Share the Love for the Environment

Tip of the Month

Have you been bitten by the KonMari bug?  Are you ready to tackle your home with determination to discard anything that doesn’t ‘spark joy’?  But what to do with all that joyless stuff?

What you can do: First, be more cognizant of your shopping habits and evaluate if that thing you want to buy is something that will spark joy instead of just clutter your nightstand (the Refuse in the 5-Rs).  Second, do the rest of the 5-Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, and Recycle (or,  if it’s food, Rot – in other words, compost).  Try to do the recycling, be it clothes, books, electronics, plastics, etc. en mass to use less gas and time.  However, with that said, don’t let it become clutter in your garage either!

The KonMari Method for tiding up, developed by Mari Kondo, is currently a hot topic after her new Netflix’s show “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” hit TVs Jan. 1st 2019. Mari Kondo has written a few books on the topic, most notably The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  In a very small nutshell, the philosophy is to keep only items that ‘spark joy'[1].  Tiding-up and living in a clutter-free atmosphere de-stresses and improves your health[2].  Who doesn’t want to be healthy and less stressed?  The goal is to not only declutter, but to take it one step more, to start valuing and being more conscious about the stuff we take into our homes.  Not to get into the nitty-gritty (go read the book), but there will be piles of stuff that do not spark joy, and the next question is, being environmentally conscious, what do you do with all that joyless stuff?

A. Start with your personal items

So you have bags and bags of items that need to be discarded.  Start with items that can be sold on Ebay, Nextdoor, Facebook, etc.  Next, try to give items away to people who could use it, in other words, rehome those items.  If you can’t sell or find new homes for it, donate usable items like clothes, electronics, books, shoes, furniture, etc. to a local donation center or thrift store.  Some items that are not usable, are recyclable – like certain plastics, glass, paper, electronics, even textiles/clothes. Recycle them at the appropriate place.  Finally, once all the items that can be sold, rehomed, donated, or recycled are gone, what’s left (hopefully not much) can be trashed.  To keep in the spirit of lowering your carbon foot print, do those things en mass.  For instance, take all the recycling and donations in one trip.  Remember, in the spirit of KonMari, beware of letting these piles become more clutter in the garage!  Here are some handy websites and places to start looking for sites that sell, donate, or recycle:

  • Facebook local groups
  • Freecycle.org
  • Nextdoor
  • Craigslist
  • Ebay
  • Goodwill or Salvation Army
  • Some retailers also accept textile donations in store
  • TerraCycle.com for recycling (some free methods, other paid)
  • Check your city for recycling centers for hazard waste (paint and the like)/electronics, glass, aluminum, plastic and paper
  • Your waste management probably picks up paper, plastic, and glass recycling (even greenwaste from your yard) from your sidewalk too!

B. Share this philosophy with your family and friends

Sharing is caring, right?  Share the book and philosophy with your family, roommates, and friends if you think it would help them.  This type of decluttering is not for everyone, but the general concept of reducing what and how much one buys in this materialistic consumer oriented world is one everyone could do.  Change starts at home.

C. Join and promote community recycling, freecycling, wastefree groups, or start one yourself

Talk to people about the many different ways they can discard unwanted stuff in an environmentally friendly way.  Not only that, but on these sites or community groups, start a discussion about buying less, accompanied by all the benefits of decluttering, which will help prevent the clutter from accumulating to begin with!

Resources:

[1] About KonMari
https://konmari.com/pages/about

[2] How Decluttering Can Actually Benefit Your Health
https://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011917-decluttering-can-actually-benefit-health/?slide=1

9 Ways Your Life Will Improve When You Declutter
https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-22687/9-ways-your-life-will-improve-when-you-declutter.html

6 Benefits of an Uncluttered Space, the psychology behind organizing and decluttering
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-practice/201802/6-benefits-uncluttered-space

The Economics of Tidying Up
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/05/an-economist-reads-marie-kondo/392921/

New Year, new you?  How about just a more environmentally conscious you without all the bells and whistles of resolutions and hullabaloo?  First step is an easy one, take a step out in nature!

What you can do: Literally go outside to a local park, natural open area, or dedicated reserve, preserve, or sanctuary!  We might be biased, but Bolsa Chica is PERFECT for an evening stroll.  Bonus, it’s free, local, and an easy walk as it’s mostly flat.  Oh, and we have spectacular fauna and flora to boot.

Being out in nature or green space has many supported evidence to improve long term and short term mental and physical health.  “Natural elements that promote well-being include trees, diverse vegetation, local biodiversity, water features, parks, natural playscapes, community gardens, and school gardens” is a good summary of all the different things that fit into the abstract concept of ‘nature’ or ‘green space’ (American Public Health Association).  From lower stress and depression, better attention and focus, boost in creativity, to lower risk of major health diseases like inflammation, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, even potentially cancer (read about the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, or ‘forest bathing’).  Nature play is also very important for children.  The decreasing amount of time kids spend outside compared to inside on a screen, is being labelled as Nature deficit disorder.   Let’s save the future generation for this disorder and teach them a great respect and appreciation for nature.  Sources and more resources below.

A. Go for a walk

Literally.  Go outside, find a park, take a walk.  It’s as simple as that.  Even better (and closer)?  Plant a garden, native plants preferred, in your yard!  If you only have a balcony then fill it with native plants in pots.  Native plants can do well in containers.  Grow indoor plants (if you have small children or pets grow non-toxic plants) which can help too, especially if there is a storm outside.  The CDC recommends “adults should do at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of  moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity each week.”

B. Take your family and friends out with you!

Bring the whole family!  Lead a hike with a local hiking or walking group at a local park (meetup.com, local environmental park organizations, and the Sierra Club are just some of the places to look for local hikes).  Come to one of our FREE docent led walks at Bolsa Chica the third Sunday of every month!  Garden with the kids or join a community garden (or start one if you neighborhood doesn’t have one).

C. Support local and national efforts to promote parks and open space

The Bolsa Chica Land Trust is one local non-profit who vigilantly fights to save the last remaining open space at Bolsa Chica, and who supports other local efforts to save and restore open space in Southern California.  Nationally, organizations like The Trust for Public Land and the Nature Conservancy, are trying to save and restore, both small and large natural areas and parks throughout the USA.  The Trust for Public Land even has an campaign to give everyone access to #10minwalk to a park.  Their vision and goal is to get cities to spend resources to improve and build parks in their cities so that everyone can walk to a park in 10 minutes.  We have partnered with The Trust for Public Land to save the last remaining open space at Bolsa Chica called the Ridge and Goodell properties.

Resources:

Wolf, K.L. 2017. Nature for Human Health and Wellness. Washington Park Arboretum Bulletin 78,4: 18-22. https://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/journals/pnw_2017_wolf003.pdf

’11 scientific reasons you should be spending more time outside’ Business Insider’ https://www.businessinsider.com/scientific-benefits-of-nature-outdoors-2016-4

‘It’s official — spending time outside is good for you’ Science Daily https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180706102842.htm

‘Health Benefits of Nature‘ American Society of Landscape Architects (great source of even more resources and research organized into adults and children sections) https://www.asla.org/healthbenefitsofnature.aspx

‘Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature’ Child Mind Institute https://childmind.org/article/why-kids-need-to-spend-time-in-nature/

‘Ideas for Getting Your Kids into Nature’ Child Mind Institute https://childmind.org/article/ideas-for-getting-your-kids-into-nature/

Green Cities: Good Health from University of Washington and USDA Forest Service (great source of even more resources and research organized by research themes) http://depts.washington.edu/hhwb/

‘Improving Health and Wellness through Access to Nature’ American Public Health Association https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2014/07/08/09/18/improving-health-and-wellness-through-access-to-nature

‘Physical Activity Basics’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/index.htm; https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf#page=55

#10minwalk The Trust for Public Land https://www.tpl.org/10minutewalk

Our Purpose

 

Our purpose is to launch, inspire, and encourage EVERYONE to think beyond the 5 R’s (Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle) and create a sustainable network of Environmental Heroes.

We have broken the exponential concept of “Share the Love” Environmental Action into 3 main steps below.

Stay informed, engaged, and take action

Be conscious about your impact on the planet daily

Invest for the future

We have then broken it down further into 3 categories from an individual level to a global level:

A. Individual Actions

B. Family and Friends

C. Community and Beyond

*Come back often for even more tips and suggestions as this web page is updated frequently!*

Stay informed, engaged, and take action!

Write letters, emails, leave voice messages, vote, and spread the word (about issues, meetings, legislation, fundraising events and efforts, and any other activities that have an exponentially positive impact to save the environment and fight climate change). Volunteer, donate in any form, and speak up! Most environmental groups are always looking for new ways to reach people, always need help in one form or another, and appreciate hearing from concerned citizens.

A. Individual Action: Vote for upcoming legislation and local environment-friendly candidates

B. Family and Friends: Spread the word about Ridge/Goodell online (social media, blog posts, community forums, email, etc.), by sharing our newsletters and printed materials with your own community (church, school, club, neighborhood, family/friends, etc.)

C. Community and Beyond: We are on social media!  Come follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and share with others in your social network!

Be conscious about your impact on the planet daily

From food to energy, and everything in between, every little bit helps, but don’t beat yourself up if you forget once in a while. We’re all human and life happens. Help others remember and become aware in an encouraging and supportive way too! After all, getting your family, friends, and community involved has the biggest positive effect on positive change.  Start in your own home then get your extended family, friends, neighbors, church groups, clubs, schools to start themselves (create programs, community goals, etc.).

A. Individual Actions: Different areas in your daily life: home, office, vacation, yard, water, electricity/energy, transportation, carbon footprint, food use/waste/source etc.

B. Family and Friends: Create a friendly competition or reward system between groups/neighbors/clubs, family units, etc.

C. Community and Beyond: Bring a friend, group, family, etc. to an organized event (like our Bolsa Chica Stewards volunteer days!), volunteer to help at events or become regular volunteers at clean ups, restoration, education booths etc.

Invest for the future

Invest resources, time, money, almost anything will do. This is going beyond just taking action on a current issue, but investing in long-term conservation, innovation, ‘eco’ technology, and even the next generation.

A. Individual Actions: Planned giving (Learn more about the Bolsa Chica Land Trust Planned Giving)

B. Family and Friends: Invest to improve your own and your family’s property, and help your friends improve their properties, for long-term energy, water use, solar panels, water and local wildlife friendly yards, rain catches, electric cars, etc.

C. Community and Beyond: Invest in businesses, projects, infrastructure to improve community carbon footprint, make it easier and safer for people to improve personal impacts- city friendly bike paths, public transit, green spaces, community gardens etc.

Listen as Sir David Attenborough delivers a speech representing the voice of the people in the first People’s Seat address at the UN Climate Conference