January is National Hot Tea Month. To celebrate, here are a few tips to green your brew from the Sierra Club:
Buy loose-leaf tea: Opt for loose leaf tea over disposable tea bags, which use carbon-intensive packaging materials. Many tea bags also contain polypropylene mesh, which can take several years to degrade. Additionally, bagged tea is often machine processed, producing a larger carbon footprint than loose leaf tea, which tends to be hand-picked. If you do purchase tea bags, make sure they’re biodegradable and unbleached. Avoid bags with staples, strings, or tags.
Minimize your water footprint: Only pour enough water to fill your cup to avoid wasting energy boiling what you won’t drink anyway. If it’s safe, use local tap water to brew your tea.
Cold-brew your iced tea: It not only tastes sweeter and smoother than traditional hot-brewed iced tea, but it spares the energy needed to boil your water, relying mainly on an already-running appliance—your refrigerator.
To cold-brew your own iced tea, add about 1.5 times the amount of tea you’d normally use to a pitcher. Pour in cold water, add a lid, and let sit in the fridge for about 4-10 hours. White teas, green teas, and flat oolongs need less time to sit, while rolled oolongs require more time. Herbal infusions and black teas usually need to sit the full ten hours. Strain and enjoy.
Repurpose tea leaves: Most of us know to reuse tea leaves or tea bags for our next cup of tea, but their use extends beyond the kitchen. The high nitrogen content in tea leaves makes them the perfect plant food, which does double duty by helping repel insects and other pests. When transferring a plant to a pot, line the bottom of the pot with used tea bags before adding soil. The tea bags will help retain water and release nutrients into the potting medium.
Dried tea leaves also make fantastic deodorizers. Toss some in the litter box or dog house to remove pet odors. For all-over freshness, sprinkle and gently crush some dried leaves over your carpet. Wait about 10 minutes, then vacuum.
Choose eco-friendly labels: As you would with coffee, buy brands labeled “USDA organic” and “Fair Trade Certified.” To earn the USDA’s organic seal, farmers must not have used synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers for at least three years. Meanwhile, although fair trade certification primarily ensures that farmers are paid a just price for their crop, it also has environmental side effects. In return for providing good working conditions and fair wages, producers get paid more for their tea. As a result, famers need less land to support themselves and their families, leaving more land available for natural habitat.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 | By lhollingsworth | No Comments
What’s the Problem?
Toxic pollutants at contaminated sites affect the health of more than 200 million people worldwide. Women and children are especially at risk suffering neurological and immune system damage and an early death. The number of people affected is comparable to HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined. Plus, solving pollution problems usually promotes, rather than inhibits, economic growth. Yet, pollution is one of the most under-reported and underfunded problems in the world.
Why Support Pure Earth?
Pure Earth is an international non-profit organization dedicated to solving pollution problems in low- and middle-income countries, where human health is most affected by pollution. Pure Earth devises clean-up strategies, empowers local champions and secures support from national and international partnerships. Since its inception in 1999, Pure Earth has completed more than 80 clean-up projects in 20 countries. This has reduced exposure to toxins for local populations, especially children.
Share Pure Earth’s posts on social media. Use Twitter @PureEarthNow, Facebook, and LinkedIn to raise the profile of toxic pollution, which disproportionately kills those in low and middle-income countries.
Make a donation. Better yet, organize a group of coworkers to make donations. Ask your employer to match it.
Join the Pure Earth Corps of volunteers. Work solo, with a group of colleagues or friends, adopt a project, and raise funds.
Host a “Toxic Cocktail Party” educational event. Pure Earth does the work; you create the guest list. Artisanal “toxic” cocktails are created just for you!
True and lasting change happens when the power of the law is on your side. That’s why the earth needs a good lawyer.
Today’s environmental challenges are greater than ever. But we live in a country of strong environmental laws—and Earthjustice holds those who break our nation’s laws accountable for their actions.
We’ve been the legal backbone for more than a thousand organizations across the country, large and small. And we represent every one of our clients free of charge.
Behind nearly every major environmental court battle—from protecting gray wolves from slaughter to representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their fight against the Dakota Access pipeline- you’ll find an Earthjustice attorney.
As the nation’s largest nonprofit environmental law organization, we’re committed to the vision of a just and sustainable future. Join us.
In fact, species have been going extinct for millions of years from geological and climate changes. The issue now is from overconsumption, pollution, and habitat destruction brought on by humans causing more species to needlessly become extinct.
So why should we care about sea turtles extinction in particular?
For starters, sea turtles help maintain the health of sea grass by eating it. Healthy sea grass allows other oceanic species such as crustaceans, fish, and shellfish to be able to breed. This would impact a huge source of food for humans.
In addition, when sea turtles lay eggs in dunes, the shells and unhatched eggs left behind provide nutrients that facilitate vegetation growth. This strengthens the beach’s ecosystem as a whole and helps prevent erosion.
So help save sea turtles around the world by donating or purchasing some adorable sea turtle pillows here:
“Our national parks are a uniquely American idea, truly supported by all of us. We are inspired by the beauty that surrounds us. We seek the wild and untamed land, the places where history was made, the sites that honor our heroes, and we stand behind what really matters – protecting these sacred places.”
The National Park Foundation, the official charitable partner of the National Park Service, enriches America’s national parks and programs through the support of private citizens, park lovers, stewards of nature, history enthusiasts and wilderness adventurers.
Chartered by Congress in 1967, the Foundation grew out of a legacy of park protection that began over a century ago when ordinary citizens took action to establish and protect our national parks.
Today, the National Park Foundation carries on the tradition of early park advocates, big thinkers, doers and dreamers. It works to keep trails clear, partners with collaborators such as the White House to get kids outdoors, and most importantly, raises and allocates critical funds to keep our national parks safe.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”
– John Muir, early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the U.S.
We envision the long-term survival of polar bears and the unique part of the world they call home. We see this iconic species roaming the sea ice for generations to come.
Our mission is to conserve polar bears and the sea ice they depend on. Through media, science, and advocacy, we work to inspire people to care about the Arctic, the threats to its future, and the connection between this remote region and our global climate.
Serve as the global resource for information regarding polar bears and their habitat.
Be the leading voice on climate warming impacts to polar bears and their Arctic home while actively seeking solutions through education, advocacy, and action.
Conduct, support, and share scientific research that informs polar bear conservation.
Educate an international audience about polar bears conservation and provide mentorship for the actions that will help ensure their survival.
Proactively and effectively communicate science-based information on polar bears and their conservation.
Maintain transparency in fiscal management and sound business policies and practices.
Follow best environmental practices as an organization, including minimizing our greenhouse gas footprint.
Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities.
Founded in 1947, Defenders of Wildlife is a major national conservation organization focused solely on wildlife and habitat conservation and the safeguarding of biodiversity. They believe in the inherent value of wildlife and the natural world, and this singular focus defines their important niche in the environmental and conservation community and serves as the anchor for our organizational values.
Defenders’ approach is direct and straightforward – They protect and restore imperiled species throughout North America by transforming policies and institutions and promoting innovative solutions – and this approach makes a lasting difference for wildlife and its habitat:
On the ground at the state and local level, developing practical, innovative programs that protect and restore key species and habitats and inform our national policy work.
With state, national and international policy makers to secure laws and policies that protect animals and their habitats. They are widely recognized by their peers and policymakers for the effectiveness of our advocacy work, particularly with the Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture and are known for being the most effective advocate for wildlife funding in the federal appropriations process.
In the courts establishing legal safeguards for native wildlife and fighting efforts to roll back environmental protections. They act as legal counsel on behalf of a population segment that cannot act for itself, North America’s wildlife.
Tuesday, November 29, 2016 | By 1Thing Admin | No Comments
So you live a green lifestyle all year long. You recycle, you minimize your impact by bringing your own bags and using a reusable cup for your morning coffee, you drive a low-emission car, and program your thermostat….you are set, right? Did you consider ways to green the holidays???? It doesn’t have to be difficult to make a difference!
* An obvious way would be to buy recycled wrapping paper, but you could take it a step further and use your old newspaper, or wrap it in another gift, such as a tablecloth, a scarf or a reusable shopping bag.
* As for the tree, real or fake? Cutting down trees and branches for decorations kills or injures trees, but a lot of the fake pine stuff is made from PVC which is toxic and energy intensive to make the plastic which releases gasses. There are fake pine decorations made from polyethylene which doesn’t carry the same health risks. Or use a potted real tree that can be planted in the spring.
*If you do use a real tree, be sure to give it new life at the end of the season! Mulch it or chip it. For more ideas check out the National Christmas Tree Association (www.realchristmastrees.org) and learn how to recycle it.
*LED lights are easy to find and will use a fraction of the energy that lights used to use. Use a timer for outdoor lights so they don’t stay on all night!
*Try upcycling! Get a little creative and turn something discarded into something usable. Recycle your old candles, jeans, tissue boxes, revamp glass bottles and jars, or turn old cookie tins into new fabulous gift tins. Pinterest.com is full of great ideas, just search UPCYCLE. There are thousands of ideas, surely one will appeal to you and your skill level. Upcycle Candles Glass Bottles and Jars Give cookie tins a new life
*If you do shop, shop local. Support the businesses in your local community and spend less gas driving all over. Art and craft shows are prevalent this time of year and you can support a local artist and give a gift of something thoughtful and artful. Pottery bowls can be esthetically pleasing and functional, or a hand knitted hat is stylish and warm.
*Eco-friendly gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Try gift cards for a group of friends to take a cooking class together. Make some jelly or jam, or bread that can be frozen for later. Be really green and give a worm composter so less food waste goes into the landfill. Try cloth dish towels and napkins as a gift to replace the paper ones. Give a fancy reusable water bottle or coffee/tea travel mug. Be super practical, and give LED bulbs or a blanket for the hot water heater. Reusable shopping bags are handy too! Programmable thermostat. Bus/train passes. Glass storage containers. A basket of nontoxic cleaners. Beeswax candles. Coupons to exchange for your time (ie babysitting or sharing a meal). Donate time to a local environmental group.
* December 30th is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day! Otherwise known as ordinary baking soda, bicarb has so many uses it belongs in every green house. Surely you have used it for your baked goods….but have you tried it as a facial scrub? Toothpaste? Or even deodorant? A paste of baking soda can relieve the itch from bug bites, and putting it in a bath can help relieve itchy skin and help you relax. Use it as a scrub to remove burnt on stuff from your pots and pans, mix it with vinegar to clean your sinks and tub, or even sprinkle it on your carpet before vacuuming to remove odors. And if you overindulge this season, use half a teaspoon in a glass of water to help with heartburn and indigestion.
Honey bees support billions of dollars in agriculture. But today, a major decline in honey bee health has put agriculture, healthy lifestyles, and worldwide food security at risk.Many of the nutritious fruits and vegetables we enjoy require honey bee pollination – approximately 1 in 3 bites of the food we eat! The Honey Bee Health Coalition brings together beekeepers, researchers, government agencies, agribusinesses, growers, conservation groups, manufacturers, consumer brands and other key partners with the goal of reversing recent declines in honey bee health and ensuring the long-term health of honey bees and other pollinators.
Stand For Trees is an innovative grassroots campaign that enables individuals – all of us – to take real action to stop forest loss: the number one cause of species extinction and second-leading cause of CO2 emissions globally. Although we know stopping deforestation is critical to curbing climate change, we continue to lose a forest the size of New York City every 48 hours. And deforestation and forest degradation are now larger contributors to climate change than every plane, train, car, and ship on the planet combined.
Fortunately, we have the solution. Since 2007, the international community has been working together on the REDD+ program to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. Now, for the first time, the Stand For Trees model allows individuals to be part of this solution by harnessing the power of technology and social media so we can all support local communities who are implementing REDD+ practices on the ground in tropical forest countries. When you Stand For Trees, you stand for investing in communities who are pursuing new economic opportunities — creating the economy of tomorrow where trees are more valuable standing than cut down.