green and environment

The bumblebee was officially added to the endangered species list.

 Please:

  • Go plant an organic flower native to wherever you are
  • Leave your “weeds” alone they probably aren’t hurting anything
  • Stop using/buying Roundup and all other insecticides, herbicides, pesticides. 
  • If you have a bee problem (which almost never happens) call a local beekeeper! They will remove them safely free of charge
  • Bumblebees usually nest underground and just wanna be left alone! They won’t hurt you. To prevent destroying their habit during hibernation, avoid mowing yards until April or May. If you do mow, raise the blades to the highest setting

Please save my fat clumsy fuzzy friends I love them and they’re very good pollinators.

A Survival Guide To Recycling in Germany

One of the most immediate culture shocks of traveling to Germany, especially if you grew up in the United States, is Germany’s seeming obsession with recycling. Whereas in the U.S. you are lucky if you can locate a recycling bin in public areas like parks or street corners, you’ll have the opposite problem in Germany, where you’ll find a sometimes confusing plethora of multi-colored bins. If you have been in this situation, looking around desperately to strangers or waiting to see what items other drop in each bin, we feel you. YOU are not alone. Even Germans sometimes question which bin is appropriate for which items.

Due to this common culture shock and the often harsh punishment one receives for a wrong move, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on German recycling.

Step 1: Prevent creating waste in the first place

Germany has created and continues to develop a culture of minimal waste. This is true for projects big and small: here are a few examples of major reducers of waste.

Bag fee: Germany combats the environmental threat of excessive plastic bag-use by adding a small fee onto bags at stores. Even though it’s small, the fee has further motivated people to bring their own reusable bags or carts to stores. Some stores now don’t offer plastic bags at all–opting instead to offer paper bags for those who need them.

Lack of excess packaging: Say tschüss to those individually wrapped fruit packages or items wrapped individually in plastic, then wrapped collectively in plastic.

Quality over quantity: According to a 2016 report by Germany Trade and Invest, Germans are well researched and particular consumers. They are much more risk averse and likely to return items that don’t meet their expectations. This makes things like quality labels or reviews really important and generally lends towards a population that has fewer, but higher quality possessions that don’t need constant replacement.

Step 2: Pfand

Imagine if, for every bottle–plastic or glass, you bought, you had to pay extra for it. The deal in Germany is that you pay more initially but then receive that surcharge back when you give the bottles back for recycling. So, just like when you weekly take the garbage out in the States, in Germany it is a regular habit to return your bin of recycling to super markets where you will find a machine like this:

This machine scans the bar code of your items, and prints a receipt for you to redeem at the register. Basically, if you don’t recycle your eligible items for Pfand, you are losing money.

As a tourist, you have potentially experienced Pfand in a different way. At Christmas markets, stands will charge you extra for the mug that hot drinks are served in. You can choose to keep the mug as a memento, or to return it for Pfand.

You may have also been asked for your empty bottle in public by someone collecting them to return. This is potentially convenient for you, earns them a little money by returning them AND it is good for the earth. Triple whammy! There are even entire non-profits that fund themselves by collecting Pfand at events or concerts.

Step 3: Choose your bin

This part sounds really uncomplicated from an American perspective. Trash or recycling…right?

After giving back bottles for Pfand, Germans sort trash typically by paper, plastic, bio/organic, glass, and other. Though details are dependent on town or region, a general breakdown goes like this:

Paper= blue bins. This bin is for cardboard, newspapers, magazines, waste paper, paper bags, etc, etc.

Plastic = Yellow bins. This is for plastic such as body wash, shampoo, sunscreen, laundry detergent, and juice bottles

Glass= Glass is sorted by color. There are different slots for depositing green, brown and clear glass. In this bin you should be putting any kind of jars (mustard, jam, yogurt, etc), oil bottles, wine bottles or the like.

Bio (organic) = green bins. This is for food waste like egg shells, banana peel, or scraps of food you didn’t eat.

Other = black bins. You choose your size and you’re charged accordingly. They send you a sticker each year to show that you’ve paid for it. Residual waste is garbage that neither includes pollutants nor reusable components. For example ash, dust bag, cigarette ends, rubber, toiletries, and diapers are thrown into the black bin.

Step 4: Enjoy a cleaner earth!

Though the effect of one person caring about the environment is small, the collective effort of a nation makes a dent. Germany leads the European nations in recycling, with around 70 percent of the waste the country generates successfully recovered and reused each year.

Recycling is only one part of Germany’s environmental efforts. Find more about national and local environmental initiatives here: http://www.germany.info/Vertretung/usa/en/07-Econ-Energy-Innovation/01-Energy-Climate-Env/Energy-Climate-Env.html

🌳🌳Pagans for Puszcza🌳🌳

Dear Pagan Tumblr,

There is something I want to ask of you today.

As some of you may know, I am Polish. As some of you may also know, Poland is currently having big problems with its borderline-totalitarian government.

That government is doing all sorts of incredibly harmful things to our country, on all fronts - from commercial laws through women’s rights and ending with ecological vandalism.

The territory of Poland contains a part of Puszcza Białowieska (Białowieża Forest) - a vestige of a primeval forest that has once covered most of Europe. It is a thing, a place, an organism of immense beauty and value, recognised by UNESCO.

However, the current government is not interested in things like that. Motivated by greed, by sheer arrogance, and by hatred of everything that falls outside their extremely narrow, rightwing-bigoted-christian morals, the government has changed the environmental laws and allowed for the Puszcza to be treated like any other state-governed woodland. Which means not only human intervention in its natural processes (such as removing fallen trees, which interferes with the normal cycle of an ecosystem) but also allows logging.

Yes. The government has allowed for trees to be cut down in the last vestige of UNESCO-protected primeval forest.

The EU is trying to pressure them to stop, but it becomes increasingly apparent that they are simply too stupid, or too arrogant, to do that. Brought before the European Commission, a Polish Minister claimed the EC “has their facts wrong.”
Many citizens of Poland are afraid that the actions of the government are a deliberate attempt to have Poland thrown out of the EU.

What does all that have to do with the Pagan tumblr? Well, I want to ask for your help.
There are many ways in which you can help. The best way is, of course, money, but I know most of witchlr is broke young people, so today I’m talking about something else.
(If you nevertheless want and can help financially, I will write a separate post about that).

Many among the activists fighting to stop the logging are Pagans of various shades. Some of them are currently in the Puszcza Camp - a small campsite of activists set inside the Puszcza proper, where they physically stop the logging activities by chaining themselves to the harvester machine wheels.
Those of us who cannot be there physically assist them in other ways, such as making it possible for them to leave work, picking up the slack they leave behind, chipping in for the fines they get (they get fined for each day of “obstruction”), and prayers.

Today, October 19th 2017, on the new moon, a group of Pagan activists has arranged to perform mass rituals in order to help and encourage those fighting for the Forest, as well as the Forest itself. Our rituals are to start today on 19:00 CET, but as the activists camp there for weeks, I don’t think the time is the most important part of it.

Our group decided to use the symbol pictured below as our spiritual anchor - every sub-group (or solitary practitioner) will do their thing tonight, but including this symbol as a demonstration of intent. One of us who is present on site has made the same symbol out of twigs out there, consecrated it in her own rite, and left it in the forest.

That is our anchor, that is where we send our energy, our magic, our prayers.

If any of you want and can do the same, I strongly encourage you to do so, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

washingtonpost.com
France becomes the first country to ban plastic plates and cutlery
The ban, to take effect in 2020, is part of a program aimed at making France a model for reducing environmental waste.

Another great step in the right direction to reduce single-use plastics and plastic pollution in the ocean!

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Happy October fellow Solarpunks! A new season gives a new way to look at alt-energies. Get spooky, get solarpunk!

(Solarpunk is a genre & aesthetic about optimistic futures of the planet built and maintained by solar energy, sustainable living, etc. To find out more, search around for “Solarpunk”)