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Simon Leufstedt

Earth Day 2009

Earth Day is celebrated April 22 every single year, both held annually during spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. These are intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. The United Nations celebrates an Earth Day each year on the March equinox, a tradition which was founded by peace activist John McConnell in 1969. A second Earth Day, which was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in in 1970, is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22.

What are your thoughts about Earth Day? Will you do anything special on Earth Day?

Is Earth Day a day worth celebrating or is it a waste of time? Do we really need a special day to celebrate and put environmental issues in the spotlight?

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Earth Day is definitely worth celebrating. There are still many people who don't really care about how they negatively affect the environment and making them aware by creating a special day will hopefully make them change their ways, at least for one day. It's also nice to have a holiday for the earth.

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I think Earth day is worth celebrating too!!

Personally, I prefer to think of April 23rd as Earth day - supposed to be a better date numerologically, lol!!

Anyway, as my birthday is in April, I thought it would be COOL to celebrate both my b-day & Earth's b-day together!!

So I asked my family (Mom, Dad, Sis) for a most horrible & biggest gift ever: no waste! :)

Yes, I actually asked them for a zero waste week, lol!! :)

Of course they weren't thrilled!!

I am considered 'greenest' (& 'craziest'!) of the family, & 'no waste' - 'is this possible?' - 'This is not possible' - is all I heard...

In the end, we had some great results nevertheless, it wasn't perfect, but they did much better than I feared, lol!! :)

You can read more at my blog Layla's Experiments! :) if you just scroll down & start at the bottom... :)

/Not sure if it's okay to put it in my signature too?/

Did you guys do anything special too?

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I think Earth day is worth celebrating too!!

Personally, I prefer to think of April 23rd as Earth day - supposed to be a better date numerologically, lol!!

Anyway, as my birthday is in April, I thought it would be COOL to celebrate both my b-day & Earth's b-day together!!

So I asked my family (Mom, Dad, Sis) for a most horrible & biggest gift ever: no waste! :)

Yes, I actually asked them for a zero waste week, lol!! :)

Of course they weren't thrilled!!

I am considered 'greenest' (& 'craziest'!) of the family, & 'no waste' - 'is this possible?' - 'This is not possible' - is all I heard...

In the end, we had some great results nevertheless, it wasn't perfect, but they did much better than I feared, lol!! :)

You can read more at my blog Layla's Experiments! :) if you just scroll down & start at the bottom... :)

/Not sure if it's okay to put it in my signature too?/

Did you guys do anything special too?

A zero waste week? Is that even possible!? :cute:

And yes, of course can you put your blog's link in your signature. :)

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He he.. we didn't manage to get 'exactly to zero'... (maybe next zero waste week :))

We do produce less waste in a month now than in 1 week before :)

We had 1 small plastic bag of 'mixed waste' a week, & now it's been a month & it's only half full!! :) YAY!!

& our neighbours make MUCH more each week!! They make one BIG trash can each week!!

100_1379.JPG

The purpose of a zero waste week is to become aware of the waste you make & encourage yourself & other people in the household to go for less excessive packaging, purchase only stuff with recyclable packaging & ideally stuff with no packaging at a farmers' market, etc.

Recyclable stuff is not counted as 'trash' but as 'secondary materials'!

But the idea is to have even less recyclables - as little as possible!! :)

So these are our results: http://laylasexperiments.blogspot.com/2009...ek-results.html

We didn't start with a completely empty bin, as it didn't seem in the true spirit of 'zero waste' - we made very little waste previous week already: http://laylasexperiments.blogspot.com/2009...waste-week.html (1st pic is results from week 1, 'before' the 'official' zero waste week) - There's a description of the ZW week too, some huge (small) things were accomplished, that seemed impossible before! :)

/we are currently not vegetarian, so hope you won't be too shocked by that aspect! We do eat less meat than many people here.. :)/

We are not ideal yet, but it was a great learning experience!!

And how much trash do you make? :)

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hehe that is great! :thumbup:

And how much trash do you make?

Ohhh I don't know really. I don't count it. But I do compost the food and recycle everything else.

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hehe that is great! :thumbup:

Ohhh I don't know really. I don't count it. But I do compost the food and recycle everything else.

Thanks! :) Yeah, I think it's pretty great too!! :D

It is really great you compost & recycle!! :)

The idea behind zero waste week is to improve your system, whatever it is!

Take a look at this site: http://www.beyondrecycling.net/

And this thread on the Friends of the Earth site: Recycling bottles by re-use - I post in it how packaging recovery companies from 24 European countries are crying out to their governments & EU for help!! & one of their 'solutions' is asking for landfill or incineration to have priority over recycling!! :(:huh:

As Sweden is to lead EU soon (or has it started already?) you guys could really do some stuff to raise awareness of your politicians too?

So if you can figure out a way to buy even less non-recyclable stuff, or even avoid unnecessary recyclable packaging & buy things 'naked' (no packaging :D ), this would be great!! :)

PS I didn't count our trash at first either, just an estimate like '1 big/small plastic bag' or '1/4 bag a week' or '1 big bin' is totally fine!! :)

If you live with other people (like family, roommates, etc) no one will hold it against you, if you say a horrible amount - it's not always us who do the littering! (for example, just yesterday, my Dad did something horrible!) family members or roommates can be difficult to persuade, but it's doable! (at least to a degree!) It's an ongoing effort, he he..

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I wish you the best of luck in your zero-waste efforts. And I might take a closer look on my own garbage and see if I can reduce it in some ways. :cute:

As Sweden is to lead EU soon (or has it started already?) you guys could really do some stuff to raise awareness of your politicians too?

Sweden will take over the EU presidency soon. But if I were you I shouldn't have so high hopes on Sweden when it comes to the environment and the climate. This is because Sweden currently has a right-wing government who has done everything in their power to slow down, delay and stop environmentally sane progress in Sweden. For example has the Swedish right-wing government has called for as much as 88% of the EU emission cuts to be allowed to do overseas in development countries. [source]

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Aww,that's sad. Right-wing governments do tend to slow things down then. Our government does less and worse than our previous government, (which wasnt left-wing, dont think I support any parties,lol). Right-wing governments usually support the wealthy part of the population, which is going to be the one more economically affected if laws are imposed concerning consumption and energy usage.

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hmm.. I think both left- & right-wing governments can be bad!!

Remember I come from a country that used to be part of socialist ex-Yugoslavia, & some parts really have had a lot of industrial pollution, it's the same in most of other ex-communist countries of Eastern Europe etc. too!!

(okay, it's debatable if Slovenia is Eastern Europe, we like to think of ourselves as 'Middle Europe' like Austria or Switzerland! :))

capitalism has brought more garbage here (& too many supermarkets & too much choice!) - truth is there was sometimes too little choice before, & the little choice was sometimes environmentally bad too!!

basically there was less household garbage before, & now there is more - but some industry standards became stricter! (while some standards & regulations, like for air pollution, became worse! /sigh/)

I think wealthy people need to start being aware that they too can get ill & die (& develop iffy allergies or severe health problems) if the air quality is horrible or water or land is toxic.. we are all just human..

expensive medicines & doctors can help a bit, but noone can survive in a really toxic environment.. (even if they have trips to Hawaii every week!!)

I think more and more people in general are becoming aware of this, hopefully rich people will become aware even sooner, as they may have access to more information!!

Simon, YAY for taking a look at your trash & making a difference!! :) Do tell how it goes!! :)

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Aww,that's sad. Right-wing governments do tend to slow things down then. Our government does less and worse than our previous government, (which wasnt left-wing, dont think I support any parties,lol). Right-wing governments usually support the wealthy part of the population, which is going to be the one more economically affected if laws are imposed concerning consumption and energy usage.

Yes, right-wingers usually tend to block sane progress and ideas. And not just when it comes to the environment! :angry:<_<

hmm.. I think both left- & right-wing governments can be bad!!

Yes I sort of agree with you. But not completely! Where the left might be lacking in environmental progress is because they are held back by old ideas which are based on their ideology. An example could be one of the largest unions in Sweden who supports fossil fuels such as nuclear energy over renewable energy sources. Why? Because they believe it will benefit their members, i.e. workers, by supplying them with cheap (heavily state sponsored and subsidized) electricity. This even though nuclear energy is dangerous, will not help Sweden become energy independent, not an renewable source and will most likely not result in cheaper electricity.

Remember I come from a country that used to be part of socialist ex-Yugoslavia, & some parts really have had a lot of industrial pollution, it's the same in most of other ex-communist countries of Eastern Europe etc. too!!

(okay, it's debatable if Slovenia is Eastern Europe, we like to think of ourselves as 'Middle Europe' like Austria or Switzerland! :))

I understand your point. But I am not talking about communism as being the "left". Just as I am not saying that the "right" is nazism. Communism just like the right-wing politics in Nazi-Germany is extreme politics that I hope no one ever wants to see again.

I would also like to add that socialism is not communism. :cute:

It's also worth noting that during the Soviet Union era they passed some of the most advanced environmental protection laws in the whole world. And ecologically the Soviet Union pioneered in various forms of environmental reforms and policies. Unfortunately when Stalin and his Stalinist bureaucracy came in power in the 30's these laws and policies were in practice disregarded and unenforced because the capitalistic goal of expending production. In other words it turned out to be communistic capitalism!? :huh:

capitalism has brought more garbage here (& too many supermarkets & too much choice!) - truth is there was sometimes too little choice before, & the little choice was sometimes environmentally bad too!!

basically there was less household garbage before, & now there is more - but some industry standards became stricter! (while some standards & regulations, like for air pollution, became worse! /sigh/)

I think wealthy people need to start being aware that they too can get ill & die (& develop iffy allergies or severe health problems) if the air quality is horrible or water or land is toxic.. we are all just human..

expensive medicines & doctors can help a bit, but noone can survive in a really toxic environment.. (even if they have trips to Hawaii every week!!)

I think more and more people in general are becoming aware of this, hopefully rich people will become aware even sooner, as they may have access to more information!!

Capitalism turns humans from free subjects into objects defined by their capacity to work and consume. Capitalism is all about the generating more money above anything else.

Simon, YAY for taking a look at your trash & making a difference!! :) Do tell how it goes!! :)

I will. :)

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Is Earth Day a day worth celebrating or is it a waste of time? Do we really need a special day to celebrate and put environmental issues in the spotlight?

Just as we have a National Trails Day for people to come out and work on hiking trails, Earth Day can serve much the same function, getting people out of the house and into the outdoors. Every park needs volunteers to work on various projects. And on NTD here, we normally get about 200 people on a Saturday. You arrange it so that you have activities for all ages, and mix educational functions along with work details that each accomplish a task that makes the park better.

We can get stores to donate food and drinks so it turns into a great social gathering....

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Just as we have a National Trails Day for people to come out and work on hiking trails, Earth Day can serve much the same function, getting people out of the house and into the outdoors. Every park needs volunteers to work on various projects. And on NTD here, we normally get about 200 people on a Saturday. You arrange it so that you have activities for all ages, and mix educational functions along with work details that each accomplish a task that makes the park better.

We can get stores to donate food and drinks so it turns into a great social gathering....

This seems very interesting!! :)

Maybe you can post pics & a description some time? (or is it on your blog or website?)

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Simon, I know socialism is not communism, lol!!

we were taught in primary school that we live in socialism, while 'communism is the ideal we are heading toward' (& will never achieve) or something like that... :)

also, Yugoslavia was socialistic by declaration, while some people just called us 'communist' country.. I think eg Poland or Chekhoslovakia were more 'communist' because they were under more direct Russian influence..

Do tell about your trash!! :) Looking forward to it! :)

And maybe a bit about recycling/waste management/incineration & such in Sweden too?

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