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The Rubbish Diet Challenge

The Rubbish Diet Challenge, originating in the United Kingdom, is a challenge to “slim your bins”. The challenge consists of a simple four-week schedule to reduce your waste in a variety of ways, capped with a zero-waste challenge week at the end. They also provide “Bin Doctors” to help support challengers, too. Eco-Mommy Blogger Mommy Emu, tries the challenge and documented it on her extensive blog. Read week by week through her trials and tribulations towards a less wasteful future. Check out the other categories and posts for like reading, and more ideas on going green.the-rubbish-diet-challenge

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7 Things You Need To Know About The Toxin That’s Poisoned Ohio’s Drinking Water

Toledo, Ohio and surrounding area are currently not able to drink their tap water because of a large algae bloom on Lake Erie. What this post from ThinkProgress adds to the story, is that climate change, and humans are direct aggressors on the formation, and severity, of these blooms.

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows the algae bloom on Lake Erie in 2011 which according to NOAA was the worst in decades

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows the algae bloom on Lake Erie in 2011 which according to NOAA was the worst in decades

Events such as this continue to give tangible proof of the importance in moving towards more eco-friendly practices. Read this article for more information.

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via 7 Things You Need To Know About The Toxin That’s Poisoned Ohio’s Drinking Water | ThinkProgress.

BY EMILY ATKIN POSTED ON AUGUST 3, 2014

This satellite image provided by NOAA shows the algae bloom on Lake Erie in 2011 which according to NOAA was the worst in decades. This satellite image provided by NOAA shows the algae bloom on Lake Erie in 2011 which according to NOAA was the worst in decades.

Approximately 400,000 people in and around Toledo, Ohio are being warned not to drink their tap water after high levels of a dangerous toxin were discovered in the water supply Saturday, according to the Toledo-Lucas County Department of Health.

The toxin is called microcystin, the high levels of which were caused by massive increases in algae on Lake Erie. The increases in algae, called “algae blooms”, are poisonous if consumed — causing abnormal liver function, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, numbness, and dizziness. Boiling the water doesn’t help — in fact, itincreases the presence of the toxin.

As of now, it’s…

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How Noisy is Too Noisy?

The United Kingdom’s energy strategy for the future is heavily reliant on off-shore wind turbines. The unknown element here is how the underwater noise of these turbines, during construction, and in usage, will effect the environment. The University of Newcastle’s Sustainability blog posted about the preliminary challenges of these turbines.

wind turbines

The masts which hold the turbines must initially be hammered into the sea floor, destroying habitat space, and causing loud echos and rippling waves from it’s center. In coalition with other University research teams, Newcastle’s research team spent four days on the water collecting samples of species and water with various technologies in order to map the ecosystem before construction, during, and usage periods. This will help them understand the effects of underwater noise in their marine ecosystems, and design ways of limiting potential issues into the future. Read their blog post for more information on this endeavor, and other sustainability news.

SustainabilityResearch@Newcastle

In July 2013 the RV Princess Royal was home to a group of UK underwater sound specialists, called the Bio-Acoustic Research Consortium (BARC). This new project is led by Dr Per Berggren from Newcastle University’sSchool of Marine Science and Technology and it brings together a range of noise specialists, ecologists and industry professionals with a common aim: to better understand the impact of underwater noise on marine ecosystems.

The consortium has attracted grant funding from the Natural Environment Research Council’sMarine Renewables Knowledge Exchange Programme to explore the environmental challenges associated with offshore wind development, an industry that continues to grow rapidly. The Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), also supplied a small grant towards equipment costs which has funded the purchase of six hydrophones, called C-Pods, for detecting marine mammals. It is hoped the knowledge gained from the project can be fed directly back to industry…

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Bee Killings Causing the Death to More Than Just Bees

David Quilty, blogger of The Good Human, writes some devastating news last week. The insecticide neonicotinoids which are used to kill bees have been detected in nine major rivers across six different states. While the effects of neonicotinoids are quasi-understood when used as insecticides, what the effects on the fish population will be is still uncertain. The likelihood of negative effects however, seems plausible if not probable. What’s more is that now that the toxin has infected our water supply, it can be precipitated across other areas where there is not agricultural purpose. This does not effect one farm, but breaks through ecosystem borders. Currently, Bayer and Monsanto (among others) manufacture and sell them, and it is the most widely used insecticide in the world. Already detrimental effects are compounding from the usage of this chemical, but will the present profits made from it continue to outweigh the future of our planet? bees

Master Urban Farmers!

urban farming


Stone’s Throw is a partnership of six farmers who have chosen to uproot from the country in order to farm sixteen vacant lots in the Minneapolis area. Their crops are sold through the Community Supported Agriculture program, and local restaurants.  Eric Larson, a Stone’s Throw farmer, says “by growing where we live, we are greatly reducing our impact on the Earth, while empowering city-dwellers to take control of their food supply.” Urban Farming has had a long history, which you can read about here, which has both beautified cities and sustained populations through economic hardship. Follow Stone’s Throw’s blog for reports on weeding, crop covering and the impact on Minneapolis food supply!

urban farming

The Best Innovations Are Free

Going green doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, green should ideally save you green! Read this post from Eco Thrifty Living for a great way to keep the air in your home warm!  Check out the rest of the blog for ideas on renovating, tying the knot, and baby care eco-friendly, and pocket pretty!

Eco Thrifty Living

Innovation, someone once wrote, is in the eye of the beholder. Oh wait, that was me last week. How innovative!

See what I mean?

Someone else – I’m serious this time – once told me that perspective prejudices perception. In other words, the angle at which we look at something heavily influences the way in which we internalize it. This person was Eliot Coleman, a famous American market gardener and author.

I met Coleman about ten years ago, and found him very much of the eco-thrifty persuasion. We got on famously.

It will come as no surprise that the eco-thrifty perspective on innovation is very different from the infinite-growth-without-consequences perspective. The latter, what Australian author Clive Hamilton calls “Growth Fetish,” appears to be the dominant perspective of Wanganui District Council, made evident by the stacks of cash it throws at chasing this outdated paradigm.

Innovative councils across the country…

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Scratch Mommy

Are you looking for a blog to follow that covers everything from healthy recipes and skincare to life as a mom? You’ve found it! Jess is the Scratch Mommy, who gives her readers tips on how to make your own amazing meals and products that will enhance your family’s life and boost your health.

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If you have no experience with a completely “green” lifestyle, don’t fret! Jess is admittedly “mostly chemical-free” and “slightly-crunchy,” which means that she is on your side in your adventure towards a healthier lifestyle.

To check out Scratch Mommy, click here.

 

El Hierro: The First Totally Wind Powered Island!

Just off the coast of Africa, the smallest country of the Canary Island – El Hierro – became 100% wind powered. With May 2014 as their first month with total reliance on their new wind system, El Hierro has made history. The project includes five wind turbines on the North Eastern tip of the Island for a capacity of 11.5 megawatts, and two hydroelectric back up systems. Comparing the energy generated from these projects, El Hierro makes enough energy to service their 2003 population; this makes them completely energy self-sufficient.
el hierro
For a full write up on their energy system, visit Eco People LTD. Feel free to peruse the remainder of their site for regular updates on global eco news, and information on renewable energy technology.

Eco-Friendly, Natural and Organic Products for Fitness Enthusiasts

Going green does not have to end where the gym mats begin. Follow Green Fitness for product reviews, and step by step check lists for better skincare, work outs, and health foods tailored for the athletes of a sustainable tomorrow!

Seafood Watch: Do You Eat Sustainable Seafood?

Food sources are an important aspect of  a sustainable future for our planet. Seafood Watch is a guide for consumers when purchasing their fish — is it sustainable seafood? Authors recommend not buying fish without knowing if it is sustainable, and eating a diversity of fish to prevent one species being over fished or farmed.

Check out It’s Not Easy To Be Green for more guidance on going green!

It's Not Easy To Be Green

California Leopard Sharks Leopard Sharks. Credit: MoonSoleil

I admired the jellyfish, the octopus, and the nudibranchs, but in the end, it was the California leopard sharks that won me over. They cuddled up against the diver and nudged their heads against her arm, taking squid gently from her hand. It was the first time ever a shark had elicited an involuntary “Aww” reaction from me.

I’ve been going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium since I was eleven. (Honor roll field trips FTW!) There are arguments against keeping animals in captivity, but for me, getting up close and personal with a leafy sea dragon reminds me why I care about this planet and inspires me to keep caring.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium earnestly promotes ocean conservation, particularly through its Seafood Watch program. Overfishing is one of the most critical issues facing our ocean ecosystems, and the MBA’s Seafood Watch Pocket Guide distills…

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