What millions of Oprah viewers saw on Earth Day, images of what scientists believe is the world's largest garbage dump: in the Pacific Ocean! The Great Pacific Garbage Patch stretches from the California coast to Japan, and it's estimated to be twice the size of Texas. Learn more about this man-made floating nightmare, which is estimated to be about 90 percent plastic and goes 90 feet deep in some spots.
Photo courtesy of Oprah.com.
Just when you think you've seen it all as an environmentalist, you can still be blown away. Oprah Winfrey devoted an entire show to environmental issues.
Brilliantly, Oprah constantly worked the economic angle, reinforcing making simple solutions (using a water filter; energy efficient appliances, reusable dishes for office/school lunches, etc.) will save money. America's radar is focused toward their wallet, no matter how disturbing the images and facts are, and selling them on environmentalism with economic incentives is a must. Frankly, I think our own vegan community could be doing a better job of doing just that right now. How about teaming up with a renowned economist and devising hard statistics about the money vegans can save in the long-run?
Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemna, was a guest, encouraging Americans to go meatless one day a week. I know, there will be grumbling in our community about this, but I disagree with any dissent. Yes, veganism is the ideal, but we do not live in an idealistic world. Meatless Mondays are a far easier sell, and once people gradually reduce meat consumption, the shift toward vegetarianism will come more organically. We cannot take a world from point A to point Z overnight.
Breaking the addiction to disposables was constantly reinforced. By switching from using disposable items in your lunches to reusable ones, you could save as much as $320. In keeping with that theme, these special offers are now available:
*Get a free Whole Foods reusable lunch bag (while supplies last), good through April 26th. Click here.
*Get 20 percent off any purchase (through July 31st) at To-GoWare.com. Download the coupon. Check out their reusable portable utensil set (fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks) made from bamboo. This is the perfect item to carry around in your purse, backpack, or briefcase, so you can avoid the plastic alternatives
*Get 20 percent off any purchase at SIGG (through May 31st). Download your coupon, and redeem at mySIGG.com. While most famous for their water bottles, they also offer small lunch boxes.
Check out Oprah's Going Green Resources Page.
This Sunday, April 26, I will be participating in the first of the Hackensack Riverkeeper's cleanups in Overpeck Park, Leonia. Learn more here. Activism in own communities is crucial. Wherever you are, think about your own waste, how to reduce it, and how other's can follow your lead.
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