An Earth Ministry message from Karen Zimmerman
This article is part three of a multiple-part series highlighting environmental organizations that Earth Ministry utilizes for educational purposes and guiding our actions. These organizations explicitly focus on an equity, diversity, or environmental justice lens in their work. If you are a member of another environmental organization, just let me know and we will highlight it.
As we near the holiday gift-giving season, EM urges members to consider alternative gift-giving. This form of giving is often used as an alternative to consumerism and to mitigate the impact of gift-giving on the environment. Alternative giving is a form of gift giving where the giver donates to a charitable organization on the gift recipient’s behalf instead of giving them an item. Perhaps you will donate money to the organizations or take some action as a gift to someone on your list!
Plastic-Free MKE https://www.plasticfreemke.org/who-we-are
Plastic-Free MKE’s mission is to reduce the harms that unnecessary plastics have on environmental health, public health, and social justice. A study found that the amount of plastic that enters Lake Michigan alone each year is equivalent to 100 Olympic-sized pools full of plastic bottles. At every stage, plastic is harming human health. In addition to creating safety problems during production, many chemical additives that give plastic products desirable performance properties also have permanent human health effects. Plastic was responsible for 1.8 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Marginalized communities and communities near plastic production sites are disproportionately affected by plastic pollution. Plastic-Free MKE centers those most harmed by plastics, builds a community around plastics alternatives, advocates for producer and polluter accountability, and uses collaborative problem-solving to eliminate plastics in the Milwaukee area.
What can you do:
- Take an individual, household, or business pledge to reduce plastic use: https://www.plasticfreemke.org/take-the-pledge
- Support businesses that follow lake-friendly guidelines: https://www.plasticfreemke.org/support-local
- Volunteer at community events to reduce unnecessary plastic use: https://www.plasticfreemke.org/volunteer
- Advocate for households to have access to filtered not bottled water: https://www.plasticfreemke.org/h2o-refill-program
- Get educated and advocate for education in schools: https://www.plasticfreemke.org/plastics-education-toolkit
For more information, contact Karen Zimmerman.