Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Pacific Garbage Patch: "One big unfathomable bummer"

I keep hearing rumors of an island of debris from the Japanese tsunami floating toward California and while I can't really find much hard evidence on that, I did find some interesting things about the Pacific Garbage Patch. This is an area in the Pacific Ocean that is as big as Texas.

You are probably thinking that this would look like a giant island of trash and should be visible on satellite images from Google Earth or something right? Also, you're probably thinking, "why haven't people started cleaning this up, if it's so bad?" Well...Here's an article that explains it well on the blog "Vegan Skeptic". I highly recommend watching the video starting at 1:45 or so.

The Pacific Garden Patch is not this....
(there's a city in the background sheesh)

But, the short answer is that the Pacific Garden Patch is not made up of giant buoys and coke bottles, but tiny pieces of buoys, coke bottles and more. So tiny that you can't really see them unless you trawl the ocean for hours. Plastic breaks down in the sun and surf and some of it gets eaten by fish, some sinks to the bottom and the rest just swirls around endlessly getting smaller and smaller.

So please, please, pleaseeeeee recycle and try to use reusable stuff as much as possible - water bottles, plates, forks, mugs etc.

It's more like this.
(Vast expanses of beautiful blue ocean with the occasional trash ball).
This makes me really want to be a scientist so I can help. Maybe school is in my future somewhere....Not a Marine Scientist though...oceans are scary.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Article: Twice as many charging stations as Flex Fuel Stations in US

I had to grab this post because I've been looking at a lot of Honda stuff lately.  Honda is developing a new electric vehicle (the EV Fit) and plans to send it to the public in 2012. Also the Nissan Leaf hit the U.S. this fall, which is another all-electric vehicle.

Study: Twice As Many Charging Stations As Flex Fuel Stations

By Christopher DeMorro
One of the main arguments against electric vehicles are the lack of available charging stations. It’s always seemed like a silly argument to me, as anyplace with an electrical outlet can work as a charging station in a pinch. But get this; there are almost twice as many public electric charging stations as there are E85 ethanol stations. For reals.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

While I'm happy that they are putting in so many EV charging stations, I'm disappointed at the low number of E85 stations. I don't know if I agree of the author's concluding point about automakers getting around stricter emissions standards by making alternative fuel vehicles, however. And from what I know, it seems that electric is even better than E85, environmentally speaking.  At least this is kinda step in the right direction.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Coal Power: Safe? Seems Not...

Since we are in the midst of nuclear terror, I thought I'd show that coal power is no angel either.

This happened a few years ago (2008), before I started really paying attention to this environmental stuff but nonetheless I'm pretty shocked. This is the story of a toxic waste spill in Tennessee where a levy broke and spilled some 50 years of coal ash water into the Emory river, contaminating water, land and livelihoods. Now we're not just talking environmental impact, here, we are dealing with direct human-health consequences...I mean, if we can't even protect our fellow man...How are we EVER going to protect the environment?

Here is the 60 minutes story of that disaster and of the safety of coal ash which contains arsenic, cadmium, and other nasty things. It seems that companies have been trying to recycle it by building golf courses out of it and putting it in everything from cement to counter tops to carpeting. All without really knowing if it's dangerous or not and at the same time asserting that it's perfectly safe. I mean, I'm glad they're trying to recycle it but seriously people....

These two videos ask the question:

“How did we get to the point where coal ash is in products without anybody knowing” its safety?

How indeed?

That lobbyist seems about as slimy as the Emory River....

"Clean coal" my butt....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Candy Bars Stand In Way of Zero Waste

Oh plastic...why must you exist? And how could we live without you?

This article from Plastic News is related to my previous post about Honda and Zero Waste.  It seems that food packaging - candy bars and chip bags - are hindering Honda's Mexico plant.  In other Zero Waste Honda plants, plastic would be packaged up and shipped to factories to be incinerated and used to produce electricity. However at this particular plant, there are no facilities nearby and transporting tons of plastic across the country to the U.S. would be more waste than benefit. So unfortunately, the candy bar leavings just go to the landfill.

Very interesting...I would really like to learn more about how Honda defines Zero Waste. However, I have to wait until the Peloton Sustainability Group has gotten some stuff done before I research it. But hopefully soon!

Here's a link to the article:

"MARYSVILLE, OHIO (July 18, 1:30 p.m. ET) -- Plastic candy wrappers and a sticky ethical question are the only two things standing between Honda Motor Co. and its ambitious goal of declaring that every one of its 14 North American factories is producing zero landfill waste."

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Ten Honda Manufacturing Facilities in North America Achieve Zero Waste Sent to Landfill

Boy am I proud to be a Honda owner. Not only is my car cool-looking, functional, reliable (so far) and cheap, now I can know that the company as a whole views protecting the environment as more than just a revenue-generating tactic (Civic Hybrid, Accord Hybrid, Insight, Civic CND). Ten of Honda's 14 plants in North America have gone to Zero Waste! Though, I didn't realize this initiative had been going on for so long but I really only started looking into this stuff in the past few years. :)
Olivia "Livy" Honda - A 2008 Honda Element and MY car! :)
Article below:

Ten Honda Manufacturing Facilities in North America Achieve Zero Waste Sent to Landfill

TORRANCE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Honda announced today that it has achieved one of the most important targets in the company’s longstanding “Green Factory” initiative in North America: zero-waste-to-landfill. Ten of 14 Honda manufacturing plants in North America are now operating with zero waste to landfill, while the remaining four plants are functioning with “virtually zero” waste to landfill.

“There are hundreds of stories of associate innovation and challenging spirit that add up to this significant advancement in our commitment to more environmentally responsible manufacturing”
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, in Lincoln, Ala., became the first zero-waste-to-landfill auto plant in North America at the outset of production in 2001, setting off an industry-leading trend within the company. Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, in Greensburg, Ind., also started production as a zero-waste-to-landfill plant in 2008.
Waste sent to landfills has been dramatically reduced at Honda auto plants throughout North America—from 62.8 pounds of industrial waste to landfills for every automobile produced in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2001(FY2001), to an estimated 1.8 pounds per automobile in the current fiscal year 2012. Among all of its 14 plants in North America, Honda now sends less than one-half of 1 percent of all operating waste to landfills. Remaining waste product is either recycled or used for energy recovery.
The plant in Lincoln, AL. Kinda boring, but Honda has never really been known for its sick-looking designs. HAHA!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Recycle Your Batteries!! (All of them)

I have been on a journey for a long while to try to find a place that recycles ALL batteries. Most places like Staples or the OfficeMax/OfficeDepot places and Best Buy will do rechargeable ones and some recycling places will dispose of the really hazardous ones like car batteries but not a lot of places do the regular ones.
Located on Arapahoe Ave. north of Pearl St. in Boulder, CO.

However, Batteries Plus will do ANY kind of battery! This includes:
Lithium Ion
Rechargeable (both nimh and nicd)

Cell Phone
Digital and Video Camera
And Laptop Batteries.


Car and Motorcycle Batteries!
 Had enough? There's more! But I actually don't know what other types of batteries there are, but Batteries Plus would take them. This was confirmed by my local Batteries Plus (almost abbreviated BP but I didn't want to confuse anyone between good environmental practices and bad environmental practices....*coughcoughGulfOilSpillcough*). He said that I could bring in  "any battery that I could imagine" but I had to do 2 things:

1). Tape each of the contacts with any kind of tape.
2). Separate the different types from each other in pint or gallon ziploc bags. (I wonder if I could use paper bags since those are recyclable...But either way that's a lot less waste than a bunch of tiny containers of toxic chemicals!).

So...Peloton watch out! I'm comin' for your batteries!

(I don't know about iPods...but maybe I'll find out about that soon.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Blog on Hold

Hey there dedicated readers (all 5 of you),

I am going to put this blog on a temporary hold since I am planning a wedding and working on that blog instead. I will post stuff here if I happen to come across it or if it relates to my apartment's Sustainability Community. But expect the posts to be sparse and short (and maybe picture-light). Maybe after I'm married (*eeeee*!) I'll have more time to dedicate to this. =)


Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day


Hope you try to do something good for your Earth today! Sorry...this is all of a post I can muster, this C++ course is rough.

Friday, April 1, 2011

RTD Ecopass Discounts!!

Hey Boulder and Denverites!

Did you know you could use your Eco-Pass not only to take the bus all over (save ~$120 to the airport by not taking Super Shuttle), but also get discounts at local businesses?  Now it's an EVEN smarter investment. Here they are!!!

Alpaca Connection: 1326 Pearl St.
(15% discount) bullet American Mountaineering Museum: 710 10th Street, Golden
(½ price admission and 10% off in Base Camp Adventure Gift Shop)
American Homebrewers Association:303-447-0816 or 736 Pearl St. ($5 discount on membership)
Barry Erdman, LCSW, DCSW: 1900 Folsom Street, Suite 203, 303 444-1404
($20 off first visit)
bulletBeadforLife: 1143 Portland Place, Suite 1
(10% discount for purchases made at studio)

bulletBelvedere Belgian Chocolate Shop: 1936 14th Street
(10% discount)
bulletBerg's Small Moves: 1495 Riverside Ave
(10% off any move)
bulletBJ's Restaurant: 1125 Pearl St.
(10% discount) bulletBoulder Beer "The Pub": 2880 W Wilderness Place
(Happy Hour prices)
bulletBoulder Cycle Sport: 4580 Broadway Unit B
(15% parts and accessories)
bullet Boulder Financial Realty: 2961 Broadway
(At closing, a free appraisal for any buyer and/or free title insurance for sellers. One free month of management or discount management services for landlords)
bulletBoulder Philharmonic Orchestra: Box office, 2995 Wilderness Pl., #100
(20% off regular concerts and 10% off of Nutcracker and Classical Mystery Tour - A Tribute to the Beatles)
bulletBroadway Wine and Spirits: 2550 Baseline Rd., 303-494-0177
(10% off 1/2 case of mix & match wine - Sale items EXCLUDED. 15% off 1 full case of mix & match wine - Sale item INCLUDED)
bulletBuyers' Slice Realty, LLC: 1942 Broadway Suite 314
(Buy property and add $200 to a large commission rebate)

bulletCaffe Sole: 637R S. Broadway
(15% discount)

bulletCiana Grove Therapeutic Massage: 2346 Broadway, 303-443-4715 or e-mailThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
(10% discount)
bulletCommon Era: 1500D Pearl St.
(10% off)
bulletCommunity Cycles: 2805 Wilderness Place, Ste. 1000
(10% off bikes, parts, accessories and 10% off annual membership)
bulletConor O'Neill's: 1922 13th St.
(20% off brunch/lunch until 3pm)
bulletCopy Experts: 2835 Pearl Street
(10% discount on copy and print services)
bulletDagabi Cucina:3970 N. Broadway
(Sunday-Thursday 15% off bill excluding tapas and carry out)

bulleteGo CarShare:1919 14th St, Suite 330D
($10 discount on membership, use Promo code "NECO2011")
bulletExquisite Life Wellness coaching:1035 Pearl St. Suite 314, 303-993-4359
(25% off private health coaching sessions; 15% off group health coaching sessions)
bulletFarfel's Farm: 906 Pearl Street
(10% Discount on Everything)
bulletFresh Produce: 1218 Pearl
(10% off one item)
bulletFull Cycle: 1795 Pearl Street and 1211 13th Street
(Tuesday Tube deal: 50% off one tube - one per day, one per customer)
bulletIndra's Net: 303-546-9151
(10% off DSL and dial-up services)
bulletJacque Michelle II: 2670 Broadway, 303-786-7628
(10% off)
bulletJean Pierce, NCTMB: 303-931-7920
($45 for one hour massage)
bulletJoyful Furniture: 2000 21st St
(Free Delivery)
bulletLindsay's Boulder Deli at Haagen-Dazs: 1148 Pearl St.
(10% off or $1 off food and ice cream)
bulletMercury Framing: 4692 N. Broadway, 303-938-0123
(15% off total service)
bulletMoe's Bagels: both Boulder locations (2650 Broadway and 3075 Arapahoe)
(10% discount)
bullet Morningstar Boutique: 2027 Broadway St.
(10% discount)
Moving Day
(10% discount on-line with all moving boxes and moving supplies. After you complete order and receive order confirmation-claim 10% discount HERE. Free shipping on all orders)
bulletNorth Boulder Liquor: 3990 Broadway
(10% off liquor by the case and 15% off wine by the case, except sale items)
bulletOld Chicago: 1102 Pearl St.
(10% discount)
bulletOnly Natural Pet Store: 2100 28th St. Suite 1C
(5% discount)

bulletParadise Bakery: 1207 Pearl St.
(10% discount)
bulletParasoft Paragliding: 4310 9th St. or 303-494-2820
(10% off first lesson)
bulletPerry's Shoe Shop: 949 Walnut spectralink_no_glasses_eco_pass_4_07.jpg
(10% off)
bulletPlay it Again Sports: 653 S. Broadway
(20% off on Tuesdays, max discount $25, not valid on sale items)
bulletSavory Spice Shop:2041 Broadway
(10% off)
bulletSelden & Sons Automotive: 4593 Broadway C-116
(Free tire rotation, $9.95 oil change, free brake check and free 22 point seasonal inspection)
bulletSensorielle Spa:
(10% off any facial, massage or body treatment 60 min or more, wax and tint excluded)
bulletSolaterra Health Enterprises: 303-641-3047
(10% discount)
bulletSubway: 5280 Spine Rd in Gunbarrel
(10% discount)
bulletThai Kitchen: 4479 N. Broadway
(15% discount dinner only)
bulletUniversity Bikes: 839 Pearl St.
(25% discount off bicycle rental)

bulletThe Unseen Bean: 2052 Broadway
(10% discount)
Check back frequently for updated discounts.
*Discounts offered are provided by merchants, not RTD

Via this website: