While the first few weeks in January are great for making goals for the upcoming year, I’ve also been enjoying a bit of reflection on the year behind us.
For Redbud Suds, 2015 meant celebrating one full year of being in business. It has been amazing to see things grow from one stainless steel pot and a shelf in the kitchen to an entire dedicated floor of our house with space for production, curing, and shipping. Three cheers to that. (Now if only we could get some heat into that beautiful basement workshop!)
2015 was also the year that Redbud Suds really started to develop it’s mission of promoting joyfully sustainable lifestyles. We started hosting challenges on social media – FLOW (water conservation), GROW (local food), and upcoming here in January, GLOW (energy conservation).
We also started partnering with the good work of NWEI (Northwest Earth Institute) and organized a team for their Eco-Challenge in October. During the two week challenge, our 13-member team collectively saved over 1,000 gallons of water and 9 pounds of CO2 and had a blast challenging and encouraging each other.
Team Redbud had 13 members and saved over 1000 gallons of water in two weeks!
I’ve got some great things in store at Redbud Suds for 2016, from new soap formulations to more interactive eco-savvy challenges. I can hardly wait to tell the world!
Speaking of the world, some pretty spectacular things have been happening regarding the environment nationally and internationally as well.
In late December, Jason Mark of The Sierra Club posted an excellent summary on sierraclub.org of some truly important environmental news events of 2015. The article includes some of my favorites, such as:
- Pope Francis’ bold encyclical “Laudate Si”(Praise Be to You), calling for world-wide recognition of our ethical responsibility to be caretakers of our environment. His strong words have made waves.
- The Climate Talks in Paris actually resulted an international agreement wherein all196 nation-states of the entire world defined goals together. These goals include keeping global temps “well below 2 degrees Celsius” and revisiting plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions every 5 years.
- The Keystone XL Pipeline Permit gets rejected! In 2012, something came over me and I actually visited Washington DC to join about 10,000 people marching around the White House in protest of the pipeline. I remember being discouraged that Obama wasn’t even home. That was the first (and last) time I did any sort of political rallying in D.C. But Obama surprised us! It will be juuuuust that much easier to move forward with green energy, hurrah!
- Again, this year was the hottest on record. And 2016 is predicted to be even warmer. Kind of thrilling, isn’t it? Just give me a polar vortex every so often and I probably won’t believe you.
- “Under the Dome,” a Chinese documentary on pollution that went viral, caused the people of China to speak out…and did you know!?… the central government actually listened! They announced in March of 2015 that “in 2016, it will close the last of Beijing’s coal-fired power plants.” Even better, 5.3 gigawatts of solar capacity will be installed. (What the heck does that mean? See the gory details below.)
To read more about these and more, visit the full article: TOP TEN ENVIRONMENTAL STORIES OF 2015.
As we look toward 2016, I’m looking forward to bringing you more excellent all-natural soap and environmental inspiration to keep you clean and enthused for the good work that there is to be done.
It’s not too late to start a great resolution for the new year. Make it the best year yet!
The Promised Gory Details from Top Stories #5:
Based on the average annual energy consumption of a US household* (just under 11,000 kilowatthours), ONE gigawatt of power would provide energy to about 700,000 homes. So, a little simple math tells us that 5.3 gigawatts of power could serve 3,710,000 homes. That’s more than the number of households living in New York City. Not bad, China, not bad.