Welcome back! This week there was a ton of material to pick from. I am so excited to share it all with you. I think something to keep in mind is that anything you do to help the planet stay green is a step in the right direction. With that positive note, let’s get into this week’s sustainability finds!
I found this article super helpful; it describes all the different niches of the plastic industry. It also gave in-depth detail on each sub-type of plastic, which helped to get a better view of what things use this specific type and what to avoid using to be sustainable. Bioplastics, I think this was the one I learned the most about. It is made out of natural, renewable feedstock. However, only about 25 percent is made out of biomaterial. The other 75 percent is made up of fossil fueled-based plastics or other synthetics additives. Another interesting fact is that biodegradable/compostable plastics can only break down when they are in a compost site.
This article dates back a couple of months, but it was a source of the article I was going to put in for this week initially. I thought it made more sense to get it from the source. I love thrifting and second-hand shopping, I started getting really into it after watching the “True Cost” on Netflix. The movie is a documentary on the fast fashion industry and how terrible it is on our environment and how bad they treat their employees. This post has outlined three strategies when it comes to thrifting. First, is to focus on the stuff that makes the most sense to buy used. Second is Plan and Buy ahead of time. Lastly, the non-monetary benefits of buying items used. When the article talks about depreciation, focus on the things that have a high depreciation rate, but its functionality is still great. That is where you get the biggest bang for your buck!
Shopping locally is a great way to support your local farmers and get fresh produce! This article gives excellent reasons for supporting local growers and why buying locally is the best! When you purchase from a local farmer, you know where your food is coming from, compared to when you buy from an agricultural conglomerate. Most of those farmers don’t even get a fraction of the pay that they should be receiving. When you buy locally, its farm to table, supporting the people that took the time to grow it. You are supporting the community, not just yourself.
G.E. has proposed creating the biggest wind turbine, which will reside on the shore of the Netherlands. However, G.E. has just created the prototype to run. To give you some perspective on how big this turbine is, the blades are 107 meters long; each blade! The turbine is to generate about 63% more power than needed, creating a surplus. In G.E.’s eyes, they are looking at about $35-$50 million more in revenue with the installation of this turbine. However, think of the great benefits of this renewable resource! It is a step in the right direction! At the restaurant I work at back in Prior Lake, MN, we have car charging stations where all the energy comes from a wind turbine located at the top of a pole near the charging station. These little things can make such a huge difference, especially when people take notice!
Many people forget that everything is connected; every action has an outcome. The climate emergency is not only due to fossil fuels and not recycling, but it’s also affected by our agricultural system and the way humans eat. This is one of the primary reasons I went vegetarian and limit my dairy consumption, which I can make a blog post about that after this project is over.
Agriculture is a huge reason why so many forests get cleared out- to make the land fit for livestock. Another critical factor is the run-off and erosion problems that are caused by farming. Especially, with factory farms, the run-off is terrible and can be deadly to fish and other aquatic creatures if the run-off gets into the lakes, rivers, or streams. The erosion can cause devastating landslides, disrupting plant growth, and animal habitats. Seventy-five percent of freshwater goes to agriculture, and according to PETA, it takes about 13 lbs. of grain to produce one pound of meat. The grain could be going to a person who is starving.
For me, I went vegetarian for about four and a half years ago, and there were many reasons that I wanted to make this lifestyle switch. Looking back now, I am so grateful to my past self for making this change, not just for me, but planet earth. And of the cows 🙂
I hope you guys enjoyed this week’s sustainability run down! Until next week!