No More Cheap and Nasty

Cheap and nasty

Having recently survived the festive season, I witnessed with growing alarm (perhaps moreso than other years) the inordinate amount of cheap plastic rubbish that people purchase to celebrate the holidays. And I’m not talking about the cheap plastic utilitarian rubbish that lasts a few days or weeks or months then promptly loses whatever mojo it may have had only to end up broken, lost or otherwise beaten into the submission of landfill. No, I’m talking about the cheap plastic do-nothing junk known as “novelties”. From plastic “wobbly-dogs” that do nothing other than bob their heads when you nudge them, to… read more

Small Victories

Oil and natural gas drilling

The first week into January, Colorado became the first state to require energy companies to do groundwater sampling both before and after they drill for oil and/or natural gas. Colorado oil and natural gas regulators made the decision to approve the measure. The sampling is meant to show whether supplies of drinking water have been affected by energy development, and unless the methods to extract oil and natural gas undergo a drastic change, it can be assumed the post-drill testing will show the true impact of oil and gas extraction. Further, the new sampling regulations don’t appear to have pleased… read more

Green Companies

Green companies

When choosing a cell service provider, a company’s commitment towards eco-friendliness usually isn’t a major deciding factor for potential customers. However, it’s important to note that some companies are making serious efforts to increase their green-ability. In the U.S., Sprint is rated the most eco-friendly telecom company, and is ranked the #3 Greenest Company in America. They were also 2012’s Top Wireless Provider, and received the 2nd-highest overall score on the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index. The service provider was also listed as one of the Top 20 Most Responsible U.S. Companies out of a list of 4,100 competitors. Another notable service provider… read more

Tremors in Hawaii

Tremors on Hawaii

Over 30 small earthquakes shook the island of Hawaii in late December 2012. These tremors are signs of magma moving underground, feeding two ongoing eruptions at Kilauea volcano. A sticky, slow-moving stream of lava called pahoehoe is crossing the coastal plain east of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, dripping into the ocean and creating a delta. The lava flow is 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) wide, according to a statement from the U.S Geological Survey’s Hawaii Volcano Observatory. Lava entering the ocean builds lava deltas. The lava delta and adjacent areas are some of the most hazardous areas on the flow field…. read more

Insanity or Apathy?

Oil disaster on Alaskan coast

Since the first week of January, more details have come out pertaining to the reckless behavior exhibited by Shell Oil and its oil rig, Kulluk, off of the Alaskan Coast. First the company said the decision to move the rig was based on forecasts which suggested the weather would be good, but then it was made public that the forecasts made were for too short of a time period to be useful for the longer time duration to transport the rig. Then the company decided the best way to diffuse the situation would be to blame luck, and simply say… read more

The War On Whaling

War on Whaling

Often in international news it is reported that not-for-profit organisations such as Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd were in an altercation with Japanese whalers at sea. Organisations such as these make it their business to protect whales from being killed by human beings. Talking to my sister and her friends the other day, I realised that not many people understand the importance of eradicating whaling. In actual fact, many are much more prepared to brand these activist organisations as whale cultists. Whales form a very important part of marine life, such that senseless killing of these sea mammals must be prevented…. read more

Costs Slow Solar Down

High Costs Slow Solar Down

In 2011, residential solar system installers paid a little over $1.80 per watt for solar panels in the United States, and added $4.36 per watt to the cost of the solar panel to complete an installation. Compared to other countries—specifically Germany, the world leader in solar energy—the cost in the United States to complete an installation is three times as much, leading to a lack of willingness for Americans to spend the high amount of money to install solar panels. However, a report released this month by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory explains why the costs in the United States are… read more

Going Back for More

Oil drilling problems

Amidst the outrage from environmental advocacy groups after Shell Oil grounded its oil rig off of the Alaskan Coast, the company still has full intentions of returning to the waters to drill for oil in 2013. Shell is going back for more, even after proving to themselves and the country that the company simply cannot compete with the natural weather and climate of the region. The company was unable to protect its equipment during a winter storm, which is understandable, but certainly says something about the area they are in and the dangers of operating there. Further, the area in… read more

Fiscal Cliff & Climate Cliff

The fiscal cliff

In what can only be described as asinine and embarrassing for how long it took, the United States Congress has finally produced a plan to avert the Congress-created “fiscal cliff.” If doing the bare minimum of their job, i.e. paying the country’s bills, is too difficult and too much of a burden for the elected representatives of the American citizenry, then what can be expected of them when an issue which requires more than the minimum effort comes up? The cynical answer is “nothing,” or “no expectations,” but that is letting the Congress, the people that were chosen by their… read more

Good Causes for Coke

Coca_Cola_logo

If you drink Coke products, you are probably familiar with Coke Rewards. Maybe you’ve even redeemed enough points to stuff a closet full of Coke branded apparel. But if you are among those that don’t give the “rewards codes” a second glance, you may now have reason to take advantage of them for a good cause. One of a handful of good causes, to be exact. For when you go to the My Coke Rewards online catalogue, if you can dodge the hodge-podge of material items and sweepstakes, you’ll find embedded within the catalogue plenty of philanthropic opportunities. If you have Coke Reward codes,… read more