Category Archives: Global 3D view

Bees are your Buddies

Do you like to eat fruit? Bees are YOUR best friends. Parents – please teach your kids to respect Bees! Each year I read to Kindergartners – and each time I read books about BEES the kids say ” I hate Bees”. It stuns me and it starts at home. Teach your kids that insects, bees, butterflies provide honey, pollination and ultimately food for us. We LOVE BEES!!!

Bees and other pollinators play a vital role in our food production system by enabling the production of many of the nuts, fruits and vegetables in our diets. In total, pollinators make possible an astounding 35% of global food production and contribute more than $24 billion annually to the U.S. economy.But the number of managed honeybee colonies in the United States has declined from 6 million in the 1940s to just 2.5 million today – jeopardizing our food supply and domestic agriculture industry.3

FLASHBACK from 2014 – That’s why President Obama tasked the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency with co-chairing the Pollinator Health Task Force and leading the federal response to the devastating decline in populations of bees and other vital pollinators.

So far, both the USDA and EPA have displayed a disturbing lack of urgency when it comes to saving bees from deadly pesticides. In fact, the EPA’s current plan is to continue studying neonicotinoid pesticides until 2018 before it takes action to save our pollinators.

It’s 2018 and the story continues.Each person can CHOOSE to not use pesticides, like Round-up, and make their garden inviting to bees. We can make the difference. Round-up is still sold at COSTCO in gigantic containers… right next to the NATIVE BEE HOMES….. Let’s get smart. Don’t buy that toxic junk.  Besides- dandelions are great food for bees, their flowers bloom early and give the bees food when it is winter.   –The editor

 

Identifying Plants on Mt. Tamalpais – Environmental Forum of Marin

One TamBookjack BioBlitz and Rare Plant Treasure:

  • Friday, May 11 — 9:00 – 3:00 pm
  • Help identify and document every living species on Mt. Tam. A second BioBlitz will take place on June 9.

This group is a great resource for the Bay Area, with many classes, activities, talks and training sessions. They also have a video library that chronicles their projects and classes. — the editor

 

Master Class 44 Graduates Ready to Stir Up Some Trouble!

Each year, as the Forum’s Master Class students present their stewardship projects and graduate, we feel emboldened by our “Education for Action” mantra. Master Class Director, Norma Fragoso, and MC assistant Tom Arthur, organized expert speakers at various venues throughout Marin and provided engaging coursework to strengthen our students’ knowledge about environmental issues.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

  • www.MarinEFM.org
  • Environmental Forum of Marin | P.O. Box 151546, San Rafael, CA 94915 | 415-484-8336

Eight Insane Facts About Textile Recycling 

Waste not Want Not? I often get questions about how to re-purpose clothes that are too worn to be used again…. but there are MANY OTHER uses.   Here are a few basic ideas for the ripped / destroyed clothes

  1. QUILTS– cut out squares of the material, or the logo / school name and use again.
  2. Make a shopping bag. Put two tee shirts together- cut out the neckline with a deep U shape, and sleeves and sew the bottom end shut the Shoulders will be your handles and the bag will be great for groceries and soft for vegetables. And best of all, washable.
  3. Rags. You know how to do this.
  4. Stuff a pillow case with worn out clothes and use a s a dog / cat bed. Easy to re-stuff, and wash.
  5. RE-sew an item. For example: Cut a ripped man’s shirt down, and make a cute skirt for a little girl, keeping the buttons and pocket, adding an elastic waist. Make a stuffed toy, or a cloth piggy, like Ms. Oink.
  6. Contact a re-cycler. In the Bay Area we have a wonderful group: SCRAP. They gather materials to reuse, and give them away for free to TEACHERS, and sell them for a small about to consumers.

You will also be interested in these 8 Insane Facts About Textile Recycling posted by USAgain on their blog.  Great motivation to RE-USE.

No matter what side of the Atlantic you represent, the extent of personal textile waste is staggering. One battle that both Brits and Americans are losing is the battle against textile waste. Here’s why:

  1. The average lifetime of a piece of clothing is only about 3 years.
  2. The consumer is the biggest culprit. In the U.S., 75% of pre-consumer textile waste is recycled by manufacturers, but only 15% of post-consumer textile waste is recycled.
  3. The average American throws away about 70 pounds of clothing, shoes and other household textiles each year.
  4. Americans generate almost 13 million tons of textile waste per year.  Brits generate about 1.12 million tons of textile waste a year.
  5. Even though the UK appears to generate less textile waste, One in five Brits admit to throwing away a garment after a single wear. This means that more than $127 million of clothing winds up in landfills each year after being worn once. (One in five Brits also think that light sabers exist.)
  6. One in four American women own seven pairs of jeans, but only wear four of them regularly. (One in Four Americans also don’t know what nation the U.S. declared independence from.)
  7. The U.S. textile recycling industry creates around 17,000 jobs and removes 2.5 billion pounds of post consumer textile product from waste stream each year.
  8. Over 70% of the world’s population uses secondhand clothes.

By placing drop boxes for used clothes across the country, USAgain has saved over 480 million items of clothing from landfills, and they aren’t stopping there.

Make a change in your own life by depositing reusable clothes, shoes and household textile in a USAgain dropbox near you.

Hurricane Irma

Get accurate information on Hurricane Irma and downloadable videos here at NOAA:  view the damage https://storms.ngs.noaa.gov

You can select a location and the download is usually very quick.

NOTE: I find the best data from sources other than CNN and other news outlets that specialize in hype and hysteria to boost ratings. I found their coverage to be ill-informed, out of date and repeated without substance.  I have family in Houston and the Keys and I don’t need to be overwhelmed by fake news and neither do you.

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.

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

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Geocaching and Letter-Boxing

On May 3 2000, Dave Ulmer, a computer consultant, wanted to test the accuracy by hiding a navigational target in the woods. He called the idea the “Great American GPS Stash Hunt” and posted it in an internet GPS users’ group. The idea was simple: Hide a container out in the woods and note the coordinates with a GPS unit.

The finder would then have to locate the container with only the use of his or her GPS receiver. The rules for the finder were simple:

“Take some stuff, leave some stuff.”

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.

Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

*A great summer activity.* Some helpful websites:

Geocaches can be found all over the world. It is common for geocachers to hide caches in locations that are important to them, reflecting a special interest or skill of the cache owner. These locations can be quite diverse. They may be at your local park, at the end of a long hike, underwater or on the side of a city street.

Maybe Geocaching is a little like Pokémon Go, but it has been going for a long time… even before GPS, when compasses were used for scavenger hunts. It is a fun way to explore and learn more about the local area that you live in!

Story of a Lost Boy from Sudan

A former ‘Lost Boy’ finds freedom and success; progress toward corporate social responsibility goals; more

Ateny Ajak, who was one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, who through a series of twists and turns ended up in Los Vegas, with a beautiful wife, 4 children and a job at Wells Fargo.

I know that when I bought my first home, I was thrilled to be part of a community…. It was in 1985 and the interest rate was over 15%, it was a struggle to get a loan approved.  I was working at a Federal financial regulator in SF and compliance was very strict. When I had the mortgage in my hand I was so happy. Giddy even.  – – the editor

Ajak’s joy at owning a home in the U.S. led him to a career that helps others experience the same thing, said Michelle Merced, executive director of Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada, a Las Vegas nonprofit that works with the LIFT program.

Enjoy Earth Day

Earth Day 2017
© herjua/Getty Images

Earth Day 2017

Saturday, April 22 — earth day started on April 22, 1970.

Dear Readers, There are no ads in Greeneroo blog posts. Why? I hope that we can share information, rather than pushing you to BUY something. I do like to let you know about really cool books, but I’d really rather have you go outside and have some fun!


Happy Earth Day!!  — the editor

Some activities:

Enjoy a meatless meal! Why? Pasture and alfalfa – the food for cattle to graze on are two of the highest water using plants. Save water, eat a veggie meal.

Plant a Tree! Why? Trees help keep soil in place, they provide homes for many animals and birds, they produce air for us to breath and they provide shade in the summer. A tree can absorb up to 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, remove harmful particulates in the air – wow!

Take a Walk! Why? Discover your neighborhood and meet your neighbors.  You’ll learn more about the history of the area, and what other people near you like to do. I often share mint from my garden with people that pass by.

Plant a seed! Why? You’ll learn more about how plants germinate (sprout) and grow. You’ll be responsible for watering and caring for your plant.  You’ll learn about how seeds really look different from one type of plant to the next.

Turn off your lights, Computer, TV, Washer, Dryer and think about walking/ biking rather than driving! Why? Trying out new methods of doing something are the first step of making a healthy habit. Use less energy, turn off the lights and other devices when you aren’t using them.

Don’t buy anything on Earth day! Why? We tend to buy what we want rather than what we need. This leads to throwing so much stuff away. Millions of pounds of clothing are tossed in the trash each year, by people who “bought it … but didn’t need it”!

Type “parks in California” in your computer browser (substitute your STATE for California or write in your Zip code)  Why?  You’ll get a list of parks. Get outside and have some fun! You’ll feel better and you may meet some friends that live near you.  Now that you have a list of places close enough to walk to and enjoy! I used the zip code and found 5 parks that are great and I can walk to each one!

Go to a Farmer’s market. Why? These open air markets are so much fun. You can taste things you have never tried, make friends with a farmer and buy local fruits, vegetables, nuts other stuff that is tasty and fresh. Remember to bring a reusable bag to put your purchases in.

For each of the suggestions, there are many more reasons to try out the activity. Can you think of other reasons to try something new or go outdoors and play?  I bet you can.

Some links to enjoy:

  • www.filoli.org  – beautiful estate and garden in Woodside, CA
  • parks.smcgov.org/san-bruno-mountain – San Bruno mountain is often ignored, commuters say they drive past it all the time. But they don’t stop. It has great hikes, picnic tables, views of SF and flowers to enjoy.
  • birding.sequoia-audubon.org – the audobon society has bird watching information and events everywhere!
  • www.discovery.com/…/1-top-10-most-amazing-hikes-in-north-america – take a hike, learn more!  The Sierra Club has many hikes.