American way of dying
National Geographic reports that we bury more than bodies after people die. Each year in the United State we also bury 30 million board feet of wood comprising caskets, 90,000 tons of steel (more than in the Golden Gate Bridge), and use 1.6 million tons of concrete in burial vaults.
If Americans would dry just half their laundry loads on a clothes rack or clothesline instead of using a dryer, the collective reduction in CO2 would be almost 9 million tons. It saves money too. Such a deal.
An article in the September 11 issue of the journal Nature provides more evidence that old growth forests sequester carbon for centuries. Conventional teaching, based on one study from the 1960s, assumed that old growth was carbon neutral. Many of these old growth forests are unprotected at present.
Even with careful use, the pesticides chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion find their way into streams and harm salmon. These chemicals are used on fruits, vegetables, livestock, and fenceposts among other uses. Under a settlement of a lawsuit, NOAA Fisheries has until October 31 to work with the EPA to find new ways to safely use these chemicals. Are there any safe ways? To learn more visit www.earthjustice.org/news/index.html for the August 13 press release.
Cities can help with solar
AB811, signed by Governor Schwarz-enegger this summer, allows cities and counties to offer low-interest financing to residents and business owners who want to install solar panels or make other energy improvements.
Ripon College, a 1000 student college in Wisconsin, is offering incoming freshmen a new mountain bike, helmet, and lock if they pledge not to bring a car to campus. Sixty percent of incoming freshmen have signed up.
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