Environmental Working Group – Tips from the IFFP Weekly Bulletin

DATE

IFFP ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG):

STEWARDSHIP TIPS IN IFFP BULLETIN  (2019-2020)

Sept. 12, 2019

IFFP ENVIRONMENTAL SURVEY

 

As part of our GreenFaith certification, the IFFP Household Environmental Footprint and Opinion Survey was issued this past Spring. Thanks to 30 families for responding (almost 30% of our membership)!  Selected responses include: 

1) 100% of responders “agreed that the issues of environmental protection and climate change are serious or extremely serious,”

2) 93% of responders “agreed or strongly agreed that collectively, we must wake up and take actions rapidly to heal and restore the environment,”  and 

3) 61% of responders were “interested in participating in collaborating on environmental issues with other faith/spiritual institutions in our community/region.”  

–  For more survey details CLICK HERE.

Sept. 19, 2019

EWG BOOK RECOMMENDATION

 

The Environmental Working Group is recommending the book below for IFFP Fall reading. We will schedule a discussion date later in the year. Enjoy and learn. The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene. 

Sept. 26, 2019

ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) READINGS

This year, the EWG will read the following books.  Book discussions will be held outside of IFFP.  Dates and times for book discussions to be announced.

  • Abstract: Tracing our environmental impact through time to reveal when humans began to dominate Earth, scientists Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin masterfully show what the new epoch means for all of us.
  • Spring reading (coincides with Earth Day):  The Overstory by Richard Powers (reserve your library copy or buy on Amazon)
    • o   Abstract: A novel of activism and natural-world power presents interlocking fables about nine remarkable strangers who are summoned in different ways by trees for an ultimate, brutal stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest.
    Oct. 3, 2019

    EWG: CLIMATE STRIKES

     

    Environmental Working Group: Climate activists fighting for a just world and an end to the era of fossil fuels

    • Climate Strikes:
    • From Sept. 20th – 27th, 2019, a record 7.6 million people (including some IFFP members) took to the streets to strike for climate action, marking the largest climate mobilization in history.
    • On Sept. 20th, 4 million people around the globe participated in climate strikes, marking the largest single-day of climate change demonstrations in history.  Inspired by the weekly climate strikes of 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, the youth-led/organized demonstrations included over 5,000 local actions in 163 countries and on every continent.
  • Greta’s recent UN speech:  On Sept. 23, 2019, climate activist Greta Thurnburg delivered this impassioned speech at the opening of the United Nations Climate Action Summit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v33ro5lGHQg&feature=youtu.be
  • Oct. 10, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG): 

    GREENING OUR WORLD WITH COMMUNITY SOLAR ELECTRICITY CHOICES

     

    Whether you’re a renter or owner, you can help create a clean-energy future by supporting 100% solar power with Community Solar. Join a nearby solar farm that produces energy on your behalf and helps create a better environment for future generations.

    • Neighborhood SunAbout 10% of IFFP members (11 families) signed up for Neighborhood Sun’s community solar electricity last year, including Rev. Julia and her husband, Randy Gibson. These families will save 10% on their electric bills for the first contract year and 5% on the remaining years. Randy just visited our solar farm. Although the Panorama (Pepco) solar farm is fully subscribed, two BGE solar farms are seeking subscribers. Or, see the Clean Choice Energy Pepco opportunity below.
  • Clean Choice Energy.
  • Community Solar.
    • You could save up to 10% on your electric bill. No changes to your relationship with PEPCO.
    • No upfront costs or payments. No equipment, installation, or maintenance.
    • Link to community solar in MD.
    • Link to community solar in DC.

    For more information on IFFP’s EWG, click here.

     

    Oct. 17, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP — GREENING OUR WORLD WITH FOOD JUSTICE

     

    Each week IFFP members drink “Fellowship Blend Coffee,” a sustainable, organic, fair-trade coffee from Equal Exchange.

    • Equal Exchange is a coop. Instead of being owned by a big global conglomerate, Equal Exchange is owned by its workers.
    • Equal Exchange also buys coffee, chocolate, and other products from small-scale farmers who are members of cooperatives.
    • October is fair-trade month. Equal Exchange has focused on food justice in the U.S.
    • African American farmers have surmounted numerous obstacles to keep their family land and make farming profitable.
    • Read about Shirley Sherrod and New Communities Inc. – the first community land trust in the U.S. – and their hard work over 50 years in the poorest, most rural counties in Georgia.
    • Shop for Equal Exchange coffee, chocolate, tea, gifts, and more.

    For more information on IFFP’s EWGclick here.

     

    Also from the EWG:  IFFP GOES GREEN – NEIGHBORHOOD SUN

    As mentioned at last week’s Adult Sunday school, several IFFP families (in the PEPCO coverage area) have signed up to get their electricity from a solar farm built on top of a landfill in PG county. We just learned that there may be are a few openings for additional subscribers. This is a win-win situation with no increase in your electricity rates.

     

    If interested in signing up, please use this link.

    Oct. 24, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD

    WEED WARRIOR WORKDAY AT SLIGO CREEK PARK

     

    On Sat., Nov. 23rd, from 9 – 11 a.m., please join members of IFFP’s EWG and Weed Warrior Supervisor Greg Odegaarden as we care for our parkland with an invasive plant removal workday at Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park in Silver Spring.

    • What is the impact of invasive species?
    • o In forests, non-native, invasive vines can strangle and smother trees.
    • o Non-native, invasive shrubs can displace and shade out native plants that provide birds and other wildlife with food and shelter.
  • What should I wear and bring?
    • o Please wear long pants, long sleeves, and sturdy, closed-toed shoes. Bring gloves, pruners, and loppers if you have them. Gloves and tools are available to borrow if you don’t have your own. No power tools allowed.
  • This workday is pre-approved for MCPS SSL hours. Volunteers under 16 are not permitted to use tools and must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
  • As this event is for teens and adults, it may not be appropriate for some of your household members. We have planned a Rock Creek stream and park cleanup for the whole family on Sunday, March 22, 2020, after Sunday School with a rain/snow date of March 29.  More details will be forthcoming closer to the date.
  • Link for more information
  • Oct. 31, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) –

    GREENING OUR WORLD BY ADDRESSING PLASTICS POLLUTION


    Our oceans are facing a plastic crisis!
     Recently, a dead baby sea turtle washed ashore in Florida with 104 pieces of plastic in its stomach. A dead young sperm whale washed ashore in Italy after ingesting 48 pounds of plastic.

    Tiny microplastics have pervaded the entire food chain
    , from plankton to people, appearing in rainwater and snow-and their effects are largely unknown.

    A recent study found that each of us is likely ingesting a credit card’s worth of plastic particles every week. 

    Our consumer-driven throwaway mentality: Much plastic pollution comes from single-use items like polystyrene cups, take-out containers, straws, and plastic shopping bags. Once dumped, these items stay in our environment for centuries.

    • We must reduce our reliance on single-use plastics, and reuse, recycle, and compost the rest.
    • Look for glass or aluminum alternatives when you shop.
    • See the NPR article on plastics that are recyclable, those that are not, and why.
    Nov. 7, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD


    Weed Warrior Workday at Sligo Creek Park

    On Sat., Nov. 23rd, from 9 – 11 a.m., please join members of IFFP’s EWG and Weed Warrior Supervisor Greg Odegaarden as we care for our parkland with an invasive plant removal workday at Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park in Silver Spring.

    • Impact of invasive speciesNon-native, invasive vines can strangle trees. Invasive shrubs displace native plants that provide food and shelter for birds and other wildlife.
    • What to wear and bringWear long pants, long sleeves, and sturdy, closed-toed shoes. Bring gloves, pruners, and loppers if you have them. Gloves and tools are available to borrow if you don’t have your own. No power tools allowed.
    • SSL hours: This workday is pre-approved for MCPS SSL hours. Volunteers under 16 are not permitted to use tools and must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
    • Teen and Adults:  This event is for teens and adults and may not be appropriate for some of your household members. A Rock Creek stream and park cleanup is planned for the whole family on Sunday, March 22, 2020, after IFFP. Details TBD.

    Fall readingThe Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene (available on Amazon). Tracing our environmental impact through time to reveal when humans began to dominate Earth, scientists Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin masterfully show what the new epoch means for all of us. Our actions have driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our home planet’s 4.5-billion year history a single species is dictating Earth’s future.

    Fire Drill Fridays: Join activist Jane Fonda and former IFFP member [   ] for Fire Drill Fridays to address climate change. Rallies are from 11am-12pm, on the southeast lawn of the Capitol Building, across from the Library of Congress. If you cannot attend, Jane Fonda’s outstanding online teach-ins are live Thursdays 7pm.

    Nov. 14, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD

     

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP WILL LAUNCH

    2019-20 IFFP Environmental Themes and Preliminary Goals

    Theme 1: Water & Earth Care (Water, Gardens, Pollinators, Trees, Composting, Invasives and others)

    Theme 2: Home Energy (Electricity, Gas, Lights, Insulation and others)

    Theme 3: Transportation (Vehicles, Transit and Walking)

    Theme 4: Food & Containers (Food, Beverages, Plastics, Recycling)

    Theme 5: Spirit & Community (Curriculum, Worship, Rituals, Outreach)

     

    Weed Warrior Workday at Sligo Creek Park
    On Sat., Nov. 23rd, from 9 – 11 a.m., join IFFP’s EWG and Weed Warrior Supervisor Greg Odegaarden for an invasive plant removal workday at Sligo Creek Stream Valley Park in Silver Spring.

    • Wear long pants, long sleeves, and sturdy, closed-toed shoes. Bring gloves, pruners, and loppers if you have them. Gloves and tools are available to borrow. No power tools allowed.
    • Pre-approved for MCPS SSL hours. Volunteers under 16 are not permitted to use tools and must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
    • This event is for teens and adults and may not be appropriate for some household members.

     

     

    Nov. 21, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD

     

    IFFP Members Water and Earth Care Follow-up 

    • Do you compost?
    • Do you take 4 min. or less showers?
    • Have you reduced your water use?

     

    To receive the GreenFaith water and earth care tips, email Randy G.

    Please let the EWG know if you have taken these or any other GreenFaith Steps.  Note cards are available in GreenFaith basket at the IFFP Welcome table to report: action(s) taken, your name, and date(s) Cards will be collected weekly to be periodically reported back to community.


    Weed Warrior Workday at Sligo Creek Park. Click for more info
    Fall readingThe Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene. Click for more info

    Nov. 28, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD

     

    • What green steps have you taken? Please submit weekly any Green Steps taken on note cards at the Welcome Table:
    • o 1) Family name, 2) Date(s), and 3) Action(s) taken.
    • o EWG will collect cards and periodically report progress to our community.
  • Fall reading: “The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene.” Tracing our environmental impact through time to when humans began to dominate Earth, scientists Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin show how our actions have driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history, one species is dictating Earth’s future.
  • Dec. 5, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD

     

    • The EWG Shopping ListThis year, give green gifts that show love for others and our planet. See the list here.   
    • Sustainably Grown Christmas Trees Cut to Order: Naturally grown trees without herbicides, pesticides, or artificial colors. Prices range from $20 – 125 a tree at:  http://www.lickingcreekbendfarm.com
    • What Green Steps Have You Taken? Please fill out cards at the welcome table.
    • Fall reading: The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropoceneby Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin. Tracing our environmental impact through time. Our actions have driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our planet’s 4.5-billion year history, a single species is dictating Earth’s future.
    Dec. 12, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD

     

    • The EWG Shopping ListThis year, give green gifts that show love for others and our planet. See the list here.  
    • Sustainably Grown Christmas Trees Cut to Order: Naturally grown trees without herbicides, pesticides, or artificial colors here.
    • Shout Out to the [   ] Family!for buying a Tesla electric car. Email progress on your green steps to Randi Field.
    • Fall reading: The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropoceneby Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin. Tracing our environmental impact through time. Our actions have driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our planet’s 4.5-billion-year history, one species is dictating Earth’s future. EWG listserve:  Email Randi (above) to be added to the EWG listserve.
    • Visit the EWG Web page here.
    Dec. 19, 2019

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD

     

    • Shout Out to the [  ] Family!: For giving the gift of oxygen and planting 5 trees in honor of Rev. Julia & Everyone at IFFP at: https://teamtrees.org
    • The EWG Shopping ListThis year, give green gifts that show love for others and our planet. See the list here.
    • Eco-friendly gift wrapping ideas to help reduce tons of waste
    • Shout Out to the [   ] Family!for buying two hybrids. Email progress on your green steps to Randi Field.
    • Fall reading: The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropoceneby Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin. The environmental impact of our actions has driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our planet’s 4.5-billion year history, one species is dictating Earth’s future.
    • Visit the EWG Web page.
    Jan. 2, 2020

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD

     

    • Fighting climate change will take all of us so that our grandkids can survive.  What can you do to slow the climate crisis?
    • Replace all lightbulbs with LEDs. Get 3 free LED bulbs at the EWG environmental fair on Feb. 9th.
    • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to watch TV for 3 hours.
    • Replacing a hamburger with a chicken sandwich is like reducing your commute by 13 miles.
    • Buy a hybrid or electric car.
    • Grow your own vegetables so you don’t have to drive to the store as much.
  • What Green Steps Have You Taken? Monthly Green Steps Round-up: The EWG will collect your recent Green Steps on the first Sunday Service each month. Please fill out note cards at the welcome table: Name, Date, Action (or email to Randi Field at scribers@verizon.net.)
  • Fall reading: The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropoceneby Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin. The environmental impact of our actions has driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our planet’s 4.5-billion year history, one species is dictating Earth’s future.
  • Jan. 9, 2020

    THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD

     

    • Teflon’s Dirty Details: A class of hazardous chemicals known as PFAS, or “forever chemicals” is rapidly contaminating water and people across the U.S. These chemicals are used in cookware, clothing, and food packaging, and have been linked to serious health effects, like hormone disruption and cancer.

    Film: PFAS chemicals are the subject of “Dark Waters,” a film based on the true story of environmental lawyer Rob Bilott who took on DuPont after he uncovered evidence the company knowingly dumped toxic PFAS chemicals into drinking water in and around Parkersburg, W.Va.

    Green tip: Switch to Teflon-free cookware (e.g., The Stone Earth Pan by Ozeri).

    • Shout out to the [  ] family! For switching to teflon-free cookware and signing up for community solar with Neighborhood Sun.
    • EWG Fair: On Feb. 9th, the EWG will host an environmental fair. Bring 3 old light bulbs to swap for 3 free LED bulbs.
    • Book Discussion this Saturday: We will discuss “The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene,” by Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin. The environmental impact of our actions has driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our planet’s 4.5-billion year history, one species is dictating Earth’s future.
    Jan. 16, 2020
    THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD
     
    • EWG Fair: On Feb. 9th, the EWG will host an environmental fair on GreenFaith, solar electricity, lighting, electric cars, composting, and water and rainscapes. Bring 3 old light bulbs (incandescent and/or CFLs) to swap for 3 free LED bulbs. Press release coming soon!
    • Shout out to Rabbi Debbie: For switching to LED bulbs, using a smart (NEST) thermostat, recycling plastic bags when shopping, plus other actions.
    • The Overstory: Our next book selection is “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers. Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the novel is about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests. Reserve your library copy for an April book discussion.
    • How to Stop Freaking Out and Tackle Climate Change
    • Divesting from Fossil Fuels: Did you know that banks, asset managers, and insurance companies are funding, insuring, and investing in climate destruction?

    ·       Top offenders: Chase, Black Rock, and Liberty Mutual (https://www.stopthemoneypipeline.com/)

    ·       Worst banks: Chase, Citi Bank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo

    ·       Green tip: Switch to Amalgamated Bank

     
     
    Jan. 23, 2020
    THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD
     

    ·       EWG Fair: On Feb. 9th, the EWG will host an environmental fair on GreenFaith, solar electricity, lighting, EV cars, composting, water and rainscapes, and becoming active. Bring 3 old light bulbs (incandescent and/or CFLs) to swap for 3 free LED bulbs.  See Press Release.

    ·       Shout out to [    ] family who compost daily, mulch in season, take public transportation and shorter showers.

    ·       The Overstory: Our next book selection is “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers. Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the novel is about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests.  Reserve your library copy for an April book discussion.

    ·       Solar energy breakthrough:  Heliogen, a clean energy company startup, backed by Bill Gates, is rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and not make CO2 emissions.  

     
    Jan. 30, 2020
    THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD
    • EWG Fair: On Feb. 9th, the EWG will host an environmental fair on GreenFaith, solar electricity, lighting, EV cars, composting, water and rainscapes, and becoming active. Bring 3 old light bulbs (incandescent and/or CFLs) to swap for 3 free LED bulbs.  See Press Release.
    • Shout out to the [    ] Family:  For composting and only running the dishwasher and clothes washer when full.
    • The Overstory: Our next book selection is “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers. Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the novel is about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests. April discussion date TBD.
    • Religious Leaders to Hogan: Keep Your Moral Promise on Climate Change: Faith leaders are alarmed that Gov. Hogan is breaking his promise to uphold the Paris climate agreement. We must stop digging up oil, coal, and natural gas to power our economy, and turn to energy from the sun, wind, ocean tides, and sustainable farm crops. And we must do it fast!  Link.
    •  Survey shows that more Americans are alarmed by global warming than ever before.
    Feb. 6, 2020
    SUNDAY’S GATHERING: TU B’SHVAT

    Join us for a wonderful and fun Tu B’shvat Gathering this Sunday. Rabbi Debbie will share new prayers, songs, and stories about the Jewish New Year for Trees. The reflection will be given by Gary Gardner of GreenFaith.org, he is a researcher, writer, and speaker on global sustainability issues who will also be joining us for the Environmental Fair.

    THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) – GREENING OUR WORLD

    ·       EWG Fair: On Sunday, the EWG will host an environmental fair on GreenFaith, solar electricity, lighting, electric cars, composting, and water and rainscapes. Bring 3 old light bulbs (incandescent and/or CFLs) to swap for 3 free LED bulbs.  See press release.

    ·       Shout out to the [    ] Family:  For replacing their leaky air conditioner with a high-efficiency replacement and signing up for community solar.

    ·       The Overstory: Our next book selection is “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers. Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the novel is about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests. April discussion date TBD.

    ·       Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement and the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate: “In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other.

    ·        That time is now.”

    Feb. 13, 2020
    THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) – GREENING OUR WORLD
     

    Thanks for participating in IFFP’s 1st Environmental Fair last week. Hope you had fun and learned practical steps to care for our environment. For further information, please click on the links below:

     

    Green Faith – Because the Earth and all people are sacred and at risk, GreenFaith is building a global, multi-faith climate and environmental movement.

    Interfaith Power and Light – Inspires and mobilizes people of faith and conscience to take bold and just action on climate change.

    Montgomery County Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions (MCFACS) – Unites people of faith to help solve the climate emergency that is disrupting and threatening life on Earth

    Solar United Neighbors – A national organization dedicated to providing consumer-friendly information on community solar options.

    Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake – Ignites the power of faith communities in the Chesapeake Bay region to honor all of Creation by working together to protect and restore our shared watershed.

    Electric Vehicle Association of Greater DC– An organization of electric vehicle owners, educators and enthusiasts dedicated to promoting the use of electric vehicles (EVs) as an environmental and energy benefit to society.

    Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP): LED light bulb swap and information on rainscapes, planting native trees, energy efficiency and incentives.

    Compost Crew:  Provides weekly service to residents, businesses, communities, and municipalities.

    Other Environmental & Justice Organizations to consider

     
    Feb.20, 2020
    THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD
    • Kids and Climate Change: Are Your Kids Stressed Out About the Climate Crisis?: How to Help
    • Kellogg Commits to Protect Forests and Human Rights Defenders: As the global climate crisis worsens and deforestation and human rights abuses continue growing, multinational corporations must make ambitious commitments to address these issues. Kellogg Company just released one of the most comprehensive palm oil and deforestation policies to date; including being the first company to include protections for human rights defenders. Read more
    • Extinction Rebellion at March 1st Adult Group: Please join our guest speaker from Extinction Rebellion on March 1st.
    • The Overstory: Our next book selection is “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers. Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and NY Times bestseller, the novel is about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests. April discussion date TBD. All are welcome.
    Feb. 27, 2020
    THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD
    • Extinction Rebellion: Please join our Adult Group on Sunday with guest speaker, Ellen McSweeney, from Extinction Rebellion, an international movement that uses non-violent civil disobedience to halt mass extinction (1 billion animals estimated dead in the Australia fires) and minimize the risk of social collapse. Friends and family are welcome.
    • Vision: “Our duty is to create a world fit for the next seven generations to live in.”
    • Why we rebel: “We have just this one flickering instant to vouchsafe the future.”
    • Where is your plan?
    • About XR

     

    • GreenSteps: Families, please pick up your copy of the Home Energy Checklist at the IFFP Tree table and fill out a notecard with recent GreenSteps your family has taken.

     

    • Chase Update: On Feb. 24th, JPMorgan Chase announced a fossil fuel policy ending funding of coal and Arctic oil and gas projects. This is a major step forward, but Chase must immediately stop financing tar sands mines and pipelines, and companies building new fossil fuel infrastructure.
  • Takoma Park’s bold climate proposal: Banning fossil fuels
  • COA CLASS AND EWG LEAD PARK CLEAN-UP ON MARCH 23RD 
    Join the COA class and the EWG in a stream and park clean-up at Rock Creek Stream Valley Park (8-minute drive from IFFP) on March 22 after IFFP from 12:30-3:00 with a rain/snow date of March 29. Materials will be available for use- gloves, trash grabbers, and bags for recyclables or garbage. Show your love for the Earth!!
    March 5, 2020
    THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD
    • Extinction Rebellion (XR) video: Last Sunday, Ellen McSweeney, with XR, gave a critical discussion on our climate crisis. Click here for more information.
    • The Overstory: Our spring book selection is “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers. Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and NY Times bestseller, the novel is about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests. Join the EWG book discussion on Sat., April 18th, from 10 am – noon, at the Kraus-Jakobsberg home.
    • Tell Big US Banks That Arctic Drilling Is Bad Business: Tell U.S. banks that bankrolling Arctic drilling threatens Indigenous human rights and our climate.
    • · Solar co-op with Solar United (SU):
    • o Currently, no open co-ops in Montgomery County, but SU plans to launch one in April/May. Sign up on the waitlist.
    • o Arlington is launching again soon. Waitlist.
    • o Nothing going on in DC right now.
    • o Folks interested in getting expert advice and assistance as they go solar on their own, can become a member.
    March 12, 2020
    THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG) — GREENING OUR WORLD
    • Extinction Rebellion (XR): On March 1st, Ellen McSweeney, with XR, discussed our climate crisis.
    • The Overstory on 4/18: Our spring book is “The Overstory,” by Richard Powers. Winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and NY Times bestseller, the novel is about nine Americans whose unique life experiences with trees bring them together to address the destruction of forests. Join our discussion on Sat., April 18th, from 10 am – noon, at the Kraus-Jakobsberg home.
    • Fantastic Fungi: EWG members enjoyed movie night at the AFI learning how fungi can save the planet.
    • Tell Blackrock to stop funding deforestation: Fight rainforest destruction. Tell BlackRock to stop financing companies that slash forests.
    • Join the EWG listserve: Contact Randi Field at: scribers@verizon.net.
    April 2nd and 9th, 2020
    Environmental Working Group (EWG) Events

    ·       April 19th: Zero Waste Presentation on Zoom: On April 19th at 4 pm (the Sunday before Earth Day), the EWG will host a Zoom adult group on “Zero Waste” with Amy Maron, the Zero Waste Lead for the Montgomery County Sierra Club Group. Amy will use Sierra Club’s Zoom account to show slides. Randi Field will send the link to the IFFP and EWG list serves before the meeting.

    ·       The Overstory Book Discussion on Zoom: The EWG discussion of “The Overstory” is postponed.  Zoom date TBD.

    April 16, 2020

    Environmental Working Group (EWG) Earth Day Events

     

    • Zero Waste Presentation on April 19th at 4pm:  The EWG will host a discussion on “Zero Waste.”  Amy Maron, Zero Waste Lead for Sierra Club Montgomery County Group, will discuss the county’s waste management system and how recycling is not the only answer to our waste problem. Amy has a 20-year career in public policy, including as a Washington, D.C. representative for Sierra Club, environmental legislative assistant and special projects director for U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), a GAO analyst, and a policy consultant for several national environmental organizations.
    • Plastics Wars on PBS (Please watch)https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/plastic-wars/
    • EarthDayLive is April 22, 23, and 24. Join the online celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day (https://www.earthdaylive2020.org)!
    • Counting for the Climate:  Download Interfaith Power and Light’s Earth month calendar to appreciate the natural world, and journey, with our damaged climate in mind, from freedom to responsibility (https://ipldmv.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2020-Omer-Creation-Care-Calendar-FINAL.pdf).
    • The Overstory: EWG discussion of “The Overstory” by Richard Powers postponed until May.
    April 26, 2020

    Environmental Working Group (EWG) — What Can I do to Reduce Waste?

    • Start small.  Start with your family. Don’t beat yourself up over it because it is REALLY HARD! We live in a highly industrialized world and we expect to have everything we want right away.
    • Refuse. Don’t buy products wrapped in plastic. Think before purchasing something about where it ultimately goes. Use reusable shopping bags.
    • Reuse. Donate unwanted items.
    • Recycle. Learn how to recycle properly and educate your friends and neighbors.
    • Compost. Set up a backyard compost, compost with your community, or subscribe to a curbside company such as Compost Crew, Compost Cab, Veterans Compost.
    • Lobby your local government for curbside collection.
    • Advocate. Join Sierra Club to help change your local waste management policies.
    May 3rd and 7th, 2020

    Environmental Working Group (EWG) — Loving the Earth

    • We need your photos, 1-2 per family, showing how you are caring for the earth and/or ways you enjoy its beauty.
    • Examples include gardening, solar panels, or enjoying a sunset.
    • Please send your photos with a brief caption to Randy Gibson by May 17 for sharing on IFFP Zoom service May 31.
    May 14, 2020

    Environmental Working Group (EWG) — Greening our World

    Neighborhood Sun just launched the Montgomery County Solar and EV Charger Co-op!

    • The solar co-op is a great way to go solar or install an electric vehicle charger. You’ll learn alongside other solar supporters in your area and get your panels or a charger (or both!) installed at the group rate.

    Loving the Earth

    • We need your photos, 1-2 per family, showing how you are caring for the earth and/or ways you enjoy its beauty.
    • Examples include gardening, solar panels, or enjoying a sunset.
    • Please send your photos with a brief caption to Randy Gibson by May 17 for sharing on IFFP Zoom service May 31.
    May 21, 2020

    Environmental Working Group (EWG) — Greening our World

    • Faith institutions divesting from fossil fuels: This week, during Laudato Si Week, 42 faith institutions announced their commitment to divest from fossil fuels. This is the largest-ever joint announcement of divestment from fossil fuels from faith institutions–sending a strong signal to national governments to lead a clean and just economic recovery. Press release in multiple languages available here.
    • Zoom book discussion: “The Overstory” by Richard Powers will be on Saturday, May 30th, from 11 am to 12:30. Do not post the link on social media or other listserves.
    May 31, 2020

    Environmental Working Group (EWG) — Greening our World

     

    Zoom book discussion: “The Overstory” by Richard Powers will be on Saturday, May 30th, from 11 am to 12:30.

    June 4, 2020

    Environmental Working Group (EWG) — Greening our World

     

    Things to Watch and Read this Summer:

    • Hoopla Digital (10 free movies/books/etc. per month when you register with your library card):

    ·       Environmental films

    ·       Ebooks on the Earth

    ·       Audiobooks on plant-based living

     

     

     

    June 25, 2020

    The Environmental Working Group (EWG) — Greening our World

     

    Our fall book selection is “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate,” by Naomi Klein:  Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies. Klein argues that the changes to our relationship with nature and one another that are required to respond to the climate crisis humanely should not be viewed as grim penance, but rather as a kind of gift—a catalyst to transform broken economic and cultural priorities and to heal long-festering historical wounds. Discussion date TBD.

     

    July 23, 2020

    The Environmental Working Group (EWG) — Greening our World

     

    Multifaith Online Solar Workshop for Northern Virginia (Tuesday, July 21 at 12:00 p.m.) 

     

    Go solar at home … in good company! Join Solar United Neighbors, Interfaith Power & Light, the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions, and area congregations for an interactive, multi-faith workshop about solar energy and its benefits for your home or small business. Learn about solar technology, financing, and why it matters to people of faith. This will be a live, interactive presentation, so bring your questions! Consider joining Northern Virginia neighbors in a solar panel and EV charger purchasing group: bit.ly/solarnova. Learn more and register.

     

     

     

    DATE

    IFFP ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG):

    STEWARDSHIP TIPS IN IFFP BULLETIN/LIST SERVE

    (2018-2019)

    9/13/18

    9/20/18

    9/27/18

    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — Reminder from the Environmental Working Group (EWG)

     

    IFFP is a recycling and composting community.  We ask that, as stewards of the earth, we all do our part and teach our kids the three Rs:  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  

    We are providing reusable coffee mugs and juice cups, rather than disposable items that clutter the landfill.

     

    We have:

    ·       A compost bin for food and biodegradable items;

    ·       A recycling bin for plastic, glass, and metal products; and

    ·       A paper box for programs and other paper items.

    There will be a sign near the bins that lists what goes where.  When in doubt, please read the sign.  Thank you!

    10/4/18

    Environmental Working Group (EWG)–Meeting on Oct. 6th

     

    The IFFP Environmental Working Group (EWG) will meet on Saturday, Oct. 6th, from 4-6, at the home of Matt McGrath and Randi Field.  All are welcome.

    Please note that EWG planning meetings will now take place outside of IFFP.

    The group will discuss updates regarding its GreenFaith proposal and will plan its November 11th adult group.

    This year, the EWG will host two adult groups devoted to the environment:  Nov. 11th and March 31st.

    For further information, please contact Randi Field at:  scribers@verizon.net.

     

    EWG Stewardship Tip:  Everyone Deserves a Just Food System 

    That’s why IFFP’s EWG provides Equal Exchange (Fellowship blend) Fair Trade coffee at IFFP gatherings.  Equal Exchange’s mission is to build long-term trade partnerships that are economically just and environmentally sound, to foster mutually beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers and to demonstrate, through its success, the contribution of worker co-operatives and Fair Trade to a more equitable, democratic and sustainable world (http://equalexchange.coop/ee-and-you/serving).

    10/11/18

    Environmental Working Group: Switch to Low-Cost Renewable Electricity Now!

     

    As IFFP embarks on GreenFaith certification this year, we aim to live the Jewish and Christian mandates of caring for the earth (stewardship).  We will be infusing environmental stewardship teachings and practices into our gatherings, Sunday school, adult groups, community events, and at home.

     

    One way we can have an impact is for all families in our community to switch their residential electric service to clean energy sources.   IFFP Treasurer Josh Bernstein just signed up for 100% renewal electricity with CleanChoice Energy through a special offer.

    The City of Takoma Park recently entered a partnership with CleanChoice Energy to encourage city residents to switch their energy supply to renewable sources at a substantial discount from the usual rates — 8.6c/kwh guaranteed for 12 months, instead of their usual 12c/kwh or so. (The CEO of the company is Tom Matzzie, brother of former IFFP member Colette Matzzie.)   You do not have to be a Takoma Park resident to take advantage of this offer!  The only requirement is that you live within their service area — just enter your zip code online and see if you are eligible.  The caveat is that the offer is limited to a certain number of homes, and will eventually sell out.

     

    All IFFP families are encouraged to make the switch to clean electricity either through this program or another of your choosing.  With the recent UN report indicating that our world only has 10 years to solve the climate change problem before major calamity ensues, there is no time like the present to make changes. And this one is easy to do!  When you do make the switch, please let Randi Field or Matt McGrath know at IFFP or by email:  scribers@verizon.net — they are tracking how many IFFP families make this important change in their households.

     

    Link to the Takoma Park CleanChoice programhttps://cleanchoiceenergy.com/go/takoma/
    Links to information on the UN Report:

    10/18/18

    The Problem with Plastics:  Community Challenges for our Throwaway Culture

     

    Did you know that only 9% of the plastics made actually get recycled?

     

    Did you know that every minute the equivalent of a truckload of plastic is dumped into our oceans?

    Did you know that marine wildlife, like sea turtles, dolphins, and whales are being harmed and even killed by ingesting plastic pollution?

     

    Did you know that we can challenge ourselves to help address this problem?

     

     

     

    Environmental Working Group — Next Meeting and New Book

     

    The next meeting of the IFFP Environmental Working Group will be Sat., Oct. 27th at 4 pm at the Kraus-Jakobsberg home.

    Our new book selection is “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy,” by Joanna Macey and Chris Johnstone.  Book discussion date TBD.

    11/1/18

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP UPDATES

     

    EWG PROGRAMS AND MEETINGS

    This year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is hosting environmental programs at IFFP during adult group but is holding its planning meetings and book discussions outside of IFFP. The next planning meeting of the EWG will be Sat., Dec. 1st at 4 pm at the home of Matt McGrath and Randi Field. All are welcome.  For more information on the meeting and/or to join the EWG, contact Randi at: scribers@verizon.net.

     

    BOOK SELECTION 

    Our new book selection is “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy,” by Joanna Macey and Chris Johnstone.  The book discussion will be in January.  Date TPD.

    11/15/18

    Environmental Working Group Opportunity for Marylanders: 

    Switch to Renewable Electricity with Community Solar Project from Neighborhood Sun

    • What is it?:   Community solar is where a field of solar panels located offsite generates clean energy that feeds into the local, pre-existing utility grid.  Customers can then share this energy and receive all the benefits of solar power without any equipment to install or upfront fees.  Anybody who pays an electric bill can subscribe, helping to build stronger communities and fight climate change.  This is a an exciting new opportunity to invest in clean, renewable energy!
    • How to sign up: Start by going to NeighborhoodSun.solar and click the “Reserve My Spot” button (top of the page) or call:  (240) 284-6245.  The community solar rate is guaranteed to be 5% below Pepco’s utility rate for the duration of your contract.  For further information and/or to request a presentation, contact Armando Gaetaniello, Sales Manager, (301) 256-5948.
    • Website: www.NeighborhoodSun.Solar
    • Use Randi and Matt’s referral link to sign up, and get 10% off your first year:  https://neighborhoodsunreferral.referralrock.com/l/MATTHEWMCGRA/
    11/22/18

    Renewable Electricity Opportunities

     

    This past Rosh Hashanah, Rabbi Rain asked everyone in our community to commit to switching to renewable electricity (e.g., solar and/or wind, rather than using polluting fossil fuels) by next Rosh Hashanah.  This is a very simple thing to do, and every one of us can make this change to show our gratitude to the planet for sustaining us.

    Here are two simple ways to switch to renewable electricity:

    1. Sign up with Clean Choice Energy: https://cleanchoiceenergy.com.
    2. If you live in Maryland, you can sign up for a community solar project with Neighborhood Sun (https://neighborhoodsun.solar).  The community solar rate is guaranteed to be 5% below Pepco’s utility rate for the duration of your contract.  You sign up online (go to NeighborhoodSun.solar and click the “Reserve My Spot” button (top of the page) or call:  (240) 284-6245. Sales Manager, Armando Gaetaniello, has offered to give a presentation at Panera, after IFFP, on Dec. 2nd.  If interested, contact Armando at: (301) 256-5948.

    11/29/18

    12/7/18

     

    EWG UPDATES

     

    RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY OPPORTUNITY AT IFFP ON DEC. 9TH

     

    The recent National Climate Assessment, like the UN report released in October (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/07/climate/ipcc-climate-report-2040.html), makes painfully clear that without drastic action, we will pay dearly for climate change in both dollars and lives, not to mention our children’s futures.  The need for all of us to switch to renewable electricity could not be more pressing.

    • If you live in Maryland and do not yet have renewable electricity (i.e., solar and/or wind), please consider supporting/signing up Neighborhood Sun’s community solar project.  You can join even if you have a third party supplier, like a wind provider.  There are no upfront fees, there is no equipment to install, and your electricity rate is guaranteed to be 5% below Pepco’s rate.   Armando Gaetaniello of Neighborhood Sun will be available to meet with families on Sunday, Dec. 9nd at IFFP (in the hallway), and will collect names and contact information to follow up further.  Note this is a date change from Dec. 2nd.

    EWG PROGRAMS AND MEETINGS 

    This year, the EWG is hosting environmental programs at IFFP during adult group but is holding its planning meetings and book discussions outside of IFFP.  The next planning meeting of the EWG will be Sat., Dec. 1st at 4 pm, at the home of Matt McGrath and Randi Field.  All are welcome.  For more information on the meeting and/or to join the EWG, contact Randi at: scribers@verizon.net.

     

    BOOK SELECTION 

    Our new book selection is “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy,” by Joanna Macey and Chris Johnstone.  The book discussion will be in January.  Date TPD.

     

     

    12/13/18

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP UPDATES

     

    Signing up for Neighborhood Sun’s Community Solar Project in Maryland

    Last week, Rev. Julia urged us all to wake up and respond to the climate change crisis we face by signing up for renewable electricity.  Armando Gaetaniello, from Neighborhood Sun, visited the community and took names and contact information to help folks get signed up for community solar in Maryland.  If you missed last week, or need more information, please email Armando at: armando@neighborhoodsun.solar.

     

    • There is no equipment to install.  The community solar project is in Fort Washington (on a landfill! –that is being re-purposed for much better use!)
    • There are no upfront fees.  You sign a five-year contract.  Your costs will be 5% less than your Pepco bill.
    • Randi Field and Matthew McGrath have signed up.   You can get 10% off your first year’s costs if you use Randi and Matt’s referral link: https://neighborhoodsunreferral.referralrock.com/l/MATTHEWMCGRA/
    • For billing questions see:  https://neighborhoodsun.solar/how-it-works/billing101/
    • There are a few steps involved that take about 15 minutes total.  To sign up online, go to the website and click “reserve your spot:  https://neighborhoodsun.solar

     

    Book Selection and Meeting

    The current EWG book selection is “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy,” by Joanna Macey and Chris Johnstone.  For further information, see: https://facingachangingworld.org/2016/01/23/active-hope-a-quote-from-joanna-macey/.   The book discussion will be on Jan. 12th from 10 a.m.-noon at the home of Eileen Kraus-Jakobsberg and Phil Jakobsberg. 

     

    1/3/19

    Environmental Working Group — GreenPotluck &  Stewardship Tip

     

    On Dec. 16, 2018, IFFP hosted a vegetarian potluck after our nativity play.

    A good time was had by all and our community took steps to heal the planet by not eating meat.

    We all know that driving cars is harmful to the environment, but what about eating a burger?

    • Did you know that livestock emissions make up between 14.5 and 18 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions?
    • The transportation sector is responsible for around 14 percent of emissions.
    • However, while transportation creates CO2, livestock farming is largely responsible for producing methane, which is 23 times more potent when it comes to warming the planet.
    • Besides all the fertilizer and cow waste products that release methane, meat must be transported in refrigerated trucks from feedlots to slaughterhouses to processing centers to your local grocery store.  So, factory farming combines all of the harmful effects of driving an 18 wheeler, plus some.

    If everyone enjoyed one meatless day a week – livestock emissions could be greatly reduced. Challenge yourself and your family to commit to one meatless day a week.

    For more information, see:   https://www.care2.com/greenliving/which-is-worse-for-the-planet-beef-or-cars.html

    1/10/19

    Environmental Working Group Book Selection and Meeting

     

    The current EWG book selection is “Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy,” by Joanna Macey and Chris Johnstone.  For further information, see: https://facingachangingworld.org/2016/01/23/active-hope-a-quote-from-joanna-macey/.  The book discussion will be on Jan. 12th from 10 a.m.-noon at the home of Eileen Kraus-Jakobsberg and Phil Jakobsberg. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    1/17/19

    1/24/19

    Environmental Working Group: Celebrating Tu B’shvat 

     

    Tu B’shvat is a Jewish holiday also known as the New Year for Trees.  On January 27th, IFFP will celebrate this holiday with a special seder. Please enjoy these videos with your children to help them enjoy the Seder rituals.

    Did you know that: 

    • Trees create an ecosystem to provide habitat and food for birds and other animals.
    • Trees absorb carbon dioxide and harmful gasses, such as sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide.  Trees release oxygen. One large tree can supply a day’s supply of oxygen for four people.
    • Canada’s boreal forest, our planet’s largest intact old-growth forest, is being destroyed.  Logging, oil, gas, and mining companies are clearing over one million acres each year and threatening hundreds of Indigenous communities, iconic caribou, and billions of migratory birds.  300 billion tons of carbon are stored in the boreal region’s soils, plants, and wetlands. That’s equal to over three decades’ of fossil fuel emissions.
    • Many of these ancient trees are being turned into toilet paper, paper towels, and facial tissues.

    How can we help? 

    1/31/19

    EWG:  Stewardship Tips for Not Wasting 

     

    Last week, Bret Goldstein led IFFP in a joyous Tu B’Shvat Seder, followed by an engaging adult group on the principle of bal tashchit, not wasting.  Below are some tips on saving money and not wasting:

    • Lower your thermostat in winter and raise it in summer
    • Install LED bulbs when your incandescent bulbs burn out.
    • Unplug appliances when you’re not using them, or use a “smart” power strip.
    • Wash clothes in cold water when possible.
    • Take shorter showers.  Can you take a 4-minute shower?  Time yourself!
    • Install a low-flow showerhead.
    • Plant drought-tolerant native plants in your garden.
    • Buy locally raised, humane, and organic meat, eggs, and dairy whenever you can.
    • Use a water filter to purify tap water instead of buying bottled water.
    • Bring a reusable water bottle, preferably aluminum rather than plastic.
    • Wear clothes that don’t need dry-cleaning.
    • Buy in bulk.  Save money and packaging.
    • Share, trade, or buy used.
    • Keep your cell phones, computers, and other electronics as long as possible.  Donate or recycle them responsibly when the time comes.
  • For more information on 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green: http://www.worldwatch.org/resources/go_green_save_green
  • 2/7/19

    EWG:  Highlight from Celebration of Dr. King

     

    Last week, IFFP celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision that we build a beloved community.  Below is a reading by Dr. King from our celebration: 

     

    Join with the Earth and each other, to bring new life to the land, to restore the waters, to refresh the air, to renew the forests, to care for the plants, to protect the creatures, to celebrate the seas, to rejoice in the sunlight, to sing the song of the stars, to recall our destiny, to renew our spirits, to reinvigorate our bodies, to recreate the human community, to promote justice and peace, to love our children and love one another, to join together as many and diverse expressions of one loving mystery, for the healing of the Earth and the renewal of all life.

     

    EWG:  Speaking out for the Environment

     

    If you want to do more for the environment and live in Maryland, consider signing these two petitions:

    1. Ban on Polystyrene Foam Containers
    2. Petition in Support of Forest Conservation Act Amendments
    2/14/19

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG):  HOW TO HELP THE EARTH BY THE LORAX

    Please view and share this wonderful video, especially with your children (can skip the ad in a few seconds):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbUS3jPjyrc

     

     

    EWG MEETING ON SAT., FEB. 16TH AT 4 PM

     

    The next Environmental Working Group (EWG) meeting will be on Saturday, Feb. 16th, at 4 pm, at the home of Matt McGrath and Randi Field.   

     

    Agenda items will include: reviewing the GreenFaith certification process handouts, including audit documents on spirituality and environmental justice, to prepare for the next GreenFaith webinar; suggestions for our next book; update on Sunday School service project; and other items. For further information, contact Randi at: scribers@verizon.net.

    2/21/19

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP UPDATES AND TIPS

     

    Book Selection and Discussion

    Our next book selection is “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” by Michael Pollan.  Eileen Kraus-Jakobsberg will bring copies of the book to IFFP this Sunday, if you want to borrow a copy — that must be returned.    The book discussion will be April 27th, at 10 am, at the home of Eileen and Phil Jakobsberg. 

     

     

    Do you have Renewable Electricity Yet?  Recommended Electricity Providers:

    ·       Buy solar panels:  Three IFFP families have bought solar panels from Sustainable Energy Systems.

    ·       Switch to renewable electricity from nearby wind and solar farms:  Some IFFP families have made the quick switch to Clean Choice Energy.

    ·       Community Solar in Maryland:  Four IFFP families have signed contracts with Neighborhood Sun.  There are no upfront fees; there is no equipment to buy.  Sign up even if you already have partial renewable electricity.  Use this link to save 10% off or your first year’s bill.

     

    Recommended Service Provider:  Community Forklift

    Construction waste is a BIG problem. The solution? Community Forklift is turning the waste stream into a resource stream!  Community Forklift s a secondhand shop selling a variety of building materials & furniture including cabinets & tables.  They accept donations of surplus, gently-used, and salvaged home improvement supplies.  Their 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse contains modern and vintage building materials, tools, hardware, lighting, plumbing fixtures, appliances, architectural salvage, vintage furniture, and antiques.  Located at 4671 Tanglewood Dr, Bladensburg, MD 20710; Phone: (301) 985-5180. 

    Visit the warehouse or shop online.

     

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG): GREENING OUR WORLD 

     

    Recommended Read Aloud Videos/Books:

    • Why should I recycle?:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am_wCNHJQvo

    https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/books/why-should-i-recycle-by-jen-green/

    • Why should I protect nature?:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZmEDzisIK4

    https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/bookwizard/?search=1&filters=&prefilter=books&text=why%20should%20i%20protect%20nature

    Recommended Service Provider: The Compost Crew 

    • The Compost Crew is a weekly service for residents and businesses in the DC metro area and Baltimore that offers a clean, convenient collection of compostables – food scraps, eggshells, napkins, and more.  Similar to a recycling service, they collect food waste and other organic material from the local community to be composted and reused
    • List of items that can be composted
    • What is composting and why should you compost?:
    • Composting is a natural process that decomposes organic matter into nutrient-rich soil.  It puts the nutrients from our food scraps back into the earth.
    • Composting diverts food scraps from landfills and incinerators.
    • Nearly 40% of the waste that winds up in landfills is compostable.  When food scraps are left in a landfill or incinerated they release CO2, a greenhouse gas.  Our landfills are filling up, leading to longer hauling distances, higher greenhouse gas emissions, higher waste management costs, and less space available for our trash.
    • At IFFP, we compost:  food, napkins, paper with food on it, coffee stir sticks, and toothpicks. Look for the green pail.
    3/7/19

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG):  GREENING OUR WORLD

     

    Natural Gas and Carbon Offsets

     

    All of us can choose 100% renewable electricity.  Unfortunately, natural gas does not have a renewable alternative. But, did you know that you can offset your natural gas usage with carbon offsets? A carbon offset represents a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions made in one place to compensate for emissions created in another place.

    WGL Energy customers in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., can choose CleanSteps Carbon offsets.

    FREE PARK PASS for 4th Graders

     

    Did you know that fourth graders can see America’s natural wonders and historic sites for free through the “Every Kid in the Park”  program? Kids complete an adventure to get a pass. Educators can get passes for their fourth grade students.

     

    3/14/19

    3/21/19

    3/28/19

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP:  FOCUS ON ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

    Upcoming March 31st Adult Group on Environmental Justice, Hosted by IFFP’s Environmental Working Group

    On March 31st, Jessica M. Loya, National Policy Director for GreenLatinos, will lead an important adult group on environmental justice.  Environmental justice relates to the fact communities of color and poor communities suffer from an unjustly high level of harm from pollution and environmental degradation and are rarely given influence over the environmental decisions that impact their communities. GreenLatinos is a national nonprofit that convenes a board coalition of Latino leaders committed to addressing national, regional, and local environmental, natural resources and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community in the U.S. As the Policy Director, Ms. Loya promotes GreenLatinos’ policy goals in the areas of clean water, public lands access & protections, climate, clean air, and environmental justice, in Washington, D.C. She works to create opportunities for local advocates to engage with Congress and the Administration. Jessica enjoys hiking, camping, and birding and has made it her lifetime goal to visit all 58 National Parks. She serves on the board of California Wilderness Coalition, a CA nonprofit, and the National Park Conservation Association’s Next Generation Advisory Council. For more information on GreenLatinos, see http://www.greenlatinos.org/press_room.

     

    Study Shows that Whites are mainly to blame for air pollution, but blacks and Hispanics bear the burden

    “Air pollution, the leading environmental cause of death worldwide, reflects the stark racial inequalities of American life. In the United States, the problem is disproportionately caused by the white majority, but its consequences are suffered mainly by blacks and Hispanics,” according to a Washington Post article.  The article states: “That is the finding of a new study, about five years in the making, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The results illuminate the fault lines of the lethal environmental danger, which is inseparable from the threat of climate change and responsible for more deaths

    globally each year than automobile accidents.” For more information, click: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/03/12/whites-are-mainly-blame-airpollution-

    blacks-hispanics-bear-burden-says-new-study/?utm_term=.f318158a19e2

    4/4/19

    ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP (EWG):  GREENING OUR WORLD

     

    Green Shout Outs!

     

    • 5 IFFP families have signed up to support a community solar project in Maryland and save on their energy bill through Neighborhood Sun.  Congratulations to the [redacted].
    • This a 5-year contract.  Sign up involves a few steps that take about 15 minutes. Your Pepco bill will be 5% lower throughout the contract.
    • Use this referral link, and your Pepco bill will be 10% lower for year one: https://neighborhoodsunreferral.referralrock.com/l/MATTHEWMCGRA/
    • Don’t live in Maryland?  Sign up for Clean Choice Energy (it takes 10 minutes):  https://cleanchoiceenergy.com
    • Another IFFP family bought solar panels:  Congratulations to [redacted} on your purchase from SolarEnergy World.
    • A family bought an electric car:  Congratulations to [redacted} on the purchase of their Bolt.
    • Let’s get every IFFP member switched to 100% renewable electricity instead of dirty, polluting coal.  Yuck!  Let’s do it for our kids and future generations. Contact Randi Field for more information or to let the community know about your environmental progress:  scribers@verizon.net

     

    Environmental Justice

    Deep thanks to Jose Dominguez, Director of Development Partnerships at League of Conservation Voters (and IFFP member) for leading our adult group discussion on environmental justice.  Jose has provided additional information:

     

        Environmental Justice / Environmental Racism:  http://www.ejnet.org/ej/

        Principles of Environmental Justice: http://www.ejnet.org/ej/principles.html

        Green Latinos – http://www.greenlatinos.org/

        Earthjustice – https://earthjustice.org/

     

    Book Selection and Discussion

    Our next EWG book selection is “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” by Michael Pollan: https://michaelpollan.com/books/the-omnivores-dilemma/.  The book discussion will be April 27th, at 10 am, at the home of Eileen and Phil Jakobsberg.

     

     

     

     

    DATE

    IFFP ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP:

    STEWARDSHIP TIPS IN IFFP BULLETIN/LIST SERVE

    (May 2018)

    9/14/17

    Greenfaith Pledge from the IFFP  Environmental Working Group (EWG)

    Caring for the earth is a religious value, a moral responsibility, and is central the EWG’s vision of tikkun olam (repair of the world).  This coming year, our group will share tips and guidance from GreenFaith (www.greenfaith.org), an interfaith organization, on caring for the earth. 

     

    We begin the new year by sharing the GreenFaith pledge:  “I pledge to make my life a blessing for the Earth.”

    9/21/17 and

    9/28/17

    10 Environmental Commandments from the IFFP Environmental Working Group (EWG)

     

    Caring for the earth is a religious value, a moral responsibility, and is central to the EWG’s vision of tikkun olam (repairing the world). This coming year, our group will share tips and guidance from GreenFaith (www.greenfaith.org), an interfaith organization, on caring for the earth.

     

    We begin the new year by sharing these 10 Environmental Commandments:

    1. We will reduce, reuse, and recycle.
    2. We will conserve energy by adopting more energy-efficient technologies.
    3. We will improve our awareness of energy use and take steps to cut our consumption.
    4. We will commit to planting more trees.  They are our allies in reducing carbon emissions.
    5. We will reduce our use of water.  It is a life-sustaining finite resource.
    6. We will buy our food grown locally, when possible, and support ecologically friendly farming practices at home and abroad.
    7. We will buy and promote the use of products made with recycled materials.
    8. We will reduce landfill waste by using less packaging.
    9. We will reduce transport emissions by driving less and using public transportation.
    10. We will support local, national, and global policies that promote a sustainable planet.
    10/5/17

    Coffee with Care

    This year, Matt McGrath and Randi Field volunteered to bring coffee for the community.  Your coffee will be organic, fairly traded coffee. There will be two dispensers of regular coffee (no decaf).  The plan is to forego one-use cups that would go to the landfill, so please bring your own mugs. If you forget your own mug, no worries. There will be ceramic mugs for your use.  If you bring a travel mug and there is coffee left over, feel free to take some home.

    “I pledge to make my life a blessing to the earth.” — Greenfaith Pledge.

    10/5/17

    Environment Tikkun Olam Group

     

    First, our mission statement:

    • To draw from and apply our interfaith traditions, and to serve as an example for the greater community, we will:
    • Strengthen our spiritual interconnectedness with all life and all things that we call nature,
    • Become more aware of the impacts that we as humans have on the natural world, and
    • Act and live in ways that preserve and heal our precious ecosystems – those systems which sustain us and all life forms on this one Earth.

     

    This year the group plans to begin exploring the idea of IFFP becoming a ‘green faith’ community.  We will be testing these waters by pursuing an abbreviated green faith program, which will be based on a similar but shortened version of the Kehila Chadasha green faith certification program.  We welcome any and all help with its implementation.  In addition, we will be selecting another environment and sustainability related book to read as a group.  We plan to have periodic book discussions, as we did last year, at the homes of our committee members.  Once again, we welcome your interest and participation.

    10/12/17

    Environmental Working Group (EWG)–Baby GreenFaith Steps

     

    This year, the EWG plans to explore the idea of IFFP becoming a “green faith” community. We will test these waters by pursuing an abbreviated GreenFaith program, which will be based on a similar, but shortened, version of the Kehila Chadasha GreenFaith certification program. The program has stewardship components for individuals and families to do at home in these areas:

    • Energy
    • Transportation
    • Water
    • Food
    • Waste
    • Toxins
    • Grounds maintenance

    We all want to be good stewards of the earth, right?  Each week we will send a small impact and a large impact tip in one of the above areas, so you can include more sustainable practices in your home.  Some tips you may already be doing.  Every dent makes a difference.

     

    This Week’s Energy Tips:

    • Small impact: I will replace all incandescent light bulbs in my home with CFL light bulbs or LED lights. — Did you know that LED light bulbs use one-eighth as much electricity as incandescent bulbs?
    • Large Impact:   All future appliances I buy will be ENERGY STAR rated.
    • Did you know that old refrigerators are often the biggest energy offenders, wasting three times as much energy as new ones?

    COFFEE, MUGS, and KID CUPS

     

    • Coffee: People have asked, “Where does that great coffee come from?
  • Kid cups:
    • In addition to sustainable coffee/mugs, the IFFP Environmental Working Group (EWG) would like to eliminate one-use paper cups for juice.
    • Please have your kids bring their own cups from home. If they forget, no worries. The EWG will supply reusable plastic cups.
  • Mugs:  
    • As with kids cups, we encourage people to bring their own coffee mugs. If you forget to bring you own mug, ceramic mugs will be provided.
    • Please return your mug before you leave. Mugs keep disappearing. If you have brought mugs home, please bring them back.
    10/19/17

    The IFFP Environmental Working Group wants you to know about The Easy Energy Action Plan Checklist: 

     

    Download at: https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/04/f21/EnergyActionChecklist_English.pdf

    Great information for the fridge or a bulletin board!

     

    • Turn off lights.
    • Use-energy saving bulbs.
    • Shut off computers.
    • Use “smart” power strips.
    • Turn off entertainment devices when not in use (TV, game systems, etc.).
    • Use natural light, heat, and cooling.
    • Unplug chargers when not in use.
    • Talk to your parents about Energy Star® appliances.
    • Talk to your parents about programmable digital thermostats.
    • Talk to your parents about home improvements to save energy such as windows, doors, and roofs.
    10/26/17

    Environmental Working Group (EWG)–Stewardship Steps

     

    Creating a green lifestyle is the most powerful way for us to make a difference in the future quality of life on earth for our children and future generations.   Each earth-friendly stewardship acts in our ordinary daily lives deepens are spiritual connection with nature.   Stewardship includes small and large impact steps that individuals and families can take at home in these areas:

    • Energy
    • Transportation
    • Water
    • Food
    • Waste
    • Toxins
    • Grounds maintenance

    Challenge yourself and your families to meet as many steps as you can.

     

    This Week’s Food Tips:

    • Small impact:  I will eat entirely vegetarian foods, free of red meat, fish, chicken, or turkey one day a week.
    • Large impact:  I will eat or pack meatless lunches for myself and my family at least 3 days per week. 
    • Did you know that meat production contributes more greenhouse gas emissions than the emissions from every car, train, ship and airplane combined?  After carbon dioxide, methane produced by cattle digestion is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas in the U.S.  For more on this topic, see: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/30/how-meat-is-destroying-the-planet-in-seven-charts/?tid=pm_pop_b
    11/2/17

    Environmental Working Group (EWG)–Stewardship Steps

     

    Creating a green lifestyle is the most powerful way for us to make a difference in the future quality of life on earth for our children and future generations.   Each earth-friendly stewardship acts in our ordinary daily lives deepens are spiritual connection with nature.  Challenge yourself and your families to meet as many small and large impact steps as you can. 

     

    This Week’s Waste Tips:

    • Small impact:  I will recycle all items that can be recycled in my town, including paper, glass, aluminum, plastics, electronics, etc.
    • Large impact:  I will compost my non-meat food scraps.  Composting saves money, resources, improves the soil, and reduces the impact on the environment by sending less waste to landfills.  You can do your own composting, or get a ready-made compost bin with pickup/delivery service from The Compost Crew (http://compostcrew.com) (Tell them Rabbi Rain Zohav referred you—for $10 off your first month).
    11/9/17

    Food and Waste Guidelines and Goals from the EWG

     

    Caring for the earth is a religious value, a moral responsibility, and central to the IFFP Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) vision of tikkun olam.  Getting food to our tables:

    • Eats up to 10 percent of our total U.S. energy budget,
    • Uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and
    • Swallows 80 percent of fresh water consumed in the U.S.

     

    Yet 40 percent of food in the U.S. today goes uneaten.

    The following food and waste guidelines are intended to reduce waste, and promote environmentally sustainable practices at IFFP sponsored events and in our daily lives:

    • Serve vegetarian choices.  They require less energy, land, and water to produce than products in a meat-based diet.
    • Buy seasonal, fresh food for local producers and farmer’s markets.  This benefits the local community and local economy while supporting the environment by enriching the soil, protecting air and water quality, and minimizing energy consumption.
    • Make organic food purchases.  Organic products are grown without toxic chemicals, and reduce pollution from pesticides. They also help build strong soil and protect and conserve our water resources.
    • Purchase wild caught sustainable fish with scales and fins.  Avoid fish like Atlantic cod, haddock, and grouper that are overfished and/or farmed in ways that harm other marine species or the environment.
    • Purchase fair trade, rainforest friendly products including coffee.  Fair trade or fair practices paid to producers in developing countries play an important role in protecting forests, with ripple effects in preventing global climate change and preserving biodiversity
    • Move toward use of reusable/recyclable flatware, drinking glasses, tablecloths, plates, and Kiddush cups.
    • Purchase 7-10 inch plates instead of the standard 12-inch to reduce food waste and promote healthier eating.
    • Provide recycling bins for plastic cans, bottles, and plastic flatware and for items that can be composted.
    • Avoid Styrofoam products.  Styrofoam is hard to recycle, toxic when degrading, and when it breaks down dissolves into tiny bits that end up polluting our waterways and oceans.
    • Separate vegetable food waste in an effort to compost it.  Composting saves money, resources, improves the soil, and reduces impact on the environment by sending less waste to landfills.
    • Buy in bulk to save energy and money.
    11/16/17

    Environmental Working Group (EWG)–Stewardship Steps

     

    Creating a green lifestyle is the most powerful way for us to make a difference in the future quality of life on earth for our children and future generations. Each earth-friendly stewardship steps in our ordinary daily lives deepens are spiritual connection with nature. Challenge yourself and your families to meet as many small and large impact steps as you can. 

     

    This Week’s Tips on Toxins:

    • Small impact: I will place mats at the entryways to my home, to help capture dirt and limit the use of cleaning products.
    • Large impact: I will switch all my household cleaners to “green” cleaners.  I will either make these cleaners with ingredients like baking soda and vinegar, or purchase them. 
    • Did you know that going green when cleaning can lessen water pollution, air pollution, climate change, and ozone depletion?  Plus, using green products promotes recycling which reduces the use of raw materials and lessens the need to dispose of toxic (e.g., containing carcinogens and/or damaging lungs) products and packing materials.
    11/23/17

    Sustainably Grown Christmas Trees Cut To Order

     

    http://www.lickingcreekbendfarm.com

    Going against industry standards, Mike Tabor and Esther Siegel from Takoma Park grow trees without herbicides (which stop the growth of weeds, but pollute the soil and water), pesticides, or artificial colors. The results are attractive, natural-looking, fresh- cut trees. Prices range from $20 – 125 a tree.

    11/30/17

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

     

    This week’s challenges are on grounds maintenance: 

    • Small impact:  I will place at least 2 bird feeders and/or bird (nesting) boxes on my property. Kids will enjoy making their own feeders to care for local wildlife!
    • Large impact:  I will create a butterfly garden on my property. Butterflies are important pollinators, but their numbers are decreasing due to climate change, habitat loss, and widespread pesticide use. By creating a butterfly habitat in our yard, our family can become Pollinator Protectors! Go Team!
    12/7/17

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

     

    This week’s challenges are on water:  

    • Small impact:  I will turn off the water while I brush my teeth or shave.
    • Large impact:  I will no longer purchase bottled water.  I will carry a reusable PET-free water bottle to avoid having to purchase bottled water whenever possible.
    • Did you know that bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. It is estimated that over 80% of all single-use water bottles used in the U.S. simply become “litter.” Source: ValleyWater.org
    12/14/17

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

    This week’s challenges are on transportation: 

    • Small impact:  At least once a week (more often in urban or metro area) I commit to taking mass transit, carpooling, combining errands (into fewer trips), walking, or biking to my destination.  This can include work, worship service, or other locations.
    •  Large impact:  For my next car purchase, I will purchase a car with at least 10 mpg higher than what I am currently using, e.g., a hybrid.
    • Did you know that by combining gasoline engines with electric motors, hybrid cars deliver much higher fuel efficiency than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.  Hybrids benefit the environment because they have lower carbon dioxide emissions, use less gasoline, and release less exhaust into the air.
    12/21/17

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group 

     

    This week’s challenges are on energy:

    • Small impact:  I will turn off home electronics, including computers, overnight.  If computers and other equipment are used throughout the day and must remain on, I will use the “standby” or “energy saver” mode where possible.

    Large impact:  I will wash and/or rinse my clothes in cold water.  I will also wash only when I have a full load, or adjust the amount of water for the load size.

    Did you know that almost 90% of the energy consumed by a washing machine goes to heating water?  Switching from hot or warm water to cold water washing saves that energy.

    1/4/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

     

    This week’s challenges are on water:   

     

    • Small impact:  I will take shorter showers.
    • Large impact:  Any future appliances I buy will be EPA WaterSense rated. One of the simplest ways to save water and energy is to install water-efficient products. A list of WaterSense products is available at:  https://www.epa.gov/watersense/product-search
    • Did you know that only 3% of the water on the planet is fresh water, and only 1% is available for drinking. 97% of the water on the earth is salt water, which is unsuitable for drinking.  With growing population rates and only a small percentage of drinking water available, we must preserve and conserve this precious resource.
    1/11/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

     

    This week’s challenges are on food:   

    • Small impact:  I will purchase only Fair Trade, organic, bird-friendly coffee to preserve bird habitats.
    • Large impact:  I will limit my family’s intake of soda and sugary drinks to two times per week or less, to establish healthier habits and to limit the number of plastic bottles we use. 
    • Did you know that:
    •  One water pitcher filter can replace as much as 300 water bottles (16.9-ounces);
    • Making bottles for U.S. bottled water uses over 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year;
    • Americans used about 50 billion plastic water bottles last year, but the U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent;
    • 8 million metric tons of plastic waste enter the oceans each year.

     

     

     

    1/18/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

     

    This week’s challenges are on waste:

    • Small impact:  I will use Choice Catalog or a similar tool to cut down unwanted catalogs I receive: https://www.catalogchoice.org/
    • Large impact:  I will purchase and use only 100% post-consumer recycled content paper for all my home printing projects. 
    • Did you know that recycled paper uses less energy, water, and produces lower carbon emissions than the manufacturing process for non-recycled paper; it also reduces the amount of waste to landfill – as paper can be recycled 4 to 5 times.
    2/1/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

     

    This week’s challenges are on energy:   

    •  Small impact:  I will install a programmable thermostat(s) in my home and program them according to my schedule and occupancy.  When I am not at home and at night, I will setback the temperature at least 10 degrees.
    •  Large impact:  I will complete a home energy audit by a professional auditor, and make the recommended energy improvements, as my finances permit.
    • Did you know that energy efficiency upgrades (e.g., insulating the attic and crawl spaces, air sealing the house, etc.) save you money, make your home more comfortable, and reduce your impact on the planet.
    2/8/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

     

    This week’s challenges are on grounds maintenance:   

    • Small impact:  I will create a “Backyard Habitat” according to the National Wildlife Federation (http://www.nwf.org/Garden-For-Wildlife/Certify.aspx
    • Large impact:  I will create/install a rain garden on my property.  Did you know that a rain garden:  

     

    2/15/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

    This week’s challenges are on food:  

    • Small impact:  Where possible, I will eat and feed my family, local/sustainably-grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • Large impact:  I will purchase as much organic food as my budget allows.  I will assess my food purchases for areas where I can cut back and invest more in organic foods. 
    • Did you know that:·
    • Organic foods often have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants. 
    • Organic produce contains fewer pesticides.
    • Organic farming practices reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Farming without pesticides is better for nearby birds and animals, and people living near farms.
    • People with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find symptoms lessen or disappear when eating only organic foods.
    • Organic food is often fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives.
    • Organically raised animals are not given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts.
    • Organic meat and milk are richer in certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids.
    • Organic food is GMO-free.
    • For more information, see:  https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/organic-foods.htm
    2/22/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

    This week’s challenges are on food:  

    • Small impact:  Where possible, I will eat and feed my family, local/sustainably-grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
    • Large impact:  I will purchase as much organic food as my budget allows.  I will assess my food purchases for areas where I can cut back and invest more in organic foods. 
    • Did you know that:·
    • Organic foods often have more beneficial nutrients, such as antioxidants. 
    • Organic produce contains fewer pesticides.
    • Organic farming practices reduce pollution, conserve water, reduce soil erosion, increase soil fertility, and use less energy. Farming without pesticides is better for nearby birds and animals, and people living near farms.
    • People with allergies to foods, chemicals, or preservatives often find symptoms lessen or disappear when eating only organic foods.
    • Organic food is often fresher because it doesn’t contain preservatives.
    • Organically raised animals are not given antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed animal byproducts.
    • Organic meat and milk are richer in certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids.
    • Organic food is GMO-free.
    • For more information, see:  https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/organic-foods.htm
    3/1/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

    This week’s challenges are on waste:  

    • Small impact:  I will switch at least 2 statements to electronic (paperless) delivery this year.
    • Large impact:  When I host a party or event, I will use only reusable dinnerware. 
    • Did you know that:
    • Reusable dishware uses far less energy and resources over its lifetime than its disposable counterparts.  Even with the energy and water needed to wash items, the overall environmental impact is substantially less than single-use, throw-away items (which is why we use only reusable mugs and cups at IFFP–Yay!).
    • It’s cheaper in the long run.
    • It’s healthier because:
    • Refining fossil fuels used in plastic products can create air pollution.
    • Some plastic products leach chemicals that can be harmful to people.
    3/8/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

     

    This week’s challenges are on toxins:  

    • Large impact: I will take preventative measures to prevent pests, such as sealing up holes, storing food in jars, cleaning more regularly, etc.
    • Large impact:  If I use a lawn care provider, I will, at a minimum. choose a vendor that uses IPM (Integrated Pest Management) practices, and preferably, will go completely organic.
    • Did you know that:  IPM is an ecosystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage by combining techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring shows they are needed according to established guidelines, and the goal of treatment is to remove only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and nontarget organisms, and the environment.  For more information, see:  http://www2.ipm.ucanr.edu/WhatIsIPM/
    3/15/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

     

    This week’s challenges are on grounds maintenance:  

    • Small impact: I will limit watering my lawn to less than 2 times per week, and will not water after or before a rain shower.
    • Large impact:  I will landscape my property using native plants, which respond well to the rainfall and temperature of my region.  For drier parts of the U.S., this can include xeriscaping, or landscaping with plants that thrive in drier climates.
    • Why use native plants and natural landscapes?  

    ·       What are Neonicotinioid Insecticides? and  Where have all the insects gone? by Maryann Whitman

    ·       Increase Yields in Your Vegetable and Berry Gardens by Going Native

    ·       It’s FUN!  Keeping a Journal is not only fun, but educational.

    ·       It’s Good for our Youth.  The Next Generation articles in the Wild Ones Journal are aimed at showing kids how to have fun with nature, these articles also appeal to adults.

    ·       It’s sustainable.  It’ll help offset the effects of Climate Change

    ·       It’s needed to sustain habitat for non-humans-native birds, insects, and other fauna Beyond the Birdfeeder

    ·       Birds evolved naturally with native plants and they bring many of us much pleasure throughout the day Creating a Bird Friendly Yard

    ·       Pollinators Stopover Habitats and Hedgerows

    ·       Connecting to the Future Corridors for a Healthier Environment

    3/22/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

    This week’s challenges are on energy:  

    • Small impact: I will decrease my hot water temperature to 110 degrees.
    • Large impact:  I will purchase at least 25% of my electricity from a renewable source and increase that percentage each year either from a utility company, through a solar installation on my roof, or through support of a credit program, such as renewable energy choice: www.renewablechoice.com.
    • Do you know that:
    •  Carbon pollution comes from burning fossil fuels–coal, oil, natural gas.
    • Carbon pollution is at an all-time high.  Carbon pollution traps the sun’s energy as heat which, in turn, warms our planet and leads to extreme weather–droughts, flooding, wildfires, and superstorms. Carbon pollution raises global temperatures and harms people’s livelihoods and health, including our food and water sources.
    • Carbon pollution is the number one threat to the future of our planet. 
    • Homes cause about 1/3 of the carbon pollution in the air.   You can reduce carbon pollution from your home with sustainable electricity from solar and/or wind energy.
    3/29/18

    Airing Your Dirty Laundry: 

    10 Tips for Energy-Efficient Laundry from the Environmental Working Group

    Wash Right

    1. Use cold water: almost 90% of the energy consumed by your washing machine is used just to heat water.  Cold-water washing keeps colors bright, reduces wrinkling, and won’t set stains.
    2. Try cold-water detergents formulated to work in cooler temperatures.
    3. Run a full load. The machine uses the same amount of mechanical energy, regardless of how full. If you don’t run a full load, set the water level for the amount of laundry you are running.
    4. Use energy-saving settings. Avoid the excessively hot “sanitary cycle.”   Choose “high spin” option to cut down on drying time. Don’t wash longer than needed.
    5. Set your water heater to 120 degrees F (instead of the usual 140 F). This saves energy even when washing clothes in hot or warm water.

    Smart Drying

    1. Sort similar fabrics together, starting with a load of fast-drying fabrics.  Do back-to-back loads to take advantage of residual heat.
    2. Clean the lint filter after each load to improve air circulation and cut down on drying time.
    3. Use energy-saving settings.  Use low temperature for delicates; use medium for most clothes. Use auto-dry (not timed-dry) to prevent over-drying–which causes shrinkage, static electricity, wears clothes out.
    4. Get a drying rack for “almost-dry” clothes, delicates and silks. Fabrics like wool should be laid flat to dry.
    5. Throw in a clean, dry towel; wool dryer balls, or tennis balls to dry clothes quicker. The towel absorbs moisture, while the tennis ball helps circulate air between clothes.

    Buying a New Washing Machine? Get one with the ENERGY STAR label. They use 37% less energy and 50% less water than regular machines.

    4/5/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

    This week’s challenges are on waste:

    •  Small impact: I will reduce the amount of paper I used in my home, by using scrap paper, double-sided printing, and other steps.
    •  Large impact: I will dispose of all hazardous household products-paint, pesticides, CFLs, etc.-at my town’s hazardous waste collection site or other venue that properly disposes of them.
    •  Did you know that:
    • Pouring hazardous materials in the drain, flushing them down the toilet, or throwing them in the trash has a negative impact on the environment, especially the water supply. Many hazardous materials can go through waste water treatment facilities untouched because they don’t breakdown in the process. These harmful chemicals are eventually released into rivers, lakes and streams.
    • There are also significant health and safety risks associated with improperly disposing of household hazardous waste. Dumping several products down the drain at the same time can cause chemical reactions, releasing toxic gases. Throwing hazardous waste in the garbage can pose a health risk to sanitation workers. Your family and pets can be affected if materials leach out of the garbage cart or truck and are tracked in and around the home. For more information, see: https://www.mwatoday.com/news/hhw/proper-disposal-of-hhw.aspx
    4/12/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

    This week’s challenge is on transportation:

    •   Large impact:  I will not idle my car. If I am idling longer than 1 minute, I will turn my car off until I am ready to move again.
    •   Did you know that:
    • Contrary to popular belief, restarting your car does not burn more fuel than leaving it idling. Idling for just 10 seconds wastes more gas than restarting the engine.
    • Idling tailpipes spew out the same pollutants as moving cars. These pollutants have been linked to serious human illnesses including asthma, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, and cancer. For every 10 minutes your engine is off, you prevent one pound of carbon dioxide from being released (carbon dioxide is the primary contributor to global warming).
    • Today’s electronic engines do not need to warm up, even in winter. The best way to warm the engine is by easing into your drive and avoiding excessive engine revving. After just a few seconds, your vehicle is safe to drive. The vehicle’s engine warms twice as quickly when driven.
    • Easing into your drive also gets your vehicle’s heating system delivering warmer air faster. Sitting in an idling car means you are breathing in more dirty exhaust that leaks into the car cabin. Any warmth you get from a car heater is not worth the damage to your health.
    • Frequent restarts are no longer hard on a car’s engine and battery. The added wear (no more than $10 a year) is less costly than the cost of wasted fuel ($70-650 a year, depending on fuel prices, idling habits and vehicle type). Idling increases overall engine wear by causing the car to operate for longer than necessary.
    • For more information, see: https://www.edf.org/attention-drivers-turn-your-idling-engines

     

     

     

     

    4/19/18

    Sustainable Commitments for Earth Day

     

    This Earth Day, GreenFaith, Interfaith Partners for the Environment ( greenfaith.org) invites us all to make  three deep and sustainable commitments to protect the planet:

    • Significantly lessen your home energy use. Simple changes, like turning off overhead lights when you leave a room, to more complex commitments, like purchasing and installing energy efficient bulbs and appliances, can add up to significant energy reduction.
    • Dramatically reduce your meat consumption. The livestock sector generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks, and automobiles combined. Thoughtfully reducing the consumption of meat can cause a positive chain reaction up the ladder of production.
    • Conscientiously minimize your car and air travel. If you drive, consider alternate forms of travel like mass transit or bicycling. If you fly, do the same. If you must do one or both consider making “carbon offsets” in other parts of your life.
    4/26/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

    This week’s challenge is on energy:

    • Small impact:  I will complete the U.S EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
      Household Emissions Calculator to calculate my carbon footprint and energy costs and potential for savings.
  • Large impact:  I will insulate and weather-strip my home, including removing window air conditioners in the winter, caulking, sealing and adding insulation in the attic and other areas.
  • Arbor Day Tips from the Environmental Working Group

    •   If you plant one tree today on the west side of your house, in 5 years your energy bills should be 3% less. In 15 years, the savings should be 12%.
    •    The net cooling effect of one healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.
    5/3/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

     

    This week’s challenge is on food:    

    • Large impact:  For at least 1 shopping trip per month, I will shop at the local farmers’ market or farm stand that offers produce from local farms during growing season. 
    • Did you know that:
    • Cheaper Organic Fruits & Veggies:  There is usually an amazing variety of fresh, organic produce at more affordable prices than supermarkets.  Also, many farmers carry products that are not technically “organic,” (a costly and often bureaucratic-heavy process), but are pesticide and herbicide free.
    • Better Taste:  Locally-grown foods simply taste better.
    • Seasonal fresh food:  By shopping seasonally, your food will be fresh and ripe. Food in supermarkets often is picked before it has ripened, decreasing its vitality.
    • Supporting Your Local Economy & Farmers:  Buying from your local farmer supports local agriculture and the local economy, not massive agribusiness food conglomerates. 
    • Conserve energy:  Buying locally supports the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels/petroleum to ship food halfway around the world.
    • Safer Foods:  Food from your local farmers market is generally safer. Outbreaks of E. coli, for example, occur mostly in large industrial settings, where food is produced, preserved, and bagged in mass amounts.
    • It’s Fun! Learn about farming, experience different types of produce, and mingle with neighbors. Some farmers’ markets have live music, chef demonstrations or entertainment.
    • Or Start Your Own Organic Garden:  Grow your own food by creating an organic garden in your yard or even on your balcony.
  • Large impact:  I will buy a share in CSA (community supported agriculture).  A CSA lets you purchase “shares” from a farm in exchange for a weekly delivery of fruits, vegetables and other farm products like milk, eggs and dairy.  A CSA offers offers many of the benefits of a farmer’s market.
  • 5/10/18

    Stewardship Steps from the Environmental Working Group

    This week’s challenge is on energy:

    • Small impact:  If my hot water heater has a “vacation” setting, I will use it when I am away from my home for more than a day.
    • Large impact:  If my refrigerator is older than 1993, I will replace it with a new ENERGY STAR rated model – either during the next two years or when I replace the old fridge.
    • Did you know that: 
    •  Replacing a pre-1994 clothes washer will save you as much as $110 a year.
    •  ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators are about 9% more energy efficient than models that meet the federal minimum standard for energy efficiency.

     

     

     

     

     

    5/17/18

    Stewardship Steps from the  Environmental Working Group 

     

    This week’s challenge is on toxins:   

    •  Large impact:  Whenever I paint my house or other items, I will use no VOC (volatile organic compounds), Green Seal certified paint.
    •  Large impact:  I will use only a “green” dry cleaner to dry clean my clothes, and will avoid the purchase of “dry clean only items.”
    •  Did you know that 85% of U.S. dry cleaners use perchloroethylene (perc) as a solvent in the dry cleaning process.
    • Perc is a synthetic, volatile organic compound (VOC) that poses a health risk to humans and a threat to the environment. Minimal contact with perc can cause dizziness, headaches, drowsiness, nausea, and skin and respiratory irritation. Prolonged perc exposure has been linked to liver and kidney damage, and cancer.
    • Perc can enter the body through drinking water contamination, dermal exposure, or inhalation.  Nursing mothers exposed to perc may excrete it in their milk, placing their infants at risk.
    • For more information, see:  https://www.greenamerica.org/green-living/green-dry-cleaning
    5/24/18

    Stewardship Steps from the  Environmental Working Group

    This week’s challenge is on grounds maintenance:

    • Large impact:  I will create a fruit, vegetable, or herb garden on my property, in a container garden, or in window boxes.  Before I do this, I will test my soil for lead and pesticide contamination.
    • Large impact:  I will install water sensors to control the watering of my lawn, and/or drip irrigation for my garden.
    • Did you know that: