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Archive for the 'global warming' Category

Restore Full Protection for Polar Bears

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Polar Bears

last week Congress passed — and President Obama signed into law — a bill giving Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar the authority to immediately rescind Bush administration regulations that eliminate essential protections for the polar bear under the Endangered Species Act. Under the bill, if Salazar doesn’t withdraw the Bush regulations within 60 days, the regulations stay in effect and the polar bear is deprived of the legal protections it needs to survive.

Secretary Salazar must act immediately, or we’ll lose this precious opportunity to instantly remedy one of Bush’s worst environmental attacks. Please sign the petition to Salazar and demand that he immediately rescind the Bush regulations harming the polar bear.

Please consider taking a moment to go to the Center for Biological Diversity save the polar bear site and sign their petition.

One of the Best Ways You Can Help Reduce Global Warming

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

cow burp mask
cow methane backpack

Can’t afford a Prius or Solar system for you home? There is another, basically free, way you can do even more to do your part to help reduce greenhouse emissions and lower your carbon footprint in a big way – Stop eating beef.

The constant belching and flatulence from cattle produces enormous quantities of methane, a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide. This makes for more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks and ships combined. This UN news article discusses the many ways the rearing of cattle is playing a major role in contributing to global warming.

There are many people currently working on a variety of innovative approaches on ways to curtail bovine methane such as cow “beano” type medications or food additives like cashew oil, special grasses to be added to their feed, flatulence vaccine, and more. However cows wearing gas masks and fart-capture backpacks won’t be likely to go over too well with the cows or people.

One thing that is easy for us non-farmers and cattle-people to do right now is to dramatically reduce or stop eating beef. Going veggie will not only do as much for the planet as driving a Prius but will give you the added benefit of being healthier from eating less saturated fats, hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals. Factory farmed cattle are bad the planet in many ways, here is a excellent huffingtonpost article that discusses this at length.

The Naturemill Automatic Composter

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Naturemill Automatic Composter

Naturemill Automatic Composter Plus Edition $299 from naturemill.com also has a Pro Edition for $399

Food waste makes up some 12 percentage of waste in our landfills, According to the US EPA, food waste is the #1 least recycled material.

Modern landfills are sealed to prevent toxins from getting into the water supply and don’t allow for oxygen to penetrate the many layers which means food waste won’t biodegrade properly. However the food waste in landfills do break down to produce methane, Methane is estimated to have more than 20-times the climate change effect of carbon dioxide. This methane can eventually be released into the atmosphere to form yet another means of speeding up global warming. An article on MSNBC says “landfills are the largest source of methane emissions in the U.S.”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25215428/

Garbage disposals aren’t a green solution as untreated food scraps often could end up in various waterways. This causes nutrient build ups and ruins aquatic ecosystems.

So the best solution for food waste is to compost. There are many ways to go about it, Check out our previous Great Green Gadgets article here on kitchen composting.
The Naturemill Automatic Composter is one of better indoor composters that can start to change our dismal statistics with food waste in the landfill.
Naturemill Automatic Composter

The Naturemill’s Automatic Composter is a simple, odor-free, indoor automatic composter, all you have to do is toss in your waste, and then sit back at let it do its thing. About two weeks later you will start to get a limitless supply of organic compost. An upper section turns, heats, and aerates. Compost is then transferred to the lower chamber where you remove the compost so it can continuously work to make your compost. More than seventy percent of the initial waste disappears into thin air — literally — as compost cultures convert it into water vapor. What’s left is a very concentrated compost fertilizer.
compost
They designed it to be odor, bug and hassle free. You can use it for almost all vegetables, coffee grounds, paper, dairy, and meat waste – I am not sure if coconuts compost readily but pretty much anything else should work. It only uses 10 watts of power – about 50 cents a month for the average family.

Even you you don’t have much of a garden or yard there are lots of ways you can make use of this rich source of nutrients for plants, from becoming an urban guerrilla gardener or just giving it to your friends, family and neighbors.

Planting Trees

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

Johnny Appleseed

I don’t get carbon offsetting. It’s like pouring oil down the sewer grate after an oil-change and then donating 20 bucks to Greenpeace so you don’t feel guilty about your toxic oil heading for the harbor. I don’t see how that’s much different than the idea of paying someone to plant a treefarm so you won’t feel bad about that cross-country airline ticket.

My suspicious nature wonders about how verifiable some of these carbon credit outfits are. Like the plant-a-tree-today.org or Dell Computer’s plant a tree for me campaign. I worry it’s a half-measure at best, giving people an excuse to postpone the difficult politics needed for significant changes to halt global warming. It will do more to create a lucrative market of pollution trading then it will to help us change from a fossil fuel based economy to renewable sustainable one. It also helps to paint a happy face on the corporations that are often some of the biggest polluters.

That said, planting a tree can still be a good thing. Trees can help remove significant amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. But a healthy forest with a thriving total ecosystem is better for people and other living things not just a monoculture of thousands of perfect rows of pine trees in a sterile tree farm. I’m sure many of the carbon trading organizations earnestly attempt to solve our global warming problems but, for me, I would rather directly give money to people fighting for healthy forests. Or even get a shovel and go out in my backyard plant my own tree. If you feel particually daring there is a group of guerrilla gardeners who plant who use direct planting to help make the world a better place. Guerrilla Gardeners is a group worth checking out.

As individuals there is only so much we can do. Planting a tree won’t absolve you of your need to get involved in the bigger political arena or better find earth friendly solutions in your life but it’s nice to do something constructive however small. If you don’t have the space or the green thumb to plant your own then consider donating to Save America’s Forests nationwide campaign to end clearcutting and protect and restore our nation’s wild and natural forests. They also work to help protect the rain-forest in Ecuador. Of course there are other groups doing similar work and equally deserving of your attention.

Animation Takes a Bite of Local Eats

Saturday, August 4th, 2007

Just saw this wonderful animation created by Molly Schwartz in a VideoNation/Hidden Driver production where she artfully displays the green advantages of eating locally.

seen on GroovyGreen
and eatlocalchallenge.com

Also check out our previous post on eating locally here.

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