Washington (GGM) Analysis | December 10, 2020 by Noreen Wise
Compost is a big deal in the calculus for increasing carbon sink in our soil. It provides one of the most effective methods for the US public to assist with cutting carbon as deeply and swiftly as possible.
Peat is a compost. It looks very much like soil, but is simply partially decaded vegetation rich in nutrients. These nutrients are what enable the increased absorption of carbon. Peatlands are only 3% of our global lands, yet they store approximately “30% of the earths soil organic carbon.” In light of our extreme #ClimateCrisis, peat should never be removed from its environment to be sold to consumers for profit.
The ever increasing carbon levels as the global population continues to grow, demands that we each do our own part in every way possible to curb carbon, especially in light of the fact of how simple and easy this actually is.
As we hurry to build infrastructure to support solar energy and EV autos, it makes sense to simultaneously rush to improve our natural carbon storing assets, which will further the lowering of CO2 in our atmosphere.
Creating compost bins wherever possible can provide the much needed extra compost for forests, home gardens, public gardens and parks. It was exciting to see a “Compost” bin at the restaurant where I ate today. It was lined up with the other options at the recycling and garbage hub. I always feel so hopeful when a business “gets it” and does it’s little part. The care and maintenance of a compost bin in a restaurant is minor, but the benefit to society is huge. It pretty much follows the same ratio mentioned at the top of the page: 3% / 30% .
We can do this!
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Washington (GGM) Analysis | October 4, 2020 by Noreen Wise
There’s never been a more important time to plant trees than right now. After massive wildfires scorched millions of acres of forests across the western United States, to the ongoing need to cut atmospheric carbon levels in order to reduce global warming, trees are now more important than ever for sustaining human life on our planet. The only way our children will have mature trees tomorrow, is if we plant seedlings today.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland in January 2020, hundreds of nations across the globe committed to planting a trillion trees by 2050. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2016 ranking, the United States is 33.93 percent forested area. Sadly, prior to Davos, the United States was hovering well below its potential for tree planting despite how much room we have to plant trees. Canada on the other hand, has been a top performer, planting 500 million trees in 2019. During this same year, the US National Forest Foundation planted 5 million trees, nearly double their 2018 total, which is aggressive, but a long way off Canada’s 500 million. There doesn’t appear to be a national data base keeping track of US totals that incorporates tree planting in local communities on private property, so the total number of trees planted in US for any given year is difficult to calculate. But what we do know, is that the US chopped down 36 million trees in 2019, and in 2020, in addition to the millions of leveled trees we ax on an annual basis, we lost 30 billion mature trees in the West Coast wildfires, which is staggering.
Ethiopia is a 2020 tree planting champion, succeeding at putting 350 million trees in the ground in 12 hours this past July 2020. The US needs to rush to catch up. In most states, trees can only be planted a few months out of the year. There’s a window in both the spring and the fall. Thus, it’s vitally important that we take advantage of each and every opportunity. Homeowners have to be the drivers of our national tree planting efforts if we’re going to succeed.
Planting a tree to remember someone whose life was cut short — whether that be from covid, gun violence, wildfires and other natural disasters, a car accident, cancer, and multiple other tragedies — or is still alive but but going through a very difficult time, is a great way of showing empathy and letting others know a loved one is being thought of regularly. It also motivates us into action. This wonderful way of keeping spirits alive and communities full of hope, helps families and communities heal while at the same time saving the planet.
This fall, we are specifically focused on planting trees to remember covid victims in our communities:
Please remember me By planting a tree
There is no Planet B… So let my life cut short by tragedy Help to save humanity What better way to Rest in Peace
~Trees for Love, Remember Me Tree Campaign, by Gallant Gold Media
Gallant Gold Media is distributing 300 FREE redbud and button bush seedlings on Saturday, October 24, 2020, from 12 noon – 3 PM at GMU, courtesy of Fairfax ReLeaf. Residents in Fairfax County and Northern Virginia can register to pick up a free seedling at GMU so that homeowners and businesses throughout the area can plant trees and bushes this fall to remember all those in our community who’ve been lost to covid. Click here to register. This is first come first serve, so please register ASAP.
If your business has any clients or employees who have loved ones to covid, a redbud seedling is a wonderful gift to let them know you care and empathize with what they’re going through. Redbud’s are a top choice to feature in the front yard landscape, with beautiful pink spring blossoms and very easy to care for while they grow.
Again, limited quantity, with some HOAs ordering large bundles, and first come first serve, so please register ASAP.
Washington (GGM) Analysis | August 11, 2020 by Sarah J. Kings
It is undeniable, climate change is here, and it poses very serious challenges for the world’s population. There are weather changes, health implications, and economic impacts of this complex crisis. If you’re a pro-planet parent, you may be struggling with how to talk to your children about these issues. After all, this topic can be overwhelming and even depressing for adults. It is hard to know what is too little and what is too much in regards to engaging your children on this subject.
First, you must remember that this isn’t your childhood. Information isn’t only delineated from your parents, your teacher, and a neighborhood no it all. Kids have access to information- whether accurate or not- at the touch of their fingertips. Chances are, your child has already done some research on this topic using their tablet or smartphone. This is why your first step in broaching this topic should be to find out what your child already knows– or what they think they know– about climate change. Be sure to talk to them about vetting resources and how to fact check, so that they won’t be misled. Explain why the Environmental Defence Fund, EDF, or the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA are reliable resources, while Facebook or Instagram may not be.
If your kids are too young to navigate the EDF or EPA, maybe let them know that you can be their resource for information until they are a bit older.
After finding out what your child already knows, and empowering them with the ability to find reliable information, gauge their feelings. This can be a scary subject, and your child may have some really tough emotions to work through. Let them know that you are here for them and that they are not alone. Tell them that there are agencies all over the planet working tirelessly to solve this problem.
Remind them that the climate crisis is a man-made problem, and there will eventually be a man-made solution. Explain that every choice they make can be a choice to help save Mother Nature. Encourage your child to conserve energy, consume less, and re-use or re-purpose items whenever possible. Every time you or your child turns off a light when they leave a room, or drops a can into the recycling bin, congratulate them! Make them a part of your eco-friendly routines, and most importantly, ask them how they would like to help.
By merely speaking to your children about the climate crisis, you are preparing the next generation for what’s to come. Who knows, you may be raising the next Greta Thunburg or Jane Goodall.
Come back every Tuesday for more Eco-Friendly Parenting tips!
There are weather changes, health implications, and economic impacts of this complex crisis
Talking to your children about these issues can be tough
Chances are, your child has already done some research on this topic using their tablet or smartphone
Find out what your child already knows– or what they think they know– about climate change
Talk to them about vetting resources and how to fact check
The Environmental Defence Fund, EDF, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA are reliable resources
Gauge their feelings
Remind them that they are not alone: there are agencies all over the planet working tirelessly to solve this problem
Encourage your child to conserve energy, consume less, and re-use or re-purpose items whenever possible
Make them a part of your eco-friendly routines, and most importantly, ask them how they would like to help
With such an overwhelming blow to rainforests in the Amazon last week — 4,000 new fires detected in less than 48 hours, and 80,000 total fires in 2019 — we must move swiftly to replant and reforest on every continent.
The Amazon is considered the “lungs of the world.” On average, we lose 65 trees every minute, 93,600 trees every day, and 34.16 million trees every year. This in and of itself is a human civilization-threatening reality. With the global population rising, and carbon sequestration falling, the only way to save more lives is to immediately act in response to the recent escalation in the destruction of the globe’s forests.
The Path Forward must be a global commitment to:
Lower carbon emissions faster
Increase carbon sequestration faster through conservation, replanting as well other natural carbon sinks, most notably soil
Cut back on paper products (we have to sacrifice our love of lush, fluffy double-ply anything)
Students love getting involved with climate action. So with the new school year beginning, let’s create a game plan. How about every American student planting 10 trees per school year? Some countries already require this.
Planting trees in groups is a lot of fun
Students can fundraise together, form an after school club and have meetings to decide where they’ll plant trees, as well as what types of trees
Working on a life-saving and planet-saving project brings out the best in us, builds character, and rewards with a new perspective on life
This can also be a fun family project on weekends
Best time to plant trees is the fall & the spring, September is an excellent month to get started
There are many more benefits we receive from trees than just oxygen. Trees become friends. They are wonderful listeners. They nurture and support. Trees teach lessons about growing roots, and patience… the benefits of sunshine, as well as rain. Trees stay in our lives for a long time, providing stability. They grace us with shade and shelter. Trees share secrets about what it takes to grow big and strong. Trees are wonderful companions for students. A student tree force will provide many cures, not only for the environment and the climate crisis, but also for society in general.
Enriching the soil all around us with more nutrients through composting, will also increase sequestration. Every restaurant and home should compost. No more using the sink disposal!
Steady daily pacing of recycling, composting, planting trees, switching to solar, walking more, driving less… will get us on our way to new green habits, and a less frightening future.