Since most of you have been at Providence Day for a while, I’m assuming you all remember Hunter Hodges, who left in 8th grade and moved to Beaufort, SC. Anywhosen, I came across this article that talked about how her parents established and currently operate a non-toxic insect repellent service. The substance used is natural and EPA approved as non-toxic, as it’s derived from cedars. Point is, check it out. Pretty neat-o.
Well, you all made it. Now that the course and AP exam are behind you, I hope you pay attention to the environmental issues that lie before you. Here are just a few of the issues we have studied that have popped up in the news the last few weeks. Feel free to share things you come across with me here or by email.
So, while your text does introduce the concept of carbon neutral it did not mention carbon offsets, which have become a hot ticket in “climate change mitigation.” There are many companies out there now marketing carbon offsets to reduce your “carbon footprint.” Terrapass is a popular one. You can offset one year’s worth of air travel (an estimated 8,000 pounds of carbon emitted) for just $50.60 as of 5/5/2011. Your money goes to support wind farms and methane capture projects-that’s how the carbon is “offset.” Some companies will even plant trees to offset carbon produced by your lifestyle.
So, does this approach really mitigate global climate change or just encourage more “bad behavior” (burning of fossil fuels)? Watch this clever parody of carbon offsetting by a couple of Brits:
HAPPY EARTH DAY! Have you been good to your “mother?” You can see what others are doing around the country at the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/earthday/
If you did notice lately, it is very “hip” to “green.” I’ve been watching my favorite NBC comedy shows lately, and seeing all these public service announcements for “green week.” Heck, even the NBC peacock logo is green! Check out NBC’s slick website (and the peacock): http://www.nbc.com/Green/
This type of public relations stuff is called “greenwashing.” Here’s a definition (can’t find or recall the source):
Greenwashing is the unjustified appropriation of environmental virtue by a company, an industry, a government, a politician or even a non-government organization to create a pro-environmental image, sell a product or a policy, or to try and rehabilitate their standing with the public and decision makers after being embroiled in controversy.
So, why is what NBC or Fox doing this week considered sorta sly? Well…do you think the network executives are doing it for the network or us (or both)? You decide.
If you want to know more, here are a few “watchdog” sites that monitor greenwashing:
So, be a smart consumer, not all that is green is good. ANY group can claim to be green-there is no government standard! Love to discuss any of this with any of you here or in class one day…can you think of other examples you’ve seen?
On my flight to Hawaii I was eavesdropping on the conversation behind me and apparently she was traveling from Des Moines, IA to Hawaii because waste connection a company that handles recycling and waste management is having a meeting here. I rolled my eyes…apes is stalking me.
This past weekend my daughter and I saw the remake of Dr. Suess’ The Lorax. It was entertaining, but not quite as satisfying for me as the original.
I understand if you “big kids” don’t wanna go see it, but if you are considering it I thought you would want a heads up on a few things.
First, you get the back story behind why the little boy goes to visit the Onceler. Of course, it was all for a girl! While an interesting plot twist, I think it detracts from the original message(s) of the book.
Second, the main industry in this film doesn’t supply “thneeds.” Instead, the company sells bottled air! At one point in the film, the CEO of the company explains that he has no interest in saving trees which provide clean air for free! This made me wonder about bottled water companies-I guess they have little interest in cleaning up water? Wouldn’t that lower demand for their product?
I can’t say it was worth the money, but it was nice to see the theater full of little kids. Hopefully there will be a new generation of kids who embrace the lessons of the Lorax.
*The BBC had a nice little piece on Five Interpretations of The Lorax recently, read it here.
If you get to see the film, I’d be interested to know what you think-leave a comment below!
Alum Richard Gee (’10) recently sent me this link to a The Economist article and map about which countries are growning genetically modified crops. I wish we had more time to spend on GMOs, but it was not meant to be this year. I’m not too concerned for you all on the AP exam as GMOs made it as a free response topic two years ago, so I doubt it will come around again this soon. Interesting regardless as this is becoming more prevalent as industrialized agriculture spreads. Key points from the brief article:
As can be seen in our map, GM technology has been enthusiastically embraced in the Americas and in many Asian countries. By contrast, many European countries are subject to severe restrictions on growing GM crops. Developing countries are planting GM crops at a more rapid rate than rich countries.
My mom sent me this video, mostly because my dad is in it, but also it talks about an affordable housing complex that the Affordable Housing Group and other groups in Charlotte have been working on. It shows how Charlotte is working towards more sustainability, even with it’s affordable housing.