Hot Fun In The Summertime – Acting eco friendly is important

This is just a fun little site for kids. We are on summer vacation after all.

http://green.thefuntimesguide.com/2012/03/living-green.php

Americans Are Becoming More Environmentally Aware & Conscious Of Their Behaviors

A new national survey of more than 1,000 Americans found that ‘being green’ is becoming more mainstream and has less of a stigma tied to it than it once did.

According to the survey, getting caught littering is more embarrassing to Americans than getting caught cheating on taxes.

Other behaviors that people admit to being socially aware that they’re doing include:

  • not recycling plastic bottles
  • driving a vehicles that gets only a few miles per gallon
  • letting the water run while brushing teeth

It’s clear that it is no longer just a highly motivated ‘few’ who are conscious about their own environmentally friendly actions these days.

It’s The Little Things

For most, it’s important to start small in order to stay committed to living green.

In  my case, I set a few simple actions as my New Year’s Resolutions a few years ago.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Green Funeral Services – the other half of dying

Getting “laid to rest” is a two part process. There is preparing you and there is the ground you go into. Yesterday I covered the ground you go into part with Roselawn Cemetery which is a dated term I suppose but it is what I know. Today we take a look at the services that get you there. Jenn Bormann is with Butler Funeral Home and she was at Earth Awareness Fest with Clada Parker. They had with them a woven willow casket complete with a basket style top and an optional silk liner. Wow is all I can say. A casket you could leak out of, that is a very winning concept! Sorry I probably wasn’t supposed to say that but I am a loud mouth sometimes. Anyway I found this story about them in the SJR and I will put up their website as well. I did not want to just copy text from their website, because that is way to commercial for this nonprofit.

http://www.kirlin-egan-butler.com/

http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x155906923/Tim-Landis-Butler-Funeral-Home-gets-green-certification

Tim Landis: Butler Funeral Home gets ‘green’ certification

Posted Sep 25, 2010 @ 11:30 PM

Not only is it possible to go green. Among the newer trends in the funeral home business is going out green.

BUTLER FUNERAL HOMES and ROSELAWN MEMORIAL PARK of Springfield have obtained certification from the national Green Burial Council for sustainable funeral and cemetery practices, eco-friendly products and even organic snacks at the wake.

Butler is getting in early on the green-certification trend as far as central Illinois goes, but president Chris Butler said he expects others to follow.

“Some of this includes elements people are already asking for. They just don’t call it ‘green,’” Butler said of practices that include non-toxic embalming fluids or no embalming at all, using only natural stone, limiting loss of natural habitat, biodegradable caskets, burial shrouds instead of caskets and use of renewable products.

Butler Funeral Homes Inc. is among the city’s older businesses. Forerunner funeral homes date to 1893.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Green Burials In Springfield IL – I love these women

The Earth Awareness Fair was this last weekend and I should be reporting on that. But these two women were there, Clada Parker and Jenn Bormann. They are with Roselawn Memorial Park and Butler Funeral home respectively. I am going to do Roselawn today and Butler tomorrow. I just love these guys. They had a woven basket casket with an optional silk liner with them on Saturday. But they have so many options it is real exciting. This is their Facebook page and their website:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roselawn-Memorial-Park/121946907815445

http://www.roselawninfo.com/

And here is a great little write up on them:

http://wakethememory.com/blog/category/cemeteries/

Are There Green Cemeteries in Illinois?

July 19th, 2010

I am happy to report that the answer is finally, YES!

 

The Green Burial Council in California recently approved Roselawn Memorial Park for green burials. You can now be buried in Illinois without a casket, without embalming, without anything but a shroud if you want.

 

I do not personally think that a green burial ground has to be approved by the Green Burial Council, but they have some strict standards that make sense, and their mission is great. In a previous life, I worked in the architectural world, and saw first-hand what it was like dealing with the logistics of becoming LEED certified, and know how hard it can be. Additionally, it is very expensive to become “Certified Organic”. I think it’s worthwhile to recognize any cemetery or burial product willing to become more natural, and I will support any company that tries to be better.

 

Here is their information. They do not seem to have a working website yet. I will keep you posted and update after I contact them directly.

 

Roselawn Memorial Park – Hybrid Cemetery
924 South 6th Street
Springfield IL 62703
217/525.1661

 

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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The Grass Is Always Greener Next Door – And many people don’t even believe in lawns as a legitimate space

In fact, some are so radical as to imply that our yards should be filled with food plants and locally indigenous plants. I personally believe that is food overkill but at least there would be no hunger in America. Here is more on lawns if you like them.

http://www.organiclawncare101.com/

The Grass is Greener … and Safer!

Lawns may have been invented in Europe, but they’ve reached their apotheosis in North America. For those in the U.S. of A, that green, green grass ranks right up there with apple pie, backyard barbecues and softball. For Canadians it’s proof of place, both a responsibility and a privilege, like wearing decent clothes when you leave the house. Keep your teeth clean and your grass green. In the lower 48 states and much of southern Canada, grass is practically an obsession.

The problem with the perfect lawn is that it wreaks havoc on both your wallet and the environment. Between 30 and 40 million acres of land in the U.S. are devoted to turfgrass (see Curbing the Lawn), and Americans collectively spend big bucks — about $40 billion annually — on seed, sod and chemicals. In Canada, which has around one tenth the population of the U.S., sales from all lawn and garden products have risen steadily over the past five years, to over $2 billion by 2007. Click on “Canadian lawns and gardens: Where are they the ‘greenest’?” for more on this.

Much of that money goes to products that “help” grass only in the most superficial ways and that degrade the soil, pollute any water they reach, and pose serious health threats to humans, their pets, and any wildlife in the area, including birds. As people become aware of these facts, attitudes towards conventional fertilizers and pesticides are beginning to change. In Canada, over 130 communities and two entire provinces have passed laws severely restricting pesticide use, so homeowners and city park services are going organic perforce. In the U.S., where municipalities in many states lack the power to pass such comprehensive laws, a number of cities and towns have restricted the use of pesticides on school grounds or in parks. Furthermore, while many pesticides remain legal in the States, more and more people are becoming aware of the strain that they place on the eco-system. All across North America, people are not only considering going green, but whether the perfect lawn is worth the long-term environmental price we’re paying for it.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Gardening Organic And Other Important Ideas – Great site

This is a great site for all kinds of gardening ideas. I like the idea of combining a naturescape and a garden.

http://www.globalstewards.org/garden-ecotips.htm

 

Environmental Tips for Individuals: Your Garden

Your Garden

Create a Backyard Wildlife Habitat

As people take over more and more of the land, we need to provide food, water, and shelter to the animals that are now relying on us for their survival.

  • Backyard Wildlife Habitat: A backyard wildlife habitat or “naturescape” can be created in your own backyard. A miniature version can even be created on your patio or deck. Basic elements include fresh water (i.e., a bird bath and, if in a yard, water low to the ground); plants and feeders that provide nourishment for birds, insects, etc.; and rocks, trees, bushes and/or bird houses for shelter and nesting. Purchase plants that are native to your area. The National Wildlife Federation has an excellent program: The Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program which provides some helpful, detailed examples.
  • Attracting Animals: Learn how to attract:
  • Protecting Birds: The greatest danger to birds in your yard is window collisions. Audubon provides tips for minimizing collisions.
  • Resources: How to Naturescape provides inspiration and information on switching to native plants.

 

Gardening Tips

  • Organic Gardening: Go organic!! – here are some basics.

 

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Gardening And Energy Conservation – How do you figure

Most people do not see gardening your own food as saving energy. They see it as healthy and even self reliant. It does save a huge amount of energy. First and foremost there are no transportation costs to your vegetables. If you use a lot of fertilizer then that changes some but the cost of an avocado  from Mexico is huge. Second, you are not driving heavy equipment like at a large vegetable farm. You should see the fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides they use.

http://gardenofeaden.blogspot.com/

ROSEMARY

Rosemary is one of those plants that not only smells good, it tastes good and looks good too. When I say taste, I mean as a flavoursome herb so don’t start chomping on a random stem and expect it to fill you with culinary delights – because it won’t!

Be that as it may, rosemary plants are fantastically popular and are often found in gardens as a specimen shrub or informal hedging.  Evergreen – and tolerant of most soils so long as the drainage is good, they will even put up with most of the weather that Britain can throw at it despite is warmer origins of the Mediterranean and Asia

Its Latin name, Rosmarinus officinalis, means “dew of the sea” and while rosemary is most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking you don’t need perfect sunshine, or a sea mist to grow it successfully. All you need to provide is a free draining, sunny spot. Poor soils are no obstacle and it will even survive periods of drought.If you are growing it as a formal hedge then it can be clipped throughout the growing season, but be aware that if you do this you will be removing the flower buds and so it won’t produce flowers for you.

If you are using it as a specimen plant then you can prune after flowering. Otherwise, August to September will be the best months.

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Go there and read tons of stuff. More tomorrow.
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Gardening Nude – She is my favorite gal

Seriously, since we are talking spring gardens, though I am still counting on cold in April or May, here is one of the best in the biz. Shawna Coronado is a real hard worker.

http://www.chicagonow.com/gardening-nude#

How To Make a Strawberry or Vegetable Planter From A Recycled Light Fixture – Sustainable!

It is time to think about Spring!! Here is a super-easy trick for recycling something old into a brand new vegetable planter. Learn how a light fixture can be transformed into something wonderful and useful!

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Go there and read and listen. More tomorrow.

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No Post Today – I have to give a speech at UIS

I am addressing SAGE today and want to keep focused on that.  I promise I will make up for it tomorrow. But I will leave you with a song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yERTIErjTE4&feature=g-vrec&context=G2532f8dRVAAAAAAAACA

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Much more tomorrow.

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BP Never Got The Issue – They believe they did nothing wrong in the first place

That’s right the OIL SPILL in the Gulf of Mexico was not their fault.  You know what? Between the remediation they have done and a court of law they maybe right. Which is maybe more disgusting. The well was theirs, there is no doubt about that but with the blowpout preventer being bad, the cementing company’s cement job being bad, and the drilling platform operator being bad to dangerous, by the time they get to court (think 20 years if the Exxon Valdez is any gauge) and all three companies may actually end up owing BP money. They sure are trying to put a shiny happy face on it though.

 

Locals call BP’s feel-good Gulf ads ‘propaganda’

Advertising blitz touts recovery of tourism, fishing industries after massive spill

By CAIN BURDEAU

updated 1/8/2012 2:24:03 PM ET

NEW ORLEANS — Nearly 20 months after its massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill — and just as Americans focus on New Orleans, host of the college football championship game — BP is pushing a slick nationwide public relations campaign to persuade Americans that the Gulf region has recovered.

BP PLC’s rosy picture of the Gulf, complete with sparkling beaches, booming businesses, smiling fishermen and waters bursting with seafood, seems a bit too rosy to many people who live there. Even if the British oil giant’s campaign helps promote the Gulf as a place where Americans should have no fear to visit and spend their money, some dismiss it as “BP propaganda.”

The PR blitz is part of the company’s multibillion dollar response to the Gulf oil spill that started after the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded off the coast of Louisiana on April 20, 2010, killing 11 workers and leading to the release of more than 200 million gallons (760 million liters) of oil. As engineers struggled to cap the out-of-control well, it turned into the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Now, BP is touting evidence that the Gulf’s ecology has not been severely damaged by the spill and highlighting improving economic signs.

“I’m glad to report that all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy!” BP representative Iris Cross says in one TV spot to an upbeat soundtrack. “And the economy is showing progress, with many areas on the Gulf Coast having their best tourism season in years.”

The campaign, launched just before Christmas, has ramped up for the two-week period around the Sugar Bowl and Bowl Championship Series title game to be played on Monday between Louisiana State University and Alabama.

The company is paying chefs Emeril Lagasse and John Besh to promote Gulf seafood, it’s hired two seafood trucks to hand out fish tacos and seafood-filled jambalaya to the hundreds of thousands of tourists and fans pouring into the city for the football games and it’s spreading its messages at galas, pre-game parties and vacation giveaways.

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More tomorrow.

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LLCC Green Center Coming Soon – It should help the area out a lot

Tim Landis is one of the best writers left on the State Journal Registers staff. This Green Center will be a boon to the Springfield community.

http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1627418028/LLCC-programs-offer-free-training-in-green-industry

LLCC programs offer free training in ‘green’ industry

Posted Nov 17, 2011 @ 11:00 PM
Last update Nov 18, 2011 @ 06:45 AM

Lincoln Land Community College expects to begin training about two dozen students for “green” jobs  early next year through two pilot programs made possible by $600,000 in federal training grants.

The Renewable Energy Academy and the Green Construction Academy will provide intensive training — classes are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday — for jobs in renewable energy and energy-efficient building.

“We are looking at a lot of new skills and jobs that have not been there in the past,” Julie Rourke, LLCC director of workforce development, said Thursday.

The renewable-energy classes are scheduled to begin Jan. 9 and the classes in green construction on Feb. 13. Both continue into mid-June.

Rourke said the school hopes to enroll 15 students in renewable energy and 12 in green construction. There will be no cost to the first group of students, because the federal grants are paying for the expense of setting up the program, including equipment.

But she said the four-days-a-week schedule will take a strong commitment.

“It’s set up that way for a reason. One is the grant period,” said Rourke. “The other is that we expect a lot of non-traditional students who may be transitioning from one career to another, and there’s an urgency to get them back in the work force.”

The grants, $350,000 from the U.S. Department of Education and $250,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor, were awarded through the LLCC HIRE Education program. The goal is to make the classes self-sustaining once the grants expire at the end of 2012.

LLCC Green Center manager Julie Bates said classes will cover a variety of renewable-energy and energy-efficiency skills, including solar, small wind systems, geothermal, green construction, plumbing and heating, landscaping and site planning.

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More tomorrow.

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