On Friday August 9th I presented at the Project Green Boise Sustainability Summit for Teachers about the impact that fashion has on our global water resources and climate change. The aim of this two-day summit for Boise and West Ada School District Teachers is to provide lesson plans and lessons that teacher can use to bring sustainability education into their classrooms, and to provide teachers with the knowledge that they need to educate their students on climate change and the sustainability challenges that we will be facing in the future.
My presentation focused on Fashion’s Impact on Global Water Resources. Research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and from Fashion Industry magazines show that fashion is one of the most unspoken of and most impactful industries in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, carbon emissions, and water use as it takes 10,000 gallons of water to harvest the volume of raw cotton that is needed to develop one pair of jeans and another 750 gallons of water to produce the same pair of jeans (https://unfccc.int/news/un-helps-fashion-industry-shift-to-low-carbon). Eventhough fashion is not my background, I was inspired to learn more about fashion’s impact on claim change after attending a Project Drawdown workshop in Boise and hearing a documentary filmmaker talk about the work that he is doing documenting nine Boise high school students to learn about how they believe climate change will affect their lives.
These students were very concerned about fashion and its impact on global warming and after researching fashion’s impact on climate change. I started to see that educating students on the environmental impacts of the fashion industry may put enough pressure on the fashion industry to cut its carbon emissions and resource use, while also creating students who are global citizens that take action to inspire new solutions and actions towards reversing climate change.
The Fashion industry also contributes to climate change as conventionally produced cotton, of which 99% of the world’s cotton is conventional produced and is typically fertilized with nitrous oxide (https://www.commonobjective.co/article/can-fashion-stop-climate-change). Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
Our goal at Pure Love Sustainability Inc. is to reverse and eliminate climate change and is determined to educate and inspire and lead movements where students, adults, communities, businesses and local governments take action to reduce their carbon footprint and their impact on the planet.
For more information about Pure Love Sustainability Inc. and the work that they do to reverse climate change, please either visit our website or email me directly.
Pure Love Sustainability inc.
Boise, ID 83712
Being a business owner is scary. In my experience, it takes a willingness to constantly step outside of your comfort zone, a willingness to put yourself out there over and over again without knowing if you will produce results, a willingness to try new things that you had not been open to prior to being a business owner, a desire to learn new skills so you can attract customers and putting your heart on the line over and over again.
One of the new things that I am doing as a business owner, which is way out of my comfort zone, is writing my own press kit. Writing is well within my comfort zone and something that I do extremely well, what is outside of my comfort zone is self-promotion. I have had a disdain for self-promotion for quite some time, partially because I feel like talking about my accomplishments makes other feel like they are not doing enough and partially because I downplay my accomplishments at almost every chance that I get.
I am typically really good at producing results and producing them quickly and for almost all of my life I have thought that the things that I have accomplished require no special skill, no talent, and are things that anyone can do.
To make this a real example – I have worked with over 60 hotels, restaurants, commercial kitchens, stadiums and grocery stores in 7 different cities and states to help them divert over 5,000 tons of food waste from the landfill and prevent 4.2 gigaton of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and until 2 months ago I would never share that I produced these results with people. I have also helped these same 60+ clients cumulatively reduce their waste hauling bills by over $600,000. I also conducted food waste audits, labor audits, designed and presented ROI reports to my clients and have trained over 1,000 kitchen staff members of the clients that I have worked with.
Yet all I would tell people about the work that I have done in this realm that I was working with over 60 hotel, restaurant, grocery store, commercial kitchen and stadium clients throughout the country to help them reduce the amount of food waste that they send to landfill. I would hide my accomplishments because I thought that I did nothing special and produced nothing out of the ordinary and 2 months ago I realized that I have done amazing work that not everyone could do successfully. I also had no prior experience in this field, created the food waste audit and labor audit processes and reports from scratch with zero outside influence.
My previous uncomfortability with self-promotion has kept me from reaching my business goals and while I have worked through some of this fear over the last few months, the thing that is pushing me over the edge is having to write a press kit. As I learned from a friend who has been in PR for 15 years, a press kit is just a massive self-promotional package where you talk about your accomplishments, speaking engagements that you’ve had, breakthrough results that your business has produced and more. I was so uncomfortable doing this and I committed to going past my fears and writing the press kit. It took a few tries and not quitting and the work has been worth it as I already am more comfortable talking about the work that I have done and am less afraid to share it with people.
If you were just as scared as I was about self-promotion I highly recommend that you write a press kit. It will push you past your comfort zone, which is so crucial for a business owner. I have been pushed so far out of my comfort zone in founding and marketing Pure Love Sustainability Inc. It honestly has been tough and it also has been worth more than its weight in gold.
Michael Forman is the founder of Pure Love Sustainability Inc. Michael Forman is a native of New York City who moved to Boise in Jan. 2018 because he wanted to be able to help Boise citizens, communities, businesses, organizations and local governments reduce their environmental impact and reduce their impact on climate change. You can schedule a food waste audit and/or energy-efficiency audit for your home, business, building or food establishment with Michael by either calling (208)584-1492 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m going with something different today. There’s a lot of crazy s*** happening in America today and very few people in “positions of power” are addressing the inequality that has happened in our society for decades. While I did not watch the Democratic Presidential debates — partially because I don’t own a tv and partially because I decided to do other things that evening — I read the recaps on CNN and MSNBC and there is one candidate who is speaking to the inequality that exists in society. This candidate is also really winning me over, although I know that they have no chance of winning, because this candidate is talking about healing the divides in our country and is addressing real issues that are continually swept under the rug.
This candidate is not Bernie Sanders, is not Joe Biden, is not Kamala Harris, nor Elizabeth Warren, it’s actually Marianne Williamson. Here are some things to know about Marianne Williamson:
She’s Oprah’s spiritual advisor. Whether that means anything to you or not is your opinion and at the very least it means that she’s connected to Oprah who is one of, if not, the most powerful woman in the world.
Millions of people look to Marianne Williamson to guide their lives and help them do the spiritual work to live the lives that they want to lead.
She is also the co-founder of the Peace Alliance, a nonprofit grassroots education and advocacy organization supporting peace-building projects.
Marianne Williamson is a powerful woman who creates and leads massive, life-altering and society-altering work. She is bringing a spirituality, compassion and healing to politics, all of which are needed and missing. I know that she has zero chance of winning and it’s sad that she has zero chance of winning because her fresh, self-expressed, compassionate platform could lead to intergenerational and intersocietal healing which could break down the structures that keep most people stuck where they are and prevent only the top 1% of all Americans from benefitting.
I just had a very interesting conversation on Facebook with the founder of the Climate Change: Adaptation, Mitigation, Resilience Facebook group about how we cannot actually reverse climate change as the law of thermodynamics states that things can never reverse to their previous states. Instead of saying that we are going to reverse climate change we should be focused on mitigating and/or stopping the adverse effects that climate change will have.
This conversation turned on a light bulb that had never existed for me before as I have always used the term reversing climate change and have actually always meant mitigate and/or stop the adverse effects that climate change will have. This really clarified my vision and I hope that it will clarify yours as climate change is here, it’s happening and while it is alarming, we must act. We must act more than we ever have.
In the spirit of action, I highly recommend that you read the book “Project Drawdown” by Paul Hawken. Project Drawdown reveals the scientifically-backed top 100 solutions to climate change. Hawken provides a refreshing perspective of optimism, an equally refreshing view that the power is within our hands and the message that we can make the difference in mitigating and/or preventing the harmful effects that climate change is having and will have. Some of the solutions to climate change that “Project Drawdown” has concluded are no-brainers such as transportation, renewable energy and reducing food waste and some are shocking as science shows that the number one solution to climate change is refrigerant management 🤯 and the number 6 and number 7 solutions to climate change are educating girls and family planning 😲.
If you are reading this message I am confident that you care about the planet, so I recommend that you read “Project Drawdown” and start taking action to make a difference on the solution that matters most to you.
Michael Forman is the Founder of Pure Love Sustainability Inc., a Boise, ID based sustainability consulting firm whose mission is to mitigate and prevent the harmful effects of climate change. If you would like to speak about what you, your community, your business, your family or any other group that you are a part of can do to reverse climate change send me an email at: email@example.com
Climate change is already in effect as global temperatures in many parts of the U.S. are already rising, seas levels are rising, ocean acidification is happening and we are seeing the impacts of these changes in the climate. I have been doing a lot of research lately on the local impacts of climate change and wanted to bring some interesting data to people.
The first link that I found shows the fastest warming cities and sates in the U.S. Some of the cities and states on the list may not be a surprise and other may be total surprises, I in fact was quite surprised that Boise, ID (my home city) is the 13th fastest warming city in the country with temperatures having risen 3.9 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 48 years. Yet Idaho is not one of the fastest warming states in the country. The link to this article is below:
Another interesting one is that in 2016 the EPA released state by state data on the potential impacts that climate change can have on each state. I read the Idaho data because I was curious to see how my state would be impacts dby climate change. Water is going to be the biggest challenge in Idaho as climate change continues to wreck havoc. I was really surprised to see that due to decreased water flows that Idaho’s hydroelectric power generation would be reduced. This is significant because 51% of the state of Idaho’s power is generated by hydroelectric sources. The link to the impacts that climate change will have on Idaho is below and there is data for each state as well. I found Idaho’s info my typing “how climate change will impact water in Idaho”.
Each state will be impacted differently by climate change and we all need to be on the same page and take the same actions to avert climate change. Local action is going to be the key to this process as the federal government currently denies climate change and state and local governments are making efforts to reduce their carbon emissions by 2035, which is great and 2035 is too late as the effects of climate change may be too strong to reverse by then. So local action is the key.
I know that I’m normally a make a big point and veer you in a direction. And I won’t do that this time, what I will do is ask you to think of an action or actions that you can take to make an impact locally on climate change. Once you think of an action or actions that you can take find a group of people whom you can share them with and start taking action on a local level. Every action does make a difference no matter how big or small.
Pesticide drifts and dumps are becoming commonplace in conventionally farmed systems. It’s as if farmers believe that they cannot produce crops without using pesticides, chemical fertilizers, soil additives and chemical herbicides. What happened? Chemical farming has only existed for the last 50 or 60 years. I do understand that it is very hard to farm large plots of land organically and with proper management it can be done.
Chemical farming is dangerous for everyone. When crop sprayers fly over a property the farmers or the family of the farmers (for farms that are on family property) need to go inside because the amount of pesticides that are sprayed are dangerous to reproductive, cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine and excretory system health. Once these chemical pesticides, fertilizers, additives, herbicides, fungicides and more are sprayed, one would think that their harmful effects stop there, but they do not. These dangerous chemicals run off of the plants and the land when it rains or when the soil or the crops are watered and infiltrate our water systems. Science shows that there is a higher concentration of pesticides in breast milk and the tissue cells of babies than there ever has been in the history of the world (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2569122/).
Chemical ag is harmful enough for fully grown adults and is even more dangerous for children as their immune systems and bodily systems cannot handle these dangerous materials (https://earthjustice.org/healthy-communities/toxic-chemicals/most-dangerous). Also when pesticides are sprayed by hand, you are required to wear a special suit that looks somewhat like a biohazard suit. You aren’t asked to wear this suit because infectious diseases are in the air, you are asked wear this suit because pesticides concentrations that are at the level that you are spraying them at are dangerous to your health.
I can go on and on about this and about the dangerous effects of pesticides and here’s the crux: we must end the reliance on chemical agriculture to preserve our planet, our water and human health. I know that large scale farms feed a lot of people and are the source of livelihood for a lot of people and organic farming is the way to go. Large scale farms can be transitioned to organic farms and we can be smarter and plant flowers and crops that attract beneficial bugs to kill the harmful bugs that farmers currently kill by spraying chemicals. You can transition your farm or garden away from pesticides and to an organic system.
The previous quote is absolutely not mine as I pursed it from the timeless poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and this snippet explains the journey that I am about to share with you so well.
I don’t know if everyone works the same way and when I am writing a blog post, an article or just about anything, I just riff and let the thoughts come and write whatever my heart and mind are telling me to write. Admittedly so, it took me a long time to be able to write what my heart and mind were telling me to write as I was so worried for so long about coming off too strong, being too weird and being ridiculed for my writing and/or beliefs that I constantly had stopped myself from writing anything and sure as hell didn’t voice my opinion on most topics.
Ironically enough, for those who knew me when I was a teenager and in college, I rarely if ever voiced my opinion on anything as I didn’t want to be controversial, I didn’t want to upset people, I didn’t want to offend people, I didn’t want to be seen as a loser and mostly because I did not have confidence in myself. Writing has been one of my greatest forms of self-expression and has helped me to be able to communicate things that scared me, things that I couldn’t vocalize and emotions that I was too scared to talk about.
Life is interesting in this way as I don’t think that I would have been able to write so well and express my thoughts, views, emotions, feelings and opinions so well if it were not for meeting Tatum Fjerstad at the 2014 Mont Tremblant Wanderlust Festival during a writing class that she was leading. I hadn’t written anything in my life other than papers for school and I had never even journaled before taking this class and the space was setup for us to write about whatever was on our minds and so I did. And I got the opportunity to share many of the things that I wrote about since it was a small group and we were asked to share.
The other participants in this class thought that my writing was funny and they felt like I could tell a good story, so after the class ended I approached Tatum, but approached her to discuss the lack of sustainability efforts at the Mont Tremblant Wanderlust Festival and not my writing. During that festival, I working in sustainability and proposed the ideas of helping Wanderlust with its sustainability efforts at their festivals and to discuss the opportunity to leading a speakeasy on sustainability. Tatum gave me the name of the person whom I could speak to about leading a speakeasy and after she did this she asked me if I would be interested in writing for Wanderlust as she just launched their media division and was interested in having a sustainability expert join the writing team. I told Tatum that I would be open to that and she asked me to send her two writing samples at some point in the next two weeks.
When I returned to New York, an obvious problem arose — I had no idea what a writing sample was or even where to begin — so I looked up writing samples online and submitted two writing samples. Tatum got back to me shortly after she received my writing samples and told me that she would like me to write for Wanderlust and I was shocked because I did not think that my writing samples were very good. A few weeks later I pitched my first article about sustainability and I was so intimidated writing it. I had written so many run-on sentences and truly felt like I had nothing to offer in the piece, but I submitted it anyway.
By my third article, I was still writing with run-on sentences and struggling to get what I wanted to say out. So Tatum pushed me to go further within and find my voice. I was scared of doing so and I took on the assignment and was finally able to bring my passion for sustainability to this piece. I resubmitted the article and Tatum was thrilled because I found my voice and wrote a kick-ass piece.
I ended up writing another 20+ articles for Wanderlust and became their trusted sustainability writer. I even wrote a number of articles which had nothing to do with sustainability, articles where I exposed my heart in some pieces, and truly found my ability to express myself through writing. I was shocked as I had struggled to express myself throughout my life.
Through writing I learned how to vocalize my feelings, I learned how to put my passion down on paper and I learned how to connect with people on a deeper level. I came in to this life assignment with no perception, concept or idea that any of these things would be possible through writing and I walked away with a brand new ability to communicate. So if you are thinking of writing for yourself, to promote your business or to share your opinions, I recommend that you take the road less traveled and start because you never know where it may lead you.