Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Apology and this week's tip: Dumpster Adventures

I'm not blogging much lately due to certain matters going on in my life. Sorry, I know this is supposed to be a weekly post but life happens....

Anyway, here's this week's tip. This applies if you live in a place where there's a central dumpster where people dump their garbage: When you take out the garbage, keep your eyes open for things that might not really be garbage but perhaps someone was just trying to get rid of the item without it occurring to them that maybe someone else could use it. If you find something useful, go ahead and take it home! For example, yesterday I "rescued" a chair that turned out to be still in decent condition, and comfortable, too. I recommend cleaning such finds before using them, as you don't know where they've been....If you find something that could be useful for someone but not you, you can "rescue" it anyway and donate it to Goodwill or another organization of your preference that takes such things. (Another idea is to try putting it up for sale, say on Craigslist or eBay, but keep in mind that you can't always be confident that you can accurately describe the condition of the item and again, you have no idea where it's been....) That way you can help the environment while simultaneously helping an organization and also someone who could use the item in question! :)

If you see that there's an ongoing problem of people leaving perfectly good items, you might want to call the problem to the attention of your building/apartment complex manager (or whoever else is in charge). I called mine today and left a message with the following ideas: 1. They could write a notice so people are aware that there's a Goodwill nearby. (That applies to my situation; you could customize this for your own situation.) Have them point out that other people might be able to make use of the item, even if the current owner is done with it. 2. They could designate a place, apart from the dumpster(s), where people could leave stuff they don't want that's still good, and people could come and take what they want. I didn't get a response yet but at least I tried.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

1.3 billion chickens

Take two seconds to take action!

I received the following email from Environment America:

1.3 billion chickens. 62 million hogs. 18 million head of cattle. Those are just some of the animals living in factory farms in the U.S. And these animals create more waste each year than the top 100 American cities combined.
Help us clean up factory farms.
"Ticking time bombs of manure" -- that’s the description Karen Hudson, a resident of Elmwood, Illinois, gave to factory farms when one spewed two million tons of raw, toxic manure near her home after a heavy rain.
This waste is revolting, and contaminates waterways nationwide -- but the Obama administration has the authority to clean up these farms right now. 
Sign our petition to President Obama to clean up these dirty operations today.
The simple truth is that millions of gallons of manure, microbes and antibiotics shouldn't be kept in open pits, just one heavy rainstorm away from contaminating nearby waterways.
Tell President Obama to clean up factory farms today to protect our waters tomorrow.
Margie Alt
Executive Director

Note from me: Apologies for neglecting this blog. It's called "Environmental Tip of the Week" which implies I should be writing here weekly. I will try to do so, going forward.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Teach your kids about being "green" at every opportunity!

Teach your kids about being "green" at every opportunity! For example, recently I made a bus out of Legos for my daughter. She loaded it up with little toy people, animals, and food. While she was pushing it around on the floor, I asked her if it was a solar-powered bus. She responded yes. I've explained to her in the past, but said again, why it's better for the environment to power things with energy from the sun. I told her that it doesn't put pollution into the air nor does it contribute to global warming because it doesn't add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

She also understands why our garbage is separated out into recycling, compost, and actual garbage. I've explained that some items, like used paper, get broken down and turned into something new to save resources and space while others end up in a landfil, using up resources and space. Her Grampy, while gardening, explained the process of composting as she watched him take some compost and put it with new plants.

For expert ideas on how to raise eco-conscious kids, have a look at the book Eco-Kids by Dan Chiras. It has everything from small educational steps to methods for arranging an entire community to be eco-friendly.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last chance to save the Dead Sea

Cross posted in The Road That Never Ends

In a few days, the government will vote on a bill that could save the Dead Sea. But the Finance Ministry and polluting companies are pressuring the ministers to block it. To win, we need just one minister to switch sides.

I've just signed a petition to the ministers calling on them to stand up to public pressure and approve the bill. This is our last chance to save the Dead Sea - join me by clicking here:


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

find a green job (or at least internship)

Ready to get serious about your "green" commitment? You don't have to have special "green" skills like installing solar paneling- A green job could simply mean being a lawyer for an environmental organization or getting into green building finance. (I know someone who says that's what he does.) Heck, doing any job for a company that has taken steps to be more sustainable could be called a "green" job.

If you're in college or a recent grad, opportunities abound for you to gain experience no matter what your major. I write and sell ads for the local Spanish/English green living magazine, Eco-Logica; I got this job mostly because I've been writing blogs about the subjects it covers. If you're still in college, get involved with the campus environmental club, or start one if it doesn't exist. Look out for green internships. A lot of those with nonprofits will be unpaid but it's more valuable experience that could help you land your dream "green" job down the line. I intern for the Jewish environmental organization Canfei Nesharim.

Try the green job bank, or google "green job."

PS to inquire about placing an ad in Eco-Logica Magazine, please email me at sbedder@ecologica.com. I'll email you the media kit and answer any questions you may have.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Green Hour

Cross posted in The Daily Yay!

Wow, this is too good to pass up! Folks, let's get our kids to appreciate nature. A Green Hour is "time for unstructured play and interaction with the natural world." Rena's preschool teachers have been doing a great job encouraging her to walk around outside so that now I don't have to cart her by stroller the whole way where most people would take a car and totally miss out on experiencing nature. During the fall, Rena loves to stroll along on the sidewalk and pick up the colorful leaves from the trees. It's unstructured because she just spontaneously goes after particular leaves. I haven't been taking her out daily since the weather has been cold, but I should. I found this website while doing research about "nature deficit disorder" for an upcoming article in Eco-Logica Magazine.