cell phones

Should the Use of Bird Apps Outdoors Be Banned?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | August 23rd, 2012 | 8 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living, Green Tech | tags: bird life lists, bird recordings, bird watching, birding, birds, birdsong, bison, cell phones, Eco Travel, exercise, mobile apps, nature, noise pollution, smartphone apps, travel, wellness, whales, wildlife photography, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park

Magpie

It’s long been known that the undersea noise we create with our large machines — oil drilling equipment, ships and submarines — has a detrimental effect on whales, causing hearing damage and changes in feeding, mating and communication. And noise from snowmobiles has often been cited as the reason some species of animals in Yellowstone National Park are being stressed and pushed out of their preferred habitats, impacting their health and increasing mortality.

It turns out that our large machines, though, may not be our only cause for concern when it comes to outdoor noise pollution and its effects on the natural world. Our small, compact mobile phones — and the apps we put on them — have been shown to change the behavior of birds.

Will the noise we individuals are increasingly capable of imposing upon other species outdoors soon also have enough power to affect their ability to survive?

Unplugged: How to Justify a Totally Offline Vacation

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | August 3rd, 2011 | 7 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: cell phones, e-mail, Eco Travel, facebook, family vacation, Internet, iPods, leave your technology behind, live in the moment, natural beauty, natural world, nature, offline, technology, vacation, wi-fi, wireless

creek-out-of-long-lake-cropped

I knew I had a problem with my Facebook addiction when I kept thinking of last weekend’s camping trip as a series of status reports:

Wendy Worrall Redal

… swore she would not camp in a tent in the rain again, and here she is.

… can’t believe she spent the last two hours trying to get flames out of a smoking fire made with wet wood.

… thinks the finest aroma in the world is the scent of alpine firs.

… is amazed at the lush profusion of wildflowers in the meadow next to Long Lake.

Actually, by the time I went hiking to Long Lake, I had been away from digital technology altogether for 24 hours, and I wasn’t thinking in terms of my Facebook status by that point. But all those moments offered a telling realization: My daily life — my very psyche — is tethered to mobile digital technology.

Convenience Is Killing Us

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | June 28th, 2010 | 4 Comments
topic: Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating, Healthy Home | tags: advertising, cell phones, childhood obesity, computers, convenience, food, frozen dinner, hypertension, television, toxins, World War II

tv dinner tray with medical supplies on it

I’m curious when we traded common sense for convenience. I’m guessing it was around the time we stopped trusting ourselves. The same time we started believing all those claims that we could “have it all.” We can. But we pay a price for it.

Should I Pay the Cost When You Get Lost?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | January 19th, 2010 | 8 Comments
topic: Eco Travel | tags: cell phones, Daniel Boone, environment, GPS, information technology, Leo McAvoy, lost, New Hampshire, Oregon, rescue-free wilderness, rescues, search and rescue, self-sufficiency

Climber_Web

My son was visiting me during the holidays recently. I accompanied him to a local cell phone store, where he purchased a Droid. On the five-mile drive home, he entertained me by turning on its GPS feature; and we listened and laughed as the automated voice instructed us to turn left here and right there, over a route that we knew like the back of our hands. It did get me wondering, though, if it’s possible — in this information technology age — to get lost anymore.

October’s Recycling Project: Cell Phones

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | September 30th, 2009 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living | tags: cell phone recycling, cell phones, how to erase cell phone data, how to recycle your cell phone, recycling, selling your old cell phone, where to donate your cell phone

This is the second project in a series of four year-end recycling projects. Last month’s project was printer cartridges. Next month’s is freecycling; December’s is computers.

Recycling your cell phone is one of those projects where there’s simply no excuse. Cell phone manufactures, wireless carriers, charities, and others have all made the process so easy, it should barely be an afterthought. That’s good news for me. I’ve got three phones—from three different manufacturers and two different carriers—that need to find new homes.

New Technology Makes Power from Footsteps

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | December 18th, 2008 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living, Green Tech | tags: cell phones, dance floor, footsteps, piezoelectric boots, piezoelectric roads, piezoelectricity, renewable-energy

What if you could generate energy simply by walking? Or by boogie-ing on a dance floor? Or by driving your car on any old road?

That’s the premise behind piezoelectricity. Certain crystals or ceramic materials can generate an electric charge simply by having stress applied to them — the stress, for example, of a person walking on or a car driving over them.