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Recycling & Sustainability

Keeping Georgia Green

Georgia's commitment to recycling innovation is evident in the remarkable strides made by local companies. These enterprises are not merely engaged in the routine processing of post-consumer resources like glass, plastic, and paper; they are actively reshaping these materials into a diverse array of products, including outdoor furniture, carpet, drywall, packaging, and more. This transformative approach not only minimizes waste but also contributes to the creation of sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives. Recycling and sustainability have become integral components of Georgia's progressive energy ecosystem, reflecting the state's dedication to environmental responsibility. 

We can continue these efforts as a state by;

Keeping Corporations Accountable

When industrialized companies are not held accountable, it affects more than just their neighbors or their local community. From 2001 to 2021, Georgia lost a whopping 10.6 million acres of trees; a 35% drop in tree cover since 2000. This also led to 1.48 billion tons of CO₂ emissions being added to the atmosphere. Deforestation not only affects the environment in negative ways but triggers other environmental disasters as well. Flash floods and increased damage from hurricanes are the outcomes of deforestation as well as loss of animal and plant species due to their loss of habitat. 

This in turn also destroys our infrastructure; the dirt roads and driveways of our citizens rely on vegetation to maintain irrigation, handle runoff & keep roads safe and accessible. Direct sun exposure also deteriorates building fronts, street signs, paint, etc. In Georgia between 2020 and 2021, 35 children died from heat stroke. Heat related deaths are the #1 killer in Georgia during the summer, and cutting down trees make this worse. Natural shade from the sun not only lessens your energy bill; but it keeps our cars, homes, roads, and bodies of water cooler in the summer.  

Speaking of water; our District is smack in the middle of a flood plain, and is sustained by our natural aquifers. Our entire district relies on this aquifer for drinking water, and Republicans have just solidified a plan to drain this aquifer and use the water to sustain a car manufacturing plant instead. I don't think we should be re-directing an already scarce and non-renewable resource to a corporation. I believe in saving water and creating other ways to have sustainable infrastructure.

Taking care of our natural world and preventing environmental destruction doesn't just save the planet, it saves us too.

Sustaining our Futures

The State of Georgia can take several measures to support sustainability and eco-tourism, fostering both environmental conservation and economic growth. Here are some potential initiatives:

1. Invest in Sustainable Infrastructure
- Develop and maintain eco-friendly infrastructure such as trails, bike paths, and nature reserves to encourage responsible tourism.
- Support the construction of environmentally conscious accommodations that utilize renewable energy sources and eco-friendly building materials. 

2. Support Sustainable Agriculture
- Encourage and support local farmers in adopting sustainable and organic farming practices.
- Promote farm-to-table initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint of food consumption.

3. Education and Awareness

- Launch educational campaigns to raise awareness about sustainable practices among both tourists and local communities.

 - Collaborate with local businesses to promote eco-friendly practices and certifications.

Save the Okefenokee!

The Okefenokee Swamp is a national and state treasure, and is home to thousands of species of native wildlife, including important species like crocodiles that keep our natural ecosystem healthy and thriving. This past session, a bill was introduced to allow the state to have a special license plate option Georgia Drivers can purchase to give proceeds directly back to the GA Wildlife Refuge. Republicans blocked this bill, but I would be supportive of and excited to see an initiative like this pass.

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