Stupid Is As Stupid Does

During the government shutdown, new websites were created to tell us Uncle Sam couldn’t afford the manpower to run their old websites. Stupid is as stupid does. In the state of Arkansas, you can allegedly beat your wife, but no more than once per month. Stupid is as stupid does. In Snohomish County, Washington, you can live on fragile land near the Stillaguamish River, an area prone to mudslides – and never know, because your city officials never felt inclined to inform you. Stupid. Is. As. Stupid. Does. Now christened the Oso Landslide, the natural disaster, which occurred on March 22, 2014, in Washington State, shattered any sense of safety for Oso residents in what can only be described as 60 seconds of sheer terror. The aftermath of this horrific mudslide: 36 dead with many more left homeless, injured and traumatized. And I’m greatly pissed off. The landside doesn’t piss me off. Honey, please! Landslides come with the territory of being an Earthling; they’re natural disasters just like tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. They’re destructive, … Continued

Solar Power: Let Me Decide or Buy Me Off?

Throughout the energy conversation we’ve been having with the Nuclear and Coal articles, several readers have commented about the inclusion of solar energy. Solar energy is sold to us as the end-all-be-all solution to our energy needs, and I find it hard not to argue against very specific aspects of that sales pitch. It’s clean, it’s renewable, it’s somewhat readily available, and it has little to no long-term impact. The Department of Energy claims that a 100 square mile solar panel field in Nevada can generate 800 gigawatts of power. That’s enough to power the entire United States. Now, let’s collectively pull our head out of the clouds and talk about the ugly side of the situation … The national average for electricity runs at about 12.6 cents per kilowatt hour, and the average house uses about 1,000 kilowatt hours per month. Before taxes, regulatory, and administrative fees that makes for a $126.00 per month electric bill. You wake up, and decide that you are going green. You hop in your Prius and buzz down … Continued

10 Items to Donate to Animal Shelters

You probably know that animal shelters are a great place to rescue a cute and cuddly new pet for your family. What you may not know is that they can also be a good place to ‘upcycle’ some of your gently used household items – instead of tossing them in the trash. Animal shelters represent huge operations – with a lot of expenses – when taken as a whole. Nationwide, shelters care for approximately 6 to 8 million animals each year, according to the Humane Society of the United States.  And despite sometimes quite large operations that benefit their local communities, most individual shelters receive limited, if any, government funding. Local animal shelters also typically do not receive funds from the national organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA. While cash donations are always needed to keep shelters running, giving various used items can also help keep operations running. Here are a few items you may not know that you can donate. Newspapers. “Newspapers are huge for us!” says … Continued

Graywater 101: Using Graywater to Green Plants?

Sponsored Post from: The American Cleaning Institute “Graywater” is a term bandied about by those in sustainability circles and a topic we’ve touch on frequently at Earth911, but many still have questions about exactly what graywater recycling is and if it’s really safe for the environment. So, what’s the verdict? Is this idea green or gross? Earth911 took an in-depth look at the subject to give you the basics and answer all of your most pressing questions about this unconventional recycling tactic. Graywater 101 If you’re unfamiliar with this type of recycling, the No. 1 question on your mind is likely: What is graywater, anyway? To put it simply, graywater is water from bathroom sinks, tubs, showers and laundry washing machines. Despite frequent confusion, graywater does not include water from toilets, kitchen sinks and automatic dishwashers (this is called “blackwater”) and has not come into contact with food and human waste, either through kitchen sink food waste disposal or flushing toilets. Graywater may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair and certain household cleaning products. … Continued

The "Greenest" Yard on the Block

After the brutal winter we have had, I personally have been looking forward to spring with the kind of childish enthusiasm that is usually reserved for Christmas morning, the arrival of a pizza delivery man, or even payday. I live in Texas, so spring is usually about four days of mild weather before we start hitting triple digit temperatures, but still, it’s exceptionally nice for those 4 days. With the change in weather comes the annual re-claiming of my yard from winter’s grasp, and let me just point out that I am not a fan of yard work. It is a necessary evil at best. Alas, in preparation for the improved weather I still broke out the old lawnmower, trimmer, chainsaw, edger, and hedge clippers. Then I fueled up and got to work. Halfway through mowing my front yard my neighbor comes out from his side yard pushing a bright shiny new mower. Now as a Texan, and as a man, equipment envy is a terrible thing. I once spent $236 dollars at a Walmart … Continued