Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Join the Earth Month Plastic-Free Challenge

Join the Earth Month Plastic-Free Challenge

Looking for another way to reduce your carbon footprint or further travel the path of sustainability this Earth Month? Well consider the Earth Month Plastic-Free Challenge.

The goal of the Earth Month Plastic-Free Challenge is to increase awareness of and to avoid single-use products. The challenge is sponsored by EcoSuperhero, which showcases and uplifts positive universities, businesses, nonprofits and musicians who are making strides toward sustainability, and Earth Friendly Products, which offers more than 150 of the most effective plant-based green cleaners.

Earth Friendly Products and EcoSuperhero are challenging colleges and students, as well as their local communities, to eliminate single-use products—including plastic bags, utensils, straws, water bottles, paper towels and take-out containers—during the month of April.

Although we are half way through Earth Month, your 30-day challenge begins once the pledge is taken, so sign up any day of the month. EcoSuperhero and Earth Friendly Products suggest keeping a calendar of your success. Each week, those who accept the challenge will be automatically entered to win an Earth Friendly Products Safeguard Your Home Kit.

There are six simple steps to get you living a sustainable lifestyle on-the-go:

DAY  1–5

ACT: Refuse single-use plastic bags for 5 days in a row.

FACT: The average person uses 500 plastic bags per year, so by doing your part the planet will be a much healthier place to live.

DAY  6–10

ACT: Refuse single-use utensils for 5 days in a row. 

Remember to continue refusing all single-use plastic bags during these 5 days as well.

FACT: Millions of plastic forks, knives and spoons are used every single day, so by doing your part our oceans will be much cleaner.

DAY  11–15

ACT: Refuse single-use paper towels for 5 days in a row.

Remember to continue refusing all single-use plastic bags and utensils during these 5 days as well.

FACT: The average person uses 3,000 paper towels every year, which adds up to a huge impact on our landfills over time.

DAY  16–20

ACT: Refuse single-use plastic straws for 5 days in a row.

Remember to continue refusing all single-use plastic bags, utensils and paper towels during these 5 days as well.

FACT: The average person uses 550 plastic straws every year, which don’t get recycled and end up polluting our oceans and environment.

DAY  21–25

ACT: Refuse single-use plastic water bottles for 5 days in a row. 

Remember to continue refusing all single-use plastic bags, utensils, paper towels and plastic straws during these 5 days as well.

FACT: The average person uses 500 plastic water bottles every year, which use twice the amount of water to produce and end up breaking down into small tiny particles in our oceans where fish mistakenly eat it as food.

DAY  26–30

ACT: Refuse single-use take out and leftover containers for 5 days in a row.

Remember to continue refusing all single-use plastic bags, utensils, paper towels, plastic straws and plastic water bottles during these 5 days as well.

FACT: Millions of take out and leftover containers are used every day, which adds up to a huge environmental impact on our landfills over time.

The following higher education institutions have already taken the one-month pledge: UCLA, USC, UT Austin, Santa Monica City College, Marymount California, University of Utah, Dickinson University, University of Central Oklahoma and Loyola University Chicago.

Be part of the solution to live a more sustainable lifestyle.



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A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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