Thank You Marie Claire + NRDC

Fashion a Better Future for the Planet

How I feel in a word: YASSSS

When large-scale influencers take a stand to highlight important topics such as sustainability, it goes a long way. The impact that this type of focus can generate is incalculable. It’s no secret that the fashion industry by design tends to be wasteful, however, taking steps to recognize that it is an issue and changing the systematic way of thinking from the inside out is the way the fashion industry will remain a force for good. I applaud the leadership of Marie Claire for bringing this important cause to their readership!

“The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is working every day to safeguard the Earth: its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. NRDC creates solutions for lasting environmental change, protecting natural resources in the United States and across the globe. Its Clean By Design initiative works with major apparel retailers and brands to use their buying power as leverage to clean up the factories in their supply chains. Experts study textile mills abroad and identify simple ways to reduce pollution and cut water, chemical, and energy use while saving money.”

Book Review: The Oregon Trail A New American Journey

51xuy5BQbrL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_This book impacted me in such a significant way that after I read it I listened to it on Audible to further soak in the harrowing quest that the author undertook. It is the most quintessential American journey and included all of the elements of a story that I love: history, pioneers, nature, hiking, overcoming obstacles, sibling time, perseverance… just to name a few.

Rinker Buck and his brother Nick set out to complete the Oregon Trail in the original mule and covered wagon set up common to the time. Although now the trail has many modern inconveniences (highways, private land) these brothers had the gumption to take on the American West. The interweaving storyline of their journey sprinkled with the historical accounts of everything from the food that pioneers ate, how mules came to be such a commodity, the types of wagons, heroes on the trail – most interestingly in my opinion Narcissa Whitman – were researched so thoroughly that I could so easily picture the journey that American ancestors embarked on.

In some ways, this book encouraged me to take my own American adventure (documented here). I drove 8,000 miles around the American West from my hometown near Seattle down the Oregon and California coast, into the desert of Arizona, up through the mountains in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and finally the home stretch of Montana and Idaho until we were home again. My own trip took 2 months (vs the 4 months it took Rinker and Nick Buck – using a different route and means of transportation obviously) and we drove through some of the land that the heroes of the book trekked. I cannot express how much value this book added to my life and the trip I took.

The collective American Dream might just be a crazy-ass (a term that Rinker uses regularly to describe his recklessness) choice, throwing caution to the wind and embracing our American roots: risk-takers, adventurers, and curious about the natural world.

Saving the Planet 1 MOC at a Time

This New York Times piece shares some encouraging movement in the gridlock of Washington DC toward solutions and conversations about climate change… and their vehicle is Citizen’s Climate Lobby!

Stats over the last year:

  • Volunteers held 1,429 meetings with representatives’ offices
  • Organized 2,597 outreach events
  • Prompted/wrote 3,339 editorials/op-eds/letters to the editor
  • 2010 annual conference was 25 participants
  • 2017 annual conference will be 1,200

Let’s keep building the political will for a livable world!

Years of Living Dangerously

I am so pumped about this segment of Years of Living Dangerously featuring Citizen’s Climate Lobby narrated by Bradley Whitford.

Years of Living Dangerously takes Hollywood’s storytellers and activists and paints a picture of those affected by the dangers of climate change.

Citizen’s Climate Lobby, as I’ve mentioned before, is the climate activist organization that I have proudly been part of for 2 years. This video sheds light on the strategies key to CCL success: relationship building, bi-partisan cooperation, and finding common ground.

I know the video is long, but I HIGHLY recommend viewing it today. Especially because of the rumors that the Trump administration will be pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Unicorn Magic

The unicorn phenomenon has swept my generation. I love it. And I didn’t know why, that is, until I read this article from Fast Company that made me think about it.

While I agree with what the article suggests that unicorns represent happy childhood dreams, uniqueness, and an escape from reality, I feel like this goes further. The 90’s trend resurrection in clothing, colors and graphics helps to foster this revisited feeling. As the article notates, the Lisa Frank trend was HIGHLY valued in my youth and so it’s pseudo return makes it a rapid trend much like the Pokémon Go game, choker necklaces and belly shirts. Resurgence of a time treasured by the millennials, and the businesses that capitalize on this are doing well. Gotta love it.

Revolutionary Tool for Creatives

Content creators are seeing a revolutionary new idea come to life with Patreon. Artists and creators alike are getting paid for doing what they do best. Membership-style environment is the best of both worlds. It’s sustainable, it’s allowing creatives to be MORE creative, and it’s stable. With upwards of 1 million paying patrons and 50,000 creators, this platform has seen a hockey stick -style growth for it’s business model. Thanks TechCrunch for shedding light on this explosive and exciting young company!

 

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Yale Climate Opinion Maps

Before I get started, I have to explain the immensity of fascination I have with maps and data. Also, by now you know that I am an avid climate activist. I am significantly involved with several groups including Citizen’s Climate Lobby and Sierra Club.

I wanted to feature the Yale Climate Opinion Maps of 2016 which break down by county, metro areas, congressional districts, states and nationally. You can get lost looking into each individual section… I sure did!

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Additionally, the same group at Yale recently came out with a poll overview of Trump voters and their opinions on global warming, the numbers may shock you and I have listed them below this chart:

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Key Findings:

  • About half of Trump voters (49%) think global warming is happening, while fewer than one in three (30%) think global warming is not happening.
  • Almost half of Trump voters (47%) also say the U.S. should participate in the international agreement to limit global warming. By contrast, only 28% say the U.S. should not participate.
  • More than six in ten Trump voters (62%) support taxing and/or regulating the pollution that causes global warming, with nearly one in three (31%) supporting both approaches. In contrast, only about one in five (21%) support doing neither.
  • More than three in four Trump voters (77%) support generating renewable energy (solar and wind) on public land in the U.S. 72% support more drilling and mining of fossil fuels on public land in the U.S.
  • Seven in ten Trump voters (71%) support funding more research into clean energy and providing tax rebates to people who purchase energy efficient vehicles and solar panels (69%).
  • Over half of Trump voters (52%) support eliminating all federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, nearly half (48%) support requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a carbon tax and using the money to reduce other taxes by an equal amount, and almost half (48%) support setting strict carbon dioxide emissions limits on existing coal-fired power plants to reduce global warming and improve public health, even if the cost of electricity to consumers and companies would likely increase.
  • Half of Trump voters say transitioning from fossil fuels toward clean energy will either improve economic growth (29%) or have no impact (21%).
  • Nearly three in four Trump voters (73%) say that, in the future, the U.S. should use more renewable energy (solar, wind, and geothermal). One in three (33%) say that the U.S. should use fossil fuels less in the future.

Power Struggle

A look at how the market and governments regulate power and how the green energy industry is disrupting it via The Economist article Wind and solar power are disrupting electricity systems

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Key takeaways:

  • Solar and wind only provide 7% of global energy consumption
  • Solar and wind are growing faster than any other energy type and prices are falling to competitive levels with fossil fuels
  • Requires significant investment over the next 10 years ($20 trillion)
  • WE NEED TO RETHINK HOW CLEAN ENERGY IS PRICED
    • Government subsidies have distorted the market
    • Green power is intermittent
    • Renewable costs are negligible or zero… aka meaning that the more used, the more depressed the prices and revenues
    • Markets do not determine energy company success and failure; politicians do
    • Small, modular power plants can help with intermittent supply as well as moving network power around more efficiently

Recommendation: 

Markets should reward those willing to use less electricity to balance the grid, just as they reward those who generate more of it.

Fish Farming… WHAT?!

A good alternative to the environmental challenges that come with raising livestock is land-raised fish. It is not only an answer to the world-wide fish shortage, but also solves many of the urgent issues that farmers and indeed the world face, a few of which are listed below:

  • Eco-friendly ✔
  • New jobs ✔
  • Cost efficient ✔
  • Economic viability ✔
  • Local ✔
  • Sustainable ✔
  • Fresh & healthy food ✔

This relatively new method, Recirculating Aquaculture System: RAS aka land-based closed-containment system, has gained popularity in recent years and has been featured on Fast Company’s “The World Changing Ideas of 2017.”

This win-win-win system boasts many positives:

“Imagine a world where our primary protein source wasn’t environmentally damaging factory farms, but these eco-friendly, land-based fish tanks. Instead of being served antibiotic- and hormone-laden portions of pork, beef, or chicken, people would have access to fresh fillets from a process that obviates the need to dose away sickness, or artificially spur growth rates.

Fish isn’t just an alternative protein; it’s a better one, with less saturated fat than beef, and high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which help control blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and inflammation. There’s also way less of it in the ocean these days. More than 90% of all fisheries are fully exploited or overfished. That’s caused the availability of many species to simply collapse.”

Next Weekend: CCL Regional Conference

Finding common ground: inspiring, educating and collaborating around effective climate action

I’m pleased to share that next weekend, March 4th & 5th will be the 2017 Greater Pacific North West Regional Conference – and guess what… I will be a guest speaker!

Citizen’s Climate Lobby advocates for national carbon fee and dividend legislation. This conference will inspire attendees to build political will for a livable world.

I will be facilitating a workshop on social media: how we can increase our presence online and shape the argument to move the needle on climate issues.

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