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Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Found this on treehugger and thought I’d share.

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go green

I had to come up with a blurb about “going green” for print in the local phone directory, so I thought I’d share it with you.  Some items may or may not be relevant, depending on whether you live in The Bahamas, or not :P

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Going green doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. There are lots of simple ways to go green that add up to make a big difference! Save the earth (and money) at the same time! Who wouldn’t love that?


Water Conservation

  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or wash dishes.
  • Be aware of the length of your showers. Cutting down your shower time by just 2 minutes can save 10 gallons of water or more!
  • Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators. These products add air to the water, giving you the same amount of pressure while using less water!
  • Flush toilets less by adhering to the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down” philosophy in your home.
  • Plant native, drought-tolerant plants in your garden as they require little to no watering.
  • If you must water your lawn, do it during the cooler hours of the evening and night, when less moisture is lost to evaporation.

Energy Conservation

  • Turn off lights and fans when you leave a room.
  • Unplug unused electronics (computers, hair dryers, small appliances, stereos, etc) as even when not being used, they draw “phantom energy”, increasing your electricity bill.
  • Wash your clothes in cold water, and then use the sun to dry your laundry outside!
  • Carpool with your neighbours! And make sure that tires are inflated to get the most miles per gallon of fuel.
  • Switch from outdated incandescent lightbulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs! They last up to 10 times longer, and use only a fraction of the energy!
  • Invest in a solar water heater. Electric water heaters are estimated to account for 30% of your home’s energy usage, and with more than 300 days of sun per year, there’s no reason the sun can’t do the work!

Reduce waste

  • Buy locally grown produce when available. Not only are you supporting local farmers, but local produce tends to have minimal packaging, cutting down on waste! Local produce also doesn’t travel as far to reach the market, therefore cutting down on the energy used in transportation!
  • Compost food scraps and other organic waste such as grass clippings and fallen leaves. Compost is a great natural fertilizer, rich in nutrients which feed the soil and plants. Composting also reduces the amount of waste being placed in landfills where it decomposes without oxygen and produces the green house gas, methane. Green house gases trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, causing global climate change.
  • Recycle glass bottles like Vitamalt, Kalik, Sands, Guiness & Heineken! You even get a few dollars back for every case you return!
  • Recycle your aluminium soda cans by dropping them off at a Cans for Kids collection depot! Money earned from recycling the aluminium goes back to local schools.
  • Invest in reusable canvas shopping bags! Disposable plastic grocery bags end up in landfills after only one use, or worse, end up in oceans where they choke and kill marine life!
  • Print double-sided and reuse scrap paper to cut down on your paper use! Also sign up for paperless statements and online bill-pay when available to cut down even more!

BTC Directory

“Going Green”

Going green doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. There are lots of simple ways to go green that add up to make a big difference! Save the earth (and money) at the same time! Who wouldn’t love that?

Water Conservation

1- Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth or wash dishes.

2- Be aware of the length of your showers. Cutting down your shower time by just 2 minutes can save 10 gallons of water or more!

3- Install low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators. These products add air to the water, giving you the same amount of pressure while using less water!

4- Flush toilets less by adhering to the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down” philosophy in your home.

5- Plant native, drought-tolerant plants in your garden as they require little to no watering.

6- If you must water your lawn, do it during the cooler hours of the evening and night, when less moisture is lost to evaporation.

Energy Conservation

1- Turn off lights and fans when you leave a room.

2- Unplug unused electronics (computers, hair dryers, small appliances, stereos, etc) as even when not being used, they draw “phantom energy”, increasing your electricity bill.

3- Wash your clothes in cold water, and then use the sun to dry your laundry outside!

4- Carpool with your neighbours! And make sure that tires are inflated to get the most miles per gallon of fuel.

5- Switch from outdated incandescent lightbulbs to energy efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs! They last up to 10 times longer, and use only a fraction of the energy!

6- Invest in a solar water heater. Electric water heaters are estimated to account for 30% of your home’s energy usage, and with more than 300 days of sun per year, there’s no reason the sun can’t do the work!

Reduce waste

1- Buy locally grown produce when available. Not only are you supporting local farmers, but local produce tends to have minimal packaging, cutting down on waste! Local produce also doesn’t travel as far to reach the market, therefore cutting down on the energy used in transportation!

2- Compost food scraps and other organic waste such as grass clippings and fallen leaves. Compost is a great natural fertilizer, rich in nutrients which feed the soil and plants. Composting also reduces the amount of waste being placed in landfills where it decomposes without oxygen and produces the green house gas, methane. Green house gases trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, causing global climate change.

3- Recycle glass bottles like Vitamalt, Kalik, Sands, Guiness & Heineken! You even get a few dollars back for every case you return!

4- Recycle your aluminium soda cans by dropping them off at a Cans for Kids collection depot! Money earned from recycling the aluminium goes back to local schools.

5- Invest in reusable canvas shopping bags! Disposable plastic grocery bags end up in landfills after only one use, or worse, end up in oceans where they choke and kill marine life!

6- Print double-sided and reuse scrap paper to cut down on your paper use! Also sign up for paperless statements and online bill-pay when available to cut down even more!

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I dunno if I’ve mentioned it before, but Benji & I are buying a house! My (late) grandmother’s house! From my Dad! In 6 months-ish (when his tenants move out…) And we’re really really really really excited! :)

The house is in a neighbourhood called Harmony Hill (cute, right?) and we really love the feel there, and the location. It’s super central to all the amenities one could need, and not so far east that we have to battle an hour of traffic every weekday (we’re good & sick of that routine…) That traffic is so bad, it’s actually the reason why we invested in scooters; cuz you can just zip right down the middle of the 2 lanes (cautiously of course cuz scooters are pretty dangerous…)

my red rider :) and benji's in the background

Speaking of dangerous, yesterday, Benji actually had a little accident on his scooter. He was going down the first hill leaving my neighbourhood, and there were these pigeons in the road, and you know how pigeons always wait til the last second to flit out of the way? Yea, well this one didn’t move, so Benji overreacted and slammed on brakes (instead of hitting the damn thing), and lost control of the bike, was thrown from it down onto his shoulder, did a lil army roll and caught himself. Thank goodness he was wearing his $500 helmet, or who knows how much worse it could have been! But he was really shaken up nonetheless, cut up his palms pretty bad, and says he heard his shoulder “pop” when he hit the ground :(

grim reaper?

So he went to the doctor and had an x-ray and turns out he has a sprained acromioclavicularAC joint, and just needs some anti-inflammatory drugs and some rest. My strong man will be back to lifting heavy things in no time ;)

Wow, anyway, I got way off topic! The reason I was writing this post was to tell you that yesterday we met with the structural engineer at the house in Harmony Hill about the renovations that we want to do! He (Adrian) was really cool, and seems to have a good understanding of our vision for the property. We also told him that we want to renovate as green as possible, and he was pretty excited about that! As soon as the stupid, ass-backwards Bahamas passes the new energy policy, legalising the use of alternative energy (can someone explain to me what sense it makes for solar panels to be illegal in the Bahamas??? where we have over 300 days of sunshine annually?! ugh!), my house is gonna be covered in PV (photovoltaic) panels!! I’ve even been researching wind turbines to see how viable an option that might be for supplementing our power usage. And of course we’ll practice rainwater harvesting and I’m looking into these wastewater treatment and reuse systems so that we can recycle treated wastewater for use in irrigation or flushing toilets, etc.

SOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!!!!!

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Well, in follow-up to that last post (like 3 weeks ago…) I did in fact swim. I did not get struck by lightning. The waterproof iPod shuffle was awesome. And my arms were sore the next day. All in all, a very positive experience. Which makes it difficult to explain why I haven’t done it again? Hmm….Life just gets away from you some times, and before you know it, months have gone by! Oh well. I’ve been having a good time nonetheless!

Last week, Benji’s 2 best friends from college were in town, and I’d never met them, so that was fun! We made a super fun trip down to Exuma for 2 nights, slept aboard the NanSea (Benji’s Dad’s new 56ft Ocean Yacht) and had an all-around great time!!

ze NanSea

The area of Exuma where we stayed is part of the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park, and is absolutely stunning! I actually read a scientific article somewhere that said the clearest water in the world, is found in Exuma! It’s a no-take marine reserve too, so you see tonnes of wildlife! And there are lots of secluded cays and creeks and special places where you can have total peace and privacy; never seeing another soul.

I explored one such spot on Hawksbill Cay; a small creek, inaccessible by boat. It wasn’t the most beautiful thing that I’ve ever seen, although it was beautiful. But what really made that afternoon special was how alone  and peaceful I felt; how connected to nature and life I felt surrounded by pure silence and beauty. I wish I could feel that every day. So serene.

entrance to the creek

meandering thru the flats and mangroves

the water is so shallow and warm, like bath water!

just my footprints in the sand

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In case you doubted the legitimacy of taking your blog carbon neutral so easily, check out this email I got this morning!

Hi Laura,

thank you so much for participating in our initiative and making your blog carbon neutral! Your tree will be planted this month by the Arbor Day Foundation. The scheduled start plant date was Monday, April 19 and the trees will be planted by a contracted crew. The roads are being plowed, all contracts solidified, and twelve shipments of 150,000 seedling each are being assembled. We thank you for the support!

There are still some trees looking for a sponsor. So if you know some people who have a blog or website, pass it on and we’ll make their blogs carbon neutral too!

Best,

Melanie
“Make it green”-team

DO IT ALREADY!!

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How cool is this? All you have to do to get a tree planted is write a post about your blog being carbon neutral! It really couldn’t be any easier!

We should all know by now the importance of reducing our carbon emissions. Carbon = A greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases trap heat in Earth’s atmosphere = Climate change (NOT “global warming”). Climate change = all kinds of crazy bad things. Think hurricanes, floods, droughts, famine, extinction, sea level rise. All. Very. Bad.

So do me a solid. If you have a blog, do what I did and write a short post about being carbon neutral and get a tree planted in your honour!

co2 neutral shopping and coupons with kaufDA.de

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I said I was gonna do it, and goshdarnit, I did it!

Witness! MY HERB GARDEN!

Ta Daaaaa!!!

Waaahh Waahh…..slightly underwhelmed, no? Well, bummer as it may be, the nursery only had what you can see here. And what you’re looking at (left to right) is basil, rosemary, native thyme and mint.

Would you believe that stupid plastic fake terracotta thingy cost me $32! THIRTY TWO DOLLARS!!! The Bahamas is so ridiculously overpriced! Anyway, the herbies smell divine, and I can wait to cook with them!

I’m proud of me, and I know you are too! I tried something! :) Now let’s see if I can keep them alive!

close up of the little herbies

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