"Have you noticed UPS-uniformed cyclists towing small trailers full of parcels in your neighborhood recently? I did a little research and discovered that they are refilling their trailers at pods strategically placed around town. The pods are refilled regularly by one of the familiar big brown trucks that used to trundle up and down the street. I think that it is rather charming to see a cyclist pedaling up the street with a trailer full of parcels, later to be seen coasting back down the hill with an empty trailer. Not only is it much more environmentally friendly, it is a whole lot quieter."
After two years of hard work, we passed the first mattress recycling bill on the West Coast! With your support, we increased beverage container recycling rates and established producer responsibility programs for paint, carpet, e-waste, and mattresses.
But we know that you’re worried about plastic litter and waste you see everywhere. So we ask for your help. Plastic grocery bags continue to plague our ocean economy, threaten wildlife, and cost millions in taxpayer dollars.
Recent data reveal that plastic grocery bags are the fourth-most commonly found items at coastal cleanups. More than 13 billion bags were produced in California last year, and most ended up as litter or in landfills.
Plastic marine pollution is our fastest-growing environmental problem. Sea turtles eat twice as much plastic today as they did 25 years ago. Studies show that both ocean and freshwater species ingest plastic particles, mistaking them for food. Whales wash up on the beach with stomachs full of plastic debris, including plastic grocery bags.
In May, we fell just three votes short of passing a statewide ban on single-use plastic grocery bags. And with your help, we’ll keep fighting against the plastic bag industry campaign of misinformation and intimidation until we get those votes. With your support, this is the year we can eliminate the plastic grocery bag in California!
But plastic grocery bag manufacturers will continue to place profits above the interests of taxpayers and the lives of animals in our lakes, rivers, and oceans. They won’t stop spending millions on flashy advertising campaigns and frivolous, time-consuming lawsuits against cities that are trying to do the right thing by passing local bag ordinances.
We’re almost there, but we can’t do it alone. Your contribution is so important right now, because it provides us with the resources to fight, at a grassroots level, against the plastics industry’s tactics.We’re only three votes away, but it’s not going to be easy to secure those votes. Your generous gift of $50, $100, $500, or $1,000 will help us build our 2014 campaign against disposable plastic grocery bags.
Here's an eco-wrap idea. I was inspired by the amazing art form of Korean Wrapping Cloths. Buy holiday-themed yardage to wrap presents and reuse every year. Some of this fabric is way more beautiful than paper anyway. Too late for this year? Pop down to a Jo-Ann store after Christmas and buy it at half-price. You'll be ready for next year. Each year I get another assortment. Now I'm going to implement birthday cloth wraps. Encourage your giftee to pass on the wrap. Happy holidays.
We stopped the water transfer from the Modesto Irrigation District (MID) to the SFPUC! It took a year of collaboration between farmers, environmentalists, and the City of Modesto, but we did it. Yesterday the MID board voted to cease negotiations with the SFPUC. You can read about it at http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/09/18/2544402/modesto-utility-rejects-sf-water.html
To learn more about TRT's reasons for opposing the transfer, please visit http://www.tuolumne.org/content/article.php/20120820135626172
Many thanks to those of you who helped by attending public hearings and sending emails. Our efforts really made a difference! Please join us on October 4 to celebrate another recent victory -- the acquisition of Dos Rios, 1,600 acres of farmland at the confluence of the Tuolumne and San Joaquin rivers that will be restored to wildlife habitat. For details, please see http://www.tuolumne.org/content/article.php/20120802100516719
Peter Drekmeier Bay Area Program Director Tuolumne River Trust 111 New Montgomery, #205 San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 882-7252 x 302 email@example.com http://www.tuolumne.org/bayarea
Click the link above to read about the giant corporations trying to defeat California Proposition 37, which would protect consumers' right to know about genetically modified food and beverages on store shelves.
Thanks to Larry Rosenstein for sharing this item from SF Gate.
A reader recently wrote: "I am a lazy and inconsistent recycler and worry about mycarbon footprint only when I'm in the market for new shoes. Like most San Franciscans, I have the requisite green recycling bucket under my sink though am never quite sure how to line it. I know I can buy mass-produced biodegradable liner bags, but buying something simply to recycle it seems backwards." In honor of Earth Day, we offer an alternative in this simple origami project using The Chronicle, which is 100 percent compostable and printed with nontoxic ink. 1. Open up the paper, remove and recycle the inside pages. Make a right triangle by folding the bottom left corner to the top edge, flattening the fold. Cut off and recycle the extra piece. Position the triangle, so the fold is at the bottom. 2. Separate the layers at the top of the triangle and bring one side down to the bottom edge. Make a crease; unfold. This crease will be your guideline. 3. Bring the bottom left-hand corner to the right edge, aligning it with the crease. Flatten the fold. 4. Fold the right-hand corner to the left side. Flatten the fold. 5. Separate the layers of newspaper at the top. Fold one side down, pressing to flatten. 6. Turn the container over and repeat. 7. Open the completed container and adjust to fit your countertop bin. For a stronger liner, double up on the newspaper. (Earth Day Origami, SF Gate, April 22, 2012)
After we posted Recology manager Chris Porter's clarification on so-called compostable/biodegradable bags, we got the following email from reader Lori Fisher, a Pacifica resident:
Checking with Recology, I got a different answer from someone else regarding biodegradable bags. The BioBags would get caught on their sorting/moving tables. I had called asking if I could get a compost pail I had seen a neighbor using to work with my new BioBags I purchased at Costco. BTW: No compost pail is available.
Now some of what is on the box of BioBags -- Food Waste Collection Bags Certified Compostable:
"BioBags are approved by the San Francisco Department of the Environment for their food waste collection programs."
"BioBags are approved by King County Solid Waste Department for their food waste collection programs."
"This certification assures that BioBag products meet the specifications found in ASTM D6400 and will compost rapidly & safely when placed in a municipal or commercial composting facility."
"BioBag products are made from starches derived from plants, vegetable oils, and the world's first patented compostable polymer. No polyethylene is used in the production process. We are fully certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) and meet the requirements of California law regarding environmental claims of plastic bag manufacturers." (This is a USA product)
A brown bag cannot hold your greenwaste from the kitchen to your outside container without falling apart, especially when you have "wet" greens. Think of the Glad garbage bag commercial. I don't want that kind of mess to clean up. (Editor's Note: I double the bags, ordinary brown-paper sandwich sacks from Costco.)
Tell me why we cannot use these BioBags? San Francisco outlawed plastic bags but allows these special bags in its compostable waste collection.
Reading through Recology's new service guide (2012-2013), I noticed the composting instructions for organics say that compostable/biodegradable bags are not accepted. I was puzzled because ever since the composting program began last year, I have put my kitchen scraps in brown paper bags before depositing them in the green compost bin.
So I emailed Recology's Chris Porter for clarification, and she promptly replied that regular brown paper bags are okay (along with greasy cardboard takeout containers, stained pizza boxes, and waxed milk cartons), but NO specially made so-called "compostable/biodegradable" bags, which Chris says contain some plastic, rendering them UN-compostable.
Perhaps the manufacturers and sellers of these special bags need to get a wakeup call! Anybody out there in Pacifica Riptide territory want to take them on?
On average, bottled water costs 2,000 times more than tap water. (The Story of Bottled Water)
People in the U.S. buy more than half a BILLION bottles of water every week! Enough to circle the globe twice. (The Story of Bottled Water)
1/3 of all bottled water sold in the United States is repackaged tap water, including Aquafina (Pepsi Co.) and Dasani (Coca Cola). (Grist)
Plastic is made from petroleum. Making the plastic water bottles used in the U.S. in one year takes enough oil and energy to fuel a million cars. (The Story of Bottled Water)
Americans throw out 38 billion empty water bottles a year, more than $1 billion worth of plastic. (Fast Company)
80% of the single-use plastic bottles from bottled water consumed in the U.S. end up in landfills. (Surfrider Foundation)
In 1976, the average American drank 1.6 gallons of bottled water a year. In 2007, that number had increased to an average of 28.3 gallons per person. (Fast Company)
Federal and state regulations require that municipal water sources be tested for bacteria hundreds of times per month (every few hours). Bottled-water plants have to test their water once a week! (Natural Resources Defense Council)
Tap water must be tested for cryptosporidium, giardia and viruses. There is no law or regulation requiring bottled water companies to test for these parasites or viruses. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
In the U.S. alone, more than 24 billion pounds of plastic packaging is produced every year. Most of that packaging is designed for single usage, meaning it’s designed to be thrown out as soon as that package is opened. (Surfrider Foundation)
Worldwide, human beings use more than 1 trillion plastic shopping bags a year. (Surfrider Foundation)
Every reusable bag bought or distributed prevents about 400 plastic bags from being used. (Surfrider Foundation)
Every 13 plastic bags saved equals enough petroleum to drive a car one mile. (Surfrider Foundation)
We have compiled news stories about plastics, bottled water, pollution, and related issues. If you have a great article, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information provided by:
Lynn Adams President, Pacifica Beach Coalition 650.355.1668 Office 415.309.5856 Cell Monthly cleanups at four beaches and more