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Aug 25

Green Bexley: Sustainable September offers topics of focus for everyone – The Columbus Dispatch

Elizabeth Ellman| Bexleys Sustainability Programs coordinator

Waste reduction is a big interest of mine.

I likely caught the bug around October 1990 when Bexley began its curbside recycling program. However, as much as I try to divert from the landfill via recycling food waste or otherwise I know that reducing my waste is a better and more sustainable option for the planet.

We cant simply recycle our way out of the climate crisis, but were in so deep that we cant just reduce our way out, either. While recycling may positively impact our waste issue, we also have to work towards solving the deforestation, pollution, water, and climate crisis issues.

As Ive learned more about ways to help impact the larger issues at hand, Ive become increasingly more aware of my greenhouse gas contributions. I understand that I as one out of more than seven billion people in the world and not the leader of a corporation that is contributing disproportionately have a small impact. I also recognize that if no one does anything, nothing will change. So what is anyone to do? The answer: Anything and everything we can while encouraging others to do the same.

Ambitious action is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the increase in average global temperature below 2, but preferably 1.5, degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

To put this into perspective: Since 1880, weve raised the temperature by more than 1 degree. The actions must be big, and they must be implemented on a large-scale, worldwide. The good news is that there are actions, some of which have more potential than others.

Thankfully, the scientists at Project Drawdown have studied more than 90 potential actions and quantified them by their potential to reduce or sequester emissions. Not all of them are accessible to individuals in central Ohio (think onshore wind turbines), but three of the top eight are applicable to us and also happen to be topics for Green Bexleys Sustainable September. Each week is themed, with a free film screening at Capital Universitys Mees Hall (7 p.m. Sept. 2 and 2 p.m. Sept. 11, 18 and 25) and a related program following later in the week.

Our first week of programming, Sept. 2-10, is focused on plant-rich diets, one of the top three solutions. If 50-75% of the worldwide population shifted to a diet averaging 2,300 calories with reduced meat consumption, Project Drawdown states that 54.19-78.48 gigatons of emissions can be avoided. This number is so large, that an attempt to quantify it equates to 324-468 million blue whales which is 18,400 times more blue whales than are alive. Even more emissions (bringing the total range to 78.33 to 103.1) can be avoided with a decrease in animal agriculture, which significantly contributes to tropical deforestation.

On Sept. 2 is the free screening of the film Cowspiracy and a vegan food truck fest, both at Capital University.

The second week, Sept. 11-17, is based on distributed solar photovoltaics basically, solar panels. Should the capacity of panels grow and the cost continue to decline, Project Drawdown estimates 26.6564.86 gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided. To encourage Bexley residents to explore solar panels, this weeks film will be Catching the Sun. On Sept. 14, Bexley Public Library will host an informational session with Solar United Neighbors about the Columbus Area solar co-op.

The third week, Sept. 18-24, will focus on reduced food waste which, after the implementation of plant-rich diets, can avoid 88.50102.20 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. The problem is so bad, that if food waste was a country, it would be the third greatest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions. Well be screening WASTED! The Story of Food Waste on Sept. 18 and observing food rescue in action at the Taste of Bexley.

To conclude the month, well be focusing inwards and thinking about how our community can make a difference. Our film series will conclude with 2040 on Sept. 25 and interested residents can join us for a community conversation on Oct. 1 to discuss how we move forward together.

I hope youll join us this month to learn more about the most impactful actions we can take. Its going to take us all!

Program dates, times and locations can be found at greenbexley.org/sustainableseptember.

Elizabeth Ellman is the city of Bexleys Sustainability Programs coordinator. Learn more about the citys sustainability programs at bexley.org/sustainability and how you can take action at greenbexley.org and @greenbexley on Facebook and Instagram.

Excerpt from:
Green Bexley: Sustainable September offers topics of focus for everyone - The Columbus Dispatch

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