We’ve long been huge fans of Annie Leonard’s brilliantly succinct “The Story of Stuff.” Now, she’s turning her focus on bottled water, cosmetics, electronics, and cap and trade.
She tells it like it is in The Story of Bottled Water. (Follow this link for the full version.) Get the inside scoop on that old advertising trick, “manufactured demand.” And, did you know that a third of all bottled water actually in the US comes from municipal taps? She also explains the difference between recycling and downcycling. And check this quote from Pepsi’s chairman: “The biggest enemy is tap water.”
Take back the tap! Make a personal commitment to not buy or drink bottled water. Then, take the next step by joining up with an advocacy organization to improve access to clean, safe water for everyone.
“Carrying bottled water is on its way to being as cool as smoking while pregnant.” Go, Annie!
In response to this week’s Wishcasting question. . .My first wish for winter is always for a lot of snow. I love how snow covers everything, smudging away the angular edges that divide everything up into neat, separate objects all the rest of the year. Snow requires us to see our world through different eyes; its magical visual effects are so invigorating and uplifting.
The other reason I wish for snow now is to somehow stave off the effects of global climate change. The last several years, Maryland has had mild weather, both summer (a blessing!) and winter (boring!!). Back in 2003, it snowed a lot in February AND in December. That’s my son after the December 2003 storm. In “Long Distance,” Bill McKibben bemoans this trend and its effect on the cross-country skiing industry. It’s been 6 years since I’ve been able to ski around my neighborhood!
I love how Chinese medicine describes both the seasons and the elements related to them. Fittingly, water is the element in winter. Water is so willful and strong; ice formed inside a wall can literally tear it down without even trying. Water always, always finds a way around something. My final wish this winter is to be as willful and resourceful as water in its many forms. What’s your wish?
Common Waters is a blog that focuses on environmental issues affecting the Chesapeake Bay region (New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia), with an emphasis on areas of concern affecting watersheds that surround Baltimore City. Created by Valerie Butler who has a B.S. in biology and has worked for many federal, state and local environmental research organizations. Find out more about what’s being done to protect our waterways, environmental film fests and other outdoor events.
Verde Landscape Design is located in Baltimore and specializes in native plant landscaping. They’ll tell you what’s best to help shape your property and better support the surrounding ecosystem. They are a small and independently owned. Joyce Kelly owner and designer is focused on providing “creative sustainable and environmentally conscious landscaping.” They currently do not have a website but feel free to email or call them at 443.631.4001 or email@example.com.
The Center for Watershed Protection is a non-profit corporation that provides local governments, activists, and watershed organizations around the country with the technical tools for protecting the nation’s streams, lakes, and rivers. The center has developed and disseminated a multi-disciplinary strategy to watershed protection that encompasses watershed planning, watershed restoration, storm water management, watershed research, better site design, education and outreach, and watershed training.
The Jones Falls Watershed Association works to protect and restore the health and beauty of the Jones Falls Watershed through restoration, monitoring, advocacy, and citizen awareness. The volunteer-driven grassroots organization is credited with bringing attention back to the river and building awareness of the stream and stream valley as natural resource assets for the community. Volunteers participate in trash cleanups, water quality monitoring, buffer plantings, and working with large landowners in the watershed to improve land management practices.
The Baltimore Harbor Watershed Association’s mission is to protect and improve the environmental quality and natural beauty of the Baltimore Harbor and its tributaries. Specifically, they plan on installing a trash netting/collection system around the harbor, creating educational trash programs in the neighborhoods and school systems, and addressing the water quality issues in the city’s harbor and tributaries. More information on the organization, the watershed, and volunteer opportunities can be found on their website.