Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


Archive for the 'Ethical Living' Category

CALCULATING YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT: PART ONE

Posted in Ethical Living, Global Warming, News Brief on October 16th, 2008

ALL PRODUCTS HAVE A CARBON FOOTPRINT. SEE HOW SOME OF LIFE’S BASICS MEASURE UP

First came organic. Then came fair trade. Now makers of everything from milk to jackets to cars are starting to tally up the carbon footprints of their products. That’s the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that get coughed into the air when the goods are made, shipped and stored, and then used by consumers.

So far, these efforts raise as many questions as they answer. Different companies are counting their products’ carbon footprints differently, making it all but impossible for shoppers to compare goods. And even if consumers come to understand the numbers, they might not like what they find out.

For instance, many products’ global-warming impact depends less on how they’re made than on how they’re used. That means the easiest way to cut carbon emissions may be to buy less of a product or use it in a way that’s less convenient.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

THE EFFORTLESS WAY TO SUPPORT ALTERNATIVE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY

Posted in Alternative Energy, Clean Energy, Ethical Living on October 9th, 2008

SWITCHING YOUR HOME TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY MAY BE AS EASY AS MAKING A PHONE CALL

Clean Renewable Energy

Clean Renewable EnergyPutting your money where your principles are for many of us means switching our homes to alternatively produced sources of renewable energy. Now contrary to what you might think, this does not mean running out and purchasing a roof full of solar panels, nor does it mean that you will have to did up that precious backyard veggie garden to make room for an ugly old windmill. No my friends, it is not that complicated. Usually all it takes is a phone call to your local energy provider. And best of all, powering your home with clean, green, renewable energy doesn’t cost all that much more than your current electrical service.

To learn more, contact your local energy provider.

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

NEWS WATCH! SPIRITUAL CAPITALISM EMERGES

Posted in Conscious Actions, Consciousness, Ethical Living on June 22nd, 2008

IMAGINE A SYSTEM FOR RATING BUSINESS SUCCESS THAT HAS MORE TO CONSIDER THAN QUARTERLY REPORTS, SALES PROJECTIONS AND CASH IN THE BANK. AT LAST, A SPIRITUAL COMPONENT

water_drop.jpgJust when it seemed that the pursuit of money, fame and that house in the Hamptons (or for us left coasters, Newport Island,) had lost most of its’ appeal as barometers of one’s success, we now have a new and exciting way to gauge accomplishments in the workplace. And unlike previous ratings systems, quarterly reports, sales projections and cash in the bank are only a part of establishing one’s bona fides.

Now before my regular readers start fearing that yours truly has imbibed of fundamentalist cool aide and is speaking of lunchtime prayer sessions, weekend bible study classes, or for that matter being nice to people that I write about; be advised that all is well here at Libsearthwatch.com. My cynicism, though worn down from the often-thankless job of encouraging humanity to save itself, is, thank god, intact. As are my candor and well-developed bullshit meter. With these paragraphs I am merely setting the stage for a fascinating new posting from the print and electronic edition of Ode Magazine, the global monthly magazine of spirituality, positive living and the environment, that people, (yours truly, included) the world over turn to for the straight stuff about topics that matter to us at this crazy time in all of our lives. But enough shameless plugging of Ode magazine, And yes, I do pay for my subscription.

Spiritual Capitalism (I’m quoting Ode Magazine here) is an exciting new tool for managing the success of an enterprise by values like “integrity” and “commitment” as much as by targets like “efficiency” and “profitability.” “It’s based on the recognition that every businessperson—whether you’re the CEO of a major multinational or the head of your own small firm—is in the service industry, and the services rendered must benefit not just yourself and your shareholders, but the planet and other people as well.” The first commandment of the growing spiritual-capitalism movement is: Taking care of business means taking care of others.

Continue reading this worthwhile posting

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

HOW TO CONSERVE WATER

Posted in Conscious Actions, Conscious Media, Eco Warriors, Ethical Living, Water War on June 14th, 2008

PAINLESSLY AND EASY TIPS TO USE LESS WATER

180px-drinking_water1.jpg

Much has been written of late, both here at libsearthwatch.com and around the BLOGOSPHERE, about what is being called the coming water wars. While the tendency in most advanced countries is to view the idea of wars being fought over something so basic as drinking water as overblown and the domain of conspiracy theorists, the reality is the worlds supply of potable drinking water is no longer adequate to accommodate the needs of Planet Earth’s ever-growing population without both a serious investment in desalination and other purification technology, and realistic conservation efforts being undertaken here and abroad. Well, that’s the bad news.

The good news is that water conservation does not have to be painful. What follows are some easy to enact, relatively painless ways to reduce one’s water usage and to feel good about oneself in the process. In the interest of disclosure, the inspiration for today’s posting came from a feature in today’s Daily Green.com. In fact the list, minus the comments were pinched from that wonderful site via the Huffington Post’s, Green Page.

INSTALL A LOW-FLOW SHOWERHEAD
The experts tell us that this cuts consumption by 50 – 70%. But just think about the water that you could save if you showered with your girlfriend, boyfriend, spouse, fiancé or that attractive single person down the hall, downstairs, upstairs, across the street, in the next cube, etc?

Best of all, you could sell this liberating idea to your potentially skeptical shower partner as the two of you ‘doing your part for the good of Mother Earth and us all’. What man or woman could resist when the ideas is presented in this way? Talk about a win-win situation…

TURN OFF THE TAP WHILE YOU BRUSH
The EPA tells us that the average bathroom faucet flows at a rate of two gallons a minute. Doing the math, this means that by something so simple as turning off the faucet while brushing, you can save as much as 8 gallons of water per day per person.

There is not that I can add here except, perhaps, to suggest only brushing one’s teeth once a day. Whether this would be done in the morning or evening would depend on one’s social calendar, and whether swapping bodily fluids with another is being contemplated.

WATER YOUR YARD IN THE MORNING
The accepted knowledge here is that it is best to water lawns and outdoor plants in the early morning so less precious water is lost evaporation.

Sadly, during a drought, this advice is about as helpful as reorganizing the deck chairs would have been on the Titanic in that it really doesn’t do all that much to ease the water shortage problem.

A better solution would be to tear the damn lawn up all together and replace it with flora native to your particular environment. Here in Southern California that would be cactus.

Additionally, without the water hogging lawn, there is now plenty of water and space for planting an organic veggie garden. This is another win-win as it conserves water and it guarantees a supply of healthy, non- toxic, locally grown food to eat, which in this time of five dollar gasoline and listeria infected produce is a good thing to have going for you.

For those of you who live in areas with plentiful rainfall, consider also installing a water reclamation system that would capture water run off and store it for use water plants. I realize that I used several potentially scary terms in that sentence, – reclamation system, capture run off. So before you work yourself into a tizzy over having to spend thousands of dollars just to have a few tomato plants, know that a water reclamation system is as simple as a clean garbage-type can positioned underneath your house’s rain gutter. So instead of the rainwater making it’s way to the drain and the ocean or the nearby lake, you the environmentally wise person that you are, are capturing it for eventual re-use. Now, if we could only figure out a way to use this in the Jacuzzi? Talk about what a win –win that would be?

USE A PRO CAR WASH
Here to, the experts tells us that merely washing your car in your driveway uses anywhere from 80 and 140 gallons of water per wash depending, I guess, on the size of your car and how anal you are about getting it new car clean. (Note! Hummers are excluded from these estimates, but we won’t go there as I doubt that there are all that many Hummer drivers reading this blog.) Contrast this to a professional wash, which uses about 45 gallons of water per car.

My friends, I like a clean car as much as the next person, and because my hybrid is black, probably more so than most. However, it is more important to me that the inside is clean, it’s odor free (except for my essential oil air freshener), and the carpets are free of dust, coffee spills and food droppings. So why not do as I do. Once every six weeks or so, I have my car professionally washed inside and out. This I have done at one of the many car washes in my area that recycle their wash water. (Note! You can tell which vendors recycle their water pretty easily, because recycled water smells bad – much the way rainwater smells when puddles of it sit in your yard without moving for a few days.

Then on alternate weekends when my 10 yr old nephew comes to visit, I toss him a few bucks to vacuum the inside and wipe down the dash and console with a damp cloth. This way I’m conserving water, have a relatively clean, odor free car, and am employing the youth of America as they learn the value of working for a dollar in today’s economy. Score this a win-win!

FIX THAT LEAK
The experts tell us that ignoring a dripping faucet, leaky pipe joint or dripping sprinkler head can waste a minimum of 3 gallons of water per day per leak. By itself, this is not a lot of water, but these things do add up. As one not that technically astute, particularly about things that get you dirty or could potentially injure your hands – and plumbing is definitely one of those – I have heard that it is amazing what a two-dollar pack of washers can do to remedy most leaky situations.

However, I can speak from experience, that ceasing to park cars, trucks, motorcycles and other weighty objects on the lawn will go a long way toward stopping leaky sprinkler heads. Plus the oil, which all of these vehicles have a habit of leaking will kill what remains of your lawn, which is bad, unless of course that is part of your plan. Then it is merely another win-win.

To summarize, while each of these changes, my snarky comments notwithstanding, are valid ways to reduce one’s water consumption, nothing will really get any better for the long term as long as environmentalists continue to dance around the real cause of today’s water shortages; the water being wasted daily on the tens of billions of sheep and cattle currently grazing on the world’s great plains as they wait their turn to become steaks and hamburgers.

Drastically reducing our consumption of red meat would not only be healthy, but would go a long way to insure that the nations of the world will not one day be battling over the world’s remaining drinking water.

- Denis

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

GREEN ENERGY INDUSTRY TAKES ROOT IN CALIFORNIA

Posted in Alternative Energy, Cool Products, Eco -Chic, Ethical Business, Ethical Living, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Business, Sustainable Living on February 2nd, 2008

IN RECENT MONTHS, THE INDUSTRY HAS ADDED SEVERAL THOUSAND JOBS IN THE PRODUCTION OF SOLAR ENERGY CELLS AND INSTALLATION OF SOLAR PANELS ON ROOFS

solarmodul1.JPGAs of this writing, three-quarters of the nations demand for solar energy and equiptment comes from residents and companies in California. This is not all that surprising considering that California has among the most warm, sunny days of any of the continental states.

But will it continue a grow to be a mainstream industry, or will it be doomed to fall by the wayside the way it did during the last solar boom in the 1970’s?

To be successful and more than a passing fad, solar energy needs to pass through to the mainstream and not be limited to the elite fringes of California society, as it is today.

In the posting linked below, MATT RICHTEL and JOHN MARKOFF of the New York Times take a closer look at this and other questions facing this fledging industry as it attempts to transition into the west coast’s go-to employer for the twenty -first century.

-LIB

READ MORE

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

THE TEN GREENEST COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES IN AMERICA

Posted in Clean Energy, Conscious Actions, Ethical Living, Sustainable Living on November 6th, 2007

HIGHER EDUCATION HAS RESPONDED TO GROWING DEMAND FOR MORE ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS — HERE ARE THE 10 BEST

2007-08-03-abstinencefails.jpg

It is good to see that not all of these schools are the Ivy League. haunts of the privileged few. Kudos to all of the schools on the List.

1. Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH (2,800 students)

Oberlin College’s environmental accomplishments are music to a tree hugger’s ears. A third of the food served in its dining halls is produced locally, the school hosts the first car-sharing program in Ohio, student activity fees subsidize public transportation, and half of its electricity comes from green sources. A real-time monitoring system tracks 17 dorms and displays how much juice all those laptops, blenders, and iPod chargers are burning at any moment. Last spring Oberlin held its first ecofriendly commencement, with biodegradable utensils and programs printed on 100 percent recycled paper.

2. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (20,000 students)

This Ivy League exemplar is a front-runner in getting the most structures certified by or registered for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. A $12 million loan fund provides interest-free financing for ecofriendly projects — such as installing motion-sensor lights in classrooms and converting a recycling truck to run on waste vegetable oil from one of the dining halls. Such efforts generate enough savings to pay back the loan.

MORE….

Source: Alternet / Sierra Magazine

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

TEN EASY WAYS TO EAT LOCALLY

Posted in Conscious Actions, Eco -Chic, Ethical Living, Healthy Food, Miscellaneous, Sustainable Food on August 5th, 2007

HEALTHY DOES NOT HAVE TO COME FROM THE OTHER END OF THE PLANET.

ColorfulDiet.jpgMuch space has been devoted recently, both here and throughout the green themed world, to the organic versus local discussion.

While it appears that each side has it’s benefits and drawbacks, we would like to adjoin the discussion, at least for today, and share the following article from the archives at Lime, as it was originally posted in October of last year by freelance jourrnalist, Rachele Kanigel.

-Lib

    TEN EASY WAYS TO EAT LOCALLY

Source: Lime

Brake for farm stands.
If hand-lettered signs saying “Fresh Corn” or “Sweet Cherries Up Ahead” tempt you, pull over. Roadside stands are a great way to buy freshly picked produce, often directly from the farmer.

Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm.
Many farms offer produce subscriptions that allow you to purchase weekly or monthly boxes of produce, flowers, and other farm products You’ll get whatever’s being harvested that week and know that you’re directly supporting a local farm. To find a farm near you click on Local Harvest

Shop at farmers markets.
Most communities have at least one local farmers market and many venues now operate yearround. To find a farmers market near you, go to the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s clickable map, which features a state-by-state list of certified markets.

Eat with the seasons.
Build your diet around what’s growing locally. Many Eastern cultures believe this is the healthiest way to eat.

Stock up and preserve.
For generations, people have been canning, drying, and freezing food for winter—and our foremothers didn’t even have Ziplock bags! For more information on how to preserve food go to the National Center for Home Food Preservation’s Web site.

Build relationships with local meat producers.
Many farmers sell beef, pork, and fowl products directly to consumers through farmers markets and Web sites. If you’ve got a relationship with a local butcher, ask where the meat comes from—and encourage them to do business with local producers.

For the rest of the list and for other timely and relevant postings, check out Lime’s tremendous portal.

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

GREEN MOVIES WORTH VIEWING

Posted in Conscious Media, Ethical Living on July 6th, 2007

Inconvenient-Truth_v150.jpgAn Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Mr. Gore went to Washington, and we all know how that turned out. But when Al hit Hollywood, it was a different story altogether. An Inconvenient Truth let the former veep shout his climate message from the proverbial rooftops. Who would have thought a documentary about a politician with a whiz-bang computer presentation would make such an impact, let alone win a couple of Academy Awards? But Gore’s star turn changed climate conversations forever.

Erin Brockovich (2000)
Julia Roberts lends star power — and plenty of cleavage — to this based-on-a-true-story epic of wronged Californians rallying against a shady corporate polluter. The title character, a stereotype-bucking, working-class mom, transforms her professional inexperience into an asset, helping to coordinate one of the largest class-action lawsuits in U.S. history.

Winged Migration (2001)
Before penguin peregrinations became all the rage, this documentary captured the grandeur of nature by following the migrations of more than a dozen bird species, spanning four years, 40 countries, and all seven continents. French filmmaker Jacques Perrin, working with a 450-person crew, used planes, gliders, helicopters, and hot-air balloons to capture the impressive journeys, which make waddling across ice look like child’s play.

List continues after the JUMP

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

COMMENTARY: NEW STUDY PURPORTS THAT RELIGION IS GOOD FOR KIDS

Posted in Consciousness, Ethical Living, Miscellaneous, Sustainable Values on April 27th, 2007

THE TYPES OF VALUES AND NORMS THAT CIRCULATE IN RELIGIOUS CONGREGATIONS TEND TO BE SELF-SACRIFICING AND PRO-FAMILY.

prayinghands.jpg I am not sure how I feel about providing children with a religious education. I had one and I don’t think it made me a better person.

One thing is for sure; religion with it’s fire and brimstone approach to life sure as hell complicated the things for me, particularly in the already difficult teenage years.

What did make me a better person were the experiences that one encounters in the course of their daily life. There is much nastiness, hate and other bad things in our world today and for the last century or so.

This being so, it did not take long for me to decide that I wanted something better than all that. Further consideration made me realize that I could not want better things for me and mine and not wish them for others as well. Yes, I know, the Golden Rule and I don’t mean the one practiced by far too many Americans today; the one about he who has the gold makes the rules. Here I am a strict traditionalist.

Contrasting my 14 years of Catholic school religious indoctrination is my 21 years old daughter’s story. For the most part she did not receive a formal religious education, though there were a few years at the local Friends Christian school. Unlike me, she was from a young age, taught by her saintly mother the difference between right and wrong and how to recognize one from the other. She was then held to that standard in all aspects of her life.

This method obviously worked. The proof is in the fact that she is a kind, considerate young woman who I am proud to have as a daughter. I am happy also that as she grew through her teenage years, she was fortunate enough to discover a belief structure that worked for her, and is happy in that choice. This is not something that that many people can say, otherwise we would not see all of the migration religion to religion that we see in our world today. Nor, would the extreme groups be as popular as they are.

Clearly many of our regular readers will have different opinions on this topic. For that reason, I have included the findings of a new study by Social Science Research, stated to be the first study to look at the effects of religion on young child development.

It is their contention that Kids with religious parents are better behaved and adjusted than other children. They have isolated the following three reasons for this condition.

First, religious networks provide social support to parents, he said, and this can improve their parenting skills. Children who are brought into such networks and hear parental messages reinforced by other adults may also “take more to heart the messages that they get in the home,” he said.

Secondly, the types of values and norms that circulate in religious congregations tend to be self-sacrificing and pro-family. These “could be very, very important in shaping how parents relate to their kids, and then how children develop in response,” he said.

Finally, religious organizations imbue parenting with sacred meaning and significance, he said.

LiveScience.com has a more specific breakdown on the data. Follow this link to LiveScience

- LIB

Read On….

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace

CALIFORNIA GROUP SUES FDA OVER MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Posted in Ethical Living, Health Watch, News Brief on April 24th, 2007

CITES GOVT’S POLICY AS “INCORRECT, DISHONEST AND A FLAGRANT VIOLATION OF LAWS REQUIRING THE GOVERNMENT TO BASE POLICY ON SOUND SCIENCE,”

pot_bud.jpg Armed with a new study showing the drug can ease pain in some HIV patients, medical-marijuana advocates sued the federal government Wednesday over its claim that pot has no accepted medical uses.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court by Americans for Safe Access, accuses the government of arbitrarily preventing “sick and dying persons from seeking to obtain medicine that could provide them needed and often lifesaving relief.”

The Food and Drug Administration’s position on medical marijuana “is incorrect, dishonest and a flagrant violation of laws requiring the government to base policy on sound science,” Joe Elford, said chief counsel for Americans for Safe Access.

Read On….

Share:
  • LinkedIn
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Fark
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • YahooMyWeb
  • Netscape
  • Slashdot
  • MySpace