John Locke

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What have you done to help the Earth?

In honor of Earth Day, I have a question for everyone on What have you done to benefit the Earth? Have you recycled, started a club, raised awarness about the Earth's condition, turned down your heating and cooling ststem? Whatever you have done to help the Earth, I want to you post it right here. And, if you haven't done anything to help the Earth than write about something that you plan on/want to do in the near future.

Who knows, maybe it will inspire more people to contribute to saving our planet!

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    Apr 25 2012: I cycle 15 miles to work and back (trying not to use the car more than I have to), we are planning to install solar PV on our house roof, we have two large water-butts, two composting bins, we have an efficient wood burning stove that we use to cook on in the winter months, we use low-energy lighting in the house - and yes, we recycle, reuse and make-do and mend.

    If I could, I would build my own 'Passivhaus' - a house so energy-efficient, that theoretically would be completely off-grid.
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      Apr 25 2012: What you do is a model for how I am trying to build my life. I am a bit ashamed at how my own home is a bit wasteful with resources and I am working hard to change that. I am especially impressed with how you have made your house very energy efficent. I also like your idea of biking to work; not only is it environmentally friendly it also is good exercise!
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    Apr 24 2012: Planting trees on my every birthday.. last tree planted 10 years fully grown up now and we are reaping the fruits now :)
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    Apr 26 2012: Recycling, starting clubs for ecology in school, making awareness videos, etc.
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    Apr 25 2012: Jake,
    Thanks for your response. Years ago, the bumpersticker "Think globally, Act locally" was in vogue. Many of the responses to your question are excellent examples of setting this philosophy in motion. I think that a new and complimentary paradigm of "Think locally, Act globally" is a new challenge for us all. Beyond a clever twist, I believe that establishing local environmental initiatives and developing them into regional, national, and global initiatives will create a truly powerful force of environmental change. Whether it is the local children's elementary school rainwater harvesting and organic gardening initiative, the Irish ban on plastic shopping bags, or the global safe drinking water and sanitation programs, they are also effective expressions of badly needed environmentalism.
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      Apr 25 2012: Blair, your enthusiasm and philosophy on the environment is something I try to emulate. I too think that every little bit of effort can create a big difference. If every school wasted less energy and had a garden, we would end up with a lower electric bill and more fresh food in the school cafeteria. What I am trying to say is that many small, easy, environmentally friendly changes can create beneficial results in other areas than the environment.
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    Apr 22 2012: Dear Jake...good question:>)
    I have recycled...from the time I was a child 60+ years ago. I was considered a "queen of recycle" even before it was popular!!! "Recycle, reuse, restore, renovate" has been a mantra throughout my life:>)

    Turned down the heat in my home a loooooong time ago....cooler is more healthy for us anyway...frozen meat doesn't spoil!...:>)

    I have served on local and regional planning commissions and development review boards for years, always encouraging, reinforcing environmentally safe and healthy projects:>)

    I challenged a toxic business, after which my life was threatened. During the year of fear, I asked myself the question many, many important is my life? Maybe I could drop the issue and feel safe? I always came up with the same answer...I'd rather die instantly, rather than experience a slow death for me and other members of the community because of toxins in our environment.

    One of my greatest joys, is planting gardens, and educating people about the benefites of growing/eating our own foods:>)

    I have over 500 varities of perrenials, herbs, fruits, vegetables, annuals, and tropicals (which come inside in the winter months), all of which clean the water we drink, and air we breath, as well as provide healthy foods and beauty for our world....thanks for asking:>)

    Visit the space I occupy... )
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      Apr 22 2012: Colleen I think what you do/have done is both remarkable and inspiring. It takes a lot of courage and bravery to stand up against a company when they are doing something wrong.

      I too actually have a garden; it is small but I am able to find joy in being out there. Unfortunatly those pesky rabbits seem to eat all my food!
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        Apr 22 2012: Yes Jake, it takes courage and bravery, and I know I couldn't live with myself if I had not taken action.

        Gardens ARE joyful....I agree. You just have to plant enough for you AND the other critters who like garden produce:>)
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          Apr 23 2012: i really liked your garden!!!its superb and beautiful!!
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        Apr 23 2012: Thank you Chetan...glad you enjoy the gardens:>)
        I am very proud of helping to nuture the earth, because I've had gardens my whole life. I am aware that my own joy and enthusiasm for gardening has encouraged others to enjoy them as well, thereby helping to protect and nurish the earth, which sustains us. You've heard of the ripple effect? It works very well:>)
  • Apr 22 2012: I have been volunteering to help middle schooler with math. It's not much but it's all I can do at the moment, but One day hopefully I can put down a couple of my current goals as things that I have done for the world.
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      Apr 22 2012: I think that is great! My brother is in middle school and recently he was asked to help some of his peers in math. At first he didn't want to do it but now he finds some satisfaction in enlightening and inspiring others. I believe volunteer work like that makes both the volunteer and the person being helped better than they were before.
    • Apr 27 2012: Not many can do what you are doing Harvey. A person has to give up selfishness, be fearless and free from anxieties and worries of routine cares and livelihood to perform acts like you are doing. Because it's not gonna benefit much to the performer of work. And I request you utterly not to think that it's not much. God doesnt measure people by the size of work but by the size of love, devotion & feeling by which we work or in other words serve him(humanity or the people you serve currently). It takes a big heart and lots of guts to do what you have been doing. A hundred people like you probably can change the face of nation pertaining to a particular task. Goodluck for your future endeavours!!!
      • Apr 27 2012: Thank you. I guess if just feels like nothing in the grand scheme of the happenings within my mind. I have huge intentions to do vastly greater things than this. but honestly It really does put a smile on my face to see that. sometimes we lose perspective on the most pervasive yet powerful things in our lives.
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    Apr 29 2012: I recycle, carpool, tend plants, read about global challenges, and engage in serious discussions about those global challenges. I listen toTED talks and participate in blogs and tweets to encourage people to live green.

    We need an Ushahidi of global challenge accomplishments. We need to celebrate the breakthroughs and great successes: ping, a sustainable fish farm in Spain; ping, Urban Farm Guys in Missouri start a community garden/school; ping, Barefoot College brings solar energy technology to remote India; ping, ...
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    Apr 28 2012: I've tried my best to take in account peoples feelings before voicing my opinions.
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    Apr 28 2012: Put a smile on a few faces :-)
    I plan on putting wider smiles on more faces.
    • W T

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      Apr 28 2012: I am smiling Mwenjew...See.... =)
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    Apr 28 2012: I am an experimental gardener, I enjoy exploring the diffrent ways to garden such as Aquaphonics, hydrophonics. Trying to grow plants in brackish waret etc... I have come up with ways of "farming for the apartment dweller" novel ideas to save tme and resourses in the garden, recycle water and waste, composting.
  • Apr 28 2012: I worked hard along with the Grupo Ecologico Sierra Gorda to get the Sierra Gorda of Queretaro, Mexico declared as a biosphere reserve, while also helping sustainable development of the communities, and actually purchasing land for exclusive conservation purposes.
  • Apr 26 2012: 1. I have planted more than 1,500 trees.
    2. I went to my work on bicycle (20km/1 hr) most of my life.
    3. When I use a car I drive fuel efficient, 16 - 20 km/liter
    4. Similar behavior with other energy consumptions
    5. I found a way for North America to switch completely to fuel-free power. Look for it elsewhere in these conversations.
    Related subjects:
    1. The CO2-hype. My opinion: the whole CO2-hype is based on lies. Motivation: Compare Earth withe Venus, nearer to the Sun and 250,000 times more kg CO2 on each m2 planet surface.If CO2 really had the greenhouse effect it is blamed for, then the temperature on Venus should be well above ten times its present value.
    2. Incandescence bulbs are cheap, lifetime 1000 hrs, inefficient. CFL lamps are 5 - 8 times more expensive, lifetime 8,000 hrs if burning continuously but only 1,000 hrs if turned on/off depending on need, LED's are more expensive, more efficient and have long lifetime independent from switching on/off, but unpleasant color.
    • Apr 27 2012: Not that I disagree but in regard to venus, wouldn't you also have to take into effect the dissipation of co2 buildup as the atmosphere got thicker, meaning that less and less light could penetrate to the point that the planet itself is whats heating the surface, with the help of thermal clouds? meaning that as the clouds got thicker sun became increasingly less and less effective at penetrating the layer and in turn eventually could only heat the outer layers of the gasses?
      • Apr 27 2012: Hi Harvey

        What comes in has to go out, or else the temperature will increase.
        Twice the energy inflow from the Sun and 250,000 times the quantity of CO2 means that the greenhouse effect on Venus is 500,000 times larger than on Earth.
        The radiation of heat is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature. The fourth root of 500,000 is about 26. So the absolute temperature on Venus should be 26 times the absolute temperature on Earth. The average absolute temperature on Earth is about 280°K. The absolute temperature on Venus is actually less than three times the absolute temperature on Earth.
        Therefor CO2 cannot have the greenhouse effect it is accused to have.
        Everybody should have known that already because there is no proper correlation between the increase of temperature and the increase of CO2 during the last century.

        Presume that the heat from the Sun would be completely absorbed in the top layer of the atmosphere on Venus. Then that layer would radiate the same quantity of heat down as it radiates up. Meaning that the surface would become as hot as the atmosphere.

        But we still have to stop using fossil and nuclear fuel. President Obama would say "Yes we can".
        It can be done within ten to twenty years and pay it with the money we are saving on fuel.
  • Apr 26 2012: I traded my car and optimized my energy comsumption.
    Oh, and recycling.
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    Apr 26 2012: Thank you Jake. I am glad to learn that I misinterpreted what I took to be a personal attack, based on my ideas. You're right. Let's all get on the same path to save the planet. But at least you now understand better what my past is and my intellectual stance.
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      Apr 26 2012: Paul, I too am glad we can all work together instead of arguing against each other. You have had some amazing accomplishments in your past and it seems as though you are very knowledgeable about this topic. Perhaps I could even see a Ted Talk with your name beside it!
    • Apr 29 2012: Hi Paul.

      Guess I came to this conversation thread a bit too late as it's about to close. Have been totaly inspired by your website especially as my current job is working as a refuse/recycling collector (dustman in UK parlance) helping a multinational greenwash it's activities. Damn they even got an old animal rights, ex-tree protester like me... Thanks for the heads up, it's helped me realise that it's reduce first, reuse second and if there's no other alternative THEN recycle it. Thank you so much for reminding me of this valuable fact.

      Well at least I'm collecting garden 'waste' from people taking it to a local farm which composts and uses it for fertilizer. Though of course the irony of doing this in a huge vehicle which will eventually break down be shipped to the 'third world' for refurbishment and helping burning tons and tons of diesel to collect stuff from people who would be better off composting it themselves and growing vegetables rather than having a water intensive lawn fed by tap water was never lost on me.


      On a personal level, don't drive and never have. Been vegetarian for over 20 years thus minimizing my land use, been an environmental and social justice activist for just as long. Never been in to the latest gadgets and toys, my favourite piece of technology is a wind up torch which turns a trickle of electricity into a powerful light by a cunning use of LED's and magnifying lenses, is completely water proof and will probably last longer being useful on the planet than my own lifetime. Forage sustainably and grow some of my own food. Always recycled long before it was popular (for whatever it's worth)

      Sir I admire your stance, may you soon put me out of a job ;)
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        Apr 29 2012: Terry: It takes a high consciousness to realize with such clarity that the earth needs to put you out of a job.

        On my home page, if you recall, I quote Sinclair Lewis pointing out how difficult it is to convince a man of something that this salary requires he not believe. I hope you are a man of the new consciousness. Sinclair Lewis would admire your stand.

        Only one caution: don't forget about redesign. It is more important than all the reduce and reuse and recycle words put together. When goods are designed for excess and one-time use you are caught in the jaws of the design vise and no matter how you twist and turn to escape, the design ultimately controls most of your options.

        • Apr 29 2012: Redesign is the key, yes.

          In the abscence of widespread redesign though, reduce can go a long way. Don't buy a fuel efficient car or a hybrid car or an electric car. Just dont buy a car.

          Regards Terry
  • W T

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    Apr 25 2012: I will share a quick story on Earth Day........

    I once armed my students with gloves, and we walked around the school and picked up all the litter around.....candy wrappers, sporks from the cafeteria, pencils, straws, papers.......etc.

    We then came back and glued all the trash onto a 3X10 foot long paper and decorated it with messages about littering and keeping the earth clean...........I "thought" I was doing a good thing.

    Turns out I got into a heep of trouble with the administration. I was told that it was not appropriate to do such a project, that it was shameful, and they didn't want to see what we had found.

    I had to throw away my project, much to the disappointment of my little 7 year old students.

    But I hope, that those students walked away with the message, that helping the earth starts with each one of us. Don't throw trash on the floor, out the window of your car, etc....

    Our family leads by example.....we hope we set a good one.

    Thank you for your timely question, Earth Day is one of my favorite times of the year in school. One year we made an Earth got displayed in the library............but I much rather plant trees, do a little clean up and the like.
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      Apr 25 2012: Sounds like an interesting project Mary, and I'm sure your students got a good lesson from it, even if the administration didn't agree. I agree that keeping the earth clean starts with each and every one of us:>)

      We have "Green up Day" here in Vermont, which everyone participates in....schools, state government, agency of transportation, businesses, clubs, and many, many individuals. After the winter months, there seems to be more trash around, so Green-up Day happens in May, and it's really a great project that has been happening for many years with enthusiastic participation from community members throughout the state.

      I'm sure you are a GREAT example, and I believe we always teach anything best by our own example:>)
      "BE" what we want to "SEE" in our world:>)
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        Apr 25 2012: That sounds like a great idea Colleen. I too have noticed that there seems to be a lot of trash laying around after Winter and it seems like Vermount came up with a good solution to cleaning up.
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      Apr 25 2012: Mary, I really liked to hear your story and I was truely inspired by your creative project. I believe my school's green team came up with somthing like that a few years back and it was a crude awakening to just how much litter is on the school grounds. I am also part of an after-school running club and one time we decided to just clean up the school after our run. We only spent about 10 minutes but the amount of trash we found was astonishing! I thought it was a great way to spread awareness about littering as well as making a positive difference in the community.
      • W T

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        Apr 28 2012: I thought I was doing a cool thing too.

        It was to awaken kids up to what they were doing. One straw is nothing. But multiply it by 20 or 30 and then you have a problem

        Well, they took umbrage at my display......but, still, my students I think, benefitted from the activity.

        Thank you for this timely question. I have really enjoyed reading everyone's comments.

        "Earth Day is every day" quote by Mary M.
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    Apr 24 2012: Hi Jake,
    Forty years ago when I was growing up in Ohio,fish kills in Lake Erie were common and the Great Lakes were predicted to be deemed unfit for swimming for eternity. Whille some activities were protesting, one told me, "Get educated and make a proactive difference." After an undergraduate degree, two graduate degrees, and thirty years in the environmental field, I feel that I haven't begun to make the impact that I have challenged myself to make. The opportunities to benefit the earth on a collective rather than singular basis have me reassessing my goal on a global basis. The future of the planet belongs to our children and the duty to protect it belongs to us. My focus over the next 10 years is to help educate our children and to spur to action those whose duty it is to protect the earth that we inherited from our mothers and fathers.
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      Apr 25 2012: I think that is great! Information is one of the most valuable things in the world, even though it is not tangible. I greatly respect your sucsess and the fact that you are willing to educate others about clean energy alternatives.
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    Apr 24 2012: Well Jake,

    When its yellow I let it mellow, and when its brown flush it down. jk...haha!
    I took an evironmental science course once and I learned a lot of my impact on Earth. I try not to litter, I take public transit if I can, I use reusable bags, I try to recycle, I donate items, and I try to spread the word about taking an evironmental science course.

    I highly suggest taking one once in your life. Changed my view of the world. =)
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      Apr 25 2012: That is great! Reusing bags is a great way to keep the landfills emptier of plastics and reducing the negative footprint on the Earth.
  • Dan F

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    Apr 23 2012: Hi Jake,

    Earth Day to some extent is about the potential for achieving world peace. A fairly noble enterprise! We all know it is not enough just to want or wish for something. We can only get there by momentum and design.

    If somehow, as diverse individuals and communities around the world we can connect to the fact we reap what we sow then it's possible for more of us to be and become more responsible and involved in an effort to be a more friendly member aboard spaceship earth.

    As to my commitments. I have been working toward a more plant based diet, so I have become a wok man. Additionally, I work with a local volunteer water conservation group and have recycled and reused things for many years. I am a birder. So I take out my urge to hunt deer, etc., out on identifying birds in the wild. It works! I speak out as well. I generally favor prevention over treatment.

    I like TED's policy which has been to offer a number of environmentalist center stage. Incidentally, I find YouTube fascinating regarding its expanded involvement in education, particularly of the physical sciences. It appears more and more people are tuning in on science and in my opinion that is a good thing for Earth Day. Do you sense that as well?

    Work hard on your studies, and glad you find time to be part of TED.
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      Apr 23 2012: Thanks for your comment and your hard work to make the world a better place. I too think that our understanding of science is an important part in furthering our education, peace, and better life styles.

      I have always been an 'environmentalist' but it has only been in that last year that I decided to really step up my game, so to speak. Now I have started a twitter account to help spread the word about and about GreenLiving.
  • Apr 23 2012: We installed our first solar panel. Eventaully our new home will be
    powered by solar, wind and hydro. I will be planting a garden
    this summer. My first. Suggestions and tips are welcome :)
    I'm looking for a way to work from home and use my vehicle less.
    We attend Solar Fest every year here in Vermont. What a great
    place to learn, share and connect. I highly recommend checking
    it out if you're near Tinmouth, VT in July. Not only is it informative,
    it's a great time.
  • Apr 22 2012: Hi Jake!
    I am a Brazilian woman and enviroment is a very important matter for us, here in Brazil. We Brazilian have many things to learn and to change because as we have extense natural resources , we take them for granted. Specially water, as we have a big amount under our ground, sometimes we forget that it may finish someday...We are used to taking long showers, twice a day (and during the summer even more...), to washing cars weekly, to cleaning up houses much more than we should.. I think most of us are addicted to cleanig....I am trying to take just one shower a day and to save water. Many Brazilians are trying to do the same...I think in these recent last years many people are aware about the enviroment and they are making something to change their habits.
    Besides saving water, we have recently a campaing to take out plastic bags from our supermarkets and now it is a law: no supermarket can give plastic bags for customers. We have to take our own bag to carry our buys.
    Unfortunatly, recycling has not been a reality yet , and - except for a few towns here in my country - most of garbage is placed in the soil, distant from the cities, but polluting the enviroment. I have been tryng to produce less garbage, to using less paper, less disposible things...
    We all must concern about our planet and questions like yours help us to stop and think about our actions because complaing is easy - but it is very difficult to see toward ourselves and try to change.
    Thank you!
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      Apr 22 2012: I understand exactly what you mean. Changing the choices that we make is difficult and people are even more unwilling to change if it does not suit them economically. I hope that everyone in Brazil and all over the world would try to make such an effort as you are doing to help the environment. After all, we all start out with just cutting down on waste or by starting to recycle.
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        Apr 24 2012: There is this constant riff on boosting the idea of recycling. I find this very disturbing.

        If you were involved in any other intellectual pursuit - subatomic particles or cosmology or neuroscience or the theory of functions - you would never be allowed to come up with the first superficial idea that occurred to you and spread it far and wide. But in the environmental world, that is exactly what happens. Recycling is the absolutely lowest form of reuse you can find. It is better than only one alternative, namely resource destruction by dumping or burning. What kind of a standard is that to be aiming for. Recycling has been taken over and promoted by GARBAGE COMPANIES! Doesn't that say it all? They are promoting recycling because recycling can be used to make it cool to make lots of extra garbage, so long as you can soothe your conscience by telling yourself it is going to be recycled. Most so-called recycled goods end up in garbage dumps. Recycling is not something for Brazilians to copy - go deeper and figure out how to really reuse things at a high level, not at the lowest level. Don't ever copy the wasteful USA.

        If you want to see what a deep analysis of resource usage might look like, one which aims at perpetual reuse and an end to the very existence of garbage companies and garbage cans. look at
        and get on board spreading the word about how backwards recycling is compared to a real analysis and program in the field of resource conservation.
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          Apr 24 2012: Paul I understand what you are saying and I respect your opinion but I disagree with your comment about recycling being wasteful. Americans are wastful;l I will agree to that. However, you make it seem as though recycling is bad when, It actually saves many resources, energy, and money. Yes, if you can reuse your water bottle more than once, then good for you, but if you can not recycling a waterbottle saves the initial plastic aswell as 90% of the energy used to create a new water bottle. So, while the USA is extremely wasteful, everyone can still make an effort to REUSE and than RECYCLE.
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          Apr 24 2012: Paul and Jake,
          I agree that some people are very wasteful.

          I disagree that recycling is wasteful. As you insightfully say Paul, there are many different levels of recycling, and I believe they all have a place in our world. The definition of "recycle" includes: "to return to an original condition so that operation can begin again".

          I include restoration of furniture and buildings, composting, and reuse of my water bottle in my perception of recycling. I agree Jake that reusing the water bottle is preferable to the alternative, which is to continue buying bottled water and throw all the plastic bottles in the land fill. Good point Jake..."REUSE AND RECYCLE".

          It seems like the important message that you are trying to reinforce Jake, is to be aware of how much we litter the earth, and how we can change those habits? I wholeheartedly support that effort:>)
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      Apr 25 2012: Why yes Colleen that was exactly the message I was trying to convey. Living "green" is not just about recycling or using the shower a little less; it is about making a conscious effort to reduce waste, reuse products, and recycle what cannot be used. If everyone was a little more concerned with reducing their negative footprint on the world, I believe we could live in a much better, cleaner place.
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    Apr 22 2012: Tried to start a transitional society. Uphill struggle. See the website on my profile.
  • Apr 29 2012: Nice question... I think that it should be raised more often- in fact, I think that Earth Day should be at least once a week. You see- the problem, the way I see it, is that people are quickly ready to acknowledge Earth Day (awareness) whenever it comes around, but the fact is Earth is perpetually going to need attention, just like each of us does. Its not Christmas, its EARTH! i. e HEART- (see the anagram?)

    Now take a look at religion... There is typically at least one day per week that people are asked to maintain their awareness to their particular religious beliefs- I believe the main reason for this is to maintain the responsibility of faith in people's minds. Imagine if people were told to help their faith once a year....

    And that is faith.

    The Earth is real. And our reality demands that we perpetually maintain the thought of helping Earth-currently our only home... So, to answer your question- I believe that the absolute best thing that I can do as an individual is to responsibly maintain the thought of helping Earth in my mind every day, so that the thought of helping Earth permeates through my every action.
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    Apr 27 2012: Not as much as I would like...there is always more I can do
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    Apr 27 2012: The thing I have done to reduce my carbon footprint in the last year that I am the most excited about is to switch to using a Diva Cup instead of tampons or pads during my period. This silicone cup can be washed and reused for up to two years, reducing the waste generated by conventional feminine products (not to mention saving money). Its also better for your health because it doesn't absorb your natural lubrication, leave behind cottony residue and is less susceptible to bacterial growth. Approximately 7 billion tampons went into North American waste last year! This is a small and manageable step that any woman can make and the best part is you're not just saving the planet, but saving money and your heath too!
  • Apr 27 2012: Sowing seeds before rainy season cotinued......In a month's time creepers will grow everywhere and start giving vegetables. Trees shall bear fruit and shade and shelter too. Birds and squirrels benefit and their droppings are excellent manure. I wonder how many seeds will I be able to sow in 1 day in 5 hours??? What if I work the same for 5 days before monsoon??? How many cows/buffaloes and other creatures will benefit and for how long. After 5 days of work is completed and trees grow in some months, then for how many years/generations will it continue to bless everyone around it.

    There are a lot of poverty stricken people here who would eventually get vegetables for free atleast for a couple of months because the plants would grow in no man's land with no one to claim it. The reason to sow seeds(grow the plant) near a pond/lake is because the ground water level in such areas are good which support the plant to evolve easily. An act of 5 days should go a long way and manify itself multiple times towards betterment of all. Its only developing and not destroying. Only helping, not hurting.

    After a lot of thinking Nature proves but one thing. Not having trees is really not a problem. Growing trees is easy. Living in peace and developing a good atmosphere is not tough.
  • Apr 27 2012: Just recently I was fascinated at Nature's glory during a casual observation while I gazed at a tree in amazement. I wondered-A plant or a tree; from where does it evolve- A seed. I was amazed & awe strucked by the thought that if someone simply buries a seed inside a soil and waters it then in a few days a plant comes out of it which eventually grows to a tree; gives fruits/vegetables, shelter, oxygen, shade and so much more.

    Last year as I was cutting vegetables(usually grown with pesticides & harmful chemical fertilizers) there I found a lot of seeds coming out of vegetables. Let's sow them(I thought)!!! And after watering it for about a month it started giving me vegetables which were organic. It tasted so good and it was for free as well(inflation is on a rise).

    Another day I was going on my bike towards city during rainy season. It was all green every where as I witnessed nothing but lush greenery all around me. As if mother earth wrapped in a green dress. During this season I didnt even have to water the plants and I got mango trees coming out of the seeds apart from other plants and trees. It was all effortless.

    I wondered it was so easy to take care of nature which only gives and never asks for anything. Such is the power of nature that when a seed is sown in soil combined with water, it as if miraculously gives out a creation in the form of a tree. All this is so easy. Such is the power potent in the seed, in the soil. Nature's miracle. Evolution!!! So what do I plan!!!

    Whenever I cut vegetables I will keep the seed aside(which doesnt spoil once dried). In India just before the rainy season I will go near a river/lake/pond or any other place with the seeds and something to dig a soil. Lots of varieties of seeds/flowers etc. are available. The place should also be bit isolated so that the plants when come out are safe. Then rain takes care of everything from there. If 1 day I could devote to this task this season then I shall have innumerable trees.
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    Apr 26 2012: I help the Earth by smoking non-filter cigarettes so that less harm is done by only temporarily littering the roads.
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    Apr 25 2012: Thank you very much Mary for understanding that are such things as objective descriptions that need to be thought about and absorbed without descending into drippy sensitivity.

    I suppose certain people thought that if they challenged me - "but what have you done" - I would have no comeback and they could pat themselves on the back.

    I am a scientist (PhD, Chemistry, Yale) and one of the wonderful things about scientists is that they love being wrong. Sure, they are only human, and feel a twinge, but professionally speaking, being shown to be wrong is the way we make progress.

    What I have been doing here is showing people who are NOT scientists that what they have believed up to now is wrong. And how do they respond? By personal vituperation. Shoot the messenger. How dare you tell us authoritatively that our superficial ideas that we got out of thin air are not the essence of environmentalism? How dare you do actual published work and actual study that does not conform to the current propaganda? How dare you think critically about something we thought we understood?

    On my website I have a Bizarro cartoon that shows a church pulpit with a recycling symbol and carries the message that recycling has become a religion. Watch the movie Serial Mom for the same message. Is this because it promises salvation? Well, sort of. But the real reason is that it is pumped up and blown out by a powerful, rich industry that is making money hand over fist by first, doing the bits of recycling that go on and second, using recycling to pump up the torrents of garbage that are being generated. Yes my friends, you are being conned by a corporate campaign to deceive you and you have succumbed to it. What you need to do is to stop pretending to be so exquisitely sensitive and investigate the sources of your recycling worship.

    The only thing you don't like about my diatribe is that I show you are wrong. All of that "personal style" bs is just crap. Grow up!
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      Apr 25 2012: Paul, I believe you have misinterpreted my comments and motives into somthing that you took as insulting and possibly embaressing. I simply asked you to stay on the topic of the conversation (Which is what you have done for the Earth) since you had not mentioned it at ALL until I asked. So Paul, while you may take small fragments of words I said or interpret what I say to anything you wish, my message still stays the same.

      I am thankful for the effort you put forth on the issue of the environment; however, I ask that you try to emulate the warm and educational atmosphere that I feel is usually on
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    Apr 25 2012: Oh I have a very interesting link to a recent news I read on Yahoo. It is about a unique mushroom that astounds my ears to even hear it!

    Enjoy! Let me know what you think! =)
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      Apr 25 2012: Very cool Derek!
      Have you seen this TED talk...also about mushrooms and our earth...

      There is a theory that we have everything we need on this earth, we simply need to figure out how to use it appropriately. Unfortunately, many times, greed gets in the way of using our resources appropriately!
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        Apr 26 2012: OMG! Colleen!

        That Ted talk was the most fascinating topic to this date, that I've seen! I think if we could drop Mr. Stamets spores on an area with high radioactive soil/materials, it could possibly create a more livable environment. It could also deal with all the nuclear waste that is coming from nuclear plants! Wow, I didn't know I was so interested in Mycology until right now! This is revolutionary! Inspirational!

        Thank You Colleen! This could possibly change my direction of interest. =)
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    Apr 24 2012: Jake and Colleen: I am sure that you are both sweet, liberal and concerned citizens and I mean that quite sympathetically. I hope that includes me too. We are people oriented and don't kick dogs (god forbid!).

    But when we think about improving the world, we can't be hemmed in by our lack of power to then urge effective ways to make change. At least we have to aim for a deep understanding, even if we aren't in positions of power.

    The people who control big money and national legislation don't satisfy themselves with choosing one type of green bean over another. Change is not merely personal to them. They move you and I around like pawns. They make sure that hundreds of millions of people all get the same message and perform the same actions that make them money and accrue their power.

    in the resource field, this takes the form of first of all, making sure that they can get lots of resources all around the globe for pennies. This may take war, or bribing officials, or loans with harsh terms made to impoverished countries, but the resources are sure to be cheaply available.

    Then they actively design their products to make use of those cheap resources - metals, oil, plastic, natural products - and to fall apart as soon as possible. The theory is that you will rush out and buy one more new piece of crap. And it works for them. The key is DESIGN TO FAIL. They even shamelessly call it planned obsolescence.

    Powerless individuals then look to escape the net by buying one item designed to fail slightly less quickly rather than another item designed to fail as soon as the warranty expires. It can't work.

    The only way to change this is to look behind the curtain at the Wizard who is doing the design and CHANGING THE WAY GOODS ARE DESIGNED.

    We need to design for perpetual reuse, not for discard. Sound scary? If you say yes, you really have been swept up into the system. I have proven how easy it really is to design for reuse by doing it and presenting it publicly.
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      Apr 24 2012: Paul,
      With all due respect, sweet, liberal, and being people who do not "kick dogs" is not the topic here.

      Cut the crap, and lets hear..." What have you done to help the Earth?".

      That is the topic of this discussion...not interested in your gloom and doom. I am very aware of facts, and they are not "scary". If they are to be it!
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      Apr 25 2012: Paul, as with everyone, I do appreciate your comments but like Collen Steen said, the main point of this conversation was what have you done to help the World and/or what are you doing to make it a better place. Perhaps you have a plan to change the way things are since you obviously dislike them...?
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        Apr 25 2012: What have I done? Are you guys kidding? I've been working actively on resource conservation for thirty years. First I started a chemical company that found new uses for all of the chemicals being excessed (that's Zero Waste talk for being thrown away) in Silicon Valley. All of them! Not some dirt simple paper and plastic but CHEMICALS. Isopropyl alcohol, hydrochloric acid, nitric acid, trichloroethylene, butyl acetate, xylene, freon, cellosolves, triton x-100 and lots more. Then we took all of the laboratory chemicals that were being excessed (that means packed into steel drums with vermiculite and buried in deep pits where they remain to this day and for the next hundred thousand years) and we resold all of them to new users for half price. We had the largest inventory of lab chemicals in California. When Dow Chemical in Pittsburg CA closed its huge stockroom, we took all of those lab chems and made them available for new users to buy for half price. Ditto with the excess lab chemicals (mostly unused and unopened) coming out of Lawrence Berkeley labs.

        Then I wrote the only book in existence on Zero Waste showing how to apply the same principles I had developed to the entire panoply of poorly designed commodities, in the same way that we had worked with chemicals.

        Then I started to develop a gigantic website called the Zero Waste Institute with analyses of how resource despoliation and conservation really work, scientifically, not just the first superficial ideas.

        Along the way I testified at conferences and joined lawsuits. I wrote papers. The EPA produced three studies of my work. I also reused the entire Baldwin Park Superfund. All the dirt, wood, plastic, copper, steel and mercury. At 20% of the cost of the idiot garbage companies.

        So glad you asked. Does your city have a Zero Waste resolution in place? Probably does. I invented the term. Check Wikipedia.

        So what have you done?

        Try dipping in there this time.
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          Apr 25 2012: Hi, quick observation Paul.

          It seems that you are advertising for an admirable cause, but I think you assume that because you support a great cause that you can be condescending. I am sure that you have good intentions, but I think you should try to get off your high horse once in awhile. Your lack of empathy is really starting to make me feel like you are here to guilt everyone into an amazing idea or you are just denouncing any other ideas that isn't your own.

          Paul, you should try to spread an idea through reciprocity, not jamm it down our brains. I am sure your current method works with politicians and other stubborn monetary driven institutions. Please Paul, I want to read/hear your thoughts without feeling that you are figuratively slapping me or maybe this is an ingenous way to make connections with your audience?

          I am sorry, but I just can't ingest these ideas while I am being insulted or watching others be insulted as well.

          I hope that the next plan of action is that we all holster our emotions and try to be civil.

          Thanks for reading my thoughts and I hope we can have a nice transition. =)
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          Apr 25 2012: I was not kidding Paul,
          So far, the comments I've seen that you have written on TED seem to be condescending, and critical of other people's comments, rather than expressing your own thoughts/feelings regarding the topics. Critizing what others do, or do not do, is not very productive or interesting to read Paul.

          In your recent comment, you tell us what YOU are doing... "I've been working actively on resource conservation for thirty years". That is GREAT Paul, and I respect your contribution to the health of the earth that we all share:>)
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      Apr 25 2012: Paul, I loved your explanation, and the background information you provided in your well thought out answer.

      Congratulations on, not only identifying the harm others are doing, but doing something about it. As the last sentence of your comment clearly states: " I have proven how easy it really is to design for reuse by doing it and presenting it publicly."

      You were kind to come back and elaborate on demand........Your message was not lost on me.
      Thank you very much
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    Apr 24 2012: Well, to be more precise, when I say recycling, I am NOT referring to what Colleen seems to be including, namely all of the personal things that people do on their own to reuse goods and to be less wasteful. I save string too.

    When I refer to recycling, I AM including all of the bogus governmental programs that are set up with major input from garbage companies to do the collecting and hauling, including the collection of electronic goods and the so-called toxic wastes and the free garbage pickup days and all the rest of the official recycling hoopla. And Jake, yes, I am saying that that kind of recycling is BAD, BAD, BAD. The more of that kind of recycling that there is, the worse the earth is groaning because that kind of recycling is a greenwash, not a solution. - a deception used by an industry to make it appear that some destructive practice is socially or environmentally superior. Monsanto will tell you that GMO foods are good because they create more food, even when this is patently untrue. The most highly processed foods you can buy - breakfast cereals - are covered with signs about NUTRITION. It is so effective that virtually no one realizes that when they talk about avoiding processed foods, they should be thinking Cheerios and Wheaties. Recycling is a standard GREENWASH, not an environmentally positive response to a problem. The garbage company doesn't give a fig for your cute dollhouses made out aluminum cans. They will get the cans eventually anyway because that is the way this wasteful society works. What they DO care about is the horrible notion that we could stop making new containers at all and just refill the ones we already have. That DOES threaten their business. So they put out dumpsters for broken glass and tell you everything is just fine if you break all of your perfectly usable bottles.

    Resource conservation is NOT a trivial exercise. It is a complex, interconnected puzzle. Read the website and think deeply about the issues there.
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      Apr 24 2012: Paul,
      The concept of recycling and reusing needs to start with each and every one of us as individuals. If you want to stay in your gloom and doom be it. What we focus on expands. I'm focusing on change, and interestingly enough, I'm seeing that in our world every day:>) YOU "think deeply about the issues" Paul:>)
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    Apr 23 2012: I strive to to know, and obey, its Creator and to know how I fit in to the unfolding of His temporal (Earth) and eternal (Heaven) purposes.
  • Apr 22 2012: Earth Day like Earth Hour is a good "heads up" way to remind people about conservation.
    But the common "switch lights off " suggestion is a bit misplaced.
    Effectively the same coal gets burned at night regardless of whether your light bulbs are on or off - because of the way slow base loading and day calibrated coal plants work.

    Just one of the fallacies also behind the supposed energy savings from banning simple incandescent light bulbs:
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      Apr 22 2012: That is a great point. But, I believe that Donald Sadoway has an important idea that could change the way energy is used and stored. It may be helpful to take a look at it:
      • Apr 24 2012: Thanks Jake, good idea
        Storage is a particular problem with wind and solar energy etc
        Of course, if people use that electricity source already, even less point in switching off lights (at least to save CO2 or other gas emissions) -- also it is then even more unfair to ban simple incandescent light bulbs, types of electric heaters etc (with specific usage advantages), as in other comment
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          Apr 25 2012: Oh, I agree that there should not be a ban on incandescent light bulbs. If people want to buy them, they should be allowed to unless it causes great damage to the environment or poses a safety hazard.

          But Peter, let me ask you this, maybe turning of a light doesn't save ENERGY but it does make that lightbulb last longer. And that reduces the need for a new lightbulb thus reducing raw materials and energy used to make that lightbulb, correct? I know this may sound a bit indirect, but I feel the same principle goes for everything. Why buy a new car every 5 years when you can buy one every 6-8 years? What I am trying to say is that we need to conserve things that are still good and be more hesitant in replacing things that still work.
      • Apr 26 2012: Thanks Jake, re turning incandescents on - off it makes little difference to lifespan ,
        only the CFLs and maybe LEDs
        (they have not been tested much as such)

        Incandescents copuld last much longer, but manufacturers don't like it (which also throws new bulb lifespans into doubt, as per previous Dunday com link above)
        Re manufacturers and bulb lifespans
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      Apr 22 2012: Peter,
      Perhaps the information you provide is correct. However, I don't feel that the "switch lights off" suggestion is misplaced. Sometimes, it is messages like yours, which suggest that it doesn't matter, that keep people from doing anything at all. I believe every little bit helps.
      • Apr 24 2012: Re every little helps
        There are many good ways of saving energy - as also linked on that website
        But switching lights, or turning them off, is not one of them, from an earth environmental perspective

        Apart from the small overall savings - from the reasons given,
        light bulbs don't burn coal or release CO2 gas.
        Power plants might, and might not.
        If there is a problem , the problem itself should be dealt with.
        The líght bulb switch is a scam, sought by light bulb manufacturers on cheap unprofitable patent-expired simple incandescents, and they got green people as feel-good cheerleaders to help it along.
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          Apr 25 2012: Peter,
          Are you saying that if every single one of us (billions of people) switched lights off when not actually needed, that it would not make a difference?

          If nothing else, it helps us be aware of conserving energy. I've been in many countries, where people have NO electric power. I bet it would make a big difference to them to have the option of switching lights off and probably would not be a "scam" to you think?

          I don't feel like a "feeling good cheerleader" because of my desire to conserve energy. As a child, in my house of origin, 60+ years ago, we were NOT allowed to leave lights on if we were not actually using it. It was a genuine desire on the part of my parents to conserve energy, because of financial constraints AND a desire to protect our earth by conserving our resources.
      • Apr 26 2012: Thanks Colleen, I did not mean you re cheerleaders,
        rather some of the green organisations collaborating with light bulb manufacturers

        As for saving electricity also by turning lights off that is of course useful at a personal level to save energy, but does not make much difference in overall terms for households - though I wonder about all that night office lighting!!
        As for using different bulb types, a fraction of 1% of US/EU energy saved referenced

        As said I think its wrong to waste energy, but consumers are unfairly targeted,
        in an overall perspective, as per website link
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          Apr 26 2012: I agree, Peter, that there are certain organizations that try to get people to act/react out of fear, and sometimes, consumers do not have all appropriate information. As thinking, feeling adults, we have the ability to evaluate information and make informed decisions, and I trust that many people ARE making decisions which help conserve our resources.

          I observe that people who are aware of light-bulbs, are also into many different kinds of recycling/reusing/conserving, and are more aware and concerned than some folks. If someone is genuinely interested in conserving resources, they get the information, and do it in many different ways.

          That being said, I still think/feel that every little bit helps:>)
          That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it...LOL! ...:>)
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    Apr 22 2012: I'm raising kids.