Stories from a Blue Planet: Bob Kihslinger
Funny animals pictures fight climate change
I don’t think there is anything that makes people fall in love with nature more than a funny animal picture. Think about it. When you look at that goofy Parrot Fish in the photo above can you not smile?
There are dozens of websites that display funny photos of every species you can think of. For many of us, however, the smiles are wistful. With all the news about the un-wilding of the earth and the potential extinctions of thousands of creatures one’s brain juggles humor with grief.
It’s ok to laugh and cry at the same time, though, because there is way to manage the pathos part of the equation. Turn it into action. Hook up with the World Wildlife Federation and adopt an animal. I did. The giraffe has long been my favorite animal. I now support a giraffe somewhere in Africa. When hydrogen powered airplanes come into mode maybe I’ll go meet him. Lord knows I’ve seen enough funny giraffe images and every time I do, they now remind me to fight climate change.
Then there is the opportunity to find a "local" animal organization you can get involved with. A good friend of mine, Loretta, from Fort Collins, Colorado, spent time at a raptor refuge caring for recovering eagles, hawks and peregrines. Our neighbor, Tammy, is a rescue home for dogs. She takes them in, fattens them up, and gets them ready for adoption. Go search online to see what opportunities there are for you to support the creatures living right there in your hometown.
So, enjoy the animals of the earth as they troll human nature. Just remember you owe them for the smile.
(Here is a link to a wonderful animal photo contest website. Kids will especially love it.)
Laundry detergent in a cardboard eco bottle.
My wife and granddaughter recently bumped into a product at the local organic food store that created a little excitement in our household. It was liquid laundry detergent in a cardboard bottle. We have been looking for household products in our local stores that are sustainable and finding this one was cool.
Sure, there are already liquids in paper boxes like those kids drink and almond milk containers, but they barely scratch the surface of the liquid container industry. This is the first liquid detergent we have seen in a eco bottle.
There were 485 billion plastic bottles manufactured in 2020 and that number is expected to go up in 2021. Something must be done. There has been a lot of talk about these eco-bottles. Even Coca Cola, one of the world’s largest users of plastics, is promising to get into the act. There is no doubt that this new kind of packaging would greatly reduce plastic and solid waste. The question is whether paper bottles hold up and are cost effective. They must protect the liquid from fibers, be moldable, prevent gas from escaping CO2 beverages and resist damage. The biodegradable coating or liner is also a big issue.
Our “bottle” of detergent is holding up just fine. I must add that there are other better alternatives to a liquid detergent such as powders and tissues that don’t require vast amounts of water to produce and massive volume and weight to ship. It was fun to try it out anyway.
See what you can find in your local food store.
The market for meat has grown from 71 million tons to 340 tons since 1961. We are all familiar with the reasons this is a big problem: potential for increased infectious disease of which 75 percent is from animals, heart health, vast amounts of antibiotics introduced into nature since 65% on antibiotics is used on farms, the fact that half of global land is devoted to raising animals, and the 70 billion land animals are slaughtered for food each year and the methane emissions and run off from animal waste.
Plant-based and cultured meats are part of the solution. None of these are likely to produce a significant impact until many more consumers choose plant-based over factory produced red meat. Currently only 5% of the market is plant-based but growth rates are expected to be robust. What would it take for consumers to switch to plant-based alternatives? For me it’s simple. The stuff must taste great and cost about the same as the meat I normally buy. As a flexitarian, I am satisfied with the taste and buy plant-based products both at the grocery store and my fast-food vendor. The cost, however, still leaves something to be desired.
The 48-minute video above is an interesting look at where the industry is headed. It suggests that the price will continue to drop and be flat out competitive in about 5 years. Millennials and Gen Zs will grow up culturally attuned to the plant-based lifestyle and farmers will begin finding that growing plants rather than animals can be more profitable. So, the future looks bright? I think so. Polls show consumers are ready to jump in.
If you haven’t put your toe in the water, it’s time to give it a try. Meat alternatives just might surprise you. Check out the video.