Tag Archive | Environment

The Forest Man of India

Meet Majuli, India native Jadav Payeng. For almost 45 years now he has been planting trees on the Island of Majuli, in North East India. Through his work, he has reintroduced vegetation to the barren, eroding island. Alone, he has now planted a dense forest larger than Central Park in New York City. His efforts have been recognized by the Former President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kamar, who has dubbed him the “Forest Man of India”! Check out the video below for more information on this amazing accomplishment and the man who saved his island!

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Great or Gross?

 

A Detroit native suggests gross and great do not need to be separate: he plans to bike from Wisconsin to New York City and only eat food that has been thrown out along the way! He acknowledges that although dumpster diving is unsanitary, yet he wants to do it anyway because it is “not about him”, but an important cause that people need to be aware of. He is hoping people will dine with him throughout his journey, and his efforts will help lessen the amount of food wasted daily! Read the full article via the link here!dumpster diving

Bee-Killing Pesticides Found in “Bee-Friendly” Plants Sold in Ontario

This is some serious news!!! Bee attractive plants that gardeners use to promote Bee procreation, have been tested and found to contain neonicotinoids!  In Canada!

The seeds of these plants are treated the same way as farmers crops – they are soaked in the pesticide so that as it grows, the pesticide is contained within each cell of the plant. It is more effective than spraying and reduces labour hours, however at what price? These neonics are the same that have polluted the water supply throughout the states, and has been banned from use in animal fodder and animal and plant refugee conservation sites.

About 50% of the bee-friendly plants have enough of the pesticide to kill bee’s outright, and 40% have two varieties of the neonics! Samples were taken from London, Ontario, Montreal and Vancouver, all with similarly disturbing results. How are we as consumers able to encourage growth in the bee population if the plants we buy to do just that, are actually detrimental to their numbers?

Otter Valley Naturalists

A new study released by Friends of the Earth Canada shows that over 60 per cent of “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at garden centers have been pre-treated with neonicotinoids (neonics) pesticides shown to harm and kill bees. Of the samples collected from London, 100 per cent contained neonics, the highest amount in the Canadian tests.

The plants tested were: Calibrachoa, Gerbera Daisy, Shasta Daisy and Zonal Geranium. All but the Zonal Geranium showed two neonic pesticides, increasing its sub-lethal effects.

The Canadian data is part of a larger study, Gardeners Beware 2014, released by Friends of the Earth in Canada and Friends of the Earth U.S. with Pesticide Research Institute (PRI). Garden plant samples were collected from top garden retailers from 18 cities across Canada and the United States. Canadian samples were collected in London (Ontario), Montreal (Quebec) and Vancouver (British Columbia).

Gardeners Beware 2014 reported that 51 per…

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Finding Human Evidence in the Mystery of Climate Change

If you were ever in doubt about the ability of humans to cause real changes to the climate over time, this article will prove you wrong. From the writers at ClimateShift comes a well written article sourcing a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to squash any and all nay-sayers. The climate is truly changing due to humans, “the most important of these impacts […] include threats to ecosystems and organisms, increasing coastal erosion and inundation, decreasing crop yields, and intensifying flood frequency,” (Quote pulled from ClimateShift’s article). Read the full article on the effects of our oceans and what you can expect the work to look like in 60-80 years if we make serious reductions to green house gas emissions, or if we don’t…! Icebergs and Ice Bits Near Kangilerngata Sermia Glacier, Disko Bugt (Disko Bay), West Greenland

Your ecological footprint – what?!

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!

 

 

Internationally Unrelated

green-footprint-shutterstock11I 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.

Yesterday, according to the Global Footprint Network, was the Earth Overshoot Day. For those of you who are not familiar with this, the…

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Has Bottled Water Gone Too Far?

Bottled water, revealed by an article from Mother Jones, comes from either springs, or regular tap water. Companies then package it and ship it to stores, where consumers seem to prefer it over what they get from their own taps. The privitisation of a community resource, something that is required to be provided by the government, is my first issue with the product. Why should consumers pay for water that is bottled and moved around, if it is the same as what they already have? It boggles my mind to say the least.

What is even worse is that the springs and taps which provide water for these companies are centralized in California, which right now is experiencing their third driest summer on record! You’d think that the needless use of plastic, and commodification of a community resource would be enough to ruffle some feathers; yet the source of the water is continuing to degrade the Californian land! When will the issues with bottled water be enough to slow their sales? Nothing it seems compares with the taste of “real water” (quote taken from a comment on the source article! Can you believe it!?).

Look at the diagrams below show the concentration of water sources in California, in relation to the rest of the United States – or read the article for yourself here!

This diagram shows large bottled water corporations and their sources in California.

This diagram shows large bottled water corporations and their sources in California.

This is the total map of water sources for the four companies with a key for the level of drought in the area. Why are they all clustered in the driest areas?!

This is the total map of water sources for the four companies with a key for the level of drought in the area. Why are they all clustered in the driest areas?!

 

 

21 Tips for Eco Innovation

eco innovationThe blogger at The Gentle Art of Smart Stealing suggests 21 ways to continue to evolve towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Check out the list and the links embedded in the article for more information! Find the article here.

A Big Leap For Wind Power

AltaerosEnergies

A look at the BAT as it is being raised into the sky.

 

Altaeros Energy’s Buoyant Airborne Turbine, or BAT, is the beginnings of a new step for Wind Energy. This turbine is not on a tower, but a helium blimp housing a turbine which is tethered to the ground from about 300 meters in the air (making it the worlds highest wind turbine!). The air is not only more powerful as you climb higher into the atmosphere, but the technology is less prone to problem. Without the massive steel tower, and yaw mechanism which rotates the turbine to face the wind as it changes, the maintenance is much less significant. The turbine also is quieter, while producing more energy! Although this technology is only in prototype phase, tests have been positive. Now being tested over Alaska, CEO Ben Glass predicts to provide power at about $0.18 per kilowatt-hour, about half the price of off-grid electricity in Alaska.

It seems like this is a win for energy efficiency and standards of living! Kudos to Altaeros! Find a full article, from The Spirit Science here: Wind Turbines Take to the Skies to Generate a Magnificent Quanta of Energy VIDEO! , as well as from IEEE Spectrum here.

 

Celebrating Nature

As Canadians, we come from such a rich land. Although it can be hard to pry our eyes away from the destruction of our beloved land, and planet, sometimes it is nice to look towards what we still have to enjoy. The Canadian Museum of Nature is doing just that. They’re extremely active within their museum, and dedicated to academic involvements in house, but their blog tells of trips farther afield. Yesterday, their post was written by Dr. Paula Piilonen, a museum mineralogist. She chronicled one day on the Students on Ice Arctic Expedition, where they searched for interesting minerals in Greenland and followed a humpback whale in their zodiacs! Enjoying the environment should not be forgotten in the urge to protect it! nature museum

Positive Steps Towards Preserving Our Pollinators!

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.

Pollinators, like this bee, are an integral part of agriculture. Pesticide's toxicity has been depleting the pollinator population. Banning pesticides and GMO's will help to reverse the damage we have caused and protect our future ecosystem.

Pollinators, like this bee, are an integral part of agriculture. Pesticide’s toxicity has been depleting the pollinator population. Banning pesticides and GMO’s will help to reverse the damage we have caused and protect our future ecosystem.

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!