Archive for Random Musings

The sixth Sense!

Ever since my father showed me this video, I could not stop thinking about it. I am not sure how it is related to sustainability and going green but I feel there is some connection. I am amazed by the fact that human are that smart. So it is about a guy and group of other researchers from MIT who invented a technology that can replace many of today’s technologies such as smart cell phones, digital cameras and even computers.I like what they called it “The sixth Sense”   

I highly recommend you to see this video and tell me what you think of it! Here is a shorter video.

Needa L

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The Olympics Have Gone Green!

In 2008 when Beijing was used as a host city by the Olympic games, the environment was left with breathable air for the 12 million+ people inhibiting the area.  The games were used as an impulse to improve the environment in one of the most polluted areas on earth.  Ever since then, the games have been pushing the “green effect” on all of the host cities.  There is now an award for “the greenest games ever”!  Now in the 2010 Olympics being held in Vancouver, there are green roofs, solar panels and water harvesting being used. There are plans to make the villages eco-legacies, converted into sustainable living communities after the games are over.  More information on this here.

It is exciting that more and more events and people are “going green”.  Does anyone have some ideas on what else could be turned “green” in today’s society?

-Erica Nickerson

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How clean is your bowl?

Toilets flush more than our own waste, and in efforts to clean people often kill beneficial organisms and poison waterways.  It is a common misconception that a toilet bowl must smell like flowers and have blue water.  However, blue toilets mean nothing and they actually create problems for the environment.  Many toilet cleaning products have chlorine, ammonia and hydrochloric acid as ingredients, which kills bacteria that breaks down waste.  There are many more dangerous chemicals to clean toilet bowls that are environmentally damaging.  Often these chemicals are not removed water treatment facilities.

Instead, to keep your toilet clean, the regular use of a toilet brush will only takes a few seconds to do each day.  You can also use baking soda or vinegar to get a good clean feeling.  Thanks to help from this site.

-Erica Nickerson

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Bottled Water Out of the Tap

Recently in class we were discussing bottled water vs. tap water and, correct me if I’m wrong, a good portion of the class agreed that there was essentially no difference and that Portland’s tap water “is great” and “some of the best” put by Jacob.  It was also brought up, in disgust I might add, that some companies even bottle water straight from the tap.  Well I don’t disagree that there is worse water out there than Portland and I’m not saying that I know the properties and makeup of water, but I do know that Portland does not have great tap water. 

I know this because I grew up in the small town of Culver, Oregon, having a population of about 1400 people and a high school of fewer than 250 students.  How does this have anything to do with water?  Simple, Culver is home to Opal Springs. Our unpurified tap water, which is also piped to Metolious and Madras, is the same water bottled at a company called Earth2o and shipped to places all over the Pacific Northwest.  The water that I showered in and flushed the toilet with for more than 18 years was better than the water you Portlanders have ever tasted from the tap. I dare say it is really some of the best water in the world. 

So the next time you decide to take a break from the same old, nasty Portland water, grab a bottle of Earth2o and support the small community of Culver, Oregon and experience what I did everyday for 18 years.

Nevin Lewis

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What makes us happy?

After the final chapter of The Myth of Progress, I wondered what personal fulfillment really entails. In psychology, our discussion of happiness turned my original view upside. Personal fulfillment really comes from selfless awareness. An increase in income does not raise a person’s life satisfaction once a person’s basic needs are met. Living in a sunny environment such as near Mexican and Californian beaches does not increase happiness. Instead, making time for friends and family connection creates a better state of mind.

Claudia Wallis, The New Science of Happiness, January 9th 2005, Time Inc.

Katie P.

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one mans trash

Some people in a small town not far from texas are taking the next step to becoming sustainable. Their roofs are made of license plates, and their windows of crystal platters. Almost anything discarded and durable is potential building material. Standing in one of these houses and looking at colorful, zigzag-patterned ceiling that are made out of thousands of picture frame corners.80 percent of the materials are salvaged from other construction projects, hauled out of trash heaps or just picked up from the side of the road.  Dan Phillips is responsible  for building these houses, he said he wanted to find something more sustainable so he goes to local construction areas and ask’s for anything that they are getting rid of, or goes to local dumps in search of things to build another home.   here are some pictures below





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