The weather created almost too perfect a setting for President Obama’s climate change speech Tuesday afternoon. Visibly sweating and frequently dabbing at his forehead, the president addressed the importance of acting on climate change before the problem became too great. “The progress [will be] measured in crisis averted, planet protected,” he said.
President Obama’s main focus in protecting the planet is the limiting and ultimate elimination of carbon pollution. In his speech, President Obama cited a study that found the 12 warmest years on record have occurred in the last 15, with 2012 being the warmest year in recorded history. He also called on America to be a leader in the fight against climate change, asking individuals to do their part. “We have to all shoulder the responsibility for keeping the planet habitable, or we’ll suffer the consequences together.”
They call themselves freegans: people who live almost entirely on what others throw away, from furniture right down to the food they put in their bodies. Freegans reject the idea of a capitalist system and take pride in their limited participation in a conventional economy.
According to Freegan.Info, freegans live based on “sharing resources, minimizing the detrimental impact of our consumption and reducing and recovering waste and independence from the profit-driven economy.”
While trash touring or dumpster diving may not sound like reliable methods for sourcing food and nutrition, freegans rarely go hungry, as the Environmental Protection Agency states that Americans dump approximately 38 million tons of garbage daily.
One commenter on a Huffington Post article about a week in the life of a freegan said “While I personally can not see myself dumpster diving, I have seen the waste that restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores discard…it’s good food that can provide meals to the poor or unfortunate.”
Many times in grocery stores when you are at the check-out counter, you will be asked paper or plastic. That question now extends to your milk purchase, as milk comes in a variety of containers and travel varied distances to get your local store.
In a research study performed by Pablo Paster, an environmental consultant for Treehugger.com, one of my favorite eco-friendly websites, the environmental impact was measured for a quart of milk. The 4 types of containers tested were cardboard, plastic, glass and TetraPak, which is a method used to allow milk to be stored unrefrigerated prior to opening.
Included in the measurement was how the milk container was manufactured, transported and stored. Read Full Post >
Many times when I was asked why I became a vegetarian, or pescatarian (vegetarian who eats fish), my answer was twofold. One of the first reasons was due to the treatment of animals, which in a recent film I watched were actually termed “animal cities” and that term was not meant as one of endearment. The quality of life our animals have, from cows to chickens to pigs, is horrendous. Whether being kept in pens or tight quarters where slight movements are difficult or never seeing sunlight, I could not fathom taking part in allowing this to continue so I stopped giving those stock yards and farmers my money. Read Full Post >
More and more products are coming out touting that they are less harmful to the environment or are earthy friendly, but in order to use this type of labeling the product must be manufactured with minimal energy and packaging should be made of recycled materials (think the paper grocery bags at Whole Foods supermarkets). Not all manufacturers follow the full guidelines that entitle this “green” messaging, so by referencing the logos listed below you can ensure that the products and produce you purchase are in fact “green”:
For products to use the USDA labeling it must contain at least 95% organic ingredients that have not had any chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides or genetically modified organisms used. Read Full Post >