jGj’s Ten Environmental WINS for 2014

The People’s Climate March, NYCWideshotrally

What was anticipated to be a 100,000 person march avalanched into a 400,000 person global call to action for the planet. (see jGj’s Climate Rally post)

NY State Bans Fracking

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 12.47.42 AMBy banning fracking statewide, Governor Andrew Cuomo has set the stage for more states to stand up against Big Oil and BIG money in the acknowledgment of science and in the name of the health and welfare of all New Yorkers.

Obama’s likely veto of Keystone XL

It’s not a done deal, but the groundswell of grassroots opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline can only be described as unrelenting. Yet another example of communities taking control of the protection of natural resources that rightfully belong to everyone. The paltry number of jobs that the XL project would (temporarily) create can’t begin to offset the environmental hazard the pipeline represents.Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 12.38.34 AM

EPA Carbon Pollution Limits Rule

By 2020, states are required to drop their carbon emissions by 25% from the 2005 levels, and continue to drop emissions another 5% over the next 10 years. Many feel that this isn’t enough, but it is the first meaningful action to reduce carbon pollution from existing sources ever in the history of the US! While making an attempt at mitigating climate change, the Obama Administration is simultaneously upholding the law that is The Clean Air Act – which was enacted to regulate carbon dioxide as an air pollutant.

Water Privatization Opposition

From Fryeburg vs. Nestle to Detroit, MI, we are seeing the dangers of water privatization with more regularity. A handful of cities – Chicago, IL, Trenton, NJ, Stockton, CA and Grand Rapids, MI – have successfully opposed privatization and managed to maintain public control of local water systems.

NYC Styrofoam Ban

New York City joins nearly 100 additional municipalities in banning Polystyrene products from their fair cities. The ban prohibits restaurants, food carts and stores from selling or providing materials made from expanded polystyrene. The ban goes into effect by July 2015 and will eliminate nearly 30,000 tons of this toxic, non-recyclable, non-biodegradable, landfill-choking scourge annually.

Divestment for the Planet

2014 brought divestment, as it relates to Climate Change, to the fore as a financial strategy. Financial firms like FTSE and BlackRock – as well as the Rockefellers and many major Educational institutions – are sounding the alarm on Climate Change by making the case that keeping fossil fuels in the ground is not only good for the planet but can benefit your portfolio as well.

Ocean Protection: Expansion of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument

One of four protected marine areas in the remote Pacific has expanded to nearly 6 times the previous protected areas (83,000 square miles to 431,000 square miles)! Obama’s decision has insured the protection of some of the most pristine tropical islands and coral reef ecosystems in the world. BTW, the little known Antiquities Act (1906) allows the executive branch to protect federal territory from exploitation with the stroke of a pen. Hopefully we will see the power of that pen a few more times in 2015.Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 12.33.25 AM

Safe Home

California reversing the law that requires flame-retardants in upholstered furnishings is a huge step to creating a far less toxic home environment (see jGj’s post on Breaking up with your Sofa). Very few consumers were aware of the chemical cocktail lurking in upholstered furnishings. The amendment, combined with consumer-awareness, will hopefully influence manufacturers to source non-chemically treated fabric and foams as a rule.

Your Personal Achievement for the Earth

This is the blank that you fill in. Whatever you contributed this past year is a WIN for the earth! Maybe you started composting, or made a few energy saving renovations to your home. Perhaps you checked the renewable energy box on your electric bill, opting for wind and solar sources. No effort is insignificant. Each individual’s adjustments add to the collective movement for a more Sustainable future.

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.

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