Last Saturday (March 26th) was Earth Hour, where around the world people turned off their lights. I ended up meeting new friends here in the UK and we had a couple of drinks by candlelight. I noticed too that all of the buildings around us participated as well!
I came across this link from WWF which shows pictures from Earth Hour around the world. Juts click on the photos and see the lights turn off! Pretty impressive!
Today is the day where over 120 participating countries goes dark for one hour. At 8:30pm tonight the Eiffle Tower will go dark, Buckingham Palace, LAX, CN Tower, Manchester United Stadium, Empire State Building, Parliament Hill, Golden Gate Bridge, and so many more iconic buildings around the world will turn off non-essential lights and electricity for one hour.
Now what can you do? Wherever you are in the world, turn off the lights and appliances from 8:30 to 9:30 pm tonight, March 26, 2011. Since moving to a new city I don’t have too many friends yet and a small place, but if I did I would have a party held by candlelight! Wherever I will end up I will be in the dark. Others are going to a candlelight yoga class. Some are going to their city’s planned Earth Hour events. Whatever you do make sure it is in the dark! Earth Hour spreads awareness of climate change. It began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 by the World Wildlife Foundation and reaches 1.3 billion. We have the power to spread awareness!
The pot smoking, country crooner is well known for his music and cameos in movies. In the environmental community he is better known as BioWillie. Willie Nelson has created his own brand of biodiesel! So when you drive around with BioWillie (the biodiesel) your car smell like fries or vegetables or whatever the blend is of the day.
Basically, Willie had a problem with North America’s dependence on foreign oil so thought of a new plan. He also thought of a plan that helps local farmers. So Willie made a biodiesel that uses soybean and other vegetable oils which can fill any regular diesel engine without any modifications!
His love for farmers goes further than the biodiesel. He runs FarmAid which holds benefit concerts to support local farmers. Many bands and artists have contributed over the years like John Mellencamp and Neil Young. To read more about it click here.
Willie Nelson hates war, loves the environment.
Also everyone remember it is Earth Hour tomorrow (March 26), so at 8:30 turn off all the lights and electronics!! (More info to come tomorrow)
I am a huge fan of flash mobs. One day I hope to be a part of one. In case you don’t know what a flash mob is, it is (according to Wikipedia) “a term coined in 2003 to denote a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment and/or satire.” This specific one involves the environment and can be fitting for World Water Week. It takes 3 litres of water to bottle 1 litre of water. Worth it? I don’t think so..
Anyway watch this awesome flash mob video. The facts are in French but I have translated them below. Enjoy!
Each year 671 million kilograms of plastic are produced in the world.
Each year 400 million plastic bottles are not recycled in the province of Quebec alone.
There are 18000 bits of plastic floating in each km2 of ocean.
91% of Quebecers care about the environment. What about you?
also HAPPY 75th BIRTHDAY DAVID SUZUKI
Some fellow Redditors (as in people who frequent the site Reddit for those of you who don’t like to procrastinate for ages on the internet haha) are in the running to win a green wedding from Clay hill Farm for making a sustainable difference in their community. Jeff and Samantha are doing so by eliminating as much trash as possible from their lives, and using the beauty of the world wide web to spread the word. Their ‘Trashing the Trash’ blog follows their trash free quest and as well has some great tips, some of my faves being:
-dig straws? get stainless steel reusable ones
-lint and tissue can be thrown in the compost
-Bring your own containers to the deli counter
They have more great stuff, AND they have pretty much eliminated trash from their lives. Check out their blog at Trashing the Trash.
Also, go to http://www.greenweddinggiveaway.com/media2011.html to give them your vote! support some L-O-V-E
Not only is this week Climate Week in the UK but it is also Word Water Week aaaaand today is World Water Day!
So what can you write about on World Water Day but water conservation! I have written in a much earlier post how I have given up eating beef because of the amount of water used in producing a pound of beef. To be honest it was hard and I wasn’t faithful at first. Man I love cheeseburgers.. anyway so it has now been over a month now and I have truly stopped eating beef. If you are curious to see how much water your favorite foods and drinks and even energy sources need then click here. It is a great source from National Geographic.
Well you have all heard the usual water conservation tips like don’t keep the tap running, fill up the sink with water instead of leaving the water running, etc. Well here is a list of tips that you may not have heard of:
1) When you rinse your fruits and vegetables, catch the water and use it to water your plants.
2) Don’t forget to check your outdoor faucets for leaks as they are not as noticeable.
3) If its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down.
4) Let your grass grow long! If you don’t cut you grass as close then it shades the soil keeping more moisture in.
5) When cleaning out a fish tank use the water to water your plants and garden.
6) Peeing in the shower saves water.
7) Wash your car on your lawn so your lawn gets water too. Remember to use eco-friendly cleaning porducts though!
One week to show how we can combat climate change – 21 to 27 March 2011
Thousands of events and activities, highlighting the positive steps being taken to help combat climate change, are being planned by organisations from every sector for the UK’s first Climate Week.
Climate Week is backed by every part of society – from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the National Trust, Girlguiding UK to the CBI, the Big Lottery Fund to the National Association of Head Teachers.
Climate Week is sponsored by a Headline Partner – Tesco – and four Supporting Partners – Aviva, EDF Energy, Kelloggs and RBS.
Organisations can get involved right now by starting to plan an event for Climate Week, entering the prestigious Climate Week Awards or registering to take part in the UK’s biggest ever live environmental competition, the Climate Week Challenge. They can also spread the word in advance, so that others find out about Climate Week in time to plan their own activities.
Individuals can help right now by asking the organisations they know – such as their workplace or local school – to plan an event or activity for Climate Week.
To find out more about Climate Week go to www.climateweek.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 020 3397 2601.
Anyone tuned into the news right now has seen the potential disaster on top of the current disaster Japan is facing. Should they be unable to cool their nuclear plants, they may face a nuclear disaster eerily close to Chernobyl. For a country already dealing with so much, this would be devastating. A few months back, I participated in a debate regarding the potential use of nuclear power to satiate the massive energy needs of the Alberta tar sands. With oil depletion looming in the near future, Nuclear power seemed a potential solution. As well, it can help to reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere, which is a big plus. At the time of the debate, I thought the big cons of nuclear power were that it requires uranium, which is also a limited resource, and the big problem of what the heck to do with all that nuclear waste. In Canada, we thankfully experience less natural disasters than many other countries. But what Japan is currently facing raises the question: nuclear power has its pros, but do the benefits outweigh the costs in the long run? When using nuclear power, it seems there is not really room to risk the unexpected, too much is at stake. Hopefully the Alberta government may consider this when making their decision (although my prediction is they will fence sit like good little Canadian politicians).
Well my move across the pond has made me more aware of the Naked Chef. Not only is he cute and has a great accent he really is a friend of the environment! Jamie Oliver is everywhere in the UK these days and for a good reason.
Well first things first is that he is heavily involved in the UK education system. As a teacher, I am even more impressed. What he is doing is trying to get better quality and more nutritious foods in the cafeterias of England. He also advocates that they get this nutritious food from the closest possible sources. Local is better. Fresher food and better for the farmers and environment. Win, win situation!
Jamie also has a restaurant that he wants to make eco-friendly. Not only does he only use local ingredients but he is using wind turbines to power the restaurant. I haven’t heard of anyone doing that yet.
Jamie also had a travel show around the USA and made sure it was carbon neutral. All of the CO2 that was created during the shows filming was calculated. To offset these carbon emissions Jamie and the crew developed projects to help others reduce their carbon emissions. This included providing energy-efficient stoves in Cambodia, another using wind power in China and a solar power installation in India.
Not too shabby eh? Keep fighting the good fight Mr. Oliver.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day!! This is one of my favourite holidays of the year. I have already begun the celebrations as Manchester’s Irish Festival kicked off on March 5. I went to go see the St Patrick`s Day Parade on Sunday which was ok, but the beer tent was fun! Anyhoo tomorrow is the actual day where everyone wears green and drinks Guiness.
Since everyone is wearing green why don`t we all act green too? Take Belfast, Ireland as an example. For their St. Paddy’s Day celebrations their theme is greening the environment. It will feature the lowest fuel emission car (powered by runners!), street performers with recycled instruments and cleaning the streets with “Belfast Dust Busters”. The city is taking this chance to educate and promote greener living.
St Patrick's Day Parade in front of Belfast's City Hall
Now what can you do to be more green on St Paddy’s Day? Well if you are like me you like to drink in the day time to celebrate, or right after work. That means you will be possibly outside and drinking beer. If that is the case, make sure you recycle the beer cans/bottles. That is an obvious and easy one. A not so obvious way to be green is to drink local beer. Each major city usually has a local brewery that sells delicious and often organic beer. To find one click here. So before you head out looking for a Guinness, try doing a little looking around for some local beer! Also you may be interested to know that draught beer is the most sustainable, then bottles, then cans.
Well what are you going to wear? Some people don’t own too much green in their closet so a cheap and easy way to show your Irish spirit is to find some second hand green clothes. Hit up your local thrift store and find a sweet green shirt. Maybe even some cheap green jewellery. I used to go to the dollar store and get some cheap crap and just throw it away but buying used stuff is a much better idea.
Well I hope some people take these tips and truly have a green St. Patrick’s Day!!