Archive for February, 2010

Whaling: not just cruel, but carbon releasing too.

I don’t know how familiar you are with the culture of whaling, but it has been an on-going “sport” for many centuries now. In Japan, there are many protests against it as some continue to carry on this whaling tradition. Many nations have outlawed whaling, as many species of whales have been placed on the list of endangered species. In this article, whales are described as the “forests of the ocean”, because when they are killed, they release more than 100 million tonnes of carbon – equivalent to a large forest! I think whaling is a cruel “sport”, and the amount of carbon that is released by killing a single whale is astounding! Save the whales, save the planet.


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USDA Rules

Obama is really starting to make changes, making steps to create a happier and healthier nation. On February 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced new rules to define what makes milk and meat organic. Because of previous lenient rules that the USDA held, products labeled “USDA Organic” weren’t necessarily considered organic to most natural food advocates. Now, the rules “require livestock to be grazed on pasture for at least four months a year…to get at least 30 percent of their feed from grazing.” This will really change organic foods all-together. Hopefully, people will be more aware of what is considered organic and what is not, and how important it is to make the healthier choice and buy fresh products.

-Rachel Foxworthy

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I was watching tv the other day and a commerical came on for sunchips and it was showing how they now have a bag that is plant based so it is 100% compostable that will decompose completly in a matter of weeks. I think that these are the kind of changes that should be taken to help out. Even if it’s just a little change it still counts.

Melissa L.

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China’s fertilizer use

America’s “breadbasket”, or the midwest, is notorious for its use of environmentally harmful nitrogen fertilizers which cause algae blooms and soil acidification. However, according to this article China is even worse. On the typical farm in Illinois an average of 200 kg of nitrogen fertilizer is being used per hectare, but in China it could be up to 800 kg. Experts say that farmers could cut this number in half (which is still a lot of fertilizer) and not affect yields. This seems like an issue that could be very easily improved if the government was to put a limit on the amount of fertilizer used per hectare.

-Matt Z.

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Only eat 2 fish per month from the Columbia

I recently read this article about resident fish in the Columbia slough. Fish that live in the slough, such as carp, black crappie, bluegill, largemouth bass, sunfish, and steel head, have been found to have high levels of PCB’s as well as pesticides, chlordane, mercury and heavy metals. The state advises, because of the contamination only eat about 2 fish a month from the columbia that are about the size of your hand.  This is too bad because 100 years ago the columbia was once one of the main sources of fish for people in the region and now you can hardy eat anything from the river.

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Saving Water

After discussing all of the issues this planet has with losing water the past few weeks in class, I thought it might be a good idea to read up on how to conserve water in our lives. This article gives 100 ways to save water, some of them are pretty obvious but sometimes we need a little reminder on the little things. Just give this list a once over so you can save your wallet and the waters.

~Cody Males

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Sustainability Commercial

Hey all, as we get ready to start thinking about the Spring, don’t rule out the idea of putting together a sustainability media project.  Not sure what you could do?  Interview your mom, your grandparents, people on the street, or check out this funny video for a little bit of inspiration.

– Jacob

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