Sunday, October 14, 2007

October 15th Blog Action Day

Share the Message!

At Barefoot Books, we are concerned with the impact of climate change on the lives of children and the world they will inherit. We've partnered with The Green Parent, Kiwi Magazine, and Roots & Shoots to bring you playful and engaging resources for discussing the climate crisis and respecting our planet. Take a look around to find fun activities and specific, simple strategies that can be used to help preserve our planet’s precious resources!

To get you started I have made a list of 15 things you can do to help the environment!

1. Bring reusable bags to the grocery store

Top Facts - Consumption

  • Each year, an estimated 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide. That comes out to over one million per minute. Billions end up as litter each year.
  • According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion)
  • According to the industry publication Modern Plastics, Taiwan consumes 20 billion bags a year—900 per person.
  • According to Australia’s Department of Environment, Australians consume 6.9 billion plastic bags each year—326 per person. An estimated .7% or 49,600,000 end up as litter each year.

    Top Facts - Environmental Impact

  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.
  • As part of Clean Up Australia Day, in one day nearly 500,000 plastic bags were collected.
  • Windblown plastic bags are so prevalent in Africa that a cottage industry has sprung up harvesting bags and using them to weave hats, and even bags. According to the BBC, one group harvests 30,000 per month.
  • According to David Barnes, a marine scientist with the British Antarctic Survey, plastic bags have gone "from being rare in the late 80s and early 90s to being almost everywhere from Spitsbergen 78° North [latitude] to Falklands 51° South [latitude].
  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.

  • Top Facts - Solutions

  • In 2001, Ireland consumed 1.2 billion plastic bags, or 316 per person. An extremely successful plastic bag consumption tax, or PlasTax, introduced in 2002 reduced consumption by 90%. Approximately 18,000,000 liters of oil have been saved due to this reduced production. Governments around the world are considering implementing similar measures.
  • July 2003, goes live, advancing the mainstream adoption of reusable shopping bags.
  • Each high quality reusable shopping bag you use has the potential to eliminate hundreds, if not thousands, of plastic bags over its lifetime.

  • 2.Recycle what you can!


    Recycling is the third R of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Recycling means taking a product or material at the end of its useful life and turning it into a usable raw material to make another product. This section of our site provides information about how to recycle, why to recycle, and what you can recycle. And of course the Earth 911 green recycling locator box above can help you find where you can recycle. Just type in what you want to recycle on the left side and where on the right side by entering your zip code or city and state.

    Recycling Facts & Figures

    • In 1999, recycling and composting activities prevented about 64 million tons of material from ending up in landfills and incinerators. Today, this country recycles 32% of its waste, a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years.
    • While recycling has grown in general, recycling of specific materials has grown even more drastically: 50 percent of all paper, 34 percent of all plastic soft drink bottles, 45 percent of all aluminum beer and soft drink cans, 63 percent of all steel packaging, and 67 percent of all major appliances are now recycled.
    • Twenty years ago, only one curbside recycling program existed in the United States, which collected several materials at the curb. By 2005, almost 9,000 curbside programs had sprouted up across the nation. As of 2005, about 500 materials recovery facilities had been established to process the collected materials.

    Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

    3.Eat locally produced food!
    Try a local CSA

    Why Is Community Supported Agriculture Important?
    • CSA's direct marketing gives farmers and growers the fairest return on their products.
    • CSA keeps food dollars in the local community and contributes to the maintenance and establishment of regional food production.
    • CSA encourages communication and cooperation among farmers.
    • With a "guaranteed market" for their produce, farmers can invest their time in doing the best job they can rather than looking for buyers.
    • CSA supports the biodiversity of a given area and the diversity of agriculture through the preservation of small farms producing a wide variety of crops.
    • CSA creates opportunity for dialogue between farmers and consumers.
    • CSA creates a sense of social responsibility and stewardship of local land.
    • CSA puts "the farmers face on food" and increases understanding of how, where, and by whom our food is grown.

    Special thanks to the contributors to this description of CSA: Robyn Van En, CSA of North America (CSANA); Liz Manes, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension; and Cathy Roth, UMass Extension Agroecology Program.

    Thanks to Community Supported Agriculture of North America at University of Massachusetts Extension for allowing us to post this article.
    For more information on Community Supported Agriculture, please contact The Robyn Van En Center for CSA at:

    4. Don't buy bottled water bring your own from home!

    Try Sigg's they are indestructible and wonderful!

    See my post on the 14th about water bottles :)

    5. Trade instead of buying.

    Try Freecycle it is fun and free!

    Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.

    6. Carpool or share a car.

    Igo is a great option for people who might only need a car some of the time.

    I-GO Green Benefits

    I-GO is dedicated to improving the environmental quality of the Chicago region by promoting a Low Carbon Diet.

    7. Use public transportation, bike, or walk.

    8. Plant native wildflowers!

    9. Time your showers to avoid using too much water.

    10. Switch to long lasting low energy light bulbs.

    11. Unplug seldom used appliances.

    Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot.

    Purchase appliances and office equipment with the Energy Star Label; old refridgerators, for example, use up to 50 more electricity than newer models.

    Use e-mail instead of paper.

    15. Buy green electricity - electricity produced by low - or even zero-pollution facilities (NC Greenpower for North Carolina -

    1 comment:

    Crunchy Domestic Goddess said...

    excellent list and resource. :)