Tesla Model 3 Leads Record Electrical Vehicle Sales in January 2018

The party line that renewable are bad for the economy just doesn’t hold any merit. There’s nothing but growth and demand in EV and renewables, and the only thing that seems to stand in the way are divisive politics out of Washington.

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For those concerned about human-caused climate change, electrical vehicles and the batteries that their engines derive stored energy from are a key innovation. These zero emissions platforms stand to potentially replace more than a billion internal combustion engines — each dumping about three tons of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere every year. Moreover, the powerful batteries in these cars can be used to store electricity generated by renewable sources. Making clean energy available 24/7 despite hours of darkness and lulls in the wind periodically sapping generation.

(In this National Renewable Energy Laboratory study, the most rapid carbon emissions reductions were achieved in scenarios where large-scale EV deployment was combined with wholesale replacement of coal, oil, and gas fired electricity generation with renewable sources like wind and solar.)

Recognizing the climate-saving potential of this clean tech, nations have pledged to rapidly transition vehicle fleets away from fossil fuel burning automobiles…

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Porn

I’m holding my breath that this post makes it way to publication before my laptop is consumed by viruses and pop-ups associated with sleazy XXX websites.

There are a lot of images out there that stimulate the senses. All kinds of kinds. The trite old saying goes,

“A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Here are MY go-tos.

#JarPorn

I loves me some jar porn! A collection of coordinated, neatly labeled, and aesthetically

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After: One year later

arranged jars containing dried and preserved goods really makes my heart leap and a coo escape from my lips. Bookend those glass cylinders, I might just moan!

My favorite thing about jar porn is what it symbolizes: the beauty of less plastic waste. Jars epitomize Lily’s mantra that something green can be functional, good for the environment, as well as beautiful.

A collection of jars in your arsenal will have you ready for a whole host of actives, from shopping in bulk, grabbing a cup of coffee, storing leftovers, art projects,

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Before

just to name a few.

Here’s my pantry. Its not something you’ll find on Pinterest and if you look closely, you’ll find some boxes of mac ‘n cheese and cans of tomatoes. But its a real-life family pantry, and its come oh so far!

As you can see, jars collected from thrift shops and captured from the recycling bin, coupled by a commitment to bulk shopping really rounded out my shelves from a year ago.

#PlasticSucks

I don’t claim to be a plastic-free Saint, and I do have some plastic habits that just won’t die. Whenever I stray from my jars to single-use plastics, I like to remind myself of what I’m doing to the planet. Pictures of nasty plastic porn are most effective.

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Plastic is made from fossil fuels and never, ever goes away. All plastic ever made is still on this earth, in plastic form. It is so very ingrained into our daily lives.

Its hard to discount its versatility and usefulness. It saves lives, the monetary cost is low, and its relatively light and less carbon-intensive to ship when you compare it to heftier glass, wood, or metal counterparts. img

Unlike glass or metal, plastic is rarely recycled and turned into something else. That feel-good feeling you get from tossing that jug into the bin with chasing arrows is really a false sense of accomplishment. Over 90% of plastic is not recycled. Period. So it sits in a landfill or gets washed out to sea.

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Beach plastic and styrofoam

#ClimateChange

These images are much less cutesy. Depictions of climate change, and they are happening in in subtle and not-so subtle ways around the globe. Here are a few from my last family vacation.

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January 5th ski conditions in the high Sierra Nevada mountains. The park remained open, thanks to manufactured snow.
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A bark beetle infested Ponderosa pine. Bark beetle living conditions are improving thanks to the effects of man-made climate change.

I don’t really need to look at images and videos of asphalt melting, drought stricken farmland, refugee news, mudslides, hurricane swept islands, wildfires, or polar bears balancing on ice cubes to know what scientists are reporting and predicting about the climate is a conservative reality, an underestimation of the effects of what’s to come. I little visual, however, does remind me of everything that is a stake.

 

 

 

A Load of Crap and How to Flush it

I’ve been talking to my almost 5 year old about how to tell if something is alive or not. Which culminated in me rolling around laughing (on the inside, of course) when I told her that poop in a toilet needs to be flushed and she agreed with me as she reasoned that a toilet needs to eat poop or it will die because its alive.

Well here are two pieces of “Recycled/Recyclable- Printed with Vegetable Oil Based Inks on 100% Postconsumer, Process Chlorine Free Recycled Paper” that you can take straight to the recycling can. Or wipe your ass with and feed to the toilet if you find yourself high and dry and your toilet is hungry.  Continue reading

A Renewed Start in 2018

IMG_5051Looking back at 2017, my goals for reducing my family’s carbon footprint didn’t go exactly as planned. We did make some meaningful changes and adjustments to how we live our daily lives, but not every change stuck. We started the year off strong, but lost steam and motivation as the year went on (isn’t that the way most resolutions and New Year goals go?). Life got busy, my baby turned into a toddler, we went on a long summer vacation, I broke my wrist, blah blah blah… Continue reading

Oops – Cheers to 2018

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How does one hit publish and have an entire post disappear? Of course this would happen to me. Especially considering getting here has been a struggle given the chaos of the holidays with a big dollop of new baby who prefers to sleep attached to me. I’ve called it my “maternity leave” and am finally coming out of the smog since our journey to see the giant sequoias filled me with fresh air and a fresh perspective.

The holiday hangover was real this year. Theodore arrived early November and then the chaos of the holidays hit. I was bound and determined to not let it get to me, but a mix of hormonal uncertainty and holiday anxiety is not really a recipe for success. I absolutely voted with my dollars, but issues like wrapping paper, battling the awful plastic fight with those horrific gifts from family that refuse to respect our lifestyle, resisting the urge to buy more things because it has been ingrained in my head since I was a wee tot, and making sure that that capitalist Santa guy was bringing my kids enough “stuff” haunted me.  I did manage to find everything on the big guys list used and no one new the difference. For the 26 kiddos on my list I purchased books from our local bookstore and opted for some jammies made of soft organic cotton and not made in China. For wrapping paper I made reusable fabric bags from scraps of fabric left over from old projects, this was a bit ambitious and I’m not sure I can recommend this for a new mom next year.  We also hosted a vegetarian nearly gift-less Christmas Eve and it was quite lovely. We didn’t master the art of refusing, still having a hard time convincing my husband on that one, so in our bathtub you will find a peeing plastic baby doll and a plastic singing tea cart in the box in our living room (I keep trying to trade that one for something less hideous). How do people avoid these things? I can’t imagine Jess Brown, Simone LeBlanc or  Erica Tanov deal with singing plastic hideousness, what is your secret???? (these are my lifestyle crushes in you are unfamiliar 🙂 )

2018 Started out better than 2017 ended though. We had to cancel our vegetarian new years brunch due to a kid with a horrifically high fever, but soon after we jumped in the car and found ourselves in an amazing coniferous forest filled with emerald moss, eggplant bark, rusty needles, and the most amazing trees I’d ever seen. I didn’t realize this was a bucket list item for me, but it totally was. If you haven’t been, go, go now!  The kids loved it too. Don’t get me wrong there was a fair share of four-year old complaining, but once we discovered the trees and gave them the space to actually play amongst them Missy’s daughter screamed out “there’s so much to do here!” while running in and out of a hollowed tree. We might be doing something right after all. Fingers crossed.

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I felt incredibly small standing next to these ginormous beings. Standing there looking up I couldn’t help but be perplexed that my small self could have a greater and devastating impact on the environment to the point of harm of these spectacles. That hardly seems right and fair. It really put into perspective how important it is to change. I’ve gotten so many questions about whether or not I will continue on this journey and honestly there is no way I could ever go back. I will never shop the same, or eat without consideration of the journey but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I learned so much last year and feel I can only go forward from here. We plan to continue our 2017 resolutions but take them a bit farther and continue to add to them. For example  instead of just giving up beef I am becoming a ceremonial omnivore. I am only eating meat on special occasions and exploring the world of vegan cuisine. The native people didn’t eat meat everyday and neither should we.

More items to tackle in 2018:

Finally build that curated closet, once my waistline goes back to normal of course 🙂

Putting all the investment research to play, and donating to more organizations that are truly doing their part in action and education.

Getting more political. This I am least excited about, but last year I learned this is the most important one, so alas here I come.

Continue to instill these values in my kids. This may be the most important one.

Hold my community accountable. Why are the public schools not composting? Why are there only trash receptacles at the park? Why are some places still giving out plastic bags? Come on, we call ourselves a “green city” but really??

Shop less, but when I do shop shop small. Period.

Make this process more beautiful. Being more ecologically minded doesn’t have to be granola and frankly it won’t appeal to the masses if it is. How can I make these everyday small steps be Pinterest ready? If its beautiful more people will join in. #jarporn

And the list will keep growing and growing. In 2018 we must keep moving, time is running out. Will you makes some changes for the better this year? Will you join us? You don’t have to make your own laundry soap, but maybe instead of buying Tide in plastic you can change to something eco-friendly in cardboard? Or even better hit up the bulk section? If we all make small changes it makes a big difference, don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Please.

Letter to the Editor

My first attempt to write a letter to the editor was published! I’m a little shocked, but thrilled nonetheless.

IMG_0168Inspired by our Black Friday family outing downtown (I displayed my charging station comments in my post here) to check out the free electric vehicle charging stations, I drafted a quick letter to the editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. I was pleasantly surprised to find it in today’s opinion section. Check it out here! Continue reading