I love this concept. Electrolux plans to retrieve plastic floating in the ocean and recycle into vacuum cleaners and more. We have to remember every moment that we cannot throw things away- there is no away.

Via: Flossie! thank you!

Oil and Water Don’t Mix

October 26, 2010

Thoughtful way to use art to draw our attention to the BP spill and do some good, too. Check out Anthony Burrill’s poster, limited edition of 200 posters, screen printed with oil from the Gulf of Mexico disaster. All the benefits go to CRCL, the Coalition to Restore Louisiana coastline.

Via: Josh Spear

Last night we tuned to HBO’s premier of Gasland, a Sundance Film Festival award-winning documentary by Josh Fox. Within 30 minutes, we got it, got very upset and had to turn off the film. See trailer.

It feels like it’s all too much these days. Corporate disregard for our environment. Governmental oversight regulations. What? Big corporations who do the most polluting can continue to pollute while everyone looks the other way?

This is the last frontier. How can it get worse, folks? Human behavior has to change now so we don’t have to start colonizing other planets in the future. I mean, what animal fouls its own drinking water? We cannot be that stupid. Yet, amazingly, we are.

The underground stores of natural gas in the US are tremendous. Gas companies are tapping this ocean through hundreds of thousands of wells all over the US. from Texas and Colorado to Pennsylvania and New York State. The result of the fracking, or forcing millions of gallons of chemical laden water into cracks to release the gas does just that- it puts toxic chemicals right into our water supply and releases natural gas.

Gasland shows us up close the damage done, the sickness and devastation thousands of families and communities are experiencing across the country.

We cannot even know what the hundreds of chemicals are because companies do not have to report such information. The EPA would normally be the regulator of an issue like this but the gas lobbyists managed to have fracking exempted from the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The most succinct article about the film is in the Huff Post. But there are many people who are speaking out about the results of fracking on their drinking water, including Peter Gorman in The Fort Worth Weekly back in 2008, Jeff Brady for NPR and more. Face it, my driving a fuel efficient car and recycling my cat food cans is such a small piece of a very huge and out-of-control puzzle. Compared with the huge military and corporate reach? I feel like a flea trying to bite a bulldozer.

Rather than leaving us in the lurch, a most useful site is the Gasland site, where you can learn about fracking, and take action.

Environmental groups are lobbying congress. Other ways to support that effort are through EarthworksAction.org, and get educated by reading the OGAP’s (Oil and Gas Accounatibility Project article, and the OGAP’s list of model regulatory and operational practices.

And, if the government isn’t going to regulate, then the states must step up. My next call is to my local congress people. Who are we going to call, T? Ghostbusters?

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Of course this is via Micah, via Green Diary. Check out this robot plant from Plantas Nomadas that  can walk about the contaminated rivers to nourish its microbial fuel cells. As it sips from the polluted water source, the elements of the contaminated water serve as nutrients for its microbes and they disintegrate to create energy during the process.

You can see Plantas Nomadas, designed by Mexican artist Gilberto Esparza, at Laboral, Gijón, Spain through June, 7, 2010.

I am so loving the Permaculture Certification Course I am taking with Andrew Faust. Wearing my Permaculture goggles I am seeing my home, my land, my community, my world very differently and with so much excitement and expectation.

Check out this amazing youtube with Geoff Lawton on working with nature in the desert with wonderful results. So simple. Let’s encourage more of this!

Basic Needs of Humans-Water

February 19, 2010

We all need air, water, sleep, food and exercise and shelter. Actually, we all need good quality air, clean water, deep regenerative sleep, nourishing food and regular movement in our bodies and a place to relax and renew. All 6 areas are interrelated and important. Some people focus only on their food or exercise and forget the other factors. Good health requires attention to all.

So, do you know the quality of your water? Optimally the clean water acts should be enforced by our government. They aren’t. We need to demand that they are enforced. I believe it is our right to be able to drink clean water anywhere we turn on a tap. It is not possible right now. There are one in eight people on our planet who do not even have access to safe, clean drinking water, period.

What can we do?

Be informed about local, national and global issues surrounding our water quality.

For you and your family: filter your water with a good quality carbon block filter.

For your community: Call and write your local officials telling them your concerns. Be up to date on your local water quality issues. Visit the EPA.gov site for local and national issues.

For our global community: Be informed about world water issues. WHO site is one good resource. Help build wells through donations to productive organizations like CharityWater.

Micah sent me the link to these amazing photographs of a Croatian National Park. Courtesy of TwistedSifter.com. The Plitvice Lakes National Park was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1979. The beauty of the National Park lies in its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species. Covering 116 square miles, the park was a tourist attraction in the 1800’s, hotels were built in the 1890’s and in 1949 were made into national park. The water colors vary from azure to green and grey.

I have always heard about how beautiful Croatia is. We even spoke about going to live there for a short while- then the war broke out there. Some summer I will definitely take a trip there.

Safe Water is Our Right

August 28, 2009

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A new documentary, Tapped , is being shown for a week in NYC at the IFC Center starting today. Made by the director and producers who brought us Who Killed the Electric Car, this film takes a look at the history of bottled water and the strange path it has taken more recently including the unregulated and quality of water issues and the political and ownership battles over water.

Frightening and sadly true facts are presented like only 20 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States are recycled, and far too many of the rest probably end up in the Pacific Garbage Patch (a floating island of plastic waste the size of Rhode Island and growing). Not only does bottled water create physical waste, but also causes the waste of consumer dollars. Many are paying more than the price of gasoline for water that’s marketed as “pure,” but in reality is largely unregulated, full of harmful toxins like BPA, and far less safe for drinking than free tap water.

According to Claire Thompson’s article from August 3 in Grist Magazine: the film  “succeeds at making the industry reps look like total jerks. A few too many mid-interview cutaways to Soechtig looking concerned came off as a little journalistically self-important, but Tapped does a solid job of covering every aspect of this damaging industry and inspiring more outrage than despair. It features interviews with the likes of Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin and Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), not to mention some footage of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) tearing into an FDA rep at a government hearing.”

So, does this film preach to the converted? Will enough people see this and be moved to NEVER buy bottled water again? It is very sad that so many people feel trapped; they will not drink the water that is provided by our government because although it will not make you sick (because it is bacteriologically safe), it can make you sick other ways so what else can they do but buy a bottle of water! Which do you do when faced with that choice? Clearly a point of use filtration system in our homes is key. What do you do when you run out of water in your stainless steel water bottle?

It is raining, and I know that even the water falling from the sky may not be safe to drink.

Via: Organic Consumers

Floods? Go Floating!

August 3, 2009

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I found these interesting posts on Inhabitat.com about alternative housing in areas that have floods or where people fight the tides. For example, here a beautiful project in the Netherlands called Citadel which is a floating apartment complex. Beautiful, built in a polder, which is a flood plain separated from the sea by dikes. The Stilthouses are another idea for habitability and are workable whether or not there is flooding. A just-in-case home! And the most fun is the floating camper, the project of a group of students (also referred to as guerilla social engineers) who have been responsible for several projects like the one pictured above. Holland has a history of flooding and there is a great deal of creative thinking and building going on there. Smart and fun.

Far Side of the Moon

June 22, 2009

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June 23, 2009 at about 5:20 am PDT, you will be able to watch live-streaming of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter pictures at 1 frame/sec as it swings into orbit around the Moon, from an altitude only 9000 km above the Moon. The side towards the Sun — the far side — will be lit, so you’ll get a chance to see the far side close up.

The Mission Objectives of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) include confirming the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the Moon’s South Pole. The identification of water is very important to the future of human activities on the Moon. LCROSS will excavate the permanently dark floor of one of the Moon’s polar craters with two heavy impactors in 2009 to test the theory that ancient ice lies buried there. The impact will eject material from the crater’s surface to create a plume that specialized instruments will be able to analyze for the presence of water (ice and vapor), hydrocarbons and hydrated materials.

Via Steve Cooperman aka Skyman