22 October 2007

results of "lights out sf."

see the visual effect created by lights out sf saturday, october 20th between 8.00-9.00p.

thank you to all that participated.

(order of before/after pictures: bay bridge, golden gate bridge, coit tower, transamerica building, palace of fine arts, san francisco city hall)

18 October 2007

do your part: lights out san francisco.

if you live in the san francisco area, join me and the rest of the city in a citywide act toward environmental awareness and energy conservation.

lights out san francisco estimates that turning your nonessential household light off for one hour on a regular saturday night from 8.00-9.00p--peak times for lights to be left on--we can save about 15 percent of the average amount of energy that would have been spent.

that's just for one hour. imagine what could happen if we were more aware of lighting needs and turned them off when they weren't being used.

in that one hour change your lightbulb(s) to compact fluorescent lightbulbs (cfl).

15 October 2007

blog action day.

today is blog action day.

bloggers everywhere are making their voices heard (or the sound of clicking keyboard strokes) on the hot topic of our day--the environment.

we're blogging as a critical mass to raise the awareness and urgency of the situation. if we all participate, we can make a difference.

so what are you doing to lessen your carbon footprint? what are you doing to save your planet? what are you doing to do your part in the fight of our lives--saving our mother earth? what's your action plan?

take a stand. be an activist.

start refusing plastic bags at the grocery store.

limit your use of paper and plastic products.

turn the lights off when nobody's home.



leave your car parked--take public transportation.

all it takes is one person. that person is you.

note: this blog is dedicated 100% to the overwhelming issue of global warming. browse through the other entries for tips on how you can lessen your carbon footprint with simple and easy measures.

12 October 2007

congratulations al gore and the u.n. intergovernmental panel on climate change.

al gore was awarded the nobel peace prize last night alongside the u.n. intergovernmental panel on climate change for their efforts in bringing attention to the global warming issues plaguing the planet.

some quotes and statements from the article:

the nobel committee praised gore for being "one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians."

in the announcement, the committee cited gore and the ipcc "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."

president bill clinton, gore's ex-boss, praised gore saying this award was well-deserved and "he saw this coming before others in public life."

gore said he was "deeply hounoured" and stated "the climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all humanity."

11 October 2007

set your tivo.

if tivo is really your friend, he'll be sure to record the special investigation featured on cnn called planet in peril since it conflicts with gossip girl and grey's anatomy--among other popular shows--the kind you hover around the water cooler at the office discussing.

with the tagline "the story the world can't afford to ignore" heading up the advertisements maybe you could catch one of the two nights it's broadcasting: tuesday, october 23rd or wednesday, october 24th, both at 9p eastern time.

don't miss this.

10 October 2007

don't be an eco-litterbug.

while shoveling my organic walnut oatmeal in my mouth, i filtered through some of my eco-emails that come every morning and came across this one from grist that i like very much. i'm guilty of the occasional eco-littering. read the article and then imagine the effect of spitting your gum out into the bushes has.

Into the Wild: On tossing food waste


Dear Umbra,

I am a college student. I eat a lot on the go. Not fast food or boxed meals, but when I leave my dorm I usually grab an apple, banana, or other fruit/veggie to eat as I walk to my destination. I don't compost, instead I just throw the banana peel or apple core into the bushes. I like the thought that maybe one day my apple core will become an apple, or that my banana peel will help nourish that piece of ground/animals in the area over ending up in a landfill. To me this eco-littering is an opportunity for new life. I know that it takes a long time to biodegrade as a piece of fruit tossed in the bushes, but I think that, on a smaller scale (not all of society throwing their food scraps into our green places), it's not a bad thing. But I've heard that this eco-littering isn't terribly good. I don't really know and I kinda like my fantasy world where it is. Is my eco-littering OK? Should I start to properly compost my food?

Moscow, Idaho


Dearest Brendan,

Many angles to consider here -- or, there's more than one way to peel this apple. Is that the expression? Am I conflating skinning a cat with peel me a grape?

We'll sort through the peelings, but let's start with the end and say: It would be better to properly compost your food.

Partly this has to do with citizenship. What you are doing is just plain old littering, and from a civic standpoint, it's improper. Mind you, I think most people throw food into the bushes one way or another. My mother threw apple cores out the car window into roadside woodlands, I throw plum pits under the apple trees in my back yard. But one is not meant to do it in either frequented public places or in remote locales; other people who encounter your litter may find it repulsive. It may spoil their pleasant bush-side jaunt, they may feel the need to clean up after you, they may be gardeners maintaining the bushes who find your rotten leavings. We vote, and recycle, and drive less, because we believe that one person has an impact. By this logic, one person's litter makes a difference. Not a good difference. There should be all types of activism in the environmental movement, but I don't think fruit rinds send a clear enough message to count as activism.

At an ecological level, discarded fruit leavings are not the cat's meow either. Almost none of the produce you discard will sprout new life. An apple seed or a plum pit might, because these grow in your area, but due to the unpredictable nature of sexual reproduction in domesticated tree fruit, the resultant tree would likely be a weird, unrecognizable, and less tasty fruit. If you live in a human-dominated landscape, it will be torn up. Any animals that eat the fruit will be scavengers who have other food sources, because no animal could build a life on waiting for banana peels. In a worst-case scenario, an innocent animal would eat your garbage and suffer indigestion or death. (I'm kind of making the death part up, but it doesn't seem utterly out of the question.)

Those are some of the reasons why we should stop throwing our produce bits about. True, one alternative is to throw them in the garbage, where they will be interred for centuries. But the other alternative, composting them, fulfills almost all the aspects of your fantasy world. If you were to compost your pits and peels, they would transform themselves into nourishing plant nutrients. Composted material isn't just more aesthetically pleasing than rotting banana peels, it has a chemical and structural difference that is beneficial to plants. If you then threw this material under the bushes -- oh, happy bushie day.

Luckily for you, basic information about all sorts of composting is just a click away, on this very website. May your fantasy life simply improve as you change your leftover hummus into humus.


02 October 2007

going green. why?

with the upcoming presidential elections we've seen many of the candidates "go green." some may think the candidates' reasoning is because it's trendy nowadays and the people want answers. others may see it as a legitimate platform of concern and want for change.

what do you think?

why are you going green? is it because you truly believe in the cause and the want for a better tomorrow? are you going green because it's trendy and all your friends are doing it? are you going green because it feels like the right thing to do? are you going green because that's just the way you live? are you going green because you've been doing it since you were a youngin'?

why are you going green?

are you a green voice encouraging those around you to go green? are you a stalemate? do you practice your green ways but keep them to yourself because you're embarrassed others will counter your beliefs?

going green may be the first bandwagon for people to jump on, the first trend for people to follow, that could positively affect everyone on this planet.