The following ethical clothing companies were recommended by
Rebecca Burgess of Fibershed:
*purchase 100% organic cotton
*more vendor/producer listings on Fibershed.com
*purchase 100% organic cotton
*more vendor/producer listings on Fibershed.com
By Lexi Neely, Sustainable Fairfax Intern & Drake SEA-DISK student
Paul Hawken initiated a research project that had never been done before: the goal was to find the most impactful solutions to reverse global warming based on quantifiable data. This body of work, summarized in the book Drawdown, ranks the solutions based on the amount of greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere. Food waste comes in third place, with an estimated reduction of 70.53 gigatons of CO2 (Hawken, 2017).
The impact of food waste on the environment begins with farming itself. Conventional farming has proven to be detrimental to the environment, requiring massive clear cutting, excessive resources such as water, harmful pesticides, and fertilizers, and the extensive use of machines. Additionally, a significant amount of energy is used to run the factories and machines that process food.
Transportation of food also creates a large carbon footprint. People often purchase foods like bananas from Ecuador, rice from Cambodia, and coffee from Ethiopia without knowing how far away their foods are coming from. These items travel long distances, emitting a significant amount of greenhouse gases along the way.
Next, the food is taken to a supermarket where refrigeration coolants are used in abundance to keep the food cool and fresh. The problem with this, however, is that harmful chemicals such as hydrofluorocarbons are released which warm the atmosphere at a rate 1,000-9,000 times greater than carbon dioxide (Hawken, 2017).
There is another aspect of food waste that has proven to be very destructive to the atmosphere. Approximately 40% of food in the United States ends up in the landfill which produces extremely high amounts of methane. (USDA, 2013). The anaerobic conditions in the landfill stimulate the growth of methane producing bacteria (EPA, 2017). Methane is approximately 30 times more potent as a heat trapping gas than carbon dioxide (Princeton University, 2014).
Currently there is not sufficient data available to quantify the methane released from food waste in landfill, and therefore, it is not reflected in Hawken’s final data. But without a doubt, the number of greenhouse gases produced due to food waste is much higher than quantified in the book.
Both low-income and high-income countries have issues with food waste, however the reasons are different. In low-income countries the majority of food loss occurs primarily during production, transportation, or even in the fields. They often do not have the resources and infrastructure in place for preserving produce and keeping it fresh, and therefore it is often inedible by the time it reaches the consumer.
In higher income countries, food waste occurs closer to the retail and consumer end of the cycle. Many consumers will only purchase fruits and vegetables without blemishes, prompting restaurants and grocery stores to reject produce that is perfectly healthy to eat.
Additionally, in affluent communities, food establishments often over-order food to ensure they will have enough inventory to keep customers satisfied. People have also become less inclined to eat leftovers, which results in large percentages of food being thrown away. Most of this uneaten food travels to the landfill and produces methane gas which further perpetuates the cycle of global warming.
By reducing food waste as Paul Hawken’s book Drawdown proposes, 70.53 gigatons of CO2 could be reduced from the atmosphere (Hawken, 2017). Solutions posed in the book Drawdown give me hope that there are ways we can successfully ease and even reverse global warming.
Good News for Fairfax Residents! A small, green kitchen counter compost container was delivered to each Fairfax resident last November. Put your food scraps in the container and then dump the contents into your green curbside cart each week. You will reduce the amount of food waste in the landfills in Marin, and become part of the solution to climate change. Learn more about the program here.
Hawken, P. (2017). Drawdown: the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming. New York, NY: Penguin Books.
How much food waste is there in the United States and why does it matter? (2013). Retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/faqs.htm
Princeton University. (2014, March 27). A more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, methane emissions will leap as Earth warms. Retrieved November 29, 2017, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140327111724.htm
Basic Information about Landfill Gas. (2017, August 09). Retrieved November 29, 2017, from https://www.epa.gov/lmop/basic-information-about-landfill-gas
Sustainable Fairfax and the Fairfax Chamber are hosting the sixth annual Streets for People; an Open Streets event in downtown Fairfax, on Sunday August 27, 2017 from 10:00 am to 4:00pm. The event transforms Bolinas Road in downtown Fairfax into a lively car-free space for a day.
FOOD, MUSIC AND FUN: Catch live music, grab a bite to eat or drink at an outdoor café, find a new outfit at the clothing swap, take a free yoga class, get creative with chalk art in the street, chair painting or other art projects, try out a temporary tattoo, connect with friends, join a dance class… or just dance… and more!
This year, there will be a SUMMER OF LOVE flavor at this event, and you are encouraged to dress the part! There will be open dancing to 60s music- schedule coming soon.
YOUTH MUSIC SHOWCASE: This year the Youth Music Showcase will be in Bolinas Park featuring young talented musicians and singers. There will also be fun activities in the park for youth and adults alike, including hula hooping- a tradition at Streets for People.
EDUCATION: Outreach tables by nonprofits and local agencies will provide information and resources focusing on sustainability and community.
TRANSIT ALLEY: The event celebrates alternative transportation and will feature Transit Alley, with biking, walking and public transportation related exhibits as part of Sustainable Fairfax’s ReduceX2 campaign. You will have the opportunity to practice loading a bike on a Golden Gate Transit bus and enter a drawing for free bus passes!
ZERO WASTE: Bring your reusable water bottle to the US PURE WATER water station. Also be sure to use the silverware provided by Sustainable Fairfax at the food stands on the street (and place them in the buckets provided after use). There will be composting and recycling stations available on the street.
OPEN STREETS MOVEMENT: Streets for People is part of a national and international movement of Open Streets events, inspired by Ciclovía, a successful weekly event in Bogotá, Columbia that opens over 70 of miles of city streets to citizens for outdoor physical activity, attracting up to 2 million participants. “It is the diversity of people in a common space which allows for a rich community fabric in which each citizen is a thread,” says Renee Goddard of Sustainable Fairfax. “The vision behind Fairfax’s Streets for People is to create community resiliency and positive spirit. It’s a celebration of what makes Fairfax unique, and a fun opportunity to stimulate our local economy.”
BIKE, BUS OR WALK TO THE EVENT! Free bike valet service will be provided in the parking lot next to Gestalt.
On April 1st, 2017 we hosted our annual benefit at the Marin Museum of Bicycling in Fairfax! The event brought over 100 people together from the Fairfax community and beyond to enjoy a fun evening together in the beautiful museum space.
ENTERTAINMENT: Jack Irving offered his lovely acoustic tunes early on and the Fairfax Funsters of Funtime, a talented community band led by Robert Powell, inspired lots of dancing throughout the night. The April Fools fun was offered up by David Haskell and Kiki La Porta who challenged the audience to a questionnaire of Fairfax history (answers to be posted soon!).
AUCTION: Our silent and live auctions were a big success and featured over sixty items. See Ellauri of Key Tea/Open Secret Bookstore was a masterful auctioneer and inspired some lively bidding! The sexy hotness sleeping bags, modeled by Renee Goddard (see photo), were won by Taste Kitchen & Table owner Lorenzo Jones.
E-BIKE RAFFLE! We were thrilled to feature a Kalkhoff electric bike, generously donated by The New Wheel, for our raffle this year. We sold 889 tickets, and the winner was… drum roll… Peter Laques! Peter played with the Fairfax Funsters band all evening and also serves on the Fairfax Town Council. He was shocked to win the $2k bike and even rode the bike home from the event. Other raffle winners included Sam Jones and Pat Eklund for items donated by Boreas Gear!
Nate Byerley of The New Wheel traveled from Arizona to join us and announced their new Bicycle & Car Trade-in program! Believe it or not, you can trade in a car for credit towards an electric bike. This program aligns nicely with the Sustainable Fairfax ReduceX2 program which encourages less car trips per week.
More Thank You’s: Donna’s Tamales, Grilly’s, Jasmine Market, Miyoko’s Kitchen, Sorella’s, Lagunitas Brewery, Marin Brewing Company for food and drink. Also thanks to Marin Sanitary Service, Flynn Riley LLP and North Berkeley Investment Partners for generously helping with event expenses. The Marin Museum of Bicycling. And rock star volunteers Lynette Carlton, Lexi Neely (our intern!), Allison Ritter, Stephanie Schipper, Kat Steele and Laura Vernon.
Sustainable Fairfax is grateful for being a part of an engaged and connected community, and thanks everyone who has supported our mission over recent years. We look forward to continuing with more education, activism and conservation in the years ahead!