Green Kids like going green

How to Get Kids Involved in Being Green

In recent years, many of us have shifted into living a greener life. We’ve become more aware of turning off lights when we leave a room, have switched to using reusable grocery bags, and have started sorting trash from recyclables before throwing things out. However if we want to continue to further the green movement we can’t stop there. We have to get our kids involved in living a greener life too; otherwise our efforts will eventually stall out. To help get your kids involved and interested in the green movement, try these tactics:

  1. Make it a challenge. Kids love to compete against other people, so make going green a challenge. See who can collect the most recyclables throughout the week and give everyone a different bin to put their recycling in. Assign different people in the house different green chores, like making sure all the lights are turned off before bedtime or collecting cans around the neighborhood, and keep track of who is the most consistent at accomplishing their tasks. At the end of each week award a prize to who did the best job, like letting them pick the movie to watch on movie night or taking the family to the winner’s favorite restaurant for a meal.
  2. Make it fun. Not all recyclables have to be taken to the recycling bin; instead make craft projects out of old toilet paper and paper towel tubes, or artwork out of scrap paper. Have the kids make papier-mâché robots from the tubes and cereal boxes, or paint pictures over paper that’s been written on. Show them how easy it is to re-purpose recyclable items instead of throwing them away.
  3. Plant a produce garden together. To teach kids the importance of eating locally grown, organic foods, plant a garden together. They’ll love spending time outside working in the dirt alongside you, and how often do we really encourage them to get their hands dirty? They’ll learn about gardening and biology in the process, and they’ll be proud when they harvest their produce or herbs.
  4. Talk to them about the importance of going green. Kids are like sponges when it comes to absorbing information, so talk to them regularly about how important it is to our planet to live a green lifestyle. Explain how we’re hurting our planet, how we can help, and why everyone needs to pitch in. They’ll probably end up retaining a lot more information than you think.
  5. Involve them in your green efforts. When you need to take the recycling to the recycling plant, take the kids with you. Have them help you sort through trash and recyclables together. Make a game out of crushing cans. Show them how they can pick up trash around the neighborhood to help keep everything clean and beautiful.

By actively living a green lifestyle and encouraging our children to do the same we can make a lasting difference in the preservation of our planet. Don’t assume that kids are too young to be involved; instead teach them from early on how they can make a difference. It’s through the generations to come that we can help clean up and preserve our planet, and every little bit helps.

About the Author:

 

This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor ofLiveinnanny.comShe welcomes your comments at her email Id: jdebra84 @ gmail.com.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Two pronged attack Energy Efficiency and Conservation

The total energy efficiency of the United States is less than 50% and the total amount of energy produced by oil and coal together is almost 75%.

Now let’s pretend we would like to put less carbon into the atmosphere and as a given oil and coal happen to be the sources that put most of the carbon into the air. If we could increase the overall efficiency by a quarter, we could use a third less carbon fuel.

So I guess the question is what are the obstacles to not wasting more than half of the energy we produce? Are the costs associated with such an endeavor so high that it is really not worth the investment?

Doing some research on fuels and their various efficiencies,  wood can burned generating heat energy at above 90% efficiency in the right kind of fireplace.  The technology for burning wood has been developed since the beginning of mankind but I still think we could still waste less energy with other fuels as well.

Sky Farms

Sky farms – The new Green farm?

Sky farms are quite literally multilevel agricultural farms, much like
skyscrapers. These sky farms are springing up all over the world, and the
economics of sky farming are already showing positive results. Sky farming
is basically a form of hydroponic farming. It includes significant potential for
organic farming, and major improvements in water usage efficiency. Sky farms
to involve some logistics and infrastructure, notably provision of in-house water
management systems and electrical services, but these are actually far more
economic than traditional agricultural systems.

Sky farm basics

Sky farms are essentially high-rise buildings. They’re designed to achieve
maximum efficiency in the growth and harvesting of agricultural products of all
kinds.  They’ve already shown significant potential for commercial production.
Many growers are particularly interested in the fact that sky farms also provide
enclosed spaces, which naturally provide significant protection against the
elements, weeds, droughts and insect and fungal pests.

Sky farms and agricultural issues

Because sky farms provide a lot of vertical and cubic space, they can overcome
the limitations of the “two-dimensional” traditional farming environment. It’s
possible that the sky farms may be the solution to the increasing problems
of conflicting land use where urban land is displacing agricultural land and
agricultural land is destroying natural habitat and ecology.

The appalling condition of rural land around the world is a major issue
currently being raised at government and international levels regarding the
sustainability of future food production. Sky farms have the potential to
completely eliminate this problem. Theoretically they can grow more food in
far less space than traditional farming.

The economics of traditional rural land use can also be drastically improved by
sky farming. The fact is that it takes extraordinary amounts of water and soil to
produce basic agricultural products. That situation is definitely not sustainable,
and far more efficient means of food production are desperately required.

Because of the quasi-hydroponic nature of sky farming, water usage can be
improved by up to 200%. Soil degradation can be drastically decreased, due to
the fact that sky farm plants use significantly less soil in their growth media.

Organic growers concerned about the possibility of contamination and cross
pollination of their crops with genetically modified organisms have also
expressed interest in sky farms, which provide enclosed growing habitats for
their products. Sky farming could in fact be a particularly useful method of
ensuring agricultural and botanic genetic lines.

The future of sky farming

The big winners in sky farming will be farmers, consumers and the
environment. Sky farms have so far shown themselves to be very easy to
manage, logistically simpler to operate in terms of crop management, and to
have the potential for significant flexibility in choice of commercial crops.

It may be strange for a while for farmers when they realize that instead
of using a backhoe they’ll have to call an electrician, but the cost savings
and peace of mind may be the greatest breakthrough for farmers since the
Agricultural Revolution.

Sky farming is a very much more efficient, profitable approach to a serious
food supply situation which traditional commercial farming has so far shown
itself to be completely unable to address.

Natural Gas to hydrates for transport and back to gas

A while back I wrote a post HERE and HERE on collecting natural gas hydrates from the sea floor.  I was not really in favor of the idea because of the possible/probable dangers.  For good or bad like drilling at 5000ft for oil, extracting these frozen naturals gasses is going to happen so might as well examine the effects..

One of the often cited problems with natural gas as an energy source is that they are hard to safety transport over long distances because of the volatile and hazardous properties of the fuels.  A proposed solution is to turn the fuel back into a solid by freezing and applying pressure like at the bottom of the ocean where fuels like methane are in a solid and thus more stable state.

My concern in using this method of freezing and unfreezing is how much energy will be needed to convert a gas like methane into a solid.  The melting point of methane is about -297 F(162.5C) so an extremely cold environment would be need to convert and keep methane as a solid.  The other problem is that natural gas is another limited resource so putting lots of energy into collecting it is not a good long term energy strategy.

However, just like coal and oil, we will take natural gas as long as we can get it and so having a viable fuel transportation strategy is an important development.

Geothermal energy waste into lithium batteries

Most geothermal energy plants inject water deep into the ground where the earth’s heat energy turns it into steam used to generate electricity.

The wastewater from this process is full of elements that are not abundant on the surface and that includes lithium.  Without going too far into battery technology lithium batteries last four times as long as conventional ones and can deliver a lot of energy quickly.  The latter feature is extremely useful for electronics and hybrid cars.  The 150 MPG cars you hear about are made with lithium-ion batteries.

This is a great example of a change needed at the demand level.  Energizer makes them but  the cost makes them a rare purchase despite the advantages.  A synergistic relationship between battery makers and geothermal energy producers is very important. The educated consumer will buy them but needs to realize that you get what you pay for and 99 cent batteries last only hours.

How to feed the world

 

stop having so many kids

sorry to be callous but the planet is already way above capacity, if we were a restaurant the fire department would shut us down.

Better use and conservation of water, less petrol-fertilizers, genetic engineering, etc. are all good ideas but can come nowhere near solving the problem of global hunger.

Historically overpopulation has always seen a reaction from the forces of natural selection; Plagues

In fact, most of us carry genes that render us immune to the plagues our ancestors survived.

A long term stategy is important and it will be necessary to tell people they do not have the right to procreate if they can’t provide for the offspring.

If we don’t address the problem, mother nature may have to do it for us and I don’t think anyone would like a serious pandemic to solve the problem.

 

Pollution in the Charles River

chales 2

pollution

I just read a book called Zodiac by Neal Stephanson and I liked it very much mostly because it takes place in Boston, the rivers and harbor which I know quite well.

It made me realize how different things are now in terms of pollution. In the eighties even the Charles and the Inner harbor were totally toxic, and I remember seeing the remnants.

44 Pleasant street in Watertown and behind all buildings to the west of there was poison. The small waterfall directly to the east had shopping cart, plastic bags, and all sorts of unidentifiable trash. I saw a large transistor and battery once.

Me and my friends played in the extensive muck  surrounding the beginning of the smooth Charles, past the tiny waterfall in Watertown.

Creepy trees growing out of slime

All still water a magic petroleum of rainbow colors

sink to the knees take many showers

But now like many places in Boston, IE Southie and the Combat Zone, the river has been gentrified.

Rich folks lead to clean rivers and corners and I suppose it’s not a bad thing, the Charles River in Watertown smells good and in the former combat zone there is nary a hooker or coke dealer to be seen.

The point is that at least in North America (excluding Mexico) the populous seems to have a proper outrage at being poisoned and so at least on the surface, plants can grow again.

charles-river-in-watertown5

%d bloggers like this: