How Many Paper Towels Does It Take?

Does anybody remember the animated Tootsie Pop commercial?  “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?”

Strangely, I thought about that commercial the other day while in a public restroom.  I know, how odd!

Anyway, what made me think about this was, “How many paper towels does it take to dry your hands after washing them?” One, or two, or even three?

As I try to use less and less in my daily life, I am watching other people.  They make me think, how can we do better by our environment?  I see people quickly grab two or three paper towels give a few swipes on their hands and throw the half dry paper towels in the trash and walk away.  Do they give a thought as to what went into making those paper towels?  The raw resources and manufacturing energy needed?  Then there is the resources and energy that goes into disposing of the now little used paper towel.

No, they don’t.  It is just something to use for their convenience.  It has always been there.  So why give it any thought?

Well my conservationist brain has thought about it.  Just like avoiding plastic water bottles, straws, and plastic bags, we should avoid unconscious use of more paper towels in public restrooms than we really need.  I can dry my hands in one paper towel.

Just in case any of you don’t remember or are too young to know how many licks it does take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop, Mr. Owl stated three before he bit into it.

Leann lives and works in Frederick and is passionate about cleaning the earth and sustainable energy.

The Coffee Makers Funeral

The other day I heard a man brag about giving a worn-out coffee maker a ‘Viking funeral’.  For those who are not familiar with the Vikings, they would set their dead on a boat and light them on fire.  Then they would sail off to Viking heaven. Back then, of course, everything was biodegradable.

The man bragging about this is in his mid-thirties.  He has grown up spending the majority of his leisure time at the beach fishing and boating.  But like so many people, he only

sees the surface of things.  He doesn’t think about or maybe doesn’t want to think about what lies beneath, to see the consequences of his actions.

In this case, what he sees is a creative way to dispose of a no longer working coffee maker and a cool story to tell his friends.  But if he looked a little deeper, he would see the harm that he is doing by adding to the overwhelming collection of trash that already litters the sea floor.  He would see the marine life that will eventually eat the microplastics that is the future of this coffee maker, but he doesn’t. He was raised in a culture that is told to ‘get the most out of life’ and ‘do what makes you happy’.  “Enjoy the ride and do not think about anyone or anything else.”

Does he understand or even care that someday the ocean that he takes such joy in will no longer have fish in it or be so dirty you cannot swim safely in it? Or how about the food shortage that the lack of fish will cause?  Of course, one coffee maker will not produce these side effects.  It is the countless people not looking deeper to see the future consequence of their actions and not taking responsibility for them.

After all, he recycles.  He has solar panels. Which he brags about how he can fool the system in to giving him more credits from his utility company.  But that is another story. He is doing his part to help the environment, isn’t he? Is he?

This man just had his first child.  A little girl, with beautiful big eyes.  I wonder if he thinks about what type of world he is leaving her.

Do you think about the type world you are leaving your children?  I do. All the time.

Leann lives and works in Frederick and is passionate about cleaning the earth and sustainable energy.

Paris to Pittsburgh: a Review!

Leann Nizzardi contributed this blog after the showing of Paris to Pittsburgh by the Multi-Faith Alliance of Climate Stewards at Middletown United Methodist Church.

So last evening my daughter and I went to a showing of Paris to Pittsburgh. This is a new National Geographic documentary. I always find them fun and interesting. This one was about the current state of climate change and what Americans are doing about it. Kind of sounds like a downer. After all the negative stuff you hear in the media. But this was anything but!

About 40 people attended the June MACS showing of Paris to Pittsburgh!

Since the USA has pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement at a national level. Communities, large and small, have stepped into the void. Cities like Pittsburgh, PA have taken it upon themselves to meet the Paris Climate Agreement’s standard with renewable energy. The movie highlighted the many communities across the country in which solar and wind energy is quickly becoming the primary source of electricity.

There was also talk about widespread residential farming called ‘fleet farming’ to cut down on the emissions generated by log haul trucks.

The one thing that I took away from the experience is that Frederick, MD is not alone. There are so many communities doing their part. I got a real sense of hope and community. A willingness and need to share our best practices with other communities and learn from their best practices.

Check out the movie for yourself sometime. Better yet, watch it with your friend and family and share some ideas afterwards.

Leann lives and works in Frederick and is passionate about cleaning the earth and sustainable energy.