Climate Change After Mid-Term Election

Climate Change After Mid-Term Election

The activists, scientists, and policymakers working on slowing (hopefully stopping and reversing, but let’s start with the small steps) climate change, took an enormous hit this mid-term election due to the Senate majority moving into the hands of the GOP. This means the lead climate-change-denier GOP Senator Jim Inhofe is taking over the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

The environment could not have sustained a bigger blow when it comes to the policies we need moving forward. Stephen Colbert’s humorous take on Inhofe’s promotion to the chair takes the edge off — but only slightly.

 

Climate Change: I am not a Scientist and Next Steps

What does the phrase, “I am not a scientist” really mean here? It means politicians don’t even have to pretend to listen to the people who are actually scientists, who are actually conducting research on climate change, and who know without a doubt what needs to happen to slow the onslaught of crises that will come with sitting on our hands claiming innocence of knowledge.

It means they do not have to take action.

There is clear scientific consensus that climate change is real and due to human activities. Congress must act. The EPA must use its authority to limit carbon pollution. The people must educate themselves, each other, and push for better. It is up to us all now.

I have to believe that we fundamentally all have this same common link and recognize its importance…

 

How do you feel about this mid-term election and the role it plays in our environment? Does the outcome leave you searching for actions to take, organizations to support, or other roles? I would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

5 Fun Ways to Use Carved Pumpkins After Halloween

5 Fun Ways to Use Carved Pumpkins After Halloween

Halloween is almost here and pumpkins everywhere are waiting to make their way to homes, stoops, and porches. What to do with them after the carving and decorating is done? Here are 5 fun ways to use carved pumpkins after Halloween is over…

 

1. Pumpkin Bird Feeder. What better way to use a good chunk of pumpkin than to feed the neighborhood birds? There are several ways to make a bird feeder depending on how you carve your pumpkin.

If the bottom, top, or side is left as a bowl or curved shape it is quite easy! Just cut the piece away from the rest of the pumpkin to form the bowl. If it is large enough you can cut small holes on each side to form handles to tie twine and hang. If not, use two lengths of twine and attach to the bottom where they crisscross and hang. Fill with birdseed (including any leftover pumpkin seeds) and wait for the neighborhood critters to come enjoy!

2. Pumpkin Planter. Choose a nice fall plant you’d like to transplant or buy from a local nursery (look for one that does not treat with neonicotinoids) as you won’t have time to grow much from seed. Fill your pumpkin with your plant and fill in with organic potting soil.

Your pumpkin does need drainage, but works best when your jack-o’-lantern’s face is not so large it loses much soil. It would be ideal for a painted or etched pumpkin too (add small drainage hole(s) at the bottom)!

3. Pumpkin Guts Stock. Every wondered what you could use those super slimy pumpkin guts for? Wonder no more. Use those guts to make a flavorful vegetable stock and reduce food waste!

Take all the pumpkin guts and place them in a stock pot full of water. Throw in any other veggie parts you might have, like carrot and celery tops, plus a whole chopped onion and up to 2tbsp of olive oil (optional). Boil for 30 minutes or so (or until it starts to change color), then strain all the veggie pieces out. You have just made yourself some delicious Pumpkin Guts Stock!

Use it in any soup or freeze for later!

4. Pumpkin Compost. – Once it starts to get rotten, just bury the whole thing in your backyard as a soil amendment. Either bury it whole in or break it up into smaller pieces. If there are any seeds left, you might have some volunteers next year. It is also easy to toss into your backyard compost as a green layer!

5. Pumpkin Catapult or Batting Practice. If you have little people in your home who love to build take this chance to create your very own catapult! When those pumpkins start to go, the entire family will have a blast watching them go splat. Then toss the results into the compost (see #4).

Alternatively if you have any budding baseball/softball players in the house that won’t mind getting splattered a bit, work on their hard hits straight at an incoming pumpkin.

Note: I highly recommend some serious supervision with this idea if you have kids giving either a try. But won’t you be the coolest parent ever?!? ;)

 

So tell me:

  • Do any of these ideas strike your fancy?
  • Do you have any other ideas to share?
  • Have you carved pumpkins yet?

 

Exploring Solar Energy

Exploring Solar Energy
Exploring Solar Energy

 

More and more people have begun embracing renewable energy as a viable alternative to the status quo at a rate of about 20% a year for more than a decade. The statistics show we will continue to see an increase of advanced photovoltaic projects throughout the country in the coming years. While our current form of harvesting the sun’s power may be new – with the technology getting better all the time – the attempt is most definitely not.

People who lived about 6,000 years ago recognized how precious the sun’s energy was. If houses were built correctly, they could hold the sun’s energy in winter. Later solar energy was used as an alternative to firewood and heating water for some industry. Later still innovators like da Vinci and Einstein began the work that looks familiar to us today. We have been trying to escape the limits of finite resources for ages. Sometimes we do have to look back to go forward.

Don’t you need to live in a desert?

It may surprise you that the rainy Pacific Northwest supports great innovation in solar energy use through America’s first Solar Highway Project and the Northwest’s largest distributed photovoltaic (PV) systems on ten warehouse rooftops. We have a progressive utility supported by forward-thinking leaders, businesses, and communities. 

Quick Facts on Solar Energy:

  • Solar PV power creates no pollution and does not emit greenhouse gases.
  • Everywhere in the continental United States has greater solar potential than solar leader Germany.
  • Every hour the sun beams more than enough energy to satisfy global energy needs for an entire year.
  • Solar energy is becoming increasingly affordable.

 

I am sure you are thinking by now that solar energy is pretty awesome. Have you thought about adding solar PV panels to your home or business? Why or why not?

 

 

 

The 9 Best Ingredients For Homemade Ice Pops

9 Best Ice Pop Ingredients

Homemade popsicles are the perfect summertime treat for lots of reasons, but one of the best is that you can control what ingredients go in to them. It may be cliché, but our health certainly owes a lot to what we eat. Plus, homemade ice pops taste a whole lot better than the overpriced grocery store versions anyway!

We all have our favorite flavors and go-to ingredients, so I polled my favorite green gals to see what their favorites are. Go organic. Go local. Go homemade!

1. Chocolate. Who doesn’t love chocolate? Especially when you can do chocolate-dipped ice cream pops or even dairy-free fudge popsicles!

2. Bananas. “Hands down my favourite summer treat is banana popsicles and I love that I can make them at home with my own molds,” says Jen (Jen and Joey Go Green).

3. Coconut milk. A vegan, creamy addition to fruit and other goodness.

4. Strawberries. Strawberries are the epitome of summer making these the perfect ingredient to have on hand at any time of year (frozen for most of that year of course!).

5. Yogurt. Another great option for creamy popsicles.

6. Honey. For that touch of sweetness, honey brings out many of the other ingredients’ flavors.

7. Booze. Gretchen from Healthful Mama says,”My favorite ingredient: booze. I think adult popsicles are an awesome twist on a bbq dessert.”

8. Avocado. It may seem unusual, but avocado’s creamy goodness is the perfect choice for an earthy ode to summer.

9. Red Beans. From ecokaren, an unusual ingredient for me! But Karen says, “This is my favorite. I can see you thinking, ‘beans in a popsicle? ewwwww….’ But seriously, I used to eat red bean ice cream or popsicle in Korea every summer.”

Do you have a favorite ingredient for your homemade ice pops?