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Posts Tagged ‘environmentalism’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I know that today’s post isn’t necessarily about arts and entertainment, but I find this far too important not to post for you to see. While roaming around facebook, a friend of mine sent me this video, which I found to be amazing. A few Southern farmers have worked out a very simple solution to help clean up some of the oil that is currently killing the gulf. Watch it for yourself:

Hay! This is absolutely ingenius! Just think about all the hay we’ve got all around the country. If we simply put more man power on doing this, who knows how much oil could be averted away from the marine creatures and the coast, too?

This idea is also better because it is completely green. The chemicals the government has been pumping into our ocean to ‘help’ clean up the oil may be doing more harm than good. With this simple solution, there are no added chemicals and less chance of hurting more animals.

Think about it.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Those of you who know me know that I strive to do things that will help out the environment. That being said, it makes me glad that there are other like-minded people out there, too. I just finished Vanessa Farquharson’s book, called Sleeping Naked is Green, and I must say that it has put some things into perspective for me, as well as added some more ideas for green changes I can make.

The book is about Farquharson’s own green challenge — making one change every day and sticking with it for one year (in this case, it’s 366 days because it just so happened to be a leap year). Aside from the usual green changes that are easy to drum up, like taking reusable bags to the grocery store or using less plastic bottles, it isn’t easy to think of a green change for every day. Some of her more hardcore environmentalist changes happened to be selling her car, unplugging her fridge, not using toilet paper (for number one only), and drastically altering the way she ate.

Nonetheless, this book is an excellent way for us to evaluate what we can do to help the environment and then see which ideas are doable on a daily basis and which ones are not so great for us. Farquharson, of course, is our guinea pig, testing out all the ways to green your life.

Each chapter is a month in her life, and the beginning of each of those chapters describes the changes she makes daily. There is also a story here, which gives the book more of a human quality to it. The good thing about this book is that it never comes off preachy, just honest and to the point.

Farquharson is an arts reporter for the National Post and during her green challenge, kept a blog for each day’s change. Check out her blog, Green as a Thistle, and read all the posts about her green changes. The book serves more as an overview of the challenge, but the blog goes more in depth, as there is a post for each day.

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 Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Everyone likes going to the zoo. It’s a chance to see exotic animals that you might not run into in your every day life. It’s also a chance to raise awareness for these special animals, especially those that are endangered.

The Philadelphia Zoo has recently opened a special exhibit called ‘Creatures of Habitat: A Gazillion-Piece Animal Adventure.’ Instead of having real animals in their habitats, the zoo is featuring 10 habitats with animals made out of legos instead, including penguins, polar bears, and tamarins. All the lego work has been done by Sean Kenney, a certified lego professional.

The zoo hopes that by presenting this kind of exhibit, it will give people more of a focus on just how fragile our environment is and bring awareness to the fact that we need to protect out Earth.

From the Philadelphia Zoo website: “Creatures of Habitat extends and expands upon our important conservation work that has gained focus and impact through our 150th anniversary celebration.” says Vikram H. Dewan, President and CEO of the Philadelphia Zoo. “Every child – and adult for that matter – can relate to the universal desire to protect our planet, this place we all call home. A key principle of this exhibit is to show how our world fits together and we all connect with it. Our goal remains simple: ensure we never see the day when a child’s only connection to these species is through history books.”

If you can’t make it down to the zoo, you can take a peek at the exhibit over the internet. All you have to do is log onto to philadelphiazoo.org and complete a Personal Sustainability Plan, which will guide you through what you can do to protect our most precious wildlife. 

The exhibit will be featured until October 31 of 2010. To see more pictures of the exhibit, visit treehugger.com.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

As an avid reader of Carl Hiaasen books, I can say that none of his books have ever let me down. I’ve read five of his great eco-friendly novels now, but for some reason, the sixth one just isn’t catching me.

Not the greatest Hiaasen book, but still worth a read. Photo from filedby.com.

Not the greatest Hiaasen book, but still worth a read. Photo from filedby.com.

Double Whammy takes place, as always, in sunny Florida. Well, mostly. (This novel switches a bit to Louisiana, too.) The plot thickens when a famous local bass fisherman is suspected of cheating to win bass tournaments throughout the state. Private investigator Decker is hired to take on the case, but the events in this case go way beyond his usual assignments.

When the famous fisherman is discovered murdered days before a big tournament, someone tries to frame Decker for the crime. All the while, he is still in love with his ex-wife, is seduced by the real killer’s sister, and must try to pull off escaping from the cops long enough to prove his innocence.

The characters in this book are colorful, to say the least. Most of Hiaasen’s characters are. However, there is one in particular that keeps coming back in many of the novels — ex-Florida governor Clinton Tyree, who nows goes by either the name Skink or Captain. He is a crazed environmentalist who eats fresh roadkill, shoots a gun at airplanes, and badly punishes anyone who dares to get caught hurting nature.

In the case of this book, I think Skink may be one of the only reasons I’m still intrigued. I am always curious to see what he’ll do next. Perhaps it’s the fact that the story is about a bass tournament that has turned me off. I’m just having a hard time grasping this story.

But hey, it’s all about opinion. If you like Carl Hiaasen, by all means, read this book. You might love the fishy story!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I’m going to share one of my guilty pleasures with you so that you can adopt him as one of yours, too. Carl Hiaasen, a fairly well known author from Florida, has written countless books over his years in the field. Some of his greatest hits include Nature Girl, Sick Puppy, and Hoot, which was recently made into a movie (with some help from Jimmy Buffett).

This post will serve as a general overview for you. In the future, I will certainly have reviews of some of his individual books. To tell you a little bit about his novels, they are all mysteries that take place in Florida. Hiaasen has quite a bit of pride for his home state!

Each novel usually introduces readers to five or six different characters, who start out as complete strangers. Through whatever set of circumstances they encounter, they always end up meeting by about three quarters through each book to finish the tale and end the mystery.

The thing that I love so much about Hiaasen’s books are that they all have a nature/environmentalism theme. The topics range from litterbugs to endangered species to cleaning up the ocean. However, the characters are often crazy and comedic, making each book a true pleasure to read. The villains are always suffering from some insane lack of common sense.

Also the fact that all the tales take place in Florida is great, too. It sets the scene for a beach paradise, rich with history and nature. I don’t know about you, but mysteries in tropical places seem more appealing than those in snowy places.

Let that warm Florida sunshine beat down on your face as you pick up your first Carl Hiaasen book! Get enthralled in fighting litterbugs. But hey, if things get too hairy, you can always relax under a palm tree.

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