Monthly Archives: June 2015
June 29, 2015.
Earth may be known as the "water planet," but even though about 70 percent of its surface is covered with water, less than one percent of this precious resource is available for human use. And the effects of climate change--changing precipitation patterns, intense and extreme weather events, reduced snow cover and melting glaciers--are making things more complicated. In more than 40 states, water managers predict shortages over the next decade in at least some part of their state, even if water conditions remain basically the same. It also takes energy to pump, distribute and treat water – which has...
June 23, 2015.
The muggy heat of summer is upon us, and attempts to beat the heat cause many to resort to energy intensive habits such as blasting the air conditioning (AC). And although AC is a necessary and wonderful invention, its use has a significant impact on the climate. According to the Department of Energy, air conditioners use about 5% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at an annual cost of more than $11 billion to homeowners. The good news is there are simple ways to moderate its use – so we can remain comfortable even on those hot...
June 16, 2015.
Who are the pollinators, what is pollination, and why does it matter? Eight years ago the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the designation of a week in June as National Pollinator Week. The idea for Pollinator Week was originated, and is currently managed, by the Pollinator Partnership -- a non-profit that promotes research, outreach and education about pollinators and their importance. The Partnership has strong ties with institutions, organizations, corporations and individuals nationwide that share a concern for conservation. Pollinating animals include bees, birds, bats, butterflies, beetles and many other tiny flying creatures, and they are vital for agriculture...
June 9, 2015.
What are carbon offsets? A carbon offset compensates for greenhouse gas emissions by providing critical funding for projects which absorb, reduce, or avoid the release of carbon dioxide elsewhere. Examples of projects which are supported by carbon offsets include: wind farms, reforestation initiatives, and methane capture at animal farms. Although recycling, forgoing bottled water, and using energy-efficient bulbs are common and simple ways to maintain a greener lifestyle, for individuals or businesses looking to take further action, or compensate for emissions they can’t practically reduce, carbon offsets are an impactful mechanism to consider. Carbon offsets provide real...
June 1, 2015.
Memorial Day has come and gone, and traditional fashion protocol tells us that it is once again the season of white pants. Gardening season is upon us as well, which means that you may want to hold off on those easily dirtied jeans in favor of an old t-shirt and some gardening gloves! At first glance, gardens are quite eco-friendly – produce can be consumed without the use of fossil-fuel based transportation and preservation, and often minimal pesticides are used in comparison to large-scale producers. However, below we outline a few of the ways in which certain gardening...