Jennifer is an LA-based writer, actor, host and a true Jersey girl at heart. Her passion is story-telling, which moved her cross-country to the heart of Hollywood. Whether it be creating a great script, embodying a new character, or reporting about the latest green trends or up to the minute entertainment news, she is up for the adventure. She is a red carpet reporter for several online sites- hosting live coverage of film premieres, awards shows, and charity events. She enjoys being environmentally conscious and hopes her contributions will help ensure a brighter, greener story for our future.
Can the Humans be stopped? Will we end a 200 million year run, just because we can? I know we are the dominate species on the planet, we prove that all the time. We love proving it. We are genius at making deadly devices large and small. Amazing robot aircraft which can kill entire villages at will. Nothing has ever lived, as deadly as us. But the real question is, do we have to be? Can’t we grow out of this? Do we have to kill everything and everyone? Do we have to turn everything into a weapon? Must the ocean it’s self be a weapon against the animals which call it home? For example, the Leatherback sea turtle has lived on this planet for 200 million years. They survived massive asteroid impacts, dinosaurs, sharks, and things we can’t even imagine. But as soon as we show up.. bye bye, it’s end of the ride for you Mr. Turtle.
Can we be stopped? Will we save the oceans from ourselves? Obviously, we can do anything, we just need to put our minds to work.
The seven species of modern sea turtles have changed very little from their ancient ancestors. They include: Green Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Kemp’s Ridley Turtle, Olive Ridley Turtle, Loggerhead Turtle, Flatback Turtle and the Leatherback Turtle. All seven species are listed by the IUCN Red List as either endangered or critically endangered.
One of the most threatened is the Leatherback the largest turtle and largest living reptile in the world, weighing up to 2,000 pounds. Leatherbacks differ from all other sea turtles in that they don’t have a hard bony shell. They get their name from their distinct carapace a thin layer of fragile skin overlaying tiny bone plates which has a leathery appearance. Due to their large body size, high oil content, and a counter-current heat exchange system, Leatherbacks have the ability to keep their core body temperature at about twenty-five degrees Celsius higher than most ocean waters. This allows them to tolerate colder water and migrate more expansively.
Is the city famous for its smog and its blockbusters ready to take the “LEED” in an industry other than entertainment?
Judging by the November approval of a new “green building program” by the Los Angeles Planning Commission, Los Angeles will become one of the most ambitiously green cities in the nation. The commission approved a policy that will require large new developments to be 15% more energy efficient and aims to significantly cut the city’s green house gas emissions. New construction with more than 50 units or 50,000 square feet would be required to meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) standards set out by the U.S. Green Building Council.
The result would reduce the amount of energy used in new developments below those under California’s current building codes, which are already the strictest in the nation.
In Los Angeles, vehicle emissions are regulated by the federal government, as are power plants another major source of greenhouses gases because Los Angeles, unlike other cities, owns its own utilities. So, for LA, it’s even more important for the local government to regulate emissions whenever possible. In a city where new construction seems to be on every corner, that means regulating new development.
If someone told you the amount of money in your bank account was going to decrease somewhere between 100 and 1,000 times in the next year, the sheer uncertainty of that loss would send you into a panic. That rate is the same speed at which scientists estimate global warming and human pollution are affecting animal extinction each year — yet we all remain oddly at ease.
The World Conservation Union, known as the IUCN, recently released its yearly Red List of species that are facing a higher risk of global extinction. The IUCN lists these species into groups including Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable… categories not too different from those I use to balance my own checking account!
This year the IUCN added 188 new species for a grand total of 16,300 animals, plants, and marine life at risk. According to Craig Hilton-Tailor the Red List’s Manager, this number is still extremely low. “We’ve only really looked at the tip of the iceberg in terms of species that are out there and known to science.” While scientists estimate there could be nearly 15 million species in the world, only 1.8 million are confirmed to exist. Although the IUCN is the world’s largest conservation network, spanning 83 states, 110 international government agencies, 800 private organizations, 10,000 scientists, and 181 countries, they still only have the resources to review just above 40,000 species a year. So what does all this number crunching really mean?
We’ve heard all about the annual Japanese dolphin slaughter. We have even seen NBC Hero’s Star Hayden Panettiere’s attempts to stop (or at least draw attention to) it. With all the media attention that was on Hayden and the dolphins these past couple years, what we still haven’t heard much about is the annual Japanese whale slaughter or about the whales themselves.
Which is a shame, because whales are fascinating creatures.
The humpback whale is a baleen whale which is usually between 40-50 feet in length and weighs an average of almost 80,000 pounds. The humpback has a distinct body shape with long pectoral fins and a knobbly head and is known for its acrobatic ability often breaching and slapping the water. Male humpbacks are also known for their amazing “songs” or sounds they produce, which is believed to play a crucial role in communication and mating.
Humbacks come in four different colors schemes ranging from white to gray to black to mottled. They also have distinctive patches of white on the underside of their flukes (tail), which are unique to the individual like a fingerprint is to a human. Humpbacks are known for having two blowholes and for sticking their tales out of the water and slapping them against the surface (known as “lobtailing”).
While it should come as no surprise that the actions of humans have affected and endangered the large, land-based animals whose habitats we share, you might be surprised to learn that our behavior has brought about a serious elephant crackup. Unlike centuries before, where elephants and humans lived in peaceful coexistence, modern day elephants have been fighting back with hostility and violence — crying out for us to pay attention.
Most of us have only seen an elephant up close at the zoo, circus, or — if we’re lucky enough — on a safari vacation. We know them to be large, slow moving creatures, who appear friendly as they perform tricks or eat peanuts while we snap their picture with our digital cameras. But this simplistic view of these amazing creatures masks what a highly intelligent and complex species these mammals really are.
While these massive creatures for the most part, live peaceful co-existent lives with humans across vast stretches of wild lands in Africa, India and parts of Southeast Asia, this isn’t always true. Recently Elephants have been a little more upset than usual and have set out to destroy villages, crops and even killing humans. In addition, researchers have noticed a spike in the number of animal attacks against trainers and staff in zoos and other places of captivity. So much, in fact, that in the mid-1990s a new statistical category known as Human-Elephant Conflict (H.E.C.) was created to monitor the problem.
Foggy City or Urban Green- Is San Fran the new eco-destination? Visiting Golden Gate Park by Jennifer Buonantony
Tired of June Gloom and the equally gloomy economic situation, I decided I needed a few days away. Ironically, I found myself heading to San Francisco.
After a day of activities- clam chowder in a bread bowl, a trolley to the Pier, and a baseball game on the bay- I had completed the traditional tourist fare. I was searching for an exciting recommendation when I was told about the newly re-opened California Academy of Sciences at Golden Gate Park.
A day indoors wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when given the suggestion, but I soon realized it wasn’t what Architect Renzo Piano had in mind either when he began work on this $500 million, almost ten-year renovation.
As the cold, wet and dreary winter months creep upon us, it’s hard not to fantasize of hotter things – like a luxurious cruise ship heading to tropical locale. But even though cruising has become one of the fastest growing areas of the U.S. tourism industry, it’s also become one of the most highly criticized by environmental groups.
Is there such a thing as a green cruise ship? Well…
It’s no secret that cruise ships produce waste. After all, they’re like floating hotels, casinos, restaurants, and spas rolled into one. These “floating cities” carry with them thousands of passengers, tons of food, and hundreds of amenities all under one roof. Much of the appeal of cruising is the feeling of being pampered with countless activities at your fingertips doing so while en route to remote islands, historic cities, and multiple ports in a span of only a few days. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I’m sure somewhere in your home you have a framed family photo and somewhere in your memory is the story of where it came from — your sister’s wedding, last Christmas, your parents’ anniversary party. Now imagine photographing not just a family, but an entire species. Every member. That’s what scientists at the New England Aquarium having been doing for the endangered species of Right Whales.
Sadly it’s not as enormous a task as you would think.
The Right Whale is the rarest of all large whales. There are different types of Right Whales, which include the North Atlantic, North Pacific, and Southern Right Whale — all of which are highly endangered. There are only an estimated 400 North Atlantic and 200 North Pacific Right Whales making the Northern Right Whale the most endangered of all large whales and two of the most endangered animals in the world!
Tragically, Right Whales were given their name because whalers believed they were the ‘right whale’ to hunt. They had enormous value because of their plentiful blubber (used for oil) and baleen, and were easy to catch because of their size and speed. Right Whales are about 40-50 feet long and weigh between 60-80 tons, moving at speeds of only about 5 knots. Their blubber makes up about forty percent of their body weight, which is why unlike other whale species, Right Whales float when killed and can be easily pulled into shore. As a result, populations of Right Whales were decimated during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries until their population was feared extinct and a worldwide ban on whaling was agreed upon in 1937.
It is no secret that global warming is causing major changes. And while most Americans are not yet complaining about warmer winters and fewer rainy days, long term climate change forecasts a much greater impact on human interaction worldwide. And if you didn’t think the weather could affect your mood, you may want to consider the research relating warmer climates to the conflicts currently heating up the globe.
According to an article inNew Scientist Magazine, for the first time researchers have identified a clear link between war and changing global temperatures. Furthermore, “Experts predict that current and future climate change may result in widespread global unrest and conflict.” Researchers point to the situations already at hand in places like Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi and Chad. Climate change has created reduced rainfall and smaller areas of usable farmland. Water and food shortages, combined with continued population growth, has already resulted in violent conflict in these regions. In Sudan’s Darfur region, farm and grazing lands are being lost to desert, causing strife between herders and farmers.
What happens if you’re an avid record collector and your daughter cracks your favorite Fleetwood Mac vinyl? If you’re Meg Musick Makely — and your maiden name literally indicates that music is part of your life — you preserve the memories attached to that record by turning it into a fashion accessory. Meg made her first bracelet out of vinyl that day in her Chicago-based home. With the encouragement of her friends, she set up a modest stand at Chicago’s annual Wicker Park Festival that draws nearly 15,000 music lovers. They come to watch “up and coming” bands, purchase eclectic arts and crafts, and sample local foods. From there, she was featured in several magazines and it wasn’t long this former ballet teacher and jewelry sales rep had turned a broken record into a career.
In creating her pieces, Meg mastered a technique of using heat to shape the vinyl into its desired look. In making her bracelets, she uses a special cutting tool to slice the cross-section of the heated album where the band’s label appears. She cuts out the desired width for the size of the bracelet and then molds the strip into its shape.
You’re stuck again on the 405 in your morning commute and for a minute you daydream that your car lifts off above the traffic and flies you directly to work. Trust me, I know how you’re feeling and no, you haven’t been watching too many re-runs of the Jetsons with your kids during Sunday morning cartoons. Well, maybe you have…but the idea isn’t as fantastical as it once was. The company Terrafugia has begun manufacturing a ‘roadable aircraft’ (a.k.a. drivable plane). And yes, the vehicle can do both- fly and drive.
The first full scale model of Terrafugia’s two-seater hybrid vehicle, the Transition, is currently being built in a former machine shop in Woburn, MA, by ten employees whose goal is to debut the vehicle in this summer’s Air Venture aviation festival. It is the largest festival of its kind, held in Oshkosh, WI, annually. The team behind the Transition is led by a thirty-year old aerospace engineer- and some call visionary- Carl Dietrich, who holds a doctorate in the field from MIT.
As a first-time homeowner searching for stylish and eco-friendly furniture, I was pleased to stumble across British-based interior design company, One Eco Home. Designers Helen Mudie and Kate Millbank partnered up after deciding the current marketplace lacked products for the home that were both sustainable and desirable. Hoping to help fill this void, their line includes home furnishings and accessories ranging from sofas, dinettes, and media centers to lighting fixtures, rugs, and tableware. All of the products are made with a respect for nature, an eye toward sustainability, and a demand for quality and style.