Archive for December, 2010

Rock On, World.

 Tina Fey, a member of Saturday Night Live’s cast, was not shy when dressing up as once Vice President Candidate, Sarah Palin. In the humorous comedy sketch, she noted that global warming is just God hugging us a big closer to the sun. Instead of these illogical solutions to a much bigger problem, recent studies have indicated that there’s a new rock found near Oman that is capable of soaking up large amounts of carbon dioxide. Peridotite, has the ability to react with C02 and reduce global warming. Though lacking funding, the rock has the potential to be transported to factory plants, grounded into small pieces, and then combined with smokestack gases to collect emissions. Geologist Peter Keleman and geochemist Matter made the discovery in an Oman desert. Their discovery found that peridotite naturally absorbs anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year. New discoveries have found that the rock might also be found new New Guinea, Greece, and the former Yugoslavia. Luckily for the United States, some studies have found the resource new California. When the rock is exposed to high amounts of carbon dioxide it has the ability to convert it into other minerals like limestone or marble. Unfortunately, the funds to research further into peroditite and other rocks are quickly diminishing. Further research and development could potentially answer our prayers when it comes to the issue of global warming and greenhouse carbon dioxide. 

-Nicholas Chan

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After Christmas Wrapping Paper

So Christmas is over and you’ve opened all your presents. You’re pretty content with all that you’ve received from the holiday, give or take a few presents. But its the day after Christmas and you’re staring at this massive mess of wrapping paper just sitting next to your tree. What to do now?! A lot of people tend to just throw it all away without a care, and a lot of others try their hardest to savage the bits and pieces of salvageable paper with the mindsets that they’re going to reuse it again next year. Lets face it, how many of us really do reuse it… There are so many other things you can do to make use of wrapping paper!

  • Craft projects. We all spend so much on pretty paper, pretty lining and all that stuff when we try attempting to be genuine at craft projects. But here’s the thing, why do we need to buy all that pretty paper when we have a pile of pieces of wrapping paper sitting around?
  • Fragile object protection. So you’re finally deciding to take down that tree, with all of its billions of expensive fragile ornaments that you put up. Most of the time, I just wrap them in my dad’s news paper to protect them. How about not taking dad’s paper (Which he may not have read yet…) and use your wrapping paper to protect your ornaments!
  • Confetti! You know how when you’re packaging pretty presents through the year, and you have to actually GO OUT and buy shredded paper..? There’s no need for that, just shred your wrapping paper! Save some money and make presents even prettier.

-Tiffany Thai

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Chocolate is not brown… It’s green.

     

Now that we’ve established alternatives to wrapping papers and lights, there’s one more topic to address, chocolate. Christmas is filled with chocolate and that’s only reasonable because chocolate makes us happy, no matter hot or cold.  Bloomsberry and Terrapass worked together and produced the Climate Change Chocolate.  A 3.5-ounce confection that, for $4.95, offsets 133 pounds of carbon dioxide — the average American’s daily carbon impact on the planet. “It’s a great way to treat yourself while washing away your sins,” says John Edson, president of Lunar Design, which created the chocolate bar wrappings. Not only are chocolates extremely delicious and eco-friendly, but it also suggestion 15 different ways to reduce your carbon footprint on the wrapping of the candy bar. Chocolate that educates us? Now that’s a win-win. So for this Christmas season, indulge yourself with the decadent Climate Change Chocolate and enjoy the satisfaction of helping the planet while you’re at it.   

~Phil Pham

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Gifts wrapped in Green

        

Christmas is mostly about giving, no matter how big or small your gifts may be, it’s the thoughts that count. Usually the gift isn’t enough, so we gorged our gifts in pretty wrapping paper and fancy bows. But in reality, how much carbon dioxide does your Christmas wrapping output? The answer is once again, a lot. However there are fancy alternatives to Christmas wrapping paper just lying around your house, waiting to be discovered. Here are a few suggestions:

1: Newspapers: Now there’s nothing better than wrapping paper that makes you laugh. Yes folks, wrap your gifts with the comic pages and on the bright side if your gift isn’t really what the person desired, at least they’ll have a comic to laugh at. How about those unused newspapers? Collect those and with a few crayons, you’ll have one snazzy looking wrapping paper.  

2: Fabric; Have you tried wrapping something but gotten the wrapping paper torn and had to start over? Annoying isn’t it? Well if you wrapped with fabric, you wouldn’t have this problem. Just look around your house and scavenge for some unused fabric, you can even be creative and make fancy patterns with it!

3: Jars and Cans: Here’s an odd way to give your gifts in. If you have a gift small enough, why not put it in an old jar or coffee can. After that you can decorate it with bows or wrap it up with fabric. Plus, the person receiving your gift can reuse the can or jar that you gave them, so essentially, it’s a win-win.

Although these suggestions might be a little bit funky and odd, the person receiving your gifts will definitely see your intentions to go green and that’s the best gift anyone can give.

~Phil Pham

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Christmas Trees are green but their lights are not!

     

With Christmas just around the corner, we must really look into ways that we can effectively reduce our carbon output and there’s no better way than to start with the lights. Christmas is all about the joy and holiday spirit and we all know some of that holiday spirit comes from the festive lights. But how much energy does your Christmas lights consume and how much CO2 does it give off. The answer: a lot. Luckily for us and the world, there’s a way to reduce the amount of energy your Christmas lights use. LEDs or lights made with light – emitting diode which incorporates semiconducting material rather than incandescent filaments, making it 90 percent more efficient than traditional Christmas lights. According to one U.S. Department of Energy study, if everyone replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month. That’s enough energy to power 200,000 homes a year! So for this Christmas season, when you’re lighting up the Christmas tree or decorating your house with pretty decorations; consider investing your money on LED because only your lawn needs to be lit, not the entire globe.

~Phil Pham

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Eco-friendly Lotion

Everyone uses lotion, well everyone should use lotion atleast. That means women, children, elders, and yes men, no matter how much my Coach objects to the idea of men using lotion. Lotion which originally was intended to keep moisture in the skin, has become one of the biggest marketing hypes. Everyone big name company seems to be making their own lotion now a days. Now lotion is said to do more then what it it is intended, like the “cellulite curing lotion” and “making skin youthful”. The question is, how much of all this is honestly good for you, and how much of it is just chemical educed ways for companies to make money. The key is to remember, natural is always better.

The first thing you should do when you look for the right lotion is look at the label to see whats in it. Look out for things like parabens like propylparaben and methyparaben. These are preservatives that are linked to many sicknesses. When looking at key ingredients, it is the same principle as when you look at food labels, if you have no idea what it is, it probably is a chemical and isn’t very good for you. Don’t fall for advertisements like “all natural” and other eye catching words, you have to look at the content!

Aside from the lotion itself, looking for eco-friendly lotion, and most other eco-friendly items also involves the packaging of the item. Many lotions are marketed with complex boxing, and casing that honestly serves no purpose other than making it eye catching. Remember when looking for eco-friendly lotion, look for simple bottles made of recycle material. Look for the recycle symbol at the bottom!

-Tiffany Thai

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