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Mining Black Gold
Thursday, 12 June 2014
Mining Black Gold Find out how to properly set up your compost bin and learn about the benefits of composting; from enriching soil, to reducing emissions and lessening the use of chemical fertilizers!

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Community Gardens
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Community Gardens Community gardens are pieces of land that are managed and gardened by a group of people. These plots of land can be found in urban, rural, or suburban areas and can be found anywhere from a school, hospital, or within a local neighborhood. Most community gardens grow fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs for the people involved, or they can...

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Green Roofs
Thursday, 09 September 2010
Green Roofs The 2010 World Green Roof Congress goes to London this September! Green roofs have been a subject of conversation in the environmental world for a long time. They have the ability to change a bland, unused, rooftop, into a beautiful, lush, exciting, and green space secretly tucked into an urban atmosphere. 2010 has been a great year for...

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Winter Gardening
Tuesday, 16 February 2010
Winter Gardening The cold winter months tend to be the time of the year that most people wrap up their spring and summer gardens. However, the fall and winter months can provide many opportunities to continue gardening and make your soil even more fertile for future growing seasons. Whether you want to grow winter edibles...

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Caulk Is Cheap
Friday, 30 October 2009
Caulk Is Cheap Last week I was on my roof, industriously squeezing caulk along the vinyl siding on the upstairs dormer windows. October in Indiana – the red maples were aglow, the skies were deep blue, and it was not cold, but cool enough to need a jacket. Leaf rot scented the air. I enjoy caulking. Not just because it’s a home repair I can actually...

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Green Fireplaces The Smart Solution to Winter
Monday, 05 October 2009
Green Fireplaces: The Smart Solution to Winter The use of a conventional fireplace still leads to harmful smoke, fumes and other indoor air pollutants – definitely something to consider if you have pets or children. Traditional open fireplaces burn very inefficiently and produce hundreds of chemical compounds, including carbon monoxide, organic gases, particulates, and some of the same...

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How to Love and Live in Your Eco Inspired Home
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
 How to Love and Live in Your Eco-Inspired Home While most people love the concept of a glass house, they have one major problem with it - privacy. But there’s a simple solution – curtains. Lightweight curtains would provide both shade during summer months as well as privacy, without compromising the structure’s aesthetic appeal. But what a lot of people also don’t...

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Gardening and the Environment
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Gardening and the Environment It might be odd to think about, but the delicious food on your plate is closely linked to the environment. Grains, meat, fruit, vegetables, and nuts once grew in the wild as part of a natural, complex ecosystem. Although these vital ingredients still fuel modern society, the process of getting our food has changed drastically. Most urban dwellers...

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10 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
Friday, 17 July 2009
10 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that people spend 90% of their time indoors, but that indoor air quality can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. Whether in your home or business, follow these 10 easy steps to ensuring you have the cleanest indoor air possible. Don't Allow Smoking Indoors - There is no safe level...

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Tomatoes for Small Spaces
Thursday, 28 May 2009
Tomatoes for Small Spaces Today’s the day to plant my garden tomatoes. I’m yearning for that home-grown taste! You say you have no room for a garden? No problem. With six hours of sunlight, you can grow tomatoes on a balcony or patio with ease. A few rules apply to growing container tomatoes. Choose a small, compact variety to fit your space; often the label will...

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Dirt Will it Save the Planet
Monday, 11 May 2009
Dirt: Will it Save the Planet? It was a suburban gardener’s worst nightmare: a grub as big as a toddler! Thank goodness it was just part of the Chicago Field Museum’s new Underground exhibit, in which visitors “shrink” to 1/100ths of their normal size and experience soil up close and personal. Tree roots as big around as tree trunks. Gigantic crayfish lurking in corners...

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My Revival Garden
Wednesday, 22 April 2009
My Revival Garden Remember the Victory Gardens of World War II? The term nowadays is “Recession Garden,” as more people are gardening to supplement their food sources. Our circumstances are remarkably similar to the 1940’s: we’re at war, we’re self-rationing because of job loss and rising costs, and we’re trying to stay hopeful despite bad news about Wall...

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Homemade Housekeeping
Monday, 09 March 2009
Homemade Housekeeping Speaking of new habits, recently I switched to milder, less-toxic household cleaning products to reduce my family’s exposure to scary chemicals. Marketing messages for today’s commercial products shout that the only good germ is a dead germ! But average American homes don’t need to be as sterilized as the Centers for Disease Control. Some...

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Guerrilla Gardening
Friday, 23 January 2009
Guerrilla Gardening It is the most positive form of vandalizing to date. Volunteers clandestinely transforming patches of ugly weeded or trashed parcels of urban land into sustainable gardens of native plants. The idea behind this revolution, called “guerrilla gardening,” is to renovate small scraps of industrial land to enhance street-side beauty as well as...

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Home Composting
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Home Composting In order to answer this question, we must first answer the question: why recycle at all? The Air Defenders' Glossary defines recycling as “Physically or chemically changing an item into a new item for reuse.” Composting can be considered a form of recycling. After all, the plant matter in a compost pile undergoes both physical...

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Community Supported Agriculture
Friday, 20 June 2008
Community Supported Agriculture As the summer approaches, we begin to look forward to the mouth watering taste of local fresh fruits and vegetables. Even if you do not have a farm or garden of your own, there are many ways to access locally grown fresh produce. For example, you can become a member of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). In the United States, this concept...

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Green Roofs What are They
Thursday, 19 June 2008
Green Roofs From street level the Chicago City Hall looks like any other urban building: grey, rectangular, and concrete. From the roof, it is transformed into a magical garden amidst a towering jungle of steel and cement. In cities across the nation green roofs are transforming urban landscapes, lowering building energy needs, and combating rising urban...

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Green Facts

  • Recycling 1 million laptop computers can save the amount of energy used by 3,657 homes in the U.S. over the course of a year.

  • For every 38,000 bills consumers pay online instead of by mail, 5,058 pounds of greenhouse gases are avoided and two tons of trees are preserved.

  • Recycling for one year at Stanford University saved the equivalent of 33,913 trees and the need for 636 tons of iron ore, coal, and limestone.

  • A laptop consumes five times less electricity than a desktop computer.

  • Glass can be recycled over and over again without ever wearing down.

  • You will save 300 pounds of carbon dioxide for every 10,000 miles you drive if you always keep your car’s tires fully inflated.

  • An aluminum can that is thrown away instead of recycled will still be a can 500 years from now!

  • Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every 3 months

  • Washing your clothes in cold or warm instead of hot water saves 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, and drying your clothes on a clothesline six months out of the year would save another 700 pounds.

  • Refrigerators built in 1975 used 4 times more energy than current models.

  • Due to tiger poaching, habitat destruction, and other human-tiger conflicts, tigers now number around 3,200—a decrease in population by about 70% from 100 years ago.

  • Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy used to make the material from scratch.

  • Shaving 10 miles off of your weekly driving pattern can eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

  • Americans throw away more than 120 million cell phones each year, which contribute 60,000 tons of waste to landfills annually.

  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.

  • Less than 1% of electricity in the United States is generated from solar power.

  • Nudge your thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down two degrees in the winter to prevent 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

  • Bamboo absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide than equivalent stands of trees.

  • Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute.

  • A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollution, and mining wastes by about 70%.

  • Current sea ice levels are at least 47% lower than they were in 1979.

  • 77% of people who commute to work by car drive alone.

  • A tree that provides a home with shade from the sun can reduce the energy required to run the air conditioner and save an additional 200 to 2,000 pounds of carbon over its lifetime.

  • 82 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from burning fossil fuels.

  • You’ll save two pounds of carbon for every 20 glass bottles that you recycle.

  • In the United States, automobiles produce over 20 percent of total carbon emissions. Walk or bike and you'll save one pound of carbon for every mile you travel.

  • In California homes, about 10% of energy usage is related to TVs, DVRs, cable and satellite boxes, and DVD players.

  • You will save 100 pounds of carbon for each incandescent bulb that you replace with a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL), over the life of the bulb.

  • The World Health Organization estimates that 2 million people die prematurely worldwide every year due to air pollution.

  • It takes 6,000,000 trees to make 1 year's worth of tissues for the world.

  • Every week about 20 species of plants and animals become extinct.

  • American workers spend an average of 47 hours per year commuting through rush hour traffic. This adds up to 23 billion gallons of gas wasted in traffic each year.

  • States with bottle deposit laws have 35-40% less litter by volume.

  • Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth can save as much as 10 gallons a day per person.

  • One recycled aluminum can will save enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours.

  • Recycling 100 million cell phones can save enough energy to power 18,500 homes in the U.S. for a year.

  • Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans every day.

  • A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.

  • If every U.S. household turned the thermostat down by 10 degrees for seven hours each night during the cold months, and seven hours each weekday, it would prevent nearly gas emissions.