TerraBluTeam Practice #48

The WHAT and WHY:

Last year at this time I recommended you measure your carbon footprint on a choice of carbon calculators as preparation for our 2012 TerraBluTeam 52 weeks of sustainable practices.

This week’s practice is to measure your carbon footprint more accurately (the scientific community changed their methodology this year); note and honor what changes you have made over the year and purchase carbon credits to offset your remaining footprint.

THE HOW:

  1. Identify all the sources of carbon dioxide production in your life (transportation, travel, home energy use, consumption of non-local goods, waste management)
  2. Reduce your greenhouse gas emissions directly, your DIY offsets. (Shop at CSA’s, compost, organic garden, drive less, bike and walk more, make your home energy efficient, install solar, get to net zero)
  3. Calculate your “carbon footprint” today and compare to your December 2011 footprint. Some online calculators very in methodology so take some time to research the one best for you.
  4. Understand how offsetting works. Different offset providers balance out your carbon impact by ensuring that an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide is reduced elsewhere on the globe as a result of your purchase.
  5. Find a quality provider of carbon offsets. Be nosey, do some research. Are they certified? Make sure they meet the highest US EPA standards and that their portfolios are audited annually. Do they have a solid client list? Go for the Gold standard. Otherwise, invest locally where you can see that the greatest percentage of your offset dollar is being used for the purposes you have designated.
  6. Buy the offset and you are on your way to clean living.
  7. Offsets are a useful tool. Send the market a signal by ensuring all your shares and stocks are invested in renewable energy utilities and companies rather than fossil fuel ones.

Global warming is a crisis. It serves none of us to cry over the fact that it may cost us more than both World Wars and the Great Depression combined. In my lifetime alone, I have witnessed courage and determination resulting in increased equality for minorities and women’s rights, the end of communism, apartheid, colonial rule, polio, etc.

We can overcome the seemingly unassailable.

The future is ours to jointly create. So smile. Give your children a cause for hope while you craft your net zero lifestyle, one step at a time.

Please send us your comments and feedback!

The Deep Dive:

List of Carbon offset providers:

http://www.atmosfair.de/en/home/

http://www.climatefriendly.com

http://www.carbonfund.org

http://www.terrapass.com

http://www.nativeenergy.com

http://www.greenmountain.com/green-mountain-energy-company-store

http://www.b-e-f.org

http://www.sterlingplanet.com

Carbon footprint calculators:

http://www.wri.org/climate/safeclimate

http://www.carbonfund.org/individuals

https://www.earthlab.com/createprofile/reg.aspx

TerraBluTeam Practice #47

The WHAT and WHY:

As we approach this holiday time of year, many feel helpless and succumb to social and cultural pressures that influence our choices. Not at TerraBluTeams.

Last year, as we approached Black Friday, I suggested A Sustainable Holiday Weekend: A Buy Nothing Day, Shop Local Day and Make Something Day. In the graphic above you can recognize most all of the suggestions I made last year. This year I suggest a deeper dive.

This week’s practice is to Occupy Black Friday, in your own way, by standing up and taking back your power to influence the quadruple bottom line (Economic, Environmental, Social, Cultural).

THE HOW: (here are just a few suggestions to get the ball rolling)

  1. Say no to credit cards, buy with cash to avoid contributing to banker’s pockets and thus supporting their agendas.
  2. Boycott stores with striking workers and support picketers who favor fair labor practices.
  3. Buy local thereby decreasing GHG emissions, supporting your community and neighbors, for your own health and social connectivity.
  4. Take a deeper dive, with a friend who differs from your own cultural/spiritual holiday rituals, reaffirm your roots, extend an understanding to them AND take the opportunity to honor theirs.
  5. Give a “family gift certificate” to a family in need. Make a coupon book of services (babysitting, mowing the lawn, Sunday dinner, car wash, trip to a museum, etc.)

Please send us your comments and feedback!

The Deep Dive:

Huffington Post 11/15/12 article on Black Friday Strikers

Youtube video on Walmart strikes by labor journalist, Josh Eidelson (21 minutes) Interesting examination of Walmart’s labor “philosophy”.

Occupy Black Friday

Buy Nothing Day

Buy Nothing Day/Occupy Xmas

Small Business Saturday

TerraBluTeam Practice #46

The WHAT, WHY and HOW:

I’m not opposed to celebrating our families and community by taking a few days off from our hectic lives and relaxing in gratitude for what we have. Yet, how many of us really think about or question the mythology of the fraudulent story that is a beloved American holiday, “Thanksgiving”.

Instead of publicly stating that I was uncomfortable with the European barbarism, the conquest of our continent and the genocide of my ancestors, I would sit at Thanksgiving tables of family and friends for decades and stuff my moral response to injustice and inequality down my throat along with every delicious bite from the table.

Last year in TerraBlu Thanksgiving I suggested better sustainable practices in food, social and environmentally responsible choices.

 In this year of 2012, I celebrate unthanksgiving. This does not mean I am ungrateful, that I do not still love my family and friends, I just choose to disconnect from the holiday collective denial of Americans celebrating European conquest and genocide. This year I’ve decided to disengage and explain why to all the people who invited me. I’m sure I will alienate some; however, this is my choice. Yours might be different.

Here’s the thing, once you know the facts about something, what do you do?

The moral response is truth and reconciliation. What do we do in a world that is not yet ready to know or knows and won’t deal with the consequences of that knowledge? Sound familiar? (As in climate change.)

You either engage or disengage.

All these questions brought me back to why I founded Terrabluteams.org. How do we change human behavior in order to become sustainable?

And by sustainable I mean, how do we responsibly make cultural, economic, social and environmental choices?

The answer, although simple, is difficult to put into practice: Speak honestly and often, make informed choices, resist conventional wisdom, reject cultural amnesia, and refuse to be polite when it means surrender to lies.

How will I un-celebrate Thanksgiving? I will take a long walk in nature, meditate on my choice and the choices others have made, practice non-violence towards others, and eat a meal of organic food from my garden.

I will miss some friends and family, sure. But this year, I’ll let the parades pass me by.

This week’s practice is to engage or disengage “once you know”. Do the math, find your own facts, connect the dots, and re-calibrate your sustainable compass. Be a fountain, not a drain.

Please send us your comments and feedback!

The Deep Dive:

350.org “DO THE MATH” climate change tour, Boston, 11/15

Unthanksgiving Day

Last year’s Unthanksgiving Day of Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Gathering at Alcatraz

The National Day of Mourning overlooking Plymouth Rock