To help with the environmental impact of the must-have cap and gowns for each graduate, whether students are finishing up kindergarten, high school, or college, some companies now provide recyclable caps and gowns for the ceremonies. Let’s face it, now many of us out there ever reuse those gowns. Most of the eco-friendly gowns that I found online are made from recyclable fabric, are environmentally friendly, and are bio-degradable within 15 years.
And since there is usually almost always a graduation party after the ceremony, there are several ways to have a green party. Instead of mailing out invitations, send out e-vites. They’re free, and you don’t have to worry about paying for postage. Try not to buy any paper products and use cloth napkins and real dishes. You might spend a little more time cleaning up, but you’re saving money and creating less of an impact on the environment.
Don’t forget to buy a gift if you’re not the one graduating. There are several eco-friendly gift ideas out there, from paper products and even some beauty products are made from sustainable materials. Don’t be afraid to do a little research to find the perfect gift that’s easier on the environment. Sometimes, you can even find jewelry that has been made from recycled antique glass. That’s sure to be an unforgettable gift!
Posted by Lindsay Page on May 17, 2013 at 11:36 AM0 comments
I like to think that I do my fair share of recycling since my recyclable are picked up on Fridays, and I always double-check items and rinse out plastic bottles before I put them into my bin, but I’ve never really given reuse much thought. So, I decided to search online for some great ideas.
I found a useful item on Wise Bread that talked about reusing paper. For example, did you know that you can shred papers to use as bedding for cage critters, such as hamsters, guinea pigs, and more? I’ve used newspaper as a liner for a bird cage, back when I was little and had parakeets, but I never thought about using it for other animal uses. You can even use shredded or torn paper as mulch in your yard, too.
Another neat idea is to use wrapping paper as art work, framing them in old picture frames or use the paper to decoupage an item that needs a bit dressing up. Another idea is using the paper to make a wreath or any other kind of décor that’d be easy to make with paper, like a collage of interesting facts in to hang on a bathroom wall. Or why not use newspaper to wrap presents for a unique look.
Another idea to reuse household items is using squeeze bottles (dish soap, ketchup, mustard bottles, etc.) to water plants that are hard to reach or to squirt out pancake batter. And we’ve all got a mountain of plastic shopping bags at home, so why not use an empty paper towel roll to store the bags in. Speaking of empty paper towel rolls, I actually use those in my boots at home. The rolls help keep the boots from folding down and keep your closet looking a bit tidier.
So, how do you reuse stuff you have lying around at home? I’d love to hear some new ideas that I could try at my house, not only for Earth Day but to do each and every day.
Posted by Lindsay Page on Apr 22, 2013 at 7:03 AM1 comments
According to a Waste & Recycling News article, Missouri State Attorney General Chris Koster has said that his office will get involved in the lawsuit against a Bridgeton landfill because of a request by the state Department of Natural Resources.
The Bridgeton landfill company has apologized for the foul odors that the area omits and said they are trying to install 40 new gas collection wells in order to help reduce the severity of the smells. The odors are so severe that some people claim that they cannot even go outside without getting a headache or getting sick to their stomachs.
"For St. Louisans who have not been directly exposed to the site, it is difficult to describe the effects this situation is having on local neighborhoods and businesses," Koster said. "While we have been assured by Republic Services that they have developed a remediation plan and are implementing that plan as expeditiously as possible, it is important that we ensure the corporation's promises are binding and enforceable in a court of law."
I have driven through areas with landfills nearby, and I know that the smells can be indescribable and completely nauseating, but I never thought about the state actually suing the company in order to deal with the odors. I think it’s nice to have that sort of authority and regulations in those areas, but I can’t help but wonder how those companies could avoid those odors in the first place. What do you think?
Posted by Lindsay Page on Apr 08, 2013 at 1:33 PM0 comments
According to an article on Huffington Post, since carbon emissions recording began in 1959, 2012 marks the second highest rise in emissions. Samples are taken from air samples near a volcano in Maua Loa, Hawaii each year. The results make it unlikely that expected global warming can be limited to another 2 degrees.
Some of the reasons for the drastic rise in emissions are thought to be from an increase in coal-burning power plants, burning of fossil fuels, and overall human activity. Some of the emissions research predicts that the current population trends will make the climate 2.5 to 4.5 degrees warmer within the next decades.
With all of the research that’s being done on the CO2 emissions and global climate change, do you feel like we can make a difference in global warming. I know I’ve read several blogs where some people consider this a lost cause and feel that it’s a natural phenomenon that we can’t change. Do you feel the same way?
Posted by Lindsay Page on Mar 06, 2013 at 9:53 AM1 comments
On Jan. 15, 2013, NCDC announced as part of its 2012 Global Climate Report that 2012 was the warmest La Niña year on record. While there are a variety of approaches for defining a La Niña or El Niño year, NCDC's criteria is defined as when the first three months of a calendar year meet the La Niña or El Niño threshold as defined by NOAA Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) Oceanic Niño Index (ONI).
Some of the highlights of the report include 2012 was the 10th warmest year since the beginning of temperature records in 1880. 2012 marked the 36th consecutive year with global temperatures reaching about the 20th century average. The global annual temperature has increased at an average rate of 0.11°F per decade since 1880 and 0.28°F per decade since 1970.
Highlights for the U.S. include that 2012 was the warmest year since national records began in 1895. In Austria, the first half of 2012 was cooler than average, but then the last half of the year was warmer than average. Norway had its 45th warmest year since 1900.
So, how do you feel about these reports? The fact that 2012 experience such warm conditions shows that rising temperatures may soon be the norm each year. Do you feel that we could help battle global warming, or do you think that global warming is inevitable despite any actions we may take to help reduce or prevent it?
Posted by Lindsay Page on Feb 07, 2013 at 12:43 PM4 comments
Recent research has shown a relationship between two of the most pressing global problems. Deforestation contributes to the burden of infectious diseases. Deforestation by logging, agriculture, ranching, and so on, alters or fragments habitats to favor proliferation of pathogen-spreading vectors and environmental conditions such as soil temperature and moisture that favor pathogen survival. For example, land-use activities replace primary forest with cleared sites that are dominated by “weedy” secondary vegetation, which are preferred breeding sites for arthropods such as the Anopheles mosquito of malaria.
Moreover, removal of forest canopy affects the ability of soil to retain moisture and, thus infiltrate water into aquifers, which regulate flows to streams and rivers. Without ground infiltration or forest cover, a surface temperature increase can cause the soil to harden and rainwater runoff to carry sediment to clean waters. Insects prefer to deposit larvae in these turbid waters. Also, humans accessing these water sources, which may become contaminated with the sediment runoff, are at an increased risk of diarrheal diseases.
Furthermore, deforestation in species rich areas is strongly correlated with high losses of biodiversity. With a high level of biodiversity, there exist vector species that are not capable of transmitting pathogens to humans, thus diluting disease risk. One example includes incompetent snails involved in schistosomiasis transmission. Competency of a host is the ability to acquire infection with a pathogen. The transmission of schistosomiasis, which is an intestinal or urinary helminth infection, involves an infected human passing eggs through urine or feces into freshwater. Once in the water, the eggs hatch to find a freshwater snail intermediate host and are later re-released into freshwaters to come into contact and penetrate human skin.
On the other hand, with increased biodiversity, there are freshwater snails that the parasite penetrate, but does not result in infection in the snail (i.e. the parasite dies once infecting these incompetent snails). With these snails, there is a dilution effect in the number of parasites that further their lifecycle to go on to “re-infect” other humans that enter the freshwater sources.
Additionally, for reasons not clearly identified, deforestation results in the survival of generalist vectors that are better capable of transmitting pathogens to humans, surviving temperature changes, and covering large geographical areas.
The policy implications for conservation can have an important impact on the basic survival of forest edge communities. Locating susceptible humans next to ill-preserved, fragmented forests may increase infection risk. Anthropological disturbances or land alteration for human use reduces the geographic area of ecosystems and leaves small-unconnected patches of forest. The resulting habitat fragmentation reduces the forest edge buffer between humans and the sources of infectious disease.
Current efforts can benefit from new approaches to address this problem. There are no available vaccines for human parasitic diseases and pathogens also are building resistance to drugs. And, methods to predict the prevalence of diseases with vastly different ecologies are needed.
Combining forest conservation and human treatment can contribute to solutions for complex problems of disease control. If there is a common relationship between deforestation and infectious diseases, then with data on the prevalence of human infections, one can associate environmental indices of deforestation with the disease burden.
The added information of human health is a neglected area in conservation research. With more research on the effect of human health, the direct value of conservation can be understood for the communities that are affected by restricted access to forests.
My research seeks to collect data on schistosomiasis and malaria around the national park of Ranomafana, which has been conserved for more than 20 years, in Madagascar. The data will be associated with vegetation indices and other variables observed from aerial images and GIS data.
Madagascar has experienced one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world and, according to the human development index reports, is among the poorest countries globally. Intestinal schistosomiasis affects the forest-edge populations, but the prevalence varies greatly among villages. Taking into account the focal nature of schistosomiasis, which is dependent on available freshwater sources and the presence of intermediate snail hosts, our study seeks to assess if proximity to primary forest among other environmental health variables correlates or can predict schistosomiasis prevalence. Rapid diagnostic tests of circulating cathodic antigens, which detect for schistosomiasis, will be used to sample individuals within 50 to 60 villages. The study is not only a regional analysis of the association of conservation with disease prevalence, but also forms the preliminary work for longer-term studies that can monitor the rate of deforestation and emergence of disease.
Posted by Goylette Chami on Dec 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM0 comments