Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 at
In today’s day and age where our planet is facing a number of environmental threats, efforts such as recycling and conserving energy have become important issues for many individuals and companies.
One of the many things that stand in the way of these eco-friendly efforts is the issue of recycling electronics. Given the fact that modern civilization runs on electronics—computers, mobile phones, DVD players, televisions, music players, digital cameras, etc—there is an obvious need to find an efficient way to recycle the tons of electronic thrash that are born every day.
According to John Gerretsen, an environment minister, if we could find a way to recycle or even reuse our electronic wastes, we could be doing both the environment and the economy a big favor. He also says that recycling will prevent the hazardous materials of electronics from invading landfills. The recycling process would also create more green jobs.
Starting on the first day of April, common electronics will be joining the list of items that can be recycled. Recycling will also allow us to recover those small amounts of precious metals that are used in building these electronic devices. Did you know that the medals in the Olympics and the Paralympics are partly made up of the metals found in these electronics wastes?
According to the Ontario Electronic Stewardship, there are now about 500 locations where consumers can bring in their old electronics.
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Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 at
Tony Fadell who is known as one of the names behind Apple’s revolutionary iPod has announced that he is leaving Apple after being with the company for nine years.
For seven years, Fadell held the position of Senior VP for the iPod department. He was also one of the key people responsible for the renewed success of Apple over the past several years. In 2008, Fadell resigned from his position with iPod but he remained as an adviser that reports directly to Steve Jobs.
If you are one of the millions of people today who are dependent on their iPods for daily functioning then the man to thank is none other than Tony Fadell. Praised by Fortune for his innovative idea, Fadell was the one who came up with the idea of having a compact music player that is conveniently handheld and comes with a music store where you can purchase or download songs digitally. It was reported that Fadell spent six weeks marketing his idea to companies around Silicon Valley before Apple finally took notice.
Since Fadell worked for the company, the Apple iPod has been a profit-making machine for Apple which also heralded its return to the throne of computers and mobile products.
So why is Fadell leaving Apple after such a successful tenure? Fadell claims that he is now interested in being an adviser for growing companies. He also plans to invest in green technology.
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Monday, March 29th, 2010 at
If you are a frequent traveler then you’ve probably experienced staying in a bed and breakfast before. However, why stay in a regular bed and breakfast when you can choose to stay in a green bed and breakfast? This is the option that a family offers travelers in Brecon. The B&B owners not only make it a point to lead eco-friendly lifestyles but they encourage their guests to do the same as well.
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In the door of the B&B’s bathroom, one will find a sign that encourages guests to take a shower instead of a bath for environmental reasons. With such innovative efforts such as this, it’s no wonder that it has been years since the last bath in the Kellehers’ home. The bed and breakfast has also been included in the list of establishments that are being considered for the Future Friendly award. The competition was launched by the collaboration between Waste Watch and Waterwise and Energy Saving Trust.
What’s impressive about the Kelleher family is that their environmental efforts started 35 years ago, before terms like “climate change” and “carbon footprint” were making headlines. The Kellehers have also been fortunate enough to receive public grants, which they used to fund methods of producing sustainable energy.
The 61-year-old Danny Keller and 66-year-old Karen related how they have also been producing their own food. Originally living in Essex, Danny narrated how they could not afford to purchase any land in London, which inspired the couple’s decision to move to Powys instead. This was 31 years ago and since then, the couple has been planting and growing their own food.
Friday, March 26th, 2010 at
The glass used to be half-full for American consumers who are taking a look at environmental issues but a recent monthly study called the Green Confidence Index showed that this optimism is gradually declining.
The Green Confidence Index is an online survey that is conducted on a monthly basis and involves about 2500 Americans who are aged 18 and above. In January, the confidence rate of participants noticeably dropped by as much as 3 %.The index is used to measure and study American’s response and attitudes toward today’s green solutions. Are the government and institutions handling the problem well? Is there availability of information that aims to help consumers make better decisions? Are consumers themselves making it a point to purchase green products? These questions form the three issues that the index aims to address—responsibility, information and purchasing.
Among the three aspects, it was the area of purchasing that showed the most decline. Amy Hebard is the chief research officer of Earthsense, which produces the index. According to Hebard, the decline in the purchasing area may be due to the high unemployment rate that has devastated the nation. Not being able to find jobs and pay their bills has made people less confident and less caring about buying eco-friendly products.
On another vein, the index also took a look at the effects of the recent controversies involving Toyota. One can probably remember the public apologies that the automobile company made in light of the safety issues (or lack thereof) discovered in Toyota vehicles. The index discovered that the company dropped by a steep 25% when it comes to investment attractiveness.
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Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 at
Good news for teenagers who are looking to get a summer job this year: two employment agencies in Santa Cruz are planning to hand jobs to youngsters this summer and use federal money for payment. However, the agencies are still looking for employers who will be willing to put these young people to work.
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Last year, teens across the nation were down on luck when it came to finding unemployment. In fact, teen unemployment reached about 25%–a number that exceeds the unemployment rate of adults last year.
This is why the Santa Cruz County Workforce Investment Board went hand in hand with the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The two organizations will launch the Summer Youth Employment Program which is open to teens that are looking to get a job for the coming summer. The program will then call on non-profit groups, private businesses and government agencies who are looking to hire employees.
The Workforce Investment Board of Santa Cruz has received funding from the federal stimulus bill. The board will be able to pay young people with low-income backgrounds. The age bracket would be from 14 to 24 and the program will last from the 22nd of June to the last day of July. The youngsters will receive their payment from the Office of Education where they may also receive insurance.
Employers will also play an important role in this program. They will be required to attend workshops where they can be trained on how to create a safe environment at work, how to mentor young workers and such.
The job fair will begin on the first day of May.
Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010 at
Whether you’re a rap music fan or simply a television owner then you probably know who Jay-Z is. He’s basically one of the biggest names in the music industry and is also known for his high-profile relationship with R&B diva Beyonce. Well, it seems that Jay-Z is branching out from his music career and is ready to take on a role in sports investment.
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He recently announced that he is interested in investing in Arsenal. In his latest interview with “99 Problems”, a fanzine of the club, he related how he has always been a big fan of the soccer team. And that his admiration for the team dated back to the days of French sports star Thierry Henry. He told the magazine how his admiration for the club deepened when he say Henry play about five years ago.
Jay-Z is no stranger to sports franchises. He is in fact the co-owner of popular basketball team, the New Jersey Nets. And Jay-Z is not shy to admit that he’s also a businessman aside from being a music ingénue. He also admits that he does not know much about the soccer business but that he is waiting for a good opportunity.
And it seems Jay-Z is not the only rapper who is interested in investing in soccer clubs. Recently, Sean Combs or P. Diddy also expressed his interest in Crystal Palace. The team’s administrator Brendan Guilfoyle expressed his hopes that Combs might decide to buy the team especially since it is incidentally going bankrupt.
Monday, March 22nd, 2010 at
A lawyer from Denver is criticizing weed growers who are giving the medical pot profession a bad name. How? By calling their merchandise names like “green crack” and for advertising with posters made of tie-dye.
The number of entrepreneurs who are investing in medical marijuana is rapidly growing and some would invest up to a hundred thousand dollars in order to build what they call “wellness centers”. Basically, these centers resemble spas where customers can go and relax as well as buy some weed. With the large investments and upscale facilities, it’s obvious that these pot entrepreneurs are really pushing for a more professional industry.
However, these entrepreneurs claim that old-school weed growers, also known as stoners, are standing in their way.
Steve Bloom who co-wrote the book “Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to Stoner Language and Life” expresses his disagreement with these entrepreneurs. He resents how some people refuse to say the terms “pothead” and “stoner” when in fact, these terms are part of the culture and identity of many marijuana users. Bloom and his team of “stoners” also have legal support backing them.
Aside from being a lawyer, Rob Corry has been a marijuana activist for a long time. However, he still expresses his sympathy for people who wish to see marijuana commercialized.
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Friday, March 19th, 2010 at
If you are facing high monthly water and electricity bills each month then you are probably looking for a way to lower your expenses. Verity Campbell of the Alternative Technology Association offers suggestions on how homeowners can reduce their bills but can also help the environment. As you may probably know, the ATA is an organization that features some of Australia’s sustainable homes. They also report the latest eco-friendly methods that homeowners everywhere can learn to adopt. Here are some tips when it comes to energy conservation in your home.
If you are not using the light, turn them off. This might sound like the simplest advice but it’s amazing how many homeowners still fail to follow it.
Even when appliances are not turned on, they can still consume energy through standby power guzzlers. If you are turning off an appliance for a long time, be sure to turn off the power point as well.
Heating and cooling your house can also drive your energy bills up to the roof. Try to save energy by looking for other ways to keep cool or warm. You might also want to make sure that you seal all your doors and windows as this can also increase your bills.
If you really want to do something for Mother Nature then you can do so for as little as five bucks a week. More and more homes are now choosing to convert to renewable energy GreenPower which is produced from hydro, solar and wind.
Finally, save on your water bills by keeping your showers short and turning off the tap when not in use. Leaks in the bathroom should also be fixed immediately so as not to waste water.
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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at
Food supply is one of the most common problems that a community can face. Basically, a food supply problem occurs when the food source becomes inaccessible to the community. Even though there happens to be access, the transportation of the food can still have its own challenges.
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Many experts are saying that community gardening is the best solution for this problem. As you probably know, there are plenty of famous community gardens across the country today. Some of these are the Valley of the Hearts Delight, Santa Clara Valley, Victory Gardens, Sunnyvale’s Full Circle Farm, San Mateo’s Beresford Community Gardens and more.
A community garden is a great way to encourage all members of the community to participate in a food chain project. Not only will this ecological food chain keep the community from going hungry but it also supplies them with the healthiest food choices possible. Fortunately, more and more communities are adopting this idea. In Los Gatos, gardening programs are being offered to high school students while a San Jose museum is letting children take part in gardening activities.
So far, community gardens offer the best alternative over using large areas of land for agriculture. Since the food is grown locally, the community will never have shortage of foods. There also won’t be any need for transportation which can use up fossil fuels. Another great thing about community gardens is that most of the work—planting, seeding, watering, harvesting—are done by hand, eliminating the need for fuel-powered machineries.
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at
Everyone knows that our world today is facing great environmental threats—threats that we ourselves are responsible for. The problem of environmental decline may seem like a big problem for one individual to solve but as environmentalists like to say: what you do counts. Here are some tips for individuals or companies who are looking to lend a “green” hand to Mother Nature.
If you are not using the electricity, turn it off! It’s devastating to see so many offices and households waste so much energy by consuming electricity that they are not using. They do so by leaving on the lights, computers, fans and other appliances even when not in use.
Having a personal appliance like a mini-fridge in your office may seem convenient but it is actually eating up a lot more electricity than necessary. Instead, have a common refrigerator that you and your colleagues can share. To avoid confusion, put name tags on containers of food.
Conserving paper is another major step that every company should strive to take. Now that email and chatting are rampant ways of communicating, the need for paper has become less. When printing documents, try to use both sides of the paper for printing instead of just one. In fact, it’s a better idea to avoid using paper as much as you can. Make your notes and type up your drafts on the computer instead to avoid wasting paper.
Since office employees are usually too busy to wash their dishes, most office lounges or kitchens have disposable plates, utensils and cups. Using these items can amount to a lot of trash. Encourage employees to bring in reusable dining ware and to take the time to wash them.
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