Friday, May 14, 2010

How can you help to stop Oil spills and Coal Mine collapses? Yes, You!!!

So these last few weeks have seemed to have been dominated by environmental disaster type situations that have had a clear impact on us, i.e. humankind.  In a BIG way.

The volcano from Iceland.  Who thought Iceland could ever impact our lives at all?  Yeah, well so much for that.  Turns out that weather patterns really can be seriously shifted due to one natural climatic occurence.  While it's nice that the volcano didn't result in many deaths (or any at all specifically in Iceland), I think it's fair to say that a few billion dollars in damages and lots of people being stuck in places they didn't want to be changed the way that we think about weather and the world in general.

And let's not forget about the general atmosphere of uncertainty that has descended on any and every traveler, considering we don't really know how our new favorite explosive mountain thousands of miles away will behave--for the next 200 years or so.

To relate this climatic event to music, let's just say that a few good bands and attractive music lovers could not make it to Coachella this year thanks to (here goes nothing) eyjafjallajokull.  Music and the environment connected again (this time, not in such a fun manner).

Moving on to events that could have been prevented: the coal mine explosion in West Virginia (the largest amount of deaths in such an accident since the 1970s) and the massive Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Beyond looking at safety and regulatory issues, what do I mean by prevention?  And what do I mean by you can help stop these kinds of accidents?

Basically, these accidents happen as a direct result of our needing these resources, and a large amount of these resources at a rapid pace for our high level of consumption standards.

So, what can you do, that won't really dramatically impact your quality of living, but might help to improve the quality of life of those who labor for these resources for us?

1. Buy better quality goods (i.e. ones that will last longer and have been made to suit higher standards).  While they might cost a bit more, if you take a longer term view/approach, these appliances will last longer, serve you better, and less often have to be disposed and replaced!  Energy Star is a great ratings system to go by if looking for a new appliance.

2. Take public transportation or ride your bike 1 extra day/week.  Even just one day means less coal and less oil! (oil fuels our cars, coal fuels our homes, hot water (so use cold water more often than hot, it gets the job done just as well), electricity, heat, air conditioning, etc).  Also, if you are interested in not supplying your home with coal-based energy, you can actually pay a bit more to get your energy from wind farms!!!  Check it out here:

3. Keep your home warmer in the summer (especially when you aren't chillaxing there) and cooler in the winter (we all know we love to sleep better in colder temperatures, like sleeping on the colder side of the pillow, like sipping hot tea and cocoa, yada yada yada).

4. Use less plastic.  Plastic is oil based!! Did you know that?  Glass is a great substitute, especially for non-klutzes (which I totally am, but I deal with it).  Ceramic is great as well.

By buying less products that are made from these non-renewable, labor-intensive products, we can improve the standards under which the miners and rig-workers are working, and heighten the chance of safer conditions!

Inspiring, ain't it?



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