Friday, January 5, 2018 | By Nick | Comments Off on Green Your Tea During Hot Tea Month
January is National Hot Tea Month. To celebrate, here are a few tips to green your brew from the Sierra Club:
Buy loose-leaf tea: Opt for loose leaf tea over disposable tea bags, which use carbon-intensive packaging materials. Many tea bags also contain polypropylene mesh, which can take several years to degrade. Additionally, bagged tea is often machine processed, producing a larger carbon footprint than loose leaf tea, which tends to be hand-picked. If you do purchase tea bags, make sure they’re biodegradable and unbleached. Avoid bags with staples, strings, or tags.
Minimize your water footprint: Only pour enough water to fill your cup to avoid wasting energy boiling what you won’t drink anyway. If it’s safe, use local tap water to brew your tea.
Cold-brew your iced tea: It not only tastes sweeter and smoother than traditional hot-brewed iced tea, but it spares the energy needed to boil your water, relying mainly on an already-running appliance—your refrigerator. To cold-brew your own iced tea, add about 1.5 times the amount of tea you’d normally use to a pitcher. Pour in cold water, add a lid, and let sit in the fridge for about 4-10 hours. White teas, green teas, and flat oolongs need less time to sit, while rolled oolongs require more time. Herbal infusions and black teas usually need to sit the full ten hours. Strain and enjoy.
Repurpose tea leaves: Most of us know to reuse tea leaves or tea bags for our next cup of tea, but their use extends beyond the kitchen. The high nitrogen content in tea leaves makes them the perfect plant food, which does double duty by helping repel insects and other pests. When transferring a plant to a pot, line the bottom of the pot with used tea bags before adding soil. The tea bags will help retain water and release nutrients into the potting medium. Dried tea leaves also make fantastic deodorizers. Toss some in the litter box or dog house to remove pet odors. For all-over freshness, sprinkle and gently crush some dried leaves over your carpet. Wait about 10 minutes, then vacuum.
Choose eco-friendly labels: As you would with coffee, buy brands labeled “USDA organic” and “Fair Trade Certified.” To earn the USDA’s organic seal, farmers must not have used synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers for at least three years. Meanwhile, although fair trade certification primarily ensures that farmers are paid a just price for their crop, it also has environmental side effects. In return for providing good working conditions and fair wages, producers get paid more for their tea. As a result, famers need less land to support themselves and their families, leaving more land available for natural habitat.
Friday, September 15, 2017 | By nanzalone | Comments Off on A Sustainable Solution To Water Supply Challenges
Because San Diego lacks a local drinking water source, we import 85% of our water from the Colorado River and Northern California Bay Delta. Due to that and droughts, San Diego falls victim to rising water costs from wholesalers. The cost of water has tripled over the last 15 years and does not show signs of dropping. In fact it is currently getting even higher. What do we do? We obviously need water to live.
The city of San Diego has launched Pure Water San Diego. This is a program to help manage our own existing water supply and uses advanced water purification technologies to recycle wastewater into safe, high-quality drinking water. In essence it’s basically recycling our own water…how brilliant is that? Although this is a remarkable step forward in water preservation, reaching the goal of producing approximately one-third of San Diego’s water supply by 2035 isn’t a cheap endeavor. The bill for just the first phase is a healthy $1.2 billion.
To read the rest of this article from Brookings…CLICK HERE.
Friday, September 1, 2017 | By Nick | Comments Off on Help Save Endangered Sea Turtles
Extinction is not a new concept.
In fact, species have been going extinct for millions of years from geological and climate changes. The issue now is from overconsumption, pollution, and habitat destruction brought on by humans causing more species to needlessly become extinct.
So why should we care about sea turtles extinction in particular?
For starters, sea turtles help maintain the health of sea grass by eating it. Healthy sea grass allows other oceanic species such as crustaceans, fish, and shellfish to be able to breed. This would impact a huge source of food for humans.
In addition, when sea turtles lay eggs in dunes, the shells and unhatched eggs left behind provide nutrients that facilitate vegetation growth. This strengthens the beach’s ecosystem as a whole and helps prevent erosion.
So help save sea turtles around the world by donating or purchasing some adorable sea turtle pillows here:
Donation not enough for you? You can always become an alliance partner!
For more information, visit: http://costaricaturtles.com/
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 | By Nick | Comments Off on San Diego Coastkeeper Releases 2016 Water Quality Report
SAN DIEGO, August 1, 2017— This week, San Diego Coastkeeper, an organization protecting and restoring San Diego County’s fishable, swimmable, drinkable water, published its 2016 San Diego County Water Quality Report. The organization’s data show an overall improvement in San Diego’s water quality for the first time since 2013.
“This is great news. Of course, a single year of overall better water quality readings does not mean San Diego’s water will keep improving. It takes many years for patterns to emerge,” says San Diego Coastkeeper Lab Manager Meredith Meyers. “That’s why our long-term water monitoring is so crucial. We can provide decision-makers with the big picture and that makes for more effective, data-based policy.”
Urban runoff continues to be the largest factor impacting people’s ability to safely fish and swim in San Diego County. Rain takes pollution from the surfaces of our streets into our storm drains, where it travels through to our rivers and streams and ultimately, to the Pacific Ocean. As a result, the overwhelming majority of San Diego’s waterways fail to the meet water quality standards that make them safe for recreation.
Though the cause of last year’s improved results can’t be directly identified, and Coastkeeper scientists caution against giving too much credit to any one theory, there are a few ideas about why water quality looked a little better in 2016.
“Temporary water conservation regulations, implemented in response to the drought, may have helped water quality improve. When San Diegans prioritize conservation over lush lawns, reduced fertilizer use and fewer lawn sprinklers overflowing onto sidewalks means less pollution washing from the street into our rivers and streams,” says Meyers. “It’s impossible to know for sure, but it’s one idea that makes sense.”
San Diego Coastkeeper collects monthly water quality data from across the County through its volunteer-powered Water Quality Monitoring program. The program, which is the largest of its kind in California, trains citizen scientists to collect vital water quality data to fill gaps and increase the amount of publically available data.. In 2016, 152 trained volunteers gave a collective 1,908 hours.
“Our Water Quality Monitors are more dedicated than ever. Participation was so consistent last year we were able to reduce the number of new volunteers we needed to bring on board to maintain the program,” says Meyers. “The dedication of our trained monitors has allowed us to put even more resources straight into the monitoring itself, and has improved the program as a whole.”
The organization uses a suite of indicators to calculate an overall 2016 Water Quality Score for different watersheds across San Diego County. For the first time since 2013, some of San Diego County’s watersheds surpassed the “Fair” rating on the Water Quality Index,” reaching “Good.” Each watershed below is linked to more details about the watershed’s 2016 water quality:
“Every year, our results continue to show that water quality is defined by all of us. There’s no single source of pollution poisoning our environment; it’s all of our daily actions that determine our water quality,” says Meyers. “Whenever you pick up a piece of litter, fix a leaky sprinkler or forgo chemical fertilizers in your garden, you make a real impact. We all have the opportunity to take small actions that matter.”
After each month’s water sampling, San Diego Coastkeeper updates its online, color-coded water quality map. See June 2017’s water quality results.
Read the full water quality report for 2016 here.
As a trained Water Quality Monitor, volunteers can learn how to generate vital, scientifically sound data to better inform decision-makers and the public. Visit San Diego Coastkeeper’s website to learn more, sign up for training, to view the 2017 water quality-monitoring schedule and to donate to help the organization continue doing this important work.
San Diego Coastkeeper
Founded in 1995, San Diego Coastkeeper protects and restores fishable, swimmable and drinkable waters in San Diego County. For more information, visit San Diego Coastkeeper online at http://www.sdcoastkeeper.org.
Friday, July 28, 2017 | By Nick | Comments Off on The National Park Foundation
“Our national parks are a uniquely American idea, truly supported by all of us. We are inspired by the beauty that surrounds us. We seek the wild and untamed land, the places where history was made, the sites that honor our heroes, and we stand behind what really matters – protecting these sacred places.”
The National Park Foundation, the official charitable partner of the National Park Service, enriches America’s national parks and programs through the support of private citizens, park lovers, stewards of nature, history enthusiasts and wilderness adventurers.
Chartered by Congress in 1967, the Foundation grew out of a legacy of park protection that began over a century ago when ordinary citizens took action to establish and protect our national parks.
Today, the National Park Foundation carries on the tradition of early park advocates, big thinkers, doers and dreamers. It works to keep trails clear, partners with collaborators such as the White House to get kids outdoors, and most importantly, raises and allocates critical funds to keep our national parks safe.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”
– John Muir, early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the U.S.
To learn more and support our parks, visit https://www.nationalparks.org/
Friday, March 31, 2017 | By Nick | Comments Off on Featured For April: Friends of the Earth
Friends of the Earth is an international environmental protection organization that “strives for a more healthy and just world”. Their work pushes for reforms politically on a large scale as well as smaller community networks focused on the preservation of shared Earth resources.
“We understand that the challenges facing our planet call for more than half measures, so we push for the reforms that are needed, not merely the ones that are politically easy.” – FOE
Together they have 75 national member groups collaborating for the international conservation effort, representing more than two million activist in more than 60 countries. In the United States, FOE works with Congressmen, state authorities and community groups in all 50 states to urge policymakers and community leaders to “work towards a healthy envirornment for all people.”
Throughout their 47-year history, Friends of the Earth has been working “to change the perception of the public, media and policy makers” and institute global environmental protection efforts. Their main efforts go specifically to curbing the environmental degradationon drivers like public investment, granting corporations the right to pollute, or other factors on federal and state levels.
What Makes FOE Different:
– They fight for what’s needed over the longer term for all creatures on our planet, not for what is easy or popular in the short term
– They are a loud and fearless voice for the environment and have been for 47 years
– They act globally and locally, with a worldwide networks of activist in 75 countries (and counting)
– They know that solving deep-rooted environmental problems requires exposing and fighting the economic forces that fuel them
– They employ a variety of tactics such as policy analysis, grassroots activism, litigation and creative communication to win their campaigns fairly.
What FOE Has Achieved:
– Limits the Air pollution from Ships
– Persuaded Thousands of Grocery Stores to Commit to Not Selling Genetically Engineered Salmon
– Stopped Construction of Dangerous Nuclear Reactors
– Exposed Corruption in the Review of the Keystone XL tar sands oil Pipeline.
On an international level they have collaborated to bring projects like the Climate Justice and Energy Program giving communities the right to choose thier own sustainable energy sources, and working with the UN negotiators to agree on climate finance and ending deforestation.
They also have started a Food Sovereignty program aimed to halt genetically modified organisms from human consumption. FOE is also responsible for the Forest and Biodiversity program that campaigns against illegal logging and deforestation and works with communities to manage their forest as well as opposing and exposing the negative impacts of monoculture plantations of cromps like sugar cane, palm oil and soy.
In a statement on their website FOE describes their battles to protect the environment as, “Hard work. But the pressures facing our planet and it’s people are too important for us to compromise.”
Find out more about ‘Friends of the Earth’ here.
Monday, February 27, 2017 | By Nick | Comments Off on The Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility
We frequently say going green will only work when it helps save the “green” – as in cash. The GEF is uniquely positioned in that space where financial investments are made to help the environment.
About The GEF
The Global Environment Facility (GEF), is a catalyst for action on the environment. Through its strategic investments, the GEF works with partners to tackle the planet’s biggest environmental issues.
• A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP of 18 agencies — including United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, national entities and international NGOs — working with 183 countries to address the world’s most challenging environmental issues. The GEF has a large network of civil society organizations, works closely with the private sector around the world, and receives continuous inputs from an independent evaluation office and a world-class scientific panel.
• A FINANCIAL MECHANISM for 5 major international environmental conventions: the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
• AN INNOVATOR AND CATALYST that supports multi-stakeholder alliances to preserve threatened ecosystems on land and in the oceans, build greener cities, boost food security and promote clean energy for a more prosperous, climate-resilient world; leveraging $5.2 in additional financing for every $1 invested.
Over the past 25 years, the GEF has supported a range of notable achievements:
• Creation of more than 3,300 protected areas covering 860 million hectares, an area larger than Brazil.
• Conservation-friendly management of more than 352 million hectares of productive landscapes and seascapes
• 790 climate change mitigation projects contributing to 2.7 billion tons of GHG emission reductions.
• Sustainable management of 34 transboundary river basins in 73 countries.
• Improved cooperation and governance of one-third of the world’s large marine ecosystems.
• Sound management and disposal of 200,000 tons of highly toxic Persistent Organic Pollutants.
• Climate change adaptation to reduce the vulnerability of more than 15 million people in 130 countries.
• Environmental threats are growing on a global scale. Although the GEF has had a huge impact in addressing these threats, it recognizes the need for a more comprehensive vision.
• The 2020 Strategy positions the GEF as a champion of the global environment. It sets out a blueprint for tackling the root causes of environmental degradation through core projects and innovative pilots, while delivering cost-effective, high-impact results. To do all this, the GEF will mobilize local and global stakeholders — from national and local governments to the private sector to civil society, including indigenous peoples and research institutions.
Get more information at https://www.thegef.org
Tuesday, November 1, 2016 | By Nick | Comments Off on November Feature: American Farmland Trust
No farms, no food. That’s the message of an organization called the American Farmland Trust.
35 years ago, visionary farmland conservationists founded American Farmland Trust. It’s now part of a national movement to save the land, soil, water and people needed to feed America, and the world.
According to the organization, it’s an uphill battle. Every hour, more than 40 acres of farm or ranch land is lost to urban sprawl or development. Every year, 1.7 billion tons of topsoil is lost to erosion each year in the U.S. That’s enough to fill 1,200 Empire State buildings.
From the halls of Congress to local councils, the American Farmland Trust fights for programs and policies that protect farmland, food and the environment. By mobilizing partners and engaging citizens, they advocate for the changes needed to sustain America’s farmland and the farmers who grow our food.
Since AFT’s founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, the organization has helped save millions of acres of farmland, and led the way for establishing sound environmental practices on millions more.
Want to help? Find out more here. https://www.farmland.org/
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 | By Nick | Comments Off on ReWild Unveils Restoration Options for Mission Bay
Mission Bay, San Diego
SAN DIEGO, September 28, 2016 — Last night, ReWild Mission Bay – a project of San Diego Audubon and its partners to enhance and restore up to 170 acres of wetlands in the North East corner of Mission Bay – unveiled eight possible options for restoration. Based on community suggestions from two public workshops earlier this year, the draft plans were presented to more than 135 community members to collect input. To view the potential alternatives, please click here.
“Our community has been very vocal about its support for restoring and protecting this iconic part of San Diego that so many people love and cherish,” said Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg, project manager for ReWild Mission Bay. “These eight designs reflect what the community has asked for and identified as important to keep Mission Bay healthy and enjoyable for all uses and for generations to come.”
The September 27 public workshop was the third in a series of four. ReWild Mission Bay will work with scientists and engineers to determine the feasibility of the eight initial restoration alternatives. Refined versions of the alternatives presented on Tuesday, or combinations of features from several different alternatives, may move forward to become final restoration designs. Residents can expect one more public workshop in late 2016 or early 2017 to weigh in on these designs before they are finalized.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity to protect our communities from sea level rise, expand habitat for endangered birds, help our kids get out in nature, and provide cleaner water for all San Diegans to enjoy in Mission Bay,” said Schwartz.
Through ReWild Mission Bay, San Diego Audubon is facilitating a three-year planning process that includes collecting community input and conceptualizing plans to restore the wetlands along Pacific Beach Drive and on both sides of Rose Creek. By May of 2017, this process will have produced at least three versions of a community-informed, scientifically defensible wetlands restoration plan for the North East corner of Mission Bay. San Diego Audubon is working closely with the City of San Diego, the California State Coastal Conservancy, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the University of California’s Natural Reserve System on the effort. Next steps include final approval, environmental review and permitting before the restoration of the area’s wetlands.
Wetlands — including marshes, mud flats, riverbanks and more — play an important role in San Diego’s quality of life, as they attract wildlife, foster a diverse ecosystem, improve water quality and protect communities from flooding by providing a cushion during high tides. Today, only five percent of the historic 4,000 acres of Mission Bay wetlands remain, making ReWild Mission Bay a critical and time-sensitive project for the area.
For more information on ReWild Mission Bay and the project timeline, please visit http://www.rewildmissionbay.org.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 | By Nick | Comments Off on San Diego Teachers Turn Local Pollution Into Curriculum at Coastkeeper Training
On September 16, the teachers will become the students for a day when San Diego Coastkeeper and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center team up to train K-12 teachers to inspire students to protect San Diego’s waters. Teachers from all over San Diego County are invited to get the tools they need to help kids grow into expert water protectors, such as hands-on lesson plans based on San Diego’s water issues.
“Water quality and quantity are some of the biggest issues facing humanity today, especially in drought-stricken California,” says Sandra Lebrón, education manager at Coastkeeper. “With our water-science curriculum, teachers can prepare the next generation of leaders to find solutions to these problems.”
The professional development training will demonstrate environmental lessons that teachers can use to help their students learn about San Diego’s waters, take action to minimize and monitor pollution and understand the connections between living things and one of our most vital resources — water.
“We want to show teachers how to use real-world problems happening right here in San Diego – like trash ending up on our beaches – to help students deepen their knowledge of environmental issues and sharpen their problem-solving skills,” says Lebrón.
All lessons in the training incorporate Next Generation Science Standards and include hands-on lessons to be taught in classrooms or informal settings, including after school programs.
The professional development training is on Friday, September 16 from 4 – 6 p.m. and is open to all K-12 teachers with an entry fee of $16. To learn more and register visit: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2591764
For more information on San Diego Coastkeeper’s Water Education Programs visit: