calcium medications

Energy Efficiency

It Takes A Village.

Video11

When the Birmingham Covington Middle schooler’s reached out for me to help illustrate and produce their video to help raise funds for a tractor and water pump in a remote village in Zambia – I had to say yes!  Funds were raised for not one – but two tractors! These students are truly inspiring, click the link to see….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx3P4Ll9mK4 

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It’s Alive!

Green Living Science is truly an experience. For big and small kids alike. Yes, it’s a recycling center, but it’s more than that. It’s a visual feast for anyone that appreciates art and learning. Rachel Kelgon, the Executive Director for Green Living Science, is guest blogging to share more with you.

“Raise your hand if you like art,
now raise your hand if you like dinosaurs.”

This is how I get even the most distracted third grader to get excited about the school field trip to the city of Detroit’s Recycling Center. That’s right, in Detroit, we use dinosaurs and art to teach about the three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). Students regularly visit Recycle Here! to learn about an alternative way to dispose waste rather than throwing it in the trash. However, no trip to Recycle Here! is complete without taking a walk down the street to the Lincoln Street Art Park, otherwise known as Frank The Dinosaur’s home. Frank is an art installation made out of plastic trash that was recovered and reused to create a life size dinosaur. Frank found a natural home in the Art Park, which  was designed to transform a vacant lot into a creative use for reclaimed material and gathering spot for the community.

As Frank’s head bobs in the wind, the students look at the towering sculpture in amazement and begin identifying the different items they recognize and use. We are able to begin a discussion about other ways we can use things that we thought were just trash. Frank is a reminder to everyone who visits the Art Park about the amount of waste we produce and the non-renewable resources we are using up. Frank is made from plastic, which is made from oil, which was created by fossil fuels (non-renewable resource), which was created by the fossils of dinoaurs. Frank has come full circle.

Want to plan a field trip/recycling program for your group or school?  Contact Rachel at 313.744.2294

www.greenlivingscience.org

rachel@greenlivingscience.org

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The Mighty Mac Bridge Walk

Buster the Dog’s featured caption entry by Jillena Rose

It’s on my list. Actually, it’s been for a while. Walking the Mighty Mac, that is.

This year marked the 55th Annual Bridge Walk. At the Bridge’s 1958 dedication ceremony 60 people walked over the Straits of Mackinac. And this year – from big kids to little, around 45,000 walkers became part of the tradition.

Yoopers and Trolls Attack the Mac!

Labor Day is the only time of the year that pedestrians are allowed on the bridge, but there’s more to the bridge than meets the eye than the breathtaking view. Bob Sweeny, Executive Secretary of the Bridge Authority, says that along with the grandeur also comes a responsibility to the environment.

Did you know that at midnight the decorative lights get turned off to conserve energy? And, to be even more energy and green conscious, the amount of lights that set the bridge all aglow are restricted. In hoping to make more of a difference, the lighting has also been reduced at the toll plaza and LED lights in the arrow board and toll canopy help lead the way now, too.

So next time you cross and are looking at the grandeur of the Mighty Mackinac, remember that the Bridge is doing it’s part, too!

Pure Michigan Mighty Mack Bridge Walk Cartoon



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Holy Bat Cave!

Bats. Not sure about ‘em. My basic introduction to them began at an early age Saturday mornings while watching Sir Graves Ghastly horror flicks and seeing a vampire manifest itself into a bat. Come to find out it doesn’t really work that way.

Holy Bat Cave!

“Unfortunately,” according to the Organization for Bat Conservation, “due to many years of fear and misunderstanding, bat populations are decreasing and some are nearly extinct.”  Don’t be afraid. But you don’t need to open up your home to them either. Since their natural habitat is quickly disappearing, bat houses give them a place to call their own.

John Bradburn is General Motors’s resident expert on waste reduction and recycling. Rather than just recycling, which uses more energy and resources, he focuses on repurposing materials and what to do with unwanted scraps. So, with his love and appreciation of the earth and its wild life –  combined with his job, he came up with a pretty cool idea. While trying to figure out what to do with scrap Chevrolet Volt battery covers, he came up with bat houses! So, he along with the help of Rob Mies, founder of the Organization for Bat Conservation located at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, figured out how to make the habitable environment for bats out of them.

I had no idea that the Little Brown Bat can eat up to 6,000 insects each night. Bats are the primary predators of night-flying insects including moths, beetles, flies, and mosquitos. And if one of these bat houses can hold up to 150 bats, that’s 900,000 bugs in a night – gone!

Put away the Raid® and get yourself a bat house.

If you’re a school or organization and would love to adopt a bat house, wood duck nesting habitat or a screech owl house, contact john.bradburn@gm.com and see if he can hook you up with your very own habitat.

Want to find out even more? Check out this link! GM and Detroit Youth Turn Chevy Volt Battery Covers into Wood Duck Homes; Michigan Kids Go Batty for Chevrolet Volt Battery Covers

And, for additional fun stuff about bats visit www.batconservation.org

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The Bees Are All A’buzz – thanks Lynne Bartley!

Thanks for your donation towards the “Help Save the Honeybees” book and animated cartoons!

http://www.greenunite.com/projects/1-help-save-the-honeybees

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Pickin’ Away

I’ve never played guitar, and I know about two words in French. But, I have used gift cards. OK, hold on, there is a connection.

When I saw the posting “Handmade Unique Recycled Guitar Picks” on Facebook, I had to inquire. It turns out that Alicia, a student at Wylie E. Groves High School, is trying to send herself to France on next year’s senior class trip by up-cyling used up gift cards.

What’s in your wallet?

While thinking of ways on how to help fund her trip, Alicia remembered that she had a bunch of expired gift cards and hotel key cards and didn’t know what to do with them and – Viola! (that’s pretty much the extent of my French) the makings of Guitarishy was born. In Alicia’s fundraising effort, she is now making and selling “one-of-a-kind” recycled guitar picks all of which are custom and different from any other.

Did you know that there are 10 billion new cards placed in circulation every year? When these cards are replaced or reach their expiration dates, most of them are thrown in the trash – wouldn’t you rather contribute to a young student’s dream than to the landfill?

Really, $10 for 15 picks? So reasonable and just in time for the Holidays, you can order them here:  http://etsy.me/tnNPfd

Don’t know what to do with your old and expired library card, video rental card, membership cards, shopper discount cards and retailer gift cards? For card donations or special orders, you can get ahold of Alicia at 248-645-0938 / email guitarishy@aol.com.

Let’s make some beautiful music and help Alicia get to France.

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Excess Baggage

I love to travel, and I must admit over the years I’ve learned to make due with just two (OK, maybe three) pair of shoes on a trip – depending. But, it turns out that all along without knowing it I was doing the planet a favor.

It goes to figure that the more a vehicle weighs, the more fuel it will take to power it. Alaska Airlines found that by removing just five magazines per plane they could save $10,000 in fuel costs a year!

Excess baggage doesn’t mean your significant other.

Same goes for when traveling by car. The U.S. Department of Energy wants us to know that by avoiding items unnecessary for our trips, we could reduce our MPG by up to 2% for each 100 pounds. That’s an equivalent gas savings of .04¢ -.07¢ per gallon!

At any rate, that savings on an up-coming trip could add up to a nice dinner. If nothing else, maybe we’ll get an extra bag of pretzels on our next flight.

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Drafting

I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t like to see my money get thrown out the window. I’m guessing you don’t either. With the rough winter months behind us, so are the high energy bills, right? Don’t let the lure of the warm spring weather lull you into a sense of lower utility bills, remember running the AC in the summer poses the same problem.

With the price of gas going up at the pump brings the promise of higher consumer energy bills, too.  I’ll bet you’ve already felt it. According to dropyourenergybill.com, air leaks and drafty windows and doors, you could be wasting as much as 35% of your energy dollars through them.

Plug hole in it. Save some money

Well, here’s an easy way to find out if money is getting sucked out of your home and wallet.  Hold a lit candle near the seam of the door or window and if the flame or smoke bends towards it – bingo!

Easily remedied. Just head over to your local hardware store for some window and door weather-stripping or caulk. Styrofoam plugs seal off energy loss around outlet plugs and light switches inside your home. I’ve even seen a “Weatherizing For Dummies Kit”, doesn’t get easier than that!

We all know the cost of energy isn’t going down, so get yourself one of those door snakes or dogs – or whatever they are – chances are you can get not only one, but two! Two! All for the same low price.

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Blizzards (not the Dairy Queen kind)

You may be thinking to yourself during these recent snow events and record cold temps we’ve been having – “global warming? No way.”

Not so fast. The way I understand it, Michio Kaku, author of “Physics of the Future” explains what’s happening. In a nutshell, as global warming creates more heat it causes more moist air which causes more precipitation. This means more random fluxuations in the weather. In turn, record amounts of snow and storms.

Blizzards. Brought to you by Mother Nature, not the Dairy Queen.

Here’s one simple way to help decrease our contribution of global warming. Move your thermostat down 2° in winter and up 2° in summer. With this one simple adjustment you could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. So even if it’s hard to imagine global warming is real in these arctic-like temperatures, let’s help Mother Nature out anyway. Maybe she’ll take it easier on us in the future.

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A Future So Bright

Timbuk3 had it right - A future so bright we gotta wear shades.

My significant other teases me that I’m always in the dark. Not in the terms of being uninformed, but that I like to keep the lights dim. ‘Tis true. It’s probably a throw back to when I was a kid when turning off the lights when leaving a room was the smart thing to do.

Timbuk3 had it right - A future so bright we gotta wear shades.

But times have changed and so have the bulbs I grew up with. These days, the new energy efficient CFL & LED lights are way more energy efficient and cost efficient. They last 35,000 hours longer than the conventional bulb. And they’re like one million times brighter. Ok, well maybe closer to 500 times more. Not only that, if we switched over only 25% of the incandescent bulbs we use in the US to the new energy efficient bulbs – that would be equal to preventing the release of greenhouse gasses equal to 10 million autos. And that’s for real. Yay for the planet.

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