IT IS EASY BEING GREEN!
By Naïma Hill
When the news is overcome with negativity, find the positive. In our current times of the U.S. government rolling back several environmental initiatives it seems, we are taking steps backwards in an urgent period. Carbon dioxide levels continue to increase, the average global temperatures are inching up, and we see the consequences in recent violent storms, floods and extreme weather events. But, there are new initiatives every day working to bring back hope to combat climate change.
The young generation has been leading the charge in my eyes. With midterm elections coming up, the power of the young is starting to shape up. Now, everyone needs to show up. It’s incredible that Beto O’Rourke, candidate for Texas U.S. Senator, has created a successful campaign with no PAC money, powered by the people. When I lived in El Paso, I was coordinator for a yearly event attended by thousands to protect Castner Range, a wild space at the foothills of the Franklin Mountains. O’Rourke secured protection of this land and has been a proponent to conservation and sustainability initiatives. He opposed the Keystone XL pipeline and has supported numerous clean water protections. Don’t forget to register to vote before October 6.
The technology sector keeps pumping out new and innovative projects linking climate change with social impact. Two new apps brought to my attention target a major climate change contributor, food waste and agriculture. This is also an issue everyone at every level can connect to. We waste too much food. Food accounts of 30 percent of global emissions. Evocco is an eco-friendly shopping assistant that helps you find the most nutritious foods while also having the lowest environmental impact. Founder Hugh Weldon won climate change challenges to fund his endeavor launching in his homeland of Ireland. Evocco has plans to start local, build to Europe and then worldwide. Even if this particular app doesn’t make it to the U.S., this will, hopefully, inspire others. GoodGuide is the app I currently use to shop smarter, but their focus is not specifically on the environment.
The other interesting app to improve our relationship with food is called Olio, the Food Sharing Revolution. This app is based in the U.K. but has listings in the U.S. and allows you to post unwanted food you can share with neighbors. At first, I was hesitant because of food tampering, but if we don’t give these out-of-box ideas an opportunity, we won’t change for the better. The social aspect of the app keeps regular Olios honest and their guidelines are made for food safety. You can browse their listings to see the kind of food is posted at olioex.com.
And the last bit of positive movement forward I have for you this week is the city of Dallas approved a Climate Action Plan to be developed in their latest budget hearing. To be honest, there’s been a lot of green planning and proposals but, in my opinion, not enough actual movement forward here in Dallas. This is another step in the right direction, which I hope is followed up with climate action. As the rest of the world moves leaps and bounds forward on the Paris Agreement and sustainable initiatives, we as a local community need to step up. The money for this Climate Action Plan comes from the leftover money from the short-lived plastic bag fee. Do you remember the biggest local lobbyist against the plastic bag fee was grocery giant Kroger? Well, their headquarters announced just a few weeks ago that Kroger will be phasing out plastic bags by 2025. Funny.
Keep your heads up everyone! We are not going down without a creative fight. There might be negativity flying at us and our environment daily, but we the people are also fighting to combat climate change and preserve our world for future generations.
Soldier on, my fellow environmentalists!