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Environmental Resources

Here are some helpful books and videos that share in the spirit of GreenFriends, plus resources related to plastic source reduction and the Tree Planting Campaign. If you have a favorite resouce you would like to share with the GreenFriends community, send it to info@greenfriendsna.org.

Videos and News Stories

Recycling is broken
Gizmodo - Nationwide, municipalities are facing higher costs and being forced to find stopgap solutions, from incinerators to landfills, for recyclables that have nowhere else to go.
It’s Time to Rethink How Recycling is Done

China doesn’t want to sort your trash anymore. The NIB explains the recycling crisis.

Eco-Friendly Vehicle Recycling

Each year over 14 million vehicles reach the end of their lives in the US. 80 percent of these car materials can be recycled, reused, and become something new.

98% of a car can be recycled

The Clunker Junker is making the earth a better place to live by helping people get rid of their junk cars in a way that's safe for our planet.

Ocean Cleanup System is finally working

CNN - After many failed attempts, a huge trash-collecting system designed to clean up plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean, known as the Ocean Cleanup system, is finally picking up plastic.

One mans's massage on climate change
Photo by Ben James for NPR

NPR - Richard McLachlan is part of Extinction Rebellion, the climate group best known for shutting down main arteries in London. In New York City, steeped in the subway din, McLachlan delivers a crushing litany of food shortages, forest fires, more and bigger storms.

CNN - Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Danone, Mars Petcare, Mondelēz International and others are partnering on a potential solution known as Loop to limit future waste.
Millions Join Biggest Climate Protest Ever

The Guardian: Millions of people demonstrated across the world demanding urgent action to tackle global heating, as they united across timezones and cultures to take part in the biggest climate protest in history.
Vandana Shiva

Dr. Vandana Shiva's keynote address at the Northeast Organic Farming Association Winter Conference in 2017 is an inspiring message of hope describing how agriculture can be a powerful cure for climate change and societal fracturing.
Trader Joe's

Trader Joe’s has kicked those notoriously hard-to-open, and horrible for the environment, plastic produce bags to the curb and replaced them with eco-friendly compostable ones.
Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

ABC News - Americans love convenient recycling, but on average, about 25 percent of the stuff we try to recycle is too contaminated to go anywhere but the landfill.

Beef cattle

A major study finds huge changes to farming are needed to avoid destroying Earth’s ability to feed its population.
Students Around the World Protest Climate Inaction
Students protest

CNN - Hundreds of thousands of students walked out of their classrooms in over 100 countries to protest climate inaction.
Greta Thunberg
Herald Sun - An inspired appleal from Ms. Greta Thunberg, 15, of Sweden at the UN climate change conference in Poland.
Marigold offerings
Every year 8 million tons of waste flowers are dumped into India's sacred rivers. Enter HelpUsGreen, an organization that has begun addressing an environmental threat while giving the flowers a new life.
Another version of the story about the efforts of Ankit Agarwal and Karan Rastogi to convert toxic temple flowers into incense and help clean up India's sacred rivers.
Tree Book Tree
A video about a children's book that can be planted and it will grow into a tree!
Heroic Food
This video highlights the first organization dedicated to training military veterans in the craft of sustainable agriculture.

How does your garden grow? A lot better if the soil is enriched with compost from your own compost pile. Scott Meyer, editor of Organic Gardening magazine, shows how to make and use compost.

Allan Savory talks about desertification. It's happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands. A surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.
Seed bank
Cary Fowler takes us inside a vast global seed bank buried within a frozen mountain in Norway, that stores a diverse group of food-crop for whatever tomorrow may bring.
Pam Warhurst tells how she and a growing team of volunteers came together to turn plots of unused land into communal vegetable gardens, and to change the narrative of food in their community.


Plastic Source Reduction Resources

A Single Tea Bag Can Leak Billions of Microplastics Into Your Cup Sarah Ferguson Swims for a Plastic-Free Ocean
Microplastics in tea bags

Photo by Olena Sergienko

CNN - Plastic tea bags are shedding billions of shards of microplastics into their water. According to a new study, a single bag releases around 11.6 billion microplastic particles into the cup.

Sarah Ferguson swims for a plastic-free ocean
CNN – Sarah Ferguson, half fish, half eco-warrior, founded Breathe Conservation, a nonprofit dedicated to solving the plastic pollution problem, in 2012. Now she dedicates her time to a cleaner, plastic-free ocean.
Modi to ban single-use plastics
CNN - India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to ban single-use plastics in an Independence Day speech, calling on Indians to make an effort to rid their country of plastic waste and raised the possibility of "strong first steps towards bidding adieu to single-use plastic on October 2, 2019."
Plastic fishing nets

The garbage that humans leave behind as a by-product of civilization and consumption is becoming an environmental hazard not only to the land, but also to the world's oceans, seas, and waterways.

Can Squid Solve Plastic Pollution in Our Oceans?
Can Bacteria Build a Better Plastic?

NPR - A Silicon Valley startup is trying to get the plastic out of clothing and into biopolymers that can be broken down into natural materials.

Can squid solve plastic pollution in oceans?
CNN - Proteins found in squid can be used to create sustainable alternatives to plastics, according to a report published in Frontiers in Chemistry.
More plastic than fish in the sea
The Guardian - As a record-breaking sailor, Dame Ellen MacArthur has seen more of the world’s oceans than almost anyone else. Now she is warning that there will be more waste plastic in the sea than fish by 2050, unless the industry cleans up its act.
Ban plastic bags
Forbes Magazine estimates that a plastic bag has a 12-minute lifespan from when it's initially filled with groceries at the grocery store to when it is discarded. Here is a list of 349 known cities, counties, and states to have, in some way, banned or taxed plastic bag use.
Life without plastic is possible

Photo - Adam Amengual for The New York Times

New York Times - Life Without Plastic Is Possible. It’s Just Very Hard. Going plastic free starts with cloth bags and straws. Suddenly, you’re making your own toothpaste?

Photo- Kristen Hartke for NPR

Americans toss 185 pounds of plastic per person each year while also going through 13 billion pounds of paper towels as a nation. Here are some suggestions for reducing that waste.

Using  signage to reduce plastic consumption

Each year Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags. Eva Pollard and Rebecca Miller use signs in the produce dept. to encouage shoppers to go plastic-free.
Undercover Plastic Detective
Anita Horan goes undercover to a recycling plant in Australia. Is recycling an effective method to deal with the enormous amount of waste that we constantly generate?
The Impact of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
A comprehensive article on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch - how it was created, the impact of it, how to reduce marine pollution and a variety of other helpful resources.
Reducing Plastic as a Family
Photo by Anne Cusack, Los Angeles Times/Getty
National Geographic - Small changes to your family’s routine can empower your children to make a real difference in the fight against plastic.
What Kinds of Plastic Bags Can be Recycled?
How to Recycle Styrofoam
Read how a team of school kids won the Google Science Fair for developing a process to convert Styrofoam waste into activated carbon for purifying water.
What Kinds of Plastic Bags Can be Recycled
Are all plastics bags recyclable? Are their differences between plactic bags? How are you supposed to know? This great resource explains both where and how to recycle plastic bags.
Ocean Plastic Pollution - Why Our Clothes Are Part of the Problem
Clothes Are Part of the Problem
More than ever, our clothes are made of plastic. Synthetic plastic fibers such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibers are now about 60 percent of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide.
Pakistan Urges Innovative, Cost-Effective Solutions to Tackle Plastic Pollution

WWF - Pakistan initiated a national competition in collaboration with UN Environment Program’s Clean Seas campaign,as a three-staged start-up competition aimed at supporting technology oriented solutions that provide innovative solutions for mitigation of plastic pollution.
Great Pacific Garbage Patch
NBC news reports on one of the most little known, but greatest environmental catastrophes in the world today.
Ted talks
In this animated video, Emma Bryce traces the life cycles of three different plastic bottles, shedding light on the dangers these disposables present to our world.

The Plastic Ocean

A heartwrenching (and at times disturbing) video from the United Nations on the amount of plastic in the ocean.
How much plastic is in the ocean
A PBS video on what can you do to make the oceans plastic-free.
The battle of the bag
A CBC documentary on international efforts to prohibit plastic bags.
The Story of Bottled water
From The Story of Stuff Project, an illustrative animated video on bottled water and how to avaoid buying it.
Takeout Takes a Lot of Trash
The Plastic Gyre
A Special Edition series for GSU TV exploring the perils of plastic pollution and the great plastic garbage patch in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
Takeout Takes a Lot of Trash
Takeout food generates an enormous amount of single-use wate, but it doesn't have to.
Plastic Pollution Coalition

The Plastic Pollution Coalition is a growing global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses, and policymakers working toward a world free of plastic pollution.
Oceans Are Drowning In Plastic
The Huffington Post describes how we are being overwhelmed by our waste.
Guide to Marine Plastic Pollution
A comprehensive guide to how plastic is affectung the oceans and marine life in general
Marine Debris Tracker
The Marine Debris Tracker takes a few seconds to easily report where you find marine debris or litter anywhere in the world and then prevent it from impacting our oceans.


Tree Planting Resources

Photo: Sean McMinn/NPR

NPR - Trees can play a huge role in the health of people living in cities, but across the country, cities are losing millions of trees year after year. And many poor urban neighborhoods — often home to a city's most vulnerable — are starting at a disadvantage.

Ireland to plant 440 million trees

Forbes - Every year for the next twenty years Ireland plans to plant 22 million trees, totaling 440 million trees planted as part of an overall strategy to combat climate change.

The Forest Man

YouTube - Since the 1970's Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date, he has single handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC.

Wei Fafu

MSN - 76-year-old Wei Fafu has planted nearly 9 kilometers of trees over the last three decades in Guizhou, China. "Someone offered 15 million yuan ($2.17 million) to buy up the woodland. But I said that I don't plant trees for money."

Emily Coffey charts a course with Patrick Thompson through the North Florida woods in search of torreya
Photo: Brian Kahn (Gizmodo Media)
Conservationists are in a race to save the "gopher wood" tree, dubbed the most endnagered conifer in America. Local legend in the Florida panhandle has it that the tree was used to build the ark that Noah rode out 40 days of floods on.
Sikhs planting trees
Image Courtesy of EcoSikh

Commemorating the 550th year since the birth of the Sikh religion’s founder Siri Guru Nanak Sahib, the global community of Sikhs has begun a mission to plant a million trees as “a gift to the planet.”

How Many Trees Would it Take to Cancel Out Climate Change?
© blew_s/Shutterstock
Trees are the Earth's way of soaking up our carbon. If you wanted to plant enough new trees to absorb all the carbon people emit, guess how many you'd have to plant.
What Trees Teach Us About Belonging and Life
"Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life."
The Best Time to Plant Trees
Planting trees at the right time makes them more likely to thrive. Here’s when to plant so you get the most value from your landscaping investment.
Creatively United Community
Based in Victoria, BC this wonderful webiste is dedicated to "Bringing together people & organizations who care about the quality of life in our region"
Arbor Day's 9 Tree Care Tips
Nine comprehensive tree care tips will take you step by step, from selecting and planting the right tree to the care and upkeep of a mature tree.
How to Keep Trees Alive
A PDF on instructions for watering trees, espcially in cities or in drier areas.
How to Plant Your Trees

An excellent Arbor Day resource with videos and instructions for planting trees based on the root configuration
.The Story of Bottled water
Arbor Days tree experts have created this Tree Wizard to help US residents decide which is the best type of tree to plant.
The Man Who Planted Trees
How to Plant a Tree

Trees can provide you with so many wonderful benefits -- cooling shade, beauty, fresh fruit and many more.

This short video from the TreePeople shows the correct way to plant a tree.

The Man Who Planted Trees

A Story of Lost Groves, the Science of Trees, and a Plan to Save the Planet by Jim Robbins

When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. The second best time? Today.” - Chinese proverb

Call of the Forest

Follow visionary scientist, conservationist and author, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, in this film on her journey to the most beautiful forests of the northern hemisphere.
How to Plant Trees Without Land
A downloadable PDF that includes a series of suggestions on how to plant trees if you don’t own land.
Cartoon Coloring Sheets

Diana Beresford-Kroger

A series of instructive tree-related videos from Diana Beresford-Kroeger, a world recognized author, medical biochemist and botanist. Topics include collecting seeds from conifers and deciduous trees, planting oaks from acorns, choosing trees to plant plus tree suggestions for Canadians, by region based on postal code.

Cartoon coloring sheets
Download this shareable cartoon colouring sheet created by British Columbia cartoonist Nelson Dewey.

Animal Coloring Sheet
Another coloring sheet about protecting nature (best printed 1n 11x 17 format)

Colored cartoon poster


Find a tree app
Discover the health benefits and planet benefits of trees local to where you live.
How a tree works

Here's a look at how the parts of a tree work together to help a tree get the food, water, and minerals it needs to survive. Includes instructions for a group of children to learn and act out the parts of a tree.
Environmental Learning Takes Root
TreePeople.org has been working with Vena Avenue Elementary in the Northeast San Fernando Valley in California to help bring new green learning spaces to their campus.
Environmental Education for Teachers

TreePeople offers hands-on environmental, professional development trainings and technical workshops that are designed for elementary, middle school and high school teachers.
Why Trees Matter

“We have underestimated the importance of trees. They are not merely pleasant sources of shade, but a potentially major answer to some of our most pressing environmental problems.”

Jim Robbins, author

Top 22 Benefits of Trees

From cleaning the air, to saving water, to cooling the streets in cities, learn the top twenty-two reasons why we need to plant and care for trees.


Home Source Reduction Friends of Green Friends Newsletters Resources What You Can Do Contact Us

For more information, e-mail info@greenfriendsna.org