terra, not terror

sharing ideas about a simpler way to live

Update your link September 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 7:15 pm

terranotterror.com will revert to terranotterror.wordpress.com on Sept. 22.

Several people have encouraged terranotterror to continue writing. Stay tuned…

 

Van Jones will be White House Green Jobs Advisor March 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 1:25 pm

I’m a big fan of Van Jones, so I just had to sign on to pass along this piece of news… the best thing I’ve seen all day. Van Jones will be advising the White House on how to use the stimulus money to create jobs in the “green” energy sector. Jones is inspirational, and he sees opportunities where others don’t. He truly thinks outside the box. I’m very excited about this pick.

Side note: I tried to come back and write, but it’s just not going to work out right now. I’m working 8 days a week, and that’s too much to add anything. Please follow me on http://delicious.com/terranotterror/green. I might also have a Twitter account soon, so you can subscribe to that too.

Yay… Van Jones!

 

terra, not terror is back January 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 9:19 pm

It’s been about 6 months and I think I’m ready to come back. I’m still working 2 jobs, so I won’t post as often as I was before. I’ve been reading pretty exciting things that I can’t wait to share. First, I’ll do a little summary of some things I’ve done over the last 1/2 a year.

I bought a refurbished iPod touch. I love it! I use it more as a pda than a music device. I keep my calendar on it, notes, weather, contacts, etc. It does maps like a gps, and I can check my email without having to plug in and turn on the computer. So, it saves a little energy. To charge it, I got a Solio. The Solio is great for travel, but I’d probably wait for this power stick that supposedly charges in 10 minutes. The only thing I don’t like about the iPod is that the battery is not replaceable (which I didn’t know until after I bought it). Sure, I can send the iPod to Apple and they’ll send me another iPod. That’s not the point. I want a battery I can replace.

I’ve traveled a bit since I last wrote. More flight cancellations. I always get cancelled. It’s starting to become a joke. Planning another trip this summer. It’s unfortunate that travel has such an impact on the environment, but I love history and learning about the world, so I will continue to travel. My favorite mode of transportation is trains! Trains!

My favorite new site is Boing Boing.net with partner site Boing Boing gadgets.

Yes, I’m still trying to buy nothing new. It’s tough, and I’m not as strict as I could be. I am pretty strict about not buying things that are made in China. I watched “What would Jesus buy” and it reinforced my ideals about buying from countries that have a more positive human rights record.

My new favorite show is Chuck. That’s irrelevant, but it’s a tech-geek spy show and I just love it.

I will also resurrect Recipe Fridays, with vegetarian (low-impact) recipes that I find online.

Ok. That’s all you’ll hear about me. I just wanted to give a little recap. Now, back to the good ideas!

 

I love… September 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 2:19 pm

wolf

 

Farmers Markets Coming Soon! May 29, 2008

Filed under: reuse — terra @ 7:00 am

It’s almost Farmers Market season, and I’m ready for it! I can’t wait to scoot down to Lock 3 to pick up some fresh, local peppers for dinner, and some juicy tomatoes (while I wait for mine to ripen).

The Akron Beacon Journal has a great write-up of Farmers Markets in the 5-county area. The first one opens in Peninsula on May 31.

Here are some benefits of local food (from an earlier post):

Local food is so important to our health and the health of the planet. If you buy from a farmer, you can ask him/her how your food was grown. Many small farms grow organic food, but they don’t go through the process of becoming certified organic. The FDA’s rules are less and less strict about what can be put in food and still label it organic, so it’s nice to talk to the person who grows the food to find out how they grew it.

Local food also travels fewer miles, making it fresher, and generating less pollution.

Don’t miss Ohio’s great local food! And, as the Beacon suggests, hide some in the freezer, as food prices will continue to rise.

A note about organic food:
A lot of articles are floating the web about what is the best food to buy organic, and which ones you don’t really need to bother with. They suggest the more porous fruits should be organic, and stuff with a good skin or shell don’t necessarily have any benefit to being organic. While that’s true for your health’s sake, here’s my opinion… the people who pick our fruits and vegetables are exposed to the pesticides in much greater numbers that we are by eating just one piece of fruit or vegetable. So, when deciding which foods to buy organic, remember the health of the workers. Organic, pesticide-free food is healthier for you, and for the workers. The best bet… buy local food.

 

Video Friday: Rooftop Wind Turbines May 16, 2008

Filed under: alternative, energy, wind — terra @ 7:00 am

wind turbine

These are so awesome! Rooftop wind turbines would make clean energy affordable for homeowners. The production grant from the government wasn’t that much money. I can’t wait to see this get moving!

Click the picture to start the rooftop wind turbine video. Check out GreenEnergyTV for other great technology videos.

 

Car math May 12, 2008

Filed under: cars, energy — terra @ 7:00 am

Here’s a math problem. I’ve been thinking about how efficiently my vehicles get me to work. Here we go…

My husband and I have a Honda Civic Hybrid, a Suzuki Grand Vitara, and a Genuine Buddy scooter. Gas will cost $4 soon, so we’ll just say $4.00 is the price of gas. This is how far we can go on one gallon of gas:

Civic – 42 miles
Suzuki – 16 miles
Buddy – 98 miles

My daily commute is 8 miles, so I can drive to work this many days for $4.00:

Civic – about 5
Suzuki – 2
Buddy – 12

Essentially, I can drive to work 2 days in the Suzuki for $4, or I can fill up the Buddy for $4 and drive to work 12 times. (My husband takes the Civic now, since I take the Buddy.)

I drive to work about 20 times per month, which costs $40 in the Suzuki, and about $8 in the Buddy.

A monthly bus pass costs $50 – for endless miles around Akron!

What’s your families’ car math?

 

May Miscellaneous May 7, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 7:00 am

A bunch of thoughts from my head…

My favorite blog, Planet Green, changed its layout and I don’t really like it. Plus, the first few posts I read on there were “brought to you by Wal-Mart.” While I can see that Wal-Mart is coming around, I still don’t want my environmental news and conservation suggestions brought to me by a multinational corporation.

My cats go crazy when we play audio on the laptop. It makes me wonder if there’s something going on in the background that I can’t hear. Is it harmful? Or, do they like it? Does anyone else have this problem?

The busiest post on this blog is “Build your own electric car.” “Electric car,” or some form of it, is the search term that brings the most people here. I hope this blog is helpful, or at least guides you toward some help in converting your car, if that’s what you’re looking for. It also tells me that a lot of people want an electric car. The big automakers are busy creating fuel cells, or hydrogen cars, or natural gas cars, or gas-electric hybrids. Consumers want simplicity. We want to plug our car in to the wall (which hopefully will soon have electricity generated by solar or wind power). It’s pretty simple. The other technologies that they’re concentrating on will require a new fueling infrastructure. Keep It Simple Stupid.

My mind is on Burma lately, for a few reasons. I know many people from Burma, and they are so happy and sweet. Their country is being ravaged by bad government, and now a cyclone. I also learned that Chevron is not exactly helpful in the situation. If we need another reason to get off oil, it’s to protect the human rights of the people who process oil, and who live near the pipelines. Oil is dirty. For us, it’s great because we pull up to the gas station and it just comes out. There’s a human story in the background that cannot be ignored.

WordPress, where this blog is hosted, added a new feature that I like. The bottom of each post will have 3 or 4 links to other blogs with posts of a similar topic. If you want more information, or a different perspective, you can follow those links.

I’ll have some more relevant discussions soon.

 

Friday Video: Awareness Test May 2, 2008

Filed under: cars, education, social consciousness — terra @ 7:00 am

Take 30 seconds and do the test in this video. You’ll see why later…

I hope everyone passes this test! I didn’t.

 

Video Friday: Garbage Island April 25, 2008

Filed under: conserve, education, recycle, reduce, reuse, water — terra @ 7:00 am

This was done by VBS, which seems to be an online educational/entertainment “channel.” It’s like reality TV, but actual reality.

plastic movie

Does anyone else recognize that yellow spray paint cap?

 

UA Earth Day, pt. 3 April 23, 2008

Filed under: cars, education, energy, environment, local, recycle, solar, wind — terra @ 7:00 am

As I looked at my pictures, I realized I left some stuff out…

Congratulations to the Honors Complex for winning the aluminum can recycling contest. They were rewarded with a traveling trophy and an Earth flag. The three representatives took off to tour campus with their Earth Day pride!

Live Art

IMG_9617After DJ Zachariah, Rachel Roberts played acoustic guitar, while Ursula Rauh painted a picture along with the music. It was beautiful art by two wonderful artists, and certainly highlighted the solar stage for the afternoon.

The solar stage was powered by the sun! Dovetail Solar and Wind set up a solar trailer and propped up the panels to take full advantage of the sun’s plentiful energy. They also brought a wind turbine for display. Dovetail has several projects across Ohio. “Green” jobs are American jobs – you can’t outsource solar panel installation. This is yet another great reason for the U.S. to get moving towards renewable energy.

I rode a Segway!

The UA campus police ride Segways around campus. They’re quick, and run on electricity. The wildest part is that they read your mind! If you think “go forward,” it goes forward. If you think “stop,” it stops! A noted skeptic, I had to try it, and it was true! How does it do that? Well, when humans think “forward,” we lean a little bit forward. The Segway takes advantage of that natural occurrance and motors us forward. It seems more practical for campuses, airports, etc. Not so practical for the average consumer, in my opinion. It was really fascinating, but I can’t see myself ever owning one.

Bikes

UA is trying to become a more bike-friendly campus. Students can look forward to more bike racks, and a bikers map of campus. The city of Akron is helping by also installing bike racks. It’s a hilly campus, but bikes are a great way to get around. There is a serious parking problem on campus that would be helped if students who live a mile or two away would ride a bike instead of driving to campus and parking in a parking garage for the week.

Funding

This year’s Earth Day event was funded by Environmental Akron, a student club, and through the sale of salvaged metals. As the university is expanding and building, some buildings are being torn down. Fortunately, the Director of Materials Handling had the foresight to go into the buildings and salvage as many usable materials as he could. He and his team salvaged a lot of metal and other usable goods such as office furniture and equipment. The salvaged metal brought in enough money to pay for Earth Day, with much to spare. Good job Mike!

Ok, that’s all. Looking forward to next year…

 

David Giffels in NYT April 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 7:00 am

bookSome of you know David Giffels as a writer for the Akron Beacon Journal. (Some of my readers are even related to him!) You may know that he has written a book about his experience restoring his beautiful 1913 Tudor home. Today’s New York Times features an article about the book. Don’t miss the photo slideshow!

Look for David’s book, “All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House” in May. (I’ll keep you posted on that too.)

I love the way David and Gina renovated their house. Instead of tearing it down and starting new, they used the existing structure and made the home they love. It’s a true piece of Akron! And, they did it within their means – no credit cards. That’s even better! We should all live by their theory… if you don’t have the money for it, you don’t buy it.

Congratulations, Giffels family!

 

Earth Day Tomorrow April 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — terra @ 12:30 pm

The University of Akron is celebrating Earth Day on April 16th. This year’s celebration promises to be bigger and better than last year’s. UA students will learn about how to preserve the enviROOment. (Another great slogan!)

Don’t miss the electric cars, VegiTerranean food demo, a solar stage, live music and art, speakers, and a green fair. Several fine organizations will be represented, including Green Energy Ohio, Great Lakes Brewing Company (promoting the Burning River Fest), Metro RTA, and Environmental Akron – UA’s student group committed to the environment.

This event is not to miss!!

April 16th 10-3
Student Union

 

Turn your car into a hybrid April 14, 2008

Filed under: cars, electric car, energy — terra @ 7:00 am

A friend of mine is looking to buy a new car, and in his search, he test-drove a Toyota Prius. He was surprised that it “drove like a normal car.” But, he’s turned off by the sticker price of a new hybrid – at least $26,000. You can’t blame him there! (I got mine used for $10,000 and it drives the same as a new one, and is still covered by the warranty.) Anyway after owning a hybrid, here’s my suggestion:

Get a small car with good gas mileage. (The Honda Fit is awesome, as are any of the old favorites – Corolla, Civic, etc.) Then, turn it off when you’re stopped in traffic for more than 30 seconds! That will basically achieve the benefits of a hybrid without the high sticker price and the mandatory automatic transmission of hybrids. The only real benefit I’ve seen to my car is that it turns off when I stop. You can do that yourself in any car and save $10,000 for the hybrid technology. (Source: Consumer Energy Center)

So, pick a car you like with responsible mileage and turn it off when you’re at a stoplight. You’ll save a ton of money and gas!

I have 3 other suggestions: 1) drive your car until it dies – you still have to fix new cars, plus having a monthly payment. 2) buy a used car. 3) wait for the VW Diesel-Hybrid and run it on vegetable oil from your favorite fast food joint – that’s free fuel! Read Biodiesel Myths Dispelled

One more… get the Smart Car!! I saw one driving in Akron on Saturday night.