Archive for People

The Wolves of Yellowstone

The wolves of Yellowstone were wiped out because ranchers hunted the wolves and felt as though they were dangerous. Between 1850 and 1900, an estimated 2 million wolves were shot, trapped, and poisoned by ranchers, hunters, and government employees. The idea was toe make the West and Great Plains safe for livestock and for big-game animals prized by hunters. The reintroduction of wolves was a success because in 2005, the park had 118 gray wolves that had been brought from Canada.  The rancher’s main concern was that it hurt livestock and killed too many big-game animals.  Their arguments are valid because they did hunt their animals, but their existence is necessary to control other populations. Elk gathered around streams less which helped with plant growth, stabilized stream banks, and lowered the water temperature for trout. They also cut coyote populations which helped the growth of smaller animals and also provided more food for eagles and hawks. In order to make both sides happy, the park should be fenced off or the ranchers can fence off their cattle to protect them from wolves so they can continue their habitat without harming the livestock. I think the human intervention is necessary because it was human intervention in the first place that caused the wolves to be endangered and it’s their duty and obligation to bring them back toYellowstonepark. We can see that each species, regardless of the dangers they might posess to one group, can be an integral part of our biodiversity and environment in the long run.

-Nicholas Chan

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BioChar: The New Approach to Carbon Sequestration.

Coal, a fossil fuel, emits foul and harmful gasses into our atmosphere, and with a lack of political support for clean coal, a new alternative is here, biochar. Biochar is a newfound way of trapping carbon with so called “green coal”. Biomass waste we would never think of using, such as peanut shells actually release carbon when it decomposes. However, by burning the remains in a process known as pyrolysis, what’s left over is biochar or green coal. South American societies began this process and dug back this green coal in the ground in order to lock in carbon instead of allowing it to widen the hole in the ozone layer. If this process is applied efficiently and effectively, scientists agree that billion of tons of carbons could be sequestered in soil instead of being released into our atmosphere. Carbon sequestration can be an effective approach to runaway global warming. This new green coal is proved to be more effective than nature’s natural approach to the problem. While trees or plants lock in the carbon for only 15-20 years, biochar could possibly lock in carbon for possibly 100 years. Along with its obvious benefits, the nutrients brought back into the soil could also spur the industrial agriculture sector, signifying a thumbs up from not only farmers, but those attempting to combat climatecharcoal_d change.

-Nicholas Chan

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LUSH

LUSH cosmetics is a new market line that advertises bath supplies, make-up, and soap that are made from fresh and organic fruits and vegetables.  The company focuses on the idea of creation natural cosmetics that requires little to no preservatives in the product, packaging and transportation. The line also fights again animal tested products for animal rights activists. They only buy their resources from companies that have proven not to test on animals. It markets products that make the smallest impact on the environment to keep our green Earth green. The products are made with common natural vegetarian resources such as vanilla bean, rose oil, almond oil, seaweed, and even charcoal. The cosmetics are meant to make humans beautiful as well as our planet and ecosystem. The company has over 700 stores world wide and is continuing to grow and branch out not only the products, but the message of a drive toward a greener future. In Houston’s local First Colony Mall, in the Macy’s Department store, a LUSH product stand is actually inside the store. With personal experience, the workers there are incredibly friendly and even have live demonstrations of popular products such as the butterball bath bomb. The cosmetic line has hair, skin, bath, and shower products. In not only attracts a younger generation, but can appeal to an older generation that enjoys the same cosmetic products they normally enjoy with a great overall cause that helps our environment.  The LUSH product line has come along way and went from Constantine and Weir, Cosmetics to Go, and finally the brand name we’ve come to know and love today.

-Nicholas Chan

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From Brownfields to Greenfields.

P1010195Brownfields are abandoned once industrialized locations that suffer from pollution and deserted heavy factory industries. Unfortunately, as hazardous as these locations might sound, the poor make up a large population in these dreadful lands.

A newly proposed green movement actually advocates a full sweep of a green revolution into these neighborhoods. With the combination of reducing poverty and protecting the environment, a switch to a greener life-style can actually be what those in poverty need. With greener jobs and a switch to new forms of alternative energy, these brownfield dumps can be the starting point for the domestic transition to a greener world.

Not only is equality and the economic status change to a richer community, but the abandoned locations can make as great wind farms, solar power sites, nuclear power plants that give the poor jobs and incorporate them into the policy making process that opts for the green movement. Is it a coincidence that both “eco” show up in both economy and ecosystem? The two are both dependent on each other and luckily, we’ve found our starting point in the revolution.

-Nicholas Chan

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Under the Green Conditioner

         So we’ve gotten green shampoos covered but what about conditioners? For all those who love conditioning your hair daily in order to achieve that slick and shiny look or those who do it once or twice for to give your hair the treatment it deserves, this is a blog for you. According to ecosalon.com”to avoid the common ingredient in conventional conditioners called Lauramide DEA. It strips away important amino acids like serine, histamine and other hair and skin proteins. This can leave hair feeling dry and unmanageable – creating the need to use more conditioner.” Luckily for you beauty freaks, there are eco friendly products for you.  First we have the Nature Girl Lemon Thyme Crème Rinse. Not only is this product 100% organic but the smell is exactly what its label promised; lemon and thyme. This condition is perfect for any type of hair as well as daily usage.  Next we have the Hamadi Shea Rice Milk Conditioner. While having a citrusy smell and being 100% organic, this condition won’t leave any build up in your hair AND it will leave it feeling smooth and silky. There are many other alternatives to the norm, just click on the link below for many other great eco friendly conditioners.

http://www.ecosalon.com/conditioners/

 

 ~Phil Pham

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Greener Suds, Bud!

        

Shampoo; sure they help us clean our hair and make It nice and silky but have you wondered what side effects shampoo has? According to ecosalon.com sodium lauryl sulfate a chemical that makes regular shampoos suds up. Among other things, it can lead to skin damage, permanent eye damage in children and even liver toxicity. Luckily for us some shampoos contain the greener alternative there is decyl glucoside. This is a mild sudsing agent certified for its eco-clean production. A research was conducted by ecosalon.com to see which shampoo could’ve been deemed as the best eco shampoo on the market. Their top pick was Tasmanian Lavender Shampoo from Sea Chi Organics. Its ingredient contain seaweed extract, nettles, marshmallow root, comfrey root, calendula blossoms, oat straw, kombucha tea and more. There are many other eco friendly shampoos that ecosalon.com reviewed. If you want to know more about those shampoos or more about the Tasmanian Lavender Shampoo, click on the following link

http://ecosalon.com/organic-shampoos/

~Phil Pham

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Waiter, there’s oil on my shrimp.

 Yesterday, I spent four hours of my Halloween looking for shrimp. Yes, shrimp. Apparently my mother has this specific type of frozen fresh shrimp that she usually goes to the nearby store for, however it wasn’t there, so we went to about 3 other stores and instead of finding shrimp we ended up buying other groceries. My mother spent 100 dollars on groceries that day. THe only reason that I could think of that that would explain why the shrimp wasn’t at the store would probably be the lack of certainty on the saftty of the shrimp. Recently there has been extensive testing of seafood coming out of the Gulf of Mexico. Federal scientists have concluded that there isn’t enough of the dispersant that was used to eliminate the oil on the actual seafood to make it harmful to humans. However, my endeavor shows other wise, fishermen are reluctant to fish no matter what the government says because occording to some there are still visible signs of oil in the waters where they work. This disagreement must reach some sort of conclusion because the jobs, and in this economy the lives, of many fishermen hang in the balance.

~Jesse Anyalebechi

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