Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category


Today is eclipse day!

August 21, 2017

Be careful out there. Today, Aug. 21, 2017, is a big day – the first total solar eclipse visible in the US since 1979.

I’ve heard several say, “It’s a once in a lifetime event.”

Well, not exactly for many of us. For example, on Feb. 26, 1979, when the last one occurred in the US, I was 18 years old. I was probably in class so sadly, I don’t remember that one.

The next one will be April 8, 2024. Now, I realize no one knows what the future holds. My driver license expires in 2025 so I expect I’ll be here for that one, too. At least I hope so …

I heard an ‘eclipse chaser’ over the weekend tell a reporter, “It’s a life-changing event.”

Ummm, I don’t quite get that. Who knows? Maybe it was the eclipse of 1979 that began the trajectory of the next 38 years of my life. Somehow, I doubt that.

All that aside, today is an exciting day. I’ll be in work; however, I do plan to step outside to check on it.

Without looking at the sun. Never look at the sun, especially during an eclipse.

If like me, you don’t have the proper protective glasses, please do not look at the sun. It stinks, I know. I’m annoyed with my lack of planning that’s resulted in no special glasses. Sunglasses don’t cut it.

I plan to use the old school, low tech simple card projector. Ultimately, it is the only approach I feel confident with in lieu of the proper glasses.

All the major networks will track it and NASA offers live streaming, as does the Weather Channel on its mobile app.

Here are a couple of helpful and reliable resources, in case your planning just started.

Finally, just for a quick smile, check out today’s Google doodle in the spirit of eclipse day.

Have fun, stay safe and in awe, admire the grand power of nature in this impressive show.


Stewards of the Earth

April 19, 2015

My husband and I were in Boston last weekend for vacation. We attended the college men’s national hockey championship, the “Frozen Four,” which was at TD Garden.

In today’s social media-centric society, everyone wants to tweet, Instagram or Facebook about everything, including experiences at events like the “Frozen Four.” In fact, most events now give you a hashtag (e.g, #FrozenFour) to include in your message. At the live events, including this one, they display your tweet on the Jumbotron. Fun for all!

In fact, TD Garden so encouraged that social media interaction, the facility has a charging station so at breaks we could charge our phones. As a communication professional, I love that idea and I fully expect to see more and more venues copying that model.

Yet, as soon as I thought that, my thoughts went to how greedy and consumptive we are, especially Americans. Do any of us ever stop to think about the natural resource we use when we charge our electrical devices? I know that I don’t think about it often.

I try to be careful in my use to minimize waste. When I want a device to work, however, I don’t hesitate to use the electricity – or water, or gas in my vehicle, etc.

Often I thank God for the gifts He has given us that stem from the intelligence He’s given us. I don’t doubt that God created us, by design, to continue to innovate. Innovation has led to space exploration and advances in medicine. It’s led to development of these electronic devices that allow us to communicate from any place at any time. I think these are gifts.

As with any gift, we are responsible to care for the gifts and wisely use them. That includes preserving natural resources for future generations. Being faithful stewards means we will not exhaust every gift we have available and leave nothing for others.

Instead, God wants us to share and be generous with our gifts – today and into the future. I hope that as we continue to embrace social media, we all also embrace faithful stewardship of all resources.

1 Peter 4:10 (NRSV): Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.


Natural cleaning supplies

October 1, 2008

This is a great resource, for families with kids because it’s a scavenger hunt, but I especially like page six with “recipes” for natural cleaning supplies. No more chemicals that make you cough and sneeze, or kick off an asthma attack. No more worrying about how to discard those chemicals.

While these are not safe for eating or drinking, they are much safer than the cleaners we buy. Check it out!


Reduce, reuse, recycle

September 14, 2008

Have you tried Craig’s List? The “mother ship” of all garage sales where my junk becomes someone else’s treasure! It’s a great way to reuse!

Of the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra, I think I like reuse the best. When we reuse we are in a sense recycling and we certainly reduce our waste. Craig’s List lets us reuse others’ things.

Here are a few more reuse tips:

  • Repair items as much as possible.
  • Use durable coffee mugs or drinking glasses.
  • Use cloth napkins or towels.
  • Clean out juice bottles and use them for water (be sure to clean them regularly with hot, soapy water.)
  • Use empty jars to hold leftover food (be sure to clean them regularly with hot, soapy water.)
  • Reuse boxes.
  • Purchase refillable pens and pencils.
  • Participate in a paint collection and reuse program.
  • Donate extras to people you know or to charity instead of throwing them away.
  • Buy cloth shopping bags and use them at stores.
  • I’m sure you can think of more. The last one is fashionable now. Not so a few years back, when I was ahead of my time. So the cotton mesh bags I requested the family give me for a giftback then, I use proudly now after driving them around in my vehicle’s trunk for years.

    Add other ways to reuse as comments to this blog and I’ll post them.



    Goin’ green back to school

    September 1, 2008

    Check out the Green Office Web site for school supply packages with green products customized by grade. I know every school and every teacher seems to have their own special supply lists, but these packages have the basics your student needs. There’s even a teacher kit. I’m not a teacher (yet) but I want to get that one since a I am a writer and writers need paper, pens, etc. I might as well reduce my carbon footprint since I’m buying them and using them anyway. For $49.99 I get:

    Green Teacher Kit
    This kit contains eco-friendly and non-toxic school supplies including:

    The K-2nd grade kit is $16.99, grades 3-5 is $24.99 and grades 6-12 is $29.99. We all probably spend close to that anyway for all those chemical-filled products. Less chemicals are better for each of us as people, young and old, and better for the environment.

    You can shop on the site for individual products, too, if the packages don’t interest you. And look for other household products, office supplies and even furniture while you’re there.


    Shower power

    August 16, 2008

    I read this tip recently, and while I’m not sure it’s right for my life, it may be for those of you who garden or have lots of house plants.

    We all know how much water goes down the drain while we wait for the water to heat up for our shower, right? Try putting a bucket in the shower to catch that water while you wait.

    You can use that water for your plants, inside and out. For that matter, it’s clean water. If you keep your bucket clean, you could transfer the water to a pitcher in your frig and have cool H20 ready and waiting for the family and guests.


    Shame on Starbucks!

    July 3, 2008

    I love coffee–hot, fresh coffee. And I love my mocha lattes. I can justify splurging on them because it’s about the only way I drink milk. Lots of my hard earned cash helped you grow, Starbucks.

    Now you’re closing 600 stores! You couldn’t rake in money fast enough a year or so ago, and now when times are a little tough, you’re adding to the problem. Not to mention the lack of “green” by abandoning buildings that in many instances you built new.

    In the process of all your growth, you ran “mom & pops” out of business across the country. So while I’m disappointed in you, I can’t even say I’ll never buy another Starbucks. You’re the only gig I’ve got close by, right on the way to work. Just the way your business model was designed.

    Rethink your decision. Limit hours. Cut back menu items in those places. Do anything but put more people out of work and add more wasted building space to our landscape.