This is the second in a series of posts about how to green your life, week by week.
This week, thanks to Mindy Pennybacker’s Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth through Simple, Everyday Choices , I decided to confront my bottled water addiction. Like most addicts, I tell myself that I’m not addicted. Sure, I’ll indulge in bottled water every now and then, but what’s the harm in that, right?
Wrong! If one in 20 Americans stopped buying disposable water bottles, we would eliminate 30 million pounds of plastic waste a year. When Do One Green Thing hit me with this fact, it blew me away. When did it become socially acceptable to eject 30 million pounds of non-biodegradable waste onto the planet? Sure, some of the plastic is recycled, but an estimated 80 percent is placed in landfills, and finds its way to our local waterways and oceans.
This is the third in a series of posts about the 2009 Ocean Heroes finalists.
Today we’re catching up with 19-year-old Emily Goldstein, who was an ocean hero finalist because she convinced thousands of people and dozens of large companies to reduce their energy use, saving 16 million pounds of CO2.
She has also given dozens of talks to large groups about climate change and ocean pollution, and in 2008 she donated over 1,000 hours to make the ocean healthier. Emily is planning an ocean awareness day in Louisville, KY, when she’ll set sail on the Ohio River on a boat of recycled bottles.
Emily is a rock star; I’m not sure when she sleeps. Here she is:
“I'm a freshman at the University of Louisville. I'm getting a dual biology/ecology degree, and then I hope to get my PhD in wildlife conservation. It's my dream to work in the field doing research on how to save marine wildlife.
I have been a busy little environmentalist this year. I have been trying to get someone to fund my ocean awareness day, but I guess the economy has made it hard for everyone to raise money. I haven't given up on it, though, and I will make it happen eventually.
Happy Friday, ocean lovers! Lots of juicy ocean news to review this week.
...The big ocean story of this week was a positive one: the U.S. backed the bluefin tuna trade ban at the upcoming CITES meeting. The Washington Post published a great slideshow of bluefin photos and the New York Times ran an editorial urging the U.S. to convince the EU and others to follow their lead.
...Chile's fishing industry, which produces 4 percent of the world's annual catch of seafood, was hit hard by the recent earthquake. Meanwhile, the country's salmon farms, which are located hundreds of miles south of the quake's epicenter, suffered minimal damage, but have been affected by the slowdown in transportation.
...Turns out the Great Pacific Garbage Patch has a cousin in the Atlantic, hundreds of miles off the North American coast, roughly in the latitudes between Cuba and Virginia. Researchers from Woods Hole found more than 520,000 bits of trash per square mile in some areas.