GiveaCar ~ Guest Post

As mentioned in my previous post, here is the guest post from Daniel, of Giveacar, UK.

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Car donation: a great way to recycle your car
Recycling a car can be a difficult and daunting prospect. It’s not always easy to find someone who is willing to collect you vehicle and make sure it is thoroughly depolluted and reused. There are many people still out there who will simply harvest your cars easily resalable parts and leave the rest to rust.
If you’ve decided to purchase a more fuel efficient vehicle or have resolved to give up your car entirely for a greener mode of transport, car donation is one of the most environmentally friendly ways of getting rid of your old vehicle.
There are a wide range of car donation programs out there, supporting an array of different charitable causes. It is important to find one that will either scrap your vehicle in an environmentally friendly way or put it in to an auction to find a new owner. This ensures that the oldest cars, those with worst fuel consumption, are taken off the road, and newer ones are reused, reducing demand for new car production, which has a significant negative effect on the environment.

If you are in the UK, a great donation program to check out is Giveacar. They guarantee that at least 85% of the weight of your car will be recycled and reused. In addition, they only work with scrap yardHYPERLINK “http://www.giveacar.co.uk/scrap-yards”s that are affiliated to the UK Environment Agency, meaning that your car will be fully depolluted and not just left to drip its hazardous chemicals into the earth.

As well as the environmental benefits of their car HYPERLINK “http://www.giveacar.co.uk/car-scrappage”scrappage scheme, Giveacar promise to donate at least $100 to the donors chosen charity for each car donated. They are partnered with a variety of different causes including several charities tackling the effects of climate change.
Only a year old, they have already recycled more than 3,000 cars and have raised more than $300,000 for good causes.
If you would like to learn more about recycling your car or would like to donate a car, please visit the Giveacar website – www.giveacar.co.uk.
 PS: pictures courtesy: Giveacar 
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A beautiful Native American Quote – Earth Teach Me

A very beautiful Native American quote speaks volumes about how to be wise with our choices.


A Native American proverb suggests that all that we do today must be done with the next 7 generations in mind.


and that
We have borrowed this planet from our future generations and we are bound to give it back to them as beautiful as it is


Here is another very beautiful wise speak….
Earth, Teach Me
Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light.
Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring ~ as mothers nurture their young.
Earth teach me courage ~ as the tree that stands alone.
Earth teach me limitation ~ as the ant that crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom ~ as the eagle that soars in the sky.
Earth teach me acceptance ~ as the leaves that die each fall.
Earth teach me renewal ~ as the seed that rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself ~ as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness ~ as dry fields weep with rain

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An Ute Prayer



source: link



Guest Post – The Eco-Friendly Backyard: How to Save a Little ‘Green’

It is a pleasure when thinking individuals acknowledge my crusade and want to put in their two cents! I was contacted by Elizabeth Greene of – My Dog Age My Blog, for featuring a guest post, I agreed. Its a pleasure to introduce Joy Paley and her take on American Consumption patterns and her thoughts on Lawn maintenance in particular. I am sure you will love this post…:). Onto Joy


The post
There’s no place near the “normal” American home that doesn’t reek of conspicuous consumption, and the backyard is certainly no exception. As post-WWII suburbs sprawled across the nation, so did the idea that a happy home was one in which the front and back yards were covered in emerald green turf. Not only does keeping a carefully maintained lawn use up an incredible amount of water (and money!), it also keeps rainwater from making its way through the soil to groundwater and causes pesticides and fertilizers to flow into nearby streams and rivers. Here are a few tips to green up your backyard and save a little dough in the process.

1. Get Rid of the Lawn
What is the alternative to a cushiony green pillow extending from your doorstep to the curb? How about a garden of native shrubs, flowers, and trees? It’ll need to be watered and troubled over much less than a lawn, will allow water to percolate through the soil, and it will attract native wildlife.

2. Collect Rainwater
Having the sprinklers or the hose running all the time zaps money from your pocket and uses up precious resources. Consider putting barrels in your yard or under your gutters to catch rainwater to use on your plants, instead.

3. Mulch Those Plants
Even if you get rid of your water-sucking exotic plants and make the switch to native species, you can still preserve energy by mulching around what you do have. Mulching keeps the sun from sucking up water out of the soil.

4. Compost
Composting is a low-cost way to generate nutritious soil for your garden and cut down on the amount of household waste you send to a landfill. A tumbler or regular barrel is a great way to start. Check out this Cornell site for the basics.

5. Use Earth-Friendly Yard Products
Most people maintain their yards to actively enjoy them, by picnicking, letting their kids play outside, etc. But would you really want your kids playing on a lawn that had been cared for with toxic pesticides and fertilizers? Check out organic lawn care options that are safer and easier on mother nature.

6. Upgrade Your Mower
Some old gas lawnmowers emit an incredible amount of pollution. Switching to a push mower is best, as they use less energy than ride-alongs. If you can’t stand the idea of pushing a mower across your lawn, an electric ride-along is your next best bet.

source: Joy Paley
This eco-friendly “no mow” lawn made of native grasses and plants is more attractive than any suburban turf I’ve seen

About the author

Joy Paley is a science and technology writer based in Berkeley, California. Check out her musings as a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog or as a writer for Online Schools.


Eco friendly Printer – Not really

A friend sent out a group mail with ten eco friendly/green living ideas. One of them was a printer which doesn’t need paper or ink. This is how it works-


source:eamusing.com
Company creates a desktop printer that doesn’t use ink nor paper

Who says printers only use paper to print documents? It’s time for you to meet the PrePeat Printer then. Different from conventional printers, PrePeat adopts a thermal head to print on specially-made plastic sheets. These plastic sheets are not merely water-proof, but could be easily erased, just feed the sheets through the printer again, and a different temperature will erase everything or just write over it. Also claimed by the manufacturer, such one sheet could be used up to 1,000 times so that you’ll reduce your expenses on paper for sure.”



My take!! – Why isnt this a green solution?…
A very important matter of concern – The plastic sheets used to print and erase content. Inventor(s) needs to work on that part of the invention…one major peeve being, the printer itself is made of plastic, whatever the lifespan of the appliance, it is going to end up as tiny immortal bits of plastic floating across some place in the world…hmm.. i am really hoping that i am not the only one who wants to think green or eco sense as a holistic approach

Go Green with Craigslist and Freecycle

Choosing the right kind of furniture for your home is a major influence on how green you could be…It is no harm in wanting the best for yourself. However, it could be a little considerate on our part to reuse heavy and usable furniture items (among other things) and not let them become landfill before their lifespan.

Readers who are familiar with my Design blog, The Design Enthusiast, know my love for preloved furniture. I have furnished an entire single bed room apartment with finds from local sellers via craigslist. Touch wood, it has been a great experience till date. Although, I am not into upholstered furniture, it is better to avoid beds or heavy cushioned sofas unless you are very sure about the condition. Reason being, loads of bugs and dirt may find their way into your abode. And then, there are odour issues we need to deal with. I dont advocate any particular furnishing style, but defintely would like to see minimal upholstery and cushions (read foam) as possible.

There could be more such collaborating websites I am not aware of yet. Another place to look out for is Freecycle. It is a brilliant way to minimize waste and think about greening your choices without much effort.

quoting the Freecycle website-
The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,864 groups with 7,603,875 members around the world. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them’s good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on ‘Browse Groups’ above the search box. Have fun!



One very interesting thing about Freeecycle is that people giveaway stuff for free…so take a look, maybe you will find something that may work for you. (I have been a grad student here in the US…so hand me downs dont bother me…however, i dont see a similar vibe among fellow country men who land here with a job and a heavy paypacket. No comments on that though!!)

Cling foil (Plastic) and the Food network

As much as I love the Food network and a few of their regular series, I am not really into the way they use disposable wrapping and cling foil and make it look acceptable and convenient. A simple marinating does not require a ziploc or any other plastic bag. Glass, ceramic or steel containers with a lid would work equally well or prove to be only better. Not sure if I am the only one with this peeve.

Pic source: food network

I get worked up when the cooks/chefs roll out ream after ream of cling foil and wrap up containers or dough. My question – Wont a glass / steel/ ceramic bowl with a lock lid or a simple plate work? (not that the glass bowl with plastic lids make any sense either. :(.. What pains me more is that viewers are pushed into believing that they need such products items and may not be able to work with out them. This translates to excessive consumption of plastics and more non biodegradable pollutants for the planet to suffocate on. Number of products (specially kitchen appliances and products) sold on the home shopping network are a testimony to my point.

Excessive use of styrofoam, plastic and other non bio degradable products should not be made to look good on TV.( Every time I mention : Media’s responsibility, it sparks off an interesting debate.) Increased dependence on non renewable resources and non bio degradable elements is nothing but disaster for the planet and its life forms. Making mass production and obscene consumerism seem ok negates efforts put in by certain environmental interest groups

It is quite painful that my own kith and kin tend to ignore simple ways to avoid use of plastic in their lives. We may not be able to sacrifice everything, but a small beginning can make way to more sensible choices in future.

Oil Spill 2010; An introduction

Ever since the Oil spill on the 21st of April 2010. I have been researching and drafting a post on the Mexican Gulf spill /slick. The damage is so extensive that my research is not winding up. I have decided to do a series of posts on the topic.

One look at the amount of damage raise questions and the need for excessive dependence on crude oil and natural gas and the resultant exploration projects across the globe.

source: theage-com

Let me begin with a brief introduction via this video, courtesy: youtube. This is not the recent oil spill but a previous one near the San Fransisco Bay area. So if you thought that oil spills happen only once in a while, think again!!

Recommended read:
Article in huffingtonpost

The fate of Marine life in the gulf

Imagine a hot summer day, and the oil layer hitting a 90 degree C. What do you think it would do to a bird /dolphin/turtle covered in oil? It is like burning/roasting them to death…all when they are alive. Imagine the Planet of Apes and what if we were the victims instead of these harmless creatures?

Just when you may think that you couldnt do anything to help this issue, take one moment out of your life. Think again, we are responsible for the mess. And only WE can make a difference startign with a few minor changes in our lives. We need to revamp our lifestyles and work on our dependence on Crude oil or any other non renewable energy sources.

Let me know what changes you plan to make. Lets give this a serious thought….its high time dont you think?