Author Archives: Jacqueline Smith

About Jacqueline Smith

I love your feedback, let me know what you are interested in! I am a technology writer in the SF Bay Area. This blog is "local green" and my other is Employee Recognition -- www.inspiredemployee.com

Five Inconvenient Truths -Global steel industry

Interesting article, it discusses trade, overcapacity, raw materials, growth/slow down in building, and re-purposing of existing mills.  Maybe that is true. Read more here.

I must admit I am most intrigued by the existence of this group:

John Lichtenstein is a managing director for Accenture Strategy and the global lead of Accenture’s metals group.
The article did not discuss:  
  1. Changes in Environmental regulation. What if the total cost of an item was part of the selection process for materials (Aluminum vs. Steel)? What if LEED building specified LOCAL MATERIAL use or adding the effects of long distance shipping into the environmental degradation? What if shipping companies were forced to contribute money to the clean-up of the plastic gyre in the Pacific Ocean when shipping across the Pacific Ocean?  Unlikely, but possible and more sensible than carbon credits.
  2. Quality of the steel produced in China (I’d really like to know why the Bay Bridge is rusting with its low quality steel imported from China), coupled with the environmental devastation caused by converting raw materials to finished goods in a country that does not have strict environmental regulations and technologies.
  3. The main premise that global demand is slowing and will remain so, flies in the face of the greatest population being urban, and the population continues to expand. Housing in urban areas is made with steel, when it is high-density.

There is always room to learn more. I’ll be interested in Accenture’s next set of statistics.

There are many other Accenture articles; here is another from the same author.

Origami Whales: A Gentle Way to Teach Conservation

Thanks TED Talks for this lovely broadcast!  Watch the video, link below

Allow things to unfold and you will find your Purpose in Life. | Peggy Oki | TEDxQueenstown   (time 16.34)

Image result for Origami WhalesThis insightful artist folds paper whales using origami and thousands of volunteers to fold the whales & dophins and give a clear call to action and visual reference point.  Children, Adults, Students, Seniors – all join in and FOLD then STITCH these whales into curtains to be displayed in galleries, schools, civic centers.

HINT: There are YouTubes and Pinterest on origami

Peggy Oki leads with passion. She gives advice to a beginning environmental activist: “Follow your heart with vision and actions, create your fold and you will find your porpoise in life.”

ART THAT HAS PURPOSE:

Published on Apr 28, 2016

With an appreciation of flow and motion Peggy’s life has been always been driven by passion. From surfing and skateboarding to the intimate appreciation what she calls the ‘Cetacean Nation’. Discovering the transformative force of participation artwork through her Origami Whales project was the first step to realising that passion could be harnessed, amplified and ultimately inspire for a deeper purpose.

Surfer, Skateboarder, Artist and Activist.
Once the only female member of the famous Zephyr Skateboard team from documentary ‘Dogtown and Z-Boys’: Peggy’s love of the outdoors inspires her to travel worldwide in search of good surf. In 2004, she founded the Origami Whales Project to raise awareness about commercial whaling. She has also developed the Whales and Dolphins Ambassador Program and led campaigns such as ‘Let’s Face It’, which petitions to save New Zealand’s critically endangered Maui’s dolphins and Hector’s dolphins.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

 

Fainting Goats – Curious?

Image result for fainting goatsA friend of mine has a goat that goes catatonic when it hears a loud noise. If she sneezes or the screen door slams. ..Then it tips over. Amazing but not uncommon. I had to learn more!  They are classified as meat goats rather than milk goats…. but they might be better described as “pet goats”. Often selected as pets, due to their smaller stature, they are 17 to 25 inches tall and can weigh 60 lbs…. or more.

This ailment can be found in other animals, humans included.

A myotonic goat, otherwise known as the fainting goat, is a domestic goat that freezes for roughly 3 seconds when it feels panic. Though painless, this generally results in the animal collapsing on its side. The characteristic is caused by a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita. When startled, younger goats will stiffen and fall over. Older goats learn to spread their legs or lean against something when startled, and often they continue to run about in an awkward, stiff-legged shuffle.  Fainting goats have many other names, including Myotonic Goats, Tennessee (Meat) Goats, Nervous Goats, Stiff-leg Goats, Wooden-leg Goats, and Tennessee Fainting Goats….   – Wikipedia

References:  Fainting Goat Facts

 

 

 

 

 

India won’t allow driverless cars if they take away jobs

In language that is sure to frighten the likes of Google, Tesla, and every other company with a foot in the driverless car game, India’s road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has said that driverless cars will not be allowed in the country if they take away jobs, reports the HindustanTimes.

“We won’t allow driverless cars in India. I am very clear on this. We won’t allow any technology that takes away jobs. In a country where you have unemployment, you can’t have a technology that ends up taking people’s jobs.” — Nitin Gadkari Highways minister 7/25/2017

India is one of the top destinations tech companies are focusing their resources on for growth. With a consumer market of 1.2 billion people, if India actually ends up not allowing driverless cars in the country it will effectively seal off one-sixth of the world’s population from the autonomous car market.  – Michael Grothaus (FastCompany)

After working in technology for 4 decades, it seems that technology doesn’t take jobs, but rather creates a new employment track that is fascinating and innovative. Yes training is needed to participate, but that should be an obstacle that we can tackle.

However my logic could be skewed, since I am eagerly awaiting autonomous cars and more innovation. — the editor

And just for fun, you might want to read this one too:  “Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are having a spat about whether AI will kill us all”

Master Class Preview August 12 2017

Get involved – learn more: Environmental Forum of Marin

Offered only once per year…the Master Class begins in August 2017 Preview Event for the Master Class 44

Don’t miss our Preview Event on the morning of Saturday, August 12, 2017. Open to everyone considering the Master Class, it is your opportunity to hear highlights of our special program.  Learn more about the class series, our dedicated and professional presenters, and meet other participants. While this event is not mandatory, all potential and registered students are highly encouraged to attend. We will be accepting registrations and provide direction on how to access all class agendas and materials on-line.

Be inspired and hear about everyone’s favorite class. On the West Marin field trip, you will visit the Straus Family Creamery, and have lunch by the bay at Hog Island Oyster Farm. Learn about our keynote speaker for Face to Face with Climate Change Class; Mark Hertsgaard, author and journalist who has traveled around the world reporting about climate change, politics, culture and the environment. Have you had a chance to play Game of Floods? You will in Master Class 44.  Join us.

Preview Event Saturday, August 12 10:00 am to Noon

VenturePad 1020 B Street, San Rafael Classes begin on Saturday August 26, 2017!

For more information about Master Class 44, contact us by clicking here.

If you have not registered for Master Class 44, but would like to attend the Preview Event please email us at: Masterclass@marinefm.org

Looking forward to meeting you at the Preview Event

Environmental Forum of Marin

An East Bay Gem: Garin Regional Park

GARIN PARK:: An amazing park full of activities and places to explore!

LOCATION: Garin Regional Park Cattlemen’s Picnic Area 1320 Garin Avenue Hayward, CA

The summer Park Hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. There is a visitor center where you can learn more about Garrin Park and its history- there are hiking trails,, a kite flying area, horse back riding trails, native plants garden and many other features. Link for more information on the Park. This is a beautiful historic park in the East Bay. To Reach the Park. . This park is beautiful with so much to do, take a look.

Vina Enoteca to serve first ‘Impossible burger’ in Silicon Valley

A burger made entirely from plants at a Redwood City startup has been making waves at select restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York — and now, in Palo Alto.

The Impossible Foods burger sun-dried tomatoes, cavolo nero (or lacinato kale) and a sun-dried tomatoes mayonnaise on a poppy seed bun will make its debut today at Vina Enoteca, the first Silicon Valley restaurant to serve the scientifically engineered veggie burgers.

The goal is to not only make a veggie burger that tastes good, but one that is environmentally sustainable and ultimately will change the way we consume meat.

World Environment Day June 5

What can you do? TIPS and HINTS

Energy:

  • Make your computer more efficient. Remove screensavers and turn on your computer’s power management features to save energy and extend the life of your battery.
  • Unplug. Devices like phone chargers and power adapters continue to draw electricity even when not in active use. So unplug these items when they are not in use to save energy and the environment.
  • Opt for the revolving door. Energy is wasted when we enter and exit a warm or cool building. Help us conserve by using the revolving door.

Use Less Paper:

  • Make your meetings digital. In the meeting invitation, let your colleagues know that the meeting will be paperless. Use projectors and monitors to display slides rather than printing handouts and encourage attendees to use their laptops for slide viewing and note taking.
  • Print responsibly. Make double-sided printing your default, purchase 100% recycled paper and reuse sheets whenever possible.
  • Transition to online banking. Take advantage of  many paperless banking options, which offer convenient and secure access for account holders while conserving resources and money.
  • Use Microsoft OneNote.  This is so much easier and better than a paper notebook! Take your meeting notes online, file them online and easily share them. This works so well for me!

Reduce Waster & Recycle:

  • Dispose of Electronic Waste responsibly. Never recycle it or throw it in the regular trash. There are many local recyclers in your area, Goodwill and community groups have recycling days.
  • Trade before you buy. Before you purchase something new, see if your friends family have what you need, or upgrade to get just the thing you need. Look on Craigslist.org for swaps and trades. Renting equipment, or using a renting/sharing app  works well for equipment that you seldom use: trimmers/hedgers, kayaks, canoes, wheel-barrows, cement mixers, tile cutters, nailers, floor sanders…. you know! …the stuff that can fill up your garage!
  • Take advantage of the recycling and composting facilities available near you. Protect the environment and save valuable company resources by sorting your trash correctly.

Save Water:

  • Refill and reuse. Conserve water when using a reusable water bottle or hydration backpack by reducing water used in producing disposable bottles and shipping containers to new locations.
  • Conserve energy. Electricity uses water. In fact, the energy sector is the single largest consumer of water in the United States, using 201 billion gallons a day to generate electricity. WOW!!! So, save two resources at once by being energy efficient.
  • Turn faucets off all the way. A steady drip can waste 20 gallons of water per day. And report any leaks as soon as you notice them in bathrooms, kitchens, gyms or any other locations.
  • When working out, make sure your fitness center knows you are environmentally minded by asking your fitness center staff about low volume shower heads. Post-workout showers: turn off the water while shaving, shampooing or lathering up.

Green your Commute:

  • Route your commute. You can find the fastest way to work using public transit — and other useful information — by using helpful websites like publictransportation.org
  • Combine your commute with exercise. Check out bicycle safety tips  from the CDC and facts and stats  from Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center to learn how you can commute by bike or walking and save yourself a trip to the gym.
  • Use more active transportation. Researchers looked at residents in Charlotte, North Carolina , before and after the city built a light-rail transit system (LRT). People who used the LRT reported they walked more when using the train than when they drove regularly. And they lost weight.

Get involved in your community and help with conservation, tree planting, beach clean-up and other eco-activities!

Dandelion Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie RECIPE!!

Dandelion has graciously offered their recipe for their delicious hearty Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie! You can give these to Dad for Father’s Day, to the Grads in your life on their special day, or for yourself any day of the week!

YUM!

Give a Shuck about the Oceans! June 8 at Hog Island

Mark you calendars! June 8th is World Oceans Day and Hog Island Oyster Co. is celebrating with their next dine and donate, Let’s Give A Shuck for the Oceans!

Nothing is more important to the Hog Island team, then the health of our oceans. That’s why they have chosen to donate 10% of their proceeds to Humboldt BayKeeper – a Northern California organization that works to safeguard coastal resources for the health, enjoyment, and economic strength of the Humboldt Bay.

Join the Hog Island Oyster Co. team for a day of dining and donating and help Give A Shuck for Our Oceans!