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24 posts from August 2012

August 31, 2012

13-Year-Old Fights Big Plastic Bill

Plastic bagHow old do you have to be to fight a massive, environment-destroying industry? Younger than you think.

Abby Goldberg, a 13-year-old from Grayslake, Ill., started a petition on Change.org to veto the "Plastic Bag Film and Recycling Act." The title of the bill sounds deceptively benign. What could be so bad about requiring more plastic bag recycling facilities? The problem is that it would take away the power of towns to implement their own strategies for reducing waste, including bans on bags. Why recycle plastic bags when towns can ban them altogether?

Goldberg's petition received over 170,000 signatures. Earlier this summer, she personally delivered the petition to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who vetoed the bill on Sunday.

According to a Change.org press release, Goldberg said, "I couldn’t sit by quietly while big plastic tried to push this bill through my state. . . I care too much about animals, our environment, and our future natural resources to be silent. That’s why I took action, and why I’m so thankful that Governor Quinn took a stand for the environment in vetoing this bill.”

--Image by iStockphoto/Matt_Brown

READ MORE:

Youth Producing Environmental Change Through Film

Ditch Plastic Bags In Style

 Are Plastic Food Containers Too Toxic to Reuse?

 

Krislyn(2)Krislyn Placide is an editorial intern at Sierra going into her fourth year of journalism school at Northwestern University. When she's not updating the blog, she likes running through parks and eating her weight in watermelon.

August 30, 2012

Eco Pets: Toy Time

Dog toysWe love to pamper our pets. We also love to live green. Who says we can't do both? 

This week's tips will help you make your pet's lifestyle as eco-friendly as yours.

Tip #4: Give your pet environmentally friendly toys 

Get rid of the guilt when you treat your pet to a new chew toy — it doesn't have to be bad for the environment! 

Simplyfido sells all-organic pet toys, from natural plush toys to bamboo ropes. 

Owners can also make their own chew toys by repurposing old cotton t-shirts. Simply cut the shirt into strips of fabric and tie it into ropes! 

READ MORE: 

Weird and Wacky Pet Couture

Green Pets: Earth-Friendly Shopping

Eco Pets: Grow Some Grass

--image by istock/AnetaPics

August 29, 2012

Gowns Made from Upcycled Olympic Speedos

Dresses made from upcycled Olympic speedosOur friends at EcoSalon found these gorgeous red carpet-worthy dresses made from upcycled Speedo fabric, from suits worn by Olympic swimmers.

Now that the Olympics are over, and the American swimmers nabbed more gold medals in swimming than ever before, what happens to all those old Speedos? UK-based designer Orsola de Castro has been making high-end fashion from recycled materials since 1997, through the fashion label From Somewhere. One of the brand’s newest collections is made from, you guessed it, upcycled Speedo fabric.

Continue reading "Gowns Made from Upcycled Olympic Speedos" »

Eco Pets: DIY Cat Litter

Pet poo clean up

We love to pamper our pets. We also love to live green. Who says we can't do both? 

This week's tips will help you make your pet's lifestyle as eco-friendly as yours.

Tip #3: Green up the clean-up 

There's nothing that ruins your day like stepping in a big pile of you-know-what carelessly left on the sidewalk. That pile doesn't just pollute your day, it also eventually gets washed down the gutter and into the nearest lake, river, or ocean — full of bacteria. While human waste goes through a treatment facility before being dumped, neglected doggy doo-doo can bring unwanted toxins into our water. 

So first, pick up after your dog. And to be even more eco-friendly, use compostable bags like BioBag (but be sure to use proper waste-composting methods!).

Cat litter isn't much better for the environment, and most brands are not biodegradable either. To save some money and go eco-friendly, try making your own cat litter using old newspaper shreds: 

  • soak shredded newspaper in warm water with a touch of biodegradable dish soap
  • drain and repeat step #1 without soap 
  • sprinkle baking soda over paper, knead, squeeze out any leftover water
  • crumble over a screen and let dry

--image by istock/amanalang

READ MORE:

Love Sick: How Menopause Can Reheat your Pets

NY Dog Poop Gets Special Treatment

Off Target: The Merciless Killers of Family Pets

August 28, 2012

Eco Pets: Upcycled Homes

Cat suitcase bed upcycled

We love to pamper our pets. We also love to live green. Who says we can't do both? 

This week's tips will help you make your pet's lifestyle as eco-friendly as yours.

Tip #2: Turn garbage into luxury pet homes 

Instead of throwing away your bulky old computer, turn it into a pet haven! Some people like to make aquariums from old Macs, others prefer to transform their computer into a feline bungalow. An easier option would be to take old suitcases and fill them with worn blankets for your furry pets. Whatever upcycling method you choose, it's bound to please your animal friends! 

This guy (in the video below) decided to upcycle his broken XBOX 360 into a nano-reef aquarium full of corals, shrimp, and snails. 

Continue reading "Eco Pets: Upcycled Homes " »

August 27, 2012

Eco Pets: Grow Some Grass

Cat grass eco-petWe love to pamper our pets. We also love to live green. Who says we can't do both? 

This week's tips will help you make your pet's lifestyle as eco-friendly as yours. 

Tip #1: Grow your own grass 

Cats go crazy for catnip, and chances are they'll love you even more for growing some organic grass right at home. 

Not only is growing your own catnip and cat grass better for your pet, it's also better for your wallet. Growing your organic catnip and cat grass is one of the simplest ways to green your pet. 

--image by istock/de-kay

READ MORE: 

Pets Slideshow

Do Dogs React to Tears?

Injured Florida Panther in Rehab

Green Pet Products

August 23, 2012

Bee Quiz: Buzzed a Move

Now go tell the others.National Honey Bee Appreciation Day was August 18th. Did you brush up on your bee facts? Take our bee quiz to test your knowledge.

 

Bee Quiz

4.) How do bees communicate?


Answer:

Continue reading "Bee Quiz: Buzzed a Move" »

August 22, 2012

Bee Quiz: The Other Bees

One bee you don't want to mess with.National Honey Bee Appreciation Day was August 18th. Did you brush up on your bee facts? Take our bee quiz to test your knowledge.

 

Bee Quiz

3.) What other kinds of bees do we know?

 

Answer:

Continue reading "Bee Quiz: The Other Bees" »

August 21, 2012

How Green is Your Car's Oil?

Motor OilHow green can a fossil fuel possibly be? The answer lies in how often you change your engine's oil. Many people stick to the 3,000 mile rule when it comes to changing their vehicle's oil. Others change their engine's oil when the oil appears black (fact: it is still doing its job, despite its sooty appearance). The number of miles you can go between oil changes varies; it depends on the make and model of your car. CheckYourNumber.org helps you calculate how often you really need to change your oil. 

Changing your engine oil too frequently does not actually make your engine more efficient or extend its lifespan. In fact, all that does is drain your wallet and hurt the planet. CalRecycle reports that if all motorists in California changed their oil according the manufacturer's directions, 10 million gallons of oil would be saved every year. By taking two minutes (if that) to calculate how many miles you can drive between oil changes, you can reduce your use of fossil fuels, while saving yourself time, and money.

NOTE: CalRecycle's calculations are based on normal driving conditions. The CheckYourNumber.org website lets you know what it defines as normal driving conditions.

READ MORE:

Green Your Car: Improve Your Fuel Efficiency

Gas? Where We/re Going, We Don't Need Gas

Lose the Car, Lose the Weight

--By Laura Hayden/ image courtesy of iStock/tarasov_vl

Bee Quiz: Immaculate Navigation

She sticks the landing.National Honey Bee Appreciation Day was August 18th. Did you brush up on your bee facts? Take our bee quiz to test your knowledge.

 

Bee Quiz

2.) How do bees navigate the air?

Answer:

Continue reading "Bee Quiz: Immaculate Navigation" »


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