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E.ON Energy Champions is a eco, flash game where you collect the recycling dropped from above by the selfish, lazy, littering workers and place them in the correct recycling bins before your carbon footprint becomes enormous.

It’s a fun one.

-Cara

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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!

-Cara

Goodbye TV

A couple weeks ago Marine and I were talking about turning off our DirectTV DVR service. There is really nothing worth watching and I, just speaking for myself, am not strong enough to not turn it on and watch if given half a chance. I learned this when we said Tuesdays would be a no TV day and then proceeded to watch TV every Tuesday unless we went out! :) One main reason for no TV Tuesdays is there are millions of other things to do like read, go to the park, walk, create, write, talk, volunteer, make a difference, take a class, etc. instead of watching said TV. Now with no TV at all, who knows I might have time to run for President!

Originally, we got the DirectTV DVR to put an end to channel surfing, only record what we wanted to watch, and to avoid commercials. What I learned from this experience is, yes we stopped channel surfing, but now we show surf off the guide instead, we pretty much only watch crap, and because of TIVO/DVR services, every show has commercials in the actual show. This makes the shows I thought had some standards complete whores for advertisers. I understand it has always been that way, but now it is worse, before, I could walk away from commercials, but now to escape you must walk away from TV…so I am.

Another reaction to the turning off of DirectTV is we will not be using the biggest consumer of electricity in the house, our TV. I don’t know how big our carbon footprint is, but is it much smaller now. I was thinking this morning if our electricity bill will go down as in NYC ConEd averages your bill. They say they do this because 9 out of 10 times they can’t get to the meter. In this day and age the fact that the meter does not communicate with their database is ridiculous. This is something I will look into. I don’t want to pay what the average consumer of electricity pays, because I use way less then that guy! ;)

The Direct TV service was supposed to be turned off on April 6th, so to celebrate, Marine and I and some friends went out on Sunday to raise our glasses to the end of TV in our home [of the two friends, one has no TV and the other has no cable, just a TV for when she wants to watch DVDs.] When we came home the DirectTV was still on. I thought about calling and reminding them, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Then the next day it was on and the next till I turned it on today and it was gone, just gone. I don’t know who reading this has a DVR, but there is a list of saved shows you can watch, so Marine and I filled it, that way when they turned off the actual service we could slowly wean ourselves off the boob tube. I thought that even without the service you could still watch the saved shows, but I was incorrect. Now, I am like a drug addict forced to go cold turkey without any warning, but like that drug addict I know that if I stay off the crack, life will only get better.

I am excited to see how it changes me.

Crack is whack!

-Cara

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Fish and shellfish farming, or aquaculture, is no less disruptive to the environment than taking fish from the wild. Shoreline pens replace mangroves, that is, the habitats where wild fish would otherwise reproduce. Some farmed species will not breed in captivity, so fish farmers must steal juveniles, who never get a chance to reproduce, from the wild. There are numerous cases where farmed fish have escaped into the wild, corrupting the genetic purity of native species and spreading disease. Indiscriminate biomass fishing for fishmeal threatens ecosystems. Feed-to-flesh ratios soar in some farmed species to 25 to 1. Nitrogenous waste poisons the seabed floor below cages that hold fish in unnatural densities.

I LOVE COFFEE!!!

I love coffee so I thought it might be time for an entry on how to obtain a more eco cup of Joe. Not only that, but I only buy Starbuck’s, which I’ve heard rumors might be bad, but honestly I have no idea, it just doesn’t seem right.

What I want to accomplish with this entry is find a coffee that is manufactured and distributed by a Fair Trade company [Fair trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair trade organizations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.], that it is organic [Organic farming is a form of agriculture which excludes the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms.], and the closest one to where I live so I have the smallest carbon footprint [a “measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of green house gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide”.] I can.

I will put some links of organic, fair trade coffee companies. Out of all these coffees I have only tried Green Mountain and I must say I didn’t love it, but I only tried French Roast [my personal favorite roast] in bulk and only once. Who knows maybe the store filled the bin with another brand, a bad batch, or maybe I’ll like another of their roasts. I am willing to try again, as they seem like such a good company on the whole and they are right next door to me in Vermont. I will try to review all these coffee companies and update this entry as I do.

List of Some Organic, Free Trade Coffee Companies

  1. Vermont Green Mountain Coffee Roasters [Since 1981, they have been roasting the finest Arabica beans from coffee-growing communities around the world, creating award-winning blends that inspire and delight the senses. Their goal is to provide you with an extraordinary coffee experience that’s environmentally sound, socially just, and undeniably delicious.] They also are the roasters for Newman’s Own Organic Coffee.
  2. Alter Eco Fair Trade [They offer Fair Trade Certified coffee, tea, sugar, rice]
  3. Eco Java [All of their “Roasted to order” coffee beans are Bolivian, organic, Fair Trade, and have no defects. Their coffee beans are single-locality (terroir), 100% Arabica (Tipica 80%, Caturra 20%), shade grown in the higher altitudes of the Caranavi region, washed using pure Andes glacier-melt water, sun-dried on wooden table tops and hand selected by “Palliris” (Aymara Indian women food graders).]
  4. EcoCoffee [All their coffees are sourced from ethically trading and environmentally responsible producers. A premium price is paid to the farmers, who must comply with welfare and eco friendly standards. All coffee is single origin (bar one premium blend of three) and the origin and producer is always clearly identified. We supply only 100% arabica beans, usually shade grown, many certified organic. You will even know the day on which it was roasted (227g packs).]
  5. Grounds for Change [a family owned and operated coffee roasting business located in the Pacific Northwest. They roast our 100% Fair Trade, Organic coffee in small batches to ensure that you receive the freshest coffee possible. All of their coffee is Fair Trade Certified by TransFair USA and their Organic Certification meets the stringent Organic Processor Standards enforced by the United States Federal Government and the Washington State Department of Agriculture. The vast majority of the coffee they sell is also Shade Grown Coffee which ensures healthy habitat for migratory birds.]
  6. Last but not least, Dean’s Beans I think this company seams super serious in a good way.
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    All Organic and Kosher – Respect for the Quality of Life

    All of our fine whole bean specialty coffees are certified organic, kosher coffees, and are roasted in small batches at our beanery in Orange, MA. We know that the planting, care, harvesting and processing of the beans is done in conformity with international standards for the health of the farmer and his environment, as well as the high quality of the bean. The vast use of pesticides in coffee production has serious impact on the ecology of the coffee-growing world and the health of farm communities. Our commitment to only purchase shade grown coffees supports healthy environments for coffee growers and protects critical migratory bird habitat. It is important to us that the quality of our coffees includes respect for the quality of life of our southern partners in the coffee world. And that respect translates into superb tasting coffee for your pleasure.

    How a Great Cup of Coffee Makes the World a Better Place

    Besides only roasting organic coffees, Dean’s Beans® only purchases beans from villages and importers that are committed to Fair Trade and working towards better economic opportunity, improved health and nutrition in the villages. We promote local empowerment and self-reliance through our Fair Trade purchases and our work with local grassroots development and human rights groups. We also sponsor projects here at home with disenfranchised communities such as Native Americans, the homeless and disabled, and many other groups trying to improve their lives and that of their communities. Every cup you drink and every pound you buy contributes directly to the welfare of coffee growers and consumers.

    We only purchase beans from small farmers and cooperatives, largely made up of indigenous peoples working hard to maintain their culture and lifestyles in a hostile world. We do not buy beans from large estates and farms. We’ve been there, and have seen the conditions of chronic poverty and malnutrition within which these farms produce those other coffees. Look in your kitchen – do you know where your beans come from?

    Dean’s Beans® represents a fully integrated progressive coffee trade system.

    Each player in our cycle of production and distribution, from the farmer to the consumer, participates in socially just and environmentally responsible trade. We hope that all other coffee companies will follow our lead.

    We are proud to be a founding member of Cooperative Coffees, Inc., the first roaster’s cooperative created to buy direct, Fair Trade coffee from farmer coops, and make it available to any small roaster who wants to participate in the Fair Trade movement. We are also active members of the Fair Trade Federation, an international organization of dedicated Fair Traders (no poseurs allowed).

A few coffee facts from EcoCoffee,

* Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world economy, after oil.
* The global coffee industry is worth $60 billion annually.
* Some coffee farmers earn as little as 10 cents a kilo for the coffee they pick by hand.
* Most of the world’s coffee is grown by small-scale coffee farming families.
* 25 million families around the world work in the coffee-fields and totally depend on the coffee crop as their only source of income.

ECO CUPS

Green Mountain

According to the Green Mountain Coffee [GMC] company, every year, Americans drink more than 100 billion cups of coffee. Of those, 14.4 billion are served in disposable paper cups— enough to wrap the earth 55 times if placed end-to-end! Those paper cups contain a plastic lining made from a petrochemical that would produce enough energy to heat 8,300 homes. That’s a town the size of Newtown, Connecticut.

What Green Mountain Coffee is doing to combat this situation is work with International Paper to develop a new cup that uses renewable resources and make less of an environmental impact. What they came up with is the ecotainer™ cup, an eco-friendly cup designed for hot stuff. It uses a lining made from corn instead of petrochemicals. I love corn.

Their philosophy on cups is the same philosophy throughout Green Mountain Coffee.

Green Cup

Another cup option I found is Eco-Friendly Coffee Mug. These mugs are made from 100% U.S. grown corn. Completely heat stable, hand wash only and reuse over and over. I’m getting one just to smell it. I am so curious. I don’t love the design from the image, but I will not judge until I see it in real time…

cup cup
OK , that’s a wrap, as soon as I try any of them, I’ll let you know. I am drinking the last of my Starbucks.I love coffee.-Cara
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Eating a plant-based diet guards against disease: first in an active way with complex carbohydrates, phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Then by default: the more plant foods you eat, the less room you have for animal foods that clog arteries with cholesterol, strain kidneys with excess protein, and burden the heart with saturated fat. Clinical studies have shown that meat-free diets reverse diabetic symptoms and reduce cholesterol levels by about as much as the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs.

cc

Be Green Now’s web site hosts a cool Carbon Calculator for all you car drivers. Figure the size of your carbon shoe here.

How do they come up with the figures you ask…

Vehicles

Vehicle emissions are calculated by determining the quantity of gallons of gasoline you use annually and multiplying that number by the amount of kg/CO2/gallon emissions rate. The resultant kg CO2 emitted by you was then divided by 1,000 to determine metric tons of CO2 emitted.

* Once you input your vehicle Year, Make and Model, we look up the average MPG of your vehicle and use the average of highway and city miles to determine the estimated fuel economy of your vehicle.

Electricity

To calculate the CO2 emissions you avoid, we simply multiply your monthly electric usage times the CO2 emission rate of typical system power in your area. The CO2 emissions rate is determined using the EPA’s eGRID 2006, Version 2.1, year 2004 database.

Air Travel

When you provide your actual flight data, we are able to accurately calculate your emissions resulting from air travel. We look up your flight Flight leg miles were converted to flight leg kilometers and were broken-out by short hauls (< 452 km), medium hauls (452km < x < 1,600km), and long hauls (> 1,600 km).The total kms traveled for short, medium and long hauls were then multiplied by the appropriate emissions factor for each haul distance.

Natural Gas

We calculate your emissions from natural gas usage by multiplying the appropriate CO2 factor by the quantity of Therms used annually.

I do love calculators.

-Cara

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Bypass surgery requires that your rib cage be opened, your heart stopped, and your body hooked up to an external pumping machine so a vein from some other part of your body can be removed and grafted as a replacement blood vessel to your heart. Memory, language ability, and spatial orientation remain impaired in 10 to 50 percent of bypass patients six months afterward. Side effects for some never go away. Gloom and depression affect between a third and three-quarters of patients. Many will require a second operation. A vegetarian diet, regular exercise, and spiritual nourishment have proven to reverse heart disease–the biggest killer in Western countries.

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I love Sunday’s games. Today’s is, Planet Green Game. It is a super green teaching machine this game. Love it. Starbucks is trying to give some of the love back….interesting….

About the Game

The challenge of global climate change requires us all to think beyond our traditional ways of doing business. At Starbucks we are passionate about contributing positively to communities and the environment. Our core business is coffee, an agricultural product that is grown in tropical regions around the globe. Climatic conditions strongly influence the yield and quality of annual coffee crops. We are working to better understand the risks and implications that climate change may have on our business, as well as identify how we can minimize our contribution to climate change.

When we look at the greenhouse gas emission associated with our operations, we are driven to take action in two major areas that make-up 99% of our emissions: energy used to operate our stores and the energy and emissions associated with roasting coffee. And while taking action on our own carbon footprint is our first step, we also realize we have a unique opportunity to leverage our size and reach to advocate for the need to take collaborative action.

Starbucks and Global Green USA collaborated on the Planet Green Game to educate the public about climate change through engaging and informative game play while encouraging individuals to become part of the solution in their own lives. The game also assists individuals – through simple tools and links – in advocating action by elected officials, business and community leaders.

About Global Warming

Take Action

Disclaimer:

The fictitious names of companies, products, people, characters and/or data mentioned herein are not intended to represent any real individual, company, product or event. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved.

;) lol.

-Cara

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About 25 million pounds of antibiotics are fed to U.S. livestock every year primarily for growth promotion. This is almost eight times the amount administered to humans. Though perfectly legal, the practice is leading to the selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and adding to the general worldwide crisis of drug-resistant disease. The consumption of meat contaminated with these superbugs raises the threat of human illnesses that physicians are unable to treat.

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