HOW TO PREPARE A SUSTAINABLE BIRTHDAY PARTY.

I love a good party and who doesn’t want to throw them at the park, a beach or the swimming pool! So, if you’re like me and you think it’s easier to buy the single-use kind then you’re like most people! But since generations have gone with this same approach it’s time to make a change.

CUPS

About one month before the date of my son’s fifth birthday. I decided to look at ways to make a sustainable birthday party. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to single-use cups, plates, and cutlery.

I had no trouble finding the perfect ice cream cone-shaped glasses. These are reusable for the next year and imagine the colors that pop with the different flavors like grape, or orange.

The dollar store had sets of four glasses for $4.00, I purchased 16 glasses and paid…. $16! Think that’s expensive? You can buy Plastic reusable cups on Amazon for the same price!

There are two problems buying reusable plastic cups.

Firstly, the cartoon birthday cups available at most birthday parties become outdated the following year. In fact, the idea of reusing the same cup to a kid who believes it’s uncool to reuse Paw Patrol won’t happen!

Secondly, buying plastic is another donation towards the world’s problem in plastic pollution. The great thing about glass is it’s neutral, no conversation needed! Glass disintegrates by wind, water or fire and eventually disappear like sand.

I purchased mason jars for the adults, unthreaded the lid and set them up in three neat rows. These jars can also be bought at the store for $1.00 each and I have a plan to reuse them! I am new at this sustainable game and have realized my approach to shopping has to change.

So, I plan to take the 24 jars I purchased for my son’s birthday and bring them to the store. Instead of buying plastic prepackaged food I will shop in the bulk section with my own containers.

PLATES

I looked online for biodegradable plates. There are some great options in the flatware department. I decided to go with the Wheat straw version since the production doesn’t use trees and it’s compostable. No dishes, no fuss and a great thing for the environment!

But, one day while on Twitter I decided to pat myself on the back. A fellow twitterer had tweeted.

“When the US was attacked during the second world war no one asked, Can we afford to fight the war? It was an existential matter. We could not afford not to fight it. The same goes for the climate crisis.”

I responded, Start changing daily habits first before we’re launched into a full-scale crisis. https://aboveamazon.com/2019/04/10/a-plan-that-will-clean-up-our-world-faster-than-you-think/ …#onegooddeedaday . I just bought disposable biodegradable plates from amazon. (first time ever).

I soon realized the respondee didn’t totally agree with my statement! She replied,

Yes, continue changing daily habits, as I and many others have been doing for years: buying as little as possible, not flying, thermostat down in winter, and in summer, avoid disposable versions of anything,….etc.

And we already are in a crisis.

It was her opinion I shouldn’t use single-use plates! I thought to myself, she didn’t have the whole story. I’m convinced she would feel different if she knew it was a picnic! There are definitely different levels of the spectrum in environmental friendliness. Well, how can I make a picnic in the park even better? She had made a good point.

CUTLERY

I still hadn’t figured out what to do with the cutlery situation. I can choose friendly single-use options like wheatgrass, avocado seed, or corn starch. Most picnics use plastics so this is better, right? However, after second thought, maybe not. It turns out buying single-use options costs more than renting cutlery at the local event equipment store! I don’t worry about cleaning them, I don’t throw them away, and it’s reused again and again. For $3.50 a dozen I could rent them for less than what it would cost to buy them!

DECORATIONS

Other elements at a Birthday party, of course, include the decorations! Table decorations don’t have to be plastic or glass. I decided to go with fruit! Its summertime and fruits are easy to come by. Cherries, strawberries, watermelon, and peaches are in season here in British Columbia. I used straw around the fruit and sprinkled edible stars on the table. The kids loved to eat them. They love to eat sprinkles!

It takes some thought when planning a child’s sustainable birthday party. Even though I’d prepared many elements of the birthday party the gifts given to my son had so much plastic and styrofoam. As a Mother, I wouldn’t deprive him of having toys. I’m sure you’d feel the same way! I’m hoping next year an idea will come up that would give him the joy of opening a package, not at the expense of the environment!

ICE BREAKER: HOW TO START A GOOD DINNER CONVERSATION

kevin-curtis-QlnUpMED6Qs-unsplash

A dinner table is a place where important conversations happen. Quality family time is spent here, business deals are made and romance is sparked! It’s important to talk about the things that matter at this time because life gets in the way. We don’t have the opportunity to have long meaningful conversations. But dinner time it’s supposed to be a time when families and friends reconnect.

What could be more stimulating than having a conversation about Climate Change? When I talk about Climate change to those around me I swear their eyes glaze over. There is an indifferent air about what’s happening to our environment. It’s easy to misunderstand what’s happening to our planet. I hear questions like, well what happened in the past? Hasn’t the Earth been this warm before? Thankfully we have scientists that can help answer these questions.

One-third of Canadians don’t believe that it’s humans or industry which has changed the Climate. According to the Abacus Data Poll, they’re leery because they feel it’s an opportunity for the government. For example, the Canadian Carbon tax is not very popular. They believe it’s just another reason to tax normal people, just another way to collect money.

THE WHISTLE BLOWERS

But, it now seems there’s a big enough change which has sparked Meteorologists to speak up. Many believe Science is not convincing enough. Maybe these people are the whistleblowers the world needs! This is another way to begin the conversation in Climate change. After all, if we’re not talking about the problem than we won’t be able to solve it. The big question for these Meteorologists, is when does it stop being a fluke and begin to be a trend?

In fact, there are twenty-six thousand independent references to the fact that the climate is changing. The length and intensity of heat waves have risen and bird populations have changed migration patterns. A 63-year study observed 96 species of migrant birds. The findings show they’ve altered their arrival and departure dates. They’ve done this to adjust for the increase in temperatures.  Is this the Canary in the coal mine?

WE’RE FREE TO HAVE OPINIONS BUT CAN’T ESCAPE THE FACTS

What will it take for everyone around the world to take notice?  The problem with weather is that everyone has their own climate bubble. We look out the window take note of the weather. Then decide if we need to wear a coat or a sweater. The seasons and our knowledge of the weather are very localized. We can learn more about weather events on television. However, snapshots of these weather patterns won’t tell the whole story. This brief encounter doesn’t give us the knowledge we need to decide if a change is warranted.

I have outlined the best experiments that deliver the truth about climate change. There is already significant evidence that we are shifting the world’s temperatures. The creation of Green House Gases is pretty much 9th-grade science! If the air inside the Earth continues to heat up than the ground cannot stay cool.

MOLECULAR REACTIVITY

In 1824 an experiment concluded that the air in the atmosphere has the ability to keep the earth cool or hot. John Tyndall an Irish scientist was the first to discover the experiment and explain air. He used a sensor to measure the temperatures of two sources of heat. Two fires were lit on opposite sides of the tube. He then used gases within the tube to study the reactivity.

He found Nitrogen and Oxygen didn’t change in the presence of heat. However, he found Carbon dioxide and water vapor gas is reactive when exposed to heat. The result of the experiment shows that CO2 traps heat. It’s the ability to absorb and re-emit energy which causes the Green House Effect.

MEASURING CO2

Scientists are able to measure the quantities of CO2 in the atmosphere. Infrared imaging can show levels of Carbon dioxide. This image looks like the swirling existence of gas found around the world. They’ve developed a bell curve or keeling curve to study the levels. It suggests we’ve experienced a recent steep incline in CO2.

Moreover, scientists are acquiring data from the Antarctic ice sheet. Expeditions are drilling deep into the ice bed that has taken years, to decipher data. It tells us how much CO2 has been present in our atmosphere for the past 800,000 years. These Ice pockets found in drilled samples have trapped gases. A snapshot in time of what CO2 levels and our climate looked like thousands of years ago!

IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE!

They can also measure the history of temperatures in the lines found on clam shells. The clamshells grow every year and can live up to 500 years. Thus, the study from Bangor University was able to decipher 1000 years of Marine climate. Together the recorded graph of temperature and Carbon dioxide are similar. This shows that the relationship of the rise and fall of CO2 correlates with the rise and fall of temperatures.

Scientists found we’ve released 37.1 billion tonnes of CO2 from fossil fuels in 2018. The CO2 from fossil fuel has a distinct chemical fingerprint in the atmosphere. So Scientists can predict that the majority of the current warming trend is caused by ourselves.

A tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of Carbon Dioxide a year. All of the trees on Earth are currently soaking up a quarter of the CO2 that we release into the air. Without trees, we would be in a worse state than we are now! Trees keep the ground cooler and so do the oceans. Oceans are absorbing heat molecules that dominate the climate. A staggering ninety percent of the heat we’re releasing is being soaked into Oceans. But, this cannot continue. The consequences of heating up the Ocean is catastrophic to Oceanic life.

TIME FOR CHANGE

I think a good dinner conversation now and then would be what families need. After all, if we’re not talking about it at the dinner table then chances are it won’t come up. Our planet didn’t come with a owners manual and we’re changing the balance of our atmosphere. An experiment like this has never been done in 40 million years! I know we’re clever enough to fix it. It’s the effort by everyone that needs to happen that scare me the most! Can EVERYONE in Canada change their routines, habits, and lives?

THESE THREE DAIRY BRANDS HELP TO COOL GLOBAL WARMING

How does a shopper find out if the product they’re looking at doesn’t contain modified ingredients? After all, the DNA of major food crops are now very different from the food of our ancestors. Scientists have created genetic combinations with plants, animals, viruses, or bacterial genes. These combinations can’t be found in Nature or traditional cross-breeding methods. The purpose of altering the DNA of a seed’s genes is not to promote greater seed diversity. In contrast, it is made to do things like help the farmer use the chemical Roundup. The biotechnology companies deem genetically modifying safe (GMO). Consequently, mandatory labeling is not required in the grocery store.

Imagine how hard it would be for one company to make a product that doesn’t contain them! They’re in ingredients like amino acids, alcohol, aspartame, ascorbic acid, citric acid, and high fructose corn syrup. The list goes on! It’s pretty much in everything unless it’s Non-Gmo certified. The reason you’d search for a brand which does not contain a GMO is to support diverse business practices. It’s not cool to support one company’s mission to own patent rights to our food stock!

THE PROBLEM WITH GENETICALLY MODIFIED INGREDIENTS

The farmers that use this seed are reaping the benefits of adequate weed control. Yet, their health is suffering for it. The Canadian Census of Health and Environment Cohort conducted a study. They’ve studied a pool of 70,500 agricultural workers. From these workers, a total of 9515 (about 1 in 7) were subjects of cancer. The study found the use of pesticides is the root cause of hematopoietic cancers, such as Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. So even though the pesticides and herbicides make their jobs easier, it`s also killing them. So, if you find your self buying a product with a non-GMO sticker! You’re supporting the health of a Farmer!

Another good reason to support organic certified products? It benefits your own health too! Unfortunately, the only verification that GMO is safe is from the companies responsible for the biotechnology itself. Moreover, 300 scientists, Physicians, and Scholars released this statement in 2015. “The consensus of GMO safety in the media was falsely perpetuated.” The Biotech companies engineer their own reports which suggest we`re all going to be ok! However, it’s hard to trust a company that market their products to gain greater profits. That’s just marketing!

THE HONEST PROJECT

The National Bioengineered food disclosure standard isn’t required to label meat eggs or dairy. Why are these foods subject to genetically modified organisms? Surely the quality of the livestock feed isn’t poor. In fact, there are some reports that feed contains animal meat or even plastic! In particular, the two most important ingredients in the feed today are corn and soybeans. Plus oats, wheat, and rice which is also grown by farmers using modified seeds.

For this purpose, the Non- GMO project tracks the DNA of foodstuff which enters into the supply chain. It also has the arduous task of tracing the stock from animal feed and inputs of textiles. They have laboratories that test major and minor ingredients for intact DNA. The majority of food in stores today do not need disclosure. So, the Non-GMO project is the only verification process available to consumers. They are working to give everyone the right to know what is in their food.

The following foods are also grown with genetically modified seeds:

  • Corn
  • Soy
  • Rice
  • Canola
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Cottonseed
  • Alfalfa
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Squash
  • Papaya

Many studies have not been able to detect the DNA or protein from GMO crops in animal products. So food companies are not able to test these products to determine if the animal was fed feed from GM crops.

I’ve listed three dairy companies that have tried to provide Non-GMO options for an unsuspecting consumer.

BEN AND JERRYS

Firstly, we have Ben and Jerry’s nondairy ice cream which wins the medal for a non-GMO product! They’ve created it with almonds and have found the secret to keeping their ice creams great tasting!

11 flavors fall into the zone

  • Cherry Garcia
  • Chocolate caramel cluster
  • Coffee caramel fudge
  • Chocolate cookie dough
  • Caramel almond brittle
  • Chocolate fudge brownie

B&J’s supports Fridays for Futures. They also believe that climate change is a big problem. They’ve put their pints of ice-cream on an endangered list due to global warming. Cocoa beans and nuts like almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts and coffee production will begin to suffer. Hot weather without cold spells will mark a time when production will decrease and prices for the commodity will increase.

Since 2002 they’ve launched a carbon offset program for their manufacturing facilities. Then in 2007, they created a global warming campaign. B&J’s teamed up with David Mathews to help send the message! Climate change will change life as we know it! They have a long history in the fight to raise awareness of climate change! This company also strongly believes in fair trade with farmers. They’ve sourced five major ingredients from farmers that treat people well. Cocoa, Sugar, Vanilla, Coffee, and Bananas all come with a certification of good ethics and great taste.

ACTIVIA

Next, Activia yogurt is a brand name you can look for while searching for a GMO-free product. These are the 9 flavors that are not labeled on the package as GMO-free. However, they’re found on the Verified website:

  • ACTIVIA Dailies:
  • Acai berry, blueberry
  • Cherry
  • Honey Ginger
  • Lemon Ginger
  • Mango Turmeric
  • Peach
  • Strawberry
  • Vanilla

In addition, Activia’s parent company Danone is part of the Certified B Corporation this organization knows that the world’s problems cannot be solved by governments and nonprofit organizations alone. The B Corp. “envisions an economy as a force for good.” Their shared core beliefs come from the idea that businesses must be the change the world seeks.  They run businesses in a way where no harm is done, above all else, including profits. To do this they follow a principle that each company is interdependent upon one another. Thus responsible for one another and future generations.

OIKOS

Finally, Oikos Triple zero boasts zero preservatives, zero artificial sweeteners, and zero fat. There are 14 flavors that don’t contain GMOs.

  • Blueberry
  • Cherry
  • Chocolate
  • Coconut
  • Coffee
  • Mango

Oikos’s also has a new Organic line with both plain and vanilla flavors. Danone the parent company committed to becoming Carbon neutral as of 2050! From farms to facilities they are the first of 100 companies that align their carbon trajectory with the Paris agreement. Equally important, a nonprofit initiative will govern the science-based target they intend to meet. Not only do they monitor their progress they’ll help them stay on track to reach their goal.

They also plan to take responsibility for their packaging by switching their current plastic packaging to Biomass bottles. However, not all biomass plastic degrades. It’s projected that the plastic industry is leaning into bio-based plastics that still won’t biodegrade properly. The biomass plastic in many cases will only degrade in higher temperatures. So, there won’t be enough heat to make the biomass disappear when it’s dumped into the ocean.

These brands are doing what’s right for our health and the environment. It’s important that we support them when we’re shopping in the dairy aisle. Next time you’re at the grocery store and reach for your favorite dairy product you’ll know more about the ones too trust. You’ll know which brands have taken corporate responsibility to the next level. A place where corporate profits don’t rule the board meetings. They’ve taken social causes to the heart of their business.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_feed

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5437486/

https://www.nongmoproject.org/wp-content/uploads/Non-GMO-Project-Standard-Version-14.3.pdf

https://bcorporation.net/about-b-corps

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Henning_Storz/publication/265433282_Bio-based_plastics_status_challenges_and_trends/links/568e39fa08aeaa1481af5609.pdf

https://www.danone.com/impact/planet/packaging-positive-circular-economy.html

https://www.benandjerrys.ca/

https://watermark.silverchair.com/9.pdf?token=AQECAHi208BE49Ooan9kkhW_Ercy7Dm3ZL_9Cf3qfKAc485ysgAAAi8wggIrBgkqhkiG9w0BBwagggIcMIICGAIBADCCAhEGCSqGSIb3DQEHATAeBglghkgBZQMEAS4wEQQMlYvtySnLxWTOiW3pAgEQgIIB4kS06L8TrDN8OlRCpsEzB8TItbWC5zwJ7X65hgmJThRICmV6zKhULn7aY7DJTFx2Jyx84M6kgdopOy1ozp8hjWhBLx6zZ72iZBFP5_CIxx1YBPrHAeHcoLFzkxX3ChS2gA8ExT0o3myfS8HHFrXKJNR-RtGczRBfEoR0O5CxltaIeifz9eLd8e09GlOBrF2_j_41qG7YR9208dOAKcgbM8R21r6nw8t9nNJDdK-_GDTROeE5WOTxRjqN5ttEPrMwfgNWBDPLh1LhWiOCJxirzRoGzpfHjNiDfIgdTNIautylEbexo2QN0xkRbqCYBXCgPakSRZa4usQiZawMNx9Y8SPMauUaDSX0k8XYxzYQHUAAn8u9otZgvh5KkCsGnSAR-fK0-VoSTaPIJEJaYByqwhToDED00IhkvB7w1mcEwVYu1c5dqAjzB3BSrZutXu-kJabUmnRo9_UCOse_7EPWk6pOY5i1jXRrpZzMQCg0W_C_1Py6EIgBLflsH5Iod7ukJY13qhTJOsNQ9fkvkoKvUh17fm5tmHQDmGdCLXbZgMqugG68SXw7K46Lr80gi6dKd4UrGNtvJYVxN857iD1cjissLJOXIAIMHjc-m80dYL87zOrqbkSkd3j-Ti4CvTAC8D5s

 

Arts and Crafts

So my preschooler has finally “graduated”… yep! the word is slightly ambiguous but the thought and the community around it was quite touching! I like to think of it as a preschool participation party. A farewell to the kids that spent the last two years together. Very sweet!! One of the events that led up to the dinner was a pizza and poster night! My husband and I showed up armed with a few photos not really knowing what to expect. When we arrived I realized that each family received their own poster paper. They provided all the materials; glitter felt, stickers, glue, and metallic paper. I’m a creative person so quickly took charge! After about an hour I had successfully completed the poster. A proud mama moment. At that moment I felt accomplished and thought it looked pretty good! I looked at it again when we got home and thought…all this glitter, all this plastic. How long would it last? Well, I guess it depends. When Jacob has grown up the glitter will be. Once his children are born the stickers will also be… Yet, this poster will be long gone.

IMG_1649

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A CONSCIOUS SHOPPER IN 2019

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING A CONSCIOUS SHOPPER IN 2019

When someone sees another struggling with debt and overwork good friends want to help! So as a good friend an effort is made to sit with them and ask them how they’re feeling. Friends often have a viewpoint of someone from the outside looking in. So they see many different angles of the subject, therefore, giving good advice.

The conversation is in their best interest but sometimes the person doesn’t see it that way. Instead, they’ll internalize it, consider points made then make an excuse. An excuse that makes it okay to continue living the same way. For instance, I don’t need the same things in life. Life will work itself out. I’m different then everyone else. It’s the way the world works but it’s not how I want to live my life.

The reasons are empowering enough to continue down the same path. The conversation was in their best interest yet it doesn’t matter. The reality of the situation can be so powerful that it makes those suffering feel powerless. Until one day they make a change OR the day comes when life makes a change for them!

It’s a lot harder to endure the latter because they will have no control. This leaves one feeling powerless resulting in more stress leading often into depression. I think good friends hope the result they warn against will not happen. However, the inevitability is left up to the future and no one can predict it.

WHEN YOUR NOT ENOUGH

I want to be a good friend to you. Yes, you! The one that has taken the time to read my blog! I’m very happy you’ve decided to join me and discover more about the environmental movement. It’s sad to see the news stories pop in and out of our daily lives. Remember the wildfires in California? Or the whales that have continually washed ashore along the Coast?

For those living, there are indicators swirling around that tell us we’re going to be in trouble. It’s important middle-class Canadians don’t ignore environmental issues. If we’re not having conversations then the problem is still being ignored. We’ve got our excuses! I believed that because I was doing my part by recycling that it was good enough.

Five years ago while recycling I had no idea the great garbage patch was growing into the 1.6 million square kms it is today. It’s terrible because I didn’t realize that it wasn’t only what I do with garbage that matters! I assumed It was the only way but realize now I didn’t see the bigger picture. I needed a friend to tell me I was wrong.

To solve the problem I should’ve stopped buying over packaged anything! Produce, toys, soap, electronics, office products, and personal health care products. Then one day I had an epiphany! I woke up and realized that it’s not just me. It’s everybody! We’re all running our daily lives in the same way, uneducated, groomed by media and allowing our impulses to rule our consumerism.

So I set out to create this blog to spread the word.  

Climate Change is costly

The biggest issue faced today are the global losses caused by natural disasters. Yes, some say it’s an act of God and there isn’t much we can do about it. However, the United Nations warns that the accumulations of Green House Gases (GHG) have reached levels not seen in three million years. The largest concentration of GHG comes from carbon dioxide which is largely the product of burned fossil fuels.

2018 turned out to be the fourth costliest in thirty years from natural disasters. The average insured losses per year are around 41 billion US. But, this past year turned into a devastating 80 billion dollars in insured losses worldwide. Yet, that’s still not the big picture because almost half the people who were victims of natural disasters didn’t have insurance to protect them. The grand total of all losses occurring from wildfires, hurricanes, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, and tornadoes was 140 billion US dollars.

As a friend, I want to tell you that with good intentions we can reshape our reality. It’s the simplest things we can change like our conversations with the people around us. It helps to reset the brain and allows us to rethink how we live our own lives by just talking.

START TALKING

As a friend, I want to tell you that with good intentions we can reshape our reality. It’s the simplest things we can change like our conversations with the people around us. It helps to reset the brain which allows us to rethink how we live our own lives by just talking. It really helps today there is momentum in social media, news stories, and the “resistance” movement.

We can ease into a conversation armed with information easier now than ever before! What are our dreams? How do we see the future of our children? Talking will keep the issues we face at the forefront of our lives but the solution, however, can only come with action.

Our daily actions take things to a whole new level. I’ve been writing, learning and trying to live consciously since January. It was my new year resolution to take action and begin the journey. However, I’ve found it hard to prepare as a full-time Realtor and Mom.

Yes, in order to use less plastic there has to be a battle plan. My intentions were good, but I was blind! You don’t just wake up one day and say, “today I’m going to shop consciously. To shop consciously there are things to remember.

TAKE ACTION

One of those things is don’t use plastic bags. Always remember to bring cloth bags! This is tough since they’re continuously moving. Shopping involves knowing where your cloth bags are at all times! Spontaneously picking up an onion after work can end up becoming a shopping trip with half a dozen things by the end. If the bags are not in your hand chances are they’re in two places either the trunk of the car or at home.

Secondly, buy Bulk. The idea of going to the store to pick up a prepackaged item is causing climate change. Those days are over. If we care. To be a conscious shopper we’ve got to bring our own glass jars. Mason jars work perfectly and they look great in the cupboard too. Go with the wide mouth jar or bring a funnel so you don’t make a big mess while you pour the contents. Ask the ladies or gents in the deli section or checkout to give you the tare weight of your jar before filling it. Mark what the tare weight of each jar is on the bottom and you’re ready to go!

Finally, when you buy items that you continuously use go with ingredients that are found locally. It not only stimulates the local economy but also reduces the carbon footprint of the item. Your shopping habits can be the life or death of a good local supplier. It’s important to do your homework and discover new products to buy in the community. Farmers markets, Google, Facebook, and Varagesale are good resources for online

 

https://www.munichre.com/topics-online/en/climate-change-and-natural-disasters/natural-disasters/the-natural-disasters-of-2018-in-figures.html

https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/climate-change/

HOW TO PLAN A SHORELINE CLEANUP

brian-yurasits-1522830-unsplash

Today our town held a great shoreline cleanup! Originally postponed by high winds we finally held it on a calm and sunny morning.

A junk collection company who I hadn’t heard of previously was on demand to collect litter from multiple locations.

They handed out gloves, extended picker claws, along with burlap sacks, which will be reused next year. Furthermore, Starbucks and a local grocer pitched in with free coffee and muffins!!

The junk company went from location to location and delivered the trash to the designated drop off in a park next to the Ocean. Where they sorted the trash so they could easily recycle. Likewise, the City picked up this trash that had been collected by the over forty volunteers.

This is the way a well-run Shoreline Cleanup should operate! Personally, I found it frustrating to get a four-year-old battling a cold to be punctual. No one was cooperating! Neither my son or husband wanted to go.

I pushed through it and won! Nothing a little Advil and time out couldn’t help! Once we arrived my son did great! He and I found ourselves on a little adventure weaving in and out of driftwood.

The plastic was mostly small, bits and pieces, lighters, bottle caps, cigarette butts, and rope. There also may have been a few used condoms.

THIS FAST FOOD CHAIN IS LEADING THE INDUSTRY IN SUSTAINABILITY

As much as I love to hate McDonald’s restaurants I have to admit it’s not going away any time soon! Every day McDonald’s serves 2.5 million people in 1400 locations across Canada! Since we live in a fast-paced world it’s sometimes hard to find time to prepare a meal. So, we reward instant gratification with repeat business. It is what it is!
One fast food invention boosted sales and made instant gratification a reality. So, unless something changes the drive-thru will forever contribute to single-use trash. I love the drive-thru and use it multiple times a day. Who doesn’t love crispy french fries, custom made coffee beverages and swirl cones? Invented over seventy years ago we gravitated to eating in the comfort of our own car!
A relationship between the drive-thru has grown with the production of plastic. After seven decades. scientists have crunched the numbers. They’ve learned the world has so far produced a total of 9.2 billion tonnes of plastic. We’re in an environmental limbo. The world suffers from too much garbage and our appetite for convenience!
We’ve built up massive institutions that rely on single-use containers and packaging. So, it’s not surprising that these food giants are slow to change. They’re wasting material by throwing it in the garbage. Switching packaging from recyclable containers to non-recyclable. It’s a huge problem that one company has begun to solve.

I decided to write after discovering Mcdonald’s restaurants are using post-consumer packaging. In a perfect world, a circular economy would manage our resource consumption. Yet, I realize now that recycling is falling apart across Canada!

BOOST RECYCLING OR BUST?

There is so much trash that selling recyclables is becoming unfeasible. The mixed paper has decreased in the price of 110% and plastic bags are down 53% since 2017. China has banned foreign recyclables. So now we can only sell the highest quality recycling material to foreign governments.

Sorting recyclables and resorting again is costly. The costs of labor and the commodity crash have cost Canadian Taxpayers money. So much, in fact, the Ontario government must either raise taxes or cut social programs. For this reason, we can’t rely on foreign countries to take our recyclable materials.

There are plenty of reasons why we shouldn’t rely on other countries. There is a lack of International Government transparency and often poor labor standards. So, the actions of foreign governments have created a volatile market place. This is volatility is causing mass confusion in who is warehousing these materials.

Recycling is big business! There are opportunities for those entrepreneurial spirits. In the USA, estimates show recycling accounts for almost 100 billion dollars in economic activity. So far we can’t rely on the Canadian government to control the supply of garbage. But it is so important to create a circle of sustainability. It’s time for some cunning entrepreneur to take over.

As John E Rockefeller bought his first oil refinery. It was the start of a pioneering monopoly which controlled the oil industry. The oil was plentiful, prices were cheap and so he sought out refineries. He bought them all to control the price of the commodity. This oil revolution spawned the oil empire we know today.

Each country has the responsibility to manage its own trash regardless of the cost!

SOURCE REDUCTION

The restaurant industry gives us food on a plate used by thousands of different people. We walk in, sit down, eat and leave. The plate is rinsed, washed, dried and repeat! However, the fast food joints don’t operate the same way. When we sit down to eat a meal they provide us with the same single-use packaging as the drive-thru. That’s got to change!
Furthermore, children drive profits so I understand why fast food chains are enticing kids. However, the plastic toys have got to go. The toys are not only plastic, but they package the toys in little plastic bags too! It’s always one new toy fad to the next. These toys are good for the first ten minutes, then they lose interest. Eventually, as the kids get older the toy becomes landfill waste. Corporations like McDonald’s should stop selling these types of toys or switch to a friendlier alternative.

There are countless petitions that are being signed every day to ban plastic straws. So Mcdonald’s introduced paper straws across 1361 locations. It’s great to see the company try. But, there’s been a backlash from customers since these straws dissolve and collapse. Paper is not the only alternative but most likely the cheapest one!

CHANGE MATTERS

McDonald’s are the largest Restaurant chain in the world! By 2025 their goal is to switch 100% of their packaging from virgin material to recycled, renewable certified materials. They’ve pledged to recycle packaging, creating a recycling infrastructure in the restaurant.

In 2018 they joined an alliance between Closed Loop Partners and Starbucks. The goal is to create a 100% recyclable or compostable disposable cup. They held the Next Generation Cup Challenge, which promised twelve cup solutions.

Canadians and food companies hold a dirty little secret. We generate more trash per capita than any other country in the developed world. By 2025 the World Bank estimates the world will produce 6 million tons of waste a day.

The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the Oceans than fish! Fast food giants such as McDonald’s are starting to use packaging that will biodegrade. The restaurant is starting to change their ways. They’re beginning to lead by example, but there is still room for improvement!

https://www.mcdonalds.com/ca/en-ca/about-us.html

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-03/documents/recycling_market_update_slides.pdf

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/06/plastic-planet-waste-pollution-trash-crisis/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D._Rockefeller