A Delicious New Year’s Resolution for a Livable World

Happy 2021! This year is starting out looking a lot more like 2020 than we’d like, but brighter days are on the horizon. Between the pandemic and a momentous election followed by a momentous runoff, I haven’t posted here lately, but doing what we can to turn the tide on climate change is more importantContinue reading “A Delicious New Year’s Resolution for a Livable World”

The quickest, simplest, and most effective thing you can do for the climate and our future this fall

One of the things I value most about Citizens’ Climate Lobby, where I volunteer, is their/our commitment to bipartisanship. In the midst of a bitterly divided government, where it seems harder for Congress to work together toward common goals than for me to get my three-year-old to listen, CCL has developed, in conjunction with many economists and scientists as well as politicians of both parties, a revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend bill that is projected to lower emissions by 40% in the next 12 years and 90% by 2050.

How much does that trip really cost?! Let’s use the pandemic pause to shrink our gigantic transport and travel-related carbon footprint

There are a lot of things most of us sorely miss from before the pandemic: hugging our friends and family, eating at restaurants, hosting parties…but I don’t think any of us would say we miss rush hour traffic. I don’t think most people miss work related travel. Coronavirus related lockdowns caused record drops in carbon emissions this year, in large part related to decreases in emissions from transportation and travel. Climate scientists aren’t too optimistic about this temporary drop having much of an impact on the overall catastrophic level of carbon we’ve put into the atmosphere if we just go back to “normal” when the pandemic is over, but what if we carry forward some of our more sustainable habits from this time of crisis?

Composting made easy-enough-to-start-during-a-pandemic

I know a lot of you are stretched thinner than ever these days between working at home and caring for kids. This post is not intended to put pressure on you! But, if you’re at home and were thinking of tackling even a very minor spring cleaning/gardening/art project, I promise that starting composting will be as easy or easier.

Stop telling people that COVID-19 is a punishment for our climate sins (or that this is some sort of gift)

We’ve all seen the beautiful, almost unbelievable, images: smog-free skies in Los Angeles, canals running clear in Venice, NASA images of the dramatic drop in pollution over Wuhan. Wild animals are reclaiming areas that humans have vacated. It’s amazing that nature is so resilient as to flourish so quickly in our absence.

Listen to the scientists

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed lately about COVID-19. It’s hard to think about much else. All of our lives have been turned upside down, the stories we’ve heard from Italy, Queens, and that we’re expecting throughout the U.S. in the coming weeks are hellish.

Put your money where your mouth is: the carbon footprint you didn’t know you had

If you’re working hard to lower your personal carbon footprint and reduce your dependence on fossil fuels, you definitely don’t want to be lending money to coal, oil, and gas companies so that they can expand their fracking, drilling, and mining. But that’s exactly what most of us are doing. Just since the Paris Climate Accord, the world’s largest banks have funded more than $700 billion in fossil fuel projects, with JP Morgan Chase the biggest offender.

Flushing forests down the toilet (and other single-use problems)

I’m embarrassed to say that until about a year ago, I didn’t really think twice about buying Charmin’s luxuriously soft toilet paper, or going through paper towels at a rapid clip (at the table as napkins, for spills and cleaning…with two little kids you can get through a roll pretty darn quickly). When I started reading more about climate change, Facebook started showing me targeted content about how our addiction to soft toilet paper is destroying Canada’s boreal forest.

Food

Who doesn’t love to eat? Andrew and I certainly do (although our kids would rather be doing pretty much anything else). Cooking, trying new restaurants or hitting old favorites—eating is one of the great joys of life. It’s also (the way we Americans have grown accustomed to eating) a huge problem for the planet.