¡Muy bien! I take my non-existent hat off to Spain. In 2013, Spain made history by being the first country to use wind as a primary source of electricity. Wind covered 20.9% of the power demand, compared to the 20.8% that was powered by nuclear energy. According to the Spanish Wind Association (the AEE), this was enough energy to power 15.5 million houses – 90% of the total.
What direction will the winds blow for Spain’s proverbial energy future in the years to come? It is not certain. Apparently there could be some government reforms in Spain that would have an unfair impact on the wind sector this year – which could discourage investments.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Spain. !Buena suerte mis amigos españoles!
A United Nations Panel has recently released a report starting that climate change could soon become impossible to solve if the world’s nations don’t take the drastic steps necessary to solve the problem. A key problem has been the United State’s reluctance to adopt the Kyoto Protocol as well as the tendency for other countries of the world to drag their feet on environmental matters. The full article states that we have about 15 years left to solve these problems before it is too late.
If we cannot summon the will to solve the critical environmental issues of our time, nature will solve the problem for us….just not in the way that we would like…
Good Bye 2013!
Let’s usher out the old year by watching some of the best Environmental Documentaries of 2013
Happy New Year All!
Perhaps these documentaries can inspire us to have a more environmentally aware new year.
Read More at the Following Article
20 years ago, a tribe in Columbia called the Kogi made a film about the world’s end.
They call themselves the Elder Brothers, and the rest of the world The Younger Brothers.
They predicted a rise in global temperature, storms and violence.
Yet we Younger Brothers did not heed their warning.
Now they’re trying to warn us, once again.
Will we heed their warning this time around?