Meatless Mondays: Saving Our Planet and Our Health

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Meatless Mondays, founded in 2003 by Sid Lerner, is a global movement that promotes cutting meat out of one’s diet at least once a week. The goal is to reduce the carbon footprint the meat industry places on our planet. Meat production significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions by producing carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

Not only does reducing our meat intake benefit the environment, it benefits our health as well. Our risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer diminishes while the nutritional quality of our diet improves.

Here’s a link to some delicious and quick recipes for your Monday dinner needs!

By Shannon McInteer, GMC Writer

Beyond Pretty Lights

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“Chemical compounds probably aren’t what come to mind when you think about fireworks. What comes to mind when you see fireworks? Do you think of the loud noises they make? Or do you think about the stench they leave behind following the grand finale of the display? While fireworks have become a huge tradition on the 4th of July, the chemicals that are used to make them have been found highly detrimental to the environment.

Bright flashes of colors such as red, white, blue, yellow, green, and violet light up the sky— results of the combustion of flash powder oxidizer potassium perchlorate and various nitrates. Strontium nitrate is responsible for red fireworks, barium nitrate for green, and copper chloride for blue.”

To read the full story, click here.

By Kimberly Dallmann, GMC Writer

The Type of Desert You Don’t Want

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In 1994, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared June 17th a global observance of desertification, shedding light onto the persistent dehydration of dry land ecosystems.

Desertification is the process in which fertile land becomes desert due to prolonged drought, deforestation or inappropriate agriculture. Desertification actively threatens the most vulnerable populations. In Africa, desertification is prevalent, causing an unsustainable use of local, scarce resources.

Mismanaged land can lead to a myriad of unfortunate outcomes. Improperly managing land can cause the soil to become infertile, decreasing the opportunity to grow food, which leads to food scarcity.

The UN suggests ways to prevent desertification. Reforestation, tree regeneration, and water management are among the best ways to prevent further land degradation. The UN also recommends soil enrichment by hyper-fertilizing soil through planting.

Communities are encouraged to come together to combat desertification. To learn more, visit the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) website.

By Kimberly Dallmann, GMC Writer

You’re Hot Then You’re Cold: A Perfect Utensil for Any Meal or Drink

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With Earth Day right around the corner, Green Media Creations celebrates the countless recycling and sustainability efforts that are being made all around the world. For instance, the possibility for the extreme decrease in plastic cutlery and plastic truly is amazing.

Although revolutionary alternative-to-plastic products reflect how far we’ve come in this field, the statistics are still overwhelming. In the U.S. alone, 40 billion plastic utensils per year are thrown away after just one use. Narayana Peesapaty, founder of Bakeys and creator of edible spoons, compares 40 billion plastic utensils to India’s 120 billion plastic utensils thrown out per year.

Bakeys, which operates on fair trade principals, manufactures Peesapaty’s brilliant product in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. These edible spoons come in plain, savory and sweet flavors. They are made from rice, millet and wheat. With a shelf life of three years, these edible spoons are a truly creative alternative to plastic cutlery. If not consumed with a meal, they simply decompose within four to five days.

Peesapaty began this project with Kickstarter, which has received funding of well over his $20,000 goal. With over $150,000 in funds to work with, thus far, this project has quickly become a game changer. Peesapaty plans to use this money to expand this venture and create forks and chopsticks. He also hopes to start an international distribution system, which would ultimately reduce product and production costs.

With the current recipe, Bakeys’ edible spoons are already vegan and do not contain preservatives or trans fat. In the future, Bakeys hopes to achieve the following certifications: vegan, gluten-free, no high-fructose corn syrup, no preservatives, no trans fat, dairy-free, fair trade, organic, non-GMO and kosher.

Plastic takes hundreds of years to fully biodegrade, which leaves us with a pressing question: why has it taken us so long to find an alternative to plastics? Nonetheless, Bakeys edible spoons are a cutlery revolution and truly exemplify a step forward in sustainability efforts.

By Kimberly Dallmann, GMC Writer

Water Conservation Tips

Here are some water conservation tips recently shared by National Geographic:

Toilets, Taps, Showers, Laundry, and Dishes

  • If you use a low-flow showerhead, you can save 15 gallons of water during a 10-minute shower.

    Green Media Creations

    Green Media Creations

  • Every time you shave minutes off your use of hot water, you also save energy and keep dollars in your pocket.Green Media Creations
  • It takes about 70 gallons of water to fill a bathtub, so showers are generally the more water-efficient way to bathe.
  • All of those flushes can add up to nearly 20 gallons a day down the toilet. If you still have a standard toilet, which uses close to 3.5 gallons a flush, you can save by retrofitting or filling your tank with something that will displace some of that water, such as a brick.
  • Nearly 22% of indoor home water use comes from doing laundry. Save water by making sure to adjust the settings on your machine to the proper load size.
  • Dishwashing is a relatively small part of your water footprint—less than 2% of indoor use—but there are always ways to conserve. Using a machine is actually more water efficient than hand washing, especially if you run full loads.

Industry—Apparel, Home Furnishings, Electronics, and Paper

  • It takes about 100 gallons of water to grow and process a single pound of cotton, and the average American goes through about 35 pounds of new cotton material each year. Do you really need that additional T-shirt?
  • One of the best ways to conserve water is to buy recycled goods, and to recycle your stuff when you’re done with it. Or, stick to buying only what you really need.
  • Recycling a pound of paper, less than the weight of your average newspaper, saves about 3.5 gallons of water. Buying recycled paper products saves water too, as it takes about six gallons of water to produce a dollar worth of paper.

Electricity, Fuel Economy, and Airline Travel

Green Media Creations

Green Media Creations

  • The water footprint of your per-day electricity use is based on state averages. If you use alternative energies such as wind and solar, your footprint could be less. (The use of biofuels, however, if they are heavily irrigated, could be another story.) You would also get points, or a footprint reduction, for using energy-star appliances and taking other energy-efficiency measures.
  • Washing a car uses about 150 gallons of water, so by washing less frequently you can cut back your water use.
  • A gallon of gasoline takes nearly 13 gallons of water to produce. Combine your errands, car pool to work, or take public transportation to reduce both your energy and water use.

Yard and Pools

  • Nearly 60% of a person’s household water footprint can go toward lawn and garden maintenance.
  • The average pool takes 22,000 gallons of water to fill, and if you don’t cover it, hundreds of gallons of water per month can be lost due to evaporation.
  • Conserve Your Water by GMC
  • Conserve Your Water by GMC

Full Article on National Geographic Website