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Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

It’s a funny thing, being a “tree hugger”, but nowadays that term isn’t such a stigma. We live in a world where the consequences for the way we’ve been treating it, is not a far and distant future. If you read the news, watch TV or heaven forbid know someone who has directly been affected by the past two years of weather related catastrophes, you are all too aware of just how badly mother nature can treat us. Some people (really smart people) are attributing these crazy storms, in and outside of the United States, to the way we’ve been slapping HER (mother nature) in the face.

It’s a known fact that global warming increases the intensity of storms that would’ve hit anyway. Now, it’s not our fault that hot and cold winds hit each other to form a tornado, and it’s not our fault that under sea earthquakes erupt causing a tsunami, but experts say that because we don’t recycle and because we don’t watch how many carbon emissions we release when we drive our Hummers we DO cause these perfectly natural occurrences to be more severe and harmful to ourselves. Which begs the question, “ When will we change?”


Homo Sapien: “Modern Human” (Latin) “Knowing Human” or “Wise Human”. We are, by nature, Thinkers, Creators, Philosophers, Teachers, Learners. So why have we become so stagnant? Since the beginning of time the Homo Sapien has evolved (no matter what anybody else says) to be able to sustainably live in his/her environment. In the past 100 years due to war, the changing economy and the simple act of just being lazy we’ve found ways to live in our environment sustainably for only about a century. The problem is, that we’re coming up on the end of that 100 years and we have no idea how to live any other way. We are a malleable people, we can change our ways, even if it’s just slightly. There are so many consuming Homo Sapiens in this world that if we all changed our ways just a little, it will make a huge change.
That’s what I’m aiming to do.


I want to help educate people on ways that you can change, without changing who you are. In each column I will highlight different parts of being eco friendly, help you become more acquainted with terms like “sustainable” and give you tips on how to implement becoming a “Greenie”.

Sus-stain-able [suh-steyn]
1. To support, hold, or bear up from below; bear the weight of, as a structure.
2. To supply with food, drink, and other necessities of life.
3. To provide for (an institution or the like) by furnishing means or funds.

Environmental sustainability:
Environmental sustainability is the process of making sure current processes of interaction with the environment are pursued with the idea of keeping the environment as pristine as naturally possible.

TIP TIME

When you leave for vacation, unplug all of your outlets.

Phantom energy is when electronic devices that are even turned “off” pull energy from the socket and those devices are called “vampire” devices because they suck the juice out of the wall at night when you aren’t even using them! This can waste energy and money. (You save enough money that it’s like getting a free mani/pedi each month!)

A simple way to remedy this is to put items in your house on power strips, that way you can just unplug the one (or one per corner of the house) before you leave for that fabulous vacation.

I KNOW, but what about your Tivo and clocks? Those can be left plugged in. My boyfriend has his Tivo plugged into the wall, but the rest of them to the power strip, so that all of his favorite shows will still be recorded.

Here’s a list of household electronics that will make that difference in the environment and your energy bill if you unplug them.

Television
Radio
Microwave
Ipod charger
Phone charger
Any and all lamps
Computer
Printer

I hope I left you with some insight and helpful tips. Go Green and Prosper!

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I am…slowly… reaching the age where my friends have steady jobs in the careers in which they’ve received degrees, and therefore, buying homes. Now, I know that the economy this past year hasn’t been well…stellar, but none-the-less we’re not renting anymore. I have been trying to hint to my friends’ parents that are re-modeling or building or just moving that there are some great new options that will reduce their heating bill (Midwest) and air conditioning bill (far west) but they’re just too old to grasp the idea of change. So, I’m forced to look to MY friends, who, in all honesty, are my best bet in getting this message across.


Green Roofs are the wave of the housing future! Don’t you laugh at me, but a green roof is when you lay grass on your roof. Think about it, when you go to lay on your lawn on a hot summer day, it’s always cool, right? RIGHT. And it has a thick layer of insulation- dirt, right? RIGHT. So why is it so far fetched to put grass on your roof at home? IT’S NOT. Here are the reasons why :

**Pink Panther insulation wasn’t around for the Vikings of Newfoundland, so they used Grass to keep in the the kind of air they wanted, depending on the season.


**If you have a way to get up to the roof, it can be another garden! Grow veggies on your roof and you don’t have to run to the grocery store for that Onion he forgot to buy on the way home from work.

**In areas of the world where it rains a lot, it is your natural gutter. It absorbs the water and therefore you don’t have run-off.


**You’re giving back to the environment! Mother Earth gives you so much, how long has it been since you’ve given her a mothers day gift? you’re doing good by filtering pollutants and CO2 out of the air.





Besides from all of the above, it’s actually really cool aesthetically speaking. I was recently on vacation in Door County Wisconsin. There is a Swedish restaurant nearby in Sister Bay and it has a green roof, it even has goats grazing on it! You don’t have to do that, but it’s cool, huh?


These roofs can be colorful too. You don’t dye them with food or hair coloring, you plant flowers! If you intersperse different kinds that bloom at different times of the year, I guarantee your house will be the house that all the neighbors envy.

Photos:

  1. School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University; Singapore
  2. The great city of Chicago
  3. Hundertwasser’s Waldspirale, Austria
  4. The city of Baltimore
  5. Al Johnson’s Restaurant, Sister Bay, Wisconsin
  6. My new city- Minneapolis

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