31 December 2007

Times Square New Years' Eve Ball is "Green"!

Now you have an Eco-story to tell your friends when you all are watching the ball drop on TV (or in person!) tonight...

"New York City is celebrating one of it’s most famous Times Square traditions- the New Year’s Eve ball drop. This year however, NYC will also be starting a new tradition. The famous ball is officially going green!

The 1,415-pound ball will be covered in more than 9,500 energy-efficient light-emitting diodes that will illuminate the ball’s over 600 crystals and set the sky a blazin’. Officials say that the LEDs are estimated to use the same amount of electricity as about 10 toasters."

photo and story credit: Ecorazzi

30 December 2007

EcoDeaf on Facebook Reaches 100!

EcoDeaf group was created on Facebook a few days ago, and we've surpassed 100 members!

We set up EcoDeaf on Facebook because the format of Facebook allows for more opportunities for dialogue among all members as opposed to blog-style comments. Members can set up topics, add cool eco-websites, respond, comment and even add photos and videos themselves!

Plus, EcoDeaf can e-mail all members about upcoming events (such as the recent Dec 8th Polar Bear plunge - photos are up on Facebook!). But fear none, we don't plan to be sending too many e-mails (we value and understand the need for uncluttered e-mailboxes :))

Not only that, Facebook reaches out to some new people who didn't know EcoDeaf existed via blogspot.

Spread the green love! Get your green ideas, recipes, money-saving tips, photos and videos posted on the EcoDeaf facebook group!

27 December 2007

Xmas FINISH, DODO with your Xmas Tree? Treecycle!

Just throw the Xmas tree out front with your garbage? DON'T!!! Why?

"It takes years for anything - even organic things like Xmas trees - to breakdown in a landfill. Since most landfills are compacted so tightly, there's usually not enough air for trash (even trees) to biodegrade. Finding a community tree recycling program is the way (for your tree) to go. Tree recyclers turn trees into wood chips, which can be used to help prevent erosion on beaches and hiking trails. Many cities operate seasonal curbside tree-recycling programs."

Does your city operate seasonal curbside tree-recycling program, in other words, 'treecycle'? Here's how to find out:

Enter your zip code to find a nearby Christmas tree recycling program:
National Christmas Tree Association

Article/quote credit: http://www.idealbite.com/tiplibrary/archives/tree_ya_later/#When:05:50:00Z

Photo credit: http://www.touchingharmstheart.com/index.php?s=discarded

26 December 2007

Deaf Outward Bound Course July 2008

Course Dates: July 20-26, 2008
Starting Location: Denver, Colorado
Tuition: $1,395

Colorado Rockies Backpacking Adventure – Deaf/HOH Adults

This 7-day course is a backpacking expedition in the Rocky Mountains taught in ASL by Instructors fluent in ASL. It includes wilderness travel, rock climbing, solo and a peak attempt. Is ideal for anyone fluent in ASL who seeks to challenge themselves mentally and physically, develop their wilderness travel skills, and do so in an ASL community. You must be at least 18 to enroll in this course.

The Rocky Mountains, one of the most famous mountain ranges in the world, stretch 3,000 miles from Alaska to New Mexico. They have provided the stuff legends are made of and have been a profound influence on the development of the continental United States. It is in and around these majestic mountains of Colorado, where trappers, miners and cowboys once roamed that your Outward Bound Wilderness course will take place.

If you have specific questions about this course please contact Kendra Kurihara at kkurihara@outwardbound.org. Stay tuned to this Deaf Outward Bound (click here for the web site for information on enrolling in this course).

25 December 2007

Fast Xmas Facts

Fast Xmas Facts

-- The 2.65-billion Christmas cards sold each year in the United States could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we'd save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.

-- Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year's holiday period than any other time of year. The extra waste amounts to 25-million tons of garbage, or about 1-million extra tons per week.

-- If every family reused just 2 feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.

Source: www.use-less-stuff.com

Thanks to a EcoDeaf contributor who selected the above excerpts from the newspaper article here: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/24/Homes/Season_s_greenings.shtml

Photo credit: http://dnr.metrokc.gov/dnrp/weekly/2002/wk49-Waste-free-holiday.htm

23 December 2007

Season's Greenings: EcoXmas! Part Two

More Tips for a Season's Greenings:

- Have a regifting party: You and friends bring the gifts you never liked (some no doubt still in the original packaging) and trade them for things you like or want to give to others.

- Recycle what you replace. If you get a new cell phone or computer, pass the old one on to someone who can use it. Some retailers, like the big-box office-supply stores (Kinko’s, Staples, Office Depot), participate in cell phone recycling programs to keep mercury, cadmium and lead out of landfills.

- Entertaining? Use fabric tablecloths and your usual china, glasses and flatware rather than disposables. If you do go the paper plate route, use recycled/recyclable/reusable plates. Choose paper towels, toilet tissue and cocktail napkins made with recycled fiber. At parties, provide separate trash containers for glass, plastic and metal.

- Returning or exchanging your gifts? Plan your trip so you're not making endless trips back and forth to the same stores or malls - and wasting gas, not to mention your time and energy.

Thanks to a EcoDeaf contributor who selected the above excerpts from the newspaper article here: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/24/Homes/Season_s_greenings.shtml

Photo credit: http://www.kingston.gov.uk/browse/environment/community_environmental_action/have_a_green_christmas.htm

Season's Greenings: How To Green Your Xmas Part One

Tips for a Season's Greenings:

- Recycle packaging. Drop extra packing peanuts at private mailing centers. Call the Plastic Loosefill Council's Peanut Hotline toll-free at 1-800-828-2214 for the names of local businesses that reuse them.

- Reuse the present wrappers and colorful shredded paper that comes as padding in packages when you wrap your own gifts. Got a shredder? Turn used gift wrap or other colorful paper into your own shreds to use as filler in gift bags and boxes.

- Do you have Christmas decorations you no longer use? Assuming they're still in good condition, pass them on to a charity, shelter, your kids' school, your son or daughter in a first apartment, a senior center. Do the same with those unused cards left over from last year that you no longer want to send, or the free cards you get from charities with their annual appeals.

- After the holidays, give your used cards to groups that use them for craft projects.

Thanks to a EcoDeaf contributor who selected the excerpts above from the newspaper article here: http://www.sptimes.com/2007/11/24/Homes/Season_s_greenings.shtml

Photo credit: http://www.tree2mydoor.com/greetings_cards.asp

Soil Biodiversity: A discussion

(image from http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/images/soil_breakdown.gif)

Alynn Davis responds to Organic Consumers' Association's notice about the possibility of USDA forcing small farms growing leafy vegetables to use industrial-style sterilization methods to reduce soil biodiversity and fertility which would reduce healthy microbial life in the soil.

Summary of Alynn's Response:

Our soil and our society are experiencing severe mineral deficiencies. Despite being the most overfed nation, America is not well-fed, and to remedy this, we need to pay more attention to the soil. A health microbial feeding chain consists of microbes converting minerals into usable forms for plants. Conventional agriculture, as supported by the USDA, bypasses this natural feeding chain and produces mineral-deficient plants for our consumption. By growing our own food and allowing natural processes to occur, we address the problem of world starvation.

To read more about what Alynn has written on the subject, e-mail her at alynnraw at gmail dot com.

21 December 2007

Rent a Christmas Tree!

Thanks to an EcoDeaf contributor -

Instead of buying a plastic tree made with petroleum materials that are dangerous for you and your children, and

Instead of cutting down and killing a live tree,

You can Rent a Christmas tree!

In San Francisco, the city started this program with 100 young potted trees and within a week, all were claimed. At $90 a tree, in a pot - you pick the type of tree, from fruitless olives to Brisbane boxes. Then after the holidays, the city picks up the trees. This is a guilt-free option for families who know the true costs of killing a tree or purchasing a plastic tree can do to the earth.

"Environmentalists say growing real trees to chop down for a few weeks of pleasure is a waste of valuable resources, and discarding them often clogs local landfills. Artificial trees often contain lead and other harmful chemicals that eventually end up in landfills, too."

Try your local nursery - you'll be surprised at how many of them would consider renting you a potted tree for the holidays!

USA Today - San Francisco Rents Christmas Trees

Original Living Christmas Tree Company - since 1992 (sold out for 2007)

17 December 2007

Air Pollution in Your Homes!

shared by Alisa McMullen

Did you know paraffin candles are toxic and dangerous to your health? The alternative, soy candles, are completely non-toxic and all-natural.

Hello Friends! I am so excited to share with you about the dangers to your health from paraffin candles and about the healthier, all-natural soy candles! Did you know that Paraffin candles make up 95% of candles sold today, but they give off dangerous toxins into the air you breathe?! Soy candles are 100% Natural vegetable oil and burn clean into air you breathe. Learn more below:

PARAFFIN CANDLES vs. SOY CANDLES (Natural Vegetable Oil)

- derived from petroleum vs. derived from vegetables
- burning paraffin wax emits harmful vapors vs. 100% non-toxic and all natural
- burning paraffin wax emits a black soot vs. burns cleaner
- difficult to remove from cloth vs. cleans up w/ soap & hot water
- burning paraffin may produce carcinogens vs. burns 25%-50% longer
- may not burn completely vs. burns completely
- must be blended with chemicals to be able to release fragarances faster vs. releases fragrances naturally, and longer
- soy candles supports American Farmers

Stay tuned for a future post about Alisa's Signs of Light soy candle-making business:
Signs of Light - contact: signsoflightcandles@yahoo.com

Keri Ogrizovich

Burlington, VT
University of Vermont ASL Program Coordinator and Professor, Certified Deaf Interpreter

ecoskills The 3 R's, organic foods (supporting local farm), composting, cloth diapering, practicing Attachment Parenting philosophy, freecycling, using eco-friendly materials, teaching son to preserve Mother Earth, and living as simply as possible (recently completed a year-long project of "Not Buying It"). Now planning for Deaf Women of New England conference to be held in Burlington, Vermont in November of 2008 which will be eco-friendly. If interested in presenting on a eco-topic, send an email to: DWNE2008@gmail.com

ecointerests Being outdoors, volunteering and learning about different ways to preserve Mother Earth.

contact kiwibrooks at gmail dot com

blog http://www.jimikiwi.blogspot.com

Deaf Women of New England website http://www.uvm.edu/~kogrizov/DWNE2008/

16 December 2007

The Greenest Ski/Snowboard Areas

We know snowboarding and skiing are very destructive activities for mother Earth - trees are cut down to make paths, rivers are sucked dry to make fake snow, animals are uprooted, and thousands, thousands of people drive to resorts, eat, poop, throw trash, shred snow and go back home on a daily basis...

BUT for those who love Earth dearly and also love skiing/snowboarding, there's one way straddle this eco-dilemma - go and support the TOP TEN ECO-SKI RESORTS below:

E-mail a piece of your mind to the WORST 10 resorts. There's a prefab e-mail letter on this website for you, just a copy, paste, and a click away! http://skiareacitizens.com

And as always, if you do go to one of the top ten resorts, do share your experience with us here at EcoDeaf!

14 December 2007

Gretchen Volker

Ellensburg, Washington State
Year round: Carbon Reduction Coordinator, Central Washington University
Seasonal: Wilderness Ranger
Seasonal: Ski patroller

ecoskills integration of environmental educational paradigm among students and community members, improvements for a walk-able and ride-able community, implementation of ACUPCC tasks and goals, fixing bikes, interacting with the public when a ranger, reducing carbon emissions both small scale and large scale, Master's of Science in Natural Resource Management with emphasis on hydrological systems

ecointerests Riding my bike everywhere I go and if there is snow my bike gets stud tires, walking when I have to wear professional clothes and be in somewhat presentable attire, the 3 R's, Wellington's GRRR (Go Recognize the Recycling Revolution!), all florescent lighting, not buying more than I need, sorry vegetarians... I eat meat, my thermostat stays at 50 degrees (when it is 30 or below) so I wear a sweater, biggest emphasis for improvement on the environment is through cultural changes (what we need to do in our daily lifestyle in order to effect positive changes to the "American Mindset"), environmentalism should be a non-partisan issue so come-on dems and reps... get your act together and work together...

contact gretchenvolker at hotmail dot com

website myspace at myspace/~ozridge

11 December 2007

Willia May Wille

Thurmont, MD
Certified and Licensed Massage Therapist

ecoskills Walking, Jogging, Hiking, Yoga

ecointerests Massage, Feng Shui, Non-Toxic Housecleaning, Holistic Natural Health and Healing, 8 Natural Laws of Optimal Health, Health and Spiritual Support, Environmental Service, Support for Wold Peace, Support for Mother Earth, The Essence Gospel of Peace

contact maywille at yahoo dot com


10 December 2007

Solar energy at home?

a reader has asked....

Has anyone installed or is currently using solar-based energy systems at home?
What about solar water heaters?

Austin, TX offers rebates for purchasing a solar power system under its Solar Community Network program and citizenre REnU offers solar-based electricity for homeowners.

Do any of you have experience with solar water heaters, REnU, or the Austin, TX rebate program?

Any information you have to share is welcome and appreciated!

09 December 2007

Into the Icy Waters We Went....

in an earlier posting, ecodeaf shared information about the Polar Bear Plunge.


shira at Walden Pond (Concord, MA)
which one's "no big deal" - the water or the issue? neither!

all across the country, people plunged into cold water on December 8th to raise awareness about global warming and to "keep winter

Did YOU plunge??

ecodeaf wants to know if you went!

send in your pictures to ecodeaf@gmail.com and we will post them on the website.

ecodeaf was well-represented at the Chesapeake Bay in Annapolis, MD!

06 December 2007

Discovery Home Channel: Green Shows

from an ecodeaf reader...

Hi Eco Deaf Bloggers,

Get Fresh with Sara Snow and Wa$ted on the Discovery Home Channel are great Eco-TV shows for you to watch.
For TV Schedules: http://home.discovery.com/tv-schedules/daily.html

Get Fresh with Sara Snow
How to integrate green alternatives into everyday life. It's a lifestyle not confined only to the rich and famous.

click on the icon below to learn more about the show:

Discovery Home Channel

Wa$ted (a New Zealand show)
See families' waste and energy usage calculated and confronted by the show's hosts.

Click on the picture below to get more information and to get their eco-tips and crimes and eco-calculator!

05 December 2007

Need an Eco-Coach?

from an EcoDeaf reader...

At the Green Festival last October in DC, one booth caught my eye: Eco-Coach. They do Green audits, help develop strategic sustainability planning, sustainability benchmarking, sustainability training and education, LEED certification and consultation for residential homes and businesses.

Want to turn your house green but don't know where to start? Which floor paneling or wall paint provides the best value for your home renovation? Want to go green but need some coaching? Check them out: www.eco-coach.com

Let us know what you think of them!

03 December 2007

Water Powered Calculator

shared by an ecodeaf reader...

Although Mandi has never used it, she was enthralled by it. Shouldn't we all be?

Click here to go directly to the review of the H2O Power Digi Calculator

It uses a water-powered battery to do your calculations! A way to reduce battery waste?

For many of us, calculators are important tools in our lives. What will it take for an eco-friendly calculator such as this one to hit the mainstream? Would you be eager to buy this kind of product?


02 December 2007

Eco-Art the Visual Way

Since Deaf people are visual people, it makes sense we depend on our EYES to process, learn and understand things happening in our world.

Sometimes mathematical quotes such as:

"170,000 disposable Energizer batteries is equal
to fifteen minutes of Energizer battery production."


"8 million toothpicks is equal
to the number of trees harvested in the US every month
to make the paper for mail order catalogs."


"Two million plastic beverage bottles
is the number used in the US every five minutes."

doesn't have as much impact as SEEING it...



Check "Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait" at www.chrisjordan.com for more Eco-Art, the visual way.

Thanks to an EcoDeaf contributor for pointing us to this sobering and yet profound art.


01 December 2007

WalkScore, Now DriveScore?

shared by EcoDeaf contributor, Stephen:

My walk score is just 20 so as you see my present neighborhood is not very walkable. This service can be especially useful for those who are going to buy a house because it can help to estimate a particular location. But how often do we walk nowadays? I've found one more service called Drive Score at http://drivescore.fizber.com/

With it one can see how close establishments are by car. Homes are often located in an area where restaurants, libraries, grocery stores, hospitals and other businesses are easier to get to by car than on foot.

Click here to go to the previous post on WalkScore