Being Eco-friendly can Curb Obesity

According to Jennifer Grayson in the Huffington Post, there are 5 ways to be eco-friendly and lose weight at the same time. Not only does this help you, but it helps reduce global warming and reduce climate change. According to the article, obesity worldwide is adding “an estimated 1 billion extra metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere each year, thanks to higher fuel and food demands of the overweight.”

We are also undoing our green efforts at home as well as the extra weight that Americans have put on over the past 50 years has pretty much negated the gains that the automakers have made in fuel efficiency over the same period of time says Jim Motavalli of Mother Nature Network.

So how can we combat all this?  Here are 5 ways that Jennifer recommends:

Go to bed an hour earlier:  Sleeping longer helps lose weight

Trade the gym for working out in Mother Nature: It is easier to be motivated to workout.

Cook your own food: you can then control what goes in it and how much you eat, and you can focus on organics… Support Community-supported Agriculture (CSA)

Support your local farmers market: It will help you appreciate your food more.

Go Vegetarian: Lessens the impact on the earth and vegetarians are up to 20% slimmer than meat eaters.

To read the complete article, click here.

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Elvis Eats Lawnmowers – A New Eco-friendly Gesture

Elvis is in the house, and he is eating lawn mowers in Australia. Who is Elvis, well in this case, not the king of Rock and Roll, but an angry 16-foot crocodile who stole this lawnmower from the animal park where he lives and chewed it up at the bottom of the pool. While he might be saving global warming and reducing climate change, the cost was not cheap to him from the loss of a few teeth. Seems like an interesting stance to take on promoting cleaner vehicles.

So I guess even the animals or reptiles of this world care about the environment too.

Watch the video below.

For the full article, click here.

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Christmas Tree Recycling

So, Christmas is now over and we have to decide when to take down the tree. BTW, according to the CVWMA website, more than twenty-eight million Christmas trees are sold each year in the U.S. and that does not include all those that people cut themselves. If you have a fake one, form this point on, the eco-impact is pretty straight forward, put it away and you’re done. If you have a live one, great!!! Plant that thing in a nice place, and start sequestering carbon and helping with global warming—and hopefully making your yard look better too.

But, what if you have a real one that was cut down?  How should you dispose of or recycle it? Well, there are many ways to do this, but we hope you opt for one that is green and eco-friendly as twenty-eight million is a lot of tress to dispose of.

One of the easier ways of disposing of your tree is to recycle it at a local recycling center. Of you do not know where your recycling center is near you, well, this is a good time to find out. Just Google “recycling center” and your zip code or city the name of the city and state you live in and you should have no problem finding one. Also, many municipalities have drop of locations marked that you can take your tree to for them to pick up in mass quantities and often your waste pickup company will pick them up for you at curbside. Give them a call and see.

What happens with these trees is that most of the time they are mulched and allowed to compost over time to create eco-friendly fertilizer. Some places use these trees to help shore up shore lines and reduce erosion. Some burn them, but this is not a recommended method as it can be dangerous and can generate a lot of heat and resin in your fireplace and that can start future flue fires later.

Let us know what method you used this year by commenting below.

To read the original article, click here.

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The Burning Issue of Burning Wood in the Seattle Area

Last January, the New York Times reported that people buying wood stoves and fireplaces had dramatically dropped over the last decade due to awareness of the particulate pollution they create and their impact on climate change and global warming. In short, burning wood, as in burning fossil fuels, releases the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases sequestered in it and increases the impact on our environment and air quality.

A recent task force on the Puget Sound area of Tacoma-Pierce County in Washington State sent recommendations to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency about what needed to be done Smog to reduce soot in the air and meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. While both industry and diesel vehicles create a significant amount of soot, by far the largest contributor to the situation comes for wood burning stoves and fireplaces which make up more than 53% percent of the total load to the environment in that area.

Since the Northwest has such an abundance of trees, it is natural to think about using them for fuel. Some experts even state that this type of fuel is eco-friendly and since it is renewable is a good fuel source. However, many believe that the impact to the air quality of burning these fuels cannot be reasonably justified.

In 1985, Seattle had a smog problem that was linked to residential burning of wood in stoves and fireplaces that was so severe that the SeaTac airport had to be closed. Good news, since then, was linked to residential wood stoves. Since then, according to Jim Nolan, executive director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the smoke in the area can been cut by 75% or more.

So, what do you think about this? Please share your thoughts so we can see where our community stands on this issue.

To read the original article, click here.

 

 

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Eco-friendly Winter Getaways

It seems that eco-friendly winter getaways are becoming all the rave. Below is a list of eight eco resorts that do their best to give your body rest and relaxation and at the same time easy your mind on the environmental impact of climate change you are making while on vacation.

Switzerland, Sweden and Norway are tied for first with two each with one each in Canada and one in Finland.

WHITEPOD ECO RESORT, SWITZERLAND

HOTEL de GLACE, QUEBEC

MONTE ROSA HUT, SWITZERLAND

ICEHOTEL, SWEDEN

IGLOO VILLAGE OF HOTEL KAKSLAUTTANEN, FINLAND

MOUNTAIN HILL CABIN, NORWAY

SKIPARK 360, NORWAY

TREEHOTEL, SWEDEN

I like the Hotel de Glace in Quebec. The craftsmanship is truly amazing; however, the igloo village in Finland that allows you to watch the Aurora Borealis it pretty cool too.

Post a comment and tell us your favorite… And maybe you can take a cool vacation to reduce greenhouse gases and global warming.

To read the original article, click here.

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Eco-friendly Washing Machines by Panosonic

New eco-friendly washing machines have just been released to the market by Panasonic to help reduce global warming by reducing energy usage. These machines use less water and energy by automatically detecting waste. They have an A+++ energy label and are designed to be ultra efficient, reducing wash time and energy by 45%.

It ensures optimum water and energy consumption by detecting waste. The Econavi machines reduce wash time and power consumption by 45 percent, and consumes less water.

For the complete story, click here.

 

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Becareful with Eco Seafood Labels

According to a recent report by Canada’s University of Victoria, the U.S. National Organic Standard is the most reliable eco label for seafood that is truly organic and a much better indicator of true green credentials than eco labels that are issued by retailers such as Whole Foods or Marks & Spencer.

Twenty eco labels were studied in the report and the two issued by retailers were in the bottom half of the ranking. Ranked number 13 was the U.S. retailer Whole Foods Market and ranked number 19 was the U.K.’s retailer Marks & Spencer

It seems that 4 of the top 5 eco labeled seafood’s ranked in the How Green is Your Eco-Label? came with an organic eco label that seemed to be more valid in predicating the “greenness of your seafood” than were the industry eco credentials.

U.S. Grocery store chain Kroger stated in October that by 2015, it plans to source all its fish form sustainable sources and that 65% of its wild caught species already meet criteria for being sustainably sourced .

For the complete article, click here.

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Goodbye Thanksgiving, Hello Christmas!

Christmas is almost here and to mark this transition, Christmas tree sellers are already starting to hit the streets and farmers markets across America with their freshly cut spruces and pines that smell so much like the holiday.

When most of us old timers were younger, Christmas trees were cut down from old growth wild forests, but today, most come from sustainably harvested Christmas tree farms that cut their trees when they are 9 to 12 years old.

Today, more than 50% of Christmas trees that are found in our homes are of the artificial variety.  While many people think these artificial trees make more eco sense than cutting down live trees others think that the chemicals used to make the artificial trees create more of a threat to the environment than cutting down live ones. It is also thought that the live ones still help with climate changes by reducing greenhouse gases and decreasing global warming while they are growing.

There are a couple other alternatives one could choose as well:

1) buy a live one in a pot and plant it after the holidays.

2) Don’t get a tree at all.

Let’s see what the community at eco.ORG has to say about this. Tell us what you think!

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What is Ground-level Ozone and Why it’s Harmful

Ground-level ozone, or smog, results from a chemical reaction between nitrogen ox­ides (emitted from cars and power plants) and volatile organic compounds (emitted from paints and solvents) in the presence of heat and sunlight. Ozone causes or aggravates asthma and other respiratory illnesses, leading to more emergency room visits, lost school days, and even premature death.

Because heat is a key ingredient in ozone formation, it is critical that we take action today to curb global warming. UCS research shows that warmer summers will likely produce more bad air-quality days in many parts of the country—especially in urban areas where car- and smokestack-related emissions tend to be higher—making ozone-related health impacts and their associated costs much worse.

Unfortunately, federal emissions-reduction policies continue to stagnate: the Obama administration delayed the release of a revised national ozone standard until at least 2013, and the Environmental Protection Agency also delayed its draft rule for reducing global warming emissions from power plants. Because heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide linger in the atmosphere for decades, these delays allow emissions to continue to build, guaranteeing at least some additional increase in temperatures and making future emissions reductions more difficult and costly.

To learn more about the connec­tion between global warming and ozone pollution, and what UCS is doing to help reduce the risks, visit www.ucsusa.org/climateandozonepollution.

Presented in the Union of Concerned Scientists Earthwise Newsletter, Volume 14, Number 1, winter 2011/2012

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How To Make Sure Vehicle Standards Do Their Job

How You Can Help

Push the federal government to keep new vehicle standards free of harmful loopholes.

What’s Happening

In November, the Obama administration proposed new fuel efficiency and auto pol­lution standards for cars and light trucks, formalizing an agreement reached with automakers in July. As Earthwise went to press, UCS expected the new standards (which begin taking effect in 2017) to reach the equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, cutting carbon emissions and boosting new vehicles’ fuel economy substantially.

Improving vehicles’ environmental performance is one of the most important steps we can take to save consumers money at the gas pump, reduce the risks of global warming, and cut America’s oil dependence. The technology exists to­day—in the form of more-efficient engines, smarter transmissions, and better materi­als—to make any new car, truck, or SUV cleaner and more fuel efficient. Automak­ers are putting this technology to work: 39 models in showrooms now—varying in size from compact cars to pickups—already meet 2017 fuel economy targets.

However, the government’s attempts to help automakers comply with the pro­posed standards provide an opportunity for automakers to undermine them. For example, SUVs, pickup trucks, and mini­vans will be held to weaker standards than cars. This provision could easily become a loophole if automakers abuse the system and reclassify cars as trucks.

The Environmental Protection Agency and other regulating agencies are seek­ing public comment on the new standards over the next two months. Decision makers need to hear from consumers like you dur­ing this period, since you have the most to gain—or lose—from the outcome.

What You Can Do

Submit an official comment to the rule-making agencies and urge them to finalize the strongest possible fuel efficiency and auto pollution standards. Send an email via the online UCS Action Network at www.ucsusa.org/action, or mail a letter to:

Environmental Protection Agency

Mailcode 2822T

1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20460

Attn: Docket no. EPA–HQ–OAR– 2010–0799

Presented in the Union of Concerned Scientists Earthwise Newsletter, Volume 14, Number 1, winter 2011/2012

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