Sustainability Reads: July 17- July 30

The Immense, Eternal Footprint Humanity Leaves on Earth: Plastics
From the 1950s to today, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced, with around half of it made since 2004. This new study also found that the amount of plastic produced and the amount found in the environment (rivers, lakes, land etc.) is staggering and increasing! Packaging is the biggest culprit contributing around 42% of the plastic produced in 2015. Out of all the plastic produced and is no longer in use, 12% has been incinerated, which is the only way to permanently dispose of plastic; 9% has been recycled, which only delays final disposal; and 60% — about 4.9 billion metric tons — is in landfills or scattered in the environment. Wow, that’s a lot of plastic. The good news is that there are many opportunities to reduce your plastic use every day. Study published in Science Advances, article in New York Times.

The Largest Wind Farm in the U.S. Is Growing in Oklahoma. It’s a Sign of the Times
The U.S.’s largest wind farm is under construction, and is taking place in a state that you might not expect: Oklahoma. The Wind Catcher wind farm that will power 800,000 homes is being built in Oklahoma’s panhandle, providing power to customers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. When complete, it is said to be the second-largest wind farm in the world. The project demonstrates that despite the federal government’s attempts to stop renewable energy, the market and economics are signaling a change of times. By Bobby Magill on Climate Central.

Al Gore on An Inconvenient Sequel and 3 Ways Everyone Can Fight Climate Change
In the lead-up to the release of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Al Gore talks a bit about his new movie, as well as what we can do to act on climate. The sequel to Gore’s consequential film An Inconvenient Truth (released in 2006) shows that the world is already experiencing climate change. The movie emphasizes that although we are seeing an energy revolution take place now, much more needs to be done. Our voice, choice and vote are key to making a difference. Check out the trailer to the film here and the Inconvenient Truth’s 10 Days of Action campaign here to learn what you can do to take part in solving the climate crisis. The documentary is now out in some theaters, and will be released nationwide August 4th.

Quote of the Week: “Perhaps the time has come to cease calling it the ‘environmentalist’ view, as though it were a lobbying effort outside the mainstream of human activity, and to start calling it the real-world view.” -E.O. Wilson

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