May 15, 2013 at 10:03 pm (Green Team Discussion)
Tags: advocacy, coal, environment
Dear Fabulous Friends of Faith,
Important climate victories can pass almost undetected, and yet they are the stuff from which hope is made. Those who wish to risk human health and Earth’s air and water work hard to make us believe that we cannot stop them, that the hideous cost of fossil fuels must be paid. They try to weaken our advocacy by telling us it is bound to fail. Do not believe this!
Today, there is excellent news. Of the six coal export terminals originally proposed to send 150 million tons of coal to China, one more has just bitten the dust. Gone are the Coos Bay, Oregon and the Greys Harbor, Washington proposals. And today, one that we were very worried about—at St. Helen’s, Oregon–has been withdrawn by its proponents.
This victory belongs to each of you who has joined with Earth Ministry to oppose coal export from Northwest ports, by submitting comments, holding adult education classes in your church, signing postcards, donating to Earth Ministry’s advocacy campaign or testifying at hearings. Every one of your actions made a difference. The vast community opposition to the St. Helen’s export terminal is the reason the company has withdrawn the proposal. Three down, three to go.
We’ve got hard work in front of us still, and there are many more actions we will all need to take: hearings, postcards, comments, forums. There are still three bad proposals in the works: Cherry Point and Longview in Washington, and the Port of Morrow in Oregon. But we CAN stop them. Our faith teaches us that what may seem inevitable is not necessarily so. The coal will stay in the ground.
With much love and appreciation for your hard work—what a fine community of friends and activists we have!
April 29, 2013 at 9:30 pm (Green Team Discussion)
Tags: advocacy, cookware, toxics, voluntary simplicity
With the Toxic-Free Kids Act coming down to the wire in the legislative session, here are some suggestions from the Washington Toxics Coalition on easy and inexpensive things we can do to reduce toxic chemicals in our own homes:
1. Leave your shoes at the door to keep from tracking harmful residues into the house.
2. Use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning.
3. Don’t microwave plastic. Use glass or ceramic containers instead.
4. Skip the canned beans which may contain bisphenol A (or at least be sure to rinse them very thoroughly)
5. Avoid air fresheners which may contain harmful chemicals. Just open the windows.
6. Whenever possible wash your hands with soap and water instead of using hand sanitizers.
7. Eat organic foods as much as possible and affordable.
8. Buy a cast iron pan to add iron to your diet and avoid exposure to chemicals found in non-stick coatings.
9. Skip the toxic weed killers.
10. Check out www.watoxics.org to learn more.
April 10, 2013 at 9:22 pm (Quotes to Ponder)
Tags: creation, spirituality
When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover
you cannot eat money.
April 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm (Uncategorized)
Tags: energy, recycling
CFL bulbs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) save energy and, because they last longer, also save money. However, they contain a small amount of mercury and cannot go into household recycling. Several locations in our area that will accept used CFLs at no charge:
- King County Hazardous Waster Locker at the Factoria Transfer Station 13800 SE 32nd St, Bellevue 206-296-4692
- Puget Sound Energy 355 110th Ave NE, Bellevue 1-800-562-1482
- Bartell Drug Stores various locations
Celebrate Earth Day with a tour of the Cascade Recycling Center in Woodinville. Find out where your recyclables go. April 22nd at 6:30PM Sign up at email@example.com
February 21, 2013 at 6:51 pm (Green Team Discussion)
Tags: advocacy, climate change
It was a great day in Olympia; approximately 500 people were registered for Environmental Lobby Day. We divided up by legislative district to visit our elected officials. I live in the 37th District, where our reps., at least the two we were able to meet with, have good voting records on environmental topics. Gov. Jay Inslee spoke at our rally in the capitol rotunda. Unfortunately, where I was standing, the acoustics weren’t very good, and I had to read about it later. Here is a link to some information about the governor’s proposed climate action bill:
This is not new a new plan, but implementation of legislation adopted in 2008 to reduce climate-changing pollution. Recommended action: call the state legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and ask your senator and representatives to support climate action bills SB5802 and HB1915.
February 12, 2013 at 12:15 am (Events)
Tags: gardening, stewardship, sustainability
Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 23, from 10AM to 2PM.
Guest Speaker: Jon Stevens
Local organic farmer and man with a mission
10:15 –11 a.m. Soil-What is it and how do I get more?
11:05 –11:50 a.m. Garden Design – Mimicking nature
12:30 –1:15 p.m Pruning – Quick cuts for happy plants
1:20 – 2 p.m. Food Safety & GMO – Is organic necessary?
Between noon and 12:30, Jon will talk with those who are interested about his mission in Mexico, Growing Gardens for Life, to teach farming skills to orphans, providing nutritious food for their orphanages and life-long skills to the children and their communities.
Sowing Seeds for Others: Kids’ Program
We’ll explore the Parable of the Sower and then use what we’ve learned about soil and planting to create a small vegetable garden at the church which we will tend all year, donating all the produce it provides to a local food bank.
Plant and Seed Exchange–Bring some, get some!
plus Informational Displays and Refreshments
Free and Open to the Public
First United Methodist Church,
1934 108th Ave. NE, Bellevue
February 4, 2013 at 11:04 pm (Green Team Discussion)
Tags: advocacy, conservation, environment
With Environmental Lobby Day coming up in Olympia on Feb. 19, here are some notes on legislative accountability from Washington Conservation Voters’ recent workshop. The 2012 Legislative Scorecard is available in the church library if you’d like to check your legislators’ voting records. Thanks to Becky R. of the Green Team for this information!
Washington Conservation Voters Environmental Seminar, January 12, 2013
Legislative Accountability Session
Influences on elected officials include: money, peer pressure, voters, trusted sources. Carrot and Stick.
- Educate legislator and self
- Face-to-face meetings
- Advocating for strong environmental protections
- Describing actions and educating legislators
- Educate ourselves in order to educate legislators
- Hold forums
- Share info on candidates and legislators with other voters
- Be an ambassador
- Quiz their knowledge, interests
- Communicate with them – calls, emails, visits
- Get to know legislative aides
- Attend informal office meetings and ‘coffee shop’ sessions
- Give them copies of studies, etc. (add executive summaries)
- Get a commitment from the legislator
- Bring those directly affected (by a particular issue) to specific sessions for testimony
- Media attention – letters to editors, articles, etc.
- Social media
- Attend town halls – testify verbally or by written statement
- Focus on specific bills
- Ask them to sponsor specific legislation
- Thank them for good work (or chastise if necessary)
- Review their voting score card
- Offer to help campaign for re-election (or tell them why you won’t support them)
- Ask for reasons behind particular votes
- Express disappointment; ask how we can push a particular issue in future.
- Letters to editor, social media – note both good and bad
- Attend Precinct Committee meetings, community meetings
- Recruit GOOD replacement candidates
- Magnify our voices – ask neighbors, etc to respond to legislation
- Circulate petitions
- Tell candidate we’re supporting them; or if not, whom and why. Especially if one had been a known supporter.
- Add a personal note to campaign contributions. List specific issues you want them to support.
- Organize group forums, speaker nights, debates
- Volunteer to be on steering committees.
January 14, 2013 at 11:11 pm (Green Team Discussion)
Tags: advocacy, conservation, energy, environment, toxics
The legislative priorities for this upcoming session were presented by a coalition of environmental organizations this past Saturday at Bellevue College. These groups come together each year to determine three areas on which to focus their lobbying and informational efforts at the state legislature in Olympia. The top three items this year:
1. Chemical-free kids: continuing efforts to ban cancer-causing flame retardants from children’s clothing and furniture. In past years, specific chemicals have been outlawed, only to be replaced by ones that are equally bad. [Washington Toxics Coalition]
2. Conservation Works: funding for conservation of natural resources is supposed to be funded through an existing tax on toxic products, but this revenue has been raided by the legislature in past years in order to fill gaps elsewhere in the budget. Restoration of these monies to their dedicated purpose will address stormwater run-off, a primary source of pollution in Puget Sound; preserve recreational and farm lands; and maintain forest health and reduce wildfires by removing plant debris. [The Nature Conservancy]
3. Climate and Clean Energy Solutions: A. Have a plan in place by 2014 to enforce legislation passed in 2008 to limit carbon emissions. B. Close tax loophole re tanks and boilers, which primarily benefits oil refineries. C. Adopt energy standards for battery chargers and other small appliances. D. Encourage home owners and small businesses to generate solar energy. [Washington Environmental Council]
This is a much-condensed explanation of the topics covered in Saturday’s workshop. For more information, contact the organizations mentioned in [brackets] after each topic.
January 7, 2013 at 11:37 pm (Green Team Discussion)
Tags: environment, recycling
Our church secretary Marsha, who’s found a recycler that will accept large cartridges from our obscure type of copier!
December 11, 2012 at 12:32 am (Uncategorized)
To cut back on junk mail, go to catalogchoice.org to limit the organizations from which you receive catalogs and advertising materials. (It’s a free service.) Here are their top 10 tips for holiday waste reduction.
- Reuse foam peanuts. Most packaging materials for shipping can be used more than once. Some shipping and mailing companies will also accept them for reuse.
- Compost your leftover food. It’s easy and makes for a great fertilizer!
- Wrap creatively. Use comics, old maps, sheet music, fabric/wallpaper scraps. And use fun tins and food boxes you crush and recycle for gift containers.
- Make festive recycling bins. They’re a great addition for your holiday party and a great activity for kids.
- Give the gift of time or talent. Take someone to a play, concert or movie. Make your own gift certificates. Offer your talents like photography or financial planning.
- Help your friends go green. Give planet-conscious gifts like compost bins, can crushers, water timers, programmable thermostats, rain barrels, bird feeders, light timers or bat house.
- Buy outdoor light strands that are wired in parallel. If one bulb goes bad, the others still work, so you won’t be throwing away entire “bad” strands.
- Keep it simple. One thoughtful gift is better than six wrapped packages of unwanted gifts.
- Don’t wrap oversized gifts. Hide them and give clues. Make gift-giving into a treasure hunt.
- Plan previously-loved or homemade gift exchanges. Books, a restored piece of furniture or a rebuilt bike can be cherished for many years and by many people.