Mainstream Green Launches Reusable Shopping Bags for Food Pantries Program


One Food Pantry Director's Thoughts on Mainstream Green's program:

"With the availability of reusable bags you have given us, Mainstream Green empowers all of us to participate in NY State's ban on plastic and contribute to the global movement of community environmental health. With the bags we are enabled to educate and reinforce to our community the detriments of single use plastic bags while creating a user friendly option of moving their foods. We have struggled with moving all of University United Methodist Church efforts, activities and events into a more green methodology. Our largest barrier has been the cost of reusable bags and the elimination of plastic in our Food Pantry. You have eliminated this barrier. We have created a distribution plan and incentives to ensure the bags are brought back each month. We strive to have all folk who access our Food Pantry utilizing their new bags in the New Year and well on their way to new habits that create a healthier city for us all." --  Galyn Murphy-Stanley, University United Methodist Church Food Pantry, Syracuse NY

Reusable shopping bags given to Onondaga County food pantry by Mainstream Green

720,000 plastic bags used every hour in USA

US consumers throw away 100 billion bags each year

That's like dumping out 12 million barrels of oil every year

3500 reusable bags will replace more than 182,000 plastic bags in one year


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Spooked by Waste? Repurpose your Pumpkins!

Halloween pumpkin in costume with big pumpkin next to her

Of the nearly 2 billion pounds of pumpkin grown in the United States in 2014, some 1.3 billion pounds were thrown into solid waste trash instead of being eaten or composted, according to the US Department of Energy.
Mainstream Green’s got resourceful ideas about what you can to do with your unpainted pumpkins after Halloween: Cook ‘em, Compost ‘em, or throw into woodsy areas for wildlife to consume. Download a pdf of recipes here!

Insurer Chubb announces plan to cut coverage of coal production + usage in power plants


On July 1, 2019, Zurich based Chubb Limited (NYSE: CB), the self-described "world's largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company," announced that it has adopted a new policy concerning coal-related underwriting and investment. With the new policy, the company will no longer underwrite the construction and operation of new coal-fired plants or new risks for companies that generate more than 30% of their revenues from coal mining or energy production from coal. Insurance coverage for existing coal-plant risks that exceed this threshold will be phased out by 2022, and for utilities beginning in 2022.  In addition, Chubb will not make new debt or equity investments in companies that generate more than 30% of revenues from thermal coal mining or energy production from coal.

Quoted in a press release, Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of Chubb said that the company recognizes the risks of climate change and "the impact of human activity on our planet"  and that "Making the transition to a low-carbon economy involves planning and action by policymakers, investors, businesses and citizens alike.

"The policy we are implementing today reflects Chubb's commitment to do our part as a steward of the Earth," he commented.

Because Chubb is the self-described "leading crop insurer in the U.S. with a $2.3 billion agriculture insurance business and an agribusiness serving the commercial P&C needs of farmers and ranchers," the company is clearly facing an extraordinary amount of loss claims from farmers and ranchers besieged by the record breaking floods of 2019.

Chubb's 2018 Annual Report disclosed that the company views Climate Change as an existential threat. The Chairman's remarks reveal that while last year's disasters were of less magnitude than the record–setting levels of 2017, it nonetheless was a major year for Natural Catastrophe claims, with insured losses around $80 billion, possibly the fourth highest in 50 years.

"Chubb's decision to implement this new coal policy clearly reflects the company's perception that phasing out coal production and usage is in their long term self interest, which now seems to be aligned with that of the planet," commented Dana Johnston, President of the grass-roots environmental nonprofit, Mainstream Green. "I am delighted that Chubb has taken this meaningful step. Hopefully other companies will follow suit, without delay. We have precious little time to reverse this path to planet disaster!"

Chubb's CEO, Mr. Greenberg, also expressed the opinion that "government social policies ...insulate people and society from the true costs of their decisions." He makes the point that when people choose to live in more urban than rural areas, or near water or wilderness, they put themselves at greater risk of loss to natural catastrophes. The company plans to make sure that insurance premiums increase commensurately with the risks to be covered.  "We must face the reality that there is a greater cost citizens must bear to remain protected. Insurers don’t have a printing press," he wrote.

To view the policy and other information about Chubb's commitment to the environment, click here.

Read This Before Plant Shopping This Weekend!

This NYTimes article reports climate change is causing a northward shift of warmer weather, changing what plants thrive where as hardiness zones heat up. We hope you are going to plant more perennials, trees or shrubs, to help cool the planet, but before you plant, figure out which ones will flourish in the coming years. Click or tap on the image to access the article, and see for yourself, the warming trend on the map, which shows information furnished by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NYTimes article reports climate change causing northward shift of warmer weather, changing what plants thrive as hardiness zones heat up