Beauty Queens and Companies Contribute To Coastal Clean Up

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Half a million people worldwide joined The Ocean Conservancy  International Coastal Cleanup and raised awareness about the human impact of plastics on our oceans.

A bold new initiative on the world stage occurred!  Ocean Conservancy, the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, and Closed Loop Partners, with the support of world leading brands—including Procter & Gamble3MPepsiCo and plastic makers from the American Chemistry Council and the World Plastics Council—will create a new funding mechanism to raise over $150 million in the next five years targeted to improve waste collection, sorting and recycling markets in Southeast Asia (the world’s biggest polluters).  This combined effort helps reach a goal of cutting the amount of trash entering our oceans in HALF.  Many years went into working on this issue.  Because of this year’s support, The Ocean Conservancy was able to show the world that the public stands behind their dream of trash free seas®.

The Trash Free Seas Alliance is comprised of:

Ocean Conservancy, Algalita Marine Research and Education, The Coca-Cola Company, Covanta Energy, The Dow Chemical Company, ITW, Keep America Beautiful, The Marine Mammal Center, The Ocean Recovery Alliance, Project AWARE Foundation, Amcor, American Chemistry Council, Bank of America, Cox Enterprises, DANONE, Dart Container Corporation, Georgia Aquarium, Nature Works, Nestlé Waters NA, Procter & Gamble, REDISA, Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean, The Consumer Goods Forum, Vancouver Aquarium, Walmart, World Animal Protection, The World Plastics Council, World Wildlife Fund 

There are some very environmentally destructive companies making an effort to partner with environmental groups involved in this important cause. Visit their website to learn more.
www.trashfreeseas.org

Of the top ten countries responsible for plastic waste entering the ocean, six are in Asia, with China the top offender producing 2.22 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, and  Indonesia second at 1.29 million, according to Surya Chandak, a senior program officer at the United Nations Environment Program, quoted in local media. Chandak cited the region’s growing economies and populations as prime culprits.  The Philippines is third, Vietnam fourth, Thailand sixth and Malaysia eighth.

Miss Oceans Vietnam was designed to draw attention to the plastic pollution problem in the South China Seas.

Until next time,    

Garbage Girl

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Rwanda and Kenya Plastic Pollution Leaders

Plastic bags get buried in the sand and become part of the beach.

Rwanda and Kenya are leading the world by eliminating a familiar problem: billions of plastic bags choking waterways and destroying entire ecosystems.  To fight this evil, all non-biodegradable plastic is banned from these countries.

At Kigali International Airport, a sign warns visitors that plastic bags will be confiscated.  Agents from the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) inspect travelers’ suitcases and discard all plastic films. Throughout the country, businesses have been forced to replace plastic carrier bags with paper ones.  The ban was a bold move. It paid off with an obvious improvement in clean countrysides, roadways, and water.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/15/rwanda-banned-plastic-bags-so-can-we

The United Nations, has begun a #CleanSeas campaign to eliminate the use of plastic microbeads and single-use plastic bags by 2022.   With more than 40 countries acting now to help meet this goal, there is no excuse for the rest of the world to wait.

Many other countries, states and cities are in the news because they are trying to deal with this horrific issue.

England imposed a 5-pence charge on plastic bags in 2015 and usage dropped 85 percent in the first nine months!

California became the first American state to ban plastic bags, in 2014.  State laws are slow to pass.  See where your state stands in the Ban the Bag push.   http://www.bagtheban.com/in-your-state

Gov. Andrew Cuomo blocked a New York City bill in 2014 to impose a 5-cent fee on plastic bags because less advantaged people would be unfairly targeted and the NYC economy is dependent on consumer convenience.  Early this year, Mr. Cuomo formed a task force to create passable legislation. That law cannot come soon enough.  The New York Department of Sanitation collects an average of 1,700 tons of plastic bags per week, costing $12.5 million per year in disposal expenses.    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/14/nyregion/cuomo-blocks-new-york-city-plastic-bag-law.html?mcubz=1

No bag is free of an environmental impact, whether that’s contributing to climate change, ocean pollution, water scarcity, or pesticide use. We tend to favor reusable bags in an attempt to reduce our chronic overconsumption, but they come with many associated problems.

Considering what we put in the bag at the store (unnecessary packaging, meat, products wrapped in plastic, single use products) and how we discard or use the bag after its achieved its original purpose has a real impact on the environment.

     
These books will open up a whole new world.  Color photographs, maps, and graphics explore one of the planet’s most dynamic environments—from tourist beaches to Arctic beaches strewn with ice chunks to steaming hot tropical shores.  The World’s Beaches tells how beaches work, explains why they vary so much, and shows how dramatic changes can occur on them in a matter of hours.  It discusses tides, waves, and wind; the patterns of dunes, washover fans, and wrack lines; and the shape of berms, bars, shell lags, cusps, ripples, and blisters.  This fascinating, comprehensive guide also considers the future of beaches, and explains how extensively people have affected them—from coastal engineering to pollution, oil spills, and rising sea levels.  The Beach Book tells sunbathers why beaches widen and narrow, and helps boaters and anglers understand why tidal inlets migrate.  It gives home buyers insight into erosion rates and provides natural-resource managers and interested citizens with rich information on beach nourishment and coastal-zone development.

Until next time,  

Garbage Girl

New York’s Prolific Pie Holes

       

      

Another OWM Hall of Shame culprit is NY’s famous Pizza lovers.  You know you are one block away from a Pizza Parlor when you start to see the plates littered along the sidewalks and streets.  It must take the same amount of time to walk one block as it does to enjoy a slice.  The plates make NYC’s sidewalks awash with white holes.  These eight were from my Monday morning walk to the subway.

      

      

Tuesday’s collection on the same walk.  The last one is my favorite!  That plate is now a permanent part of the sidewalk.

      

      

Wednesday’s walk was mostly about picking up plastic before the rainstorm but there were still enough holes to get eight more photos for the collection.

      

      

Thursday’s walk yielded some doubles.

      

     Thank God its Friday!

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

The Best Wash Without Waste

I have been using Soap Nuts for my laundry for almost a year now.  They come in a recyclable cardboard box and other than that they produce no waste.

Put five of them in an organza bag and throw them in the washing machine with your dirty clothes.

The challenge is to keep them out of the dryer when you transfer your clean clothes.  It won’t hurt them but it does make them last a little less long.

What are they? They are a deseeded, dried nut from a Soapnut Tree that contains a surfactant called saponin.

Surfactants reduce the surface tension of the water, essentially making it wetter and easier to penetrate into soiled fabrics. This combined with the agitation of your machine or handwashing removes the dirt or particles, then keeps them away from your clothing until rinsing occurs.

  • Sustainable: It’s a renewable resource, easily grown organically.
  • All Natural: No funky or harmful ingredients.
  • Eco-Friendly: Less processing, less energy and less packaging.
  • Affordable: They can replace multiple cleaners, and last longer.
  • Reusable: Each berry can be used up to 6 times before it’s spent.
  • Hypoallergenic: No skin or respiratory irritation and non-toxic.
  • Not Actually Nuts: They’re totally safe for those with nut allergies.
  • Simple: Throw them in your wash or make a simple liquid detergent.
  • Odorless: But you can always add your own essential oils.
  • Gentle: Their mild nature won’t damage delicate clothing or surfaces.
  • No Fabric Softener: They naturally soften your fabrics!
  • Save Water: They rinse easier so require less water.
  • Save Energy: You can use a shorter rinse cycle in your laundry, too.
  • Front-loading Friendly: No suds are perfect for HE machines.
  • Works in Any Temperature: Use them in cold, warm or hot water.
  • Non-polluting: 100% biodegradable and safe for graywater systems.
  • Compostable: Used shells can be thrown in your compost.
  • Self-sufficient: You can even grow a soap nut tree yourself!

To see if your soap nuts are still releasing saponin, get them wet and see if the suds are still present.  http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/

If you prefer a liquid detergent, whip up a batch of homemade.

1/3 to 1/2 cup liquid lavender Castile soap
1/2  cup washing soda
1/2  cup borax

 Click product to  Amazon
Mix all ingredients in a 2-gallon bucket.  Add hot water to fill the bucket and stir well. This will be a thinner concoction than commercial laundry detergent.  Store your homemade detergent in a saved commercial bottle .  Shake before you use because it has a tendency to separate.  Use 1/4 cup for an average laundry load.

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

Nature Tackles Carbon

Over the past two years, the world experienced unprecedented global climate momentum.  In September 2015, international leaders adopted the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals to fight poverty, promote sustainability and address climate change.  Shortly after, nearly 200 countries came together in Paris to adopt the world’s largest ever international climate treaty.

At The Nature Conservancy, Bronson Griscom  radiates an optimism somewhat rare for seasoned environmentalists.  As an ecological accountant, he measures and analyzes the “carbon economy” of nature: the everyday role that trees, grasslands and coastal habitats play in the carbon cycle.  He can measure the carbon impact of logging in old growth forests, or how well different forest ecosystems work as sponges for absorbing and storing carbon from the atmosphere.  Griscom helps link our economy with the economy of the biosphere.

Encouraged by what he sees, the goals of carbon reduction the world wants to meet by 2030 are closer to possible, if we act now.  Current business-as-usual trajectories, increased emissions entering the atmosphere and continued environmental degradation will lessen the impact that nature can have.  If natural climate solutions are mobilized over the next 10 to 15 years, they could provide 37 percent of the needed mitigation for global climate targets.  But if action is delayed until after 2030, that number drops to 33 percent, and drops again to only 22 percent after 2050.

https://global.nature.org/initiatives/natural-climate-solutions/natures-make-or-break-potential-for-climate-change?src=a_f.social.facebook.site_globsol.cam_ncs.link_initative.d_oct2017.info_sci

Plant trees, create city forests, adopt a city street divider, help sponsor a GreenBelt, learn and understand how your local ecosystems contribute to carbon absorption.

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

NY’s Bottle Bill Joins The OWM Hall of Shame

A cheap drink made in Brooklyn that is polluting Brooklyn

How does New York’s Bottle Bill work?

New York State’s Returnable Container Act requires every deposit initiator to collect a $.05 deposit on beverage containers containing less than one gallon of carbonated soft drinks, beer, malt beverages, wine coolers or water, sold in New York.

A deposit initiator is the first bottler, distributor, dealer or agent to collect the deposit on a beverage container sold in New York State. You’re a deposit initiator if you:

  • Bottle beverages in beverage containers
  • Distribute beverages in beverage containers
  • Sell beverages in beverage containers
  • Act as an agent on behalf of a registered deposit initiator

Dealers (“retailers”) pay the distributor or deposit initiator at least a 5-cent deposit for each beverage container purchased.

Consumers pay the dealers the deposit for each beverage container purchased. (we pay $.05 to Pepsico and Arizona Teas to litter our environment with every purchase)

Consumers may then return their empty beverage containers to a dealer or redemption center to get their deposit back.

Retailers and redemption centers are reimbursed the deposit plus a 3.5-cent handling fee by the distributor or the deposit initiator for each empty beverage container returned.

http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/57687.html

What beverages are covered by NY’s Bottle Bill?

Carbonated Soft Drinks, Sparkling Water, Carbonated Energy Drinks, Carbonated Juice (anything less than 100% juice, containing added sugar or water)
Soda Water
Beer and Other Malt Beverages
Mineral Water – Both carbonated and non-carbonated mineral water
Wine Products
Water that is flavored or nutritionally enhanced

What beverages are not covered by NY’s Bottle Bill?

Milk Products
Wine and Liquors
Hard Ciders
Tea  hello@drinkarizona.com
Sports Drinks  there is no contact info for Gatorade
Juice
Drink Boxes
Waters Containing Sugar

Let’s look at what is littered on our streets from Gatorade and Arizona Teas.  Both companies do not have deposit agreements with NY. I encounter this litter everyday on my 15 minute walk to work from Clinton Hill to Downtown Brooklyn on Dekalb Ave.

     

Take a moment to learn which companies have deposits for your state. It makes a difference.

The consumer deposit tax is not the best system to protect our environment but that is a topic for another blog.

Natural Ways To Consume Electrolytes

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

Jamaica Junk

These are a few of the items Martin found during our cleanup of Canarsie Pol in Jamaica Bay.  You have to wonder what happened to Marcus Nigel Nicholas.  Did Ashley Carvalho and Cassidee Bush need multiple copies of so many credit cards?  Did they contact all of those banks that the cards were lost? They all have security codes on the back signature strip. Are they legitimate?

When I Googled fake credit cards with security codes…I was impressed with how many ways you can get a fake credit card.

The FBI suggests the following Tips for Avoiding Credit Card Fraud:

  • Don’t trust a site just because it claims to be secure. The URL is important.  It needs to state https://.  If it only states http:// Do Not Use It.
  • Don’t give out your credit card number online unless the site is secure and reputable. Sometimes a tiny icon of a padlock appears to symbolize a higher level of security to transmit data. This icon is not a guarantee of a secure site, but provides some assurance.
  • Before using the site, check out the security/encryption software it uses.
  • Make sure you are purchasing merchandise from a reputable source.
  • Do your homework on the individual or company to ensure that they are legitimate.
  • Obtain a physical address rather than simply a post office box and a telephone number, and call the seller to see if the telephone number is correct and working.
  • Send an e-mail to the seller to make sure the e-mail address is active, and be wary of those that utilize free e-mail services where a credit card wasn’t required to open the account.
  • Consider not purchasing from sellers who won’t provide you with this type of information.
  • Check with the Better Business Bureau from the seller’s area.
  • Check out other websites regarding this person/company.
  • Don’t judge a person or company by their website; flashy websites can be set up quickly.
  • Be cautious when responding to special investment offers, especially through unsolicited e-mail.
  • Be cautious when dealing with individuals/companies from outside your own country.
  • If possible, purchase items online using your credit card. You can often dispute the charges if something goes wrong.
  • Make sure the transaction is secure when you electronically send your credit card number.
  • Keep a list of all your credit cards and account information along with the card issuer’s contact information. If anything looks suspicious or you lose your credit card(s), contact the card issuer immediately.

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

The Easiest Reuse Ever

 

My friends, Niovi and Sam, have hosted many a Coop party by using cocktail glasses that reuse their cocktail’s main ingredient; preserves.

They are definitely onto something as mixologists all over NYC are using this ingredient to add sugar, flavor and citrus to their favorite spirit.

Cocktail science is a blast!!!

https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/how-jams-jellies-cocktails-article

Until next time,

Audrey

The OWM Hall of Shame

I thought it would be great to create a Hall of Shame page on my header.  This will include companies who have products that create waste.

The example above is a single use plastic bag that is distributed every week with filler ads to our door X 6 units in our building.  Every week it gets thrown away.  The advertisers on the plastic bag need to rethink their PR.  Our building needs to post a sign.

According to http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/dsny/about/laws/posting-and-graffiti-laws.shtml, it is illegal for any person to place or allow to be placed any unsolicited advertisement where the property owner has posted a sign, at least five inches tall by seven inches wide, with one inch letters stating: “Do not place unsolicited advertisements on this property.” In a multiple dwelling building, each unit owner or lessee must consent to the posting of the sign. In a multiple dwelling building, the property owner may designate a place for the placement of unsolicited advertisements.

Violations of this section shall be enforceable through property owner complaint forms submitted to DSNY by property owners. The complaint form may be obtained on DSNY’s website or by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/311.

Fine: $250

I think I would like the job of enforcing litter laws!

Until next time,

Garbage Girl

Lobster Die Off Finally Explained?

Baby Lobster Die Off in Baja, California

Molecular biologist Hans Laufer, of the University of Connecticut, has discovered that waterborne chemicals leached from plastics and detergents seem to contribute to “shell disease,” which has caused huge dieoffs among lobsters of Long Island Sound during the past ten years.  According to University of Connecticut, after three years and $3 million invested in a research initiative, Laufer found that chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) are interfering with growth hormones in young lobsters, slowing their molting patterns and changing their development, which then leads to deformations, susceptibility to disease, and for many, death. This seems to explain a huge lobster dieoff that began in the late 1990s, bringing lobster catches to about 1/6 of their 1998 levels.

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