EARTH WEEK 2019: Adopt Your Own New Green Deal

Climate Flag

Climate Flag

The New Green Deal resolution may have been summarily dismissed, but its very existence has brought vision, agency, and urgency to the climate discourse. Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Markey’s proposal has clearly hit a nerve – on both sides of the aisle. Dismissed, misrepresented, or flat out ignored, it remains important to note that the New Green Deal is a non-binding resolution proposal, not law. If even partially adopted and applied where needed, the proposal most certainly would move the needle on climate change.

Getting harder to ignore however, is the collective voice of various youth climate movements that are demanding we take climate issues seriously. Sixteen year old Greta Thunberg scolding the economic leaders at Davos, the Sunrise Movement demanding answers from representatives in Washington DC, student walk-outs and Earth Strikers – all forcefully stating that inaction on climate is not only morally wrong, but is stealing their future.

screen-shot-2019-04-20-at-8-40-06-pmThey are the voting constituents of the very near future and they are serious about reparations to climate and our global environment. It will not be business as usual if they have any say in the matter. And their chorus is getting louder.

For Earth Week, in honor of our children’s future, let’s make our own New Green Deal. Every person can take steps for a more sustainable future. Here is a list of easy to adopt initiatives that will make a difference to our environment.

OMD

screen-shot-2019-04-19-at-6-08-39-pmEat one plant-based meal a day. Agriculture is the #2 driver of climate change – largely due to animal agriculture. Livestock products are responsible for up to 18% of all global greenhouse emissions. Nearly a quarter of the world’s fresh water and nearly half of the world’s grain is devoted to livestock. With so many water and food insecure humans on the planet, this is a very inefficient use of our land and water. Every minute worldwide 7 football fields of forests are bulldozed to make room for livestock. By eating just one plant-based meal a day you’ll save annually 194,667 gallons of water and the carbon equivalent of driving 3,077 miles! Buy only local, pasture raised animal products. Try milk and cheese alternatives made from Almond, Cashew, Soy, Rice, Coconut, or Oat milks. Suzy Amis Cameron’s OMD: Change The World By Changing One Meal A Day is an accessible primer on plant-based eating and saving the planet.

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 10.04.42 PMStop Wasting Food

We buy and waste food at an alarming rate in this country. 40-50% of food purchased in the US goes wasted. Most wasted food goes to landfills where it rots and contributes to greenhouse emissions. When you waste food, you also waste all of the resources that went into producing that food.

FlowerIconTinyGet organized and plan your week’s meals and buy only what you will use, especially when it comes to perishables.  

FlowerIconTinyWhen eating out at restaurants be conservative when ordering – or share dishes. Know that you can always order more if you desire. 

FlowerIconTinyTake leftovers home and make a plan for them the next day.

FlowerIconTinyFind a compost solution for your food scraps. Many green markets have organics collections, or a community garden may have a compost repository. Food scraps can be stored in your freezer until compost collection day. 

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 11.13.17 PMChoose Renewable Energy

All indicators are showing that renewable energy will be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020. It is more common to have a renewable energy choice in most municipalities now. Investigate your options through the EPA Green Power locator. In most cases it’s as simple as checking a box on your energy bill. Choosing a Renewable Energy Certificate option (RECs) does not reflect the lower cost of renewable energy to the consumer immediately because of distribution via the grid. But the price for renewable energy to the consumer has continued to drop as more suppliers enter the market. The more demand, the lower the prices will go!

Avoid Single-Use Plastic

Now that the international markets for scrap plastics are disappearing and our oceans are choking with plastic, we MUST get our plastic consumption under control. Find a solution for the single-use plastics that end up in your home. Reusables to the rescue! Produce bags, snack bags, grocery bags, food wrap, water bottles, coffee cups…they all have a reusable option. USE THEM! 

FlowerIconTinyBuy loose produce rather than produce packaged in plastic. produce-bag

FlowerIconTinyChoose dry goods packaged in paper or cardboard rather than plastic.

FlowerIconTinyBuy in bulk with your own reusable bag or container.

FlowerIconTinyBuy eggs in pulp paper containers rather than styrofoam or plastic.

FlowerIconTinyBuy food items and drinks in glass whenever possible. Glass is recyclable and can be repurposed indefinitely. Most importantly, if it ends up in a landfill or the ocean, glass is not toxic.

FlowerIconTinyDitch disposables:

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 11.35.19 PMUse a bamboo toothbrush or a toothbrush with a removable head.

Purchase a safety razor.

Carry a reusable utensil/straw pack if you normally eat on the go.

Buy Organic

Organic food and textiles are not only healthier for your body, but they are healthier for the earth because the chemicals, pesticides and herbicides used in the production of those items are not contaminating the environment. Check Environmental Working Group’s dirty dozen list of most recommended fruits & veggies to buy organic. GOTS, Fair Trade, Green America, B Corp certifications insure that communities and labor have a sustainable relationship with the products being produced.

forestBuy Recycled Paper Products

Forests are the lungs of the planet and the most efficient means for sequestration of greenhouse gases. There is no reason we should be cutting down forests to make paper. Buy as close to 100% post consumer content toilet paper, napkins, and paper towels. If you do not use recycled post consumer content paper, you are literally flushing our forests down the toilet.

Green to get Clean: Laundry Detergents

screen-shot-2019-04-19-at-7-50-03-pmNot only do detergent ingredients matter to our precious bodies and largest organ (our skin), including our waste water management systems, but those gigantic plastic bottles must be dealt with. Any earth friendly, non-toxic powder detergents that come in a box are a good option. Here are a few others:

Dropps – non toxic, non plastic laundry & dish pods delivered in a cardboard box.

Meliora – unscented, non-allergin detergent with refills delivered in compostable/recyclable bags.

Get Physical: Walk or Bike

bike-w-yoga-matThis one is about planning and factoring in time – and, well okay – weather. But for at least 6 months of the year, walking or biking to destinations is usually feasible. There are obvious benefits beyond reducing your carbon footprint: Health; connection to your surroundings and community; and saving money.

Tags: , ,

About the Author

Here at Jenny Green Jeans, by sharing success stories and easy-to- implement tips, I hope to inspire and empower you to continue to make sustainable choices in your life and watch how far the impact goes. Contact me with any questions or suggestions you may have.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top