An eco-friendly gift guide for Fathers Day

June 12, 2019 by  
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This Father’s Day, give your dad a gift he will not only love, but one that also won’t hurt the planet nor gather dust on his shelf: quality time together! Here are a few ideas of ways to get outside and celebrate with the father figure in your life as well as some eco-friendly gadgets he will enjoy when you aren’t together. Visit a national park together June is one of the best times to visit one of the country’s national parks . Whether your dad is a serious hiker or more of a couch potato, he will love getting some fresh air and seeing a beautiful new landscape together. Most parks have options for easy day trips, walking tours and more intense hikes. Some have visitors centers, museums and cafes, and many have short paved trails that are accessible for a wider variety of ability levels . Related: How National Parks benefit the environment Here are a few popular parks for Father’s Day: Acadia National Park, Maine This park has miles of rugged coastline that can be too cold for most people during the rest of the year but are beautiful during the summer. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming Located near Yellowstone National Park, this park has gorgeous mountain vistas and overlook sites. It is popular in the summertime for mountaineering, climbing, hiking and walking. Shenandoah National Park, Virginia Only a few hours from Washington D.C., this park is gorgeous even from a car. There are a number of hikes and waterfall spots for different ability levels, plus you and your dad can brag about hiking part of the Appalachian Trail together. For more ideas, check out the National Parks Service’s Father’s Day Guide . Pick your own strawberries June is peak strawberry season in much of the U.S., and it’s a fun group activity with sweet treats along the way. Bring the loot home and make fresh strawberry shortcake for a Father’s Day dessert! Here is a guide to where you can go strawberry picking in different states. Make sure to call ahead to confirm that the farm is open, has strawberries left and is still offering a pick-your-own program this year. Give the gift of knowledge This year, take your father to a movie about the environment or nature, like The Biggest Little Farm . Not only will it allow you to spend quality time together, but you will learn something new about our planet. If your dad is interested, check out local events or talks about climate change and participate in local activism together! Sign up for a road race If you and your dad have a goal to be more active, exercise is a great way to spend quality time together while staying healthy . Research races in your area and pick one that works with your schedule and abilities. The entrance fee typically goes to help charities or medical research. Stick with a 5K or less if you’re a beginner — that is about 3.2 miles. If you’re more advanced, you can look for a 10K or higher. Related: 8 tips to make your exercise routine more eco-friendly Buy a bike tune-up Does your dad like to bike? Maybe he bikes to work, just on the weekends or very little at all, but we’ll bet his bike could use a tune-up to make sure it’s in the best and safest shape possible. Rent canoes or kayaks Now that the weather is nice, spend some time together as a family and rent canoes, kayaks or paddle boats. Many lakes and rivers have rental companies where you can pay by the hour or by the day. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you could look at places where you can fish, too. Snag tickets to a sports game or concert Spend your money on an experience instead of an item. Do some research to find out if your dad’s favorite sports team or band is in town, and buy tickets to go with him. Plan a customized rainwater harvesting system If your dad loves to garden, get him a customized rainwater harvesting system. Many companies will take the time to learn about your dad’s space and needs and send an easy, customized kit to set it up. You can also try the DIY route . Get environmental gadgets for Dad Before buying more stuff for your dad, ask him what he wants. A good way to cut down on waste is by buying only something that he would really use. Otherwise, here are some good ideas: App-controlled light bulbs Does anyone else have a dad who is constantly reminding you to turn off the lights when you leave a room? Get your tech-savvy dad this app-controlled light bulb that lasts up to 27 years and uses just 10 percent of the energy needed for a conventional bulb. He can set timers for his schedule and say goodbye to the days of following the kids around and turning off lights after them. Swim shorts that save the sea These swimming shorts are made from 100 percent recycled plastic and are SPF 45+. Each design tells a story about ocean pollution , and they are available in matching Father + Son sizes. Grill tools made from recycled hockey sticks Is your dad a grill master and a sports fan? This California-based company recycles used hockey sticks to make unique grill utensils. According to the website: “We all know somebody (perhaps ourself) whose burgers always come off the grill looking like hockey pucks. They just don’t have the right tools.” Stainless steel coffee mug If your dad is like mine, he drinks a lot of coffee . Get him a sophisticated stainless steel coffee mug that he can take with him on the go or bring to coffee shops. Most shops offer a small discount for bringing your own mug, and some cities like Berkeley, California are piloting a program to start charging customers for using disposable coffee cups, just like plastic bags. Related: The problem with coffee pods and the eco-friendly alternatives to use instead Sustainable socks Put a twist on the typical gift for dad and buy him something from a sustainable brand. Check out the sock choices at Organic Basics . Organic wine Research the vineyards near you or your dad and find out which ones use organic, sustainable or biodynamic methods on their vineyard. After confirming its environmental impact, gift Dad with an eco-friendly bottle of wine. Via Earth 911 Images via Shutterstock

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An eco-friendly gift guide for Fathers Day

Looking to make your mornings greener? Try these 7 tips for a sustainable morning routine

May 17, 2019 by  
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We all have our favorite ways to start the day, but how eco-friendly is your morning routine? You might be surprised to learn that most people waste a lot of energy and resources in the first few hours they are awake. Luckily, you can make your mornings more eco-friendly with a few easy steps. From drinking a more sustainable cup of coffee to saving on water, here are seven ways you can go green in the mornings. Sustainable Coffee A hot cup of coffee has become the staple of many morning routines. In fact, many people rely on the caffeine boost to help jumpstart their day. If coffee is something you cannot live without, there are ways in which you can make it more sustainable . A great idea is to start brewing your favorite beans in a thermal carafe. This will help keep the coffee warm for longer periods, which cuts down on the need to brew more later in the day. You should also consider investing in an efficient travel mug instead of disposable cups, even when you fill up at your local coffee shop. If you drink coffee on a regular basis, ditching the waste can really add up over time. You can also purchase coffee in bulk whenever possible. This will help cut down on packaging and is easier on your budget. Related: These are the best tips to help you establish an eco-friendly laundry routine Enjoy Some Sunlight Syncing your day with the sun is a great way to become more eco-friendly in the mornings. By getting up when the sun rises every morning, you are more likely to go to bed when the sun goes down. This allows you to use less energy at night because you are not relying on lights deep into the night. This, of course, is only applicable if you have a daytime work schedule and can easily adjust your mornings and evenings. If you do wake up with the sun, take advantage of the warmth by opening up the blinds and trapping the energy inside. Save Water It does not take much to waste water in the mornings, especially when it comes to showering. A lot of people wander off while they wait for the shower to warm up, which can waste significant amounts of water over time. Instead, stay close to the shower and jump right in as soon as the water is hot. If the water takes a bit to reach a desired temperature you can consider lowering the temperature of your water heater, as this will help save energy and is better for your skin. Healthy Breakfast Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, so why not make it as healthy as possible? One way to eat healthier in the mornings is to go vegan or vegetarian. Sub out meat products with fruit and veggies, tofu or even cereal. When shopping for the perfect breakfast ingredients, consider choosing items that are completely organic. Non-organic food is bad for the environment and not as healthy as organic products. You can also find great deals on organic food and should not have to break your budget to eat healthier. Switch Up Your Commute If you live within a reasonable distance from your job, consider walking or riding a bike a few days every week. Walking or biking to your place of employment will get your daily workout out of the way and make you more alert throughout the morning. This also helps cut down on vehicle emissions and traffic, which are two of the biggest concerns for cities around the world. You can also consider carpooling with your co-workers to help curb harmful emissions . If you are looking to buy a new vehicle, take a look at an eco-friendly option, such as a hybrid or a small car. These vehicles are much better for the environment and can generate considerable gas savings on an annual basis, both of which will make your eco-friendly morning routine complete. Eco-Friendly Bathroom Bathroom products are one of the worst offenders to the environment . Not only do they contribute to the growing problem of plastic waste, but they are packed with harmful chemicals that eventually find their way into our water sources. You can help curb some of these issues by choosing products that are eco-friendly. The only downside is that these products tend to be a little more expensive than their counterparts. But considering how many of these chemicals are linked to poor health, you will probably save on medical bills down the road. Related: 8 tips to make your exercise routine more eco-friendly Reusable Living One of the easiest ways to go green in the mornings is to reuse whatever you can. From coffee mugs to water containers, having something you can reuse on a daily basis can really cut down on excess waste. Reusing containers can also save you a few bucks every month. If you pack your own lunch to work, you should also consider investing in a reusable lunchbox or bag and avoid single-use plastics . It may be tempting to throw everything in a grocery bag, but these types of plastics are terrible for the environment and are filling up landfills at an alarming rate. Via Livegreen Recyclebank , The Fun Times Guide Images via Shutterstock

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Looking to make your mornings greener? Try these 7 tips for a sustainable morning routine

World’s first beluga whale sanctuary will welcome new arrivals

June 28, 2018 by  
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In 2019, two beluga whales, named Little Grey and Little White, will be transported from the Changfeng Ocean World aquarium in Shanghai to the world’s first whale sanctuary in a protected bay in Iceland . Established by the SEA LIFE Trust in collaboration with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation , the 32,000-square-meter Beluga Whale Sanctuary site was chosen for its sub-arctic climate and seclusion. “It’s really important for Little White and Little Grey, providing them with a more natural home in which to live out the rest of their lives,” head of the SEA LIFE Trust Andy Bool told Reuters . The whales are already being prepped for their journey and the colder waters of their new home through exercises designed to increase their strength and their ability to hold their breath underwater. With its stores of blubber and echolocation refined for finding holes in the sea ice through which to breathe, the beluga whale is well adapted to Arctic waters. The beluga is also a very social animal, typically living in groups of up to 10, though gatherings of hundreds or thousands of whales can occur in summer. While the species as a whole is not considered threatened, populations in certain regions, such as the Cook Inlet in Alaska , are endangered. Related: A beluga whale living with dolphins learned to “speak their language” In addition to their exercise regimen, Little Grey and Little White, both 12-year-old females, will be fed increased calories and gradually eased into using a stretcher, with which they will be restrained for part of their journey to their new home. Those who have made this sanctuary possible hope that it will set an example for other wildlife entertainment parks to release their animals into the wild. Whale and Dolphin Conservation captivity campaign manager Cathy Williamson told Reuters , “We believe this will inspire other facilities to move their belugas and other whales and dolphins to sanctuaries in other parts of the world.” + SEA LIFE Trust + Whale and Dolphin Conservation Via Reuters Images via Salva Barbera and Sheila Sund

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World’s first beluga whale sanctuary will welcome new arrivals

Earth Day Quiz #3: Exercise Your Eco-Muscles

April 18, 2018 by  
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Who was the first scientist to explain how global warming … The post Earth Day Quiz #3: Exercise Your Eco-Muscles appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Earth Day Quiz #3: Exercise Your Eco-Muscles

Plogging: Sweden’s new fitness trend combines jogging and trash pickup

February 5, 2018 by  
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Plogging is a fitness trend that will help get you and the environment in shape. The BBC reported Scandinavians dreamed up this environmentally friendly form of exercise that blends jogging and picking up trash, and it’s taking off around the world. Joggers are taking their workout to new levels as they simultaneously run and pick up litter . The BBC said not only do ploggers receive the benefits of running, but also of core-boosting squat movements to bend down and grab those bottles, cans, or other junk discarded on the ground. All you need to become a plogger is a workout outfit, a bag to collect garbage, and, ideally, a pair of gloves. Related: This startup is training crows to throw away cigarette butt litter Core77 reported environmentalist Erik Ahlström is one of the movers and shakers behind the trend. When he moved from Swedish ski resort town Åre to Stockholm , he thought the city looked like a dump. He organized jogging groups to run equipped with gloves and garbage bags in an effort to clean up the city. He called this activity plogging, according to Core77, from the Swedish words for “to jog” and “to pick.” Plogga gruppen i Sundsvall går på djupet. Bra jobbat! #sundsvall @plogga A post shared by Plogga (@plogga) on Jul 12, 2017 at 12:27pm PDT Many people tend to sigh when they see litter, but the thought of picking it up still grosses them out. The plogging movement could change that, per the website Plogga , by making it trendy to clean up trash. Plogga cites Ahlström as the creator of plogging and calls on other people to get involved. The organization will help people get started or speak to businesses or schools about the fitness trend. En strålande förmiddag på så många vis! #plogging med underbara människor (för övrigt sjukt mycket skräp på bara en kvart!!!!) och sedan fantastiska stigar kring Hellasgården och stopp för kaffe. Japp, strålande på alla sätt!! ???? #teamnordictrail #plogga #plogging @ecotrailstockholm2017 @teamnordictrail @erikahlstromsweden @mar_ado A post shared by Miranda Kvist (@mirandakvist) on Oct 30, 2016 at 5:59am PDT The craze has caught on around the world. Plogging teams and communities are popping up from Paris to the United Kingdom to Thailand . + Plogga Via the BBC and Core77 Images via Depositphotos and Curtis MacNewton on Unsplash På regnigt uppdrag med bästa PLOGGA gänget i Visby/Almedalen! #plogga #havsmiljöinstitutet #hållsverigerent #almedalen #radiogotland A post shared by Plogga (@plogga) on Jul 4, 2017 at 12:40am PDT Idag har vi ploggat (plockat skräp+joggat). Förenat nytta med nöje. Det kändes så bra att röra på sig samtidigt som vi gav naturen lite ??. Vi fick ihop två fulla påsar på bara 3km. Tänkte köra igen nästa helg. Någon som hakar på oss? @supermiljobloggen @efagervall @markusfagervall @mrultimategreen @hallsverigerent @plogga #plogging #hållsverigerent #ettskräpomdagen A post shared by IDA KJOS (@idakjos) on Sep 16, 2017 at 8:47am PDT Plogging- Environmental tidy up Swedish style ie running whilst pick up rubbish . #plogging ,#plogger ,#swedish ,#environment ,#cleanup ,#runner ,#byronbayrunners A post shared by Geoff Bensley (@geoffbensley) on Feb 3, 2018 at 11:38pm PST

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Plogging: Sweden’s new fitness trend combines jogging and trash pickup

Game of Throne fans are buying and dumping Huskies at a phenomenal rate

August 9, 2017 by  
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After viewing episodes of the highly-anticipated HBO show Game of Thrones , fans have been seeking out and adopting Husky pups in droves, according to a report by the San Francisco Gate . Unfortunately, most are ill-equipped to care for the high-spirited dogs, which are being abandoned at a phenomenal rate. Reportedly, a tell-tale sign of Huskies being adopted by fans of the show is that they are oftentimes named after characters. Additionally, a British animal charity reported a 700 percent increase in abandoned Huskies by 2014, while two Bay area husky rescue facilities — Northern California Sled Dog Rescue and Bay Area Siberian Husky Club — reported similar spikes in the dogs’ abandonment. President of NorSled Angelique Miller said, “These people, they watch these shows and think how cool these dogs are. People can’t even tell the difference between a husky and a wolf because they’re always asking us at adoption fairs if these dogs are wolves — and it’s clearly a husky. They’re just following the trend of what they think is cute.” Related: Winter is Coming: 6 Game of Thrones-Inspired Vegetarian Recipes to Brighten Cold Days It is thought that fans are abandoning the dogs more than any other breed because Huskies’ coats require weekly maintenance, they can’t be left alone with small animals, and they require regular exercise . As Salon reports, this isn’t the first time popular culture has had a negative impact on animals. After “Finding Nemo” was released, for example, sales of clown fish skyrocketed . At the same time, reports sprang up of children flushing the fish down the toilet so they could be freed to the ocean (a plan promoted in the movie). And, after “Harry Potter” became a success, owls — like the Huskies — were adopted in a frenzy and then abandoned at an astonishing pace. The only way to reverse this tragic trend is for consumers to be informed about various animals’ needs. In regard to the Husky-purchasing trend,  Game of Thrones  fans need to know they are very dissimilar from the wolves featured on the show – and they require a lot of care. Via Salon , San Francisco Gate Images via Pixabay, Flickr

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Game of Throne fans are buying and dumping Huskies at a phenomenal rate

Vance Tsing Tao Pearl Hill visitor center blends into the landscape with a rolling green roof

August 9, 2017 by  
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Prolific architecture firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson crafted the Vance Tsing Tao Pearl Hill Visitor Center in Qingdao, China with a gorgeous rolling green roof . Located at the base of the Zhushan National Forest Park, the wooden building ‘s undulating canopy mimics the mountain range in the backdrop. At 223,000 square feet, the visitor center is certainly massive, however it was carefully designed to blend into its natural surroundings thanks to its subtle stature and verdant green roof. Additionally, the building is strategically oriented so that visitors can enjoy amazing views of the mountain range on one side and expansive sea views on the other end. Floor-to-ceiling glazed walls provide these views while illuminating the building with natural light . Related: Manetti Shrem Museum’s 50,000-square-foot canopy was inspired by the agrarian landscape The designers choose to use wood as the building’s principle material to create a strong connection to nature. The unique wooden truss roof structure uses large logs to support a layer of Canadian Class J SPF wood. At the center of the undulating roof is an abundance of lush greenery, further integrating the building into its environment. The green roof was strategically designed to insulate the interior and reduce the building’s overall carbon footprint. + Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Via Archdaily Photography by He Lian

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Vance Tsing Tao Pearl Hill visitor center blends into the landscape with a rolling green roof

How Suburban Sprawl is Killing Us

May 27, 2014 by  
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Have you ever thought about how the design of our cities, towns, and communities has wide ranging effects on both our own lives and on larger global issues? Yes, simply by changing the way we design our living spaces, we affect many things in both good ways and bad. In this article, I will focus on the negative effects of American sprawl , since it is widely acknowledged to be a wasteful and inefficient design model. Read the rest of How Suburban Sprawl is Killing Us Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , exercise , fast food , global warming , greenhouse gas , Health , lawns , obesity , Pollution , poor urban planning , sprawl , suburban sprawl , suburbs , traffic , Urban design , urban planning , urban sprawl , wastefulness , water issues

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How Suburban Sprawl is Killing Us

How US Urban Sprawl Causes Problems Ranging from Obesity to Climate Change

May 2, 2014 by  
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Have you ever thought about how the design of our cities, towns, and communities has wide ranging effects on both our own lives and on larger global issues? Yes, simply by changing the way we design our living spaces, we affect many things in both good ways and bad. In this article, I will focus on the negative effects of American sprawl , since it is widely acknowledged to be a wasteful and inefficient design model. Read the rest of How US Urban Sprawl Causes Problems Ranging from Obesity to Climate Change Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , exercise , fast food , global warming , greenhouse gas , Health , lawns , obesity , Pollution , sprawl , suburbs , traffic , urban sprawl , wastefulness , water issues

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How US Urban Sprawl Causes Problems Ranging from Obesity to Climate Change

Google and Adidas Team up to Produce a Sneaker that Nags You to Exercise

March 16, 2013 by  
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Google is getting into the footwear business now. At the  SXSW  conference in Austin last week, tech giant, along with  Adidas , unveiled its  “Talking Shoe”  concept, a smart sneaker designed to get people off the couch and exercising. The sneaker has a personality of its own that cheers and jeers its wearer in an effort to keep your feet moving. Click through to Ecouterre to see a video of the high-tech sneaks in action. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Adidas , apparel , ecouterre , Google , google sneaker , google talking shoe , green fashion , high-tech fashion , talking shoe

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