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  1. Healthy and environmentally friendly diets

    I have not gone vegetarian or vegan, but I have changed my shopping and cooking habits to buy more responsibility raised products like pastured meats, sustainable seafood, and locally and naturally grown vegetables.
  2. Infographic: The hidden face of Coca-Cola

    It really is tough, isn't it? I don't know (and probably don't want to know) what it is that is in soda that makes it so addictive, but I swear I had an easier time quitting smoking than I've had kicking my Mt Dew habit. I quit smoking 13 years ago and never looked back but I've never managed to stay away from soda for more than a few months at a stretch. And the first few days of quitting are miserable - I get migraine like headaches from withdrawal, then feel fuzzy and generally wrong for a full week. I've been quit since the first week of December so maybe this is the time that it is for good!
  3. Why others do not believe in global warming?

    People deny it because it is presented, in the media and by our nation's leaders, as a political issue rather than a scientific one. I wouldn't even call it denial at this point - there are so many small changes that are virtually without impact on a lifestyle level that would add up to significant change if embraced on a national or global scale that even the most self-centered person could make some difference. But when any subject becomes politicalized in the current, viciously partisan climate you automatically lose a significant percentage of the population because so many people absolutely refuse to acknowledge any truth, no matter how obvious, if it comes out of the mouth of someone on the wrong side of the aisle.
  4. The Population Problem

    The problem is that you can't really address population issues without offending people. Trying to change behaviour on that front is essentially telling people that they're making the wrong choices regarding one of the most personal and most intimate decisions any human being makes. In addition, we can't address overpopulation by looking at our neighbors in the Western world, even if those neighbors are quiver-full fundamentalists, because even when you include those outliers the overall fertility rate in the US (as in other developed nations) is at or slightly below replacement. The real battle, for lack of a better word, against overpopulation has to take place in the parts of the world where education, contraception, and culture have not yet reached a level where family size is a conscious choice rather than a biological question. Urban sprawl in the US has far less to do with population than it does with consumption habits. We aren't building our cities ever outward because there isn't room for everyone; we're doing so because of the American dream of bigger and better. In the 50s and 60s it was trading city centers for ranches in suburbia, and now it is trading up from those ranches to gated subdivisions in the exurbs.
  5. The Population Problem

    I think there are some very good reasons it doesn't get much attention, and they all come down to it being an issue that is very hard to solve at home. We can all conserve energy, change our food choices and shopping habits, recycle, and make a difference in countless small ways in our own lives, but overpopulation is a problem that rests primarily in the developing world. Plus there are a lot of religious and cultural influences upon fertility and reproductive decisions that make it a thorny area to address without disrespecting anyone's core beliefs.
  6. Record cold in the US

    I've noticed the same, Cosmic. I thought maybe I just hadn't seen it before, because I am fairly young and started paying closer attention to the weather when I moved to a small town more prone to weather-related disruptions than the suburbs where I was raised, but it does seem like the "eye" on these winter storms resembles a hurricane in some ways and that they're bringing more extremes of all sorts of weather. It frustrates me no end to log into Facebook this week and see all the posts about how this record cold "disproves" global warming. I guess some people would rather bury their heads in the sand than accept difficult truths.
  7. Infographic: The hidden face of Coca-Cola

    I am going to post this on my bulletin board over my desk. I am working on kicking a killer (literally, if I let it...) soda habit and over the last two or three days found myself falling back into old ways. Coke isn't my poison of choice, but the point is well made and certainly applies to other soda brands as well.
  8. Do you buy organic food?

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I think the organic label is, in many ways, nothing more than a shortcut around investigating your fod choices in more depth. While there is certainly a time and place for that - I buy a lot of the prepared staples of my kitchen like ketchup, BBQ sauce, and cereal organic rather than read every label every trip - there are other times where doing one's homework can get as good or better products without relying on the label. For example, I get a lot of my family's meats from a local farmer. He isn't organic because his land isn't certified and because while he doesn't use prophylactic or routine antibiotics he will administer them in response to illness or injury. But I'm paying considerably less than grocery store organic prices for pasture raised, humanely slaughtered beef and pork, and I am very comfortable with the way his farm treats their animals and the environment. I grow most of my family's produce, but if I am buying something as a treat or out of season that's where I'm most likely to insist upon an organic label. The thought of the chemicals used on berries and other fruit that my kids eat whole makes that one a no-brainer for me.
  9. What are the plants in your yard?

    I have a fairly decent yard for living in town, about a quarter acre all together, and have a nice vegetable garden out back. I'm slowly but surely chipping away at the lawn, adding more fruit and berries and sneaking pretty veggies into the ornamental beds, but I do maintain a fairly large chunk of the yard as lawn for the kids and dogs to enjoy. I would like to eventually replace the grass with a no-mow groundcover but I always seem to run out of time, energy, or money before tackling that project.
  10. I think that, like any artificial growing system, it is bound to be very input-intensive and that limits its feasibility as a broad scale solution, but I also think critics of the idea overlook the situations in which it could be successfully applied. So many people fall into the trap of looking for A solution, rather than MANY solutions, to environmental and social problems. Personally I believe the solutions to energy, water, and food supply issues will have to be piecemeal and locally specific, rather than a "silver bullet" technology that can be successfully applied across the country or around the world. Is vertical farming one of those pieces? I'm not sure - I think in cities dense enough to benefit from this approach rather than rooftop growing, reclaiming vacant lots, or other more traditional methods of urban agriculture, the value of land and cost of construction are likely to be prohibitive to any wide-scale implementation. But if nothing else, these ideas call attention to the very real problems with our current agricultural system and I think there's value in that even if not every idea is fruitfully implemented.
  11. Littering the Earth with Bodies

    I'm not sure it is burial itself that is the problem but rather the way we bury people in modern times, with embalming and coffins designed in such a way that they do not succumb to the natural processes of decomposition. But because those things are, in many places, a matter of health codes or other regulations I do believe cremation is the more eco-friendly option of those currently available to us. Personally I like the idea of the biodegradable urn; let me become part of my gardens when I'm gone and I'll go to my rest a happy woman.
  12. I think overconsumption is the bigger issue. As previous posters have pointed out, it is the wealthy and developed nations of the world contributing the most to many global ecological crises, not the rapidly growing nations of the developing world. The "disposable" cultural practices we live with here in the USA cause ecological damage on a far greater scale than our population alone would suggest, and the world cannot support even a fraction of its current population if this is the standard of living to which the world aspires.
  13. Hello Cammie27, welcome to Green Blog! :)