Month: September 2016

One Less Straw This October

Do we really need to use straws? What is wrong with just drinking from the glass?

Every day in the U.S. 500,000,000 plastic straws are used and then tossed in the trash, or in some cases, on the beach.

You can assist the OneLessStraw pledge campaign by signing a pledge as an individual, business, or school, to say no to plastic straws for the entire month of October.

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My mom has always been a smoothie drinker and would use plastic straws to drink them. That was until I got her metal reusable smoothie straws for Mother’s Day this year! (You really have to watch out for me and gift giving now, you may just end up with a bamboo toothbrush!)

There are plenty of places where you can find reusable straws. Life Without Plastic is one example, or you can check out OneLessStraw’s resource guide if you really cannot live without a straw.

I saw the below video a number of months ago and it completely changed how I look at straws. It is graphic and disturbing, but maybe we need that for us to understand that these straws just don’t go away when we toss them into the garbage can.

 

 

 

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Imagine A Day Without Water

Imagine A Day Without Water occurred on September 15th.  Did you take the chance to imagine it?

That means no water to drink, cook with, bathe in, wash clothes, or generate electricity. Imagining it is truly mind boggling.

One way you can help is by signing a petition urging public officials to prioritize water. Visit Imagine A Day Without Water for other ideas on how you can spread the word.

 

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#VoteOurPlanet

Last night I attended an event at my local Patagonia store called Vote Our Planet.

“We need to elect leaders at the local, state and national levels who will defend the well-being of our families and communities—leaders who support clean water, clean air, strong climate action and a courageous shift to renewable energy.

If we don’t act, then someone else will—someone who doesn’t care about a future for our children and other wild things.

The point was to get people to vote locally and nationally for our natural resources, because if we don’t, no one will. Additionally, Chicago Votes was there to register any new voters. Since I am already registered and I have been since I turned 18, I was asked to film a quick segment on why I am registered and how it makes me feel. Basically, I said that while being able to vote in presidential elections is an honor, it is also extremely important that young people vote in local elections as well.

In the first part of the event, we watched a segment from Patagonia on their Defend Our Air campaign, but you can also check out their Defend Our Water, and Defend Our Soil campaigns.

Afterward, there was a panel discussion that included people from Illinois Environmental Council, Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, and the Environmental Law and Policy Center. The audience asked questions ranging from how college students could get more involved in local politics, to what are the most challenging parts of their job.

Overall, the night was very informative and made me really think about how I have been lacking in participating in local and state elections. While the presidential election is the one making the news right now, the smaller elections are ones that can also help defend our air, water, and soil.

No More New Clothes

Having been laid off from my job, I am now on a bit tighter of a budget than I was before. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to test my own willpower.

While I am not a big shopper (I get bored after maybe an hour on a good day), I definitely do buy new clothes here and there. Especially with the back to school season in full swing and all the cozy, warm fall sweaters and boots showing up in the stores.

I already have sweaters, boots, and scarves, and definitely don’t NEED anymore.

So, for the rest of 2016, I will not be purchasing any new clothes or shoes.

One of the best ways to avoid temptation is to remove yourself from store’s email lists. If I do not know they are having a 40% off sale, then I am more likely not to start browsing and see what is on sale.

 

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No more of these. Unsubscribe.

 

I did this weekend go to a craft fair and flea market, but I am not counting my purchases from either. I supported local, handmade products and bought second-hand.

I will be keeping you updated! Do you have any suggestions and what has worked for you?

Tweeting About Trash

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Last week as I was waiting for the bus, I could not help but notice this overflowing trash can on North Avenue. It just made me so sad. Even in between taking pictures, a man tried to stuff some more into it.

From what I could see (I did not dig in and inspect), it looked like the majority of the trash can’s contents were recyclables such as plastic beverage containers. This makes sense because this trash can is right across from an L stop, so I assume many commuters drop off their pre and post work coffees here.

I tweeted at Chicago Streets and Sanitation about it, but so far no response…..

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