Fifty-Two Ways To Celebrate Earth Day

Fifty-Two Ways to Celebrate Earth DayEarth Day is April 22nd. Time to invest in our planet.Fifty-Two Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

 

By Anna Hessel & Wes Hessel

 

There’s Just the One Earth

There are several ways to make an investment in our planet, many of which have no financial cost or little expenditure.  In fact, being earth friendly can often save you money.  Here are fifty-two ideas, one for each Earth Day we have celebrated so far:

  1. Plant a tree; in addition to their benefit of taking in the carbon dioxide we and animals breathe out and giving back oxygen we all need; trees can help save on home heating/cooling. Choose a deciduous tree (one that loses its leaves in the fall) for the south side of your dwelling, which will allow winter sun to help heat the home, as well as provide shade in the summer months. For a northern or other windy exposure, opt for coniferous (that is, pine-type trees), which can provide a wind break against the cold (or heat, if you live in a hot area).
  2. Organize a trash pickup on the side of the road, a vacant lot, or anywhere needing rid of debris – let’s show we care for what we are blessed with.
  3. Don’t litter, ever – take a moment to put recycling and trash in their proper places; everybody wins.
  4. Plan a recycling event in your community – many things are toxic to the environment if not disposed of properly, not to mention items like electronics at the end of their life can yield back needed precious metals such as gold and platinum. But maybe they are just something you’re done with but that can help someone else, like donating cell phones to organizations who refurbish them for victims of domestic violence.
  5. Watch Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, and its sequel, then choose at least one thing to help stave off climate change – we all benefit.
  6. Some years back our church did a children’s musical and reception to educate the public about Earth Day – try something of this nature at your place of worship or school.
  7. Read the many publications available about pollution, global warming, and climate change – learn how we can all do our part.
  8. Educate yourself with virtual or in person Earth Day events – never stop learning.
  9. Reduce your use of paper – recycle what you do use; options like e-tickets save trees and curb environmental factors, as well as they can be easier to keep track of.
  10. Join a free swap group to stop items from going into landfills – save money in the process, too.

You Can Sustain…

  1. Opt for environmentally friendly cleaning products – clean with green.
  2. Use your local library to learn more about Mother Earth – keep learning.
  3. Choose farm-to-table food items and buy from local farmers – energy used in transportation is saved, and less gas emissions go into the air we breathe, not to mention the freshness gained in eating.
  4. Shop sustainably – for instance, ordering online can save on individual car trips, combining them into more efficient delivery routes. Also opt for purchases that include materials that are recycled or repurposed, and which are made with more sustainable and safe processes.
  5. Don’t waste resources – save water, for example, by not leaving the faucet running while brushing your teeth or between dish rinses. Turn lights off in places where no one is going to be for more than a minute, literally.
  6. Keep your car running efficiently to avoid harmful emissions – not only does it improve the air we breathe, but it also saves money with less gas used.
  7. Consider an electric or hybrid vehicle – more of the same as the previous choice.
  8. Use solar energy, if possible – even opening curtains in colder months during sunny times will cut your heating bill and use less energy of other forms. Active solar such as heating or solar cells improve the benefits significantly and can bring rebates or tax savings.
  9. Compost – even a small porch/balcony-type depository for used organic materials like fruit peels and so on cuts waste going to landfills, as well as offers low-cost, safer fertilizer. Countertop units are also now available.
  10. Use environmentally friendly household products such as paper towel or bathroom tissue. Look for green items where you shop whenever possible – recycling cuts down on energy used in manufacturing and gas emissions.

Save The Planet, Save Money…

  1. Choose Earth friendly items when remodeling your home, such as double or triple pane windows letting warm sun in but keeping the cold out, or vice versa with shades or blinds in warm months.
  2. When considering cosmetic items such as sunscreen, choose environmentally friendly companies, and, of course, cruelty free also – what goes on your skin can enter the body, so choose wisely.
  3. Biodegradable balloons are available for your next party or event, or opt for other decorating choices, as balloons can be dangerous for small children.
  4. Avoid lawn products that are toxic, not just for the planet, but for pets and wildlife.
  5. Wear ecofriendly clothing and use ecofriendly linens – items using easier to wash fabrics saves on washing costs and energy used, not to mention the environmental impact of production.
  6. Shop at thrift stores – they have many items for any budget. It’s a great way to reuse/repurpose and save money.
  7. Take military showers, which is to shut the water off between rinses – water and heating energy saved. Showers heads with built-in shutoffs can make this easier.
  8. Use eco-friendly bath products – once again, more recycling, lower waste, and less wear and tear on the environment.
  9. Put a brick in your toilet tank and invest in a low flow shower head – more water saved.
  10. Consider bar soap and shampoo and recycle any plastic shampoo or conditioner containers; also choosing containers which are designed to sit upside down when not in use will increase the amount of product you can use out of each product.

Make Good Choices

  1. Use zero or low waste grooming products that are sustainable – refills with less packaging are a good environmentally friendly choice.
  2. Take a nature walk with your children or pet – not only do we then enjoy the environment we are saving but we gain the health benefits of exercise and endorphins.
  3. A bath can be greener than showering if you take very long showers but short showers can use less water than bathing – try closing the drain one time while showering to see if the water accumulated is less or more than that of a tub run.
  4. Take a quiz to ascertain your carbon footprint to reduce it – we can always do a little better.
  5. Save energy in your home, and walk, bike, or carpool, whenever possible; turn off or up/down to use less and choose more active or sharing options for transportation.
  6. Go ahead and hug that tree, you know you want to – the Earth will love you back.
  7. Avoid excessive use of aerosols – we’ll all breathe better and stop erosion of our natural UV protection in the atmosphere.
  8. Remember to give a hoot, don’t pollute.
  9. Plant flowers – beautification, exercise, and viewing recreation, as well as the benefits of saving water with plants like succulents, or flooding mitigation by plants which can absorb excess water. And choose environmentally safer methods while you’re at it.
  10. Start a community vegetable garden – working together is better for our emotional environment, and can be more sustainable, not to mention the benefits of sharing, especially with those who are in need. Find services on the internet who can take excess produce to food pantries and banks, saving on food waste and helping at the same time.

Clean And Green

  1. Plant an herb garden – freshness adds to taste, and less energy is spent going to the store and for food processing.
  2. Put fresh mushrooms on your grocery list of sustainable foods – great benefits in multiple ways.
  3. Add avocados and bananas to your sustainable fruit and veggies basket – more health and uses beyond just as food.
  4. Create a pretty terrarium – a little more oxygen for the indoors, as well as a micro-environment reminding us of the big one, we all share.
  5. Post-Earth friendly tips on social media – it’s always good to share…
  6. Do a science experiment – try food science to learn more sustainable processes or learn ways to do things better for all of us; a good way to get our children involved.
  7. Make a do-it-yourself dry seed bomb – just make sure you use it in a place where you have permission to…
  8. Spread a pinecone with peanut butter and sprinkle birds seeds on it – instant, environmentally safe bird feeder
  9. Enjoy a nature-based scavenger hunt – more exercise and awareness of the beauty around us
  10. Recycle a small wooden box filled with pinecones, dried grass, and bark to attract insects that assist in controlling non-beneficial pests – call it a bug hotel…

Always Room for One (Or Two) More

  1. If you haven’t already, replace your light bulbs with LED-based ones – they use significantly less electricity, saving energy and money. They often have subsidized prices which make them cheaper.  But don’t forget to dispose of them safely, as with all things…
  2. Make each day an Earth Day – look for that one thing, as they say, each day, that shows the Earth it’s worth…

Earth Day is an international event that began in 1970.  For more information, and a list of events across the globe and in your own neighborhood, please visit the Earth Day official site at www.earthday.org.

The Vanishing Amazon Rainforest

The Vanishing Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is in peril. Experts predict there will be no rainforest in 30 years.

The Vanishing Amazon Rainforest 

The clock is ticking. The emergency real. Experts believe that in 30 years the Amazon rainforest will likely be, just a memory. . .

By Megan Wallin 

Ongoing Threat

The Amazon rainforest has been under threat for decades. Despite its indisputable ecological value and unspeakable beauty we are at risk of losing this incredible natural resource.  Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, has vowed to protect the forest and reduce harmful emissions. His words don’t match his actions. Unparalleled development continues, transforming forest into farmland or deforested deserts. The entire ecosystem has been disrupted, all for the price of temporary, but immediate profit.

A Ravaged Landscape

According to Reuters, Brazil’s ecological losses have increased 1.8 percent just during 2020, losing roughly 1,062 square kilometers of forest to greed and corruption. But logging isn’t the only issue to blame in this scenario. Farmland conversion, wildfires, droughts and pollution have ravaged the land. More than one billion acres of rainforest have been transformed into public, government or miscellaneous use since the year 1990.

Losing Value

The worth of an intact and thriving Amazon rainforest amounts to approximately a whopping $8.2 billion , but the forest is losing its value both economically and environmentally.  This world wonder spreads across Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The Amazon rainforest extends over millions of miles, and provides a safe habitat for thousands of tropical animals. Furthermore, it is home to at least 500 tribal communities.

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Devastating Drought


The western United States is suffering under a 20 year drought leading to billions of dollars in lost agricultural revenues and out of control wildfires.

Devastating Drought

By D. S. Mitchell and William Jones

Western state drought: A trauma to the ecosystem

Life on Planet Earth

Water is a requirement for all life on earth, whether it be plants, insects, fish, birds, or human beings.  Beyond sustaining life, water is essential for our economic well-being. Water based activities make up a large part of the economy. For example, water shortages in agriculture have resulted in reductions in yield and revenue. Tourism and outside activities have declined. Water transportation is endangered in some areas. The fishing industry is suffering.

Lack of Precipitation

Continued low precipitation causes drought. Across the west and southwest, surface water (river, lake, stream and pond) is primarily a result of winter snows and rains. Then in the spring that snow melts and the snowmelt flows downstream from higher altitude areas until it is captured by dams and reservoirs. The water is stored and that is delivered gradually to the people and places that need it when then need it, theoretically. (farmers, urban areas).

Severe and Extreme

Severe, extreme, and exceptional drought conditions have become increasingly common throughout the western United States. The last 20 years has brought abnormally dry conditions to the region. These conditions have led to a wide range of problems. Agricultural production is down due to inadequate water for irrigation. The loss of bee hives threaten the pollination of crops and is in fact at a critical state. Many scientists are pointing to climate change and reduced water supplies killing not only bees but every other insect on the planet. Animals are dying because they have inadequate water to sustain them.  Entire industries are dying because of the drought. It is a worldwide problem, but dramatically visible in the western United States.

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Deadly Effects of Deforestation

People cut down trees and never replace them.

People cut down trees and never replace them. Deforestation is directly related to climate change.

Deadly Effect of Deforestation

By D. S. Mitchell & Michael Leonard Douglas

“Deforestation is the permanent destruction of forests in order to make land available for other uses”-Wikipedia-“Deforestation causes extinction, changes climate, creates deserts, and displaces indigenous populations”-Wikipedia.

From Then Until Now

Of the over 6 million original square miles of rain forest earth has lost over 4.5 million square miles. This incredible loss is due to human activity and naturally occurring deforestation events. In addition to human activity millions of trees are lost to wildfires and those losses are not effectively replaced. The pressures of constant logging make it impossible to preserve forests within a reasonable time frame. Indonesia and Malaysia are the world’s leading producers of palm oil. This fact makes them two of the world’s greatest deforestation culprits.

Deforestation

For a well-balanced relationship of organisms in the ecosystem, there must not be any interference with the natural processes. However, man has entered the picture and his activities are negatively influencing the natural balance. Over the last two decades the rate of deforestation has increased exponentially. The increased demand for timber products and the clearing of rain forests for developing palm oil plantations are two leading drivers of deforestation. Human beings are creating a dramatic imbalance in the eco-system that may be irreversible.

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Save The Orangutan Project

Orangutans will most likely only be found in zoos within the next decade.

Orangutans will most likely only be found in zoos within the next decade

THE ORANGUTAN PROJECT: DEFORESTATION HURTS

Deadly Effects

We @calamitypolitics are deeply concerned about deforestation and the deadly effects it is having on the planet. Rain forests are important because they are home to thousands of unique animal species, some not even identified yet. Calamity Politics contributor, Michael Leonard Douglas, has written a compelling article explaining the hazards of deforestation. Please watch for it.

Palm Oil

One of the worst offending industries in the deforestation calamity is the palm oil industry  “Deforestation, habitat degradation, climate change, animal cruelty, and indigenous rights abuses in countries where it is produced, because land must be cleared for development and planting of the palm oil plantations,” The Orangutan Project.

Video

Please take the 3-4 minutes to watch this video from the Orangutan Project. The loss of habitat is leaving many of our close cousins homeless and afraid. Deforestation hurts. Join the effort to stop palm oil atrocities and other devastators of our precious and rapidly disappearing rain forests-Darlene

Oregon Team Battles Camp Fire at Paradise

Oregon Strike Team #19 is in Paradise, California Fighting the Most Deadly Fire in California history. My friends from the North Coast make up this team of heroes. Thank you. We love you all so much, be careful, be safe. Amy Lenz my former co-worker shared these pictures. Please give to the California fire victims, both  human and animal. Team members include: Amy Lenz and Scott Welden (Knappa, Oregon), Ron Tyson and Aaron Smith (Olney, Oregon), Flint Helligso, Jeff Golightly, and Brent Saulsbury (Lewis & Clark, Oregon), and from Seaside, Oregon, Jenson Segui and David Rankin. The Oregon team joined the fight after an emergency request came from Emergency Management Services Compact (a state-to-state mutual aid system). North Coast Oregon Firefighters and equipment deployment could exceed two weeks.

Smoke from the California wildfires is being carried as far as Chicago, Illinois.

Amy Found This Survivor. A Cat Looking For A Human Friend.

Even in this dead zone Amy Found a Survivor. Hope she packs the little guy in her back pack. So Many Animals and People Have Died. Please support your volunteer fire departments around the country. They save lives.