Thursday, May 31, 2007

President Bush Presents Proposal for Global Emissions Reductions Goals

President Bush today stated that the United States should join with other nations in developing guidelines by the end of 2008 to reduce emissions in order to reduce greenhouse gases. While the standards he set forth are not to the liking of many environmental groups, at least President Bush is finally acknowledging that global warming exists.

According to the President "The United States will work with other nations to establish a new framework for greenhouse gas emissions for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
So my proposal is this: By the end of next year, America and other nations will set a long-term global goal for reducing greenhouse gases. To develop this goal, the United States will convene a series of meetings of nations that produce the most greenhouse gasses, including nations with rapidly growing economies like India and China."

"Each country would establish midterm management targets and programs that reflect their own mix of energy sources and future energy needs," he said. "In the course of the next 18 months, our nations will bring together industry leaders from different sectors of our economies, such as power generation, and alternative fuels and transportation."

These statements come just a short time before the convening of the G8 Summit during which President Bush will likely come under some pressure to begin efforts in the United States to reduce emissions. Time will tell where this leads. Let's hope it is an actual step in the direction of environmental reforms and not just rhetoric to appease the other members of the G-8 and the Kyoto Protocol.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Solar Power Set to Shine Brightly

Worldwatch Institute has just released an assessment that indicates solar power costs are heading down! That's good news for folks looking to live off the grid or those looking to reduce their carbon imprint as solar energy is one of the cleanest alternative power sources we have available.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Fun Recycling Facts

We thought we would share some fun and interesting recycling facts with you.

But before we do, on this Memorial Day, we would like to say THANK YOU to all who have served or are currently serving in our military. Thank you to those who have given so that we may live free in the awesome land!

Now for our fun facts.....
  • Throwing away a single aluminum can, versus recycling it, is like pouring out six
    ounces of gasoline. Last year, Americans recycled enough aluminum cans to
    conserve the energy equivalent of more than15 million barrels of oil.

  • The EPA estimates that 75% of what Americans throw in the trash could actually
    be recycled. Currently, only 25% is.

  • Incinerating 10,000 tons of waste creates one job; landfilling 10,000 tons of waste
    creates six jobs; recycling 10,000 tons of waste creates 36 jobs.

  • The national recycling rate of 30 percent saves the equivalent of more than five billion
    gallons of gasoline, reducing dependence on foreign oil by 114 million barrels.
    This could be even higher!

  • The aluminum can is 100 percent recyclable and can be used to make new beverage
    cans indefinitely – demonstrating recycling at is finest! “Every can, every time!”

  • According to the EPA, recycling, including composting, diverted 68 million tons of
    material away from landfills and incinerators in 2001, up from 34 million tons in 1990.

  • Recycling 35 percent of our trash reduces global warming emissions equivalent to
    taking 36 million cars of the road.

  • Every Sunday 500,000 trees could be saved if everyone recycled their newspapers.

  • Think recycling is expensive? Consider this: aluminum cans are the most valuable
    item in your bin. Aluminum can recycling helps fund the entire curbside collection.
    It’s the only packaging material that more than covers the cost of collection and reprocessing for itself.


Friday, May 25, 2007

Medicinal plant rediscovered after 115 years in Arunachal

This story is a perfect example of why we need preservation of as many remaining natural areas as possible. A primary resource of many lifesaving medications is plants, not man-made compounds. We need to save as many species of plants as possible from as many different environments as possible. Our lives may well depend on it.

Botanists in Arunachal Pradesh have rediscovered a rare medicinal plant after more than a century. Two scientists of the Botanical Survey of India spotted the wild flower, Begonia Tessaricarpa, during a routine research work near Ligu village in the northeastern state's Upper Subansari district bordering China.

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Pot Your Plants with Plastics and Save

We were potting our flowers and herbs this year and decided we were using way too much potting soil in our large to medium sized planters. We decided to fill the pots half way with plastics that would otherwise be thrown out or sent on for recycling. We fill the pots with crushed milk jugs, plastic orange juice bottles, margarine containers and even the original pots the plants came in. This saved us about half the amount of potting soil we normally would use, which of course meant we saved half the money we would normally spend on potting soil. We also were repurposing items which would have otherwise wound up in a landfill and we can save those items to use again next year. Not only that, the pots drain well and the plants are growing great. You know they are never going to use all that soil way down at the bottom of the planter! It's a win-win situation.

Now that is a way to Be Green and Save!

If you have any tips on how to Be Green and Save, please feel free to share them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Candy Wrapper Fashions!

We are exploring clothes and fashions that are recycled, reused or manufactured in environmentally friendly ways. We came across a fun site and wanted to share. Fashions made from candy wrappers?! Check out this fun merchant -

Why Buy Organic Cotton Clothes

We found this great little article that gives the basics of organic cotten clothes that we wanted to share with you. Read on.

Why Buy Organic Cotton Clothes
By Michael Baker

Have you ever actually felt 100% organic cotton clothes? They are unbelievably soft. And, just the mere fact of knowing you have done the environment some good gives you a sense of responsibility. Organic cotton clothes are made from organic cotton, which is cotton produced, or harvested, without any pesticides, chemical fertilizers, or genetically modified (GMO) seeds.

The way farmers grow their organic cotton is through traditional, holistic practices, which were relied upon back in the early days. They first start without using any pesticides on their crops. This may mean their yields are not as great as with newer methods, but the payoffs are enormous. They also use a crop rotation in their field, which helps the need to not use pesticides.

Crop rotation is simply not growing the same crop in a location for two seasons in a row. The farmers will grow dissimilar crops, which will help to eliminate the pathogens and bugs that will begin to make their home in their crops. It also allows the nitrogen to be replenished in the soil, which is done through a green manure crop.

Green manure is something like growing clovers for a season in the field, then just plowing them into the soil, and then growing your regular crops. There are other green manure crops as well, such as field beans, clovers, fenugreek, and others. They are also known as cover crops.

GMO is also something of concern. This is a seed than has been genetically modified to allow round up to be sprayed on it and not have anything happen to it. While organic farming will not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides, you still want the seed as nature intended for it to be. So, stay clear of GMO seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

Organic cotton clothes are produced in ways as to not destroy the environment. They do not use pesticides, fertilizers, or GMO seeds, and are all natural products. If you are looking for another way to help protect and save the environment, then try some organic cotton clothes.

Askleona is your source for Organic Cotton Clothes

Article Source:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A Drip and a Drop Add Up!

How much water can you save? We have found some easy ways that you can save water and money! Have you ever paid attention to how much water your household uses each month? The typical family of 4 has an average indoor water use of 7600 gallons per month and about 4500 gallons per month outdoors. Take a look at your water bill or water meter, then try implementing a couple of the suggestions below. See what a difference few small changes can make!

Water your lawn only as needed. Step on your grass. If it springs back when you lift your foot, it doesn’t need water. Water your lawn and plants early in the day to reduce evaporation. This small step can save 750 gallons or more per month. Collect rain water to use for water your plants and lawn and save even more. This Sandstone Space Saver Rain Barrel will add beauty and functionality to your yard.

Fix leaky faucets, plumbing joints and your sprinkler system. This little tidbit can save 600 gallons per month. Detect toilet leaks by adding a few drops of food coloring to the toilet tank. If the tank is leaking, color will appear in the bowl within 15-30 minutes.

Replace a portion of your lawn with beautiful native plants. And mulch around those plants to hold more water in the soil. Depending on your climate you could save over 1000 gallons per month.

Replace your old washing machine with a new, high-efficiency model. Most high-efficiency models reduce water usage 20 to 30 gallons per load.

Run only full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. Following this easy tip can save between 300 and 800 gallons of water per month.

Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks.

Shorten your showers. Even a one- or two-minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons per month. Also install low-flow shower head for additional water savings!

Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth or soaping your hands or scrubbing the dishes.

Store a pitcher of drinking water in the refrigerator rather than running water for it to cool.

Instead of running water and waiting for it to get hot, install Tankless Water Heaters.

Do you have any water saving tips? Comment back and share them with us.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Living Off-Grid

Moving off of commercial power sources is making some head way once again. But what is off-grid living? Does it save energy? Does it save money? Can I still have a refrigerator and a computer and run them both at the same time? Solar energy? Wind energy?

We had these questions and lots more! In the next few weeks we will explore off-grid living and share our discoveries. Read about a community in Oregon that went off the grid. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Green Furniture?

Go Green! is a phrase thrown around a lot in the conservationist/environmentalists world. But what does that mean? A very simple explanation is putting in place practices that reduce the impact to the environment. Everything has an impact, so is what you are doing have a positive impact or a less negative impact than another practice?

Let’s look at furniture. Green Furniture, you say!? And no, we are talking about the color of furniture. What are some things to consider that would classify furniture as green? Here are some of the ideas we have come across.

  • Are the materials the furniture is made of recycled or recyclable? Lots of furniture is now being made with recyclable plastics and metals.
  • Is the furniture made from sustainable wood sources?
  • Bamboo is an excellent green material. It grows fast, most growers do not use pesticides and the grass is amazingly versatile. However, most is grown in China, so is not a local product for most people and therefore loses some points in the green category.
  • Second hand furniture. Do you have a piece of furniture that has been passed down through the generations? Have you picked up items at a garage sale or auction. A piece of furniture that has lasted a long time and has not been put in the trash pile is definitely a green piece of furniture.

Some stores and marketers are now providing “green” benefits of their products. Next time you are shopping, be sure to ask.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Saving Money and Energy

Another idea in our series of "easy" ways to impact the environment at your home or office.

Better lights are the No. 1 way to save money and energy. Why? Because changing your light bulbs is an easy, effective step you can take to reduce your electric bill and the greenhouse gases emitted by creating electricity.

Read the rest of this great article from Mother Earth News

Monday, May 14, 2007

How is an Aluminum Can Recycled?

One of the easiest and most popular ways to help the environment is to recycle. Do you purchase soda pop and other beverages in cans? Those cans are made with aluminum and can be recycled. Many of you already do that, but what happens after you throw that can into the recycling bin?

A Smashing Idea!

  • Aluminum cans are picked up by your waste management company and then sent to large, regional scrap processing companies.

  • There, they smash the cans to condense them into highly dense, 30-pound briquettes or 1,200-pound bales and ship them off to aluminum companies for melting.

  • At the aluminum companies, the condensed cans are shredded, crushed and stripped of their inside and outside decorations using a burning process.

Hot, Hot, Hot!

  • Then, the small, chip-sized pieces of aluminum are loaded into melting furnaces, where temperatures are over 12000 F. The recycled metal is blended with new, virgin aluminum.

  • The molten aluminum is then poured into 25-foot long ingots that weigh over 30,000 pounds.

  • These massive blocks of aluminum are fed into rolling mills that reduce the thickness of the metal from 20-plus inches to sheet that is about 10/1,000 of an inch thick.

  • This metal is then coiled and shipped to can makers and other manufacturers who produce can bodies and lids.

  • Cans are then shipped to beverage companies for filling.

The new cans are filled with your favorite drink and then ready to return to store shelves in as little as 60 days. And the cycle starts all over again!

Today most aluminum cans contain 40% post consumer recycled aluminum! And the great thing is that aluminum can be recycled over and over again.

(Process and statistics obtained from:

Friday, May 11, 2007

Travel Green

Do you love to travel? I sure do! And whether you are traveling the mountains of the Rockies or the beaches of the coasts, you can have an impact on the environment. Let's make it a positive impact!

The money you spend while vacationing helps determine the development and direction of tourism, so what can you do?

  • Taking a tour? Talk with the various tour operators and discover which one(s) are conservation minded and reputable.
  • Limit energy use. Turn off lights and TV when leaving your hotel. Check that temperature and adjust up or down to reduce energy use.
  • Conserve water. If you are "roughing" it on your vacation, this may be a necessity to ensure you have sufficient water during your trip. However, practicing water conservation all of the time can have a significant impact. Even practices like - taking showers rather than baths or using a refillable water bottle rather than purchasing bottled water - go a long way. Participate in the sheet washing program that many hotels offer.
  • Reduce car use. Choose other ways to get around such as trains, buses or bikes. Take shuttles to and from the airport.
  • Visit National or State parks and reserves - Many areas have been protected and offer wonderful recreation opportunities. Support these parks and reserves. Leave these areas as you found them. Take your trash with out with you!
  • Stay on trails during hikes. Enjoy the variety of plants and be sure to leave them in place.
  • Recycle. Newspapers, magazines and beverage containers can all be recycled. Reduce the number of plastic and paper bags by carrying totes and other reusable bags.
  • Choose hotels and motels that have good environment practices.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind when traveling. Do you have a tip to share? Be sure and comment back and let us know! We would love to share it with our readers.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Top Ten U.S. Cities Ranked by Use of Renewable Energy

An interesting short article discussing the top ten larger cities using renewable energy. It's nice to see some progress in this area although there is still much work to be done.

"A newly released study conducted by SustainLane Government concludes that Oakland, California, generates the highest percentage of renewable energy out of all U.S. cities, producing 5 percent more energy than any other city surveyed.

Leading the nation with 17 percent of its electricity produced by sources such as solar, wind and geothermal, most renewable energy generation in the city comes from commercial and residential photovoltaic (PV) systems. "

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Climate change a threat to Indonesian agriculture, study says

Rice farming in Indonesia is greatly affected by short-term climate variability and could be harmed significantly by long-term climate change, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford University, the University of Washington and the University of Wisconsin. The results are scheduled for publication the week of April 30 in the online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. With the climate changes that are occurring, the typhoon seasons are expected to be more severe, while the summer season may be exceptionally dry. Not a good scenario for farming, food sources, or the economy.

read more | digg story

Eliminate Plastic Bags to Save Wildlife and Reduce Pollution

This site discusses how plastic bag pollution often ends up in the waterways and chokes and kills sea birds, sea turtles and other animals. It offers alternatives to using plastic bags to shop. Really interesting information, photos, and resources.

read more | digg story