We’ve got a list of needed items, a place to drop off donations and drivers to get them to ABQ and the refugees. Details provided. Please share. This post also features an interesting article on the growth of plastic-free food markets YAY and on New Energy Economy’s petition filed Monday opposing PNM’s plan to force ratepayers to pay for its plan to acquire nuclear energy. What?
Today, in order, we present a story on plastic free markets, a report on New Energy Economy’s opposition to yet another PNM bailout, and the details on how you can support what is becoming a flood of refugees to Las Cruces and Albuquerque. Look for a report here very soon on Santa Fe’s plan to begin accepting refugees. But in the meantime, this week we can do our share to help those in ABQ and Las Cruces. Let’s do this. Read on.
Plastic Or Planet? Plastic-Free Markets Emerging Across Country
How did it come to this? In some markets it is nearly impossible to buy greens without a plastic container. You have to ask yourself, are we all so busy we can’t slice our own carrots? But how did we wind up with a plasticized shopping world? From a recent National Geographic article: “Plastic food packaging established its reign over the modern grocery store because it served a crucial purpose in preserving perishable food items for much longer than their natural life. A cucumber, picked even a little early, only lasts about two weeks maximum. But wrap that same cucumber in an impermeable plastic sleeve and the decay slows down. In the cutthroat world of grocery stores, where profit margins are thin and every bruised apple that doesn’t sell represents a loss, that extended life makes a big difference.”
So in the interest of maximized profit, we proliferate “cheap” plastic wrapping and containers. But how cheap is this plastic if we aren’t calculating into the cost, the long-term implications of plastic being dumped into the sea and landfill? And if we were thinking of our food distribution system not as a profit engine, but a nutritional system, perhaps we would develop a means to quickly distribute expiring food to prepare stews and soups for resale or for donation to shelters, schools and other facilities serving low-income families. Imagine a program where low-income students are paid to use expiring produce and turn it into nutritious stews and soups. Not only would those consuming these foods benefit, students would learn that not all soup comes from a can, that there is actually a connection between these things called vegetables that grow in the earth and these things call soup and stew.
The National Geographic article describes how small ‘natural’ stores, throwbacks to the 60s, are emerging where bulk food is featured prominently, where plastic is not used at all, and where the owners first priority is sustainability. NG reports these stores developing quickly worldwide. The transition to plastic free, requires a change in consumer behaviors, with consumers asked to bring their own glass containers or plastic-free bags to gather their food. But these are the kinds of changes that consumers must make to allow a change in retail behavior.
Two national chain markets, Krogers and Trader Joe’s, are identified by NG as seeking ways to ween out plastic, From my visits to TJ’s in Santa Fe, it seems like they still have quite a ways to go, but Krogers has made major strides.”The company calculated that they handed out about 6 billion plastic bags a year, about six percent of the total number of bags distributed annually across the country. That’s the equivalent of about 32,000 tons of plastic, or enough to fill over 3,000 moving trucks jam packed with bags.” Kragens is eliminating plastic in a sampling of its 2700 stores, with a goal of eliminating the use chain-wide. Click here to read the article. It does a good job of presenting both how well a plastic-free food shopping can function and the genuine challenges faced in making that transition.
PNM Plan to Foist Its Bad Nuclear Energy Decision Made in the 80’s On Rate Payers–Over a $1.1 B Tab
PNM currently has leases on 114 megawatts of energy from two units at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. The company is proposing to buy those leases, which expire in 2023 and 2024. But New Energy Economy has seen through PNM’s plans and filed a petition at the Public Regulation Commission yesterday. Retake Our Democracy is one of 26 other justice organizations that have signed on as co-petitioners. As reported in the Santa Fe New Mexican: “A rigorous PRC investigation will likely demonstrate that PNM’s investment in the purchase of the expiring Palo Verde nuclear leases will cause unjustified rate increases for expensive and risky energy,” said Mariel Nanasi, executive director of New Energy Economy. Nanasi said if PNM is allowed to purchase the leases, it would cost ratepayers more than $1.1 billion for the electricity alone over the next 22 years. “This does not include future decommissioning costs,” she said.
Santa Fe Refugee Relief Effort Is In Place
Folks in ABQ have a system set up for gathering and distributing needed supplies for refugees who are in transit to their sponsor families. They are often in ABQ or Las Cruces for 2-3 days, sometimes longer, but they generally have absolutely nothing but what they are wearing. We have been petitioning, marching, and calling on their behalf. Now they are here and we need to support them. This looks like it could be an ongoing process, so if there is someone out there with some time to make some calls and coordinate delivery of what we collect to the organizations in ABQ doing the work, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have set up a secure drop off location at New Energy Economy, 343 E. Alameda, Santa Fe 505 Phone: (505) 989-7262. Open 9-5pm, but always a good idea to call first. Items needed are listed below. And we have 4 drivers ready to go, including one willing to rent a truck if we gather a ton of stuff. Let’s really do this!!!! Plans are in the works for Santa Fe to begin accepting refugees, as well. As soon as this plan is in place, Retake will notify you of how you can help. There may be some clues as to Santa Fe’s plans offered on Satruday at the event below. Thank you Judy Klinger for the heads-up on this event.
The League of Women Voters of Santa Fe County is sponsoring a public forum on immigration from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Unitarian Church of Santa Fe, 107 W. Barcelona Road. Panelists include Marcela Diaz, Somos Un Pueblo Unido; Allegra Love, Santa Fe Dreamers Project; Rebekah Wolf, New Mexico Immigrant Law Center; and Mayor Alan Webber.”
I have posted on our FB page. If you haven’t “liked” our page, please do so, as increasingly it will be used to generate conversation on issues and policies, as well as to announce actions and events like this one. Nob Hill Indivisible has also organized volunteers and online donations that go to ABQ Interfaith and Catholic Charities. Donations for Asylum seekers can be made at indivisiblenobhill.com. They are also coordinating the volunteers, and people can sign up on their website. They are doing this with Abq Interfaith, Catholic Charities and the City of ABQ. They just worked all weekend with the City to process 100 asylum seekers and it was such a rewarding experience they urge others to sign up. We may well want to set up a similar system here once we begin accepting refugees. Again, it would be great if there were someone who could step up to head up this effort. Below are the items needed.
- children’s clothing
- children’s shoes
- children’s jackets
- women’s shoes size 5 to 8
- women’s jackets
- women’s belts
- women’s pants & tops
- women’s underwear
- sports bras and camisoles
- men’s shoes size 5 to 8
- men’s jackets
- men’s belts
- men’s pants and briefs, waist sizes 29 to 34
- lightweight gloves, caps and hats
- small toys
- coloring books and crayons
- stuffed animals
- lightweight lap blankets
- reusable flat grocery bags
- hygiene supplies – tampons, diapers
- travel sized hygiene items
- lip balm
- small jars of Vaseline
- Pepto Bismol tabs
- individually wrapped allergy and pain medication
- cough drops with eucalyptus
- children’s cough medicine
- individually wrapped travel size snacks
- fresh fruit
- Bottles of water & juice
Paul & Roxanne