GIGA Green tech visite of Kevin Koerber

The World Energy Crisis

The world has some decisions about sources for future energy. The increase in population and increasing demand present a problem. The cost of conventional non-renewable energy sources is on the rise. Oil, gas, water, coal, and other natural resources have a limit to their supply.

Gas, Oil and petroleum products are more expensive than ever, and the supply is running thin. Many may think that the planet may never run out of these however it seems that drilling these supplies is becoming ever more difficult. There have been three major energy crises thus far.

Due to the shortage of resources and decreased output, the cost of these energy sources has increased rapidly over the years.

How long will it take before all of these resources are exhausted? The truth is that we really do not know. Experts say that 50% of the world’s supply of available oil has been exhausted. Every day the demand is increasing and it could take mere decades to exhaust the supply of crude petroleum.

What could possibly be done about this situation? How can we as a society cope with the energy crisis at hand? What can we consumers do about this? We can all start by understanding the importance and impact that energy has in our lives. These supplies of energy should not be taken for granted. Additionally we should avoid wasting energy.

There are simple things that we could do to conserve such as getting involved with a car pool, check our car tires for proper inflation, and using fuel efficient vehicles. If we can cut down on our use of fuel and oil in everyday activities we can be further prepared for the impending energy crisis.

Another way that we can cope with the energy situation is by utilizing renewable energy sources. Solar and wind power systems are becoming ever more available. These power solutions are feasible, cost effective and environmentally friendly. In addition, you save on your power bill and help contribute towards a better future for our world.

Make power at home with solar and wind energy to eliminate your power bill. Get our complete guide at

5 Steps to a Greener Life

Lots of people talk about trying to live a greener life, with some even going so far as to completely change their lifestyle, but most people aren’t sure how to go green because they don’t know exactly what that means. Sure, most people know the basics that scratch the surface such as reusing, recycling and reducing the amount of waste output for their homes but there many other steps you can take to move towards a cleaner, greener environment.

If you’re wondering how you can make your life greener, here are five different tips that are simple and easy to implement and that don’t cost the you anything.  All it takes is a little dedication and after a few months, these five little things will become second-nature to you.

1. The next time you go shopping use cloth bags at the grocery store instead of paper or plastic.  These cloth bags can be purchased for as little as a few dollars each and they’re much stronger than paper or plastic bags and will last you through years of use. 

These bags help reduce waste since most people throw away the plastic and paper bags.  The hardest part of using cloth bags is remembering to take them to the store, but once you get in the habit of using them, it becomes unconscious habit.

2. Replace your standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.  These bulbs use less energy and last for four to five years, almost 15 times longer than traditional bulbs.  While the cost of a compact fluorescent bulb is more than your standard bulb, they easily pay for themselves over time requiring less frequent replacement and reduced energy consumption.  In fact, studies show that a CF bulb can actually pay for itself within one to two months.  One CF bulb also saves about five pounds of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide a month.  Replacing every bulb in your home can have a huge impact on the environment and on your wallet.

3. Use public transportation.  By car pooling, taking the bus, or using the subway you can cut down on the amount of gas you use and the amount of exhaust your car emits.  While it may be an inconvenience in some ways, it is one of the best ways of helping the environment.  Even better, walk or ride your bike to work if possible.  This not only saves you money and helps the environment but it also keeps you fit and healthy!

4. Adjust your thermostat by a few degrees.  By turning your thermostat down by just two degrees in the winter, you can save over 50 pounds of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide per month while lowering your heating bill.  Turning it up a few degrees in the summer can likewise save you money and save the environment. 

5. Finally, only wash your clothes or run your dish washer when you have a full load.  It wastes water and electricity to wash and dry only a few pieces of clothing.  In fact, if you can, try to wash your clothes using the cold water cycle as it uses up to 50% less energy than a warm water one. 

By just doing these basics not only you can save some serious money but you can rest assured that you’re doing your part for a cleaner, brighter future. To discover more ideas you can use around your home for living green visit!

Detroit Auto Show, WTOL News

No Bailouts Necessary: Green Transportation

Unless you have been trapped in a cave for the last seven months you are well aware of the disaster overtaking the American automobile industry. Our government is using billions of taxpayer’s dollars to prop up an industry that has been one of the leading facilitators of numerous ills in our society, which will also take billions of dollars to repair, if it is even possible to do so. 

Air pollution which contributes to increased medical costs, urban sprawl, a negative balance of payments from importing oil and global warming can all be traced at least in part to our addiction to the automobile. Now that I’ve ranted about the autos effect upon our society I also greatly acknowledge that we all, myself included, greatly enjoy the mobility and freedom provided by the pernicious machine. We can’t live with ‘em and we can’t live without ‘em. What are we to do?

A lot has been written about the currently nonexistent plug-in electric car. This machine when it finally hits the market could help solve some of our problems but current pricing estimates place the car in the forty thousand dollar range. I’m sure of one thing, it won’t solve many problems if you don’t sell them and at that price I’d hedge my bets.

However, there is one personal transportation option on the market that fits into all of President Obama’s initiatives for energy self sufficiency, global warming (reduction of green house gases), health care (exercise and weight loss), environmental protection (reduction of air and water pollution), and infrastructure renewal.   That option is the Electric Bicycle.

The electric bike using lithium batteries (traditional lead-acid is very environmentally harmful) can go, depending on load factors and riding habits, roughly twenty miles at twenty miles an hour on one charge. It is almost completely silent, gives off no emissions, does not use foreign oil, does not require much room to operate or park, never needs a tune up and provides exercise. It eliminates many of the drawbacks of riding a traditional bicycle for basic transportation while having few of its own. I recognize that not many of us are hardy enough to ride a bike in the rain, snow or freezing cold but that applies as well to motorcycles, motor scooters and traditional bicycles. The electric bike can get you farther, faster without arriving at your destination soaked in sweat. It can operate in many places where other motorized vehicles cannot and makes taking hills a cinch. Riding five or ten miles to work is no big deal and you can simply pedal around bottled up traffic. Usually the lightweight batteries easily detach from the bike and can be carried into your place of work or school for recharging.

Some electric bicycles offer high tech extras such as LiFePO4 batteries that are good for a thousand recharges, regenerative braking that helps recharge the battery much as a Prius does, and internal gearing to generate more torque for uphill climbs. Most electric bikes use what is referred to as a hub motor. This is not a traditional gear or belt-drive motor but is built directly into the hub of one of the wheels. This motor contains two internal rings of opposing magnets that when power is applied causes the wheel to spin. Such motors need little service and never require oil changes, spark plugs or new belts.

Electric bikes come in several of styles. There are the traditional “beach cruiser” and mountain bike styles as well as electric folding bikes, tricycles and “road bikes”.   The electric folding bikes are particularly interesting. Smaller and lighter than a traditional bicycle, they easily fold up and fit into a car trunk and can be carried on a commuter or subway train with little effort. You can take the train to your stop, unfold the bike and pedal on your way. They are also useful for those who live in tight quarters and have no external place to store their ride.

For those of you that are moderately handy with tools, there are a number of electric bike kits on the market that allow you to adapt an ordinary bicycle into an electric bike. One company, Worldwide Electric Bikes, has a particularly well-designed kit that has many of the features I previously mentioned. These electric bike kits do not require a high level of mechanical ability to install. A few common hand tools, a basic understanding of how things go together and the ability to read directions is all that is required. However, if you don’t know the difference between a crescent and a hex wrench, you may wish to buy a pre-made bike or have someone install the kit for you. If you do choose to go the kit route, you can end up with a much more powerful and sophisticated bike for substantially less money than a factory built electric bike. 

Electric Bicycles in all forms have long been a staple of personal transportation in Europe and Asia where there are hundreds of thousands in operation. In the United States bicycles have traditionally been dominated by the toy or recreation market or for the dedicated enthusiast. In both Europe and Asia, cycling has been a traditional means of basic transportation. I believe that this is going to be more and more the case in this country. People are avidly seeking relief from the high financial and societal cost of automobiles. The electric bicycle, while not a panacea, is definitely poised to help provide a portion of that relief.

Electric Bicycles are inexpensive to purchase, require no license or insurance, have a negligible cost of operation and are totally “green”. So, what’s not to like?


Environmentally Friendly Technology

Solar Powered Nightgarden in Jerusalem | O*GE Architects

a contemporary architecture, interior and design online magazine.

Places in India where Total Solar Eclipse on July 22, 2009 is …

The Total Solar Eclipse, Surya Grahan, is visible in its Total Phase in some regions in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh (Timing is given below). It is a partial eclipse in …

Solar Energy Takes Another Giant Step Forward in Arizona …

â??It puts Arizona in a position to be a leader in the solar industry. We look forward to working with leaders in the solar and renewable energy industry, and this program gets us in the game to bring more projects to our state.â? …

Newark Post – Newark, DE > Archives > News > Markell signs solar …

Standing next to solar panels at the DuPont Co.’s Chestnut Run Plaza on Thursday, Gov. Jack Markell signed three pieces of legislation into law that encourage homeowners to install solar panels and wind turbines on their property. …

Solar-powered e-ink display revealed by Neoluxiim – TechShout

The innovative portable e-ink display is powered by a solar panel and aims to lower the strain on the environment. It adorns a thin form factor measuring just about 7.5mm. Also the maximum display size is 26 x 12 cm. …

How to Keep the Environment Clean

If you want to keep the environment clean then you need to recycle everything you can. You should set aside a few spaces so that you can keep your recyclables in a separate area. All of your water bottles should go into one container so that it will make it easier for you to take them to the recycling center. Also you need to make sure that you recycle all of your chance and glass bottles as well because this will also help the environment. Many people do not know that you can also recycle your old newspaper, you can call to have it picked up each month.

If we are going to prevent global warming than one way that you can take part is to recycle everything you use. the best thing you can do is educate yourself on the best way that you can recycle all of your throwaway items. Maybe some of your old clothes can be donated to Goodwill this way they can be recycled and used again. Make sure that you try to avoid using plastic bags from the grocery store because once they end up in a landfill they can cause a lot of problems. Once you have started a recycle program in your house you will find that it is easy to do.

Remember that if you want to improve the environment you need to recycle everything you can. It always works better if you have specific containers that you use for each of your recyclable items. Once you make a few small steps towards improving the environment you will feel better about yourself.

Get Free: Recycling Advice

Save with: Great Recycling Tips

Bryan Burbank is an expert in the field of Environmental Issues and Going Green

Newark Post – Newark, DE > Archives > News > Markell signs solar …

Standing next to solar panels at the DuPont Co.’s Chestnut Run Plaza on Thursday, Gov. Jack Markell signed three pieces of legislation into law that encourage homeowners to install solar panels and wind turbines on their property. …

Solar Energy Takes Another Giant Step Forward in Arizona …

â??It puts Arizona in a position to be a leader in the solar industry. We look forward to working with leaders in the solar and renewable energy industry, and this program gets us in the game to bring more projects to our state.â? …

Solar Power – How To Build a Solar Power System

Solar Power – How To Build a Solar Power System. Learn how to build a solar power system. Get to know the necessary tools and materials required along with informative tips to guide you through the process.

Solar Power Solutions for Your Home

With an ongoing energy crisis and peak oil an ever present menace it is no wonder that more people are getting interested in renewable energy sources â?? and in.

Suntech's Pluto To Power Sydney Theatre Company | News …

Suntech Power Holdings Co., Ltd. (NYSE: STP), the world’s largest crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturer, today announced that Suntech solar panels containing new high efficiency Pluto cells will help power Sydney …

Green Tip – Moms Use Clothe Diapers

Sure, this is a little messier than the easier, disposable version. However, do you even realize the amount of disposable diapers that are filling landfills?? Cloth diapers are a choice that every mother should seriously consider. Let’s look at some facts that are quite alarming…

Disposable Diapers Sobering Facts:

* from birth to about 2-1/2 the average child will go through about 7,300 diapers

* the cost for that is about $2600

* 18 billion diapers enter landfills each year

* disposable diapers make up about 3.4 million tons of trash

* health risks such as fertility issues in males, eyes, nose and throat issues and even asthma-like symptoms have been connected to disposable diapers!

* long term negative affects on animal and water life.

* the chemicals that make disposable diapers white increase the risk of cancer

* affect development

* they use more water. yep. you may need to wash cloth diapers, however, way more water is used making disposable diapers!

* a study, conducted by Anderson Laboratories in 1999 and published in the Archives of Environmental Health, found that disposable diapers release chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and dipentene. They have been shown to have toxic health effects, such as cancer and brain damage, when used over time or high exposure.

* they use 1.3 million tons of wood pulp. that’s about 1/4 million trees every year.

* they take up to 500 years to break down.

* more viruses than you want to know about…including polio, survive for two weeks or more after disposed of.

There are many many many more reasons to avoid disposable diapers. However, I think our readers are intelligent and the above information is enough to get you thinking! Research for yourself. You will be shocked!

Go for organic natural reusable cloth diapers. You will not only be helping the environment and saving money, you will also protect your sweet precious love bugs from harm!

Copyright © Green Christian Network, All Rights Reserved

About the Author: Cindy Taylor is a Christian stay at home Mom who love the Lord and cares about God’s planet. You can see her passion and writing at her website, Green Christian Network (

Green Technology Airline Flight Test

China also needs to get on board.

Our world is facing a huge crisis today in the form of global warming. Though most recognize that it is a bomb ticking away and awaiting to explode, few of us actually make an effort to change this dangerous trend. Lots of research and methods are being discovered and discussed but very few concrete steps have been taken yet. The major culprit is the industries that contribute maximum carbon dioxide and other dangerous gases to the environment. Although it is imperative that each of us do something to reduce our carbon footprint on earth, the industries and huge factories in the developing worlds should be forced to take up real concrete methods of curtailing pollution.

With rising population, the world has to increase production of materials and goods for all. This obviously calls for more and more industries in the world, which will only add more emitting pollutants to the atmosphere. The world needs to come together to work out solutions that can both save the environment and maintain economic development.

The problem of global warming represents a serious threat to the entire world. We are running out of time as warned by many scientists around the globe. People have created this problem by greatly increasing the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; and people working together will be the only way to stop it.

As President Obama makes an effort to introduce and promote green enterprises and industries, he will face a startling fact. Most pollution is created by China and the developing world. So no matter how much the developed world reduces their carbon emission, countries like China will compensate it with more pollutants. The per capita emission has increased six times today thanks to industrial projects which do not follow minimum environmental laws and directives.

It is imperative that Chinese President Hu Jintao and the other world leaders start to outline a plan now that will be followed by most countries, particularly China, in going green in their business practices.

However, the problem facing the world is that if we tackle this problem from a micro level, we come face to face with industrialists who are trying very hard to make their business a success and increase profit. There is nothing wrong in that because more profit would mean greater investment and a stronger economy. But most of these factory/industrial owners do not take into account the bad effects of pollution due to the emissions and discharges from their units.

Scientists across the globe are insisting that the environmental costs should also be included in the production costs. But, unfortunately, the busy industrialists do not have time to take into account the social and environmental responsibilities of the company; and, hence, little to no effort is made by them to alter the situation. Forcing the overworked staff to look into ways to follow the green norms is not cost effective in the long run.

A better way to tackle the problem is to hire a Green Consultant. The Green Consultant would look into individual business practices and suggest concrete methods to reduce pollution and reduce wastage and improper use of resources. For a nominal fee the consultant would work throughout the year to move the business toward a successful GCI Green Building certification. However, because businesses differ in nature, region, demands, budget, etc., it would make sense that one approach for all may not work well.

Consult the Green Business League website to learn more about the consultant and their expertise.

Samm Parker is author of this article on Nationalgeographic.

Find more information about Global warming here.

GLOBAL PULSE: The Color of Stimulus

Water Efficiency – The Resource Matrix Part 4 of 4 – The Illusions Behind Water Shortages

The Resource Matrix IV: Layers

A new-age freak grinned at me last Friday and shared her relevation, “Everything’s energy. And everything’s connected. Don’t you get it, man?”

But you know, she’s right.

Otherwise, how would you explain melting polar ice and island nations disappearing under rising ocean levels? Randomness just doesn’t cut it as a solid excuse anymore.

A couple of years ago, some determined energy interests utilized hired hypnotic practitioners (several US senators and climate scientists) to declare to the public that there is no global warming. Early on, they tried introduce confusion into the debate with their term, “climate change,” which suggested that the environment changes randomly and there’s no proof that global warming is a serious trend.

Unfortunately for them, their efforts didn’t work, and ironically “climate change” is another term for “global warming.”

Have broken through that layer of illusion, the Do-Gooders (concerned scientists and environmental groups) and the Hybrids (for-profit companies that actually do some of those same things that someone who cares about you would do, rather than merely say, “We care about you,” which all companies say) have helped us gain greater awareness and provided with the means to change:

  • “Global warming is real, and here’s a CFL lightbulb and more info.”
  • “Water shortage is real, and it has nothing to do with long showers.”

Today, in our final article of The Resource Matrix, we peel back layer after layer to get to the core and break the code that sends the whole system crashing down like a ton of bricks. And what you find will surprise — even shock you!

Let’s begin with the first layer:

Layer 1:
the illusion that non-sustainable costs less than sustainable

We began The Resource Matrix by explaining that economics comes out of 18th century political economy, and that political economy itself comes out of moral philosophy, and this moral philosophy apparently had room for colonialism, a fancy term for the answer to the eternal question: “How can I get that for free?”

Within economics and its moral background is the concept of the “free good:” a good that is not scarce. A free good is available in as great a quantity as desired with zero opportunity cost to society. Earlier schools of economic thought proposed that free goods were resources that are so abundant in nature that there is enough for everyone to have as much as they want.

To sustain the illusion that products that pollute the air and water are cheaper than those that don’t create a mess, the scroundels just pay the referees fat sacks of hush money. “What foul? Play ball!”

Layer 2:
the illusion of separation

The next layer we peel away is the seeming “illusion of separation.” The grinning new-age freaky girl has it right again: “Everything’s connected.”

Global warming is not a fossil fuel issue. It’s a consumption issue that involves insane water policies that dictate growing cotton in the Egyptian desert, installing the world’s highest-shooting fountain in the desert city of Phoenix, Arizona to run 12 hours out of every 24, draining rivers to grow rice for exports, polluting the same rivers in India that people drink from with toxic chemicals used for dyeing cotton and wondering why nearly every single person in town died. And on and on ad nauseum.

Layer 3:
it’s up to government and industry to bring change

In the commercial marketplace, you vote with your feet. If you’re sitting in a movie theater and the film sucks, you stand up because you can’t take it any longer. And walk out. Just remember who the lousy director or actor was so you’re not doomed to repeat your history of lousy film choices.

If we leave it to government and industry to form a partnership to solve water usage issues, it will be virtual warfare, as we described in our last article (The Resource Matrix part 3 of 4: the coming cold water waters):

In this game, you start as leader of a country which has certain industries, a growing population, and dwindling water resources. Your objective is to maintain or enhance the lifestyle of your people by shifting water use to other countries in order to prevent internal strife and your eventual overthrow and death by coup d’etat.

And as you read, this game has no winners. It’s not sustainable.

Rather than blindly obeying the on-screen instructions (”Please pick a COUNTRY, PLAYER NAME, and Press the START button to begin now.”), it’s best never to press the START button at all.

Instead of giving your power over to the Government/Industry Gamers, vote with your feet.

Like doing business with those who conduct themselves in line with your own beliefs (cruelty-free products manufacturer, member of your own religious faith), you can make certain individual decisions consciously.

In certain cases, you make conscious decisions that consciously support certain businesses:

  • retailers (and the manufacturers) of compact fluorescent bulbs
  • shade-grown coffee
  • cruelty-free health and beauty products

In certain cases, you make conscious decisions that unconsciously reduce support for certain businesses:

  • using daylight instead of manufactured light sources reduces coal production and its polluting effects, in addition to saving energy

How about water? What choices do you have? Here’s possible near-future scenes:

Online resumes now include diet preferences as an indicator of personal water footprint and employment site search tools include diet as a filter.

Business headlines: “Demand for beef-free Hindu programmers causes short squeeze in software development market – low-waterfoot print computer geeks ask for, get 25% more than meat-eating peers” and “All-vegan employee company Sustainatrix International goes public in huge stock offering – market value of $150 billion confirms validity of sustainability in capital and financial modeling”

The Matrix and Vanilla Sky:
Not what it seems

In The Matrix, Morpheus explains that “the Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.”

In the 2001 Tom Cruise psychological thriller Vanilla Sky, built layer upon layer of seeming reality, Cruise’s handsome character enjoys the charmed rich life, then gets into an accident that mars his face, over which he needs to wear a mask. Eventually distraught, he goes out drinking, and ends up literally in the gutter to sleep it off.

He wakes to continue his life in an sequence of odd experiences. Finally remembering some repressed memories, he gets help and peels back one layer of the illusion: all his “experiences” since landing in the gutter have been a dream.

Trying to cope with his shattered worldview, he peels back another layer: worse, he’s been “dead” for 150 years and in a state of suspended animation.

And yet, the movie itself is not what it seems. Vanilla Sky was a Hollywood idle rich American kid adaptation of the 1997 Spanish original entitled Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) and also co-starred Penelope Cruz in her same role.

I introduced this four-part series by explaining that:

the Resource Matrix is everywhere, it is all around us. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

You take the blue pill and the story ends.

You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

I’ve shown you how deep the rabbit hole goes, and now you can wake in your bed and choose to continue to live like Tom Cruise, or you can break the code.

To break the code that creates the graphical user interface and see the illusion for what it really is, you need only do one thing, as repeated by Tom Cruise’s alarm clock each morning in Vanilla Sky:

Open your eyes.

And see the Resource Matrix, everywhere, all around you.

Thanks for letting us keep you updated . . .

To your green, brighter future,

Cinnamon Alvarez,

And now I would like to offer you free access to powerful info on energy efficiency that’s easy to read and cuts through all this “green” information clutter — so you can literally start making positive changes today.

You can access it now by going to:

From Cinnamon Alvarez: Founder, A19 — woman-owned green manufacturer of hand-made ceramic lighting fixtures

Green Technology Revs

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Oregon Scientific +ECO Clima Control Solar-Powered Weather Station …

Oregon Scientific introduces the new +ECO Clima Control solar-powered weather station (model: RMR500ESA) that can be considered as the solar version of the Eco Clima Control. The device has built-in solar panel for receiving sunlight. …

Common Policies For Common Good

Concerns about dangerous climate change and large biodiversity loss are visible throughout the world: unprecedented rates of temperature increases and species extinctions are a reality. In 1999 Dr. Peter Raven, president of the International Botanical Congress, published a paper in which he states that “current extinction rate is now approaching 1,000 times the background rate and may climb to 10,000 times the background rate during the next century, if present trends continue. At this rate, one-third to two-thirds of all species of plants, animals, and other organisms would be lost during the second half of the 21st century, a loss that would easily equal those of past extinctions”. He then outlined seven “Points to Slow the Extinction of Plants”, including financial and capacity building instruments to help developing countries protect 80% of the world’s biodiversity they host. As far as climate change is concerned, the responsibility of developed countries is high in providing the most threatened regions in the world with good instruments to cope with this challenge (or at least examples of them to implement autonomously).

Climate change plays a significant role in this human-induced mass extinction because it is increasing the already large biodiversity losses caused by habitat destruction and fragmentation, water and air pollution, introduction of invasive species. Marine ecosystems will be affected by an increase in sea temperature, but also by ocean acidification, because of the higher concentration of dissolved carbon dioxide (carbonic acid): in fact this reduces the shell formation ability in many organisms. Polar (and mountain) ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to climate change, with effects such as thawing permafrost, decreased snow cover, losses from ice sheets and changes in ocean temperatures. Large impacts on Arctic biodiversity are already evident, pictures of polar bears wandering lost on small icebergs being a scary and sad symbol of the era we live in (even former U.S. President Bush, at the end of his mandate, recalled this image to show his fellow citizens he cared about climate change …)

In this rapidly changing environment it is therefore extremely important that conservation plans include adaption measures for ecosystems accordingly to the predicted regional climate patterns (but models need still to be improved a lot at this scale): dynamic approaches are needed to set good options for future ecosystems and landscapes. It will be necessary to facilitate the movement of species to new geographical locations, as they follow the shifting habitats.

The public concern is growing: in Africa last 28 February young people organized a march from impoverished urban areas to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness on climate change, together with the Kilimanjaro Initiative and the UN’s global UNite to Combat Climate Change campaign. It seems though that the global attention on climate change doesn’t fully consider implications for biodiversity yet: while the negotiations and speeches on climate issues are very popular (and the Nobel Prize was awarded to the entire IPCC together with Al Gore in 2007) the meetings and decisions of the Convention on Biological Diversity ( don’t raise comparable interest. Is it because the anthropocentrism is (still) the prevailing philosophy and animals and plants are mainly seen by people as beautiful “supporting actors” on the planet we live on? Right when we are losing control of the global situation it is probably time to reflect on our role of dominant species and acknowledge the fundamental contribution of other organisms to our livelihoods, despite many of us live in the so called Technosphere.

Policies to protect the climate avoiding irreversible effects on the ecosystems need to be strongly interconnected with conservation strategies: preserving natural areas while helping them adapt to the changing climate means hopefully to leave better, or not as compromised, ecosystems to future generations. Climate and biodiversity, though ever changing and evolving, are common goods and they need common policies: if we reduce the human Ecological Footprint both the atmosphere and the biosphere will be better off (and our children and grandchildren living in them).

Written by Luca Marazzi on behalf of Responding to Climate Change.

For further information on Climate Change please visit the Responding to Climate Change website –

The Ecological Footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems. It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area needed to regenerate the resources a human population consumes and to absorb and render harmless the corresponding waste. Using this assessment, it is possible to estimate how much of the Earth (or how many planet Earths) it would take to support humanity if everybody lived a given lifestyle. For 2005, humanity’s total ecological footprint was estimated at 1.3 planet Earths – in other words, humanity uses ecological services 1.3 times faster than Earths can renew them. See also:

News Of Green Cafeteria

Save the Plastic Bag or Ban the Plastic Bag?

As part of the conservation and environmental movement worldwide there are several campaigns aimed at banning the plastic bag. These fit in perfectly with going green at home and with our longer term life styles.

A quick search on the web will take you to the San Francisco Bay Area, “Bay vs Bag”, to the Daily Mail’s (UK) “Banish the Bags” as well as similar situations in Canada, Holland, China, elsewhere in the US and even Zanzibar.

A lot of the focus is based on the damage done to wild life, including sea mammals and birds; the effects on waste and the average number of bags used per person in different countries. In one of the lists I saw, Singapore was topping the list at 625 bags.

One of the targets is to reduce by 10% the yearly consumption of these bags.

On the other hand there are also “Save the Plastic Bag” campaigns, with the plastic industry behind it. Their main focus is highlighting what they call misinformation. Their points are based on “exaggerations” on the damage done to wild life; errors in how plastic bags are made (from ethane gas that would otherwise be burnt and not petroleum); effects of co2 vs methane; potential job losses and so on.

On the banning side of the argument, there can be exaggerations as well as questionable scientific data – questionable as in anybody can question it, after all to have an argument you must always have at least two points of view.

From the “saving” the industry point of view, there can be many counter arguments to the data that is presented. And this is quite understandable, after all their industry could be hit very badly. (This just reminds me that all businesses have a life time curve that goes from birth, to growth, to maturity and finally to demise. The time scale can be as short as a year to as long as a hundred years or more, but the end result is that it is replaced by something else).

Some of the arguments are saying that nets and not plastic bags are causing marine life casualties, that paper bags are a worse alternative (side stepping the plastic bag issue) and basically attacking the “plastic bag misinformation campaign”.

Very probably both sides are looking to make their points by reducing or ridiculing their opponents point of view. But the overall issue is still there – are plastic bags affecting our environment?

To get back to the plastic bag banning situation, where paper bags have the negative effect of more trees cut, the information that is being retrieved is very important. But it must also be as objective as possible. Having said that, we know that it takes literally centuries for plastic to degrade and this should be the foremost argument.

Just to expand a little on the paper bag argument, which is totally reasonable, the option is not to cut more trees. The options are to recycle and use bio-degradable alternatives.

In the old days, when plastic bags hadn’t been invented but grocery shops had, natural fiber bags were used and the customers were the ones who brought their own to the shop.

With just a little effort on the individual front, these campaigns wouldn’t be necessary.

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Ideas For Earth Day and Beyond: Helping Kids Care For the Earth

Earth Day is April 22, and while it’s important to get involved on this day, there are things we can do as families that will make a huge impact throughout the year.

It starts with helping our kids to celebrate the world in which we live, and it continues with helping them to love it so much that they want to do everything they can to help protect it. Here are six ideas to help your kids celebrate and care for our earth:

1. Get out and enjoy it. Researchers are now saying that simply getting kids outside in nature may be the most effective way to raise their awareness of environmental issues. Suddenly, these problems that they hear about on the news and in the classroom have a real impact on their daily lives. They see firsthand how a forest or a beach or a tidepool or a meadow is teeming with life, with ecological relationships that are interdependent, delicate and complex.

To encourage your kids to get out there and enjoy the natural world, you may have to purposefully inject some extra excitement in the idea, but just at first. Take your dog (or a friend’s dog) for a walk in the woods. A dog’s love for nature, and subsequent enjoyment of it, is infectious. Create a list of things to find and make your adventure into the outdoors into a scavenger hunt.

If possible, and if your kids are old enough to be by themselves out there, find a safe place for them to play in a natural environment. Allow them to go there to get away, to sit and think or to talk with their friends. Make a point to get the kids out in nature every day. Better yet, go with them.

2. Watch “An Inconvenient Truth” as a family for inspiration. Invite some of your children’s friends over to watch it with their parents and talk about some initiatives that you can each commit to or some larger projects that you can work on as a neighborhood or community.

3. Help your kids learn about endangered animals. Together, look into organizations that help endangered animals and see how you can get involved.

4. Reduce and re-use, then recycle. Lots of kids get excited about recycling. Fewer are into reducing or re-using. Model to your children a healthy pattern of consumption. Talk frequently about the many benefits (which go way beyond environmental) of living a simple life and of being wary of a lifestyle of mass consumerism. As kids spend more time outside and less time at the mall or watching television advertisements, this shift may feel increasingly more natural to them.

5. Teach your kids about potentially harmful chemicals and how they can be everywhere in our world: in the foods we eat, in the supplies we use to clean the house, in our paint, in our cosmetics, in our lawn care products. Turn the search for these things into a game and allow your kids to be detectives, learning about and seeking out these harmful chemicals and then finding natural alternatives.

6. The next time you take the kids to the grocery store, see how you can minimize the amount of packaging that you purchase. We have been known to purposefully not purchase an item because of the manufacturer’s use of wasteful packaging. It won’t take long for the kids to realize that the best item in the store for minimal packaging: raw fruits and vegetables.

In our family, the more we can make these life changes into a game, the more apt the kids are to follow suit. Help your kids to understand how one person really can make a difference (especially when that person is part of a committed family or group) and review often the personal impact that you all have made.

Jamie Jefferson writes for and, where you’ll find discounts on ethically-made natural beauty products as well as coupons for green living and organic products.

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