Is anyone listening to the UN’s latest warning?

Photo by Markus Spiske on

If you’ve been paying attention, then you might have heard that the U.N. has once again issued a warning about the climate crisis.

With so many of these announcements going out, and relatively little being done in response, one can’t help but wonder if anyone is even listening anymore.

The sad reality is that precious few are. Sure, we all hear it being said, but are we actually listening? There’s just so much noise right now to distract us. In the last couple of weeks alone there have been a couple of mass shootings, Russian troops are uping the fight in Ukraine, two banks had to be seized by the government, and the world is once again staring down the barrel of a looming recession.

Needless to say, most people are distracted right now. However, that doesn’t mean the climate issue can wait.

The only way to get the focus back, is to first refocus yourself. Make it a priority in your own life, and then make decisions with that in mind. This includes purchase choices, voting decisions, planning trips with an eco-friendly eye, and several others ways that might fit in your life. The change has to start and grow from you first though. I know that right now this won’t always be easy, but all you can do is hold true to your values, and then move forward from there.

Happy Spring Everyone.

How green is your favorite brand?

Barclays Asset & Sales Finance by Logomachy is licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0

Everyone has a favorite brand. Be it a tennis shoe, makeup, or coffee brand, it doesn’t matter; life without it just wouldn’t be the same. So, what do you do when you’re not sure about just how green that company actually is? If you’re one of the growing number of people for whom this matters, then you need to do some research.

Yes, you can always Google it, sure. However, unless that company has had some major disaster, the results can be kinda murky.

One place to start is the company website. See what they’re claiming “officially” to be their green policy. Many corporate websites proudly put this info on display. Then you can compare this to the Google search results to see what overlaps.

Another reason a company might publicly proclaim what their eco status truly is, would be due to them having to tell their shareholders. If you specifically search for corporate finance info, that might give you a different perspective. For example, if you were looking into a mining company, their website might say they comply with all federal regulations; but their financial announcements to shareholders might talk about how the cost of that compliance, during a cleanup, was affecting their bottom line. Now you know there was an incident.

There are also watchdog groups out there that keep naughty-and-nice lists regarding corporate behavior. If you’re not sure how to go about doing these various types of searches, just check your local library. The librarians there have access to subscription databases, government documents, corporate histories, and can even help with choosing the right search terms. Sometimes it’s just a matter of know how to look that matters more than anything else.

As the saying goes, “seek and ye shall find.”

Green Living Challenge

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

As we wrap up this heat-soaked July, and enter into a possibly even hotter August, a challenge is being issued to all of you who are taking refuge from these high temps.  Take a moment to re-evaluate what you’re doing to be green. Can you improve on anything, maybe add a little something to your repertoire?  Perhaps start by checking on what all you believe is recyclable.  Double check with your local trash company, you might just be surprised at what you find.  So many things  that people assume are recyclable, actually get rejected by the local waste management company.  Make sure that your efforts are going to be fruitful by updating your green living knowledge.  Challenge set, now go.

Time to “fall back” into better battery habits

Photo by Simon Gough on

Once again, we’re at that time of year when we have to change our clocks. November 7th, 2021 will be the day you change, or Fall Back, your clock by one hour. Many people will also use this date to change out all the batteries in their home’s smoke detectors too. That’s great, after all safety first right, but only if you include the additional safety precaution of properly recycling those old batteries as well.

The danger of old batteries being thrown away, and left to corrode in landfills, has been shown time and time again. The problems of contamination, animal ingestion, and dangerous childhood exposure have been seen, and warned against for years now. However, despite this, many people choose to ignore the issue entirely; leaving too many batteries to wind up simply thrown away to become future catastrophes.

Part of the problem is that those who do this often don’t think about it as a problem at all, mainly because the battery goes away with their garbage, never to be seen again. However, every so often the proof of danger plays out right at home. Although all batteries need to be properly disposed of, for some reason people often forget that this includes smaller batteries, the so called “button batteries” as well. Unfortunately these can quickly prove just how small, but mighty they truly can be.

These are the type of batteries that are generally found in watches, garage door openers, and small electronic games. They typically range in sizes similar to that of small, medium, and larger buttons. They are also usually just as thin. Babies, toddlers, and animals have all been known to find these shiny little “buttons,” and swallow them whole, much to their detriment. As the stomach acids start to break down the battery casing, out comes the battery acids, and then boom, you have a homemade nightmare to deal with. You can imagine what happens to the stomachs, and intestines, of those who were unfortunate enough to have consumed the battery. Hospital visits, surgery, future treatments, and even death can (and sadly often does) soon fallow. There have even been instances where children have gotten button batteries stuck in their throat, only for the acid to start to burn its way through. How could all of these tragedies been avoided? None of it needed to happen, and wouldn’t have, if only the batteries were properly recycled in the first place.

So, please do your part, and take steps to “Fall Back” into some good battery safety habits this year, once you’ve changed those clocks that is. Have a great November everyone.

Coastal Cleanup Day still on in 2020

(Image courtesy of California Coastal Commission)

Good new Eco-wariors, this year’s Coastal Cleanup Day 2020 is still on, but with Covid-19 necessary adjustments.  Each state will of course decide how to best make these adjustments, but here in California, the event is being spread out over several Saturdays instead of just one, and the number of locations has been increased to allow for more social distancing.

Each year people come together to help clean our beaches, parks, shorelines, and coastal shallows.  With an ever increasing amount of plastics, and other garbage, entering the oceans every year, this endeavor is more important that ever.  Luckily, even the Coronavirus can’t stop dedicated individuals from doing their part, especially now that there won’t be the danger of large groups congregating together while they do it.

For details about how your local Coastal Clean Up is going to work this year, just do a search for what’s going on in your state, if you live in California though, you can just look here for the California website.