Eco-Friendly iPhone Apps

04.03.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

You may not think of iPhone Apps as having the potential to be eco-friendly, but in any scenario, saving paper through using technology is a little way that you can go greener. They may not be the first apps to cross your path as you scroll through Angry Birds and Temple run, but nevertheless they are worth your while. What kind of apps are eco-friendly you might ask? I’ll show you a few to get you started.

1. Flashcard App –  Flashcard + is an app that allows you to type out your flashcards directly onto your iPhone! It’s very convient because it is so much faster to type out flashcards on your phone than to hand write them. This app is also free, so no more spending money on loads and loads of flashcards! Every bit of paper that you can save counts, so this app is a great way to go green!

2.  Calendar App –  The calendar app comes standard with every iPhone, so you don’t have to spend a penny! Instead of having to remember to lug around a planner (or 2 or 3 as in my case) everything can go conviently into your tiny little iPhone that you have with you at all times! It’s super convient, and you can even set reminders instead of post-it notes. Again, every bit of paper counts, and by putting your scheduling information into your iPhone, you can save lots of paper over time, and cash! (which is also paper!)

3. Camera App-  The camera app also comes standard with the iPhone, so no money lost here. You can use your camera app to take pictures of things you would never normally think to take picutures of, becuase the camera on the iPhone has such good resolution! It is very easy to take quick pictures of things like your work schedule posted on the wall, a homework assignment on the whiteboard, or even the shuttle schedule posted outside Boland! Later, you can access these pictures in your pictures app, zoom in, and read the information very clearly. Not only does this save you the time of jotting things down, it will save you a lot of paper in the long run, which is always a good way to be eco-friendly.

There are many other ways to use your iPhone, iPad, or other technological devices to minimize your paper consumption. Just take some time scrolling through apps, you’ll be amazed at what you can find to help you go green! 🙂

-Danielle Garceau

 

What is Hydrofracking?

04.01.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

 

After coming back from Spring Break, many of us went on vacation, stayed at home, or experienced a Stonehill HOPE trip. This year, I was a student leader for HOPE West Virginia, and while we were there, our group learned about how hydrofracking works and some things that we should be concerned about as a result of hydrofracking. Hydrofracking is relatively new and it involved a process in which natural gas is mined from the marcellus shale. A well that goes one or two miles into the ground is drilled, and then a horizontal path is drilled in both directions. Then water, mixed with several other chemicals, is shot through the well at very high pressures. When this high-pressure liquid interacts with the marcellus shale layer, natural gas is released and collected for future use. This process may appear simple, but there are several health hazards and environmental hazards that are a result of hydrofracking. For example, there are over 100 chemicals used in fracking fluids, some of which include 2-dibromo-3-niriloprionamide, 2-ethyl hexanol, 2-propanol, 2-propen-1-aminium, N<N-dimpethyl-N-2-propenyl-chloride, and 2-propenicacid. Some of the chemicals used in hydrofracking are extrememly toxic and corrosive, and in some cases, it is possible that these fluids can leak into the local groundwater that communities use in their homes. There have been several cases of disease and cancer, and some people’s tap water has been able to be set on fire after hydrofracking has been started near there homes.

Along with human health problems, this new mining technique is also harmful to the environment. Hydrofracking poses a threat to local wildlife where the water it needs for survival may be contaminated by fracking fluids. Also animal and bird migratory patterns may be altered or blocked due to new hydrofracking sites. Fracking also uses about 6-8 million more gallons of water than conventional mining, so more water that is suitable for consumption or wildlife use is being polluted with fracking fluids. The documentary Gasland, by Josh Fox, explores both health and environmental concerns that result from hydrofracking, and it presents the information in a way that is both helpful and accessible, making it easy for the audience to understand.

There is much controversy over this issue, especially in the states of New York in Pennsylvania. In West Virginia, where hydrofracking has been started, many residents are upset that their state is being mined by this destructive means and they are concerned about the future and beauty of their state in the next 10 years when more and more hydrofracking wells are proposed to be set up. If you don’t know much about hydrofracking, it is definitely worth finding out more. The information you find may just surprise and shock you.

-Aimee Morrison

Biodiversity Event at Stonehill

02.08.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

The Eco-Reps are putting on a program called Biodiversity at Stonehill. A student of ours who interned last semester at the Center for New England Wildlife has brought us together and allowed us to put on an event showcasing some of their animals and to learn about these animals and how the Center for New England Wildlife runs their operation in the care taking of these and other animals.

Animals that will be at the event:
– Hawk (who doesn’t want to get their picture taken with a Hawk! New Facebook profile picture anyone!?)
– Snake (just think of it as a larger earth worm!)
– Goat ( come on, a goat in the science center! Let’s go!)
– Tortoise (possible race with the goat!)

When: February 17, 2012 3:00 pm

Where: Science Center (1st floor lab) Look for posters for finalized details

Donations are most definitely helpful! Donations will go to the Center for New England Wildlife for further assistance and overall maintenance of this incredible program

Eco-Reps Spring 2012

02.08.2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

Hey everyone,
It’s 5:10 am and I am up doing some work before classes start and I decided to let everyone know how excited we (Megan, Professor Mooney and Myself) are about this upcoming semester. To begin I wanted to introduce our new Spring 2012 Stonehill Eco-Reps. First off we have the ever incredible Professor Susan Mooney who never ceases to amaze us with her great words of guidance and wisdom and unbelievable spunk and energy, even if it was 30 degrees in the everglades with Hurricane Irene coming literally into our tents at 4 am! Next we have the lovely Ms. Megan Keane who will be helping me out this semester. She loves her business but science is where her heart truly belongs… even if you are going to Grad school for Business… Next off we have the girl from Revere, which by the way no one would ever know where it is without that Jack-Chop Youtube video…Sara Boukdad!!!Coming up next is the ever incredibly quiet Danielle, quite as a mouse, Garceau!!! And who could forget the always smiling, most go with the flow personality…Tori Gray!!! She loves her SEA and Eco-Rep programs almost as much as she loves her dove dark chocolates and her heart shaped Reese’s Peanut Butter cups… Jessica Lantos!!! And last but most certainly not least, the girl who can school you on the basketball courts of Lowell, Mass and then school you in… ya… school… I got nothing! I’ll work on something witty to say, don’t worry!

Well here they are, our new Spring 2012 Eco-Reps for Stonehill and we are so amped up for this semester and can’t wait to see what this energetic and highly intelligent group of individuals bring to the Sustainability on Stonehill’s Campus!

Here is a preview of just some of the events and activities that they have come up with an plan to organize
– Biodiversity at Stonehill (hint: includes live Hawks, Turtles, Snakes and a goat…) oh ya, did i say alive, ya.. a live hawk in the science center! Plus, who wouldn’t want to see a goat go the bathroom on those shiny new tiles or perhaps in the office of one of your science professors that woke up on the wrong side of the bed and decided to take it out on you that day. Only suggestions, I’m not liable to where that goat goes, I’ll just turn the other cheek!

– Renewable Energy such as solar and wind usage (Seniors…potential graduation gift idea…come on I know you like the idea! While outside tanning around, no more having to get up and spray yourself to cool off, just tan near the wind turbine for ultimate fan effect!

-Presentation of the Eco-Rep’s past and future work at the Forum for Collaboration

-Peer Education and Awareness events on campus (Possible merit point program, who doesn’t need an extra merit point, I mean come on! I heard those prime rooms in every building go fast, and without an extra merit point… you might be stuck living next to the rowdy football teams dorm rooms! Who wants to try and sleep, never mind breathe that smell in!!! ) We will collaborate with other environmental and sustainability clubs on campus and share our ideas and feed off of each other for more creative way of doing things.

-Water Filter awareness (one reusable water bottle per person save hundreds of $ by investing in a $10 Nalgene water bottle that even looks cool! P.S, I found one at the bookstore that is all camo…What guy doesn’t want to look like a G.I Joe everyday of the week! And for the ladies, find a water bottle that matches your outfit; see if luis vitton, Gucci or Chanele has some designer water bottles that match your purse! I know you’re impressed I knew those names… I have an older sister! Come on though, we are all college students here, we have no money to be buying three or four bottles of water out of the vending machine per day! Think about the math…buy 3 vending machine water bottles a day for $1.50 each. That’s 3 times a day x $1.50 per water = $4.50 a day! Now say you realistically only buy water everyday 5 times a week, that’s $4.50 a day x 5 times a week = $22.50 a week! and to put things really into perspective, lets say we spend about 41 weeks total at school x spending $22.50 a week on water… = $922.50 a year just on bottle of water a year at Stonehill! So if someone (cough cough most people cough) continued on this cycle, on top of all the other fees, i would love to be a fly on the wall of your house when your parents asked you how you spent $3,690 on BOTTLED WATER in four years of college. I’m not finance major but if my kid ever told me that I would either ask him what he learned in college and pray his major wasn’t business! Or I would sue the school for not teaching my kid any common sense! And lastly, if money is no issue for you… which for me, that statement is just full of oxymoron’s and makes just about as much sense spend $3,690 on bottled water in college, take a look at this fun fact of just the waste product of the plastic bottle when you are done drinking it in literally two minutes if your really thirsty… In 2009 the US threw out enough plastic water bottles to stretch around the earth 190 times!!!! I have nothing else to say but if you haven’t figured out this equation yet, I hope that your not ever going to be in a position to manage the governments money!

-Science Center Roof Garden- Teamed up with Professor Mooney’s Food Justice Class, we have plans of building a “plant in anything, anywhere, with anything” Urban Garden to produce healthy food on top of the Science Center!!!! (who doesn’t think seeing a tomato plant growing out of a worn down Nike Air Jordan basketball sneaker, with chopped up rubber sole as soil cool!?!?) I’m going to do that in my dorm room just because it would definitely be a discussion piece at my next get-together!!!
– ZipCar Awareness (You know those two little cars that have not moved out of their reserved parking space, right next to my favorite building on campus, the cafe! Ya those cars! Hey freshman, tired of waiting around hours for the shuttle just to go to the mall, movies, grocery store? Or walking in the cold to get laundry detergent at CVS? Or always having to get delivery from the same place?… O.K O.K delivery isn’t that bad… but with the ZipCar you could go out to eat with your friends, or discover a cool new place to go or order food from!) You will be able to sign up for the program and act like an upper class men with your shiny new PRIUS!!! If you don’t get looks in one of those cars… they must need glasses! And plus you can point and laugh at their gas bills while you’re in your Prius saving hundreds of dollars on gas with a brand new coach wristlet and luis vitton designer water bottle you bought with the savings from not having to pay an arm and a leg for gas these days.
– Bike Share Program, (maybe if you’re not comfortable driving around in car, or “your alarm turned off by itself and your late for class…again” and you need to get across campus as fast as possible, take your bike and fly by the professors before they even notice you were late! You’ll save money, save emissions, get some exercise and avoid that daunting look the professor give you when you walk in late in front of the entire class who are just sitting there laughing and giggling… It’s never happened to me, but I’ve heard rumors of that…before…not me though!… moving on

SSAEE- (keep trying to figure out what that means… or just read on) How about the Eco-Rep program teams up with other Sustainability and Environmental Clubs and creates a merit point/extra credit program on making Stonehill more aware and educated and how to save money and resources while living sustainably! We might even bring simple algebra lessons and give out private tutoring lessons for the students still unable to figure out the water filtration system…. We could call it STONEHILL’S SWEET AWESOME EXTREME EXCITEMENT!!! or just call it Stonehill’s Sustainable Awareness and Education Event… or whatever. I personally prefer the first one… but that’s just me…

I hope you all got a lot out of this. I sure did in the sense that my humor is only funny to me… but all kidding aside, I’m really looking forward to working and learning with the Eco-Reps and I am anxious to see what they have in store for Stonehill community.

12.13.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

 

It’s the Most Sustainable Time of the Year

 

Christmas has become a holiday filled with consumption and wasteful practices. But, we can make small, simple changes to help us conserve energy and waste less resources. Here are some tips for having a green Christmas this year.

Christmas Lighting

Instead of using incandescent lighting on your Christmas tree or to decorate your house with, try LED lights. LED lights can use up to 95% less energy than the more conventional, incandescent bulbs. LED lights may cost a bit more, but they have been proven to burn for 2,000 more hours. Another tip for saving on your Christmas lighting bills is to turn off your Christmas tree lights when you go to bed and when you are not in the room.

Ornaments

Do you really need to buy more ornaments this Christmas? If you do not already have ornaments to decorate your Christmas tree with, try finding items around the house to hang from the tree. Another option is to get crafty and make your own ornaments! If you feel that you must buy ornaments, buy ones made out of recycled materials. Some companies use old metal scraps to create holiday ornaments.

Entertaining

Many of us will be entertaining friends and family over the holidays. Instead of sending out paper invitations to your party, send e-vites to save on paper. Try to serve food that is in season and locally grown. This option is more environmentally friendly and will cut down on costs. Also, use real tableware, as opposed to paper plates, cups, and silverware.

 

Sources:

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1568489,00.html

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08330/930457-51.stm

http://eartheasy.com/give_sustainchristmas.htm

 

Deck the Halls…With Sustainability

12.13.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas is a great time to express your own creativity and style. There are so many different decorations you can get in stores, but there are even more that you can make yourself. Making your own Christmas decorations can be fun and it is a great opportunity to add your own creative flare to the Christmas season. Not only is making Christmas decorations a great stress reliever, but it is also a great way for you to give a gift to the environment by using recycled materials or odds and ends around your house instead of going out and buying the latest decorations in stores.

For starters, you can use real  food for decorations such as popcorn strings instead of tinsel to decorate your Christmas tree. You can also make decorations out of gingerbread cookies and pinecones that you can find in your backyard. You can also take evergreen branches from your backyard to make your own homemade wreath, complete with nice red berries or other colorful fruit that you can attach to it!

You can also decorate your tree with homemade ornaments and you can really get creative by making your own picture frame ornaments, or painting eggshells, or even decorating a tennis ball to look like a real Christmas ornament. By making your own decorations, you can really help the environment because you are not contributing to the CO2 emissions from transporting commercial ornaments, you are recycling materials so less waste is produced, and you can compost the natural decorations you use from year to year. Even if a fraction of your ornaments and decorations are environmentally friendly you are helping to make a more sustainable holiday culture.

For more ideas of how to make sustainable Christmas decorations you can visit this website:

http://ecobites.com/headline-news-archive/635-diy-eco-friendly-christmas-decorations

They have a TON of great ideas and you can really get creative with it!

Have fun decorating and Happy Holidays!

-Aimee Morrison

 

I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas

12.13.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

Stressed about what to get your loved ones this Christmas? Don’t fret! Buy your friends and family eco-friendly gifts this year, they’re fun, practical, and good for the enviornment!

Gifts made of cotton, silk, hemp, or wood: all of these materials are natural and renewable, and your loved ones are sure to enjoy their durability!

Gifts bought from local vendors: when you buy from local vendors, you eliminate the carbon emissions that come from the trasportation of far-away goods, not to mention you support your own community! Plus, a meaningful home town gift is always sure to warm your loved one’s heart.

Gifts made at home: Nothing is more precious and heartfelt than a homemade gift. Your loved ones will feel special and so will the enviornment! By using the materials you already have at home, you will prevent unecessary waste of unrenewable materials.

Still don’t know what to get for your friends and family?! Why not try some of these fun sustainable gifts!

Customizable Organic Cotton Bag: Give your loved one a beautiful organic cotton bag, with your choice of natural scenery. (http://www.ecoartproductions.com/)

 For more fun gift ideas, visit : http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/green-christmas.html and http://www.greenamerica.org/guides/holidaygifts/index.cfm

-Danielle Garceau

Biodiversity (Merit point)

12.06.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized


 Preserving New England’s Biodiversity Merit Point Program
 
When?         Wednesday, December 7th at 7:00p.m. 
Where?        Science Center Room 124 (Evolution Lab) 
What?           The Center for New England Wildlife will be present to educate students, faculty and staff about the importance of preserving biodiversity through discussion and hands on interaction. 
** Hold and take a picture with your favorite animal for a $5 donation to support the NE Wildlife Center!
 
 
Sponsored by: Stonehill College Eco Reps
Advisor: Professor Susan Mooney

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

12.03.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

 

Now that the holiday season is well underway, beautiful evergreen trees are being cut from tree farms all over the United States so that we can place the ultimate Christmas decoration, the Christmas Tree, in our homes for anytime from 1-4 weeks. Although Christmas trees are wonderful decorations and really help the Christmas spirit to come alive for each and every one of us, have you ever thought of the harmful environmental impacts that having a Christmas tree in your home every year can have? Did you know that 25-30 million live Christmas trees are sold in the United States every year! That’s a lot of dead trees to clean up before New Year’s!  Live, and therefore, renewable and recyclable Christmas trees are better to use as a decoration than artificial trees due to the amount of nonbiodegradable plastic and toxic metals contained in fake trees, but it is important to remember how much land must be used for tree farms each year so that we can enjoy a dead tree in our home for 3 weeks.

Now I am definitely not saying to get rid of Christmas trees! I am one of the first people to say that nothing can beat that fresh pine scent that permeates my home in days before Christmas, but maybe, just maybe, there is an alternative in which everyone wins. Now, there are tree programs in which you can rent a live Christmas tree for your home to have during the Holiday Season, and when the holidays are over, the same program picks up your tree and will plant it somewhere in the following year, or it will be rented out until it becomes too large and then it will be planted somewhere else! These trees are delivered to your home potted, with their roots intact, and they serve as a living air freshener in your home! This program just may be the best of both worlds and you can still decorate your Christmas tree any way you like, minus the tinsel! So next Christmas, or this year if you are still looking, maybe you can look into renting a holiday tree and keeping the spirit of Christmas alive…literally!

For more facts about Christmas trees and to read more about renting a Christmas tree visit:

http://www.christmastree.org/facts.cfm

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/a-truly-eco-friendly-christmas-tree.html?page=2

Happy Decorating!!!

 -Aimee Morrison

All I Want for Christmas is Sustainability

11.30.2011 · Posted in Uncategorized

According to the National Retail Foundation, the average American spent $515.94 on gifts for the 2011 holiday season. Did you know that there are many sustainable shopping techniques that can help to reduce costs and negative environmental impacts? As the holiday shopping buzz approaches, here are some eco-friendly Christmas shopping tips to keep in mind:

Services and Experiences versus Goods– Gifts of service and experience can bring fun and lasting memories to the recipient and require little to no use of natural resources. Some examples include tickets to a play/musical, tickets to a sporting event, gift certificates for spas and massages, memberships to local organizations, and even homemade coupons for chores such as lawn care and dog walking.

 Consider buying antiques and collectibles– Value and appeal doesn’t always mean “new and shiny.” Antiques and collectibles are affordable and can have the appeal of history and sentimental value.

Giving found objects and homemade items– Found objects such as seashells can be used to tell a story and can offer the gift of rediscovery to recipient. Homemade gifts can allow you to express your creativity and are a very heartfelt and thoughtful present. If the homemade gift is an edible item, than it will be personal, easy on the environment, and not likely to go to waste.

“Old jewelry and “used” gifts– Passing on “old” jewelry can allow you to give a timeless item without the cost to the environment. Previously used gold looks just as good as new gold, and jewelers can even redesign and resize certain pieces. Many used gifts can be appropriate and environmentally friendly. Consider items such as vintage clothing, CDs and books, toys, and electronics. If you are uneasy about giving a used gift you could write a note on the gift card that says “We know how much you love nature…this gift comes to you at no expense to the environment.”

For more tips, check out the following website

 http://eartheasy.com/give_sustainchristmas.htm

Have a green Christmas!

-Andrea Maroun