If you live in or near a major American city, you might have a coyote problem. Since food is plentiful and life is easy-going in metropolitan areas and suburbs, coyotes have begun taking up residence — much to the surprise of scientists. According to an article on PR-inside.com, there are an estimated 5,000 coyotes roaming the streets of Los Angeles County.
“As cities expand and homes, shopping centers and office buildings go up in areas where coyotes have previously lived or hunted, the two environments will sometimes conflict,” says Jeff Ripley, director of Texas Cooperative Extension.
Using wolf urine as a deterrent could be the natural solution to this growing problem. Ken Johnson of Lexington Outdoors says that wolves are one of the coyote’s few natural predators, and they instinctively try to avoid areas where they believe wolves are present. The website for Lexington’s Predator Pee company states that “in the animal world, urine is the great communicator. It not only warns prey of the presence of a predator, but also communicates territorial boundaries to members of like species.”
A new view of the ozone by the European satellite Metop showed a gruesome reality. As of late September, the hole in the ozone was twice as large as Europe.
Kicking into high-gear, an agreement was made by 200 government officials demanding a faster approach to eliminate the chemicals thought to be destroying this precious layer to the stratosphere.
Scientist at the German Aerospace Center, after analyzing data from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment 2 (GOME-2), found some most unusual activity which showed a thinning of the ozone over the South Atlantic as well as South America but a thick build-up over Australia.
I don’t need ‘80s pop music to know that the children are our future, but I agree to teach them well and let them lead the way, absolutely! That’s why I was stoked to see an invitation in my e- inbox today from the University of California at Los Angeles’ Sustainable Resource Center! UCLA’s SRC hosts a gathering for its students that teaches them how to be “G”. There are also programs for the community.
Their vision is spot on. Even Antonio Villaragosa, the mayor of L.A. has a quote on their site: “Let’s dare to imagine Los Angeles as the cleanest and greenest big city in America… The great cities of the 21st Century will not be famous for their factories or have smokestacks in their skylines. They won’t be the traditional homes of polluting or extractive industries. They’ll be places where residents are at home in vibrant, clean and sustainable communities.”
Heads and thumbs up for the greenest sailors on the blue highway, Solar Sailor Holdings. An Australian company focused on hybrid marine power and solar wing technology, Solar Sailor came about when founder Robert Dane was watching the 1996 Canberra boat race. That year, the winning boat used a solar panel inclined toward the sun. The only problem with the concept was that as the wind grew stronger, the panel became a hazard and had to be pulled down. This intrigued Dane enough to start wondering how to combine sun and wind to power a modern, seaworthy boat. Dane, a doctor, ex-NSW green ambassador, avid sailor and rower says, “I started reading about evolution and learned that insects had initially used wings as solar collectors and only later used them to fly. This made me think that boats, too, could evolve wings to collect solar power – not to allow them to fly, but to allow them to sail.”
Dane realized he could use a wing sail that doubled as a solar collector, and could adapt to sudden changes in weather by folding it onto the ship’s roof. Unlike the inspirational 1996 race boat, Dane’s sail could collect solar energy without destabilizing the boat. He registered the idea at the patent office and took his first solar sailing boat back to the Canberra race in 1997. In 1999, he founded Solar Sailor Holdings Ltd., with Bob Hawke (ex Prime Minister of Australia) coming on board as Chairman. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Here’s a hot topic from down under. Port Hedland, the largest town in Western Australia, has become known as the center for Australia’s major mining industry growth. China’s high demand for copper, aluminum, iron and gold are influencing the need to grow the industry and build even more mining operations throughout the area.
On the upside, the mining industry provides high paying jobs and millions of dollars to both the mining industry and the government. The downside is the high price paid by the people of Port Hedland.
The hotels and youth hostels that were once filled with tourists and youth are now being occupied by mining employees. Tourists have to stay in tents on the grounds of a local racetrack if they need a place to stay and are too tired to drive to the next town. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Most of us are familiar with cork. In fact, we put our trust in this product daily when pinning our grocery lists and reminder notes to cork bulletin boards, or when we cork our bottle of wine so that it stays fresh until the next time we get to enjoy it responsibly Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I definitely like where Chevy’s going with their new ad campaign, Gas-Friendly To Gas-Free, but I’ve been duped by a good ad campaigns in the past (think New Coke). So let’s take a deeper look at what Chevy is really selling us this time around, beyond the shiny green layout in the middle of Vanity Fair and other magazines.
Chevy unfolds their new green thinking in a five-part plan, but really, there’s only one part of the plan that’s selling cars now: their Fuel Efficiency category. Chevy is hyping their bio-friendliness saying eight of their 2007 models get 30 miles per gallon or better on the highway. None of which, of course, are their super popular trucks and SUVs. But they get to that, as the ad claims to offer the best V8 fuel economy of any full-size pick-up truck (that’s right, they use V8 and fuel economy in the same sentence). However, the fine print says it’s only for the two-wheel drive variety, which isn’t nearly as popular as the four-wheel drive variety, and it still only gets 22 miles per gallon on the highway. And what about the ever-popular Tahoe, the symbol of American over-compensation? Well, they spin that by saying it gets better standard highway fuel economy than 12 smaller SUVs with an estimated 21 miles per gallon highway. I’m sure there’s a lot more than 12 smaller SUVs on the market for one thing. Plus, isn’t 40 the new 20?
Alan Weisman offers yet another fascinating nonfiction with his eco-thriller “The World Without Us”, where he speculates what would happen if humankind no longer roamed the earth. A very common human pondering… as seen in the 1946 classic film “It’s A Wonderful Life”. George Bailey despairingly pondered what life in Bedford Falls would be like if he never existed. When things go wrong, and life doesn’t follow a path richly abundant, we ponder.
We now have a global view of community rather than worry over a small town. Those concerned with the state of the Earth quite naturally imagine what might happen if we were to vanish. Mother Nature is not a small town bully, but she definitely is in charge no matter how grandiose our perception of our importance in the scheme of things. Some of us think we are unique enough to alter our earth. At those times, our long-suffering mother gives us a whack and puts us back in line. Should we leave the planet, signs of our existence would slowly disappear into the redesign of the uninhabited planet state, as Weisman describes. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Backed by the state of California, Sacramento, has set some pretty high aspirations. They want to be America’s Greenest city. With an entire state behind you, I don’t see how that could fail. Just don’t tell Chicago…
The California Environmental Protection Agency, which is located in Sacramento, was the nation’s first EPA to receive a platinum rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design from the U.S. Green Building Council. According to a story in the Sacramento Bee, the Governator himself has mandated that new state office buildings receive at least silver in LEED ratings. As of now, Sacramento has 4.3 million square feet of LEED-certified office space, with Chicago just ahead at 5.2 million.
The California EPA has indoor bike parking, waterless urinals and boxes of worms underneath employee desks. Yes, worms. They digest the scraps of food leftovers, which make for some pretty valuable compost.
Sacramento had its Greenhouse gas emissions certified by the state of California’s Climate Action Registry. In 2005, their emission was 63,000 metric tons, which was a 16 % increase of the 1990 levels. The goal is to lower the emissions 25% below the 1990 number by the year 2030, with Governor Schwarzenegger wanting local governments’ emissions to be 80% below by 2050. Keith Roberts, who is the senior engineer at Sacramento’s General Services Department, is developing a “climate plan” to achieve this goal – a plan that he figures will cost about $850,000 a year.
As promised, the rockers came back to G Living today to show off their Veggie RV. At first glance, I wondered, “is it going to make it?” I was told the beauty lies not on the outside (nor apparently on the inside with its post Milli-Vanilli/pre-Nirvana decor) — the real attraction is underneath the Ford Diesel engine, which was recently converted to run on vegetable oil.
On the Road Again
For the next 30 days, the band’s five members, along with the sound man and Merc Girl (in charge of hocking CDs and shirts at the shows) will share this 10-year-old home on wheels. The group has had it for four years and has logged two non-Veggie Oil tours under its belt. When asked whether or not they use the kitchen (I found a few pantry items under the bed and the fridge was all rocker with two cans of beer, three bottles of wine and a bottle of champagne), Woven claimed to eat better on the road than at home in L.A., adding that the tour’s Northern California leg will set the pace with a farm delivering fresh food to the gig. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
East Los Angeles College is the first university to become totally sustainable. Well, mostly sustainable. Okay, sustainable during the day…
The Solar Energy Project at ELAC is a photovoltaic “farm” that will produce one megawatt of electricity, which is currently a little less than the school needs to energize it’s daytime activities. But worry not; school officials, realizing the nighttime is indeed the right time, plan on getting the rest of the necessary energy by converting water into oxygen and hydrogen, then using hydrogen to power fuel cells. That’s some serious nightlife. All for the low low price of 9 million dollars.
Better yet, the school is one of nine community colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District, all of which are slated to be “off-the-grid” in the near future. The district is going big-time green. Not just solar farms, but a Sustainable Development Curriculum where kids can use modern day green advances as their practical learning tools while watching every new building in the district being built up to LEED certification. With 2.2 billion dollars of voter-propositioned money, that’s a lot of green buildings.
Kudos to the forward thinking community who voted on making the project not just innovative and imaginative, but also possible. Imagine, living off nothing but the energy a community can create. Imagine getting back exactly what it puts out. Imagine sustainability.
Is it me, or does this sound as much like “Imagine” as it does “Instant Karma”?