Birds exhibit some of the most elaborate and bizarre courtship rituals of any animals on earth. Here are a few of the more beautiful and zany examples:
The marvellous spatuletail hummingbird exhibits one of the most extreme courtship rituals (see video below). The male bird has two elongated tail feathers that end in a large violet-blue disc, or spatule. The male bird hovers in the air, waving his spatules in front of the female and making a snapping sound with his beak. To the hummingbird, which is the size of a ping-pong ball, this display costs a lot of energy. Spectators of this courtship ritual have reported that after he’s done dancing, the male will have to flop down on a branch, exhausted, and sit still for over an hour to regain his strength. This species of bird is rare and endangered, and lives in only a few…
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Internationally Unrelated provides hard facts about the ecological footprint of our society. August 19th, Tania reports, was Earth Overshoot Day – the day which marks when we as a global society have used as much resources as the earth can replenish in one year. If this date was December 31st, then we would be a sustainable society. However, we still have four full months left on the calendar, and a part of August! This translates to a shorter life for the earth overall through harsher effects of harvesting resources, and land and habitat degradation. Read the article reblogged below for a fuller picture on Earth Overshoot Day! Thanks Internationally Unrelated!
I could start with the typical “save the earth, it is the only we have”, which is completely true, but I will start to tell you that we, as humans need to stop acting like the planet is infinite and it is never going to run out of resources, if not for the earth we share, for ourselves. It will. It is already… And still, it passes us by like it is nothing. Why? Because we don’t see it truly in front of us. If we see war, we see dead people, we see injured people, we know it is happening, we know we need to do something. We don’t see the impact of our actions in our planet, at least clearly. But it is happening.
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A lot of the time we consider environmental issues to be that of wildlife, or resource depletion. How often do we consider the clothes we put on our bodies? How are they made? Natural dyes are one way to ensure the fabrics closest to our bodies are not harmful! Monika is a passionate natural dyer, her products are sold on Etsy, and documents her work on her blog – Red 2 White. She posted last month attributing some of her knowledge to Michael Garcia, master dyer! If you want to give it a try, check his books or DVD’s out to get some know-how, and Monika’s blog for ideas and product reviews!
An article from a great blog we already follow, Food Policy for Thought, tells of a new wave in on-the-go snacking. The Mackay family has created vending machines filled with bananas, and apples, among others, instead of mars bars and skittles. The daunting task of keeping fruit fresh has successfully been surmounted, and leaves no excuse for the use of preservatives in snack foods! Hopefully these “FruitBar’s” will make their way to Canada soon!
When you are out and about and in need for a snack, vending machines are often the most convenient option. Once you get there, though, all intentions about eating healthy go flying out of the window when faced with the choice between chocolate bars, chips and possibly peanut butter pretzels. This zero-sum game between hunger and indulgence has stopped in Queensland, Australia, though – because they invented the FruitBar.
This is an invention deemed impossible by many: a vending machine offering a variety of fresh fruit. You can choose between a single piece of fruit, a mixed pack, and snack packs with nuts and biscuits.
Located in train stations, schools, hospitals and the like, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. At the Royal Brisbane Hospital, the machines have to be refilled several times a day. Growers join in on the excitement:
“It’s so innovative, it’s not very often…
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The New York University’s Urban Farming lab is not only the first agricultural project in the city of New York, but it also has a great blog! This blog to follow recently posted about the importance of Urban Farming. Intellectually stated, and chock full of heavy truths, this article is a must read. Find it here, and peruse the rest of their informative blog, too!
A lot of the time, sustainability and pro-eco choices are made at home, like composting or air-drying our laundry. This business takes eco-friendly to new and unusual level! Firstly, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum is only LEED certified. The LEED certification stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a certification developed by the U.S. Green Building Council which rates the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes and neighborhoods. It hopes to encourage and help owners and operators to use resources responsibly and efficiently. The building utilizes geothermal heating and cooling, solar power, carbon dioxide detecting ventilation sensors, low flow plumbing and daylight sensing lights which automatically dim and brighten lights in accordance with the amount of natural light currently available; recycled plastics, rubbers, re-purposed woods, even sunflower hulls, are used whenever possible instead of new materials.
Moreover, the museum’s exhibits are specifically tailored to sustainability. Attendee’s could learn about geothermal and solar energy, water conservation or recycling, and why they are important to our future as a planet. The museum holds summer camps, and provides educational material for teachers to utilize in the classroom, as well.
As the first “green” museum, they really due set a tone for what we are capable of within the commercial sector. Steps small and large can be made throughout out lives, home, work, and recreation.
Check out their website for more information on educational tools, green sites in the city, and to plan your visit to the first green museum!!
An article recently posted by SAVES, Student ActiVists for Endangered Species, reports that the U.S. government is banning the use of bee-killing pesticides and genetically modified crops within wildlife refuges. The products can be used by spraying, but have typically been used in the seeds. The seeds are soaked in the pesticides so that when they grow, all parts of the plant contain the pesticide internally. This greatly effects the plant, targeted animals, and now admittedly, non-target animals as well.This is to be phased out in refuges and in animal feed by 2016.
Given our recent post about the negativity of neonicotinoids, this is pleasing to hear – a positive step towards a more balanced and symbiotic ecosystem. Read their full article here, and follow their blog for more ecological news on endangered species, or to join their club for protecting endangered species!
Eco People LTD recently reported Hawaii committing to geothermal energy! Governor Neil Abercrombie signs Bill 2953 which designates the Department of the Hawaiian Home Lands as the only recipient for the royalties from geothermal resources generated on the home lands. This bill is intended to support and encourage the search and use of geothermal energy – something Abercrombie believes to probably be “inexhaustible.” As a clean, dependable and sustainable energy source we firmly agree with the direction Hawaii is taking! Read the full article below, or at http://bit.ly/1pWFbPT.
Here at Eco People we love the idea of Geothermal Energy, a thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. We love it so much because it seems so natural. From hot springs, geothermal energy has been used for bathing since Paleolithic times and for space heating since ancient Roman times, but it is now better known for electricity generation. Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.
Hawaii could see a geothermal energised future as they are currently facing tough times when it comes to their energy. Almost all their energy is imported and with the ever impending reality of climate change, prices for importing such energy would be increased drastically.
The governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie (I don’t think there’s a link) believes the answer lies beneath the earth and is already making plans to embrace the power of geothermal energy!
“I realise that there’s been…
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