Seventy to eighty percent of the oxygen we breathe comes not from trees but from the earth’s oceans. Actually, it is the phytoplankton in the oceans that create so much oxygen. Scientists are looking for ways to increase phytoplankton to help break down greenhouse gases. They must be careful, however, because too much phytoplankton can create Dead Zones in the Ocean. Dead Zones are areas that have so little oxygen, no sea life can live there. These areas can be created by the overproduction of organic matter by phytoplankton, that sinks to bottom and is broken down by bacteria. This releases carbon dioxide. Bacteria also absorbs oxygen so trying to fix the problem can cause it to worsen if scientists are not very precise and observant.
A friend asked me the other day what I fed my worms. When I explained that they got most of our kitchen produce scraps she wanted specifics, so I decided I would let all my readers know through pictures.
Vermicomposting is a green way of getting rid of your kitchen scraps. It is quicker than composting and can be done on a smaller scale indoors.
First, I checked the worms. They looked healthy and happy.
Next I added some romaine lettuce that had gone smushy.
Then, four ears of corn that had been pushed to the back of the fridge, forgotten about, and gone soft.
Finally, I added the contents of my counter compost bin. This included some moldy raspberries, old bean sprouts, a tomato from the garden with a soft spot, a tea bag, and some vegetable peelings that were almost a week old and unrecognizable.
Before I closed the bin, I added bedding. Our trees drop leaves all year round,
so naturally this is never a problem for us.
I’m frustrated right now. My oldest is on a never-ending shopping spree in her mind and she just has to have everything. As Americans, we are bombarded with ads telling us we need the latest this or we have to have that. Today I have been “told” I need to go back to school shopping for clothes, shoes and a backpack by my daughter. We “need” to buy licensed binders and lunchboxes. And that’s just school supplies.
I have been around a couple of decades (okay, three) and I have learned to ignore the constant steam of information from companies stating their product is best. My six year old daughter is not so immune. At age four, an ad would come on TV and she would immediately whine “I want that!” We talked to her about it and we thought she learned. Little did we know she had simply learned not to tell us what she wanted. As five years old came, we saw her mature. She opened a savings account. She was happy to see her money gain interest. We thought all was well.
At six years old, Ari now believes she knows everything and has to have a word in every conversation. However, a few weeks ago it got downright scary. My husband and I were reviewing our shopping list and planning our trip for the fewest store visits. During the discussion, Ari piped up “We should go to WalMart. They always have the lowest prices.” We both stared at her, jaws gaping. She said “What? They have the best deals.” I think my brain exploded, because I can’t remember how I recovered.
Sadly, its not just about turning off the TV. For most of the summer Ari watched very little TV, and most of what she did watch had few commercials. But her eyes always spot what I no longer see; an ad on the back of a magazine, on the side of a bus, characters on backpacks and slogans on t-shirts. You can’t be free of it. My child doesn’t just want a backpack, she wants a Wizards of Waverly Place backpack. She wants high heeled shoes like some tween pop star I’ve never heard of. She told my husband today she wants an iPhone. She’s six.
I’m moving to some magical place in a non-existent land where televisions were never invented and advertising is illegal.
In sixty seconds, the Earth absorbs enough sunlight to fulfill the planet’s energy needs for a year! The Solar Energy Technologies Program (SETP) seeks to find and develop solar technologies that are cost-competitive in the market by 2015. The program currently focuses on the research and development of photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP) as well as system integration and market transformation. Photovoltaics convert sunlight into energy while concentrating solar power uses mirrors to send the solar energy to receivers which convert it into heat which is changed into electricity with steam turbines or other methods.
Book Review of The Green Guide
Are my candles safe to burn? What should I look for and what should I avoid when renovating my home? Is there something better than paper or plastic? These are some questions that may come up in our daily lives. Ten years ago I never would have thought there might be toxic chemicals in my shampoo, but as I am learning each day I need to look at every aspect of my life to live more naturally. In The Green Guide I have finally found a book to answer many of my questions about earth-friendly, eco-conscious green living.