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
Loop - A Mission to Convert to Reusable Packaging

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.

Davos - This Is Outrageous

Washington Post editorial - Christiana Figueres and Greta Thunberg take on the World Economic Forum with a three-step “find and replace” exercise for leaders gathered in Davos to enact that will immediately clean up our air and help safeguard our climate.

Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald via Getty Images
The Era Of Easy Recycling May Be Coming To An End

ABC News - Americans love convenient recycling, but convenient recycling increasingly does not love us. The cost-benefit of single-stream recycling may have been overtaken by the cost - unrecyclable recyclables. On average, about 25 percent of the stuff we try to recycle is too contaminated to go anywhere but the landfill.

Trader Joe’s Ditches Plastic Produce Bags and Switches to Compostable Ones

There is something new in Trader Joe’s produce department and it’s not produce. 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.

Why We Need an Organic Future

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.

BBC - Climate change: Australian Students Skip School for Mass Environmental Protest

Thousands of Australian school students have urged greater action on climate change in protests across the country, skipping school to highlight what they say are inadequate climate policies by the Australian government.

A Huge Reduction in Meat-Eating is Essential to Avoid Climate Breakdown

A major study finds huge changes to farming are needed to avoid destroying Earth’s ability to feed its population.

Swedish Teen Tells the Truth at UN Climate Change Conference

An inspited appleal from Ms. Greta Thunberg, 15, of Sweden on behalf of environmental non-governmental organisations at the UN climate change conference in Poland, courtesy of the Herald Sun

Saving the Ganges - a Great Big Story

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.

Recycling Temple Flower Waste Into Incense

Another versison 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 Tree Book Tree

Mi Papá Estuvo en la Selva, or "My Dad Was in the Jungle"

A video about a children's book that can be planted and it will grow into a tree!

Heroic Food Heroic Food Farm gives military veterans a new mission as farmers growing sustainable food.

This video highlights the first organization dedicated to training military veterans in the craft of sustainable agriculture.

How to Make Compost - Making Your Own Compost

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.

How to Fight Desertification and Reverse Climate Change

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.

One Seed at a Time

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.

How We Can Eat Our Landscapes

"What should a community do with its unused land?" 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
More Plastic Than Fish in the Sea by 2050

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.

A List of Every City in the US to Ban Plastic Bags - Is Yours Included?

Forbes Magazine says there are 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.

Using Plastic-Free Produce & Bulk Signage to Reduce Plastic Consumption

Nature has amazing packaging, so fruits and vegetables like bananas, avocados, lemons, potatoes, etc. in a plastic bag is totally pointless. 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 to try and unravel the secret the plant is trying to hide. Do ‘Magic Plastic Fairies’ work behind the scenes to manage all this plastic waste? Is recycling an effective method to deal with the enormous amount of waste that we constantly generate?

Clean Our Oceans: 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.

Photo by Anne Cusack, Los Angeles Times/Getty
Reducing Plastic as a Family Is Easy

National Gepgraphic - Many children care deeply about wildlife. They certainly don’t want to watch a sea turtle suffocate from a plastic straw, and kids understand they’re inheriting an Earth in crisis. But small changes to your family’s routine can empower your children to make a real difference in the fight against plastic.

How to Recycle Styrofoam

Each year the US alone produces some two billion pounds of Styrofoam - none of which can be recycled. 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

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. And guess where they end up after being washed?

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.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

NBC news reports on one of the molst little known, but greatest environmental catastrophes in the world today.

What really happens to the plastic you throw away?

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 The Story of Bottled Water

From The Story of Stuff Project, an illustrative animated video on bottled water and how to avaoid buying it.

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.

The 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 Oceans are Drowning in Plastic and No One's Paying Attention

A good overall article from the Huffington Post on how we are being overwhelmed by our waste.

Guide to Marine Plastic Pollution

A comprehensive guide to how plastic is affectubg the oceas and marine life in general

Marine Debris Tracker

With Marine Debris Tracker, it just 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
When's 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 Best Tree Finder: Tree Wizard

Arbor Days tree experts have created this Tree Wizard to help US residents decide which is the best type of tree to plant.

How to Plant a Tree

Trees can provide you with so many wonderful benefits -- cooling shade, beauty, fresh fruit and many more. But, to help a tree do all that it can do, you'll need to plant the right tree, in the right place, the right way.

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

This book is the inspiring story of David Milarch’s quest to clone the biggest trees on the planet in order to save our forests and ecosystem—as well as a hopeful lesson about how each of us has the ability to make a difference.

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

Film Review: Call of The Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees

Follow visionary scientist, conservationist and author, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, in this film on her journey to the most beautiful forests of the northern hemisphere.

Oceans Are Drowning In Plastic How-To Videos from 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 & deciduous trees, planting oaks from acorns, choosing trees to plant plus tree suggestions for Canadians, by region based on postal code.

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 Sheet

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

The Find a Tree App from from Diana Beresford-Kroger

Discover the health benefits and planet benefits of trees local to where you live

How a Tree Works

Although there are thousands of different kinds of trees in the world, most trees work the same way. 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 at Vena Ave. Elementary

For several months, 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 Resources 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

The 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


Working with Nature - Shifting Paradigms by Heide Hermary

Working with Nature - Shifting Paradigms presents a new framework for making land management decisions. It describes ecologically sound soil and water management practices and introduces the concept of landscape health management. These are essential concepts in holistic land management.

This book is addressed to all gardeners with an interest in horticultural science and presents a new framework for making land management decisions.

The Essence Of Organic Gardening by Heide Hermary

Another great book by Heide Hermaru that gives a glimpse into the many relationships and natural processes within nature, aand stresses the interconnectedness of life.
The lives of plants are interwoven with the lives and activities of all the organisms in their environment. A great book for beginners or as a gift to new gardeners.

The Gardener's A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food by Tanya Denckla Cobb

This plant-by-plant guide includes profiles of more than 765 tasty varieties of vegetables, herbs, fruits, and nuts.

It also offers expert advice on selecting suitable plants plus growing, harvesting, and storing them.

Gaia's Garden Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, 2nd Edition by Toby Hemenway

The winner of the 2011 Nautilus Gold Medal Award, Gaia's Garden has been the world's best selling book on permaculture for the last seven years.

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham

Mini Farming describes a holistic approach to small-area farming that shows how to produce 85 percent of an average family’s food on just a quarter acre.

The Rodale Book of Composting: Easy Methods for Every Gardener (edited by Grace Gershuny and Deborah Martin)

This book covers composting from start to finish, with a focus on composting for the home and garden.

It looks at compostable materials and their properties and includes plans to build several types of composters.

The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, 3rd Edition by Joseph Jenkins

A good read for anyone who is ready to entertain the possibility of more fully integrating themselves into the ecosystem.

It explains why the people of the Western world do not compost their manure, why we should, and how it can be done safely, without chemicals, high technology, or pollution.

Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber, and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe by Charlotte Gill

The winner of the BC National Award for Non-Fiction, Eating Dirt is vivid portrayal of one woman's life planting trees, and her insights into the forest industry.

It explores environmental implications and a celebration of the wonder of trees.


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