We a kitchen we have here at work so I wash the disposable plastic bowls and spoons and reuse them every day. Consequently, I’ve used one bowl and one spoon within the last week as opposed to seven bowls and seven spoons. It feels better because now I have a special bond with my own cereal bowl and spoon, heh! Colin is right in that if you treat everything in your life as trash then it all becomes trash and you life is full of trash. By the way, thanks to Colin for coming and speaking at the Google NYC office! You’ve made a difference!
We hire interns to recruit volunteers to monitor the waste bins at San Francisco State University, in the Cesar Chavez Student Center. The volunteers direct students on how to sort their waste, which in turn, diverts waste from the landfill and increases recycling and composting. We are currently working on replacing plastics with compostable items in the Center and hosting educational workshops that inform the community on why they should reduce their consumption and properly place items in the right bins. Since 3 out of 4 landfills are located in low-income neighborhoods, contaminate the air and groundwater, and cause disease, it is important for people to understand that their waste is not only causing problems with pollution, but also social justice.
Nine months ago, I went vegan for the environment. I never thought I could do it, but anyone can! The production of meat and other animal products is one of the biggest causes of global warming. I eat locally grown vegetables from my town’s farmers market. It sounds extreme. And being vegan isn’t realistic or even healthy for everyone, but I urge you to try it out for a meal or two. You will not be disappointed! Vegan food is typically healthy, and great for the environment ( just stay away from the processed stuff!)
1) Eat less meat, dairy, and eggs.
2) Buy locally grown fruit and vegetables.
3) Check the labels the next time you go shopping. Look for clothes made of organic cotton. Or better yet, buy vintage!
It may sound complicated and overwhelming, so take it one meal at a time. But trust me, you can do it! Google vegan recipes. I think you’ll be surprised at how delicious some look!
I believe that as members of the Human Community we all need to do our part for it’s survival. My family doesn’t own a car. We take the subway everywhere. We shop for everything possible at the farmer’s market, and bring our own bags. We save our vegetable and fruit scraps in a container in the fridge, and then every few days take it to Riverside Park and bury it in a pile of leaves (natural composting!). Buying bulk food really reduces garbage, too. We eat vegetarian diets and only buy humane dairy (this is difficult, but farmer’s markets are a good bet). New York City has some of the cleanest water in the city (apparently it is test every 20 minutes to make sure of this). There is no reason to buy water here.
It is not easy to live an earth-friendly life in a consumerist country, but it is important to do so.
The TLC program taught me how to ease into a more earth friendly and nutritious lifestyle. This gentle approach to adding more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to our family’s life has change the way I see nature. I can now eat 75% from my back yard and hope to bee 100% in a few months. The extra energy from this lifestyle has allowed me to focus on growing “vegiceuticals and fruitceuticals” and my body is so clean and healthy now.
We are vegan, we just stopped buying bottled water. but we do take non-fat yoghurt once or twice a year.
Over 60 people attended a family reunion in a nice church basement, One meal was totally organic/and or locally grown food.
My mother and daughter baked all the bread and made coleslaw. The meal: organic turkey, hummus, peanut butter and cheese, vegetables, condiments, coffee and tea. Brownies and zucchini bread were baked in a solar oven.
We used tablecloths, real dishes, the dishwasher and composted food waste.
The biggest use of carbon was “love miles” ~ traveling for 60 people scattered across the nation [and world].
We catered two modest, eco-friendly meals.
At the end of a three-day event we had garbage the size of a small bathroom trashcan.
Many said the organic/locally grown meal was best.
Everyone could see everyone else; yet break into smaller groups. Displays included photographs and documents of ancestors, and posters with eco-friendly tips.
Some said it was the best family reunion yet.
My city lot is .15 acres. I have killed the grass by laying down newspaper covered with “flakes” of straw. (not hay) If you buy a bale of stray and cut the bindings, saving the string to tie up your tomatos, the bale kind of divides into 5 inch hunks, which are flakes.
Most of my flowers and all of my tree and shrubs are native to this area. This feeds and provides nesting space for birds and insects who protect my vegetables from harmful insects. I do have non-natives, but am careful to avoid invasive species. A hive of bees is on my to-do list. No hens, I’m sorry to say, but a friend has free-range organic eggs for me.
Half of my lot is devoted to vegetables. I have a dwarf apple tree, a peach tree, raspberries, strawberries and tons of blueberries. (I live in Maine) I don’t even have to take the bus to the farmer’s market. I can my surplus and have a small, energy efficient freezer in the garage to store locally produced foods, which I buy in bulk in season. By spring, the freezer is empty so I unplug during the hot months. It doesn’t run at all in the winter and I figure that the electricity it does use has less impact than, say, flying produce in from South America.
We harvest almost all our food from the wild, from dumpsters, from our garden and from our 1.5 lot urban farm (laying hens, dairy goats and honey bees). We trap and eat Eastern grey squirrels on our urban lot and we harvest seaweed and shellfish from a beach 5 miles away from the house. We also fish from a lake 2 blocks from our house.
Among the benefits:
Reduce trips to the store.
Reduce use of pesticides.
Reduce food transportation.
Increase awareness of and connection to natural environment.
Humane treatment of animals.
Reducing populations of invasive species (animal and plant).
We’ve learned to ferment foods, make our own yogurt and cheese, bake all bread, make our mayonnaise, can fruits and vegetables. And we will be experimenting with a modified root cellar (it rains a lot here) this winter. We still purchase vegetable oil, spices, salt, sugar, flours and coffee. And my Cuban-born husband still enjoys a sip of good rum now and then.
I checked off the category “More Time” below because I would say we have more LEISURE time due to our view that gardening, farming, dumpster diving and wild food gathering are very fun and leisurely activities.
We’ve made this conversion from uberconsumerism over a period of about 3 years. Thank you for all the wonderful ideas in the movie; we hope to try some of them out soon.
I have decided to have different challenges for each month.I ll start with not buying any clothes in September. I ll continue with not buying any packed food,not using transportation if it takes less than 1 hour by walking,not eating meat,not eating out and any other ways that i ll find.
I already live in a small apartment,and think twice while using water.
More important that this,I am talking a lot about environment and how we can lower our footprint.People started to ask less ‘What is the relationship between consuming less and environment?’!!