Welcome!

Welcome to Sam’s blog! Here you will be educated about how going green will help improve the environment. “Going green” is living life naturally, appreciating what nature has to provide and valuing all that it has to offer. This lifestyle is a way of reducing the limited natural resources environment has provided for us and realizing that the commons is for all and not just you. Because there are millions of other people in the world, we need to realize that in doing our part of living greenly, we can contribute to maintaining the well-being of the environment instead of helping destroy it. As Helen Keller once said, “I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can still do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.” In taking her advice, we are all but a small part of something that is bigger than we are. However, being small does not take away all that we can do; it contributes to the worldly outcome. Thus, if individuals take the responsibility of going green and living greenly, we would all be collectively taking part in improving the environment and making the world a better place now, and for future generations to come.

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Foamy’s Views on Going Green

This is Foamy the Squirrel discussing his views on going green. Please excuse some vulgar language.

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How do we “Go Green” and how does that “help the environment”?

Recycling was introduced during the 1970s and became a popularly engaged issue since the first Earth Day in April of 1973. The world was becoming more aware of the limited resources and alternatives to save the environment from deteriorating. Since the seventies, the slogan, “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” became engrained in the minds of the American people and continued on until the Green Movement began, which drove people into a new way of living. Green was no longer just the color of grass; it became the way to living a sustainable life and appreciating all the resources nature has to offer; water, food and all kinds of energy. The world relies on all the resources there are and because they are necessities to live, however, less resources are becoming available for all. Thus, in order to “go green” and contribute to the betterment of our world, we all as individuals need to do four things:

  1. We need to REDUCE our consumption of resources to improve the commons rather than bring tragedy to it.
  2. We should REUSE material resources to prevent the overflow of trash that creates landfills, which pollutes the air.
  3. We need to RECYCLE what we can so that fewer goods are being improperly disposed of.
  4. We all should APPRECIATE what nature offers and provides to us because in valuing nature and all that we have, we are less likely to overuse and take resources for granted.

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How do we HARM the environment?

Let’s face it, people are too involved with their own lives to think of the presence of other people who live on this world. Therefore the tragedy of the commons, introduced by Garrett Hardin, is becoming more of a tragedy that is serverely detrimental to the environment. According to Hardin, the commons is the resources all people tap into during their lifetime. However, because the commons is shared by all, less resources are available as they fall into the tragedy of being used up by the public. Hardin believes in rising above the tragedy of the commons by having some kind of regulation that can limit the utilization of the scarce resources. Below are some ways in which we as citizens of the planet earth are harming the environment by wasting resources such as water, energy, materials etc followed by ways in which we can solve that issue.

Water

    • On average, Americans use about 100 gallons of water every single day.  About 75% of that water is used in individual homes, specifically through bathroom use. Many Americans today, do not think about how much water they are actually wasting while flushing the toilet, taking a shower or even brushing their teeth. The average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons per minute, thus if ONE person turns the faucet off in between brushing their teeth, about 8 gallons of water can be saved every single day. It just takes one person to keep the water from running, and as it accumulates, resources are immediately being saved.
    • Water is not only wasted in the bathroom, but through the appliances Americans use in their homes: dishwashers, washing machines, and the faucet that allows one to wash dishes. Again, because everyone needs to live clean, water is necessary to clean what is dirty. However, because these appliances were first introduced not too long ago, they can use so much water to clean just one load of laundry, or the plates and utensils at the dinner table.  If all American households were to update these early appliances with more water and energy – efficient ones, this country can save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and more than $18,000,000 every year. Newer appliances are more environmentally friendly and are “going green” because of today’s ecological situations.
      • For example, dishwashers today are 95% more energy efficient than those years ago because then, their focus was not on saving the earth. The saved water can be used by more people all over the country and can even provide for those in other countries.

  • Energy
    • Like the home appliances, other domestic devices use up a ton of energy that needs to be lessened and controlled.
      • Refrigerators today can actually save 70% more energy than the old ones.
      • Microwave ovens use half the energy less than a conventional oven uses to operate.
      • Replace old appliances to new ones because as technology advanced, products are more likely to use less energy than those developed a long time ago.
    • 40% of the nation’s carbon emissions that contribute to the climate change of the world is due to the production of electricity.
      • Every household needs light, thus makes use of the average light bulb that uses a lot of energy for a short amount of time. However, the improved compact fluorescent light bulbs are a perfect alternative as they produce the same amount of energy yet uses only a third of the energy the incandescent bulbs uses, not to mention, they last longer. This allows people to get the same outcome and what they need, for the better deal of saving energy and money.

  • Materials
    • About 48% of office paper is recycled back into office paper, tissue or other things.
      • Consequently, recycling one ton of paper is equivalent to saving seventeen mature trees or 7,000 gallons of water.
    • When someone recycles one aluminum can, enough energy is saved to run either a computer for three hours or a television for two hours.
    • Americans go through 2.5 million plastic bottles every year, and if one out of ten of those bottles were recycled, 200 million pounds of plastic can be recycled and be out of landfills every year.

These examples show how effective reducing, reusing and recycling would be if one person took it upon him or herself to care for the environment. If more people did so, the world would definitely have enough resources to provide its people and the commons can be saved for future generation rather than it all being used up now.

For more ways to help the environment rather than harming it, visit websites below!

21 Ways to Help the Environment:

http://www.practicalenvironmentalist.com/21-practical-ways-to-help-the-environment

10 Easy Ways to Go Green

http://ezinearticles.com/?10-Going-Green-Tips-to-Protect-Our-Environment—Its-Easy-to-Go-Green&id=4026356

US Environmental Protection Agency

http://www.epa.gov/epahome/home.htm

Long Term Effects of Going Green

http://www.greenky.org/Going-Green.html

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12 Principles of Permaculture: How to live SUSTAINABLY!

Permaculture is an ecological system of living friendly with the environment. This method of living was introduced by David Holmgren, who also launched the twelve basic principles that formulates Permaculture’s main purpose. In applying these points to our lives, we would be helping the environment by living sustainably. Each and every one of us can adopt and apply this system to our lifestyles. In doing so, we are walking on the right path of becoming green citizens who care for the earth on which we live in. The TWELVE PRINCIPLES are:

1. Observe and interact.

  • “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

2. Catch and store energy.

  • “Make hay while the sun shines.”

3. Obtain a yield.

  • “You can’t work on an empty stomach.”

4. Apply self regulation and Accept feedback.

  • “The sins of the fathers are visited on the children unto the seventh generation.”

5. Use and value renewable resources and services.

  • “Let nature take its course.”

6. Produce no waste.

  • “Waste not, want not. A stitch in time saves nine.”

7. Design from Patterns to details.

  • “Can’t see the wood for the trees.”

8. Integrate rather than segregate.

  • “Many hands make light work.”

9. Use small and slow solutions.

  • “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”

10. Use and value diversity.

  • “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

11. Use edges and value the marginal.

  • “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it is a well-beaten path.”

12. Creatively use and respond to change.

  • “Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be.”

Permaculture is an ecological system of living friendly with the environment. This method of living was introduced by David Holmgren, who also launched the twelve basic principles that formulate Permaculture’s main purpose. The 12 Principles are:

1. Observe and interact.

· “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

2. Catch and store energy.

· “Make hay while the sun shines.”

3. Obtain a yield.

· “You can’t work on an empty stomach.”

4. Apply self regulation and Accept feedback.

· “The sins of the fathers are visited on the children unto the seventh generation.”

5. Use and value renewable resources and services.

· “Let nature take its course.”

6. Produce no waste.

· “Waste not, want not. A stitch in time saves nine.”

7. Design from Patterns to details.

· “Can’t see the wood for the trees.”

8. Integrate rather than segregate.

· “Many hands make light work.”

9. Use small and slow solutions.

· “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”

10. Use and value diversity.

· Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

11. Use edges and value the marginal.

· “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it is a well-beaten path.”

12. Creatively use and respond to change.

· “Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be.”

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