Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Results from Climate Change Survey

Now that we have a second Climate Change survey for everyone to take (http://goo.gl/zymMpi), it is as good of a time as any to go over the results of the first one.

Climate Change Survey



Observations:
- While most people readily recycle, composting is a different story with people being pretty split about their composting frequency
- The majority of the people surveyed have at least some interest in environmental topics
- Charts and graphs are easily the most preferred method of viewing data
- People don't seem to have a preference on the geography of environmental topics
- The vast majority of people surveyed are "absolutely" concerned with climate change
- Most people seem to agree that there is human interaction is one of the factors leading to climate change, but a good chunk of people are not completely discounting any natural cycles that are also in play
- Over 2/3 of the people surveyed would be interested in learning about ways they could help slow down climate change, while just under 2/3 of them are definitely interested in a website where they could learn such things (hint, hint)







Staying Green on the Road

     For many of us, summer brings along a number of activities that take us away from the routine of every day life.  From barbecues, picnics, camping, and more notably: vacations!  Whether it's a quick getaway or a week long excursion to the coast, we finally have the opportunity to enjoy the sun and relax a bit.  While some have a place they often retreat to such as a beach house or a rental, many will stay in hotels while they are away.  It can be easy to forget all about those wonderful "green" habits we practice at home, so here is a quick guide on what some major hotel chains are doing to ensure your stay is as eco-friendly as possible.

It is time to take action




Carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants are collecting in the atmosphere like a thickening blanket, trapping the sun's heat and causing the planet to warm up.
As we know, global warming is a sign of climate change and our environment got damage. However, the United States Global Change Research Program concludes that climate change also poses unique challenges to human health such as:
  • Significant increases in the risk of illness and death related to extreme heat and heat waves are very likely. 
  • Some diseases transmitted by food, water, and insects are likely to increase.
  • Certain groups, including children, the elderly, and the poor, are most vulnerable to range of climate related health effects.
These effects will result in significant costs to our families and the economy. 

Take Action:
We can each play an important role in stopping climate change click here to help make a difference right now: http://www.nrdc.org/action/ and find more action ideas here: http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/gsteps.asp




By : Hanxiang Yu

Climate Change and Human Health



When we hear about climate change, the first thing that comes to our minds is environment, animals, plants, and earth temperature. However, we always miss another important part that would suffer from this issue as well as other living creatures. Humans health can be affected by climate change through  a variety of pathways, for instance as a result of increased frequency and concentration of heat waves, , increased floods and droughts, changes in the distribution of vector-borne diseases and malnutrition. Climate change is a very critical public health issue that is affecting and will affect a wide majority of people around the world.  Children, elderly people, the poor, and those with fundamental health condition are the most vulnerable people for health effect from climate change. 
Although the impacts of climate change have the potential to affect human health in the United States and around the world, there is a lot we can do to prepare for and adapt to these changes. All public health and global health organizations and local agencies are collaborating together in order to support development of healthy cities that are prepared for climate change. One of the adaptation methods that are used to reduce climate change effect is planning urban adaptation strategies by planting trees to minimize heat buildup in cities and manage storm water, or promoting the use of cool roofs to reduce energy needs and improve air quality. But what can normal people do to protect their health?

We can do many things in order to reduce climate change effects by simply reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Planting your garden or your neighborhood would make a different and would make your surrounding much healthier.  Donating for global health agencies to improve low income countries environment would increase the possibilities to save others lives.

Climate Change Survey #2


Monday, July 27, 2015

Understanding Statistics

Did you know that 64% of all statistics are made up? Including that one. Many people use false statistics to trick others into believing a particular point of view. Even when the data presented to you is technically true, manipulation of what context it is present to you can result in misleading your view of the subject. The decision to add or leave out context when presenting data is a common theme among businesses and organizations trying to support particular positions.

An example of potential misleading statistics is the data set presented within a European Union press release regarding the treatment of municipal waste in the European Union as of 2008. When looking at the graph below, one might think that the countries showing lower landfilled waste are doing a much better job at waste management for the environment. Upon further inspection, we see that there is also an increase in incinerated waste when landfill use goes down. The most potentially misleading part about this graph is that many waste statistics only include household waste, which account for a small fraction of all the waste generated within an area. Therefore the underlying true data may be very different from what is interpreted by the reader.


While this practice is not inherently a bad thing, as some manipulation of data is necessary in order to show what is meant to be shown, without there being an overwhelming amount of information for the reader. I hope that you will inform yourself about how statistics are used and learn how to interpret what graphs are really telling you and thinking past the picture.




Friday, July 24, 2015

What LED Really Stands For: Lessening Environmental Destruction


Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs are one way we can help slow down climate change, while improving our quality of life and saving money. The Alliance to Save Energy released a study that claims lighting comprises 22% of the total electricity use in the United States, and that eliminating incandescent bulbs would save $18 billion dollars each year! Incandescent bulbs are currently being phased out of use in the United States. One of the things that the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 did was that it increased efficiency standards for incandescent bulbs, causing many low-efficiency bulbs to be banned from being manufactured. Though this bill created higher standards for bulb manufacturers, many people still use incandescent bulbs or have switched to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). The most energy-efficient and cost-effective light bulbs available are LEDs. When I initially purchased LED bulbs, I was put off by the higher cost relative to other light bulbs. Reading more about LED bulbs, I learned that the slightly higher initial investment would actually save me a lot of money, and help the environment.

LED bulbs are more energy efficient than other light bulb types. They use 80%-90% less electricity than traditional lighting. The long life and durability of LED bulbs furthers the savings and reduces the hassle of constantly changing light bulbs. The average LED bulb has a life of 100,000 operational hours, in other words, if you left an LED bulb on for 24 hours a day, it would last for over 11 years! While they may seem expensive at first, LED bulbs, save money in the long run. There are many programs around the United States that give households some free LED bulbs, so check with your local electric company to see if there are any programs available in your area.

In addition to the money and lower energy consumption you get with LED bulbs, they are physically less harmful to the environment than other energy efficient bulbs such as CFLs. LEDs contain no toxic substances such as the mercury present in CFLs. The long life of LED bulbs will lower the amount of light bulbs you have to replace and recycle.

Other benefits of LED bulbs include brightening immediately, better light dispersal, higher quality light with lower electricity, a lower operating temperature, and reliable quality that is not temperature-dependent. LED bulbs also do not emit UV radiation like CFLs and other bulbs, which damage skin cells and greatly affects those with conditions such as lupus. I hope you see that LEDs are good for your wallet, health and the environment, and you consider looking into the benefits of them more through the following:






Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lawsuits, no matter how well-meaning, won't slow down climate change


Kelsey Juliana, 19, addresses reporters after court proceedings in her lawsuit against the state government.
Some people are so concerned about climate change that they've taken it to court. Multiple times.

In 2011, two Oregon teens filed a lawsuit in Lane County trying to force the state to do more to reduce carbon emissions and help stave off climate change.

Originally, Judge Karsten Rasmussen refused to hear the case, arguing that the teens' complaints were political, not legal. The Oregon Court of Appeals overturned that, and sent the case back to Lane County Judge Rasmussen for a decision.

Judge Rasmussen ruled that the state has no obligation to protect future generations from the impacts of climate change, basing his decision upon his conclusion that the atmosphere --- unlike submerged and submersible lands --- is not part of the public trust. He also added that the court would place an "undue burden" on the state Legislature if it ruled in the teens' favor. After the failure of their suit, the teens are now going to take their case to a higher court.

Ultimately, frivolous lawsuits against political institutions are not going to slow down climate change any time soon, no matter how well-meaning the plaintiffs are.

Really, you (and they) would be better off simply making sure they do what they can in their own life to lessen their own personal environmental footprint. To help you out on that front, here's a list of 50 tips on how you can personally fight climate change: http://globalwarming-facts.info/50-tips.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2015/07/oregon_teens_appeal_ruling_in.html

http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2015/05/state_judge_rules_against_two.html

What Happens if Nothing Changes?

Image result for glaciers
It’s hard to imagine what will happen if nothing changes and climate change continues to get worse. Are there short term and long term effects or just one or the other? Unfortunately a majority of the effects are long term effects and something that can’t be fixed overnight. They would take years to correct, and by the time the atmosphere was fixed, there would still be evidence of climate change. There are a few consequences that would occur within the next 20 years, and would continue to get worse. Others would happen later. One might think, what’s the point? I won’t be here for forever, so it’s not my problem. Think about all the future generations, what happens if you decide to have children, do you really want to leave them with all these problems?

One of the biggest consequences, and something that is becoming evident now, is the increase in temperatures. This is a consequence that has happened over the years, and will only continue to get worse. By 2100, there is expected to be anywhere from a 2-11.5% increase in temperatures. The reason that this number is so broad is because it depends on the greenhouse gas emissions as well as where at on the globe the country is. Some places will only increase 2% whereas somewhere else might increase the full 11.5%. Even when looking at the United States, one can clearly see that the temperature change will vary from East to West Coast. So what does this mean? This means more heat waves in the future. It also means more days with higher temperatures. The increase in temperature will also start to melt snow, ice and even permafrost, all which will melt into the oceans. This picture below shows the increasing temperatures from current day to 2099.
Image shows a series of nine global maps. Moving across the page left to right, the maps represent different time series: 2011 to 2030; 2046 to 2065; and 2080 to 2099. Moving from top to bottom, the maps represent different emissions scenarios: B1; A1B; and A2. The key shows a range of temperature increases in Fahrenheit that range from zero to 13.5. The maps show a range of temperature increases that are higher as you move down or to the right in the series. For example, in the B1 scenario for 2011 to 2030, the map is mostly shaded in light colors that represent zero to approximately 4 degrees warming. In the lower right hand corner, the map that represents the A2 scenario for 2080 to 2099, the map is all red and even includes some purple, which indicates expected increases for the enitre world between approximately 4 and 14 degrees. Under all three scenarios, warming is expected across the world. However, the intensity and distribution of that warming varies greatly among the scenarios.
Building off of the last sentence, the consequences will cause the sea level to rise. The sea levels rise when ice sheets and glaciers melt. The amount of which the sea levels will rise is ultimately unknown because it’s hard to predict the various weather patterns, the density of the of glaciers and ice sheets as well as other factors. The overall guess is that the sea levels will end up rising by 2 feet in 2100. The oceans will also become more acidic due to the gases in the air. Although this may not seem like a big deal-it is for marine life. With more acid in the water, the animals will have a harder time building their outer shells and bones, since Calcium carbonate won’t be present in the water. The acidification will also make it hard for reefs to form, thus causing their numbers to decline.
The last two consequences that I’ll briefly mention deal rain, snow and ice. The amount of rain and other storms will impact other areas more than others. Some regions will have a lot more rain and storms, whereas some may have less, even leaving some areas with no change, however most regions will see an increase in precipitation. The last consequence talks about the shrinking glaciers and ice packs, as well as the thawing of snow and permafrost. If this continues to happen, then it will contribute to the rising sea levels. Such details are in the paragraph above. Also feel free to visit http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/future.html to view more graphs and pictures on what the earth could potentially look like.

Think to yourself, is this something I want to leave for future generations? It’s not too late to do your part in helping slow climate change. There are small simple steps that can be taken, together, we can make a difference!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Drive less, drive differently


You may think that your efforts in reducing climate changes are useless. But what you don’t know is any little green changes in your life will definitely have impacts on people around you and on earth as well. One of these changes would be driving your car less or even driving it differently.  The truth is that your car produces a high amount of carbon dioxide (CO2).  If you still want to drive you can pay more attention to fuel efficiency in your car which may be the single biggest thing you can do to prevent climate change.  Replacing your gas-guzzling car with a fuel-efficient one is by far the best thing you can do, out of all your choices. Or simply, you can slow down, don't race your car's engine, and watch your usage. All of these save on gas – and of course saving you money- and have a big impact on burning gasoline.

On the other hand, what you can do is to drive less. Walk or ride a bicycle for short trips, or take public transportation for longer ones. Several studies have shown that people who use public transportation are healthier than those who don’t. Moreover, families that use public transportation can save adequate money annually to cover their food costs for the year. Those were simple options to help reducing climate change that will not harm you but would defiantly make your life healthier and save the earth from another perspective. 

Read more:

Friday, July 17, 2015

We can't count on plants to slow down global warming


      A new study shows that plants growth from CO2 fertilization won't slow global warming. This means that we will not have that get-out-of-jail-free card that some of us were counting on.
      Increased CO2 in the atmosphere actually increased the out-flux of carbon dioxide from the soils. That is, it increased the rate of decomposition. In the long run, the increases in influx and out-flux will essentially balance out. This suggests that there will be little help from the biosphere for us humans-plants will not take up our emissions.
      Therefore, what do we need to do? What do humans need to do? This all goes to show that it is really up to humans, the emitters of greenhouse gases to take the lead on fixing the problem we started. The earlier we take action, the easier it will be.
       Don't you hope your children have a good life? Don't you want to your children notice how blue sky is? Don't you let your children know there are four seasons in one year? Join the action to slow down the climate change. Your little change will bring big difference.



To make a little change on yourself click it please: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/climatechange/whatucando.htm





By: Hanxiang Yu

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/may/09/cant-count-on-plants-slowing-global-warming

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Volcanoes Slow Down Climate Change


While many are concerned with climate change (currently 85% of the people who took our survey have this concern), they may have a found a new ally in the form of volcanoes. Over the last 10 years, volcanic aerosols (from volcanic eruptions) have acted as a natural umbrella to slow down global temperature increase from greenhouse gases. You can read a very complicated study full of technical jargon on this natural phenomenon here: http://www.reportingclimatescience.com/news-stories/article/volcanic-eruptions-slow-down-climate-change-temporarily.html

Take our climate change survey: http://goo.gl/fw6oby




Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What kind of car is the most green?

Most major automobile manufacturers are now selling more environmentally-friendly models. With all the different options and types it's easy to get confused about what's what and what is actually good for the environment and not just hype.

Here's a chart comparing and contrasting the various options people have (excluding the more expensive options like the Tesla Model S) when it comes to cost to drive and emissions:
How green vehicles match up.
The day where everyone drives an electric car is not coming up any time soon, but as you can see in the chart, even just switching to a more efficient gasoline vehicle can lead to significant emissions reductions and lower petroleum use.

Note: this only includes options sold by major auto companies, not the various post-conversion options available (like vegetable oil, etc.).

Battery electric
Pros: Tax subsidies, less carbon emissions
Cons: Range less than 100 miles, take hours to charge, generally more expensive than a similar gasoline vehicle

Diesel
Pros: range of more than 500 miles (ideal for long highway commutes)
Cons: Limited vehicle options, not quite as efficient as hybrids

Compressed natural gas
Pros: None
Cons: Dead technology

Hybrid
Pros: Great for stop and go traffic, only generates 55% of the carbon dioxide of a conventional gasoline car
Cons: More expensive than regular cars,

Plug-in hybrid
Pros: Low carbon emissions
Cons: Not all are made equal, some have very low all-electric range, not ideal for longer trips

Gasoline
Pros: Less expensive
Cons: Produce a third more pollution per mile than hybrid

In addition to these options, manufacturers are also rolling out cars that run on hydrogen fuel cells (which are greener than gasoline, but less clean than battery-electric). Hyundai has begun leasing its Tucson model in certain areas in California (with Toyota and Honda having models due out soon), but it is still early on and there are very few areas that the car would be feasible everyday option in.

Hopefully that breakdown will help you make a smart decision about how you can lower your carbon emissions, and thus helping slow down climate change, while still finding a vehicle that still fits your everyday needs.

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/a-fi-hy-green-car-emissions-20150713-story.html#page=1

Don't forget to take our climate change survey: http://goo.gl/fw6oby




Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Climate Change Survey Trends (so far)

It's still fairly early-on, but here are some of the trends in the results from our ongoing Climate Change survey (take it if you haven't already: http://goo.gl/fw6oby):

  • 75% of the people recycle at least half the time
  • 50% of the people do not compost at all
  • 25% of the people have definite interest in environmental topics, while 37.5% "sort of" have interest
  • 62.5% of the people don't really consider themselves to be green
  • 50% of the people prefer to view data in chart and graph form
  • 50% of the people have no preference between global, national, or local environmental topics --- or simply don't care
  • 50% of the people are concerned with climate change, while 37.5% of the people are not at all concerned with it
  • 87.5% of the people believe a combination of factors are the primary cause of climate change
  • 37.% of the people are definitely interested in learning about ways they could possibly slow down climate change
  • 40% of the people are definitely interested in a website where they can learn about things they could do on a daily basis to help slow down climate change

Once more results are in we will go ahead and post the full results of the survey. Take the survey to contribute to these results.


Finally an electric car that isn't lame

The Corvette GXE will probably look something like this, only bigger. Kid not included.

Despite all the benefits of electric cars, there is still a pretty sizable stigma against them, especially from car aficionados who like their cars powerful. Electric cars are historically weak, slow, ugly, and all around kind of dorky. Electric cars have names like the Leaf or Volt, which certainly isn't helping their case with car people. Tesla has done a good deal to dissuade some of those preconceptions, but they didn't manage to come up with a name that isn't incredibly lame. Genovation Cars is trying to change this by developing an all-electric Corvette prototype. Dubbed the GXE, the prototype is based on the 2006 Chevy Corvette z06, but instead of its 7.0-liter V8 engine it will have an array of inverters, batteries, and electric motors with the goal of generating 700 horsepower for the car. That promises to deliver a 0-60 mph time of about 3 seconds with the car having a top speed of over 200 miles per hour. These specs would put even the Tesla Model S P85D to shame. The goal is for the Corvette GXE to able to travel for 150 miles on a single charge. The prototype will be debuted at the Electric Vehicle Technology Expo this September in Michigan.

This car would certainly give drivers one less excuse to not drive an electric car. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks a Corvette is lame, so you could finally drive electric in style once this car hits the market. It's about time companies started making stuff that is not only environmentally friendly, but also cool. You no longer have to be a smelly, Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugger in order to help the environment. So, why not?

For more details, including the official press release: http://www.autoblog.com/2015/07/14/genovation-cars-electric-corvette-prototype-official/#slide-141683

If you haven't done so already, please take our climate change survey: http://goo.gl/fw6oby


Monday, July 13, 2015

Everyone Taking Small Steps Can Lead to Big Changes

Climate change is a big problem, perhaps one of the most severe the world has yet faced. It effects us all, and progress can be frustrating when political leaders do not lead in this area. Fortunately, we do not have to wait to make small changes in our lives that make a big impact on the planet, and author Elizabeth Rogers has compiled that list in The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time.
This book contains hundreds of small steps any individual can take right now to reduce their impact on the environment and slow degradation. Some examples are:

----->"Don’t ask for ATM receipts. If everyone in the United States refused their receipts, it would save a roll of paper more than two billion feet long, or enough to circle the equator fifteen times!
-----> Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth. You’ll conserve up to five gallons of water per day. Throughout the entire United States, the daily savings could add up to more water than is consumed every day in all of New York City.
-----> Get a voice-mail service for your home phone. If all answering machines in U.S. homes were replaced by voice-mail services, the annual energy savings would total nearly two billion kilowatt hours. The resulting reduction in air pollution would be equivalent to removing 250,000 cars from the road for a year!"

These are all very simple steps that do not require more work. In fact, many of these ideas save ourselves time and money, and reduce resource consumption. It's a win-win! 

Please check The Green Book out at the library or buy it from Amazon for $0.01. The everyday tips, if done in aggregate, can lead to changes of a global proportion.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The greenest way to charge your mobile devices

The Siva Cycle Atom easily mounts to your bike to generate power

There are many little ways you can cut down your daily energy usage. One way is the Siva Cycle Atom, a device that can charge your mobile devices while you pedal. It uses the same concept as other bike-based generating systems that use pedal power for lights, but Siva Cycle went one better with the Atom, with the ability to charge anything you can plug into a USB port. The weather-resistent device mounts easily to the rear wheel of any bike. You just need to go at lease 5 mph in order to start producing power. Any leftover juice generated is stored in the 1,650-mAh battery pack for whenever you stop or ride slowly.

The Siva Cycle Atom was originally conceived as a way to bring power to unreliable electrical infrastructures in developing countries around the world.

The device does add 10% to your pedaling effort, but that shouldn't be noticeable to most riders. In order to fully charge the Atom battery you will need to pedal at an average speed of 13 mph for 100 minutes.

With this product (for $129) you can turn an eco-friendly form of transportation into an eco-friendly way to power your mobile devices.

http://sivacycle.com/products/the-atom

Don't forget to take our term survey: https://t.co/pVfu2NoNxu

Slowing the pace of climate change: An overview of our priorities to help ensure inter-generational equity.

Climate change is worldwide crisis triggered by population growth and economic activity. If we don’t take an effective approach to alleviate the crisis, the social well-being of future generations will deteriorate at a faster rate than ours. No matter where environmental degradation and pollution takes place, the negative effects of climate change affect people everywhere whether they live in rich countries or poor countries. Because people living in poor countries are only concerned in meeting their basic subsistence needs, they are a lot more likely than advanced societies to cause environmental degradation such as deforestation, depletion of vital natural resources, damage to ecosystems, and other types of environmental problems. I will point to some of the priorities that we face as a society which have been advanced by social scientists to promote sustainability across generations.

According to the World Development report, 95% of world population growth will occur in underdeveloped countries. In the same report, social scientists argue that fertility trends and demographic changes of the world population are two of the most important concerns for the analysis of sustainability as those two factors have a strong link to population growth as well as a strong link to poverty levels. Population increases of higher magnitudes places an enormous stress on the assimilative capacity of the environment, generates more wastes, and threatens the health conditions of people worldwide. In many regions of the world that experience extreme poverty, environmental degradation is inevitable, and under such circumstances technological change is not able to keep up with the demands of a growing population.  Poor countries lack the economic resources needed to invest in environmental protection. For this reason, the most effective approach to improve our current environmental situation is to help increase the income of poor countries. To improve the standard of living in developing countries, it becomes imperative to invest more in education with emphasis in expanding the economic opportunities of women, to increase investment in family planning, and to reduce infant mortality. Policy makers believe that without incentives and without appropriate policies, scarce resources will be utilized inefficiently, damage to the environment will be excessive, and the negative effects of development will dominate. Social scientists have come to realize that environmental sustainability can only be achieved after alleviating poverty and reducing inequality.  Once the very poor have more access to education, more access to sufficient credit, and appropriately defined property rights, they can start to invest in capital and other methods that can reduce environmental degradation.

If you would like to learn more about environmental protection approaches, facts about climate change, income inequality, and organizations devoted to the protection of the environment click the links below.

http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/poorest-list/10-countries-with-the-worst-income-inequality/

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2013/12/19/global-inequality-how-the-u-s-compares/

http://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/poorest-countries-in-the-world/

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange

http://www.ucsusa.org

Friday, July 10, 2015

Renewable energy is great; still cost prohibitive on large scales


 
One big remaining issue with green technology is that is still very expensive. The chances of green energy overtaking the use of fossil fuels as a primary source of energy throughout the world is not currently not great. It's still simply too expensive and cost prohibitive. Bill Gates has recently announced that he will invest $2 billion in new green technology in the next five years with the intent to "bend the curve" on climate change. He understands that the current renewable energy options come at a "beyond astronomical cost". Bill Gates tends to get things done, so hopefully his investments can help lead to the kinds of "energy miracles" he's called for in the past


While we are still a ways off on using forms renewable energy on a grand scale, everyone can still do what they can to cut down their use of energy that burns fossil fuels in the mean time.

Don't forget to take this term's survey, if you haven't already: https://t.co/pVfu2NoNxu

Take this term's survey!




Thursday, July 9, 2015

Some simple ways to help slow down climate change

The Washington Department of Ecology has a helpful list of simple, little things everyone can do to reduce personal use of fossil fuels and to help slow climate change. Most of it is  common sense and practical (turning off unused appliances, changing lights,  driving less), but some of it may be a bit too idealized (low-flow shower heads are nice in theory, but a little iffy in execution).
There are downsides to low-flow shower heads...
What YOU Can Do - Washington Department of Ecology

Stay tuned for information regarding the launch of this term's website.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Save the Planet by Copying These Celebrities

Celebrities have always been trend-setters. While not everyone agrees on environmental issues, we can all agree that we should all copy celebrities as much as we can in our daily lives. For ages, people have taken cues from celebrities when it comes to all kinds of things like fashion, pets, vacation destinations, etc. Now with the rise of environmental awareness in recent years, we now have the benefit of hearing about how we can be more environmentally friendly by following the cues and tips of Hollywood's elite...

Last year's "It-Girl" Shailene Woodley makes her own cheese, toothpaste, body lotions, face oils, medicine, and gets all of her water from fresh mountain springs every month. No word on how much energy is spent on each of those mountain excursions.

You can cut down on your water consumption by showering with a "friend" like Grammy Award-winning rapper and Fast & Furious supporting player, Ludacris.

Former Victoria Secret model and current professional narcissist Tyra Banks contributed to a book full of everyday environmental tips, The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet, along with a slew of other self-important celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Aniston, and Tiki Barber (which certainly dates the book since it's been a while since he was relevant), among others.

Cate Blanchett controversially appeared in a commercial in her native Australia (free of charge) actually promoting a carbon tax to help cut down the use of polluting fossil fuels.

Aside from being one of the greatest human beings ever (for punching Justin Bieber), Orlando Bloom also founded the Global Cool Foundation (globalcoolfoundation.org), a non-profit whose goal is to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, utilizing educational initiatives to reduce overall energy use.

If you have the finances to do so, you could be like Leonardo DiCaprio and drive super expensive electric cars. In between bedding the entire Victoria's Secret catalog and getting snubbed repeatedly at the Academy Awards, he also found time to produce and narrate the 2007 documentary The 11th Hour, which proposes potential solutions to many of the environmental issues facing the planet (like climate change, deforestation, mass species extinction, etc.).

Those are just a few of the celebrities you can try to emulate and model your life on. Or you could always just do your own thing...

What you can do?

What you can do?

CO2 is a major contributor to climate change, or "global warming. We burn fossil fuels such as gasoline, oil, coal, and natural gas to run our vehicle engines and to heat and light our homes. Burning fossil fuels increases the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. How can we slow down climate change? There are several ways. Drive less, weatherproof you home, changes your lights, cut hot water use, adjust your thermostat, turn off power, purchase green power, plant trees and vegetation, recycle and reuse, shop smart. These actions are not hard for each person it is easy to do but it is the key to slow down the climate change. Let us protect our environment by doing little things.


By: Hanxiang Yu

The Alarming Evidence

Increasing weather temperatures, increasing sea levels, and melting glaciers, ice and snow, are just some of the pieces of evidence that shows that climate change is happening. Over the past several years, the global temperature has been on the rise. In fact, in the past 12 years, 10 of those years have had the warmest temperatures since 1880. Winters are becoming mild and summers are becoming hotter than they have been in the past. The increase in global temperatures has caused the glaciers to melt, ice sheets and ice to shrink.When they melt, or shrink, the water goes into the oceans and seas, which in turn causes the sea level to rise. In the past century, the level has risen 6.7 inches, even more scary, is the fact that in the last decade, the inches that the sea level has risen is double what is was in the past century. The reason that those facts stated above and the other evidence posted on NASA’s website http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/ is so alarming, is that most of the climate change happening is due to humans and what we are doing to the planet. If we can look at what we have been doing to speed up climate change, then we can make adjustments and slow it down. It’s up to us to change the outcome.

Save energy, save money from your lights.

From many years ago and we always hear about climate change effects to our earth. Climate change is caused mostly by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gasoline, and natural gas. This generates carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas that stores heat and other gases called greenhouse gases. Too much of those gases would increase global temperatures as a result our health and global ecosystem health is in danger.Humans are the first one who blamed about this mess. We might think that it is not our “business” and we might think that our efforts will not change the anything. But what we don’t realize is that each one of us is responsible to reduce climate change effects and it still on our hands.  We should start with our selves, with our behaviors and believes. We should start to think about our children and the next generations. You may ask know what I can do? How should I start? And the answer will be very simple, start from your own house.

We have various creative technologies that could have a great impact on climate change, if only we would adopt it. One of those inventions is energy light bulb and other efficient lighting systems. Those lighting systems would help to prevent tons of carbon from being added to the world's atmosphere over the next 25 years. Changing your home and office lights will not save the earth but it will also save you a lot of money.  The cooler-burning bulbs, including CFL (compact fluorescent light bulbs) that look like soft-serve ice cream and LED are light-emitting diodes." This is only the first step to start reducing climate change. Just change what you used regularly with more sufficient technologies. Whenever you buy a new light think about how it will save energy, reduce emissions, and save your money.