Sustainable Living

August 16

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 18:16
Aug. 16, 1896: The Klondike Gold Rush begins, ushering in a brief era of man-made destruction of pristine streams.


Categories: Sustainable Living

What are your top health concerns for kids?

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 18:11
What are your top concerns when it comes to your kids and their health? Drugs? Teen pregnancy? Childhood obesity? A new poll has found all of these and more among the top 10 health concerns for kids today.   According to the fifth annual survey of the top 10 health concerns for kids conducted by the University of Michigan C.S.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Get smart at the grocery store with this bread-buying trick

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 18:05
Here's a great little trick for buying the freshest bread at most grocery stores — look at the twist tie/tab. The color of the twist tie usually corresponds to the day that it was delivered. Mondays are blue, Tuesdays green, Thursdays red, Friday white, and Saturday yellow.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Menthol cigarettes harder to quit

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 17:58
Should menthol cigarettes be banned? A new study by researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey presents evidence in favor of such a ban. According to researchers, the mint-flavored cigarettes are harder to quit than regular smokes — especially among minorities.   The study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and funded in part by an FDA grant, examined the habits of smokers of all ages and ethnicities, while focusing on specific subgroups, such as those trying to kick the habit.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Can Congress unite over a national monument?

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 17:53
  I’m feeling positive lately. Perhaps it is the news that solar power may create peace in the Middle East. Or perhaps it’s the latest news that Democrats and Republicans are going to finally put partisan differences aside in the name of historical preservation.   That’s right — Republicans and Democrats on the same page. Take a screen shot. Mark the time.


Categories: Sustainable Living

The price is most certainly right: Affordable net-zero housing hits Maryland

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 17:35
Last week, The Washington Post reported on a phenomenon that’s something of an anomaly in the world of green housing: a planned community of net-zero energy homes with price tags that don’t contain an excessive number of zeros. While certainly not the norm, developments like said community — North Pointe in historic downtown Frederick, Md.


Categories: Sustainable Living

20 ways to use roasted summer vegetables

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 16:56
Last week, I made ratatouille for the first time, and it was so good — a seasonal delight. I used Smitten Kitchen’s Ratatouille’s Ratatouille recipe, and I highly recommend it. I was a little overzealous with cutting vegetables, though, and I ended up with more vegetables out of the dish than in the dish.   The next morning, I roasted a large baking sheet full of the remaining vegetables in my oven, adding extra onions and garlic.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Evergreen Solar files for bankruptcy

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 16:50
Evergreen Solar has had a rough year. In January, the company announced that it would be laying off 800 employees at its plant in Devens, Mass., and moving those jobs to a production facility in China. Yesterday, the company took another turn for the worse with the announcement of a bankruptcy filing.   The company, which has been around since the 1990s, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Daily Briefing: Tues.

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 15:18
GIMME SHELTER  While Washington remains gridlocked over how to handle climate change, many other U.S. cities are already adapting to it, USA Today reports. The sea level around Norfolk, Va., has risen 14.5 inches in the past 80 years, for example, so the city is studying how to fortify dams and buildings near the shore.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Sustainable agriculture programs are on the rise

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 14:37
More colleges across the country are offering students degree or certificate programs in organic and sustainable agriculture. There are likely two main reasons pushing the demand for these programs: the aging American farmer population and the increased demand for organic and sustainable products by American consumers.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Yellowstone National Park is being hit hard by climate change

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 13:31
In April, Men's Journal published a story about the effect global warming is having on Yellowstone National Park. Paul Solotaroff's piece is a powerful read that examines the damage — much of it functionally irreversible — being done to the flora and fauna of the 2.2 million acre park by warming temperatures.   I'll be honest, it's a grim read.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Dolphins are super-healers

Lighter Footstep - Tue, 08/16/2011 - 02:53
Jen Quraishi over at Mother Jones has a fascinating story about the amazing regenerative powers possessed by dolphins.


Categories: Sustainable Living

All along the water tower: A most unique Belgian bachelor pad

Lighter Footstep - Mon, 08/15/2011 - 04:27
In “All along the water tower,” my irregular series of posts featuring derelict water towers converted into unique, stair-heavy residences — yes, there are enough out there to make a series of it — I’ve examined several fine specimens first from Australia and then from Western Europe — Belgium,&nbsp


Categories: Sustainable Living

For sale, cheap: Scenic, South Dakota

Lighter Footstep - Sun, 08/14/2011 - 23:33
For the cost of an average Manhattan studio apartment you can buy an entire town in South Dakota. The little town of Scenic, South Dakota, 50 miles to the east of Rapid City, is up for sale. For $799,000 you get 46 acres of land that includes the 12 acres of the actual town itself. The land comes with a U.S.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Universities banding together to form super fast internet

Lighter Footstep - Sun, 08/14/2011 - 23:29
Twenty-nine American universities have joined together in a plan, called GigU, to offer super fast internet service on their campuses and in the surrounding communities. During a pilot program at Case Western University, 104 homes near campus were offered one-gigabit fiber-optic connections. Three startup companies moved in within a few months.   The U.S. needs projects like this. We lag woefully behind the rest of the world when it comes to the the speed of our internet connections.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Climate scientists making strange squawking sounds

Lighter Footstep - Sun, 08/14/2011 - 23:25
The Onion is really good at writing stories that are patently absurd yet sadly close to real life. Such is the case for this piece about Climatologists "Exhibiting Strange Behavior". The sub is "For some reason, climatologists have been running around in an agitated state, waving their little arms and squawking about 'global warming.' "  


Categories: Sustainable Living

Chesapeake Bay dead zone could be largest on record

Lighter Footstep - Sat, 08/13/2011 - 14:01
This year's dead zone in the Chesapeake Bay could be the largest on record thanks to elevated levels of fertilizers and other chemicals. In June, the dead zone stretched 83 miles, or about a third of the bay, and has only grown larger since then.   Dead zones are created when chemical nutrients from runoff fuels abnormally high algae growth.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Al-Qaeda calls for infrastructure improvements before more attacks

Lighter Footstep - Sat, 08/13/2011 - 13:57
The Onion nails it, yet again.   According to a recent Onion story, al-Qaeda is upset about the state of the U.S. infrastructure and asked for major repairs to be made so they can plan more attacks.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Omega Protein Inc.: The unknown corporation that is gutting the ocean

Lighter Footstep - Sat, 08/13/2011 - 13:51
Click over to Gilt Taste and read this story about menhaden, "The Most Important Fish in the Sea" about the company Omega Protein Inc., that has been fishing the Atlantic ocean and decimating its population of menhaden, a small oily fish that is ground up and used for pet food, fish oil supplements, and livestock feed.   People don't eat menhaden, outside of taking fish oil supplements, but the little oi


Categories: Sustainable Living

Organic water is as stupid as it sounds

Lighter Footstep - Sat, 08/13/2011 - 13:46
I read a lot of depressing news in my line of work. Every day I'm hit with stories of drought roasting fields away, of ocean reefs in peril, and of an entire planet being thrown dangerously out of wack by human activities. If I didn't have funny pictures of cats I would have burnt out years ago.   So I try to keep a good sense of humor about things that pop up on my news radar. I had a good long laugh when I read about the "organic water" by European gourmet brand Llanllyr Water.


Categories: Sustainable Living
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