PV Democrats April 2024 Meeting Report

By Nancie Silver —

The Palos Verdes Democrats met in person at the Peninsula Center Library and on zoom on Sunday, April 21. The theme of the meeting was EARTH DAY Special Edition:  Fix our Waste and Heal the World.  We had two speakers, Glynn Barrish-Carroll and Edward Humes.

The first speaker was Glynn Barrish-Carroll, a sustainable fashion strategist, consultant and advisor who follows the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). She is especially aware that the fashion industry is the #2 polluter and cause of environmental harm due to its extensive use of polyester. This material doesn’t biodegrade, and it sheds micro and nano plastics into the water we drink and swim in, the air we breathe, and the foods we eat.  Glynn spoke to us about proposed textile waste legislation, California Senate Bill 707 (SB 707 – Responsible Textile Recovery Act of 2023).  This legislation would establish an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program for apparel, textiles, or textile articles and governs the collection and recycling of apparel and textiles. She discussed the reasons this legislation is needed, Kirsten Gillibrand’s proposed FABRIC Act, the NY State Senate’s Fashion Sustainability and Accountability Act.  Glynn also provided some sources for clothing made in a more sustainable way.

The featured speaker was Pulitzer Prize winning-author and journalist Ed Humes, who spoke to the club in 2022 when his book, Garbology:  Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash, came out and he spoke to us today about his latest book, Total Garbage:  How We Can Fix our Waste and Heal Our Planet. In his new book, he said he was inspired years ago at a sustainability summit convened by Walmart, at which one speaker argued that companies needed to focus on reducing waste.  “The idea was that even investors and corporate boards averse to anything environmentalists wanted would cheer on waste reduction as a source for cost savings and increased profits.” 

Ed shared several stories about people or groups that are reducing waste and finding alternative ways of doing things – what he called “good enough solutions”. He spoke about a boy in Seattle who started collecting used batteries with his dad and how it grew into a neighborhood project collecting and recycling waste and then a business; about Peachtree City, GA where people are using electric ‘golf carts’ instead of their cars for around-town trips, using a network of roads separate from the regular roadways; about Crop Swap LA that turns people’s lawns into gardens producing fruits and vegetables in food desert areas; and about students at the local university in Morris, MN who started a composting program and from that success they took on other projects to reduce waste and cut costs. Ed stressed that all these people were looking for real-life solutions that reduce waste, reduce costs, improve their quality of life, and solve simple problems. 

Watch the video to hear these stories and the Q & A discussion with Glynn and Ed.  Very interesting! You’ll learn ways you can reduce your waste and make a difference.

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