If you follow my blog for a while, you may notice that I like alliteration. Sustainable Cities, World Water Day, Blowing Bubbles, SU-mmer Studies, Camping in Cuba, Warka Water, and now this post all have snappy titles that elicit a certain response. The feeling that my plant problems evoke is not good. There are times when I’ve prided myself for having a green thumb, but when issues with my houseplants arise from the abyss I question my ability to handle plants whatsoever.
In the spirit of the new year, I crafted a few environmental “Rules to Live By”. Like environmental resolutions for the planet, these are environmental goals that I would love to see reached in the US – or even worldwide.
- Recycling incentives do exactly what the name suggests and give people an incentive to save plastic bottles and eventually return them to the store. As it stands, Hawaii, Maine, New York, and other select states refund 5 cents for each item that is returned to a recycling center. I hope to see recycling incentives for everyone in the future.
Is it me, or do dinner parties spark the best conversations? The last dinner party I attended birthed a discussion surrounding animal sentience. Three Bags Full is an internationally best selling novel about a flock of sheep who are driven to solve their shepherd’s murder. It was originally written in German by Leonie Swann, a writer with degrees in philosophy, psychology, and communication. No doubt her education background contributed to the ever-present theme of animal sentience in this peculiar, witty mystery. Continue reading
Back in my younger days, I would always wear the coolest tee-shirt from Rainforest Café. It came with a bunch of clasp-on rainforest bugs that I could use to prank people, show off, or entertain myself when I was bored. Now, I’m managing my own miniature rainforest within the confines of my bedroom. What I’m referring to is the bioactive terrarium setup (featured on the left) that has become popularized in the pet community as of late. Here’s why I find this hobby fascinating.
A number of my friends decided to visit the beautiful island of Hawaii this month. Daydreaming about spending time on the beach or hiking Oahu’s “Stairway to Heaven” made me think about a different kind of island: The Urban Heat Island. Urban heat islands aren’t literal islands, though. Certain cities are referred to as urban heat islands because metropolitan temperatures tend to be higher (as much as 3 degrees Celsius annually) than local rural areas. Madison, Wisconsin is no exception to this concept.
Just like Main Street and University Avenue, it seems like very state has a “Beaver Lake”. There’s Beaver Lake Arkansas, named after homesteader Wilson Beaver. There’s also Beaver Lake Wisconsin, Beaver Lake Illinois, and Beaver Lake New York. These photos are from Beaver Lake Nature Center in New York. Although beavers do roam this 661-acre reserve, the lake was named for its animal-like shape.
Carbon capturing technology exists. The question among philosophers is whether or not using such tools is morally sound. Removing carbon from the atmosphere with machines makes consumerism appear less harmful than it really is. On the other hand, natural climate solutions (NCS) are a less costly and more ethical alternative to geoengineering that involve restoration and protection of our organic environment. NCS’s are simple solutions such as halting rainforest destruction or rebuilding drained wetlands. Which solution is the right one? Continue reading