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24 posts from August 2012

August 20, 2012

Bee Quiz: Long Live the Queen

She works hard for the honeyWho do we have to thank for smoothie week, fruit-picking, and apple-related folklore? The European honeybee, of course. These fierce pollinators who came to this continent via the Columbian Exchange make it possible for us to enjoy a lot of our favorite foods. As colony collapse disorder continues to threaten our tiny winged friends, we should celebrate and preserve them and promote awareness however we can. Not just for the sake of agriculture, but also because these are some fascinating insects. National Honey Bee Appreciation Day was August 18th. Did you brush up on your bee facts?

Bee Quiz

1.) How many eggs does a queen bee lay per day?

Answer:

 

Continue reading "Bee Quiz: Long Live the Queen" »

August 16, 2012

Back to School: Internships and Extracurriculars

College internships that change the worldIt's almost time to dust off that backpack and head back to campus. We've got a week's worth of tips to get you excited about a green education.

Tip #4: Go Beyond the Classroom

It's up to you to make the most of your education and to shape that experience to help you meet your goals. Luckily, there are plenty of people and programs that can help you do that. Look for internships, fellowships, or extracurricular activities that allow you to hone your skills and — ideally — help make the world a better place. Simi Olabisi used her senior project to make a difference by creating solar-powered incubators for infants in the developing world. Victoria Pan started a recycling club at her high school. Joaquin Sosa scored the Best Internship on Earth and spent the summer hiking, rafting, and exploring the outdoors with children from the Sierra Club's Inner City Outings program. How will you take your environmental passion beyond the classroom?

READ MORE:

Organic Farming Opportunities

VIDEO: What Makes a Cool School?

Green Your Future: National Park Gigs

Continue reading "Back to School: Internships and Extracurriculars" »

August 15, 2012

Back to School: Pimp Your Dorm Room

Bamboo keyboardIt's almost time to dust off that backpack and head back to campus. We've got a week's worth of tips to get you excited about a green education.

Tip #3: Choose Cool Supplies

Eco-friendly school supplies don't have to be bland and boring. Step up your back-to-school style with our top five must-have items for your dorm — starting with this gorgeous bamboo keyboard and mouse from iZen Bamboo.

READ MORE:

DIY: Repurposed Plastic Bottle Cellphone Holder

Fashion: Four Eco-Pieces for Him and Her

DIY: 10 Summer Shorts You Can Make at Home

--Photo by Lori Eanes

August 14, 2012

Back to School: The Top 10 Green Colleges

Sierra magazine Cool SchoolsIt's almost time to dust off that backpack and head back to campus. We've got a week's worth of tips to get you excited about a green education. 

Tip #2: Choose a Cool School

Want to attend a university that's as serious about protecting the planet as you are? Sierra magazine ranked the nation's top ten colleges in its annual Cool Schools issue. UC Davis, Sierra’s number one school this year, stands out for its well-rounded set of sustainable efforts, including establishing rigorous green purchasing standards, diverting 70% of the school’s trash, and offering extraordinary transportation solutions: 20,000 bicycles park on campus every day. 

Check out the complete ranking of 96 schools to find out how your favorite school scored!

READ MORE:

America's Top 10 Coolest Schools

How Venture Capitalists Fund Idealism

World's Coolest Student Center

 

August 13, 2012

Back to School: Cool Classes

Biology classIt's almost time to dust off that backpack and head back to campus. We've got a week's worth of tips to get you excited about a green education. 

Tip #1: Find classes that matter

If you love the outdoors, allow the classroom to inform that passion. Biology classes can help shed new light on familiar plants and animals. Literature courses on Thoreau or Muir can ignite your sense of awe. If you're ready to commit beyond a few classes and books, opt for an environmentally focused major. You might consider an immersive learning program, such as St. Lawrence University's Adirondack Semester, which moves the classroom into the woods -- literally. Or you could try your hand at a green program that incorporates real-world experience, such as the University of Utah's DesignBuildBluff, which puts architecture students to work building sustainable houses for the Navajo. Whether your dream is to design greener technology, organize environmental activists, or lead climbing expeditions, there are teachers out there waiting to help you achieve those goals. 

READ MORE:

Cool Schools Fantasy Draft: Top Teachers and Courses

Nature-Based Extracurricular Programs

4 Nonconformist Eco-Schools

August 10, 2012

Ask Mr. Green: Local vs. Organic

Mr. Green is Bob SchildgenHey Mr. Green,

Several of my acquaintances are obsessive locavores who buy and eat only locally grown food. They prefer organic to nonorganic food, but when local organic options aren't available, they opt for the local nonorganic stuff. So what's best: local nonorganic or out-of-state organic?

--John in Salem, Oregon

Though I support locavores and admire their fierce dedication--some would rather starve than eat an imported apple--I think your friends may be a bit too doctrinaire.

A locavore's transportation footprint can actually be comparatively large, depending on loads and vehicles. Hauling 500 pounds of cabbage 50 miles in a small pickup, for instance, can burn about the same amount of fuel per pound of cargo as trucking 50,000 pounds 1,500 miles in an 18-wheeler. Plus, if the semi backhauls food, then it can be twice as efficient as a pickup that's returning empty or partially full.

Transport the food by rail, which can be up to four times more efficient than long-haul trucking, and you could conceivably move a cabbage halfway around the world on the same amount of fuel as a local grower might need.

The greatest advantage of local production is that you can talk directly to farmers and ranchers. But you need to ask the right questions. Were pesticides used on those local tomatoes? Was that local steer fed alfalfa grown with water-squandering irrigation practices and fattened on trucked-in nonorganic grain? Given such complex questions, organic usually gets my nod, even if it's from another time zone. Why? Because the U.S. Department of Agriculture's organic standards are national. And supporting organic farming anywhere can have a strong influence on cleaning up agriculture everywhere.

 

Got a question? Ask Mr. Green!

 

--illustration by Little Friends of Printmaking

Recipe: Zucchini and Goat Cheese Sliders

Recipe for zucchini and goat cheese slidersCreate a new summer food staple with this delicious recipe from our friends at EcoSalon.

Zucchini is a summer staple in my kitchen. It’s light and versatile. I like to pair it with Italian flavors, such as goat cheese, tomatoes, and basil, and create unique variations of antipasti. This recipe bakes zucchini slices and rolls them around in basil and sun-dried tomato while being mixed into soft goat cheese. The result is a poppin’ appetizer or snack.

And you’re getting more than just a delectable, bite-sized treat. Zucchini is a powerhouse of nutrition. It contains only 36 calories per one cup and improves digestion, prevents cancer, lowers cholesterol, is anti-inflammatory, reduces blood pressure, and contributes to vibrant and glowing skin.

But, don’t take my word for it. Incorporate zucchini into your diet and see for yourself – starting with this recipe!

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Sliders

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

Continue reading "Recipe: Zucchini and Goat Cheese Sliders" »

August 09, 2012

Shark Myths Quiz: Big and Scary

Whale shark

It's shark season, which means Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week is almost here. Before the week of razor teeth and ominous fins begins, take our quiz to see if you know your shark facts from fiction. (Hint: Don't believe everything you saw in Jaws.)   

Shark Myths Quiz:

4.) The bigger the shark, the bigger their prey. True or False?

Answer:

 

Continue reading "Shark Myths Quiz: Big and Scary " »

August 08, 2012

Shark Myths Quiz: Sharky Senses

Shark senses

It's shark season, which means Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week is almost here. Before the week of razor teeth and ominous fins begins, take our quiz to see if you know your shark facts from fiction. (Hint: Don't believe everything you saw in Jaws.)   

Shark Myths Quiz:

3.) Sharks have more than five senses. True or False? 

Answer:

 

Continue reading "Shark Myths Quiz: Sharky Senses " »

August 07, 2012

Shark Myths Quiz: Shark vs. Orca

Killer whale vs. great whiteIt's shark season, which means Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week is almost here. Before the week of razor teeth and ominous fins begins, take our quiz to see if you know your shark facts from fiction. (Hint: Don't believe everything you saw in Jaws.)   

Shark Myths Quiz:

2.) Sharks have no predators and are at the top of the ocean food chain. True or False?

Answer:

 

Continue reading "Shark Myths Quiz: Shark vs. Orca " »


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