fossil fuels

Is Neuro-Conservation the New Hope for Environmental Messages?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | April 24th, 2012 | 13 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: attention deficit disorder, climate change, conservation, Eco Travel, environment, environmental media, environmentalism, forests, fossil fuels, global-warming, Great Pacific Garbage Patch, green, Green Living, green settings, happiness, health, HOPE, hopeful, hopefulness, nature, neuro-conservation, public health, travel, well-being, wellness

Letourneau Creek

Big wads of plastic in the ocean that stretch for miles and disintegrating polar ice caps are the kind of news stories that tend to make us feel hopeless regarding conservation efforts. Why bother to change our light bulbs to compact fluorescents if our planet’s imminent demise is a speeding train that can’t be stopped?

The reason we have these feelings is probably the work of environmentalists themselves. They’re sending the wrong messages, if you ascribe to the new field of neuro-conservation.

Instead of focusing the spotlight on results of scientific studies that prove our planet is rapidly warming, or on statistics about alarming species extinction rates, they should be talking about how an ocean view will make us feel happy or standing among trees will arouse our feelings of peacefulness.

After all, selling us emotions is what marketing professionals have been doing for decades. They know that we don’t just buy a car; we buy how that car makes us feel — wealthier, greener or more in control. Using the tenets of neuro-conservation may just be the boost that environmentalists need to gain support for their causes in a world that’s overrun with more scientific data than we know what to do with — or pay attention to.

Going Geothermal with Ground Source Heat

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | March 29th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Green Living, Green Tech | tags: carbon emissions, clean energy, climate change, Department of Energy, electricity, energy efficiency, energy efficiency rebates, environment, fossil fuels, geoexchange system, geothermal, geothermal system, global-warming, green energy, green home, green incentives, ground source heat pump, GSHP, HVAC, renewable-energy, solar-power, sustainability, tax incentives, the grid, wind power

geothermal heat

Sure, you’ve thought about adding solar panels to your roof as a way of reducing your home’s carbon footprint. Maybe you’ve even given wind power a gander. But what about ground source heat pumps?

Hydropower Dams: Clean Energy Source or Threat to Wildlife?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | March 17th, 2012 | 2 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: American Rivers, bald eagles, carbon dioxide levels, carbon emissions, clean energy, climate change, damming, dams, electricity, environment, fish, fossil fuel emissions, fossil fuels, global-warming, Hetch Hetchy Valley, hydropower, increasing energy demands, renewable, river otters, salmon, save the environment, water, waterways, wildlife watching, Yosemite National Park

Bald Eagle

Your city or town probably either has a large, brand-new hydropower dam or you know of an old one, located on the outskirts; a crumbling relic from an earlier period in your state’s history. I know this because according to the national nonprofit conservation organization American Rivers, on average our country has constructed one dam every day since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. And the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers counts approximately 75,000 dams that are greater than six feet along the waterways of the United States. In addition, there are at least tens of thousands of smaller dams spanning our rivers and streams.

Whichever version of the structure is in your area, it seems that dams divide us. While some regard them as a clean energy source, others view them as a danger to river otters and fish populations.

So, are our dams good for the environment, or a threat to wildlife? 

Is Going Green Just a Feel-Good Choice?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | November 18th, 2010 | 5 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: automobiles, bats, bird deaths, birds, Canada geese, canoe, carbon emissions, cars, chemicals, climate change, CO2, eco-friendly, energy, environment, environmental toxins, environmentalist, fossil fuels, green, green building, greenwashing, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, kayak, kayaking, landfills, LEED, LEED buildings, LEED certification, nature enthusiasts, nature photography, nature photos, photography, plastic, power grid, recreation, recycler, recycling, sandhill cranes, save the environment, skyscrapers, songbirds, toxins, transportation, travel, turbines, water sports, weather, wildlife, wind farms, wind power

Sandhill cranes

Buying a kayak qualifies as a “big purchase” for my family, and my husband and I recently took that huge step. Although we’ve had a canoe for a long time, this is our first acquisition of this type of silent-sports, aquatic craft.

Haste from Waste

E.B. Boyd by E.B. Boyd | March 25th, 2009 | No Comments
topic: Green Living | tags: alternative fuels, corn, fossil fuels, peak oil, plastic, rubber, sugar

Take a look around your house. See anything there that, with a little processing, could be turned into fuel to run a car, or even an airplane? If you’ve got ears of corn in the fridge, you might be thinking about those. Maybe you’re even eyeing the sugar jar. But wait. Crank up your imagination. Take a gander at the following things that, once tossed out, can become the inputs for new sources of fuel.

Not-So-Thrilling Grilling

Jessica Harlan by Jessica Harlan | July 5th, 2007 | No Comments
topic: Healthy Eating, Healthy Home | tags: air pollution, fossil fuels, grilling, natural gas, sustainable wood, Volatile Organic Compounds

When we were shopping for a barbecue grill, our biggest concern was whether flavor or convenience mattered more to us. After all, charcoal grills give foods that great smoky taste. And however fast gas grills heat up, sometimes I wonder why I’d bother using them when I could just use a grill pan inside.