Last week I posted an Endangered Species Glossary, discussing what the differences are between an animal that's endangered, threatened, etc. The next question is, how does an animal fit the criteria for being put on the endangered species list?
It's not as easy as I initially thought it would be. It takes careful observation and lots of crunching numbers.
For an animal to be considered critically endangered, the animal must be at least an 80% reduction over the last 10 years (or three generations). For an animal to be considered endangered, the reduction percentage must be at least 50%. For vulnerable, it's 10%.... read more
In September, I pledged to be greener by going paperless. In an effort to kick my paper habit, I downloaded Android apps to manage my shopping lists and balance my checking account (and I used them), I stated a recycling bin for myself and my officemates, I gave a reusable coffee cup to my assistant so she could stop using new paper cups every day, I utilized the Google To-Do list portion of my calendar over sticky notes, and I started a marker board to-do list for my officemates to use. ... read more
As a little kid in a sorta rural area of New Jersey, I loved fireflies. We'd catch 'em in jars, watch them light up, and set them free. I moved to California (where they don't have fireflies) in 1997, and then back to the Northeast in 2004. Since moving back here, I've seen very few fireflies. At first I thought that maybe Massachusetts was too far north to have fireflies, but even when traveling down to New Jersey or New York, I saw few fireflies. I kept wondering why. What happened to all the fireflies?
Today, I stumbled upon a website about the lack of fireflies. It's true, firefly populations are indeed declining. I learned that fireflies did typically live in Massachusetts. (Read about where they live) But why? And what can we do about it?... read more
Apparently I have imbibement on the brain, between my earlier post about wine and this one.
If you're a beer lover trying to lower your carbon footprint, one way you can do so is by supporting your local breweries. I know that Chimay is sooo good, but obviously beer brewed in your locale has a far lower carbon footprint than your favs shipped over from Belgium.
Here is a fantastic resource for finding breweries or learning which beers you see on menus and at the stores are actually brewed in your area: The Brewer's Association National Directory. Some breweries may also be pubs, others might give tours where you can taste beer. (Yum!)... read more
I'm a big fan of making things from home instead of buying them. We've been into canning our own marinara sauce and jam and my husband is a homebrewer. With the whole localvore movement, few things are more local than things you can make yourself. It's nice to know exactly what goes into what you make (no sulfites, insecticides, etc.)
Obviously, it has a much lower carbon footprint than buying something that comes from across the country. Sure, you may love your Napa wines if you live in NYC, but think of how far it has to travel. (Last year, Liz wrote a great post about wine. I learned that living on the East Coast, I'm better of buying European wine than wine from California.)... read more
Last year I wrote about food labels, All Natural vs. Organic. To get an organic label, the USDA needs to certify it, but food labeled Natural or All Natural means very little.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a health advocacy group, contacted Ben & Jerry's saying, "At least 48 out of 53 flavors of Ben & Jerry’s 'All Natural' ice cream and frozen yogurt contain alkalized cocoa, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, or other ingredients that either don’t exist in nature or that have been chemically modified. Calling products with unnatural ingredients 'natural' is a false and misleading use of the term, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest."... read more
Sophie Uliano's Do It Gorgeously: How to Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products struck my eye at the library yesterday. I'm a sucker for books that claim they can help me green my home front, but most of them leave me disappointed. I've checked out far too many of these books and wasted far too many hours flipping through their chapters on using recycling bins and turning out the lights when I leave the room. I mean, my generation has been learning about recycling and conservation since elementary school. We don't need any more Love Your Earth 101 lessons, folks.
Why is the U.S. so far behind most of the world in terms of public transportation? Here in Boston, a city with public transportation better than many other cities throughout the country, the MBTA is running extremely outdated subways and trains on many of their lines. And then you go to other parts of the country with little to no public transportation options at all.
82% of voters say that "the United States would benefit from an expanded and improved transportation system." [source] Meanwhile, only 5% of Americas live within walking distance of decent public transit. [source]
That is horrible. It's time that a huge change is made.... read more
Last weekend, we went to the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. (A very green zoo, btw, from their conservation efforts to many of the recycled items in their gift shops) Before you enter, there were some animal sculptures (pictured left) made of used containers from the nearby Sam Adams Brewery.
I thought it was an excellent and unique way of reusing something that would have otherwise been thrown away. It made me think of the "reduce, reuse, and recycle" adage, and how people are often good about recycling these days, but forget about reducing and reusing. And what better way to reuse something than to turn it into a cool piece of artwork?... read more
Head to Ghirardelli Square this weekend! It's the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival on September 11th and 12th. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day (which I love) will be there, turning the fountain in Ghirardelli Square into a giant Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day SINK! Visitors will take a “bubble” out of the sink which will contain a Mrs. Meyer’s sample. For each bubble that is taken, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day will donate $2 to San Francisco’s Clean City Coalition!