Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pickens Plan - Good or Bad?

At this point I'm not sure what to think about Picken's Plan... but I thought this was funny. Be warned there are a few sort of not really bleeped words in it (which is the part where I laughed). This short video by viropop also includes information about recycling your gadgets that makes me feel less guilty about my gadget buying habits.

Read more about The Pickens Energy Plan on his website, then read more about it in this Business Week article. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Break Dance

Random post today, as this is off topic... However, I am a huge fan of So You Think You Can Dance and WALL-E. So when I saw this video of WALL-E break dancing, it made me think of my favorite SYTYCD audition this season - a pop dancer from L.A. who is just amazing in his genre. Here they are for your viewing pleasure!

Tonight on SYTYCD (9pm ET on Fox), the top 6 perform and America will vote for who they want to see in next week's finals! It's getting tough, and honestly I can't pick a favorite and I will be sad to see any of them go. Last week's vote off was shocking for the guys, I really thought it was time for Mark to go... NOT Will!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Carbon Offsetting

Just in case you're wondering where I've been and why my posts have slowed down... it's because this blog has well, been on the back burner recently while my hubby and I plan our 3 week Europe trip! To say we are excited is an understatement, try ecstatic! The picture below of Murren, Switzerland (picture by moonjazz)... yeah, we're going there!
I have a confession to make. Though I had good intentions of planning a GREEN international trip - it's not going very well. Does it help that a couple of the hotels/B&Bs I've booked (so far) charge a carbon offset tax? Maybe... not really. Let's look at the big picture:
  • Transatlantic flight (x2): ~10,000 miles or ~5,000 lbs of CO2
  • Rental car estimate ~1,600 miles or ~700 lbs of CO2
Never fear, carbon offsetting is here! You can now buy your way out of damage and guilt by purchasing carbon offset. In my internet research I found this article on Independent Traveler that explains how this works,
For better or worse, the concept of "carbon offsetting" has gained considerable currency in the media as one way to mitigate the environmental impact of many facets of modern living. The concept is fairly simple: for every mile you travel, or rather every ton of carbon dioxide your mode of travel causes to be released into the atmosphere, you pay a small fee to enable other folks to work on solutions to mitigate the damaging ecological effect of your travel.
This article also lists multiple websites that you can purchase carbon offset from, both profit and non-profit organizations (listed at the bottom of this post). Some sites will even send you a handy certificate declaring your eco-goodness (can you read the sarcasm?). I do think this is a good idea, and I will pay for our trip's carbon offset... but I don't like the idea of people being able to buy their way out and thinking it's OK, no harm done as along as they have money. It doesn't change the fact that nonrenewable resources are being used, and toxins are being spewed into the atmosphere. Though I feel bad for the negative impacts of us traveling, especially our transatlantic flight, it by no means overshadows my desire to travel. For me, and many, the benefits (however personal) far outweigh the cons. Below is a list of things I do in attempt to travel more green, that everyone can do... some of these I borrowed from Independent Traveler's list of Green Travel Tips.
  • Reuse sheets and towels at hotels instead of having them changed each day
  • Bring your own toiletries rather than using the minis provided in hotels
  • Stay at locally owned hotels
  • When leaving the room, turn off the lights, TV, and adjust the thermostat - the A/C doesn't need to be running full blast when no one is there.
  • If your hotel offers recycling - use it (if you don't know, ask).
  • Offset the carbon emissions produced from your flight (this is a new one for me)
  • Rent a car that meets your needs and gets good mileage, or even better rent a hybrid when possible!
  • Walk to see sights, or use public transportation
  • My favorite: "Take nothing but photographs, and leave nothing but footprints"
  • Another favorite - when snorkeling or SCUBA diving do not touch the coral or stir up sediment (avoid as much as possible), as this damages the reef's fragile ecosystem - I can go on and on about this one...
The commercial aviation industry is taking some initiative, check out their website. They explain the impact of air travel, as aviation is responsible for 2% of global carbon emissions. So, what are you doing to green your travel? Are fuel prices squashing your travel plans?

Here are some carbon offset websites:
GoZero (also on Travelocity)
Climate Care
Carbon Footprint

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Yesterday and today my WeatherBug widget for my zip code has had a red weather alert message that says -
ALERT 1 - Air Quality Alert
Ozone Watch. Atmospheric Conditions Are Expected To Be Favorable For Producing High Levels Of Ozone Pollution...
Nice. This would be reason #4 of why I'm taking a break from running. But I really am missing it... and I was going to go yesterday but after being at war with myself about sleep vs. run, in my hazy dreamy sleepiness the run lost. Now I'm glad I didn't go suck down a bunch of pollution. Maybe tomorrow? I will have to check the air quality first... GRRR.

Monday, July 14, 2008


OK, so... seeing 3 people litter in the past 5 days has pushed me into this rant. All 3 litterers were driving big trucks (just a fact), and I have 2 license plate numbers out of 3! The first 2 incidences were of trash flying out of the truck bed - fast food bag/packaging and soda can. The 3rd incidence and what sent me over the edge happened today. I was sitting at a red light, when I saw the driver of the truck right in front of me open his car door and drop a to-go cup on the ground. Seriously. SERIOUSLY? I can't think of many other behaviors that infuriate me more than littering. This is not a new blog topic (or rant) so I dug up my old blog entry... so here you go, though unfortunately the linked article no longer works.

Blog Entry from May 9, 2007:

Those of you who know me, know how I feel about littering. If not, well... it basically makes my face turn red and steam come out of my ears. Oh and don't forget the long rant it starts when I see someone litter! I came across a great article in USA Today titled Tattlers unite! Citizen sites share the shame which lists websites that allow anyone to tattle on someone for anything ranging from bad driving to littering. I LOVE it!!! I can't tell you how many times I've caught people littering... as if they think the world is their trash can. Watch out litterers (sp?) if I'm able to catch you with proof I'll report you on! Here's a video rant from a guy talking about throwing out cigarette butts (click here). Have fun checking out the websites, here's the ones listed in the article:

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I finally saw the movie WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth) with friends last night and LOVED it! It was such a great movie on so many different levels. Not only is it a great animated movie with great visual effects, it is a great story with heart - and a clear message, or really messages! A message about love (it makes the world go around after all), how fragile life is, and our planet that is our HOME. I pondered this movie, and its messages long after I walked out of the theater. I could go on and on about it but I don't want to give it all away. Go see it. Then come back and let me know what you thought about WALL-E! Just in case you've been living under a rock and haven't seen one... here's a trailer for the movie:

Monday, July 07, 2008

Strange Days on Planet Earth

This video is an excerpt of the episode Plastic Plague from National Geographic's Strange Days on Planet Earth 2. We have watched all of the episodes from season 1 and 2 over the past month... and wow, talk about eye opening information! The first season has four 1 hour episodes covering invasive species, climate change, the role of predators, and rivers/oceans. The second season has 2 episodes and investigates what is happening to all the fish, our water sources, the impacts of plastic in our oceans.

I highly recommend this docu-series, I found each episode fascinating (not boring). I think everyone should watch them - really they should be handing these DVDs out for free. We rented them from Netflix, since we missed when they aired on PBS. You can read more about this series, and what you can do at the Strange Days website.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Happy belated 4th of July

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday weekend - happy 4th of July (a couple of days later)! I can't believe it's been a week since I made a blog entry... I have a couple draft entries that I'm working on and hope to finish them up in the next day or so - so check back! Thursday I went to a craft store to pick up some soy wax (to make the eco-candles from the video in the previous entry) and left the store with a "I Taught Myself How to Knit" kit and yarn too. Yeah, no joke. It was a random impulse purchase. Why not learn a skill to become a more well rounded individual? So in between the 3 fun BBQs we went to this weekend I sat around and taught myself how to knit. Needless to say the soy wax was left untouched. Well, the instructions and 2D diagrams only took me so far... I almost gave up the idea of this new hobby until I searched YouTube for some instructional videos - jackpot! YouTube to the rescue! I had an ah-ha moment (thanks to a nice highly skilled knitter in Finland) and got back to work. I made myself a fabulous imperfect face cloth in a checkered pattern (of knit and purl stitches for those knitters out there). I briefly thought of posting a picture... but being my first attempt to knit something, it's a little embarrassing.