Does Tree House Building Sound Like a Good Time?

How about wind-turbine construction?  And a big family-friendly party in the midst of all the building projects? Sound like your kind of thing? Then you may want to make your way to Tecumseh, Missouri-based ecovillage East Wind Community during the first week of June for the Villages in the Sky festival.

Inspired by well-know events such as Burning Man and the Rainbow Gathering, the festival’s mission is

…to bring people together to explore the creation of sustainable energy: the kind that powers our appliances and the kind that creates momentum in our lives. In full celebration of the wind element, we’ll be leaving behind positive traces of the world we’re actively building together: tree houses and wind mills. Small scale wind farms and other renewable energy installations will be our work and tree house villages and zip line courses will be our play!

The overall goal will be the development of new ecovillages at the Villages in the Sky site… and, of course, a really good time. The organizers have already been testing out some of their ideas — at last year’s Burning Man, and at Central Virginia’s Acorn Community.

Courtesy:sustainablog

Environment Issues-How Much Energy Does It Take to Make Bottled Water?

producing, packaging and transporting a liter of bottled water requires between 1,100 and 2,000 times more energy on average than treating and delivering the same amount of tap water, according to a peer-reviewed energy analysis conducted by the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Oakland, California.

Popularity of Bottled Water is Rising
Bottled water has become the drink of choice for many people around the world, and sales have skyrocketed over the past few years. In 2007, for example, more than 200 billion liters of bottled water were sold worldwide. Americans alone purchased more than 33 billion liters for an annual average of 110 liters (nearly 30 gallons) per person—a 70 percent increase since 2001.

Bottled water has become so popular that it now outsells both milk and beer in the United States. Carbonated soft drinks are the only bottled beverage that U.S. consumers buy in greater quantities than bottled water, and per-capita sales of bottled water are rising while per-capita sales of milk and soft drinks are going down. The irony here, of course, is that a lot of bottled water is little more than tap water, which costs very little and is much better regulated and more rigorously tested than bottled water.

Adding Up the Energy Costs of Bottled Water
For the energy analysis, environmental scientists Peter Gleick and Heather Cooley of the Pacific Institute assessed the energy used during each stage of bottled water production. They added up the energy it takes to make a plastic bottle; process the water; label, fill and seal the bottle; transport bottled water for sale; and cool the bottled water before it ends up in your gym bag or your car’s cup holder.

Writing in the February 19, 2009 issue of Environmental Research Letters [pdf], Gleick and Cooley report that manufacturing and transportation are the most energy-intensive processes involved in putting a bottle of water in your refrigerator.

The two scientists estimate that just producing the plastic bottles for bottled-water consumption worldwide uses 50 million barrels of oil annually—enough to supply total U.S. oil demand for 2.5 days.

Transportation energy consumption is harder to figure, because some water is bottled locally and travels short distances to reach consumers while other brands of bottled water are imported from distant nations, which increases the amount of energy needed to transport them. According to the report, imported bottled water uses about two-and-a-half to four times more energy than bottled water produced locally.

Overall, the two scientists estimate that meeting U.S. demand for bottled-water—assuming the 2007 consumption rate of 33 billion liters—requires energy equivalent to between 32 million and 54 million barrels of oil. The energy required to satisfy the global thirst for bottled water is about three times that amount.

Think Before You Drink
If you imagine that every bottle of water you drink is about three-quarters water and one-quarter oil, you’ll have a pretty accurate picture of how much energy it takes to put that bottle of water in your hand.

Courtesy:About.com

Nature-Natural Rivers And Lakes

Main articles: River and Lake

A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing toward an ocean, a lake, a sea or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including stream, creek, brook, rivulet, and rill; there is no general rule that defines what can be called a river. Many names for small rivers are specific to geographic location; one example is Burn in Scotland and North-east England. Sometimes a river is said to be larger than a creek,[11] but this is not always the case, because of vagueness in the language.[12] A river is part of the hydrological cycle. Water within a river is generally collected from precipitation through surface runoff, groundwater recharge, springs, and the release of stored water in natural ice and snowpacks (i.e., from glaciers).

A lake (from Latin lacus) is a terrain feature (or physical feature), a body of liquid on the surface of a world that is localized to the bottom of basin (another type of landform or terrain feature; that is, it is not global) and moves slowly if it moves at all. On Earth, a body of water is considered a lake when it is inland, not part of the ocean, is larger and deeper than a pond, and is fed by a river.[13][14] The only world other than Earth known to harbor lakes is Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, which has lakes of ethane, most likely mixed with methane. It is not known if Titan’s lakes are fed by rivers, though Titan’s surface is carved by numerous river beds. Natural lakes on Earth are generally found in mountainous areas, rift zones, and areas with ongoing or recent glaciation. Other lakes are found in endorheic basins or along the courses of mature rivers. In some parts of the world, there are many lakes because of chaotic drainage patterns left over from the last Ice Age. All lakes are temporary over geologic time scales, as they will slowly fill in with sediments or spill out of the basin containing them.

Courtesy:Wikipedia

Nature-Oceanic Activities

Oceanic activity

Polar bears on the sea ice of the Arctic Ocean, near the North Pole.

Some of the biodiversity of a coral reef.

Main article: Ocean
Earth’s oceans
(World Ocean)

An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface (an area of some 361 million square kilometers) is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas. More than half of this area is over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) deep. Average oceanic salinity is around 35 parts per thousand (ppt) (3.5%), and nearly all seawater has a salinity in the range of 30 to 38 ppt. Though generally recognized as several ‘separate’ oceans, these waters comprise one global, interconnected body of salt water often referred to as the World Ocean or global ocean.[8][9] This concept of a global ocean as a continuous body of water with relatively free interchange among its parts is of fundamental importance to oceanography.[10]

The major oceanic divisions are defined in part by the continents, various archipelagos, and other criteria: these divisions are (in descending order of size) the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean (which is sometimes subsumed as the southern portions of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans), and the Arctic Ocean (which is sometimes considered a sea of the Atlantic). The Pacific and Atlantic may be further subdivided by the equators  into northerly and southerly portions. Smaller regions of the oceans are called seas, gulfs,bays and other names. There are also salt lakes, which are smaller bodies of landlocked saltwater that are not interconnected with the World Ocean. Two notable examples of salt lakes are the aral sea and the great salt lake.

Courtesy:Wikipedia

What is energy?

What is Energy?

Energy is the ability to do work. Oil, coal, natural gas, wind, water – just What Is Energy?to name a few – provide us the energy we need in our daily lives. For example, we use oil to produce gasoline for our cars. We use natural gas, coal, solar and wind power to generate electricity that makes the computer you are using work!
There are two forms of energy: renewable energy and non-renewable energy.



Courtesy:Department Of Environmental Protection

The Water cycle

bp-watercycle1

 

Water has been used over and over and over for millions of years. There is no telling where the water you brushed your teeth with today was 1,000 years ago or even 300 million years ago! It could have been part of a pool of water that a dinosaur drank from.

Water is used over and over or “recycled” through what is called the water cycle. The water cycle never stops, so it doesn’t really have a starting point. But let’s start with rain anyway…

 

Waste Reduction Week

recycle4

Courtesy: London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames

Start a Waste Reduction Week at your school.  Here are some activity and event ideas that you can hold in your school to demonstrate your commitment to waste reduction.  Each day has a theme during Waste Reduction Week to help you organize events.  Pick just one day or hold events on each theme day.

Monday is Reduction Day

  • Go on a supermarket tour to review purchasing habits and learn how to recognize and reduce over packaging.
  • Conduct a classroom or school waste audit.
  • Start a waste reduction newsletter.

Tuesday is Compost Day

  • Build backyard compost bins or indoor vermicomposters (worm composters) for food, yard and leaf waste produced at your school. Plant an organic garden of native plant species and nourish it with finished compost–it will look nicer than grass, use  less waster and will not require the use of pesticides. 
  • Have shop class make some bird houses to attract wildlife to the site.
  • Go on a tour of a compost facility

Wednesday is Zero Garbage Day

Celebrate Zero Garbage Day:  challenge classes to see which group can keep garbage generation to a minimum. Encourage wasteless lunches. Remove garbage cans from all classrooms and common areas and give each student a plastic bag to wear around his/her waist to collect the garbage that he/she produces. At the end of the day, award a prize to the student with the smallest bag, or get students to study the contents of the bags of garbage and make recommendations on how to reduce their waste.

Thursday is Conservation Day

  • Hold a tree planting event–make it personal by planting trees equal to the amount of paper used by your school each year for the number of books in the library, or the number of final exams printed.  (Use a rough calculation of 17 trees for each ton of paper).
  • Hold an alternative transportation challenge–within your school or against another school to see how many people (including staff and students) can walk, ride their bikes or take the bus.  Allow car-poolers and cyclists to have an extra long lunch hour or offer prizes to the winning class.
  • Green the School–put pollution-eating plants to work in as many rooms as possible. 

Friday is Reuse or Exchange Day

  • Organize a giant garage sale or a sporting goods exchange as a fundraiser.
  • Organize a clothing drive with collected items to be donated to social service organizations.
  • Collect one-sided paper from photocopiers and make it into scratch pads for math or art classes.

Saturday is Clean-up Day

  • Have classes/students adopt a section of the school property and pledge to keep it litter-free throughout the year.
  • Encourage students to use home-made toxic-free cleaning solutions in the home.

 Courtesy:FCGov.com

What are recyclable materials?

recycle3

Aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, glass, newspapers and plastic bottles are all recyclable. These items can be made into new products including cans that hold food and drinks, the steel used to build skyscrapers and school buses, cardboard boxes, glass jars and bottles, newspaper and office paper, plastic laundry detergent bottles and even playground equipment!

Courtesy: Department of Environmental Protection

Recycle and Protect Our Environment

kingfisher

Courtesy : Environmentchamps

Is it not our duty to ensure that the birds and animals keep us company till we live? Keeping our planet clean and safe is everyone’s duty. If you make a habit of reducing, reusing and recycling, you can make the world a better place. So, go for it! Protect our planet today and everyday.