Three ways YOU and YOUR FAMILY could be sustainable this Thanksgiving!

11.11.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

Hey, Thanksgiving break is almost here. Here are three quick and simple tips for a sustainable and fun Thanksgiving!

  1. Try something organic!
  • Eating organic is one way to be sustainable and environmental friendly. It would reduce the environmental impact.
  1. Go to a local farm!
  1. Have fun and try some sustainable crafts!
  • Crafts are always a time for bonding and having fun. Instead, of buying Thanksgiving decorations. Have some time with your family by making recycled projects! It will be time well spent with your family and a great help to the environment. The link below is for some crafts you can try!
  • http://www.pinterest.com/reuseitstore/sustainable-thanksgiving/

HAVE A GOBBLE-TASTIC THANKSGIVING!

  • Natisha Moore

Water Conservation

11.06.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

NMCSENV30

Ever since I attended the showing of the documentary “The Last at the Oasis” I have been consistently thinking about the amount of water humans waste daily. Although the “Stop the Drop” campaign last year resulted in a decrease of water use amongst the participating dorm halls, I think it’s necessary that people are constantly thinking about the issue of our depleting water sources. Since we have primarily been focusing on the project regarding tracking the water use per dorm hall, I began doing research on the importance of conserving water. In fact, only 1% of the water in the world is available for the consumption of humans. Humans need to be more aware of this issue in order for us to thrive as a civilization. Currently, our supply of fresh water is practically non-existent. As years continue to pass, the need for water is increasing as the resources available continue to decline. Over the next two decades, it is expected that there will be a 40% increase in the demand for water worldwide. This increase may be due to the growing population, agricultural needs, and industrial use of water along with the water necessary for production of electricity. It has been determined that clean water is not available to 1 out of 5 people on the earth. The problem is that water is being used faster than it can be replenished. Eventually humans will have to resort to other means of obtaining fresh water such as the process of desalination which requires a great deal of energy powered by burning fossil fuels which leads to even greater environmental impacts.

clorox-last-drop

As members of the planet, it is our role and responsibility to take an active role in conserving water.

 

Here are just some ways that you can help to decrease the amount of water consumption:

  • Having more efficient appliances/toilets
  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn off the faucet when you are brushing your teeth
  • Check faucets and pipes for leaks
  • Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads
  • When washing the dishes by hand, do not leave the water running for rinsing
  • Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks

 

To learn more visit:

http://www.benefits-of-recycling.com/importanceofconservationofwater/

http://eartheasy.com/live_water_saving.htm

Why Aquaponics?

10.27.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

Aquaponics is a way to environmentally produce plants and small aquatic animals. They live in a symbiotic environment where the nutrients from the fish help the plants to grow and vise verse. There are many different varieties of aquaponic systems that one can create consisting of different types of food, different sizes and complexity.

Normally, in the environment the excretions from the see life can be toxic, but aquaponic systems use the technology of hydroponics to
change this into nitrates and nitrites. The hydroponic system takes in the water and breaks it down with hydrogen-fixing bacteria and then sends it back into the system.
This is an easy, two in one, way to farm. The technique is simpler than plain hydroponics because it is nature instead of involving chemicals and fertilizers. Also, the system uses very little amounts of water, because the water is recycled. The system does not need soil and the plants grow bigger and faster than in-ground grown plants. It is even fully organic. However, it uses a significantly less percent of energy than a normal organic farm would. The system does not need fuel, and only needs electrical energy which can be created environmentally soundly by things such as wind, solar or hydroelectric power.
Additionally, there is less labor involved than regular farming, because the plants only needed to be potted and this can be done while standing because of the height  of the system. The food is even been known to taste better. This is an environmental way to recreate and revolutionize the way farming can be done in a more beneficial and chemical-free way.
-Meghan Jordan
http://stonehillblogs.org/sustainability/wp-admin/post-new.php
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaponics

Sustainability

10.27.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

25 Simple Ways to be Sustainable:
1. Take shorter showers.
2. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth.
3. Wash your laundry in cold water.
4. Use a reusable water bottle.
5. Use a reusable to-go container.
6. Use a reusable mug.
7. Turn off the lights and use natural light (sunlight) when possible.
8. Use a reusable shopping bag.
9. Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use.
10. Buy locally.
11. Use sustainable and renewable resources.
12. Do not litter.
13. Recycle everything you possibly can.
14. Compost.
15. Grow your own garden.
16. Bike and walk instead of driving whenever possible.
17. Print on both sides of the paper.
18. Turn off lights when leaving the room.
19. Plant a tree.
20. Recycle your cell phone and rechargeable batteries.
21. Go paperless with paycheck stubs, bank and insurance statements.
22. Recycle your ink and toner cartridges.
23. Buy in bulk to reduce packaging.
24. Shop at thrift stores.
25. Consider going meatless one day a week. (Meatless Mondays) (more…)

Climate Changes Taking away Homes

10.22.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

People around the world have begun to realize that the world’s climate change is creating a big problem for more species than could be imagined. More and more evidence of the negative affects of this increasing temperature are being found in the North and South poles where ice is melting. The Chukchi Sea near Alaska is home to many species of wildlife, including walruses.

This past September, an estimated 35,000 walruses were seen gathered on a beach. While walruses are social and large gatherings are normal, walruses prefer gathering on ice. In an article published by The New York Times, scientists share that “These massive haul-outs, as they are called, of females and babies have now occurred in six of the last eight summers in Alaska.”

Walruses have easy access to food and protection from predators by climbing up onto nearby icebergs. With all the ice melted in the Chukchi sea, these walruses are forced to crowd onto beaches. This could severely harm the species as they are more vulnerable to predators and may not be able to raise their pups as easily on the beach. The walruses also have to travel farther to get food as they prefer food in deeper water such as clams and snails that dwell on the seabed. Another risk is posed with such large numbers gathered in one area. When walruses are frightened, they may stampede and any young or weak walruses could be trampled. These large gatherings on the beaches and shores of the sea may also disturb other species’ habitats that may live and thrive off of the beach. Feeding and breeding from land is unhealthy for the walrus population because their natural home is on the ice.

Awareness of the world’s climate change needs to continue to be spread. If ice continues to melt at this rate, many species could lose their homes and become endangered. The walruses of the Chukchi sea are just one example of the danger that the rising temperature creates.

-Rachael McCabe

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/02/science/earth/in-alaska-thousands-of-walruses-take-to-land.html?ref=earth&_r=0

 

Climate Change Causes Impact on Various Seasons

10.21.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

After attending the Peoples Climate March in New York City, I have been extremely interested with learning more about the effects of climate change on the planet. I found an article from Science Daily that discussed how climate change alters the ecological impacts of seasons. People seem to assume that highly populated coastal areas will experience the devastation of climate change the most. Although, it is alarming that an increase of the average temperature of the Earth will cause the rising of oceans and flood landscapes those are not the only areas that will become affected. Regions by the coast will become endangered, however, no place is safe from climate change. It has been discovered that places far away from the oceans have the largest change in daily and seasonal temperature variability. Climate change is an issue worldwide and it could affect crops, malaria transmission, insects, and confuse migration patterns of birds. According to George Wang, a postdoctoral fellow from Detlef Weigel’s Department for Molecular Biology at Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, changes in temperature variability across the globe has been ongoing for over 30 years now. The variation in temperature has many negative side effects. For instance, bugs may survive for a longer period in non-tropical regions, which could in turn cause increased crop damage from pest insects along with the spread of disease such as malaria. In addition, not only are insects being affected, plants in temperate regions are also being effected. Temperate region plants are adapted to the temperature of the particular season they are which is how they know when to produce fruits and flowers. Since the temperature has changed dramatically, it is going to become more difficult for plants to behave according to season. This is the reason why some plants may produce flowers either too early or too late. A potential outcome may be that some years certain fruits may never grow. According to a study performed by Wang and Dillon, the areas of the world that have seen the most dramatic effects of climate change are the places in which are the closest to the poles and far away from the oceans. In these areas in particular, the differentiation between summer and winter temperatures has decreased. This article has posed issues that the human population should care about. People need to realize that climate change is real whether they believe it or not because we are already experiencing detrimental effects and they will continue to worsen if nothing is being done.

-Cassandra Chaves

 

Source of Article:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141009100928.htm

Improving Cities for the Environment

10.21.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

Cities can be one of the most damaging factors to the environment. With a few changes to the way we insulate the buildings, use transportation, and design the city can easily reduce our carbon footprint.

Some simple projects that could cut down the carbon footprint of a building would be painting the roofs of buildings white instead of black. White reflects sunlight which would cool the building because it would absorb less sunlight that would convert into heat energy, so buildings that are in cities closer to the equator would benefit from this. Along with the white roofs, creating green space on roofs would also insulate buildings. The better insulation would mean that there would be less spending on heating and cooling of the building, which would also mean less of a carbon footprint. The plants would also help counter effect the CO2 released by the building by taking in the CO2 and releasing oxygen instead. This saves 15-45% on energy consumption. The green roofs also collect the runoff that is created from rain, and reduces runoff by 50-60%.

Another improvement that could be made for a city would be by putting parking garages under the city instead of having huge parking complexes in the middle of the city. The freed up space that would be left over from the parking garages could then be used for green space. If the newly freed up space became green space this would also then decrease the greenhouse gas effect for the city. The cement that could be used for the garage would attract more sunlight to that area, but since it would be underground the sunlight would not be as absorbed as it would if it was above ground.

Building new skyscrapers in cities creates 136 million tons of waste in America per year. Instead of building new structures like buildings in a city, use buildings that are unoccupied first before building more. This would cut down the amount of CO2 being used to create a new building. Also, the cut down of buildings would also allow for yet again more green space within a city.

Finally, public transportation should be fixed in each city. Public transportation cuts down on the amount of CO2 produced due to people using the public transportation like buses instead of their own vehicles. These buses should however become more ecofriendly by using other fuel like biodiesel instead of just using gas.

-Emily Donahue

Source

http://www.techeblog.com/index.php/tech-gadget/10-green-ways-to-make-our-cities-more-eco-friendly

Save The White Rhinos or Say Goodbye

10.21.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

In 2009 there were eight Northern White Rhinoceros existing in the world. Leading up to this time the species had suffered greatly from human actions, i.e. poaching, as well as environmental changes. “The northern white rhinoceros is a ‘victim of evolution,’ Lewis added—it was a remnant population cut off from the southern white rhinoceros by the Great Rift Valley and the dense forests of Central Africa” (Dell’Amore).

84852_990x742-cb1413815397Since this point the population has continued to decrease. Most recently a 34 year old male rhino died at the Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Suni, as the rhino was called, is known to have not been killer by poachers as he had been monitored around the clock. However, his death is alarming as the species typically lives to be 40 or 50 years old. Moreover, Suni was one of two males left among the species.

106966381_84851_990x742

Suni (2010) at the Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Currently, there are only one male and five female Northern White Rhinoceros in existence. Should the species go extinct there will be serious implications on the ecosystems where they had lived. “It’s not just another charismatic animal—it’s also a species that has a very clear ecological role, and we need to be very worried that we have lost that” (Grimm). Additionally, the Rhinos play an important role in keeping the grasslands in order. The animals eat a large amount of savanna plants that other species do not indulge in.

-Caitlin Maloney

Source:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141020-rhinoceros-death-suni-kenya-science-world-endangered-animals/

Antiobiotics and Fish

10.21.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

This article was about how human resistance to antiobiotics is beginning to pose a major threat to society. Researchers at the Arizona State University Biodesign Institute have found traces of antiobiotics in the six most eaten sea creatures in the world. These are shrimp, catfish, salmon, tilapia, and swai.

“On September 18, President Obama proposed the first governmental steps to address the problem, establishing a task force to be co-chaired by the secretaries of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture.” However, the main complaint is that the new measures being taken ignore the main consumers of antibiotics, animals including fish farmed for human consumption. The animals we are consuming contain the antibiotics we need to fight off certain diseases and bacterias however, because they are coming into our systems in such small amounts we are becoming immune to them. Dr. Rolf Halden says that if we want to avoid the threat of living in a post-antiobiotic world then we need to revise current practices in the use of animal husbandry and antiobiotcs. His new study centers on the persistance of antiobiotics in farm raised aquaculture, antiobiotics that have yet to been monitored extensively. This research area is largely unexplored.

“Aquaculture has undergone rapid growth to meet the burgeoning global demand, nearly tripling over the past 20 years to an estimated 83 million metric tons in 2013. The large increase has led to widespread antibiotic use, APPLIED both to prevent and treat pathogens known to infect fish. The broad effects on health and the environment associated with these practices remain speculative.Several natural mechanisms exist to help pathogenic microbes evade immune responses or develop drug resistance over time. The overuse of antibiotics, whether for human ingestion in hospitals or for agricultural or aquacultural use, can seriously exacerbate this problem, enriching microbes that bear particular genetic mutations, rendering them antibiotic resistant. In a biological arms race, antibiotics applied to combat disease run the risk of producing multi-drug resistant organisms that are increasingly difficult to kill.”

The article states that antiobiotics can also affect the animals themselves by producing alterations in how genes are turned on or off and physiological anomalies. Antiobiotics in fish need to be properly monitored because many antiobiotics in them are the same used in human medicine.

Right now, current aquaculture projects are threatening the equilibrium of the oceans ecosystem.

“The current study offers a warning that antibiotics present at levels well below regulatory limits can still promote the development of drug-resistant microorganisms. The dramatic increase in resistant and multi-drug resistant bacterial strains documented over the past three decades indicates that much more thorough monitoring of seafood supplies is needed and a better scientific understanding of the nexus of global aquaculture, antibiotic use, drug resistance emergence, and regulatory measures.”

 

Source:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141020134908.htm

-Hannah Atoynatan

Is fur less damaging to the environment than an artificially-created product?

10.21.2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

Kristina McAvoy

Contrary to what many people might think, it’s far more damaging to the enviornment to create a fur garment than an artificial product. A study done at the Unicersity of Michigan showed it takes 20 times more energy to make a fur garment than a fake one. Even more, the chemicals to treat the fur from rotting are highly dangerous to the water supply. In fact, the US center of Disease Control and Prevention discovered that the number of residents near a Kentucky tannery who developed leukemia was 5 times the national average. In addition more than half of testicular cancer victimes were tannery employees according to a study conducted by the New York State Department of Health.

In addition to harming the people around the area, making fur products harm non-target animals as well. Fur companies set up traps to capture certain animals to skin for their pelt but far too often are non target animals trapped instead. An average of three non-target animals are trapped and thrown away for every traget animal that is caught many of which are endangered species. A study conducted by the University of Minnesota Raptor and Research Rehabilitation program determined that 21% of Bald Eagle admissions involved leghold trap related injuries, and 64% of these admissions were fatal. You can check out the website Bancrueltraps.org to see a list of news reposts of non-target animals injured or killed in traps.

What can you do to help?

  1. Know the difference between real and fake. (tags and labels have been proven by the RSPCA to be deceptive)
  • feel the fur. Real fur is soft and fine where fake is more coarse.
  • real fur has leather backing and is harder than fake backing.
  • Real fur, when you blow on it, separates into layers of soft wooly fur and longer hairs stick out. Fake is one layer of nearly identical hairs

Alternative options:

Fur is no longer the warmest thing available. There are fabrics such as Gore-Tex and Polyprpylene that are known for their ability to keep you warm in arctic conditions. Also, if you want the look of real fur without the cruelty and harm to the enviornment consider faux fur options.

More information can be found on http://liberationbc.org/issues/fur#environment CAUTION VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED. the website features shocking images of how real fur pelts are made.