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#MoveTheDate 2019

Earth Overshoot Day is on July 29th this year.

Earth Overshoot Day is an important environmental day to learn about. This day gives us an idea how much of the earth’s resources we are using annually. Or better yet, it predicts on what day we will have used all of the natural resources that earth can provide in a year’s time. In a perfect world Earth Overshoot Day would be as late in the year as possible because we are living sustainably. But that’s not the case. Humans use far more resources than the earth can replace/renew in a year. In other words, we are stealing natural resources from our future selves.

Every year, Earth Overshoot Day can land on a different day. That’s because the calculations that predict this day are based on how people in the world are currently living. So not only is it subject to change but it directly correlates to our lifestyle choices. Here are the factors considered when calculating Earth Overshoot Day:

  • The ecological footprint “measures how much demand human consumption places on the biosphere. It is measured in standard units called global hectares.”1 One hectare is approximately 107,639 square feet.
  • The biocapacity “is the area of productive land available to produce resources or absorb carbon dioxide waste, given current management practices. Biocapacity is measured in standard units called global hectares.”1
  • “An ecological deficit occurs when the Ecological Footprint of a population exceeds the biocapacity of the area available to that population. A national ecological deficit means that the nation is importing biocapacity through trade, liquidating national ecological assets or emitting carbon dioxide waste into the atmosphere.”1
  • “An ecological reserve exists when the biocapacity of a region exceeds its population’s Ecological Footprint.”1

The Global Footprint Network is responsible for the work behind calculating the Earth Overshoot Date. With all of these different factors, you can see why every country has a unique set of results. To view the data that they came up with this year, click here.

Knowing the Earth Overshoot Day makes us accountable and aware of our behaviors. It turns something that is usually hard to visualize into something that is digestible and easier to understand. With the given data, we can set objectives of what we would like to do or prevent for the following year. After all, being able to project these kind of predictions should be utilized somehow.

Many people may not know about #MoveTheDate but it is an effort to change our lifestyle behaviors so that we are living more sustainably. As it is, earth will not be able to sustain life as we know it beyond 2050. It goes without saying that there will be many issues leading up to that point if we don’t act now. To learn more about moving the date back and how you can initiate change check out some Solutions here.

To get an idea of how your lifestyle affects the earth, calculate your ecological footprint here.

1 http://data.footprintnetwork.org/

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#PointlessPlastic

Plastic was created for the sake of human convenience.

Invented in 1898 and popularized in the 1960s, plastic replaced heavy materials (such as metal) and has since been used for nearly anything, everywhere (The Atlantic, 2014). It’s used so much that plastic pollution has become a prominent issue for the entire world—coastal cities are the first to face face those consequences. Widespread use is seen as a need for consumers but what most consumers don’t actually realize is, there is a larger cost for this “convenience.”

Considering the amount of technology that exists and how much smarter we about our earth, we have the resources to stray away from plastic use–or to at least begin the rollback of using it. The fate of our natural world honestly depends on it.

The changes that we need to see in an environmental respect are possible. Using less plastic though, requires some planning for businesses as well as for individuals. But since individuals can make the changes much more quicker than in large companies, where should we begin with them?

Each and everyone of us are consumers. Whether we are buying frequently or not… even trends constantly generate business. We create the demand for businesses to give us what we want and that’s the same exact rhetoric I’m implying we use here. As consumers, we need to show businesses where they are at fault, where they can do better, and that the change is necessary.

Greenpeace is doing exactly that by putting big business markets on blast with their #PointlessPlastic project. By using your social media platforms, share proof of excess plastic using the hashtag #PointlessPlastic and tag the big chains responsible (like Trader Joe’s or Costco). Below are examples of what excess plastic looks like:

apples pointless plastic
Image source: Twitter

avocados pointless plastic
Image source: Daily Mail (UK)

halo clementines pointless plastic
Image source: Buzzfeed

Greenpeace is also featuring photos (a small incentive) but something larger is surely developing. Projects like this create awareness no matter how little. They raise questions in people who are unfamiliar with environmental issues. They force people to reflect on their decisions that can ultimately contribute to plastic pollution. Do you want to get involved? Click here to download Greenpeace’s action toolkit. Or, if you’d like to submit a #PointlessPlastic photo to the organization, click here.

Don’t be afraid to speak up for our planet!

Sources
Laskow, Sarah. “How the Plastic Bag Became So Popular.” The Atlantic, Oct 2014. Jun 2018. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/10/how-the-plastic-bag-became-so-popular/381065/.

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World Oceans Day 2018

Image source: NYC Plastic Bag Report

This World Ocean’s Day, StayBlooming.com is challenging you!

Ocean health is not something that we hear about often but it definitely affects you.  With our planet being made up of 71% water, salt water makes up 97.5% of that. The quality and condition of our oceans affect marine life, coastlines, weather patterns, and more. All of which affect life as we know it so we must act. Taking care of our ocean means understanding how human behavior contributes to the biggest ocean health issue: pollution.

Here are 3 major ways you can help keep our oceans clean:

world oceans day 1

world oceans day 3

world oceans day 2

Get in on the action. Send pictures of how you help clean the ocean to alyssablooms@gmail.com or us #istayblooming on Instagram for a feature!

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Some Triumph for African Lions

Image source: ABC News (2015)

Most of us aren’t aware of how African lion hunting actually takes place. So although this article regards some triumph for African lions — I equally want to disclose that it’s not a full ban on trophy hunting of these marvelous felines.

A private U.S. pro-hunting group Safari Club International has stated that “it will no longer allow the promotion or auctioning of hunts involving African lions bred and shot in captivity.” (Humane Society International) It’s a big deal for this group to denounce the trade because it means less legal trade will happen internationally. With majority of the African lion body part trade being sent to the U.S. — you can see why it’s significant for this group to stop promoting the killing of captive lions. Though, it is only somewhat of a win. The trophy-hunting behind the deaths of many African lions still goes on as captive-bred hunting is still not illegal while canned hunting is.

What is the difference between captive-bred hunting & canned hunting? There is no difference! Captive-bred hunting literally breeds animals in demand for the purpose of keeping them in captivity then allows them to be hunted. Whereas, canned hunting puts animals (like the African lion) in large captive spaces for the sole purpose of hunting. Trophy hunters from around the world make their payment to those who the land belongs to and go “hunting.” This captive-bred/canned hunting makes the chance at killing more likely and since they bear no difference in purpose, it’s highly controversial and should be banned.

I would never promote trophy hunting but the use of captive-bred/canned hunting completely takes away from the sport of hunting. There is no skill required in killing an animal that’s got limited space to flee/roam. I can only hope that more change comes for these exotic big cats and that this directly decreases the illegal trade we see in the United States.

Sources:
Humane Society International. Animal protection groups welcome denouncement of captive-bred or “canned” lion hunts from one of the largest U.S. trophy hunting clubs. 9 Feb 2018.
Humane Society International. Trophy Hunting: Animals Under Fire. 2018.

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10 Necessary Factors for a Sustainable Environment

1. Combating poverty is a central goal because poverty reduces access to healthcare, education, and other essential components of development.

2. Reducing resource consumption is a global consideration, but wealthy regions are responsible for most of the world’s consumption. For example, the United States and Europe have less than 15 percent of the world’s population, but these regions consume about half of the world’s metals, food, energy, and other resources.

3. Population growth leads to ever-greater resources demands, because all people need some resources. Better family planning, ensuring that all children are wanted, is a matter of justice, resource supply, and economic and social stability for states as well as for families.

4. Healthcare, especially for children and mothers, is essential for a productive life. Underdeveloped areas can lead to disease, accidents, respiratory and digestive impairments, and other conditions. Without health, economic security is a risk, and poverty can persist through generations.

5. Sustainable cities are key because over half of humanity now lives in cities. Sustainable development involves ensuring that cities are healthy places to live and that they cause minimal environmental impact.

6. Environmental policy needs to guide decision making in local and national governments, to ensure that environmental quality is protected before it gets damaged, and to set agreed-upon rules for resource use.

7. Protection of the atmosphere is essential for minimizing the rate of climate change and for reducing impacts of air pollution on people, plants, and infrastructure.

8. Combating deforestation and protection biodiversity go together because much of the world’s biodiversity is in forests. We also depend on forests for water resources, climate regulation, and resources including food, wood, medicines, and building materials. Other key zones of biodiversity include coral reefs, wetlands, and coastal areas.

9. Combating desertification and drought through better management of water resources can save farms, ecosystems, and lives. Often removal of vegetation and soil loss make drought worse, and a few bad rainfall years can convert a landscape to desertlike conditions.

10. Agriculture and rural development affect the lives of the nearly half of humanity who don’t live in cities. Improving conditions for billions of rural people, including more sustainable farming systems, soil stewardship to help stabilize yields, and access to lands, can help reduce populations in urban slums.

– Principles of Environmental Science: Inquiry & Application
Cunningham/Cunningham, 8th Edition

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