Cross-posted from climatemama (Harriet Shugarman).  Editor ~ R Montpellier.

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On Earth Day, we launched our first Earth Day Challenge, a full week of “daily” challenges, that gets us thinking about things we use, buy and eat – where it all comes from – and why we need to be mindful about many of the things we in the developed world often take for granted. Check in with ClimateMama each morning to see what the next day’s challenge will be. Remember to have a quick family meeting at breakfast or dinner to discuss the daily challenge and see what the kids in your life have to say about it.

What did the kids in your life think about “Meatless Monday” “Take Care of Yourself Tuesday” “Water Wednesday?” “Try a New Recipe Thursday?” and “Foodie Friday?”

Today is Satisfied Saturday

When  we consume things, be it products we buy or foods we eat, we generate waste. Waste comes from wrappers, packaging, things we no longer want or feel we need and leftover food. If you’re feeling like going the extra mile, carry a garbage bag with you throughout the day and see how much you accumulate; a challenge for the kids in your life today? At the very least, ask them to consider these facts today every time they throw something away – on food waste alone:

• 1 billion dollars is spent a year just to dispose of food waste in the U.S.
• The Environmental Protection Agency says food leftovers are the single-largest component of the waste stream by weight in the United States.

While we are talking about waste, let’s talk about all the “stuff” we each accumulate every day, week and year and all the “new stuff” that you and the kids in your life buy that we may or likely may not really need. Stuff for a day at the beach, for one season of soccer or lacrosse, clothes for that “special party,” a new costume for Halloween, or decorations for your table for a dinner party you are giving. Did you know that for every pound of new goods produced, 71 pounds of waste are generated during manufacturing? This Earth Week, NBCUniversal is partnering with the sharing site Yerdle to help you minimize your impact on the planet by sharing your stuff. One person’s stuff is another person’s story! We thought we would share this fun program with you, as we challenge ourselves to be more mindful and carrying for our planet Earth.

Here’s how it works

Our friends at Yerdle, a new mission-driven California Benefit corporation, are out to help people share with their friends rather than buying things new. On Yerdle, Facebook friends post items they’re willing to give away or loan, search for items they’re looking to get, and nab the things they want. Simple. Are you up for the challenge? Introduce your friends to Yerdle, have some fun and help do something good for our planet.

1) Join or host a Share & Tell Party
2) Post your stuff to share with friends. Discover other items that are up for grabs.
3) Tell the story of your sharing experiences on your favorite social media site using the hashtag #ShareandTell, and make sure to share your story with us at ClimateMama so we can share it with others too.

The decomposition of waste in landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas that traps heat in our atmosphere, which accelerates climate change. According to the EPA, pound for pound, the comparative impact of methane on climate change is over 20 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.

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photo of Harriet ShugarmanHarriet Shugarman is the Founder and Executive Director of ClimateMama. She has spent most of her career working as a policy analyst and economist in Canada and later with the International Monetary Fund. Harriet was fortunate to travel the world and to meet many exciting, talented and committed individuals. She worked on most of the big United Nations international conferences, including the first UN Earth Summit. Harriet followed many United Nations environmental and sustainable development committees for the IMF, at United Nations headquarters in New York and around the world. She has a BA in Economics and International Relations from the University of British Columbia and an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

In the spring of 2007 Harriet was selected from thousands of individuals across the country to participate in a training program conducted by former Vice President Al Gore and sponsored by The Climate Reality Project.  ClimateMama grew out of Harriet’s work with The Climate Reality Project.

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