Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Just in Time for Earth Day: Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All

On Earth Day this past Saturday, I was delighted to run across this post on social media from the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

I love that the White House issued this the day before Earth Day! As I have learned more and more over the past decade about environmentalism, it has been striking how much a part of it is tied to environmental justice. NIMBY is a real thing, and it impacts black and brown communities and those less affluent in many ways! 

NIMBY, by the way, stands for "not in my backyard," which is a philosophy of many of where we want -- and need -- different global solutions, but people don't want them in their backyard. Classic examples include subsidized housing, waste facilities, factories, wind or solar farms, homeless shelters, and more. Typically the ones complaining and who are heard, are also the ones with power, influence, voice, money, and majority. So more often than not, these items appear in lower income neighborhoods, where the negative impacts affect minorities disproportionately to those in the majority. Additionally, these populations also feel the greater impact of climate change.

Hence the need for environmental justice!

To read the White House Fact Sheet of Biden's Executive Order, Revitalizing Our Nation’s Commitment to Environmental Justice for All, click here.

Additionally, among the many facets of the executive order, Biden and the EPA have released the draft for "National Strategy to Prevent Plastic Pollution." Open to the public for comment, this 41 page document (that you can access online), highlights the following 3 quoted objectives and proposed actions from page 1 of the document:

  1. Reduce pollution during plastic production
  2. Improve post-use materials management
  3. Prevent trash and micro/nanoplastics from entering waterways and remove escaped trash from the environment.

Marine pollution is certainly a problem that even if we tackle it today, there is pollution and waste that is out there that will still make its way into waterways over time. 

Commitment such as both of these major moves is worth celebrating and I'm proud that Biden and the EPA unleashed it right during Earth Day season. It's time we start making forward movement collectively in favor of our planet!

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