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Showing posts from April, 2014

Earth Day Musings - Now is the time to act on climate change

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Happy Earth Day! It's the one day each year set aside specifically for the appreciation of our home planet and for raising awareness about the multitude of environmental issues that threaten it.  Earth provides us with a livable habitat, food, water, clean air, and the other natural resources required to sustain our existence. Hmmm... seems as though it would be more appropriate for Earth Day to be every day, not just on April 22nd. And with the threats our planet currently faces as a result of destructive human activity, its isn't just a warm fuzzy suggestion that Earth Day should be every day.  It is an imperative.

Of all the threats to our planet, climate change is far and away the most pressing.  With grave consequences and widespread devastation in the form of heat waves, rising sea levels, species extinctions, acidifying oceans, drought, diminished agricultural productivity, declining water supply, increased conflict, and stronger storms, just to name a few, it is clear…

In the News: Governor's Plan for Washington State to Lead the Charge on Climate Change

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Every once in awhile, a particular moment will remind me why it is so wonderful to live in Washington. A glimpse of Mount Rainier, the Cascades, or the Olympics on a clear day.  The peaceful sound of rain pattering on the roof.  A commanding Superbowl victory (go Hawks!). Blooming cherry trees on the UW campus. Watching our entire state rush to the aid of a fellow community devastated by a natural disaster.

Another of these pride-inspiring moments occurred recently as I tuned in to the live broadcast of a Climate Desk Live event hosted by the University of Washington, at which Governor Jay Inslee discussed Washington State's action plan for climate change. I felt my Evergreen State pride swelling as the discussions went on and the governor outlined his plan for Washington state, and the Pacific Northwest as a whole, to become global leaders in taking action against climate change.  Not only did I feel pride, but also an overwhelming sense of relief, that at least, our own state i…

Going Green: A Day Without Waste on April 9th

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Our society has a problem with waste. The culture of consumption, convenience and newer-and-better that dominates our society has led to an overwhelming and completely unnecessary amount of waste that harms our environment -- and ultimately, ourselves.

How much waste?  According to Global Citizen, the organizers of April 9th's "A Day Without Waste," approximately 75% of our garbage is recyclable, but only 30% of it actually gets recycled.  Additionally, One-third of global food production is wasted every year. More than one-quarter of our home water usage goes toward flushing toilets (and this is drinkable water!). In the Pacific Ocean, a swirling vortex of floating garbage has accumulated enough waste to cover an area one and a half times the size of the United States 100 feet deep with garbage. In 2013 alone, we used enough single-use "K-Cups" to wrap around earth 10.5 times.

The average American produces nearly 5 pounds of garbage per day!  Multiply that by …