January 4, 2013

Switch: To a Smarter Energy Future [Documentary]

We all know that something has to be done to meet our energy needs. There are many alternatives and many campaigns selling us on which one is cleanest and best. There is much confusion and delusion.

Switch: To a Smarter Energy Future is a documentary, as well as an energy project website, that makes energy information accessible to anyone. You don't need a scientist to understand and explore our options.

Every energy resource -- fossil, nuclear and renewable -- is undergoing profound changes. And overall, we're gradually shifting from coal and oil to the energies of tomorrow.

This sweeping transition is the subject of Switch. But rather than advocate for how it should happen, Switch travels the world to discover how it most likely will happen.
Switch is also about a changing energy conversation. Today, it's polarized and unproductive. Switch focuses on practical realities and encourages a balanced understanding.

Finally, Switch is about changing the way we use energy, to realize the many economic and environmental benefits of efficiency...

In 2009, documentary filmmaker Harry Lynch and geologist Dr. Scott Tinker set out to make a film on our energy transition. The goal was not to advocate for one technology over another, not to suggest how the transition should happen -- but to try to determine how it actually would happen, based on scientifically-sound investigation and the practical realities of the world of energy as we discovered them. The result, is Switch.

This movie and website are very educational!  It helps form and solidify opinions letting you make a choice as by trying to be unbiased in its presentation.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 23, 2012

Niagara Conservation Showerheads: Exceptional Shower Experience While Conserving Water

Who doesn't like to take a long, hot shower after a hard day? Although showering uses far less water than bathing, many older shower heads do not conserve water. You don't have to give up that wonderful shower experience in the name of water conservation.

Niagara conservation makes "ultra high efficiency" shower heads. We were sent two showerheads:
Niagara SAVA Water Saving 1.5 GPM Rainfall Showerhead

Niagara's Sava Spa Showerhead offers the look of luxury and performance with the benefits of saving. The Sava showerhead features an oversized 4.4 inch diameter sprayhead for wide coverage, and a patented pressure compensator that ensures a consistent flow, regardless of water pressure, and delivers an exceptional shower experience while conserving water. Featuring solid, durable brass construction and a corrosion resistant high-impact ABS thermoplastic body, the Sava showerhead meets all standards set by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The Sava showerhead is available in a white or chrome finish and every model includes an easy-to-use 360 degree swivel head that comes standard with a 10 year warranty.

Bi-Max Showerhead 1.0/1.5 GPM
Conservation with a Twist! Bi-Max is a unique, two-flow rate showerhead, allowing you to match your flow rate to you task and save more while you shower.
• Two pressure compensated flow rate options: 1.0 and 1.5 gallon per minute (3.8 and 5.7 liter per minute)

• Niagara's patented non-removable pressure compensator provides a constant output of water regardless of pressure.

• Easy grip turn-dial for selecting flow rate

• Even, needle spray with a large spray diameter

• Compact, modern design

• Corrosion resistant high-impact ABS thermoplastic body

• Large POM swivel adjustment, virtually lead free

• 10-year warranty

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 17, 2012

Globalization of Water: Sharing the Planet's Freshwater Resources

We cannot survive without fresh, clean water, yet our global economy impacts far off places in ways we don't often imagine. Our cheap goods made abroad require water for manufacturing. Do we ever think about what this is doing to local ecosystems and communities?

Globalization of Water: Sharing the Planet's Freshwater Resources by Arjen Y. Hoekstra and Ashok K. Chapagain thoroughly explores the issues surrounding globalization and water.

Globalization of Water is a first-of-its-kind review of the critical relationship between globalization and sustainable water management. It explores the impact of international trade on local water depletion and pollution and identifies "water dependent" nations.

  • Examines the critical link between water management and international trade, considering how local water depletion and pollution are often closely tied to the structure of the global economy

  • Offers a consumer-based indicator of each nation's water use: the water footprint

  • Questions whether trade can enhance global water use efficiency, or whether it simply shifts the environmental burden to a distant location

  • Highlights the hidden link between national consumption and the use of water resources across the globe, identifying the threats facing 'water dependent' countries worldwide

  • Provides a state-of-the-art review and in-depth data source for a new field of knowledge

Parts of this book are very scientific with formulas and such that do not make for casual reading; however, much of the text is understandable to the lay person.

I like how the authors do not take a stance against or pro-globalization. Instead, they focus their energy on "the establishment of proper arrangements at the global level where national arrangements are not sufficient". We cannot stop globalization in its tracks, but we can work towards sustainable water management in conjunction with it.

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 29, 2011

How are we going to feed the world without destroying the environment?

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 3, 2010

iPhone App Drip Detective Helps You Calculate Water Waste From Drips and Leaks

Ever wonder how much water you are really wasting from the leaky faucet? Drip Detective is a new iPhone or iPod touch that lets you calculate exactly how much water is wasted. Calculations are made by either measuring volume or tapping the screen each time a drip falls from your leak.

Leaks are extremely annoying and usually fixed on the indoors, but outdoor water fixtures are a different story. We have a leaky one, and even though it is minor, it is amazing to see how much water is wasted over a day, week, month, or year.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day: Climate Change Brings House Flies To Everest Base Camp

You probably don't think twice when an occasional house fly buzzes into your home, then again, you probably don't live at about 18,000 feet above sea level. House flies are showing up at Mt. Everest's base camp. The Guardian reports:

Earlier this year Dawa Steven Sherpa was resting at Everest base camp when he and his companions heard something buzzing. "What the heck is that?" asked the young Nepali climber. They searched and found a big black house fly, something unimaginable just a few years ago when no insect could have survived at 5,360 metres.

"It's happened twice this year - the Himalayas are warming up and changing fast," says Dawa, who only took up climbing seriously in 2006, but in a few years has climbed Everest twice as well as two 8,000m peaks in Tibet.

The problem of climate change goes beyond annoying house flies for the Himalayan region. "Erratic weather patterns" and lack of drinking water is hurting both the local residents and tourism.

Note: This post is part of Blog Action Day, which occurs every year uniting "the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion."
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 2, 2009

Really Natural Documentaries: Blue Gold World Water Wars

The World Water Crisis is an issue we are all going to have face, especially as experts predict in the future wars will be fought over clean water accessibility. Based on the book of the same title by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke, Blue Gold: World Water Wars is a documentary film that discusses how the "corporate giants, private investors, and corrupt governments vie for control of our dwindling fresh water supply, prompting protests, lawsuits, and revolutions from citizens fighting for the right to survive." Derek Markham of Blue Living Ideas writes about the film:

How many of us have heard of the company Suez? How about RWE? Veolia? These are three major private water companies, which are gaining control of water supplies in cities around the globe. It's estimated that Suez and RWE together manage 40% of the water share worldwide. That's a staggering amount of control for private companies to have over something that should be considered a human right: access to clean water.

The film is not all doom and gloom, as positive changes activists of all ages have brought about around the world are highlighted in addition to the eye opening information about the world's water supply.

We viewed Blue Gold: World Water Wars as an open invitation community gathering. It was well-received by the audience, many of whom were motivated to take action on local water issues. This documentary is a must see for all that will truly enlighten viewers about the world water crisis. 

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 21, 2009

Kleenex Continues to Log Old Growth Forests for Tissues

Kleenex brand tissues logs old growth forests, including the Boreal Forest, in order that its customers can blow their noses. Remember handkerchiefs? My dad always had one in his pocket ready for our childhood runny noses. They are softer than tissues, and old growth forests do not need to be logged in their production. Of course, alternatives to Kleenex, such as Seventh Generation Facial Tissue, exist.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 31, 2009

Obama Signs Conservation Law that Protects and Expands National Parks and Wilderness Areas

arches1.jpg Yesterday, President Obama signed into law the largest conservation measure in 15 years. The Public Land Management Act expands and protects US national parks and wilderness areas from oil and gas development and was supported by both political parties. Comprised of 150 individual measures, the law creates ten new National Heritage Areas, designates two million acres (81,000 hectares) as wilderness areas, and sets out water conservation measures for the indigenous Navajo nation.
Via: Truthout
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 11, 2009

Monsanto's Genetically Modified Cotton Kills Soil

cotton.jpg Monsanto's Bt-cotton can lead to the total destruction of soil organisms and beneficial enzymes in less than a decade of planting, according to a new study conducted in India. The Organic Consumers Association reports:
A new study analyzing fields planted with Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) cotton indicates the crops are causing the soil to slowly die. The study found that over a three year period soil micro-organisms, which are necessary for building healthy and nutrient rich soil, decreased dramatically in the Monsanto cotton fields. According to the Institute for Science in Society, "At this rate, in a decade of planting with GM cotton, or any GM crop with Bt genes in it, could lead to total destruction of soil organisms, leaving dead soil unable to produce food."
Apparently, the region in India (Nagpur, Amravati and Wardha of Vidharbha) where the most GMO corn is grown also has the highest rate of farmer suicides. Coincidence? Yet another reason to buy products made from organically grown cotton.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 18, 2009

Ebay Asked to Stop Selling Guided Trophy Hunts

Dave Johson 10ft Spring Brown Bear 2008.jpg Canadian and U.S. wildlife advocates have asked Ebay to stop auctioning off guided trophy hunts for bears, wolves, cougars and other top predators. The Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Big Wildlife and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance are concerned about the survival of trophy hunt species. Chris Genovali, executive director of the British Columbia based Raincoast Conservation Foundation asked:
Have the lives of Canada's grizzly bears, wolves and other large carnivores become so cheapened by the purveyors of trophy hunting that selling an opportunity to kill one is now as commonplace as trying to unload a kitchen appliance or baseball cards on eBay?
Ebay's response:
We are always open to working with NGOs with expertise in these areas and have done so in the past to fine tune our policies regarding issues such as the sale of ivory and the sale of "canned hunts," or those that guarantee the killing of a specific animal.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 11, 2009

Jump Start to Green: Save a Little. Save a Lot. Save the Planet.

kit2.jpg Jump Start to Green is a kit that makes saving the planet easy and effective. The kit contains products and tools that save energy, paper, and water. It includes a "Guide to Green" that helps people track their use of resources. The kit comes with: The Dry-Erase Tracker helps families see the small changes they make are having an impact.  The Guide to Green tells you how much you will save with each action and the impact it will have on the planet, thus allowing families to prioritize which actions to take. For example, if you take shorter showers (reducing shower time from eight minutes to five minutes), you will save $223 annually. If this simple action was taken by 1 out of 10 Americans, it would be the equivalent of taking 90,000 cars off the road each year!
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 27, 2009

Peak Ecological Water to Bring Violence and War to the World


Ecologists are warning that planet Earth is running out of water.

According to the Times Online, we are getting low on "sustainably managed water":
The warnings, in an annual report by the Pacific Institute in California, come as ecologists have begun adopting the term "peak ecological water" -- the point where, like the concept of "peak oil", the world has to confront a natural limit on something once considered virtually infinite.
Billions of people live without fresh water, and many of our agricultural and industry needs use tremendous amounts of H2O. Experts say we need to become aware of the water content in everyday items. For example, a glass of orange juice takes 850 litres of fresh water to produce it. Water may become a source of violence and war as the situation becomes more dire.
Dan Smith, the Secretary-General of the British-based peacebuilding organisation International Alert, said: "Water is a basic condition for life. Its availability and quality is fundamental for all societies, especially in relation to agriculture and health. There are places -- West Africa today, theGanges-Brahmaputra river system in Nepal, Bangladesh and India, and Peru within ten years -- where major changes in the rivers generate a significant risk of violent conflict. Good water management is part of peacebuilding."
The UN estimates more than 1/3 of the world's population is suffering from water shortages.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 15, 2008

Upcycled Food Barrel Becomes an Environmentally Friendly Rain Barrel

rainbarrel.jpg Every house should be equipped with rain barrels off of its gutters. It's free water that most likely would just run off into the sewer, so why not save it for irrigation? The Deluxe Rain Barrel with Screen Lid - 55-Gallon is made from a UV protected food-grade barrel that was previously used and has been upcycled into a rain collection barrel. You could probably do this yourself from any food-grade barrel. This one comes with two spigots for easy hook up and a screen to keep out debris.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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