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The 2021 environmental naughty and nice list: We have made a list, and it has been double-checked.
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The 2021 environmental naughty and nice list: We have made a list, and it has been double-checked.

The 2021 environmental naughty or nice list: Weve made a list and checked it twice

My family has many holiday traditions, including baking Christmas cookies and picking up a Christmas tree from the tree farm my sister in law runs. And, much to the dismay of my husband, we listen loudly to Alvin & the Chipmunks Christmas albums together. My children are now eight and twelve years old. I know they will eventually stop asking for high-pitched, squeaky voices to sing the 12 days of Christmas. But, thankfully, that day has not yet arrived.

We still enjoy singing along to the chipmunks about who has been nice or naughty in 2021.

In the spirit of a Chipmunk Christmas I decided to create my own naughty and nice list. To create my list, I run decision-makers at all levels through the filter to determine who has done right in protecting our environment this holiday season. Below is my list with high-profile people who are either breaking the cycle of pollution or need to change their approach to protecting our open spaces, air, and water.

Let’s get to the point.

  1. Framework, a brand new super repairable laptop company. Framework is setting a new standard for repair. While Apple and Microsoft may make small steps towards repair, Framework is doing a lot more. Framework is a market leader in electronics and is fighting against planned obsolescence, which is too prevalent in the tech industry as well as the rest of society. Americans dispose off 416,000 cell phones every day. However, only 15 to 20% of electronic waste is recovered. This has to change. Framework is helping to lead the way towards a new kind of system. Instead of throwing away, we reuse, salvage, rebuild.

  2. McDonalds, Wendys, and the California’s states, Connecticut Mainefor taking steps to reduce the toxic PFAS chemicals’ use forever. Although PFAS chemicals can cause serious health problems, they are still used in everyday products such as food packaging. These leaders are making it easier for others to make changes in the interest of public health by reducing the use of dangerous toxins.

  3. Joe Biden and members Congress for passing the bipartisan Infrastructure bill. It is difficult to find common ground to move things forward, but these elected officials did it. Their actions will help America preserve its drinking water, invest in walkable and bicycleable communities, and promote clean energy solutions such as electric vehicles and energy efficiency investments.

  4. Austin, Texas is making it easier for people to purchase and use electric cars. Austin, Texas’ capital, is committed to cleaner transportation. The city’s electric utility extended rebates to residents for installing electric vehicle (EV-) charging stations in their homes. They also created a Plug-in Everywhere Network, which supplies more that 1,000 affordable charging ports. They also purchased 325 electric bikes for the public and 38 buses for public transportation. Austin is showing the world how electric vehicle leadership looks at all levels.

  5. School districts for Portland, Oregon, San Diego DetroitThey are taking steps to ensure that school drinking water is safe from lead contamination. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause serious health problems for children. School should not be the first place where they are exposed. Environment America Research & Policy Centers has information for other school districts that are interested in joining the nice column of safe drinking water. Get the Lead out toolkit.

  6. Leaders from California, Texas and Iowa are working to tap into renewable energy resources. California remains at the forefront of the pack in terms of installed solar, energy storage, electric vehicles and other renewable energy technologies. Texas is the leader in generating wind energy. Maryland is the state with the highest energy efficiency. Leaders who drive these efforts should be commended. While not at the top, there are many other states that are leading clean energy efforts. Check out Environment America Research & Policy Centers Renewables on the Rise to find out which states are leading the way in clean energy.

Unfortunately, not everyone is entitled to a full stocking. Here is my 2021 environmental naughty list. They won’t receive a Santa visit this year unless they make some changes between now and Christmas.

  1. California’s Investor-owned utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison (SoCal Edison), and San Diego Gas & Electric are trying to lower solar energy. These companies are targeting the state’s net metering program which compensates solar owners who sell excess electricity back to the grid. SDG&E, SoCal Edison, and PG&E are using the Blocking Rooftop Solar playbook to push for dramatic changes in net metering in California. In an attempt to reduce net metering payments for solar customers, utilities set out to create the highest fixed charges in the country.

  2. The Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey is pushing residents of their state to continue to be dependent on dirty fossil fuels. The group is Campaign managementTo keep the Garden State dependent upon fossil fuels, efficient electric technologies can perform the job more effectively and produce less pollution.

  3. Burger King continues to use dangerous PFAAS. The burger chain Yet to be announcedDespite its competitors McDonalds, Wendys, and other fast food chains, it has committed to eliminating PFAS in its food packaging. There is ample evidence that fast food restaurants can be PFAS-free, including Burger Kings’ packaging. However, it is unacceptable to knowingly expose people through their boxes and wrappers to dangerous chemicals.

  4. Procter & Gambles paper products come from pulp sourced from our critical forests. P&G, the parent company behind Charmin toilet papers, increased the amount of pulp it purchased in Canada from Canadian boreal forest forests by more that 80% in 2021. 15%. These are critical times when companies must find ways to preserve these forests. P&G must stop creating products which literally flush these forests down a toilet, given the reality of climate change.

  5. AIDEA is an Alaska State Government entity Set it upThe Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was to be drilled for oil and gas. The group bought oil and gas drilling leases on the refuge’s coastal plain, which some refer to as America’s Serengeti. Even the thought of drilling in the Arctic Refuge is a naughty idea.

We still have a few more days until Christmas so anyone looking to make a difference for the better has plenty of time. It is not too late to make a change and go from being naughty to being nice. Ask Alvin.

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