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Fossil fuel free.
I want to be free.
Let’s use this Democracy we are so blessed to have. It will work if you work! Sign this petition that Care2.com hosts, urging the U.S. Senate to pass strong legislation that will lift this $75 “chump change” million dollar cap, and make BP and other multi-billion dollar polluters responsible for the damages their disasters have on our communities, environment and shared resources. Stand up and be counted.
Target: U.S. Senate
Sponsored by: Food and Water Watch
Fishing boats are docked, seafood prices are skyrocketing and oil is still washing up on the shores throughout the Gulf of Mexico. We may not know the full impact of the BP oil rig explosion, yet one thing is clear: the oil spill is BP’s fault and they should pay for the harm they’re causing.
The current law puts a $75 million cap on how much an oil company has to pay in the event of a disaster. Unfortunately, the fishing communities, restaurant owners, tourism industry and other individuals affected by the oil spill have already lost more.
Urge the U.S. Senate to pass strong legislation that will lift this cap, and make BP and other multi-billion dollar polluters responsible for the damages their disasters have on our communities, environment and shared resources.
I watched a movie tonight called, “Who Killed the Electric Car“. and it was a great documentary on the electric car and the auto industry’s, mainly General Motors’ relationship with the government and their consumers. There is definitely a lot of information in that movie that people need to be made aware of. At least so they can make the right decisions about their effect on the environment through their car consumerism. I mean it’s conspiracies theories coming true right in front of your eyes. General Motors is an anti-green company run by middle east controlled monkeys in love with money, which still hasn’t been able to fill that void within them.
After the movie I felt a bit overwhelmed and not sure what was that I could do about the issue of the auto industry’s insistence on keeping Americans addicted to oil, especially foreign oil or George Bush’s desire to take nature preserves in Alaska and destroy them by drilling for a minimal amount of oil. During “Who Killed the Electric Car”, they mention a web site called, Plug In America. It was there I found a petition you can sign to automakers stating, “Plug-in vehicles are in America’s national interest. They decrease fuel costs, greenhouse gases and our dependence on foreign oil. I want to buy a vehicle that runs on cleaner, cheaper domestic electricity. I want to be able to plug in my car! Please manufacture plug-in vehicles immediately.” You can even start your own petition drive by printing this form and getting people to sign. At Co-Op America they have a petition speaking out to Ford about the importance of produce plug-in hybrids. These and other things I found here can make a difference, you just need to take the few minutes it takes to do it. In the long run it is definitely worth it.
You can also sign a petition supporting a clean energy economy.
On our way to Connecticut’s Stonehenge, Marine and I passed an amazing solar powered house in the middle of a wildflower field, while in Sachem Head, CT. One of the best parts of road trips I think is finding these types of hidden places. Marine threw the car into reverse, and I snapped some quick pics. Here they are for your viewing pleasure.
There were these cool bird houses that seemed to grow out of the flowers, one of the houses I saw had the word “VIEW” etched on it. It makes me wonder, with all this crazy art and such, maybe I have stumble upon an alien colony right here in Connecticut. Someone call Art Bell!
It turns out that it is not a house, but an art studio and garage, built by Eileen Eder, a local artist, and her husband, Andrew, located in the back of their house (which I never noticed). The two completed this barn like studio in November of 2007. It looks like a crazy sort of dark, futuristic barn in the middle of a wild field.
According to Solar Connecticut’s web site, the solar panels were installed on the studio’s 60-foot long roof by Aegis Electrical System of Branford. If you’d like to read more about the studio’s solar set-up click here.
It really is beautiful.
I’ll admit I have not really been inspired recently. I have had a lot going on lately and have been making up for lost time, in doing so, I of course lost time. Anyway, I was wading through a multitude of e-mails I fell behind on, which led me to this fresh site, Do The Green Thing. It’s a winner ladies and gentlemen. Every month they come up with a new video that represents one green thing you can do for that month.
I’ve watched two so far and laughed, which I love to do! They are out of London and an independent, not-for-profit fed by grants from foundations and individual contributions.
Also, I think Green Things are adorable.
This month’s video about not buying into marketing and advertising facade about bottled water…or anything for that matter, was done superbly. It was funny, not preachy, well done!
Drink the real deal, drink water!
Eco Bunnies in flash, spreading their carbon footprint message to the world. I can always use another carbon foot calculator, who couldn’t? Travelocity put this one together.
One day I hope to be named the official “Blog with the Most Carbon Calculators”…one day….
I love bunnies!
I love game day!
It goes like this, in Climate Challenge you are the president of the European Nations. You handle the issue of global warming from 2000 to 2100. It is like the Sims game but for the good of the world.
I like it so far, but will like it more when I win!
People might be getting annoyed with my solar power obsession, but I could not pass this one up when I found it earlier this week. It is the LightCap 200!!!
This small, lightweight (just 2.6oz) cap fits on any ‘standard’ water bottle (2” wide mouth) such as Nalgene®, Camelbak®, GSI® and most others, turning your bottle into a solar-powered lantern. With clean, green solar energy powering your lantern there are no more burned out batteries to worry about or replace (adding to our already toxic landfills).
I love it! You can put colored water in them as well….super fresh!
Next we have Wola Nani Papier Mache Bowls, which are made by women living with HIV/AIDS. In Xhosa, Wola Nani means ” we embrace and develop each other.” These eye-catching bowls are made of papier mache using over-prints from canning factories in Cape Town. You can use them to put your keys in, mail, etc and it supports a great cause. You will also have a story to tell people when they comment to you how beautiful and interesting it is. It is not meant for food storage or eating purposes, so don’t eat out of it.
Last but not least is the Aptera a high-efficiency vehicle currently in development by Aptera Motors, Inc. They claim fuel efficiency of 230 mpg at 55 mph, which would make it one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the world. Because the Type-1 has only three wheels two in front and a single drive wheel in the rear, most states in the United States would classify the vehicle as a motorcycle. Design elements such as recessed windshield wipers and rear-view cameras instead of mirrors contribute to the low aerodynamic drag. According to the pre-order page, Aptera Motors has set the price at $26,900 for a an electric version with a 120-mile range, and $29,900 for the diesel-electrical series hybrid. If you want to learn more check out their site.
Reason 84 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
In America, essentially all farmed animals will be trucked around at least once in their lives. Filthy, crowded, cramped, noisy, and terrifying conditions over extended periods are the norm. Truckers may legally deny the animals food and water for up to 36 hours. And such “protections” do not apply to poultry. Many animals are traded internationally. About 4 million live sheep are transported from Australia to the Middle East every year where Islamic law dictates throats be slit without stunning. In one recent year, a ship full of 58,000 sheep was rejected because of widespread infection. Before finding an import destination, nearly a tenth died.
The history of solar power is of interest to me, because again for some reason I have an innate interest in all things solar. In this entry I wrote about some of the forefathers of the solar power movement and in future entries I will bring us up to the present time.
Humans and the earth have used the sun as some sort of energy source since the beginning of time, but it was not until 1838 that Edmund Becquerel observed and published findings about the nature of certain materials to turn light into energy. This in itself did not really create much commotion, but it did bring the thought of harnessing the sun’s energy source to people’s mind.
Thirty years later between 1860 and 1881, Auguste Mouchout, a mathematics instructor at the Lyce de Tours, became the first man to patent a design for a motor running on solar energy. This invention was born out of his his concerns over his country’s dependence on coal. “It would be prudent and wise not to fall asleep regarding this quasi-security,” he wrote. “Eventually industry will no longer find in Europe the resources to satisfy its prodigious expansion. Coal will undoubtedly be used up. What will industry do then?” Well we know what they do, they discover other nonrenewable sources of energy like oil and natural gas to use up, and once that is gone then will we turn to sun and wind for our main source of energy? The issue “they” see with that is they have not figured out a way to turn an obscenely grandiose profit off the sun and air, but I would not worry too much as I am sure General Electric is working on buying the sun as we speak.
Anyway, Mouchout received funds from the French Emperor Napoleon III and with those funds he designed a device that turned solar energy into mechanical steam power and soon operated the first steam engine. He later connected the steam engine to a refrigeration device, illustrating that the sun’s rays can be utilized to make ice, for which he was awarded an awesome French Medal of Super Freshness [I tried to discover, briefly, what medal it was he won, but to no avail, so yes I did invent the French medal of Super Freshness incase you weren’t sure.]!
Unfortunately, his groundbreaking research was cut short. The French renegotiated a cheaper deal with England for the supply of coal and improved their transportation system for the delivery thereof. Mouchout’s work towards finding an alternative source of energy was not considered a priority anymore and he no longer received any funding from the Napoleon V3 [ah, isn’t that the way things go?].
I will end our solar history lesson there for today and hope you have enjoyed it so far, more to follow!
Let the sun shine in.
Reason 80 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
In the early twentieth century man learned how to extract nitrogen (fertilizer) from the air, cheaply and in large quantities. The discovery ultimately allowed 2 billion more people to inhabit the Earth and has given humans the luxury of feeding crops to livestock. Yet what gives the world abundance has, by way of nutrient runoff and acid rain, poisoned waterways from the Chinese countryside to the Ohio Valley. (Excess nitrogen promotes algae growth, robbing the water of oxygen.) In North America and Europe, lakes and rivers contain 20 times the nitrogen they did before the Industrial Revolution.
Two eco-green-super fresh shopping entries in one week, stop it. It’s your lucky week. Well not really. I didn’t think it would be responsible of me to promote more consumption, so instead I will put together some tips on how to be more environmentally conscious when you do shop. Even better. :)
According to Earth 911,
A family of four [I wonder if this is a family of four people or two people and two cats or one person and three dogs…] can save $2,000 a year in the supermarket by choosing large sizes instead of individual serving sizes. Small sizes use more packaging for each ounce of product than larger sizes. So, if you buy large sizes, you save money, reduce waste, and help the environment.
Here’s some Earth 911 tips:
- Buy cereal in a large box instead of in individual serving sizes.
- Buy large packages of sugar and flour.
I think the best thing would be to buy local products, like at your Farmer’s Market. That way you may avoid any packaging and you’ll be supporting your local region and a small business. That’s a lot of good.
Another thing you can do to help out is make sure whatever it is you are buying, that the packaging is recyclable through your local recycling program. If you go to this link on Earth 911 you can find that information.
Do not buy disposable products. We do not live in a world that can survive all this junk filling landfills and polluting the earth. In fact take all the disposable products you have and invent something new. There’s a cool project. Then if you want you can sell it on Etsy, make tons of money, quit your job and work for yourself, protect the world, and enjoy your life…easy.
Here are some ways to do your part,
- Use rechargeable batteries in everything that needs batteries [May I suggest purchasing solar powered products, or water powered or kinetic instead…]
- Do not use disposable cameras [Unless you are at someone’s wedding and they give you one. I mean at that point it’s too late.].
- Use cloth napkins, sponges, and cloth towels or wipes to clean up. [I’m working on that one right now.]
- Use washable plates, cups, and silverware for parties and picnics instead of disposable products [Come on really who is still buying paper or plastic plates???].
- Use an electric razor or hand razor with replaceable blades instead of disposable razors. [Whoops.]
- Use a washable commuter mug for your morning coffee and eliminate a Styrofoam or plastic cup every day [Funny, I was walking around just the other day with my Starbucks’ disposable coffee cup in my hand, thinking just that. I’m embarrassed….tell no one.].
I hope you have enjoyed this Friday’s shopping tips.
Enjoy your weekend.
Reason 77 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
The population explosion should not be thought of exclusively in terms of people–not when one considers the ecological footprint represented by the world’s 3.2 billion cattle, sheep, goats, and domesticated bison across the globe. About 20 percent of the world’s pastures and rangelands, with 73 percent of rangelands in dry areas, have been degraded to some extent, mostly through overgrazing, compaction, and erosion caused by livestock.
On Fridays I usually do a shopping or a recycled object making entry, then Saturdays a recipe entry and Sundays are a game or quiz entry, but two Fridays ago it was my 100th post, so I didn’t do the shopping/recycled entry until Monday. This Friday I was into tips, so I guess and forgot to do my regular entry. Today I will make up for missing said entry.
Here are three cool products I found. I mention places to buy the things I talk about, but I suggest trying to find products locally whenever possible.
On siliconsolar.com I found for $24.95 the Solar Battery Charger AA AAA C and D. It has the ability to charge AAA, AA, C and D batteries using solar cells. The company has one complaint in 36 months at the Better Business Bureau, which they resolved. I worked for the BBB here in New York City for about six years and that is a fine record for an online company…in my opinion. I think this charger is a great idea.
Alright, I am not sure how many people grill, but my dad does and smokes food. He makes me a mean, marinated, smoked portobello sandwich like you wouldn’t believe. Anyway, his grill light uses batteries I think, so I found the Maverick SOLAR LED Grill Light, Stainless Steel GL-04 for $48.99. Happy Father’s Day!!!
Last but not least, we were talking about brining your own water bottle to work instead of using disposable cups. I like the Switzerland company Sigg’s water bottles. They aren’t too big, and have a clean fresh look and feel to them. They are fashionable and sustainable.
I will update this entry with any reviews once I’ve tried any of these products. Please leave a comment if you’ve tried any of these contraptions, as I would love to know what you thought of them
Reason 73 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:
Grass-fed beef is more eco-friendly than corn-fed, but supplies of it could never sustainably meet current consumer demand. Several guides are available to help seafood consumers “eat with a conscience.” But the species that are recommended would quickly run out if everyone ate them. Legally, “free-range” and “cage-free” designations are dubious to outright meaningless. At least one humane certification program was officially debunked. “Organic” has gone strangely industrial and is rightly tagged “ethically challenged.” Ultimately, to “eat green” and to “be kind,” one needs to go vegan. [Opinion of Pamela Rice only. I feel that to not validate free-range and grass-fed animals/farming is to tell meat eaters, that their choice does not matter between industrial farming and free-range, when of course it does make a difference. -Cara]
I’m really into solar right now, so I decided today will be the day to gather and share ten cool solar facts from around the World Wide Web.
What? You’re welcome! :P
- As for solar energy history as we know it, it wasn’t until 1839 when French physicist Edmond Becquerel first discovered photovoltaic activity.
- This discovery was followed by another Frenchman, Auguste Mouchout, in the 1860’s who invented the first motor to be powered by solar energy.
- In 1883, Charles Fritz turned the sun’s rays into electricity!
- In 1990, a aircraft powered solely by the sun crossed the United States.
- It takes only about 8 minutes for solar energy to travel from the sun to the earth.
- Solar energy is measured in kilowatt-hours. One kilowatt hour (kWh) is the amount of energy needed to burn a 100 watt light bulb for 10 hours.
- If we covered a small fraction of the Sahara desert with photovoltaic cells, we could generate all the world’s electricity requirements.
- Enough sunlight falls on the earth every minute to meet the world’s energy demands for an entire year.
- Two billion people in the world have no access to electricity. For most of them, solar photovoltaics would be their cheapest electricity source, but they cannot afford it.
- Solar energy will not pollute our air with carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases and bad emissions which is one of the main causes of global warming.
In 5 billion years the sun will run out of fuel, so let’s use this baby while we still can.
Arsenic has been a common additive in factory chicken feed for nearly 50 years. It is used to kill parasites, reduce stress, and promote growth in the birds. The practice has long been deemed safe. Recently, however, scientists have found that the substance turns carcinogenic rather quickly after application. Arsenic-imbued manure becomes toxic to the environment when spread as fertilizer. The risk for those who ingest the meat of treated birds is, in fact, worse than once thought, particularly since exposure to arsenic is cumulative and people are eating three times the chicken they once did in the 1960s.
The last few Fridays I’ve given people some cool, eco, usually recycled ideas to buy, but for this Friday I thought we would slow it down a bit and MAKE something new out of stuff we already [most probably ] have.
The first of the three entries is a video from Make Magazine’s [MAKE brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life. MAKE is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. This is a magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.] YouTube channel. The video is of this girl, Cristen Andrews, who shares with us her super fantastical plastic bag crafting skills by showing us how to get started with are own crocheting of said plastic bags.
The next one is hot. I found it on ecobites.com. It is a solar powered food dehydrator made from two cardboard boxes, some clear plastic wrap, and a little tape and voilà, you to can build an inexpensive solar dehydrator. Click the picture below for all the exciting instructions on how to build it and know when your goods are dry.
I can build it and put it on my fire escape to dry all the fruits and vegetables I want, seeing as I am in the penthouse apartment. I knew there was a reason I lived on the 5th floor of a walk-up, my unlimited access to the sun…or at least for a few hours. Good times.
My Very Own Super Fresh Recycled Idea!
What you need…
A used can depending on if it will be a pen/paint brush holder, a lamp base, a vase, a container to gift a gift in or whatever it may be, you choose the size.
Craft Paint [if you so decide you want to paint it]
Cool Pictures, Greeting Cards, Magazine Pictures, Drawings
Colored Sharpies [optional]
What you need to do…
Paint can with craft paint and allow to dry if you so choose.
Cut pictures from a magazine, greeting card, drawings, photos etc. to adorn the can or use colored sharpies to draw your own craziness on said can.
It is now an original piece of art.
I have discussed many ideas and a variety of products within my posts. I have stated once I tried a project or product I would give you all the 411. I recently decided the best way to get that information back to you is by creating a page(s) of all my reviews of projects, products, petitions, protests, experiments and the like. That way they are separate from my daily blog entries. I think it will just be more organized.
When faced with a flock of spent hens, an egg farmer may choose to induce production again by way of a forced molt–accomplished with starvation and water deprivation for periods of up to two weeks. No U.S. law prevents this heinous practice. Some major U.S. producers have phased it out but then need to bring twice the number of hens into production for the same number of eggs.
Play some computer golf while learning some “save the world” stuff.
Adopting a high-protein fad diet may help you lose weight in the short run, but so might chemotherapy, food poisoning, or serious illness. If health is what you desire, you’re eventually going to have to learn how to eat. Resoundingly, the American Heart Association and other major health organizations warn people against the Atkins and other low-carb diets, because they can cause fatigue or dizziness and strain the kidneys. Often unbeknownst to the dieter, these diets induce dehydration. Also, upping fat and lowering carbohydrate intake has been found to impair brain function over time.
This game tests your knowledge of how consumer choices affect the environment. As you answer questions and ‘shop green’ the Envirometer gauges the cumulative impact of your choices. The center point on the Envirometer represents the impact of an average American household — at the end of the game you can compare this average to your own impact on air quality, water quality, natural habitats, and the sustainability of our climate.
My Awesome Opinion: I like this game because you learn what your impact is on the environment. I also enjoy the sound effects and cute characters you can choose from. :) I like the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Feedlot meat is a product of the oil age. When cheap oil is gone, cheap meat will be history. A pound of beef takes three-quarters of a gallon of oil to produce, according to National Geographic. A 1,250-pound steer essentially embodies 283 gallons of oil. Thirty-five calories of fossil fuel are needed to produce a single calorie of beef protein. By comparison, only two calories of fossil fuel are required to produce one calorie of tofu.
Super Solar Phone Concept By Nokia is dedicated to Marine’s blog entry, Nokia has the Green Light.
Nokia’s new mobile phone concept reveals a self-reliant, no plug-in socket phone consisting of a solar paneled case to convert sun power to electricity. It sparkles! I mean how awesome is that. No more charger…sweet.
Word on the street is the concept is about a year from being produced commercially.
I first heard of solar backpacks when I was reading this stuff the crew from “Living With Ed” was writing about. They were saying they used them to charge their electronics. SOLAR BACKPACKS…what? I want a million of them.
You can charge your mobile phones, mp3 players, some even have enough power to charge a laptop. They have the same type of power source as in your car. It is attached to a flexible solar panel that is placed in any of the pluthera of bags out there.
I will give it up right away and start with my favorite site, Reware.com. Understand I’ve tried none of these bags…my judgement is just based on what I have seen on their sites and instinct. :D
They created a fresh solar bag line called Juice. They have the widest variety of bags, they are cool and I love the whole idea. I am going to save up some loot and get one . :) Maybe the beach tote and use it as a grocery bag!
Here is a little blurb about them, by them,
NEXT GENERATION SOLAR
Turn free sunlight into clean electricity without moving parts, heat or sound. The Juice Bag’s incredible 7 Watt flexible solar panel is made up of 52 solar cells and represents the latest in flexible solar technology.Our power technology is military-tested and approved, and our stitching and fabrics undergo a triple-quality check before leaving our warehouse.
And, while no small solar power device of this size puts out enough power to charge a laptop directly, keep an eye on us – we have a solution brewing for use with laptops and other larger devices!
SIMPLE TO USE
Juice Bags come with a built-in Car Lighter Adapter (CLA) socket – the same plug as in a car. It’s universal. Just plug in the adapter you would normally use in the car that is approved for your phone, PDA, MP3 player or other 12volt device. The moment sunlight falls on the Juice Bags solar panel, the bag generates electricity. It is that easy!
With Juice Bags, you don’t need a battery to charge your 12 volt devices, but we offer an accessory line of SolarReady Batteries so that you can store the sun if you want. Just plug the SolarReady into your Juice Bag, store up sunlight, then plug the battery into your device later.
Juice Bags are used by travelers, students, relief workers and many others for whom the freedom of clean, everywhere free energy is important.
Imagine going anywhere…anywhere…in the world and being able to keep your satellite phone, GPS Unit or digital camera charged.
MADE IN THE USA.
We now make Juice Bags in the USA with great attention to detail, and use premium fabrics and materials for superior quality.”
Another reason these guys rock is they use,
“fabrics made from recycled PET i.e. soda bottles. We worked extensively with suppliers to develop these fabrics, since they were not previously available. Recycled PET fabric is light weight, extremely durable, UV resistant and water resistant. It even looks better than the nylon it replaced. Most importantly, it uses significantly less energy to produce and creates demand for recycled materials.”
My favorite part about the laptop bag is the handle…
An indicator light inside the handle shows when the panels are generating a charge. That is super fresh.
There are a few other sites that sell solar bags, but their stock consists mostly of leather and that isn’t my flavor. :P I hope these solar bags really are fresh. I’ll let you know when I know.
Update- Marine made this solar bag for me she liked this entry so much. :]