We are building a community, a community of hope. The vision is to address low income housing that has historically impacted people of color and (single) women in this area. The idea is the development of a village of tiny houses that will be provided to those in need while educating them on how to heal themselves and the planet simultaneously.
Mats for a Mission
Since we can’t ban single use plastic bags or even recycle them, we’ll put them to good use. Bring your plastic bags to any Earth Ethics or Earth Action event so we can use to make sleeping mats with matching pillows and carrying bags to give to our homeless brothers and sisters still on the streets. This is a nationwide initiative that has been growing exponentially. Take a look at our calendar of events to see where you can make a bag donation!
Exploratory Oil Wells Proposed in Calhoun County
In late August, permit applications for six exploratory oil wells, on four platforms, were submitted to Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) by Cholla Petroleum of Dallas, Texas. Cholla Petroleum previously conducted seismic testing in Calhoun County in 2016. The application packet is available on-line through FDEP. Hard copies are also available at the Blountstown library.
FDEP’s Oil & Gas Program is charged with the permitting process and oversight of drilling and operating oil wells in Florida. The Cholla drilling sites, if approved by FDEP, would be in the 100-year floodplain between the Apalachicola River, Chipola River and the Dead Lakes in Calhoun County. Calhoun County allows for oil and gas exploration. The County must approve a land use permit before drilling occurs. For more information and to make a donation, visit http://apalachicolariverkeeper.org/oil-wells-calhoun-county/
“Northwest Florida Robot Spot, a club where local middle- and high-school aged home schoolers meet to learn about STEM, marketing, public speaking, graphic design, teamwork, technical writing, all while being tasked with a real-world problem that needs an inventive solution. Organized and encouraged by their coach and mentors, the club is entirely student-led. They create a fictitious company from the ground up including leadership roles, website design, logo design, tee-shirt design, and of course the design, engineering, and building of their machine that will be marketed as the best machine to buy in order to solve the problem at hand.”
More specifically, the NWFL Robot Spot is a team made up of 16 middle/high school students. The group is involved in community outreach, educating the public about BEST Robotics and the themes they are challenged to learn about. They are the only home school team out of 30+ teams that will be competing at this year’s BEST Robotics Competition. This year’s theme is about plastics in the ocean and recycling efforts. To learn more or donate visit http://nwflrobotspot.com/
Earth Ethics, Inc. is working with several groups in an effort to educate the public on the impacts of plastics in our environment and with our public health. Nationally, steps are being taken to ban the use of plastic bags, bottles, and microbeads. We are working to educate individuals, organizations, and restaurants to stop the use of plastic straws, plastic bags, and plastic bottles. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if your interested in helping with outreach and education efforts!
The Last Straw Campaign
Did you know that over 500 million plastic straws are used daily worldwide? This is an average of 1.6 straws per person. Straws are made from natural resources including crude oil, natural gas, and coal which cannot be replaced once depleted.
Did you also know that 20 minutes is the average time a straw is used before being discarded, straws are one of the top 10 items littering our marine environment, 90% of trash floating in the world’s oceans is plastic, primarily straws, bottles and caps and that 6,263,319 straws and stirrers have been collected at beach clean-up events over the past 25 years?
What can you do you to help:
Make a personal commitment to say “no” to plastic straws. Whenever ordering a drink, politely request “no straw, please.” Encourage your friends and family to do the same.
Purchase your own reusable straw to take with when dining out.
Join Earth Ethics “The Last Straw” Campaign.
What we are up to:
Our outreach and education campaign addresses plastic use and consumption, impacts to the environment, marine species, and public health. We are working to educate individuals and restaurants to transition from using plastic straws, stirrers, and other single-use plastics.
To keep up to date on events, visit and like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/earthethics
Let’s all do our part to take care of the environment and ourselves!
Let’s start a ban!
Surfside is one of only a handful of Florida cities, including Fort Myers Beach and St. Petersburg, to have banned plastic straws. Miami Beach enacted a partial ban in 2012 to stop vendors from giving straws to people on the beach, although the ordinance doesn’t apply to the rest of the city.
Letters to the Editor
Ban Plastic Bags
With the legislative session well underway, I am writing to encourage the residents and representatives of Northwest Florida to support HB93/S162 in order to give local governments the ability to protect their communities from the harmful impact of single-use plastics.
HB93/S162 would allow municipalities with populations under 100,000 to create a pilot program to regulate or ban disposable plastics. As I am sure you are aware, Florida lawmakers passed a bill in 2008 forbidding local governments from making their own policies regarding single-use plastics until the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) could create recommendations and those recommendations are adopted by the Legislature. The DEP made recommendations to discourage the use of single-use plastics, but the Legislature still has not adopted it.
There is a great deal of scientifically based information regarding the damage caused to wildlife and the environment by the plastic pollution. Our economy relies so much on tourism and ecotourism, the impacts of plastic pollution has been shown to have an adverse impact on this industry.
We urge you not only to support the current legislation, but we ask that local municipalities draft a resolution in support of HB93/S162. To date, over 25 communities in Florida have drafted and signed resolutions to this effect, including Pensacola.
– Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director, Earth Ethics and Earth Action, March 29, 2017
Legislature should act on bags bill
As a resident of Pensacola, I wanted to write to PNJ to encourage residents and representatives of Northwest Florida to support House Bill 93 and Senate Bill 162, which would allow municipalities with populations under 100,000 to create a pilot program to regulate or ban disposable plastics.
In 2008, a bill in Florida was passed forbidding local governments from making their own policies regarding single-use plastics until the DEP could create recommendations, and those recommendations were adopted by the Legislature. The DEP made recommendations to discourage the use of single-use plastics, but the Legislature still has not adopted them. So, at this point, even if every single voter in Escambia County voted on a plan to reduce the use of single-use plastics, we would not be able to put that plan into action as we wait on the Florida Legislature to do what they said they would do.
The Pensacola City council has already drafted a resolution in support of this bill. I urge everyone to contact their representatives at the state levels in support of HB93/S162. Let’s bring the authority to regulate our environment and economy back to the local level in Florida.
— Elizabeth MacWhinnie, Pensacola, Earth Ethics Inc. Board Member, April 2, 2017
Too much plastic
Everywhere we look, there’s plastic. It has infiltrated our lives in one way or another, medical equipment, laptops, cars, cookware, etc. It’s made life easier and we have become so accustomed to the presence of plastic that it is difficult to envision life without it. But we need to. I’m not talking about the use of plastic where it’s a proven benefit. I’m talking about single use plastic (bags and bottles), plastic cookware, plastic covering fruits and vegetables. Places where plastics is not needed. Plastics that have proven to be harmful to the environment and public.
We need to minimize the use of some plastics and eliminate the use of others. We need to ensure that the manufacturing of plastics is not adversely impacting the environment and public health. We can start by not using plastic bottles and plastic bags. Use canvas bags and reusable water containers instead.
We can work together to eliminate the use of plastics. Hawaii passed a plastic bag ban so have Portland, Oregon, and Chicago. St. Augustine, FL is currently working on a volunteer plastic bag ban, other cities have implemented plastic bag user fees. Let’s be part of the plastic purge!
— Mary Gutierrez, Pensacola, August 2016