A round-up of this week’s environmental, green and ecofriendly news and updates.
Welcome back to EcoFriendly Matters! After the holidays and all the excitement, it’s time to settle back into routine – and I’m here to help you make 2018 a wonderfully green year!
This weekly green newsletter will, as always, be chock full of ecofriendly hints and tips, and well as green news and issues. You can read the in-depth stories by clicking the links – or just get a quick overview, it’s your choice. Either way, you stay up-to-date and informed. Throughout 2018 I’ll also be putting together some really useful ecofriendly reports, books and videos to make it all easier. Let’s get started!
My Recommendation of the Week is all about New Year’s Resolutions. They’re normally inward-looking – I want to lose weight, get fitter, save money…….
How about broadening those resolutions to make them more altruistic and ecofriendly?
For example, if you want to lose weight and/or get fitter, what about lobbying for a bike lane or a pedestrian street in your area? Or better public transport instead of needing a car all the time?
When you’re planning exercise, make sure at least some of it involves getting outside and into nature (at least where you can touch some trees or see flowers and shrubs). It’s proven that you get more benefit from exercising in nature than the same amount inside in a gym. Alternatively, you could donate to an organization that helps kids connect to the outdoors.
If you want to improve your diet, consider a plant-heavy routine. It’s great for losing weight – and protecting the planet. U.S. News & World Report has named 2 diets as the best for a healthy lifestyle and for healthy eating – the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet.
Also, get the vitamins you need from eating healthy food, not supplements. Another new study has shown they don’t work – the body doesn’t absorb them as well as vitamins in real food. Going green by avoiding supplements will also help you to save money (another common New Year’s resolution) as supplements are expensive (it’s a $37 billion unregulated industry in the US).
Have you heard the phrase “once in a blue moon”, meaning not very often? Well, we have a blue moon this month. The moon doesn’t turn blue (sadly), it’s when we have 2 full moons in one month. In this case, it’s the 1st and the 31st January.
But the blue moon on the 31st will be special – you might see the blue moon briefly turn red! It will be larger than normal because it’s close to Earth, and there’s going to be a total lunar eclipse – at totality, the moon will appear to turn red.
Although not as spectacular as a solar eclipse, it’s lovely to see. You can check if you’ll be able to see it from where you live on this interactive map.
There are things to eat – and foods to avoid – that have a serious impact on the environment. Find out what they are in this interesting Guest Post on Eating for Climate Change – and help protect the Earth for our children.
Global Green News:
France is the first country in the world to ban any new oil exploration. That sounds easy, because it currently imports 99% of its oil and gas. But there are huge reserves in the country – which can only be extracted by fracking. Those reserves could supply France’s needs for up to 100 years. So it IS a big deal, because French President Macron is locking it all away in order to reduce the country’s CO2 footprint and force the country to rely more on renewable energy. Wow!
US Green News:
2017 showed us some effects of climate change – massive hurricanes, wildfires, snowbombs and droughts.
Yet the mainstream media only mentioned Climate Change about 9 percent of the time when discussing the disasters. Shocking!
I’ve wondered sometimes why women seem to be more concerned with the environment than men. An article in Scientific American shows that American men feel that green behaviour is “unmanly”. Even though men care about the environment, they care more about being macho and don’t want to appear “feminine” by, for example, bringing a reusable bag to a store. This might explain why in general, woman litter less, waste less and have a smaller carbon footprint than men.
The article suggests packaging eco products in more “macho” colours and fonts. Several other articles however, suggest that gender roles should be reviewed. After all, some of the impulses that are supposedly “masculine” — like exerting power over others — are also behind the exploitation of women as well as the earth’s resources. Perhaps it’s time to rethink gender roles.
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new climate change plan puts New York on a greener path. He wants to slash emissions while investing heavily in clean energy resources. He will also have a group of scientists advising states on how to stick to the Paris climate agreement. Hooray!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
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