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75 ways to live more sustainable in 2013

A friend posted this item on living sustainably from Sustainable Kentucky blog on Facebook with the caveat that she wouldn’t consider step #55, so of course, I had to see what #55 was.

I’m not doing that either.

Curious?

Some of the ideas are basic: Start reading labels, adjust your thermostat, stop using plastic bags and bottles, change to CFL light bulbs and the three Rs, of course.

Others are more interesting:

  • #3 Chart your chemical intake for one day; literally write down everything chemical you put in or on your body. Then start eliminating them, one at a time.
  • #27 Plant a garden and #12 compost. The two go hand in hand.
  • Then learn to #43 can, freeze, seal or dry the harvest from your garden.
  • #52 Learn to sew. #8 Buy second-hand clothing from consignment shops, and other places to find used clothes.
  • Here’s a painful one for lots of folks: #65 quit eating out. Cook at home. You’ll save a bundle and be healthier for it.
  • #67Avoid things packaged in Styrofoam and plastic.
  • #72 Eat seasonally and get to know your #75 local farmers.
  • A great one, if you can find such people: #68 Vote for candidates with good environmental records.

Oh, and #55?

“Become a nudist. Less clothes purchased from sweatshops, less energy and water wasted on laundry, less chemical exposure on your body, and more vitamin D, too.”

Check the list out and see what you can do. Have more ideas? Post a comment here or send me an email.

– Linda J.

 

A green resolution — or two

Since some people are searching for new resolutions for 2013, why not attempt to green up a part of your life?

Whether you are just getting started or have mastered the basics of the Three R’s (recycle, reuse and reduce) and need to take the next step, we offer 30 tips to help.

A commenter asked a while back why we don’t have anything about vegan living in it. Hmmm.

So now that’s tip 30! And here’s a Web site for explanations on being vegan, how to get started and how it can help the environment.

May you have a safe, happy and green 2013.

– Linda J.

 

 

Monday green links

Kentucky’s heat wave this weekend is the second hottest stretch on record…fracking bill was vetoed in North Carolina to the pleasure of environmentalists and dismay to Republicans…fires continue to rage in the west…tips to be green.

It’s hot

Fracking

Western fires

3o tips to go green

Seen anything else you would like me to post?

– Linda J.

Anything green in your 2012 New Year’s Resolutions?

‘Tis the season to set resolutions for making yourself healthier, wealthier and maybe wise.

But has anyone set a new green resolution, which will cover healthier and wise, if not wealthier?

Are you going to start doing something green? Or stop doing something that isn’t green?

Here’s a link, Detox your life, with some tips to get you going if you need it.

I’ve done several of these thing already, and debating which one to add now: eliminate Styrofoam? That would be good.

And, I will absolutely do this: “look for cans labeled ‘BPA-free’ and choose food items packaged in glass or other safer containers.

How about you?

– Linda J.

‘A perfect moral storm’

Stephen Gardiner, a professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Program on Values in Society at the University of Washington, Seattle, suggests that our generation, by refusing to take action on carbon emissions, will spread the cost “of its behavior far into the future.”

In a well-sourced article on environment360, he asks: Why should people in the future pay to clean up our mess?

Good question.

We make our daughter clean up her messes, so why can’t we do the same for the place we all live?

– Linda J.

 

UK’s first LEED Gold certified building to be dedicated

The University of Kentucky’s first building to be LEED Gold certified will be dedicated in a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
The Davis Marksbury building, which houses the UK Center of Visualization and Virtual Environments, the Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments, was certified in August by the U.S. Green Building Council.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
Attendees include Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, UK President Eli Capilouto, former UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., UK College of Engineering Dean Tom Lester, UK alumnus and donor Davis Marksbury. A tour of the building will occur after the dedication.
It is open to the public.
The building, at 329 Rose St., is next to the new Wildcat Lodge. Parking is available in the Craft Center E lot.

Tour Lexington’s recycling center, win a recycled bench

This just in from the city:

Lexington’s Department of Environmental Quality and the Keep Lexington Beautiful Commission invite you to celebrate America Recycles Day by participating in a tour of the city’s newly improved recycling center.
Earlier this year, a new, 10,000-square-foot tension fiber structure that receives recyclable materials was added to the city’s recycling center. The structure adds capacity of 600 tons of recyclables.
New equipment has been installed to speed the recycling process and allow for glass to be mixed with other recyclables in Rosie containers.
Tours of the recycling center will be offered on Saturday, Nov. 20, at 10 a.m. Citizens interested in touring the center should RSVP by calling LexCall at 311, or 425-2255. Lexington’s Recycling Center is located at 360 Thompson Road.
Another way to celebrate America Recycles Day is to take the America Recycles Day Pledge. Visit www.lexingtonky.gov/AmericaRecyclesDay and fill out the electronic pledge card.
Lexington residents who participate will have their name entered in a drawing for a bench made from recycled plastic jugs by Play Mart, valued at approximately $400. Plastic jugs placed in Rosie containers by Lexington residents are sent to Play Mart, located in Somerset, Ky.
Since 1997, communities across the country have observed America Recycles Day on Nov. 15. America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling programs.
The Keep Lexington Beautiful Commission, a 13-member group, has been appointed to focus attention on litter prevention, beautification and community improvement and waste reduction.
For more information on the Commission, go to www.lexingtonky.gov/klb.

Kentucky State Parks seeks nominations for youth ambassadors

Know anyone who wants to be a Youth Ambassador for the Kentucky state park system? Here’s a release from the state with the details.

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky State Parks are looking for young people who like to visit parks and want to tell others about their experience.

The Kentucky State Park Youth Ambassador Program is a voluntary program for youths who are at least 16 years old, living in Kentucky and enrolled in a Kentucky high school, college or technical school. The parks are looking for young people who are creative, team oriented and are enthusiastic about the outdoors.

Ambassadors will be chosen for one-year terms and will be invited to state park events, asked to write for a park blog and will submit photos of their state park experiences. If chosen, your name and photograph will be used for publicity purposes through the state park website and media outlets.

To apply, visit www.parks.ky.gov and click on the “Youth Ambassador” link to fill out an online application. If you are selected and you are under the age of 18, you will need parental permission to participate

The state program is being carried out in conjunction with America’s State Parks Youth Ambassador Program, which was launched earlier this year. For more information about that program, visit www.AmericasStateParks.org

–30–

Noooo! Please, not another oil-rig explosion

The good news, it appears at this time, is that all 13 people from today’s oil rig explosion have been rescued.

Reports say one person is injured.

It’s early, and little is known at this point, but yes, you are reading this right. Another deep-water oil rig has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. This one is roughly 90 miles south of Louisiana and west of BP’s rig, you know, the one that exploded in April and unleashed the worst oil spill in U.S. history and still isn’t permanently sealed.

How much more can the gulf sustain? How much more should the people of the gulf region have to endure for our selfish way of life?

Read more about it at kentucky.com.

Recycling report from the Ichthus Music Festival

rEAndy Bathje atop recycled plastic bottles at this year's Ichthus music festival.

Andy Bathje atop recycled plastic bottles at this year

Nancy and Matthew Sleeth, the Wilmore couple whose message is that God wants us to be good environmentalists,  are involved with the growing recycling effort at the annual Ichthus Music Festival.
Some stats from last month’s festival:

  • Over 60,000 beverage containers were collected and saved from landfill.
  • The plastics recycled weighed 1.25 tons, equal to 2 months of county-wide recycling.
  • Over 50 volunteers collected, sorted, and crushed the containers.
  • To help keep concert attendants hydrated with less waste, recyclers also gave away 1,000 gallons of free water to those who reused water bottles.

Here’s the Blessed Earth email about the effort:

Four years ago, recycling was not on the radar at the Ichthus Music Festival, which attracts 20,000 (mostly young) Christians each year. Both Ichthus and Blessed Earth are located in the little town of Wilmore, KY, so it’s not surprising that the two teamed up to start a recycling program.


It began with the Sleeth family and their friend, Andy Bathje, leading an enthusiastic team of Asbury University volunteers, picking cans and bottles from the trash. As the three-day festival progressed, more and more attendees started placing their recyclables in the proper bins. By the end of the festival, some band members were even helping with the sorting and collection process.


Now, four years later, recycling is not only a permanent fixture at Ichthus, but a central part of the festival’s “walk the talk” message. One dad even said that finding bottles to throw into high visibility recycling structure (and competing for prizes) is his son’s favorite part of the whole weekend.


Some stats from the June 2010 festival, courtesy of Andy Bathje, who now leads the recycling effort at Ichthus with the youth volunteers from his ministry, Confrontation Point:

  • Over 60,000 beverage containers were collected and saved from landfill.
  • The plastics recycled weighed 1.25 tons, equal to 2 months of county-wide recycling.
  • Over 50 volunteers collected, sorted, and crushed the containers.
  • To help keep concert attendants hydrated with less waste, recyclers also gave away 1,000 gallons of free water to those who reused water bottles.
Festival-goers were encouraged to write their name and cell number on bottles before throwing them into a twelve-foot high cage. Each evening, an “eco-diver” painted green and wearing a cape drew a winning bottle from the cage, and awarded prizes such as Blessed Earth books and film series, t-shirts, and a guitar signed by all main stage artists.


A couple of years ago in Chicago, Matthew met a man who described a lady picking recyclable bottles out of the trash at Ichthus. Matthew proudly replied, “That was my wife!” The tradition that Blessed Earth helped start lives on, and grows bigger each year.

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