To be honest it’s difficult to travel with a four-year-old and be environmentally friendly at the same time. It’s not surprising how the waste naturally accumulates with stickers, bottles of juice, and fast food containers. My car becomes an environmental disaster in no time! Upon a quick clean-up, I found a ray of hope. This one large company is beginning to change their ways… Mcdonald’s has begun to make their happy meal boxes from 100% post-consumer materials! I had no idea! This struck a curious chord in me. So, I’ve decided to investigate the matter! Therefore, the scoop in the world of post-consumer packaging is coming soon!
Climbing a mountain seems like madness and once you’ve reached the top of the summit all that’s heard is silence. The metaphor of climbing a mountain is often described when achieving personal goals. But those who climb mountains are often faced with peril, not beauty. Why do people search out and conquer such extreme goals? Yet when they’re faced with changing simple daily habits find it so hard to commit to them? Dreams and desire are mountains of the mind that drive us to be.
After all, once you reach the highest goal than life will be complete and there will be no more reason to seek out more. No, not really and countless people that have reached their set goals will tell you this idea is misleading. Most that achieve their dreams and ultimate desire find they quickly become bored.
Moreover, the time is here where our fascination and obsession is wearing out our planet. Our need for this planet is far and wide and demand will rise in the future. Finally, Scientists are telling us temperatures and sea levels are rising. Consequently, World Leaders in different countries are rising to the challenge and have declared climate change an emergency. So what can one do to make a difference?
HERE ARE THIRTY-SEVEN GOOD DEEDS THAT WE CAN CHOOSE TO DO ON A DAILY BASIS.
Save electricity by unplugging your devices
Buy post-consumer paper
Plant a vegetable garden and donate the vegetables to the food bank
Turn off the lights at night before you go to bed
Turn the tap off while brushing your teeth, washing vegetables or cleaning
Take public transport instead of driving
When your out buying groceries do not use plastic bags and choose items with no plastic packaging
Hold the door open for a stranger
Write a letter to your local MLA and ask them to ban plastic bags
Sign up to change.org and support petitions that help to end climate change and plastic.
Buy an electric car
Attend an event that supports earth-friendly ways like a farmers market
Read a book to a childlike Justine Mckeen’s Bottle Throttle
Spend more time outside
sit down with your family and calculate your carbon footprint try reducing it by twenty percent
Volunteer your time
Buy soap bars without packaging. These are often made by local soap makers
Skip eating beef and opt for something different
Pick up trash at the park or the beach
Be a part of or organize a market for local consumers
Reuse take out containers
Turn old books into planters, use the paper for art projects don’t just give them away
Talk to a friend or family member about rising temperatures, sea levels and the garbage piling up on land and in the oceans.
Let a child write a letter to a company asking them to change corporate policy
Stop supporting companies that don’t take their environmental impact seriously
Eat fruits and vegetables grown locally
Make your own bread. It reduces the need to buy bread in plastic bags
Post on social media your good deed
Share posts related to helping the environment, comment and like.
Make homemade soup and freeze leftovers to reduce reliance on aluminum
Plant a fruit tree
Invest in solar panels
Bring your own cup to Starbucks or other retailers
Say no to straws
Buy Bamboo products
MATERIALISM COSTS CONSUMERS THEIR FUTURES
If we practice these new habits we will find fulfillment. Fulfillment in the sense where we practice good deeds while keeping money in our pockets. Like a mountain climber, we have to remain present. Every decision must be done consciously with the knowledge that if we don’t change now life will be very different for our children.
The truth is continual corporate profits are not sustainable. These changes will affect the economy however in the long term it will be better off. It’s not natural to have continual growth without consequences. Consequently, with any goal, we have to face our fear, nausea, vertigo, and death of something. Therefore, it’s time we support those invested in our community and companies defined by their environmental policies. It doesn’t have to be all that bad if we start now. We still have time and the luxury to decide what is right for us. What is right for our planet.
Bad Karma. The belief that people should suffer from a poor situation, illness, or death. If one endures problems in life it’s so because of their wrongdoings in a previous life. Therefore, if they wait better karma will bless them in the afterlife. If that’s the case, then Canadians must have great karma! After all, we take for granted a basic convenience. A convenience that is a necessity. Every day we enjoy a private bathroom with plumbing to do our business. While millions and millions of people don’t get the opportunity to use a plumbed bathroom any day.
Before the invention of the underground sewer pipes, city dwellers dumped their poop. There was no sewage infrastructure under city streets until the end of the Industrial Revolution. In the past, they’d use street channels that oozed toxic waste, making it hard to breath clean air. Today Canadians now have a complex sanitation system which serves communities across Canada. Installing underground sewers have grown civilizations around the world. They’ve grown more intelligent, lifespans have increased and prosperity has risen.
THOSE AFFECTED FROM TOXIC SEWAGE TODAY
But the developing countries still struggle with this same problem. In fact, close to one billion people are defecating in the streets, groves, and fields! India suffers the most. As six hundred million people live in areas with toxic sewage running through the streets. I saw a photo of a water canal in India and the plastic was pouring past villagers. They haphazardly tried to extract a few bottles here and there. The problems have now compounded and trash has further exasperated an already difficult situation.
Consequently, their fate is with filthy, dilapidated cities, noxious odors, garbage, and widespread disease. The developing world still struggles to get basic infrastructure in place. But is it money that can stitch humanity together? Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to solve India’s sanitation problems. He has given the country until October 2, 2019, Gandhi’s 150th Birthday to clean up!
THE DEVELOPING WORLD’S SOLUTION
He’s dedicated 20 billion dollars to build latrines and develop awareness campaigns. Each household received $190 to construct a pit latrine. But those that built the latrines haven’t constructed them properly. They’re built in flood zones and areas where they’ve contaminated groundwater. Plus, some built them in rocky conditions preventing proper drainage. Sometimes a pit isn’t installed at all! They’re using them for bathing or washing clothes.
The Indian community finds change difficult… They also lack the education to craft a well-built pit latrine. In the past millions of people suffered from chronic intestinal infections. Widespread feces have trillions of viruses, fecal bacteria, and parasites. This caused Diarrhea which killed 700,000 children in 2011. The kids missed out on a total of 250 million school days in one year!! The world bank states India loses 166 billion dollars per year from illness. This still goes on today… and the foreseeable future.
For this reason, women are advocating for proper working toilets. Humility, embarrassment, and harassment comes to relieving themselves. Many women including, pregnant ones will hold themselves all day until night falls. Darkness gives them privacy and reduces the potential of a sexual assault. Waiting to relieve themselves causes them more health risks. Risks including urinary tract infections and low birth weights of newborn babies. In fact, they’ve told the men if they can’t provide a toilet than they’ll refuse the marriage!
THE REAL SOLUTION
Modi understands change is in the best interest of national development! But, Pit Latrines are not a permanent solution. Only a proper sewer system throughout their communities will solve the sanitation issues. The infrastructure of a city is the heartland for prosperity in a Nation. The poor from rural communities flock to cities to find work. Developing cities such as Noida have risen to become India’s economic capital.
The city’s prosperity has also given rise to challenging the poor sanitation issue in India. They’re currently working to provide a proper sewage infrastructure for everyone. Once it’s complete they’ll become the first zero discharge city! There sewage treatment plant separates the solids, liquids and gaseous waste. They have proposed to treat liquid waste and convert it into field irrigation. Moreover, their solid waste will become manure and they’ll convert the gas waste into electricity.
Foresight, proper leadership and the Civil/Environmental Engineers contribute the most to public health. The engineering discipline designs, constructs, and maintains the physical and natural built environment. These engineers started out as stone masons, artisans, and carpenters. But now, the field is specialized. These professionals learn about physics, geology, geography, material science, and hydrology. Their knowledge can drive the change needed to make a cleaner, safer home.
IT’S NOT BAD KARMA
Right now more than 35 percent or 2.5 billion people of the world’s population lack access to a sanitary environment. The engineers must build cities the right way. Leadership must make this their primary mandate in order to change the world. This act will help us solve climate change and poor sanitation at the same time. The science of Civil engineering propels developing civilizations into a developed state sooner. It is not karma that has cast two billion people to drink contaminated water. At the end of the day, human behavior drives national problems or causes solutions. NAMASTE
The world’s recycling statistics show recycling is not effective enough. So, let’s dive into the trash management system that exists today. Recycling household trash makes us feel like we’re doing the environment justice! Besides, we’re told it’s helpful to do what we can to sort our trash.
It reduces the strain on the environment making it vital for the government to sell raw material. Moreover, the recycling program`s purpose is to keep the invasion of material out of landfills… Or does it?
Even though, Canadians recyclers are contributing to a solution. According to National Geographic, we also produce twice as much garbage then Japan. Plus, ten times more than half a dozen countries in Africa! Yet, garbage swamps the lives of the poorest people around the world! In fact, it’s because only nine percent of garbage is recycled! It shows that as a global community we are not doing enough to do justice to the environment!
THE FAULTY SYSTEM
Here at home, the Canadian recycling system sorts trash at recycling process centers. Next, they turn the manufactured material into pulp, pellets, melt it or press it into sheets.
Then, re-manufacturing plants or end markets take these items. End markets like the Philippines and China receive shipments for re-manufacturing post-consumer waste. The system works to reduce the squeeze on the natural environment.
The truth is ninety-one percent of trash is not recycled. So, billions of tonnes of Global garbage is either incinerated or left in landfills. The incineration and gas released from landfills yield more Green House Gas.(GHG). Which further stimulates the world’s Green House Effect.
If fresh water evaporates from global warming we will wither and die. Yet, in the meantime, we’re arguing over trash mismanagement. This noticeable trend should be good enough reason to change our spending habits. Yet, it hasn’t. So the potential of trash wars is a dilemma that we face today and in the future!
Hence, there’s a standoff between the Philippines and Canada today. The partnership between these two countries has soured. Why would Canada a developed country try to take advantage of them?
Comparatively, Canadians hold a reputation and an International image of peace and prosperity. Our land mass is almost 10,000,000 square kilometers. We have much more space than those in the Philippines. After all, they’re a developing country with a land mass of just 300,000 sq. kilometers.
Canada has 34,000,000 people with an annual GDP of forty thousand (American) dollars per capita. Even though, the Philipino’s have over 96,000,000 people in their population. The annual GDP is just over four thousand dollars per capita. Consequently, they struggle to keep their population above the standard threshold of human development.
In 2013 a Canadian company shipped one hundred containers of “recycling” overseas. Thus, upon arrival, the Filipino Port Authority deemed the shipment unfit to process. They asked the Canadian government to return our containers back to Canada. Regardless, the Canadian government told the authorities no and asked them to dispose of it.
FOREIGN RECYCLABLES BANNED
Six years later the trash still remains at the Port. Filipinos have rallied and their government threatens war! The Canadian supply chain sent unfit products and the Filipinos don’t want to be their junkyard. Therefore, we should set an example for the rest of the world. It’s our responsibility to control the distribution and take back the trash!
Suddenly, it’s not getting any easier. Canada finds it harder to source end markets because now China has banned our products. China told the World Health Organization they will no longer accept foreign recyclables.
There`s too much product and now they want the highest quality material. Thus, Canadian recycling processors now struggle to cope with the volume of trash. There is more supply than demand. Therefore, the recycling program of British Columbia states it will restrict materials in our blue bins.
NEW PLASTIC TECHNOLOGY
For this reason, we’re losing the battle and more must be done through new technological advancements. After all, Corporations need packaging to sell their products. We would rather die than see the world not able to produce household products. Consequently, without packaging the economy would falter.
Fortunately, there are two Zennials making a difference in the war on trash! They’ve developed a process to produces a post-consumer product with dirty plastic. This company is called Biocollection Inc. and is ready to take on the challenge of the future. Together both Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao have come up with a solution!
The Founder Miranda Wang is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. She believes there is a lack of waste management. For this reason, garbage is ending up in our Rivers and Oceans.
The Co-founder Jeanny Yao gained a degree in Environmental science from the University of Toronto. Their business plan is to change the way we deal with our contaminated trash in a more circular sense.
So, they’ve moved away from the approach of breaking down plastics, washing then melting it. Instead, they take the molecules and break them down into a complex method.
The chemical method cuts the polyethylene (plastic) chemical chain into small pieces. These small chemical pieces transform into precursors of higher value materials. Materials found in such things as car parts, electronics, and textiles!
This technology offers a solution for the other ninety-one percent of contaminated waste. In the world of chemicals, it makes sense that we have to use chemicals to fight chemicals. In conclusion, this innovation also has the ability to replace fossil fuels. It will use plastic waste for an industry’s energy needs.
Consumers have the responsibility to make conscious decisions when they’re purchasing items. Make different choice such as buy glass containers instead of plastic. Avoid anything wrapped in plastic, and reuse whenever possible.
The waste management system of British Columbia states its goal is zero-waste. But, what it does is turn the manufactured material into pulp, pellets or sheets. Thus, reducing the pressure of mining, deforestation, and chemical manufacturing in the environment.
The population is rising and there will forever be a need for natural resources. Therefore, continuing to recycle helps manufacturers source post-consumer material. It’s also important to change our buying habits each day by not spending money on over-packaging. Make conscious choices, lobby for change with petitions and join shoreline cleanups. Don’t let trash define us as a Nation!!
Sometimes all we need in life is a little bit of simplicity! After all the juggling and multitasking throughout the day creating a simple but delicious meal is a nice breath of fresh air. During the work week, I like to make nutritious meals and often they don’t take much time to create. However, the salads are great but they can be boring every day! I decided to share this recipe to give a little inspiration to those used to eating the usual meat and potatoes or chicken and veggie recipes. The two main ingredients are Mushrooms and Kale. Two superfoods that are coincidently also grown in the western provinces of Canada in the months of March and April. They’re easy to find in the grocery store and can be found in the Organic section.
1 Teaspoon of Grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon of Butter
5 cloves of garlic
2 cups of button Mushrooms
10 stems of Kale remove coarse stems and tear leaves into pieces
One-quarter cup of water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat a large skillet on medium heat, saute the garlic for two minutes turning it frequently, add the mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Let cook for five to seven minutes until the mushrooms are brown. Add the kale, quarter cup of water and pepper, place a lid on the skillet for ten minutes. Kale should be tender.
Total time: 20 minutes
Eating a diet that has been grown locally is something we can try to do on a weekly basis. Trying one recipe a week is the first step to making a conscious decision to reduce our carbon footprint. The garlic may be the hardest to source locally at the Grocery store because the majority comes from China. There is a BC company that supplies Organic garlic from a small farm that provides eight different varieties. The companies name is appropriately called BC Garlic located in the beautiful Fraser River Valley. The farmer believes in living on the land while nurturing it. The Garlic is available online after harvest time which is usually late July or August! Love, Love, Love this recipe for its simple ingredients, taste, and small carbon footprint!
Deserts. Hot air that wipes the condensation clean off any surface. It’s a zone that will whip the butt of anyone underprepared to beat the heat! Not much can survive in this kind of climate and if there is life its there because it has adapted over thousands of years. People don’t belong in this kind of weather, we like water! However, these regions, although they can contract and expand naturally they’re growing in size. I know there are good explanations for this phenomenon and of course, they involve humans!
While we learn in Grade six science the extreme cold temperatures are found at the poles and the heat is nearer to the equator. Science also explains the Poles, mainly the Arctic are warming and the cold winds are scattered from the semi-permanent low-pressure system known as the polar vortex. The warming Arctic may be a sign that we’re losing the balance between hot and cold on Earth and the trend is moving to warmer temperatures! If this happens eventually desertification can become a larger worldwide issue.
HISTORY OF DESERTIFICATION
Desertification already covers over one-third of land on Earth. To compound the problem the Earth’s population is rising to levels never seen before! Desertification has historically destroyed large Empires such as the Roman and the Grecian Empire. People starved for food and water and large populations dispersed or died away. Evidence shows that the majority of soil degradation happens in densely populated areas. The main reasons are inappropriate land use such as deforestation, grazing livestock, agriculture, and mining.
In one lifetime, we’ve seen a sixty percent loss in species and the loss of half the world’s topsoil. It’s something that has happened relatively quietly and quickly. Sometimes I think it’s like driving down the road and watching an accident happen in slow motion. Our appetite for delicious coffee, tasty food, and cotton t-shirts makes us numb to what we figure we can’t control. Coffee beans, Palm oil, and Cotton are grown in warm arid climates. The farmers lack the education to keep the soil beneath their feet fertile. Instead, once the soil dies, they move on chopping trees along the way. They’re after the rich soils which give them ideal growing conditions.
The Amazon has suffered but, no country is immune. From Canada, Iceland to South America every county in between, do it. Canadians don’t have the political turmoil, and our level of poverty is moderate in comparison to warmer arid climates. We have resources that are still untapped and our climate can get pretty cold. However, every human need is the same and we’re all takers. We aren’t born with the ability to conserve in the conservatory and we’re taking more than we give back. But, what happens when there is no more to take?
“Idealism is like a castle in the air if it’s not based on a solid foundation of social and political realism.”
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?
If we want to achieve something, then we need to provide those that don’t have the proper background and skill. If we don’t know how then we should spend the energy to get it and give it! In the poorest societies, the struggle is real! They don’t have the money and aren’t educated enough to renew their landscape. That’s simply the case! These high-density areas have hardly any natural resources. This is how it happens but what is the solution?
In addition to Ecologists speaking out, they’re also creating documentaries and addressing the ever-growing problem of desertification. John D. Liu born in Nashville, Tennessee is a world-renowned cameraman and ecologist actively producing a solution. In 2017 he founded the Ecosystem Restoration Camps which is a worldwide movement linked to restoring large scale tracks of degraded land. He believes that the harmful effects from humans have not only caused Greenhouse gases, but also the ruins of biomass, organic matter, and diversity.
A WORKING SOLUTION
Moreover, the Common Land project estimates the world loses over four trillion US dollars a year!! All this money is lost because of overexploitation and building the wrong type of Infrastructure around the world. The firm is responsible for coordinating partnerships between the Investors, Companies, Entrepreneurs, and farmers or land users. There are four zones that this particular partnership addresses, Social Capital, Financial Capital, Natural Capital and Inspiration for the Future.
THE RETURN OF NATURAL CAPITAL
First of all, they’re creating the opportunity which allows the local ecosystem a chance to recuperate from thousands of years of abuse. This abuse is caused by the agricultural sector, which relied heavily on the Earth to produce pastures for livestock to graze. It’s the constant pounding of hooves on the ground and the nipping of new growth from hungry mouths. It is difficult to ask millions of people to stop the cycle since it is their livelihood and the only thing they have ever known! Secondly, Common Land establishes a business case between the farmers and their support network to promote a new way of life for the farmers. They promote sustainable farming practices involving planting trees and crops, beneficial to the biodiversity of the area. Consequently, this new way ends livestock herding and gives the men and woman a new way of making a living through sustainable means.
THE RETURN OF SOCIAL CAPITAL
No one knows the importance of security more than the American people. The American political administration understands they’ll be in trouble if they cannot continue to produce economic vitality, growth, and prosperity at home. The administration feels there will be dire consequences if they continue to trade away its prosperity for financial security. In the end, they will end up losing both! With economic stability so comes national security. Furthermore, the Common Land’s goal is to restore social security by promoting order. Part of the plan is educating people, bringing back jobs, business activities and secur each region.
THE RETURN OF FINANCIAL CAPITAL
Common Land works with the most brilliant minds, passionate hearts, and skillful hands. They offer commercial, public, private and grant sources at different stages of their projects. They develop a business plan that injects the capital needed to fulfill the goal to create a safe, fertile, and profitable environment for the local population. An investment that will start seeing returns in twenty years.
THE RETURN OF INSPIRATION
In conclusion, this organization is bringing back a sense of hope to people that could barely support themselves. People are working hard to stabilize areas of the planet that need help the most. It not only restores hope but also a sense of fulfillment. The people have a renewed role as environmental stewards. What a wonderful opportunity for anyone involved in the process! I wish only good things for this organization and the people surrounding the operation.
Is it possible for a company to become environmentally responsible and profitable at the same time? The answer to that question is a resounding YES! It’s entirely possible. These four companies provide nourishing food and also support the greater good! They`re providing customers quality nutritious ingredients by sourcing them from local organic farms which support local producers.
This company has taken corporate responsibility to another level. Their goal is to deliver a product without creating waste! An American company with a mission and a vision to be energy efficient, and they’re using profits to support projects that facilitate alternative energy.
For the past thirty years Pacific Foods an Oregan based company has taken customer service to the next level by introducing a forthcoming business model that could change the future. It’s a straightforward approach to business that won’t compromise the environment. They mean business and if it means eliminating the trash compactor then so be it!
The process starts at the beginning of production. First, the discarded fats and solids are sent to the manufacturing plant to break them down by using bacteria. Then the energy is harnessed to generate electricity. The farm animals eat one hundred percent of the food scraps and the leftovers are sent to compost. Lastly, the waste from the Farm animals fertilizes the farmer`s crops. Simple!
The goal to be energy efficient is priority and it turns out not surprisingly the result is profitable! They supply the North West with products like plant-based beverages such as Hemp Milk, Oat Milk, and Almond Milk. They`re serving up beans, soups, and sauces and kicking their carbon foot print’s butt!
Within five years they’ve realized the energy savings equal to the annual electrical consumption of three hundred and thirty homes or the gas emissions of five hundred cars. If this one company can make it happen then what about a huge company that has been around for years. Do they get it…
Campbells Company soup has been around for one hundred and fifty years and they`re the king of the soup aisle! They`ve taken corporate responsibility public by dedicating a portion of their web page to address corporate responsibility. Statistics show the progress of set goals such as responsible sourcing, reduction of greenhouse gases, and reduction of landfill waste.
Their goal is not necessarily to become a zero waste facility but to decrease waste in the percentile. They’re dedicated to sourcing farm animals that are cage or pen free. However, they still have a long way to go before they reach this goal. In their report, they’ve given themselves five to ten years to reduce water, greenhouse gases, and waste between twenty to twenty-five percent. The results so far are a long ways off from achieving their target and it makes me wonder if its a priority.
There are a few wins! Number one they have shown that they’re plants are safe. Secondly, fifty percent of their tomatoes are from a sustainable agricultural program. Lastly, they’ve reduced their water consumption by twenty percent from 2012 levels.
Knorr foods have been around for over sixty years and this company has developed a standard that other companies can model! The name of this standard practice is the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code. It has funded over seventy projects to support farmers and they pride themselves on their class of farmers.
Knorr farmers use environmentally friendly techniques to take care of pests, save water, encourage biodiversity and healthy soils. Their pest management system includes ladybugs, camera monitors and insect attracting perfumes. Furthermore, they`re taught to manage beehives and drip irrigation installations which save thousands of Liters of water a year.
The goal of the Unilever agricultural code is to source one hundred percent of their ingredients from sustainable sources by 2020. If you see a sustainable partnership logo on any canned soup it means the soup ingredients have fifty percent sustainably sourced food.
The Unilever agricultural code reduces environmental impact by using organic ingredients, products from the rainforest alliance certification and Palm oil from Roundtable. It also has one hundred different companies that feed over two and a half billion people every day!
Imagine Foods has been doing business in California for almost forty years. This food company has taken a commitment to the environment seriously. They not only support Organic ingredients but also makes recyclable packaging.
Their soups, sauces, and broths are free from artificial ingredients, synthetic pesticides, preservatives, and Genetically modified organisms. The packages are environmentally friendly because they use less material than other aseptic cartons. (glossy plastic coated cartons) Minimizing conventional packaging reduces the overall carbon footprint for Imagine Foods. These are the facts that sets this Brand apart from traditional soup manufacturers.
We live in a time where we there are so many options and the choices can be overwhelming. Consumers find it difficult to make a choice that involves ethical standards and corporate environmental responsibility. The packaging and marketing often do not go into depth in regards to these matters. So I’ve researched these four out of eleven common brands to make your choice easier. I hope this information finds itself to you easily. So the next time you buy Soup the decision to shop ethically comes easy!
Aseptic cartons can be recycled in the blue bins in Vancouver B.C.