Victory! Canada bans single-use plastics!

This just in from OCEANA.ORG:

On Monday, June 20, Canada banned six common single-use plastics! Canada is now one of the only countries in the world to ban a list of single-use plastics, including plastic bags, cutlery, stir sticks, six-pack rings, straws, and takeout containers made from problematic plastics, and is the second country ever to ban exporting these items. This announcement marks a victory for our oceans and the marine life that call them home, and positions Canada as a global leader in efforts to reduce single-use plastics. This victory would not have been possible without the support of ocean advocates like you. Check out the Oceana Canada blog to learn more about the national plastic ban and what comes next!
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This news was just too awesome not to share with you. Cheers!!!

Three to Get Ready…

(or standing on the shoulders of giants)

My readings have turned up some books that I simply have to share with you because they’re that good:

  • Under the Sky We Make by Kimberly Nicholas, PHD, Putnam, 2021.
  • The Story of More by Hope Jahren, Vintage, 2020.
  • Draw Down by Paul Hawken, Penguin Books, 2017.
  • Regeneration by Paul Hawken, Penguin Books, 2021.

Each of these authors, especially the first two, bring so much more than ugly data to the conversation on environmental issues.  We CAN make a difference.  They spell out in a VERY readable manner, the ways we can help.  What we do and don’t do in the next decade have such far reaching impact on this planet as to make it difficult to fully comprehend.  These authors put it into perspective for us in easy-to-understand analogies and anecdotes. 

Perhaps most important is to not let our circumstances overwhelm us.  Yes, we need to wake up and do our part!  But we can only do what we can and encourage/be kind to ourselves and each other along the way.

Elephant Journal’s “Planet Over Plastic 31-Day Challenge: Elephant’s Favorite Weird Little Avoid-Plastic Tips.”

This article appeared in Elephant Journal in 2019. Guess what? It’s still relevant and even more critical today! https://www.elephantjournal.com/2019/07/planet-over-plastic-challenge-2019/ (1). There’s plenty in this article for ALL of us. When I read this article, I realize there’s so much more that I can be doing with very little effort on my part. And while we’re at it, let’s not forget about H.R. 5389, the “Reduce Act” presently sitting in Congress today (link)! If you haven’t already done so, let your U.S. Congress Representative know you support taxing the production of virgin plastics. Cheers!

(1) elephant journal | daily blog, videos, e-newsletter & magazine on yoga + organics + green living + non-new agey spirituality + ecofashion + conscious consumerism=it’s about the mindful life. 2022. Planet Over Plastic 31-Day Challenge: Elephant’s Favorite Personal Weird Little Avoid-Plastic Tips. | elephant journal. [online] Available at: <https://www.elephantjournal.com/2019/07/planet-over-plastic-challenge-2019/&gt; [Accessed 4 January 2022].

Re: Hope Jahren’s “The Story of More”

By now, many of you may already be familiar with Hope Jahren’s book, “The Story of More:  How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here.[1]It was first published in March of 2020.  If you’re not yet familiar with this work, I highly recommend it to you.  It is staggering in its scope and the quality of the research employed.  It is both a seminal and transformative look at where we are today, as we come to grips with the enormity of the challenges we face in the urgent work needed to save our fragile planet.  While the data and doomsday documentaries are legion in number, few offer the pragmatic and critical steps we each need to take to start the healing process AND manage to present these steps in such a logical and easy-to-understand manner. 

Hope begins her chapter, “The Action You Take”, with the question “Do you want to live in a more equitable world with a brighter future?”[2]  If you answer in the affirmative, she prescribes 5 steps that will help:

  1. Examine your values.  There are lots of issues involved in our planet’s plight.  Pick ones that resonate with you and rank them. Identify the one issue that you are willing to sacrifice for.
  2. Gather information.  “Go through your habits and possessions in order to take stock of how, as with most of us, your personal life is working against your values.”  E.g. How much of the food that goes into your garbage is still edible?
  3. Can you make your personal activities consistent with your values?  Pick a change you can make and keep a journal of how it goes recording the numbers and the outcomes.
  4. Can you make your personal investments consistent with your values?  Every time you make a purchase you are investing in something. 
  5. Can you move your institutions toward consistency with your values?  You are now armed with the “magic criterion to advocate for change:  personal experience.  Go to your children’s school, your house of worship, your place of employment, and start a dialogue with those in charge.  Share your values, your struggles, and your experience.  Listen to them talk about their restrictions and concerns.  Thank them for their time.  Write a follow-up letter emphasizing your values, your struggles, and your experience, and ask for another appointment…. Keep going back, keep advocating for the things that you believe in.  It takes time and perseverance, but people (even politicians) and their institutions can change.”[3]

Hope closes this section as follows: “Regardless of your mission, start in your own home and expand from there.  I promise you’ll be surprised at how far abroad it takes you.

“The above may seem like an impossible task, but so did curing tuberculosis or putting a man on the moon or building the Great Wall across China… If we can refrain from overestimating our likelihood of failure, then neither must we underestimate our capacity for success.”[4]


[1] Jahren, H.. 2020. “The Story of More:  How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here.”  Random House LLC, New York.  Kindle edition.

[2] Ibid, pg. 177 of 207.

[3] Ibid, pg.183 of 207.

[4] Ibid, pg. 189 of 207.