terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

Solar powered Indians July 31, 2007

Filed under: conserve, energy, local, solar — terra @ 9:08 pm

Jacobs Field in Cleveland has partnered with Green Energy Ohio to install solar panels at the stadium. These solar panels will provide enough electricity to power all 400 tvs at the Cleveland Indians stadium. The Indians are the first American League team to use solar power.

Green Energy Ohio has worked in concert with Doty & Miller Architects to design and install 42 GE solar panels on a newly erected pavilion.

On the west coast, the San Francisco Giants have installed 590 solar panels to power their stadium, and other Pacific Gas & Electric customers. AT&T park will be the first baseball stadium with solar power.

AT&T Park was designed to save energy from the start by using fluorescent lighting, motion sensor lighting and energy management systems. The new scoreboard this year is said to use 78 percent less energy than the old scoreboard. . . . In addition, PG&E and the Giants are starting a five-year public awareness campaign to educate and encourage Giants fans to use energy responsibly.

I’m proud that Cleveland is leading the AL in new energy technology and public education about renewable resources.

simplify: Check out a book from the library.


World’s 1st Green City July 31, 2007

Filed under: energy — terra @ 3:18 pm

China is building the world’s first sustainable city, called Dongtan. Dongtan will be built on an island just north of Shanghai, and will include the following features:

  • ENERGY INDEPENDENCE: The city will create and harvest its own clean electricity.
  • CARBON BAN: Only zero-emissions vehicles will be allowed within city limits.
  • 65% OPEN SPACE: Parks, waterways, and organic farms will permeate the landscape.
  • HIGH DENSITY GREEN BUILDING: Super efficient structures will be clustered in walkable neighborhoods.
  • WASTE REPURPOSING: 90% of all waste will be reused and/or entered into multiple loop cycles.
  • Dongtan aims to house 500,000 people by 2020 in a healthy, sustainable environment.



    Great Lakes Biodiesel July 30, 2007

    Filed under: education, food, reduce, reuse — terra @ 3:09 pm

    beerWe took a tour of the Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland a few months ago, and were thrilled to learn about their environmental practices. They focus on sustainability to lower their costs, support local business, and help clean up the environment.

    Great Lakes also hosts the Burning River Fest to educate people about water quality issues in NE Ohio. I can’t list all of the wonderful energy-saving things that the Great Lakes Brewery does, so check out this page.

    Here are a few things they do:

    • The shuttle bus, The Fatty Wagon, is run on vegetable oil from the restaurant
    • Some of GLBC office paper, etc, is composted and made into high quality fertilizer
    • Recycle nearly everything, and use recycled products for their 4- and 6-packs
    • so much more…

    Great Lakes also held “Dog days of summer” a few weeks ago. The street was packed with people and dogs, and a good time was had by all.

    Tip of the day: Teach your dog to fetch your beer. ;)


    Dammed if you do July 28, 2007

    Filed under: energy, environment, wind — terra @ 9:08 pm

    damThis week, Portland General Electric began the largest dam removal in the Pacific Northwest in nearly 50 years.

    Removing these two dams will allow water from the Columbia River to flow from Mt Hood once more, freeing fish and other wildlife to resume their natural habitat. Steelhead and salmon need fresh flowing water to survive, and “removal of Marmot Dam is a historic moment in salmon recovery taking place in the backyard of metropolitan Portland.”

    Eight feet of the 47-foot-tall Marmot Dam was removed by Tuesday afternoon and over the next two months there will be five more blasts, along with jackhammers working daily, company spokesman Mark Fryburg said.

    “Today, this partnership took a great step toward restoring a breathtaking river for fish, wildlife and people,” Portland General Electric CEO and President Peggy Fowler said in a statement.

    Using dams to create electricity seems like a nice way to use a renewable resource (rushing water) to generate power, but the damage it does to the eco-system probably isn’t worth it. As Portland General Electric saw, the dams will one day have to be removed to restore critical fish and wildlife. Portland electric consumers are fortunate to be able to use wind power, at a considerable discount. Wind and solar power allow electric companies to reduce their impact on the environment.

    Unfortunately, NE Ohio is considering building more dams to generate electric power. Our current dams are posing health risks because the water downstream is so polluted. While power companies in the west are taking steps to remove dams, this seems like a step backward. Why not invest in wind and solar? We do get plenty of sunny days here, and plenty of wind too. I hope more companies follow the example of Great Lakes Brewing Company, and the Cleveland Indians stadium, and invest in renewable energy. (posts on those forthcoming)

    Tip of the day: Use a Brita or Pur water filter pitcher instead of bottled water. (saves money, power, landfill space, and plastic)


    Eat Up Fridays – Magic Burritos July 27, 2007

    Filed under: food — terra @ 6:49 pm

    I’m going to try to post a recipe every Friday. They will be filled with fruits or vegetables, grains, proteins, and flavor!

    Terra’s Magic Burritos

    1 tomatopepper
    1 green pepper
    1 can of black beans (or whatever beans you like)
    1/2 cup corn
    1/2 cup edamame (a green bean – found near the frozen corn)
    cheese, optional
    tortilla shells

    Dice the tomato and the green pepper. Rinse the beans. Cook corn and edamame according to package directions (you can boil them together). Drain water. Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl or reusable storage container. Spread as much as you want on a tortilla. Top with cheese. Microwave 45 seconds. Roll into burrito and microwave another 45 seconds.

    This flavorful burrito is jam-packed with protein and vegetables. I usually make a batch when I know I won’t be cooking much the rest of the week. It makes enough for at least 5 burritos. Enjoy!


    USPS Goes Cradle to Cradle July 27, 2007

    Filed under: government, reduce, reuse — terra @ 3:34 pm

    The United States Postal Service is the first shipper to be certified cradle to cradle. Essentially, the “cradle to cradle mantra suggest[s] a world where everything industry churns out can either be composted, reused or recycled into something else.” After surpassing government minimum standards, the USPS went a step further to ensure energy reduction and sustainability.

    “Based on the recycled content of the more than 500 million Express Mail and Priority Mail packages and envelopes the Postal Service provides its customers each year, more than 15,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions now will be prevented annually. Express Mail and Priority Mail boxes and envelopes also are 100 percent recyclable.

    To achieve certification, all 200 suppliers contributing to the manufacture of Postal Service envelopes and packages completed a demanding series of measurements and assessments of materials for human and environmental health.

    All materials were examined using 39 criteria for human and environmental health, including toxicity, renewable energy, water stewardship, recyclability and other manufacturing attributes. The Postal Service also worked with MBDC to gain certification for an additional 200 million pieces of mailing supplies used each year, including decals, labels, packing tape, examining inks, tapes and adhesives.”

    Well done.
    - GreenBiz

    Tip of the Day:
    When traveling, stay at a Green Hotel.


    Lavender spray July 26, 2007

    Filed under: environment, garden — terra @ 5:22 pm

    IMG_7028I have found the best mosquito repellent ever! My sister-in-law recommended it a few years ago and I’ve been using it ever since. Lavender oil. I just put a few drops in a bottle of water, spray it on, and the mosquitoes don’t touch me! My husband uses it too, and we both swear by it. (10-15 drops in 6 oz.) The best part is, you don’t have to shower off some sticky, chemically spray before you go to bed at night. And don’t worry about using it on the kids. Unless they’re allergic, it’s safe for the little ones.

    You can find lavender oil in the essential oils part of the natural foods section of a grocery store, a natural health foods store, or an herb shop. It costs about $8 for a small bottle, which will last well over a year. During spring and fall, I put a few drops in my lotion so I smell good, and already have my mosquito repellent on in case we eat outside. This site recommends putting it in a massage oil, but I’ve found water to work just fine.

    Lavender water is also an excellent way to give you a refreshing clean feeling on a hot and humid day. Skip the 2nd shower on those sticky nights and just spritz on some lavender oil-water.

    Tip of the day: Download music instead of buying cds – saves on packaging and transportation costs and waste.


    HomeGrown Saturday Mornings July 26, 2007

    Filed under: food, garden, local — terra @ 2:57 am

    Get some fresh, local food at the Saturday Farmer’s Market at Lock 3 every Saturday from July 28 – September 22. Homegrown Saturday Morning begins at 9am and features fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, and all sorts of other local vendors.

    Buying local fruits and vegetable helps our community, and also reduces pollution because your produce travels less to get to your table. And it tastes excellent!

    (I’ve just returned from Baltimore and will update you soon on my trip. Yesterday’s flight was canceled.)


    Rain Barrel Day July 21, 2007

    Filed under: conserve, environment, garden, reduce, reuse — terra @ 2:22 pm

    IMG_7811The Akron Beacon Journal featured a story about rain barrels in today’s paper! I hope everyone takes advantage of this natural, renewable resource. We can have green plants, and not use treated water. I don’t expect my water bill to go down because I just haven’t been watering my plants this summer. But, now I can water them for free! And, they’ll be healthier for it.

    Link of the day: Calculate your carbon footprint, and find ways to reduce it.


    Harry Potter’s Happy Pages July 20, 2007

    Filed under: conserve, recycle, reduce — terra @ 8:46 pm

    potterTomorrow night at midnight, the final book of the Harry Potter series will be released. I love just about anything that gets kids to read and Harry Potter is wonderful at engaging people’s imagination and getting people excited about books. Thousands of bookstores, libraries, even towns will be having a party on tonight, in anticipation of the release of the 7th book – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

    Good news… This 784 page book will be printed on recycled paper! J.K. Rowling requested that all her books be printed on recycled paper. American publisher Scholastic is using 30% postconsumer paper (get the deluxe edition for 100% pcp) in the US, and the Forest Stewardship Council will approve 2/3 of the paper, which means that the trees used did not come from endangered forests. This saves 130,000 trees (but how many were cut?). Canadian publisher Raincoast Books did even better and used 100% recycled paper on all the books.

    Over 12 million copies will be printed in the first run. Printing this book on recycled paper will save so many trees. It’s a good effort. I’m a little disappointed in the American publishers, and hope to see them use 100% recycled paper for future books.

    Tip of the day: Turn lights off when you leave the room.


    The Purpose of Dogs July 20, 2007

    Filed under: pets — terra @ 7:16 pm

    Mostly, to make people smile. To get us through the day. To provide endless love and affection. To inspire us to be better. Also:

    Seeing Eye Dogs
    Police Dogs
    Hearing Dogs
    Therapy Dogs (soon to be my dog, fingers crossed)
    Search and Rescue Dogs
    9/11 Heroes

    Shall I go on? Dogs are here to enjoy life. End of story.

    What does this have to do with the environment? I believe we are responsible to the environment, and to all living things. We should appreciate and be good to them. Doing so will bring us nothing but joy. (I really had to get that off my chest, in light of recent news, and keeping with my desire to be positive here.)

    A couple of fun Friday quotes:

    ~ Happiness is a warm puppy. ~Charles M. Schulz
    ~ Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear. ~Dave Barry
    ~ The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. ~Andy Rooney
    ~ Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really. ~Agnes Sligh Turnbull


    Ride the Rail, Bike the Trail July 20, 2007

    Filed under: environment — terra @ 3:00 pm

    bikeThe Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad has a $2 fare for bicyclists. You can flag down the train and hop aboard with your bike, and then bike back to your starting point. It runs Wednesdays through Sundays during the summer – through August 31.

    Get your bike out and enjoy the summer Towpath Trail.


    Is Ford stepping up? July 19, 2007

    Filed under: alternative, energy — terra @ 3:37 pm

    Ford is teaming up with Southern California Edison with plans to test new rechargeable hybrid cars. SCE will receive one Ford plug-in hybrid this year, and possibly 20 by 2009 to test their “durability, range and impact on the power grid” said Susan M. Cischke, Ford senior vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering. (Wouldn’t it be nice if the U.S. had a Department of Sustainability?)

    The plan is to bring plug-in hybrids to the market more quickly. Plug-in hybrids are attractive because the car can be charged in a standard outlet. It uses battery power until the battery runs low, and then switches to the combustion engine. Therefore, in-town commuters will use little or no gas, and can still use their “electric” car for long trips. Until other sources of fuel are more readily available, this is the best technology we have.

    I would love to have an electric car for short commutes, and a plug-in hybrid as the long-term car. *dreaming*

    - Beacon Journal article.

    Tip of the day: Unplug your cell phone charger and charge your phone in your car during your commute instead.


    Welcome to terra, not terror July 18, 2007

    Filed under: conserve, environment, food, local, reduce, reuse, social consciousness, solar — terra @ 5:22 pm

    I’m starting this blog to discuss some earth-friendly activities going on around the world. I like to keep up on the progress that’s being made to create an earth-friendly, less expensive, safe, energy-efficient place to live. I love doing whatever I can to save money, energy, and resources, so I’ll show you my ideas, too.

    This will be a positive space for us to share what we’re doing to reduce our footprint. I hope you enjoy reading about efforts to help our planet. (Negative comments are not welcome.)

    I plan to write something at least once a week. -that’s a lot of progress!- I imagine this page will evolve over time, and I hope you check back once in a while to see what fun things are going on in the “green” world.

    The name?
    When Bush talks about the “war on terror,” it usually sounds like “war on terra,” which I jokingly take offense to. (Terra is Latin for Earth, and is also my name) Whether a war on the planet is actually his strategy is open for debate. We should focus on living in harmony with the earth, not living in fear.