We’ve gathered a few spooky facts that keep us up at night more than monsters under the bed.
By: Piper Fialkoff, Customer Success Specialist
Melting Permafrost: Dawn of the Living Dead
Climate change brings with it a whole host of scary problems. As the earth warms, permafrost — areas on or just under the earth’s surface that are permanently frozen year-round — is struggling to keep the perma-part of its name. The icy layers that have been frozen for millennia are starting to melt, releasing all sorts of nasty things like carbon dioxide, methane, and… the undead! That’s right, ancient bacteria and viruses trapped in the ice are now making their way back to the surface.
Scary right? There’s no magic spell or warding potion to prevent this, but simple actions like working to lower your carbon emissions, supporting legislation that tackles climate change, and investing in clean energy can help to preserve the permafrost remaining. There have even been studies that rewilding arctic areas — introducing large herbivores like bison or horses to the tundra landscape — can help slow permafrost thawing!
Food Waste — the Swamp Monster Growing in Your Landfill!
Have you ever had to clean out the sink drain in a kitchen? All that gunk and old food just waiting to stick to the back of your hand as you go to throw it out… yuck. Now imagine all that refuse sitting in a landfill atop piles and piles of garbage, rotting away and releasing methane gas — a greenhouse gas 28x stronger than carbon dioxide. That’s what happens when residential and commercial food waste is simply thrown in the trash rather than composted.
What’s worse is that around 1.3 billion tons of food are thrown away each year — that’s 1/3 of all food produced sent to a place where it can fester to emit 10% of global greenhouse gases.
Luckily, the EPA has a state-by-state list of programs and organizations tackling food waste and disposal and FoodTank lists 59 national and international organizations that help recover food and redistribute it before it reaches the trash!
The Bionic Human
Plastic seems to be just about everywhere on the planet. From rainwater in remote natural areas to the fish being prepared for dinner, this pervasive material has insidiously made its way into every facet of our lives — literally. Good news: Dracula probably won’t want to drink your blood anymore — too many microplastics get stuck in his teeth!
There’s new technology popping up every day to combat the prevalence of microplastics in our food and water. For example, there are filters for laundry machines to catch those pesky fibers that come off our workout clothes, and there is an increasingly strong push for grocery stores to severely limit plastic wrapping their produce. There’s even new tech that uses sound to capture microplastics in the ocean!
You’ve Been Warned…
Did we scare you yet? Don’t worry, there are more terrifying facts should you be brave enough to seek them out. While we aren’t at the forefront of rewilding the arctic tundra or pulling bits of plastic from your bloodstream, we do know our way around reducing carbon emissions from energy use. In the spirit of Halloween, check out our list of energy tricks and treats that only our most adventurous of GridRewards users will dare to complete.