Meatless Mondays

The crispiness of bacon, the crunch of fried chicken, and the delicious taste of a freshly cooked steak! By now the mouths of many meat lovers are most likely watering.

brettingtons.com - *dead* sorry, it's probably counter-productive to post this in the middle of a post about vegetarianism ¯_(ツ)_/¯

But yeah, meat is tasty. I would know.

What I also know is that meat consumption as well as what it takes to produce and process it does affect the environment.

Americans consume more than 37 million tons of meat annually and 8 ounces of meat per day, 45% more than recommended by the USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture)( “Monday Campaigns | Meatless Monday.” Monday Campaigns. Meatless Monday Campaign, 2003-2015. Web). Red meat and dairy have the highest environmental footprint when compared to fruits and vegetables. They account for roughly 15% of total global carbon emissions. (“Monday Campaigns | Meatless Monday.” Monday Campaigns. Meatless Monday Campaign, 2003-2015. Web).

So what can we do about this?

Well, taking the initiative to participate in the Meatless Monday movement is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. This international movement was launched in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and since then many countries outside of the U.S have jumped on board with the movement.

In May of 2009, Ghent, Belgium became the first non-U.S city to go meatless on Monday. Not long after that, Paul McCartney introduced the UK to meat-free Mondays. To date, the Meatless Monday movement is active now in 36 countries.

Taking one day out of your week to go totally meat free can have a huge impact. Over the course of one year, for example, a four-person family who skips eating meat one time during a week is equivalent to taking your car off the road for five weeks! Studies show that meat production produces significantly more green house gases than vegetables, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

If everyone went meatless on Monday, the impact of the pollution caused by meat production would greatly be reduced! So I challenge you to visit meatlessmonday.com today and take the pledge to go a meat-free Monday!

 
Sources:
www.meatlessmonday.com/the-gobal-movement/
www.mondaycampaigns.org
www.jhsph.edu/research/centers
www.humanmedia.org/dcc/tabs.php

Co-authored by the OnAir Team

4 Benefits of Eating Locally Grown Food

Locally grown foods are better for the environment. Many times processed foods go through multiple factories before they actually arrive at the fast food chain, and those factories use a lot of power to do things like slaughter cows our packaging food. That power is in turn supplied by power plants, which use fossils fuels to work. This whole train, can just end with you buying your foods from a farmer who uses his own tools, machines, and manpower to grow his crops.

So, there’s the major environmental impact. What are some other pros?

Here’s a list of four reasons why you should choose to go with the locally grown food in your area.

Locally grown food…

1. …is healthier than eating processed food as you’re not aware of the quantity of fat, sodium, and harmful toxins placed in it. With locally grown food, you can track the growth process and measure how many, as well as what type of chemicals are put into your foods. Plus, local foods also contain more nutrients than other foods.

2. …is better for the local economy. Buying local keeps revenue close to home and helps fund local businesses.

3. …has more flavor. When foods go through through processing, they lose key factors that hold better flavors. However, when you buy locally grown food, the flavors are still ripe due to you getting them straight from your local market. Also if you buy locally grown fruits in season, they will be full of flavor since the conditions of the soil during that time of the month are beneficial to whatever is in season. Keeping track of what’s in season helps with that too, of course. 😉

4. …helps to bring together a sense of community in an area. When people constantly start going to markets, it starts to become normal for people to get used to seeing each other. If people start caring for each other, then it will bring a nicer aura to the surrounding area.
I hope this list gave you a better idea of locally grown food. Even if you didn’t, I hope you put some of this info into consideration when you go shopping. So tell me, what do you think you’ll pick when you decide to go shopping?

Co-authored by the OnAir Team

Future Energy Possibilities

My uncle is a genius and has designed a process which could provide a solution to climate change issues stemming from combustion gas emissions generated by the burning of fossil fuels.

These gases could be processed without separation and converted into products with an economic value and eliminate the associated environmental impact. The process can also affect the negative environmental aspects of combustion emissions from natural gas fired plants, as they are similar to the composition of emissions from coal plants, except for a lower percentage of CO2 content. The process could remove the negative environmental impact in constructing new fossil fuel powered plants, if “clean” technologies are uneconomical in a specific case.

Finally for oil and natural gas producers, the process could increase the value of produced and associated gases generated from conventional and unconventional oil and natural gas sources and where hydraulic fracturing is used. It can convert natural and acidic gases and associated gases with unconventional oil production to higher value hydrocarbon and oxygenated liquids and hydrogen gas without pre-process separation.

This would significantly multiply the per-unit value of the produced gases and act as an offset to production costs. Very scientific, but very exciting for a future energy plan.

Why These 2 Schools are the Greenest on Earth

So California, you’re doing a great job…but…Hong Kong and Kenya have the best green schools of all time.

But all jokes aside, these two schools have been named the Greenest Schools on Earth for 2013. Usually, there is only one winner; however the Global Coalition for Green Schools, which is an initiative of the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council, simply couldn’t decide. They granted each school $5,000 to continue to work on their sustainability projects.

Say hello to the winners:

Sing Yin Secondary School – Hong Kong

What’s great about this school?

It has an organic farm.

It has two green roofs.

It even has an aquarium.

All classrooms are equipped with solar panel lighting, LED sensors, and motion sensors.

And, last but certainly not least, the school has assigned 100 students to be “green ambassadors” to carry out green initiatives in the community.

et-english.com

 

Uaso Nyiro Primary School – Kenya

It has a Waterbank School Building, which is made from materials found in the surrounding area and local labor.

soyouknowbetter.com

The facility stores and filters clean water for its students and the surrounding community.

It even provides protected gardens with organically grown fruits and vegetables.

Which includes a courtyard theater and a community workshop where they have gatherings and “environmental theater”.

^ Dead Poet’s Society, Midsummer Night’s Dream reference. Edumacation.

And they did it at a disadvantage — 25% of the community lives on less than $1.25 a day, and it increased school attendance from 70% to 90%. You know what else? The risk of waterborne disease has dropped to zero.

So, yeah. These schools win.

OnAir: Thoughts/opinions? Know how you can make your school a candidate for 2014, or even a winner? Share your insight in a comment below!

Source: http://asumag.com/green-design-amp-buildings/2-schools-chosen-greenest-world?NL=ASU-02&Issue=ASU-02_20131024_ASU-02_886&YM_RID=sales@cxgbs.com&sfvc4enews=42

6 Cool Things About a Customized Bus Route

We’ve heard plenty of excuses before–people just don’t want to ride the bus. And as transit riders, we understand your pain, too.

We know.

In Helsinki, Finland, they have come out with a new bus program called Kutsuplus, and it essentially does all of the things that you complain about regarding your bus commute.

6 AWESOME THINGS ABOUT KUTSUPLUS

1. It’s a personal service as opposed a set schedule with set routes.

2. You can install an app that lets you set your pickup and drop-off location.

3. It’s much more inexpensive than similar services we have here in the United States because it’s a bus, not a cab or a black car like they use for Uber.

4. It’s calculated the same way taxis calculate fees, per kilometer or mile. Which actually makes a lot of sense, and can ultimately save you money.

5. There’s space available for your bike, your stroller, etc.

That feeling when you can stretch out your legs. ^^ Yep.

6. Free WiFi.

Yes.

Thoughts/opinions/questions/ideas? Share them with us below!

Source: http://www.treehugger.com/public-transportation/newest-city-mobility-bus-goes-where-you-want-it.html

A flourishing relationship on bikes.

Aw, look at this cute couple biking together. Wait, why do they have all those bags? Like they’re ready to take on the freaking world?

That’s because they don’t just bike for hobby. It’s their lifestyle.

Behold, the Oguchi couple. This couple has been biking around the world for the past five years, logging over 60,000 miles in the process. And they did it in 84 countries overall. EIGHTY-FOUR.

Laura Scott from the blog Locals interviewed Ryohei Oguchi (the boyfriend), and what was his reasoning?

It was his dream.

What does his boo think? Well, I can think that’s clear by the picture.

Their next stops include Morocco, south of France, Spain, Ireland, and eventually Latin America.

D’awww, good luck you little scoundrels. :’)

Just goes to show you that a lifestyle involving bikes is extremely possible. We’re not saying drop everything to ride around on your bike (although that would be pretty great), but if these guys can go place to place on bike, then so can you.

Thoughts/opinions? Inspired yet? Share with us below!

Source: http://grist.org/list/this-couple-has-been-biking-around-the-world-for-five-years/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=update&utm_campaign=socialflow

10-year-old eco-warrior is the best kind of overachiever

This environmentalist is only 10 years old. Yep. She’s younger than us. Way younger.

Her name is Hannah Alper. She’s Canadian. And here are a few of her projects:

-She started a green blog dealing with environmental issues like clean water, child labor, green living, and fair trade.

-She organized a shoreline cleanup in her community.

-She was the youngest WWF Earth Hour Team Captain of 2013.

-She spoke at the WWWF Earth Hour event in Toronto.

-She is the official “on the go eco-blogger” for the JUNO Awards.

-She launched We Create Change.

Yep. She’s more accomplished than some adults we might know. And that’s amazing.

It definitely inspires us to take more action in our communities. How about you?

Thing you can bat to that? Share your accomplishments or plans regarding the environment in a comment below!

Source: http://grist.org/list/this-amazing-green-blogger-activist-and-speaker-is-only-10-years-old/

Trash into gas.

In today’s world full of consumption, sometimes you get really down. Why can’t we conserve more? Why can’t we just bike wherever we need to go?

Sometimes you become so emotional, you’re in denial.

(But you actually love the earth. You know it.)

And there is smog. And pollution.

EVERYWHERE.

But luckily, we have intelligent people in this world. Intelligent people that bring our hopes up.

And from these intelligent people has come a delightful solution. They’re turning trash into gas.

Mike Hart is the genius behind this solution. His company, called Sierra Energy, has come up with a system called FastOx Pathfinder. What is it? It’s a waste-gasifier. In other words, it takes trash and turns it into fuel.

It’s about to the size of a shower stall and has an output that includes hydrogen and carbon monoxide. What does that create? Syngas, or synthetic gas.

Syngas is an alternative to ethanol, which is a colorless, flammable liquid and is used as a solvent in fuel. And you know who is really into the idea? The United States Army.

Of course, there are a few issues with the FastOx. There will be a long time before Sierra Energy begins taking your trash and turning it into gas, and it’s because the company hasn’t yet shown any record of success in other areas. However, the Department of Transportation has given Sierra Energy $3 million to tackle this project, which means that someone in the higher-ups sees potential. And that’s promising for the rest of us.

We will just have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts on FastOx and Sierra Energy? Do you think there needs to be more agencies and cities involved in this initiative? What are some issues associated with that? Share your thoughts with us in a comment below.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/business/trash-into-gas-efficiently-an-army-test-may-tell.html/?_r=0&adxnnl=1&pagewanted=2&adxnnlx=1377626405-zNt5GD8GY/+BOX8l2D011A

LOTR lied to us. Sigh.

Ah, beautiful New Zealand.

©lotr.wikia.com

©worldwide-motorhome-hire.com

So wondrous, so ethereal, it looks like something that was painted by an extremely imaginative artist. Right?

Well yeah. Except…the LOTR movies lied to us..

Okay, so they didn’t really lie. They just showed the parts of New Zealand that were wondrous, ethereal green spaces…and left out the parts that are not exactly eco-friendly. Which, unfortunately, are kind of numerous.

Here are a few facts on NZ:

1. You can’t swim in most of New Zealand’s rivers because of high levels of pollution.

2. Its preservation of natural environments has a horrible record; it’s amongst the worst in the world.

3. It’s the only OECD country that does not produce a report on the environment consistently. (OECD stands for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, btw.)

Oh, and in breaking news? A bacteria has been found in NZ-produced dairy products that can potentially cause fatalities. The company in charge is known as Fonterra, and they export to eight surrounding countries.

Doesn’t exactly seem like a Hobbit paradise, does it?

What are your thoughts on all of this? Share them with us in a comment below!

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/06/new-zealand-environment_n_3710859.html