One of my eco-heroes is the writer Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and many other titles, and director of 350.org – an organization that is trying to make it simple to understand the situation we face with global warming and promotes action to address it. Just take a peek at the graphic from his site and you’ll see.
I’m all for reducing carbon emissions to that magic number of 350, but I’m also kind of freaked out about methane. According to the epa‘s website, methane is a most potent greenhouse gas – they put it this way:
Methane is over 20 times more effective in trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (CO2) over a 100-year period and is emitted from a variety of natural and human-influenced sources. Human-influenced sources include landfills, natural gas and petroleum systems, agricultural activities, coal mining, stationary and mobile combustion, wastewater treatment, and certain industrial process.
And it is that landfill part that gets me – that’s the problem with throwing so much trash away: in the landfill it WILL produce methane, which WILL contribute to climate change, a lot.
So if you are packing a Zero Waste Lunch for your Mar Vista student, you have another reason to feel good – you are helping reduce the production of methane in landfills. We salute you. If you are still thinking about it, get a reusable container or two today. Throw in a cloth napkin and a reusable water bottle and your student could be the next Zero Trash Hero.