Last week, Berkeley’s City Council unanimously passed a resolution that will drastically reduce the amount of disposable food ware from the city's restaurants. Berkeley’s new Disposable Free Dining ordinance is a game-changing step forward in the global movement to stop plastic pollution from endangering waterways, wildlife, and communities.
Imagine living near an industrial facility with aboveground storage tanks and not knowing what is in those tanks. What if hazardous chemicals were stored in those tanks and that leaks or spills could contaminate a lake where you fish or swim, or a river that is also your drinking water source. Wouldn’t you want to know that water in your community is protected?
They call it the Magna Carta of environmental laws; the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is the foundation for landmark health and environmental protections like the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. NEPA is what gives any person or community group a voice on projects that can impact our health and well-being. It's what requires governments and developers to slow down and consider public concerns.
When I applied to be a door to door canvasser for Clean Water in my senior year of college, I figured it would be a pretty cool part time job until graduation. Little did I know that Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund would be my first employer out of college as well! After just under a year and a half in the Northampton field canvass office, I have accepted a job as Clean Water’s Massachusetts Drinking Water Advocate.
Giving Tuesday – the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving – is a day to remember and celebrate what we love, and the things for which we’re truly thankful. It is in part in tended as an antidote to all the shopping and crass commercialism.
Some of this weekend’s "bargains" will end up in a landfill or incinerator when they break or become obsolete, maybe as soon as a few months from now. Many of our purchases can have other big environmental and social impacts, too. They can be over-packaged and non-recyclable, and offshore or irresponsible manufacturing can pollute air, land and water and endanger workers’ health and the communities where they operate.
Clean Water members and activists were one of the bright spots of 2017. Throughout the year member and activists like you sent messages, mailed letters, signed postcards, and made phone calls. You attended rallies and town hall events. You got involved and you spoke loud and clear.
Five ReThink Disposable staff and 45 students recovered a surprising amount of trash on a litter cleanup and characterization at Laney College in Oakland recently:
Our goal was to identify sources of trash on campus and help the students create a source reduction program on campus to stop litter before it starts. We also wanted to prevent litter from polluting Peralta Creek, San Lorenzo Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.
Aquariums are in a great position to educate their visitors about the harmful impacts of plastic pollution. Lots of people visit aquariums—more than 183 million, worldwide, each year—and, according to research, they trust them more than most other public and private agencies.
I was thrilled to be invited to speak at a gathering of Aquarium staff from all over the country in Monterey Bay last month. About 100 guests representing 20 aquariums, nine environmental non-profits, a handful of consultancies, and a food and retail service provider participated in the event.