Wednesday, May 1, 2013 | By kpekoz | No Comments
Every human life on Earth depends on a natural world capable of supporting our needs. But we are taking more from nature than it can replace, weakening the Earth’s ability to provide the clean air, fresh water and food we depend on. That is why Conservation International(CI) is working at every level — from remote villages to the offices of presidents and CEOs — to help move whole societies toward a healthier, more sustainable development path that values and accounts for nature’s role in our well-being. TAKE THE PLEDGE.
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Recognize that we need nature.
Recognize that nature gives us the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and much, much more.
Recognize that without people who raise their voices to protect the planet, we’ll continue to take more from nature than nature can give.
Help turn the tide.
Pledge to protect the planet that provides.
Pledge to spread this message to your friends, family and neighbors — so they, too, can understand and appreciate nature’s value.
Learn more at conservation.org
Monday, April 1, 2013 | By kpekoz | No Comments
<img alt=”Wolf River Greenway” src=”http://imgsrv.espn929.com/image/wmfs3/UserFiles/Image/wolfrivertrail.jpg” width=”700″ height=”105″ />
<p>The Wolf River runs through a large section of west Tennessee and northern Mississippi including a large portion of the Memphis area. Since 1985, the non-profit Wolf River Conservancy has worked tirelessly to beautify and protect the river and the land surrounding it through cleanup projects, education, activities, and more.
<p> “The Wolf River Conservancy is dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the Wolf River corridor and watershed as a sustainable natural resource.”
<p>The Wolf River Conservancy provides education and assistance to landowners seeking to protect their property in the Wolf River watershed. It has helped create the Wolf River Greenway, a 10-foot wide, 30-mile, non-motorized pathway that will connect neighborhoods from downtown Memphis through Collierville, Tenn., once complete.
<p>Wolf River Conservancy volunteers regularly give lectures and conduct nature walks to educate students, church groups, civic groups, and other community members about the important role the Wolf River plays in their environment. Volunteers also work to educate government officials about how their actions affect this important natural resource and area residents. And then there’s all the fun the Wolf River provides. The Wolf River Conservancy plans a variety of activities including nature hikes and canoe trips that allow residents to experience the beauty and the fun of the area.
<p>Much more information is available through their very informative website at <a href=”http://www.wolfriver.org/” target=”_blank”>wolfriver.org</a>.
Friday, March 29, 2013 | By Ryan Castle | No Comments
Compost Days, which runs March 15-April 15, consists of a region-wide scavenger hunt to find the mascot, Corey, The Compostable Apple Core. Corey and his secret codes will appear on posters at 45 retail locations in Seattle, King and Snohomish Counties, detailed on a map at www.compostdays.com. Those who find Corey and enter the code will instantly win a free bag of compost and a chance to participate in one of three Big Dig events. Compost coupons will also be available at compostdays.com and participating retailers.
“By having their food scraps and yard debris collected for composting, Puget Sound residents prevented more than 350,000 tons of organic material from being sent to the landfill last year,” said Tim Croll, Solid Waste Director with Seattle Public Utilities. “That’s equivalent to eliminating a 100 mile-long train full of garbage from being sent to the landfill. Thanks to their efforts, we are keeping gardens, yards and parks in our communities green and healthy.”
This year’s campaign includes three Big Dig events open to the public. At each event, participants will dig through a 15-yard pile of compost for over $1,000 in buried treasures donated by Fred Meyer and McLendon Hardware, including a $500 shopping spree:
· Saturday, March 30: Fred Meyer, Lynnwood (4615 196th Street SW), 12 p.m., featuring Ladd Smith, Co-Owner of In Harmony Sustainable Landscapes
· Sunday, April 7: Fred Meyer, Ballard (915 NW 45th Street), 11 a.m., featuring Ciscoe Morris
· Sunday, April 14: McLendon Hardware, Renton (440 Rainier Ave. S.) – 11 a.m., featuring Ciscoe Morris
Cedar Grove Compost will donate more than 60 yards of compost used at the Big Dig events to community gardens, part of their ongoing commitment to make generous compost donations to community gardens and organizations throughout the Puget Sound.
“We’re so proud that our communities are at the forefront of composting,” Candy Castellanos, Public Education and Outreach Manager for Waste Management. “When you put your food scraps, food-soiled paper, and yard waste in your food and yard waste cart, you make compost. Compost reduces water use and the need for chemical pesticides, while boosting the fertility and growing power of the soil in your yards, gardens and farms.”
“With more plastic, paper, cardboard and aluminum being recycled by residents than ever before, food scraps and food-soiled paper are the largest contributors to area landfills,” said Pat McLaughlin, Director of the King County Solid Waste Division.
Roughly one-third of the garbage created by residents in King County is made up of compostable food scraps, food-soiled paper and yard waste. The average single family household throws away about 45 pounds of food scraps and food-soiled paper each month. All of it is compostable in the curbside food and yard waste cart. For more information on Compost Days, visit www.compostdays.com.
Friday, March 1, 2013 | By kpekoz | No Comments
Soaring to New Heights: The International Crane Foundation
In 1941, there were only 23 whooping cranes on the entire planet, pushed to the brink of extinction by overhunting and loss of habitat. Now, thanks to organizations including the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin, their number is now in the hundreds.
The International Crane Foundation was founded in 1973, dedicated to preserving all 15 species of crane worldwide. The non-profit organization is dedicated to research, education, habitat protection, captive breeding and reintroduction of cranes into their natural habitat.
Near their headquarters in central Wisconsin, ICF is studying wild sandhill cranes to learn more about their habitats, how the population develops, and interactions between cranes and people. ICF is also a key partner in current efforts to return the whooping crane to the eastern United States. They support this work through captive breeding, monitoring, ecosystem research and education. ICF is also working to protect and restore water supplies and habitat for whooping cranes in other regions, including the wintering area for the last naturally occurring population along the Gulf Coast of Texas.
But the work of the foundation doesn’t stop on this continent. They’re also involved in crane preservation efforts in China, Africa, and Russia.
The work of ICF has earned them numerous accolades. Earlier this year, founder George Archibald was awarded the Audubon Society’s $100,000 lifetime conservation achievement prize, one of the richest environmental awards in the world.
The International Crane Foundation is open to the public from April 15-0ctober 30, where visitors can take a guided tour of the world’s cranes, hike nature trails, and browse nature themed items from around the world in their gift shop. They also offer school field trips and group tours.
Go to www.savingcranes.org for more information.
Friday, February 1, 2013 | By kpekoz | No Comments
In 1892, John Muir and a number of his supporters founded the Sierra Club to, in Muir’s words, “do something for wildness and make the mountains glad.” Muir served as the Club’s president until his death in 1914. Read more about the history of the Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club currently has over 1.3 million members and supporters and is the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States. The Sierra Club promotes conservation by influencing public policy through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. They work to defend the environment at all levels of government including U.S. Congress, state legislatures, and state and federal courts.
The Sierra Club’s Mission
Explore, enjoy and protect the wild places of the earth. Practice and promote the responsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and resources. Educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment. Use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
Find out more about the Sierra Club
Friday, January 25, 2013 | By kpekoz | No Comments
This Valentine’s Day, show your love for the earth and go a little greener! Here are some suggestions:
Send recycled-content greeting cards. Make a card from scrap paper, old magazines, or wall calendars or by attaching new backs to the fronts of old cards. Another option is giving a card made of plantable seed paper; bury it and when the paper biodegrades, the seeds grow into wildflowers. Consider sending electronic valentines. Love dolphins, penguins, tigers, and polar bears? Or know someone who does? Check out these free Valentine e-cards from Ocean Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, and Conservation International. Before tossing your cards in the trash, consider reusing them for scrap booking, collages, picture frames or as smaller greetings for next year’s holidays. You can also try donating them to an art program, scout troop, or day care, or simply sort them into your paper recycling bin.
Bake cookies or other goodies for your valentine and package them in reusable and/or recyclable containers as gifts. Home-made goodies show how much you care and help you avoid packaging waste.
Give her sexy green lingerie, and she’ll enjoy the comfort of organic and natural materials all year long.
It’s little-known, but the flower industry is pretty environmentally destructive. Pluck some peonies from your own garden or give organic(or home-grown) and fair trade flowers. Swing by your local farmers’ market or local greenhouse for a bouquet of your favorites(make sure to ask the farmer whether what you’re buying is free of pesticides). Flowers from your local greenhouse or farm are fresher and more environmentally friendly than those shipped, flown and trucked into the U.S. from the far ends of Ecuador. Organic flowers, on the other hand, are easy to find online, at farmers’ markets (when not snowed in) and often at boutique flower shops in large cities. Other options include a potted plant, live bushes, shrubs, or trees that can be planted in the spring. They always lasts longer. Need help? Check out this top farmers market finder from American Farmland Trust.
Savor organic and fair trade chocolates. Of all crops, cocoa demands the second highest use of pesticides (first place goes to cotton). But toxicity isn’t a requirement. In fact, the sweet stuff tastes better when producers honor USDA organic standards, which prohibit the use of harmful chemicals. Ensure that you’re supporting the most responsible confectioners by buying organic, local, or shade-grown. If you can, resist the convenience of that frilly heart-shaped box with all those individual paper wrappings tucked into a plastic mold. Instead, go for a less packaged (but just as romantic) option. Not sure which organic chocolate to choose for your sweetheart? Check out these picks. Remember, fair-trade, shade-grown chocolate is nice, but a homemade treat can be even sweeter.
Pour USA-grown biodynamic organic wines. They don’t cost much more, they don’t travel as far grape to table, and organic wines are made without added sulfites, which makes them more friendly to people with asthma and those who are allergic to the common vino additive.
Treat your honey’s taste buds at a restaurant specializing in local, seasonal, organic, regional cuisine and has lots of vegetarian options. If all the best restaurants are booked and you can’t get that coveted February 14 reservation, whip up a candle-lit dinner at home. Find out what foods are being grown where you live and then hit your local farmers’ market. Gather up fresh, local ingredients for an intimate home-cooked meal or romantic picnic. Can’t cook? Keep it simple with a romantic picnic, a formula that’s endured for hundreds of years: a jug of (organic) wine, a loaf of bread–and thou. (Check out some local foods stats, learn more about sustainable low mercury fish, and find sustainable recipes from celebrity chefs.)
If you’re planning a multi-day getaway, consider a staycation, camping, or a green hotel. Think about taking the train to a nearby town to take part in low-impact activities like hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Wherever you go, coordinate to take public transit–or a bicycle homebuilt for two.
Consider eco-friendly jewelry, antique or recycled jewelry. Vintage jewelry is a great choice for romantic souls who don’t romanticize the environmental and human-rights problems associated with mining diamonds and gold. For a bold (and not necessarily bank-breaking) statement, consider a distinctive piece made from recycled metal, paper, or other repurposed materials.
Purchase natural soy candles to set the mood.
Create digital playlists instead of packaged CDs.
If you give your Valentine a tchotchke or doodad, consider how soon it may end up in a landfill. Instead, plan a hike and a picnic in your mutually favorite nature spot. Other memorable small-footprint ideas include a day at a spa(many big city spas have organic or all-natural options for their treatments), a gift certificate to a vegetarian restaurant, a cooking or dancing class, tickets to a nearby concert or play, or a subscription to a local CSA. You can even adopt a national park in your sweetheart’s name.
If you must wrap your gift, consider alternatives to store bought wrapping paper and planet-friendly options. Leftover fabric, lightweight wallpaper, colorful scarves and even the Sunday comics work just as well. Recycle used ribbons, bows and decorative wrappings. Store used paper and accessories in a convenient place for the next holiday occasion.
Remember how much fun Valentine’s Day was as a kid? For some special Vday kid’s craft projects, check out these nature-inspired ideas from National Wildlife Federation.
Single this Valentine’s Day? Find your perfect mate at Defenders of Wildlife’s Online Adoption Center.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013 | By kpekoz | No Comments
- Consider using non-toxic de-icing substances such as clean clay cat litter, sand, or fireplace/stove ash to prevent hazardous waste from chemicals. Chemical de-icers can be hazardous to your pets, your trees and shrubs, and the environment. Antifreeze that leak from car engines and chemical snow melters on driveways, roads, and runways can pollute surface waters and groundwater through the soil.
- Winterize your vehicle by checking your air filter and fluid levels, checking tires for tread wear and proper inflation, and checking the condition of your windshield wipers. Ensuring your vehicle is ready for weather changes will reduce damage, which prevents waste from broken parts, and will keep you safe on the road.
- If you have a wood-burning fireplace, save your ashes in a tin instead of throwing them away. Cold wood ashes can be mixed in your compost heap to create a valuable soil amendment that provides nutrients to your garden.
- Use electric snow removal products rather than gasoline-powered ones. While electric products consume energy, they do not emit greenhouse gases. As alternatives, use snow shovels, ice crackers, and brooms to clear snow from your sidewalk, porch, or driveway.
- If you have a manual thermostat or no thermostat at all, one way to save energy and money this winter is to install a programmable thermostat. When installed and used with the four pre-programmed temperature settings for weekend and weekdays, you can save about $100 each year while staying comfortable. Before leaving for vacation, turn down your thermostat (or use a programmable one) so that you don’t waste natural resources by generating unneeded heat. You can also buy outdoor and indoor lights with timers so that lights don’t stay on all night.
- Close the recycling loop. Many articles of clothing, such as jackets, scarves, gloves, and boots, are now made from recycled materials. Most fleece products are made from recycled plastic soda bottles, and certain clothing and shoe manufacturers use recycled cotton scraps and rubber tires to make their products.
- Winter storms often cause power outages. Prevent waste by keeping rechargeable batteries rather than disposable ones stored throughout your house with your flashlights. If you do use disposable batteries, prevent hazardous waste by buying batteries with low mercury content.
- Recycle old newspapers by making rolled paper logs for your fireplace. Roll newspaper sheets around a broom stick until your log is the desired size, then soak your log thoroughly in water. Dry the log overnight and use like ordinary wood. Always follow proper safety precautions when burning anything around your home.
- To make sure your heating system (boiler, furnace or heat pump) is operating at its most efficient, it is a good idea to have a contractor perform a routine check-up and any necessary maintenance on the equipment before freezing weather drives up your energy bill.
- If your heating equipment more than ten years old, it may be time for a replacement to a more energy-efficient unit. While initially an expensive investment, replacing old equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified equipment saves more energy and money in the long run.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 | By kpekoz | 1 Comment
10. Did you know that the average American’s daily round-trip commute is less than 30 miles? With many electric vehicles having a range of more than 70 miles a charge, they are a reliable and comfortable way for Americans to get from point A to point B. For longer trips, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a back-up internal combustion engine may be a good alternative. Both help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and contribute to a cleaner environment. Watch the Energy 101: Electric Vehicles video to learn more.
9. The electric vehicle market is growing faster than you might realize. More than 7,000 plug-in and all-electric vehicles were sold in October 2012 — making it the highest month of electric car sales to date.
8. Currently there are 13 electric vehicle models on the market, and the number continues to rise. For model years 2013 and 2014, manufacturers are expected to debut at least 18 new plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, including the 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV and Fiat 500e — both of which were unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.
7. Electric vehicles are a highly efficient mode of transportation. Up to 80 percent of the energy in the battery is transferred directly to power the car, compared with only 14-26 percent of the energy from gasoline-powered vehicles.
6. Unlike gasoline-powered vehicles, electric cars emit no tailpipe pollutants when running on electricity — cleaning the air we breathe and helping automakers meet the Obama Administration’s new fuel economy and emissions standards.
5. The battery technologies in almost all of the electric vehicles on the road today were created with support from the Energy Department, which also played a key role in the development of today’s lithium-ion batteries. Argonne National Laboratory developed breakthrough battery technology — a combination of lithium-rich and manganese-rich mixed-metal oxides that offers at least 50 percent more energy storage capacity — that is licensed by several companies including Envia, Toda, BASF and Compact Power/LG Chem. The Department continues to support the advancement of the next generation of battery storage technologies that will lower cost and improve range as part of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research.
4. The battery is one of the most expensive parts of an electric vehicle, but technological advances are making batteries less costly. Before 2009, a 100-mile range electric battery cost $33,000. Today it costs about $17,000, and it is projected to drop to $10,000 by the end of 2015.
3. Beyond wiper blades and tires, all-electric vehicles require little maintenance, saving consumers money over the life of the car. Even the brake pads last longer in electric vehicles because they use regenerative braking to slow down — a method of converting the energy used to reduce the car’s speed into power that is stored in the car’s battery.
2. In the United States, electricity costs between 3 and 25 cents per kilowatt-hour while a national average for a gallon of gasoline is $3.42. It costs only $1 for today’s all-electric vehicles to travel the same distance as a similar-sized gasoline car would on a gallon of fuel. This adds up to a savings of more than $2 a gallon or $1,000 a year in refueling costs, and the next generation of electric vehicles will bring even bigger savings.
1. A majority of the electric vehicle owners charge their cars overnight at home when the electricity costs are lower. But with more than 5,000 public charging stations across the country, refueling your electric vehicle while away from home is even easier. Check out the Alternative Fueling Station Locator to find one near you.
Want to know more about electric vehicles?
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 | By kpekoz | No Comments
TerraCycle’s purpose is to eliminate the idea of waste. They do this by creating national recycling systems for previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste. Anyone can sign up for these programs, called the Brigades, and start sending them waste. TerraCycle then converts the collected waste into a wide variety of products and materials. It’s that simple. Click here for more.
Thursday, December 6, 2012 | By kpekoz | No Comments
Christmas is upon us and what better gift to give than one that is sustainable; will help the environment and will last for generations.
Trees for a Change gives you this opportunity. For Christmas, you can order a tree that will be planted in a National Forest replacing trees that have been destroyed by wildfire, disease or insects. The person you are honoring with this gift will receive a beautiful card on recycled paper, or an e-card, indicating that you have honored them with this gift. They can also go on line and see information and photos of the tree that was planted in their honor.
What a wonderful way to give a gift and support our environment. In one year a tree is able to absorb ten pounds of pollutants from the air and convert 330 pound of carbon dioxide into oxygen. These trees will also restore the habitat and food supply for wildlife, prevent soil erosion and add beauty to our National Forest for many generations to come.
For additional information or to order you gift tree, go to: