Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sustainable Dining - Seafood

I went to a really great restaurant last night in Georgetown called Hook DC. We went for a friend's birthday party. It was not only a good time with friends, but the food was incredibly delicious and they teach you a little about sustainable fishing practices as they describe their menu.

For dinner I had the Bluefish over some risotto with tomato sauce, and pesto on the side. I thought the pesto would be too overbearing, but it really complemented the taste of the fish!

The Bluefish are found in the Mid and South Atlantic waters. 40% are caught using gillnets. There isn't an abundance of these fish, but they are not being over-fished, like the Salmon, so the population is pretty stable.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Towns Committing To "Going Green"

Seeing news like this really makes my day.

I just downloaded Google Earth and one of my big projects I want to do is log on there all of the towns that are committed to environmental planning.
If anyone knows of a site already, let me know so I won't try to recreate it! :)

More Towns Committing To "Going Green"
Cherry Hill, N.J. One Of The Communities That Makes Environmental Planning A Priority

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Time to Run!

It's time enjoy the trail system!
Here are some runs I've been doing in the DC, Northern VA area. It's a great way to see your town and to see why it's important to stop pollution and waste.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Thrifty Green

Going Green is also thrifty

Here are some cost savings I have each month, now that I no longer by these items.
I also have fewer containers to throw away or recycle by switching to one good all purpose cleaner and getting bar soaps and shampoos.

Ajax 2.49
Separate wood cleaner 5.51
Separate Window cleaner 9.99
Lotions 10
Fingernail polish 4
Mascara 15
Nail polish remover 6.75
Sunless tanning lotion 9.49
Air freshner 6
Shower gels 8 (Now using bar soap from Kiss my Face)and Pangea Organics
Bleach 4.5
Separate stain remover 6
Separate toilet bowl cleaner 4.5
Separate shower cleaner 10
Total $102.23

What did I do with the money? I sent that money to the Nature Conservancy.
What else can I stop buying?

Friday, April 4, 2008

U.S. Armed Forces go eco-friendly

U. S. Armed Forces go eco-friendly

The Armed Forces are going green.

The Army and Air Force are developing technology to turn trash into gas — and therefore cash — for the Department of Defense, the largest consumer of energy in the United States.


According to Pentagon figures, the Defense Department spent $13.6 billion for energy in 2006. It uses 340,000 barrels of oil a day, or 1.5 percent of the total energy consumed in the U.S.


Pentagon officials consider that dependency on oil — much of it produced abroad — not only a huge expense, but a national security risk as well.


The Armed Forces use 1.2 million barrels of oil each month in Iraq alone, and former CIA director James Woolsey, an energy adviser to the Pentagon, has estimated that it costs the U.S. $100 for every gallon, when the cost of maintaining supply lines and security is taken into account.


In December 2005, then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld directed his department to “do all it can” to save energy. He set up a task force headed by his deputy, Gordon England, and former Defense and Energy Secretary James Schlesinger.


The Air Force took the lead, winning an Environmental Protection Agency “Green Power” award in 2006 as one of the top 25 purchasers of green power.


It has since won four more energy awards, and is now the leading purchaser and user of wind energy in the United States.


Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada is powered by the largest solar-power array in the Americas — saving the government an estimated $1 million a year.


Dyess, Minot, and Fairchild Air Force bases purchase 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources of energy.


Airmen and their families have been using biomass fuel at Hill Air Force Base in Utah since 2004, thanks to a 1.3 megawatt landfill gas project. In other words, they are creating gas from the air base’s trash.


But saving money isn't the only reason for going green. Maj. Gen. Richard Zilmer noted that 70 percent of U.S. military vehicles traveling on roads in Iraq's volatile Anbar province were oil tankers providing fuel for the troops, easy targets for roadside bombs. He requested that the Pentagon send generators that could convert trash into fuel to generate electricity, so that fewer oil trucks would be on the road.


Defense Life Sciences, based in McLean, Va., was given a contract to come up with a solution. It teamed with a group of researchers at Purdue University and developed two 4-ton “tactical bio-refineries” that they are preparing to send to Iraq next month. Each can run for 20 hours on a ton of trash — enough electricity to power a small village.


Organic garbage is fed into a reactor, in which it is fermented into ethanol. Then plastic, cardboard and other paper items are burned to create propane or methane. These elements are then combusted in a modified diesel engine to power a 60 kilowatt generator.


The prototype costs $1 million and is now ready to be tested in a war zone.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Virginia's pollution - how is it measuring up?

Air Quality
Virginia is holding levels down, but has not reduced total emissions. While emissions per unit of economic activity in the state continue to fall for many pollutants, strong eco growth at the same time potentially erodes any gains in air quality that tighter emission controls might achieve.

Virginia is within the federal limits on air quality for all pollutants except for ozone in Northern Virginia. Starting in 1998, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began using a more stringent standard for ozone performance. Since that time, Virginia has significantly reduced the number of days when the ozone standard was exceeded, from 235 days per year on average between 1997 and 1999 to an average 51.7 days between 2005 and 2007. Northern Virginia, with an average of 38.7 days exceeding the ozone standard between 2005 and 2007, had the poorest air quality. In 2006, Virginia had 56 days where the air quality was considered unhealthy for people with asthma and lung disease, a part of the population that is most sensitive to changes in air quality.

Water Quality

The Chesapeake Bay is a particularly important water resource for the state. While Virginia has agreed to reduce its contribution to the nitrogen and phosphorous loads in the bay by substantial amounts by 2010, progress toward this goal has been slow. The pace of the cleanup should, however, improve as point source regulations are fully implemented, non-point source funding increases, and targeting of best management practices expands.

Likewise, the number of impaired waterways throughout the Commonwealth that have been restored is slowly increasing. Since some waterways have impairments not under state control, improvements in these waterways may be measured as incremental improvements rather than as a shift from impaired status to unimpaired or restored status.

Superfund sites

Wiki How

This is a cool site!

Wiki How

National Geographic - Global Warming Fast Facts

Global Warming Fast Facts
National Geographic News
Updated June 14, 2007

Global warming, or climate change, is a subject that shows no sign of cooling down.

Here's the lowdown on why it's happening, what's causing it, and how it might change the planet.

Is It Happening?

Yes. Earth is already showing many signs of worldwide climate change.

• Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

• The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850.

• The Arctic is feeling the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004.

• Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss.

• Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting—for example, Montana's Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910. In the Northern Hemisphere, thaws also come a week earlier in spring and freezes begin a week later.

• Coral reefs, which are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature, suffered the worst bleaching—or die-off in response to stress—ever recorded in 1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent. Experts expect these sorts of events to increase in frequency and intensity in the next 50 years as sea temperatures rise.

• An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts.

Are Humans Causing It?

• "Very likely," the IPCC said in a February 2007 report.

The report, based on the work of some 2,500 scientists in more than 130 countries, concluded that humans have caused all or most of the current planetary warming. Human-caused global warming is often called anthropogenic climate change.

• Industrialization, deforestation, and pollution have greatly increased atmospheric concentrations of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, all greenhouse gases that help trap heat near Earth's surface. (See an interactive feature on how global warming works.)

• Humans are pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere much faster than plants and oceans can absorb it.

• These gases persist in the atmosphere for years, meaning that even if such emissions were eliminated today, it would not immediately stop global warming.

• Some experts point out that natural cycles in Earth's orbit can alter the planet's exposure to sunlight, which may explain the current trend. Earth has indeed experienced warming and cooling cycles roughly every hundred thousand years due to these orbital shifts, but such changes have occurred over the span of several centuries. Today's changes have taken place over the past hundred years or less.

• Other recent research has suggested that the effects of variations in the sun's output are "negligible" as a factor in warming, but other, more complicated solar mechanisms could possibly play a role.

What's Going to Happen?

A follow-up report by the IPCC released in April 2007 warned that global warming could lead to large-scale food and water shortages and have catastrophic effects on wildlife.

• Sea level could rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 to 59 centimeters) by century's end, the IPCC's February 2007 report projects. Rises of just 4 inches (10 centimeters) could flood many South Seas islands and swamp large parts of Southeast Asia.

• Some hundred million people live within 3 feet (1 meter) of mean sea level, and much of the world's population is concentrated in vulnerable coastal cities. In the U.S., Louisiana and Florida are especially at risk.

• Glaciers around the world could melt, causing sea levels to rise while creating water shortages in regions dependent on runoff for fresh water.

• Strong hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and other natural disasters may become commonplace in many parts of the world. The growth of deserts may also cause food shortages in many places.

• More than a million species face extinction from disappearing habitat, changing ecosystems, and acidifying oceans.

• The ocean's circulation system, known as the ocean conveyor belt, could be permanently altered, causing a mini-ice age in Western Europe and other rapid changes.

• At some point in the future, warming could become uncontrollable by creating a so-called positive feedback effect. Rising temperatures could release additional greenhouse gases by unlocking methane in permafrost and undersea deposits, freeing carbon trapped in sea ice, and causing increased evaporation of water.

Here is another good link with graphs from SDSU:

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