Archive for October, 2009

Re-Gifting the Perfect Accessory

recbagsLast month in September I wrote a blog about fashionable recycled outfits. Well for many of you guys that enjoyed my previews blog, I have another fashion blog for you today. No I’m not going to show you more fashionable and creative outfits but I am going introduce you to the accessories that can go with that outfit. If your looking for a hand bag to go with that beautiful outfit of yours but you can’t find what you like or something different from what your friends have then maybe a newspaper bag is what you need. You might be thinking newspaper? Yes a bag made out of newspapers. What if it rains? Don’t worry its water resistant. The newspaper is laminated so that water can damage that purse. The cool thing about these bags is that they are hand made and trust me you’re never going to see another bag that is just like yours. Maybe a hand bag isn’t what you are looking for, maybe your searching for the perfect earrings to match that dress for tonight. Imagine you wearing real silver and being eco friendly as well.

You might think impossible but nothing is impossible these days. These earrings are real leaves from the Brazilian rainforest that are then hand dipped in real silver. How can this help the environment? Well every pair of earrings that is bought helps plant a tree at Nugaard Designs. If earrings aren’t what you need how about a necklace? You can get a beautiful necklace handmade from recycled glass. These are just some of the accessories available, if you’re interested in any of theses items here are some websites; but remember being green and fashionable at the same time isn’t cheap.
http://www.uncommongoods.com
http://www.delight.com
http://www.planettrash.co.uk
http://www.buygreen.com

– Betsy Garcia

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Priceless Dirt

“Bacteria are one of the most abundant organisms on the planet and also one of the most studied. Today, scientists use bacteria for genetics research, antibiotics, and yes! Even biofuels. Recent technological advances have made a battery running on bacteria a reality. Known as microbial fuels cells or MFCs, batteries running on bacteria and other microbes have been keenly researched by scientist for decades.”

I saw this article on alternativeenergynews.com and wanted to share. Appearantly, scientists are using bacteria found in dirt to make biofuels. There is an actual running battery that is dependent on the seemingly worthless organisms. The cells are called “microbial fuel cell” (aka MFC’s) and they’ve been researched for a very long time in order to make this project available. The implications of this technology are very important. Humans now have the technology to extract energy from anything, without draining other organisms of their resources. People are no longer needing to use these resources that are irreplaceable since we have a myriad of alternative options. This great new discovery is definitely very valuable–as valuable as dirt.

– Silvia Chicas

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Reuse, Reduced, RE-Capture?

ZIF

As we all know plants captures carbon dioxide and sunlight and convert it into oxygen. As humans we can’t do all of that yet, but with the latest technology development, scientist can actually capture carbon dioxide before it reaches the atmosphere. What this actually do for us is reduce the level of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere and it doesn’t run on toxic materials, so it’s even CLEANER for the environment. This technology is designed by Omar M. Yaghi, UCLA’s Christopher S. Foote Professor of Chemistry . . This is a breakthrough in carbon dioxide capturing technology because this machine actually acts like a reservoir because it stores carbon dioxide and nothing escapes, unless you want it to escape. Carbon dioxide is stored into zeolitic imidazolate frameworks, which are crystals  with large surface areas, that can be heated to high temperatures without decomposition and boiled in water or organic solvents for a week and still remain stable. Even though prototypes of these crystals and the machines are being produced and their still being tested on, there is a possibility in the future that this machine and the ZIF crystals would be fully developed to be mass produced through out the world. By then we would have a cleaner and greener EARTH( or suffer the consequences of global warming and get drown by the sea ☺)

Phil Pham

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350 Day A Success

Kerr’s Green Debate Team participated in downtown Houston’s 350 day, a world-wide demonstration to raise awareness about the number 350, which is the amount of carbon parts per million scientists have declared is suitable for human life. We are currently at 390 parts per million. This demonstration was held to draw attention for the Global Climate Change meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark.  There were similar ones in 181 countries worldwide. Some of the participating countries were Ethiopia, Peru, Australia, New Zeland, Mongolia, and Dominican Republic. The Green Debate Team was proud to be a part of such an important event. Not only did we get a chance to make Houston streets clean, we also got to raise awareness about this issue. We were able to network with other people and organizations interested in promoting education on environmentally-friendly alternatives, and talk to people unaware of the event. People from all over Houston contributed to this event and we were able to get a variety of press coverage. Thank you to all of those who attended and to the sponsors who made 350 Day happen.

– Silvia Chicas

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Houston Low Carbon Rally – 350

headergraphicJoin other climate concerned Houstonians tomorrow for community service projects and  Low Carbon Rally at City Hall tomorrow as part of the 350 International Climate Change project.

Members of the Alief Kerr Green Squad and the Green Debate Team will be participating in community service clean-up projects downtown, then attending a rally educating about the danger of carbon emissions.

Organizers are encouraging carpooling or taking other environmentally safe methods to gather at City Hall at 901 Bagby for the noon rally.

Come out and show how green Houstonians truly are!

– The Green Debate Team

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Global Warming: Facts and Myths

This is a collection of myths and their corresponding facts on global warming:

Myth: As the ozone hole shrinks, global warming will no longer be a problem.

Fact: Global warming and the ozone hole are two different problems.

Global warming is the warming of the atmosphere by the collection of Carbon and other greenhouse gases. The thinning ozone layer lets in UV sun rays, which made it impossible for vertebrates to live on land.

Myth: Recent cold winters and cool summers don’t feel like global warming to me.

Fact: While different pockets of the country have experienced some cold winters here and there, the overall trend is warmer winters.  Obviously the words warm and winter don’t really click, seeing them together could cause much bewilderment among the minds of even the most intellectual kindergarteners. It’s not natural.

MYTH: We can adapt to climate change — civilization has survived droughts and temperature shifts before.

FACT: Although humans as a whole have survived the vagaries of drought, stretches of warmth and cold and more, entire societies have collapsed from dramatic climatic shifts. The current warming of our climate will bring major hardships and economic dislocations — untold human suffering, especially for our children and grandchildren.

MYTH: Global warming is just part of a natural cycle. The Arctic has warmed up in the past.

FACT: The global warming we are experiencing is not natural. People are causing it. People are causing global warming by burning fossil fuels (like oil, coal and natural gas) and cutting down forests.

MYTH: Global warming and extra CO2 will actually be beneficial — they reduce cold-related deaths and stimulate crop growth.

FACT: Any beneficial effects will be far outweighed by damage and disruption.. Rising seas would inundate coastal communities, contaminate water supplies with salt and increase the risk of flooding by storm surge, affecting tens of millions of people globally.

References:

Dr. James Wang

SCIENTIST, CLIMATE AND AIR PROGRAM, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE

Dr. Michael Oppenheimer

PROFESSOR OF GEOSCIENCES AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY

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Reading Between the Lines

180px-Laptop-ebook

“For those of us who were raised on printed books, we of course see them as sacred temples. The fact is that the students today are entirely adept, facile and comfortable with electronic technology.”

–        Dr. James Tracy

 

 When it comes to caring for the environment, are electronic books- good or bad? Personally, I would prefer to hold a book physically when I read but is it truly better to use eBooks. I am going to try not to be biased and state the facts and I guess it is up to you to decide for yourself.

        Electronic books take up no room..  Okay so eBooks have this storage ability to allow you to carry a bunch of books, depending on the size of the book and the room you have. If you have a storage card, you can walk around with at least a dozen books, and probably many more than that. Even if you don’t have a storage card, you can still walk around with a fair collection of three to six books (again, depending on book size and available memory). Many people think that because many people carry some kind of electronic around with them it give you the ability to read on the go without looking like a dork for carrying a bunch of books around. So it will benefit book lovers because the will be able to carry books everywhere they go. It will also benefit the secret readers who think they are to cool to read books in public; it will benefit them because they won’t have to check out a book in the library but instead get a book online. The biggest boost is that they do not require any trees to be cut down, thus protecting the bio-diversity of our forest. Finally, we all know that printing is a huge reason why many of our global forest are being cut down daily. Does recycling solve for this?

        One the other side, it is a fine achievement, for some people, to collect all the great books. While some may no have the storage ability others do. And even if you don’t you can go to a public library and read all the print books you want, and you can keep them at months at a time and still be satisfied. But the problem with eBooks is that it takes the reading experience from the reader. Many people can agree that reading isn’t just reading words on a page about whatever, but it is also feeling the pages and the different types of pages and font. For those who are looking at the computer screen while reading should know that studies show that eye strain and other bothersome visual symptoms occur in 50 percent to 90 percent of computer users. If you look at how long it will take you to read the eBook you might realize that you might start having eye problems and some of you reading this are also Myspace, Facebook and Twitter fans so the eye strain rate will be higher (really higher) for you. Just something to think about, everybody wearing glasses or contacts; we already have everybody wearing braces.

The big question to be answered is how environmentally safe is the electronic book?

 

 

 

 

The date was Oct 13. And can you replace it with this one, thank you

 

 –christina Williamson

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