Posts tagged: environmental facts

Book Recommendation: “An Environmental Guide from A to Z” (Tim Magner)

By , November 16, 2010 3:08 pm

There are a lot of junky books out there, but every now and then, an unknown gem comes my way and makes me very thankful that I get to review books on occasion!  An Environmental Guide from A to Z is just such a book.

Typical A-B-C- books are usually geared towards babies and toddlers and often leave older readers and adults cold.  This book is a happy exception.

Picture an A-B-C book for older children with each letter representing an environmental or nature-related concept or important person.  Each word is fully explained in easy to understand terms and is beautifully illustrated by Aubri Vincent-Barwood.  “D is for Darwin,” “F is for Fossil Fuels, ”  “I is for the Inuit Eskimos,”  “R is for Reduce and Reuse.”

Each letter also has a “Did you know?” section with an interesting fact or two related to the topic.  For example, in the “B is for Bees and Insects” section:  “A bee’s buzz comes from their wings flapping 200 times per second!”

I even learned a few things:  “Q is for Vo Quy,” “L is for Paolo Lugari” (read the book for more information) or “the average ‘piece of food’ travels 1,500 miles before it reaches your mouth….”  How about:  “with solar panels, Germany has nearly cut their use of coal in half” and “Denmark gets more than 20% of its electrical power from wind farms.”  I love it when I find a well-written childrens’ book that actually also teaches me a thing or two.

Perhaps my favorite part of the book is that it doesn’t just limit itself to teaching facts, ideas and concepts, but it also asks questions encouraging children to think about their own lives.  Each letter has at least one little oak leaf with questions on it, or sometimes activity ideas.  “What’s the biggest tree in your neighborhood?  How old is it?”  Many of these questions will encourage kids to get outside:  “Watching the animals in your neighborhood, can you see how they are built to survive?”

If you are looking for an informative and interesting book that teaches about the environment and “green living”  without being preachy, then I encourage you to take a look at An Environmental Guide from A to Z Many thanks to Tim for sending me a copy.  This is a review copy that will remain on our shelf to be enjoyed for a long time to come.

Opt Out of Your Phone Books

By , June 20, 2008 9:51 am

You probably already knew that you could opt out of catalogs, but did you know that you can also opt out of receiving phone books?

Thanks so much to Hettie of Celtic Mommy for emailing me this link:

I am an active CatalogChoice participant, but the phone book thing is going to be harder for me to adopt. I am old-fashioned I guess, and for some reason I like having my local phone numbers all there in a book in my desk drawer.

However I do live in a small area and my single phonebook (white and yellow pages combined) is only about an inch thick! If I was in New York City, or LA where my phone books weighed more than my oldest child, I would be ever so eager to rid myself of them forever!

But do we really need to have numerous phone books dumped at our door several times per year? I would prefer to call and ask for a book every year or two…or better yet, get used to finding my information paperlessly, online.

Of course phone books are a great source of advertising revenue for phone companies and other private companies that compile directories, so they won’t easily cease distribution. That is why if this cause is important to you, then help spread the word that such an option is available.

Here are some facts (according to YellowPagesGoesGreen):

To produce 500 million books:

  • 19 million trees need to be harvested
  • 1.6 billion pounds of paper are wasted
  • 7.2 million barrels of oil are misspent in their processing (not including the wasted gas used for their delivery to your doorstep)
  • 268,000 cubic yards of landfill are taken up
  • 3.2 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are squandered

Be sure to check out the YellowPagesGoesGreen links page too.

I am off to sign up now to opt out of my little phone book and begin changing my habits to a paper-free phone life!

Happy Earth Day! – Flush your diapers for the Earth!

By , April 22, 2007 10:54 am

Happy Earth Day!

Earth Day seems like a great day for my final gDiapers, flushable diapers, post. In case you haven’t been enthusiastically following this series of posts (why wouldn’t you??), click on the “Great Diaper Challenge” label in the right sidebar to read about our experiences using flushable diapers.

FINAL UPDATE: The baby’s diaper rash cleared up and we returned to the gDiapers. They are great, but for my very sensitive-bottomed baby (I can’t even use any brand of wipes, just a wet washcloth), we needed to add an extra morning and an extra afternoon change to our schedule. At night I use a disposable because I know her bottom can handle it for that long. In my opinion, two extra changes per day is a small price to pay for helping the environment!

My biggest worry was the flushing issue. But, so far, so good. All the poopy ones have flushed without problem. My compost pile is enjoying the added nitrogen from the wet gDiapers. My septic tank has not overflowed into my yard. My plumber remains unbothered by any agitated calls for help from me. All is well with the world.

gDiapers seems to be a very friendly company with lots of support options. The starter kit instructions list an “800” number where they say they will happily talk you through an actual diapering! There is also a helpful Yahoo User Group of 816 “gMums” and Dads at Jason Graham-Nye, the CEO of gDiapers, has an amusing blog gDiapers: the early years, where you can get the latest news. Incidentally, Jason somehow “found” me (isn’t the internet amazing?) and left a very nice comment to my first post – True Confessions.

According to Jason, you can also read about gDiapers in John Kerry & Teresa Heinz Kerry’s book This Moment on Earth: Today’s New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future. I have not read it yet, but it is on my list. (Maybe next week when I do less blogging for The TV Turn-Off Week Blog Challenge?)

I will close this post with some disposable diaper facts from the gDiapers website:

  • “A disposable diaper takes 500 years to biodegrade”
  • “Last year alone, 18-23 billion diapers went into landfills across America. That works out to be approximately 38,000 every minute and adds up to about 3.5 million tons of waste.”
  • “Conventional disposable diapers are the third largest contributors to landfills in the world and yet only five percent of the population uses them.

If you are currently using cloth diapers, I think you will LOVE these! If you are using disposables there will be a slightly bigger learning curve with a few extra diaper steps (see my “technical” post). But it is worth it.

Try these diapers. You might like them, and I promise that you will feel good about using them! Click here to find out availability in your area, or here to order online.

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