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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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Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice

In just 2 months (on Saturday, September 8th) we are demanding that our elected officials take a stand for our environment now. A sustainable future is something we hear of often and want to create but we are not striving enough to create it. That window of time humanity has to reverse the effects of excess carbon dioxide emissions and plastic pollution is closing fast.

Change certainly does occur from the bottom up, but we don’t have time to wait around. Citizens need to press their representatives about doing what is in everyone’s favor and not for profits. And this is what we are rising up for… to ensure that the decisions we are making cohesively fit with a healthy environment, to ensure that policy changes happen immediately, to ensure people and justice are prioritized above profits, and to ensure that our humanity is becoming sustainable now. (Click any below image to enlarge.)

EyimISrw FOSSIL FREE MONA CARON NOT A PENNY MORE color hand

100% renewables color open sky No New F.F.P. Foot color Keep it in the ground-MonaCaron-color_11x17

Print FOSSIL FREE yellow color Not a Penny More Pipeline color

As we demand these actions take place, we also understand the incredible amount of work that goes into it. Learning what old habits are not good for the earth, putting the effort into teaching others, and working together to build an infrastructure that respects the earth’s natural cycles. The Global Climate Action Summit takes place the following week from September 12 through September 14, bringing leaders from across the globe to talk environmental politics. It is a new era in time!

For a map of events in your area click here.

Get involved, this earth is the only home we will ever have.

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Greening at the Local Level

We know for sure that humanity has a devastating impact on all life. Science is proving over and over how much our lifestyle/consumer choices collectively affect the planet at large. With so many countries contributing to environmental pollution, different sources of pollution and differing pollutants, the issue is a complex global one. So how are we to solve such a big issue? We have to think about it on a local scale.

I attended a City Ecological Footprint Webinar hosted by Global Footprint Network and it got me thinking about how we can be more aware of our personal daily impacts. Here are some things to first learn and consider:

  1. The earth’s biocapacity is the amount of living things it can support with current sustainability practices (agriculture, fishing, greenhouse gas emissions) and its ability to replenish itself

  2. The U.S. government always wants to to increase its gross domestic product (GDP) which is literally increasing the United States’ citizen buying power or our consumption

  3. With an ever increasing demand for GDP growth, there is an equal increased demand for resources within the environment to create products but growth does not equal sustainability

  4. Earth is already in overshoot meaning it’s beyond its biocapacity; it physically cannot sustain the current the lifestyles that developed countries have and developing countries are lacking

  5. The problem with finding an immediate solution is that national governments and international governing bodies alike work too slowly

With that being said, it’s clear why the answer lies at the local level. Change is happening quicker and more readily at the bottom. Corporations have more to lose when making green decisions. The solution is really within the changes that ordinary people can make in their everyday lives. Here are some changes you can make to be more green:

tips for greener living.png

If you’re interested in finding out more about your personal affect on the environment, you can use this Ecological Footprint Calculator from Global Footprint Network. It asks questions about your everyday life and shows which areas are causing the most damage to the earth. I hope you’ve gained something today. 🌱

Stay green, bloomers.

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NYC Compost Project

I had the wonderful pleasure of sitting in for a presentation by a member of Queens Botanical Garden‘s Compost Project. I learned that this project is funded by the NYC’s Department of Sanitation, which is a wonderful effort on their part to create awareness & make rounds for organic matter collection.

organic compost
A complimentary bag of organic compost from Queen’s Botanical Garden’s Compost Project.

Here’s what I learned. Organic compost is made from food scraps, coffee grounds, soiled paper, and also leaf & yard waste. The process generally takes about 6 months, requiring a sheltered & enclosed space away from rodents (inevitable New York natives) and the elements but allowing for air to pass through. You can check to see if your compost is ready by taking a handful and putting it in air-tight bag. Smell the contents the next day and if it smells like ammonia, your compost is not ready. A good compost is thoroughly decomposed.

The reason for these efforts? Collecting organic compost recycles it completely and creates a mutualistic relationship between our trash & our sustainability needs as of lately. It also prevents it from entering landfills as trash. When organic matter finds itself there, it can produce methane as it decomposes which is more toxic to our atmosphere than CO2; adding to our greenhouse gas issue. You know, climate change.

nyc recyclables
Click to enlarge.

Homeowners and landlords can enroll their properties in organics collection with the Department of Sanitation by clicking here for the application.

Tenants of buildings can apply too but are encouraged to get applications from other residents living on the premises. If that’s not possible, there are also food scrap drop-off sites and you can click here for locations to those.

my organic compost use
Fun fact: Organic compost can also be used for house plants.

I hope this encourage readers to think about their trash a bit more consciously. If you’re considering composting but just want to learn more, consider reaching out to the NYC Project Compost sites by clicking here. There are a few different ways to get involved no matter who you are… try it out!

Happy composting!

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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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