Archive for December 16th, 2011

Eco-Parenting

8 Steps to Eco-Parenting:

How do I eco-parent?

Eco Parenting

Raising children is hard enough without worrying about the environmental consequences of your parenting choices. Don’t sweat it. You already care about your child’s well-being and green choices make it easier. When it comes to eco-parenting, here are eight fundamentals:

1. Lead by example. You are the greatest role model your child will have. She will look up to you, learn from you, and embrace your habits. If you teach when you talk, you avoid many of the “why” questions that inevitably come when she sees you separating food scraps from glass from cardboard or turning the lights off when you leave a room.

2. Instill fundamental human needs. In addition to love, he or she needs to know that clean air, clean water, and clean soil are essential to human life. He can live without video games, but he cannot live without these precious commodities.

3. Share “green” experiences. Start a composting project or visit the aquarium to learn about the importance of the marine world to our lives. What happens when we take too many fish out of the sea or dump too much garbage into it? How does it affect the family? Come up with other “green” experiences.

4. Seriously consider breastfeeding. In a perfect world, no food is better (or greener) for an infant than mother’s milk. It is the ultimate in nutritious, local food production. Don’t take my word for it – check out the American Medical Association position on breastfeeding at www.ama-assn.org.

Healthy Food

5. Healthy food is usually green food. Your child will benefit from local fruits and vegetables at home. Take him to the local market or, if possible, a farm to learn about fresh food. Encourage him to start a garden in the backyard or grow some herbs in a pot at home. He is less likely to develop food allergies or sensitivities if he is not eating processed, packaged, or fast foods.

6. Green food makes you smarter. Diet is critical for learning. Parents can pitch a green school lunch partnership plan that is both healthy and financially responsible. If schools and school boards know that healthy cafeteria options don’t inflate the budget, it is hard to argue against them. For example, a school garden is a great education tool and a source of nutritious food for students.

7. Travel green.Don’t let your child develop an automobile addiction. Seek out destinations that you can reach together safely on foot or by bicycle. It is a great way to share time together and get fit. When the car cannot be avoided, try to combine errands or carpool with other families. Carpooling is a great, green way for parents to share the travel load.

8. Seek out green products for your kids. When you buy her toys, clothes and bath products, take some time to find eco-friendly, safe options. Green products for babies and children are growing in popularity.

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - December 16, 2011 at 8:20 pm

Categories: Ecology, Green Education, Green Life, Health and Wellness, Living Green   Tags:

Methane Gas Exposure

Giant plumes of Methane bubbling to surface of Arctic Ocean

Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen in the Arctic Ocean.

Antarctic oceanic and tropospheric studies focus on the structure and processes of the ocean-atmosphere environment and their relationships with the global ocean, the atmosphere, and the marine biosphere. As part of the global heat engine, the Antarctic has a major role in the world’s transfer of energy. Its ocean/atmosphere system is known to be both an indicator and a component of climate change.

Russian scientists discovered the methane gas, some 1,000 meters in diameter, bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean. Scientists are concerned that as the Arctic Shelf recedes, the unprecedented levels of gas released could greatly accelerate global climate change.

The sheer scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

Dr Semiletov’s team published a study in 2010 estimating that the methane emissions from this region were about eight million tons a year, but the latest expedition suggests this is a significant underestimate of the phenomenon.

Igor Semiletov of the Russian Academy of Sciences tells the UK’s Independent that the plumes of methane, a gas 20 times as harmful as carbon dioxide, have shocked scientists who have been studying the region for decades. “Earlier we found torch-like structures like this but they were only tens of meters in diameter,” he said. “This is the first time that we’ve found continuous, powerful and impressive seeping structures, more than 1,000 meters in diameter. It’s astounding.”

Scientists estimate that there are hundreds of millions of tones of methane gas locked away beneath the Arctic permafrost, which extends from the mainland into the seabed of the relatively shallow sea of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. One of the greatest fears is that with the disappearance of the Arctic sea-ice in summer, and rapidly rising temperatures across the entire region, which are already melting the Siberian permafrost, the trapped methane could be suddenly released into the atmosphere leading to rapid and severe climate change.

“In a very small area, less than 10,000 square miles, we have counted more than 100 fountains, or torch-like structures, bubbling through the water column and injected directly into the atmosphere from the seabed,” Dr Semiletov said. “We carried out checks at about 115 stationary points and discovered methane fields of a fantastic scale – I think on a scale not seen before. Some plumes were a kilometer or more wide and the emissions went directly into the atmosphere – the concentration was a hundred times higher than normal.”

Dr Semiletov released his findings for the first time last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. December 2011.

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Posted by Fay B. Castro - December 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

Categories: Ecology, Global Warming Effects, Green Education   Tags: