I have this pipe dream of settling down somewhere extremely rural and building a self-sufficient, environmentally friendly home. I've got a lot of ideas floating around in my head, but I'm always looking for new ones. How would you go about setting up such a dwelling? (Or how did you do it, if you've done it yourself?) I'm ideally looking for ground-up plans, but all ideas are welcome. [more inside]
I started volunteering for a group that advocates for a revenue neutral carbon tax. Their main strategies for trying to achieve this goal are: 1) develop relationships with members of congress ("we're betting the ranch on relationships" is one of their unofficial slogans) 2) write letters to the editor and 3) get lots of people to write letters to their congressmen. Is this an effective approach? If not what else could we be doing? Thanks everybody and happy Earth Day! [more inside]
We're in contract on a 1940 house in Seattle, Washington, USA, and the inspector said there used to be oil heat. There's no visible sign of a tank, and no records of a tank being decommissioned (city records for decommissioning or removal of old tanks only go back to 1997). We're trying to decide if it's worth looking for the tank and having it decommissioned if one is found, or if it's OK to just leave it be. [more inside]
Recent EPA letter estimates annual emissions from development & use of Tar Sands crude at between 1.3 & 27.4 metric tons. Anybody know the annual world total? MMTC02e is precise unit shown in link.
Likely to be losing my job in the coming weeks, and thinking about returning to school, either for a diploma or some other vocational training. Can the hive help me figure out a path to take or explore, given the generalities of what kind of work I would like to consider pursuing? I am interested in jobs relating to natural resource management and/or something relating to the environment. [more inside]
Does anyone know of either a reputable environmental NGO based in Vietnam or an international environmental NGO that would allow me to donate specifically to projects in Vietnam? [more inside]
During the week the Keystone Pipeline bill failed in the Senate (Nov 17-21), another bill passed the House of Representatives that barred experts from providing testimony about a study if they had been involved in the execution of the study. Does anyone remember the number? [more inside]
There's a novel I remember getting from the library when I was very young, and it mostly flew over my head. I'm trying to remember its name. I believe the premise was the US had to be evacuated for some reason, and much of the rest of the world filled up with refugee camps and ghettos of Americans. [more inside]
How do I navigate an environment where I'm expected to challenge power and authority constantly, while struggling with my own deeply-rooted issues with body image, self esteem, depression and anxiety? [more inside]
What are some short, punchy multi-media clips and articles I can share with undergraduates to provoke reflection on how to effect social and environmental change? [more inside]
I'd love to see more work by this photographer. I've tried what I think are likely google searches and have found nothing - maybe I'm using the wrong search terms, but if anyone knows or has suggestions, I'd be grateful! Photo here.
I have been working for an agency for 8 years in an upper-management position. My new-ish supervisor hates me and is creating a negative/hostile work environment. My doctor thinks I qualify for intermittent FMLA due to workplace related stress. What are people's experiences with using intermittent FMLA? Is it only going to make things worse? [more inside]
I need help dealing with my anxiety over climate change. I need help figuring out how I can help. It's a bit more complex than that, but not much. [more inside]
What kind of skill sets does one need to be of best help to addressing climate change? It would seem like the most obvious choice is to major in environmental science. Otherwise, maybe political science to deal with legislators and capital hill? Or "who cares what you study undergrad" and go to law school?
I am going to be getting soap making supplies (melt & pour process) as a gift for a family member. I know nothing about soap making - but I do know that the soaps should be as environmentally-friendly and as allergy-safe as possible. What kinds of ingredients should I be looking for? [more inside]
I'm under the impression that factory farming is insane and detrimental to our continuing existence as a species. However, it's difficult to find resources that further explore the environmental impact without the Peter Singer-type ethical concerns of animal welfare, which is appreciated but sometimes lacks a certain scientific rigor. Are there good, go-to resources that explore the environmental impact of factory farming that refrain from diversions into animal rights?
I read an article recently about our species ongoing bid to destroy our natural habitat. In the article (possibly 'The Guardian') it invoked a concept invented by (I think) a cultural critic (whose name escapes me), the general premise being that our slow-motion environmental collapse falls into a class of ideas that are so vast that our minds can't process or focus on it and therefore it tends to disregard it. I'm sure the article gave this concept a name...any ideas?
I'm looking for a relatively fine-grained source of health and environmental data for Contra Costa County, CA. County-by-county is no good, and even city-by-city isn't that great. I'd like to see it by block if possible (zip code would be useful). Anything that fine-grained would be fine: cancer rates, mortality rates, air quality, etc. [more inside]
I want to learn about climate change and the challenges facing the environment today. Please recommend resources! [more inside]
This is a question about NYC real estate, specifically about a building maintenance issue. After many years of renting, I am in the market for a co-op apartment in the five boroughs of NYC. There is a problem with my current building that I am willing to tolerate as a tenant that would be a complete deal-breaker as an owner The issue is this: [more inside]
We are considering setting up a coworking space in a nearby small town. It would be very helpful to hear from people who have tried working in one. What did you like or dislike? What suggestions do you have? If you haven't worked in one, why not? Does the idea appeal to you or not? [more inside]
I'm in a PhD program pursuing a degree in conservation biology. When I finish (and possibly after completing a postdoc or two) I'd like to end up in a job where I can maximize my real-world conservation impact. I'd like to hear some suggestions on how I can do that; lots more detail to be found inside, as well as my reasoning on the subject so far. [more inside]
With all these winter storms here in the Northeast (and Midwest and South), I've been hearing a lot about salt supply issues. Supposedly much of it has to come from Chile...but there are plenty of salt mines in North America, aren't there? What about solar evaporation from the ocean right here? Wouldn't such sources save on the costs and environmental impact of shipping long distances? Are domestic sources just exhausted by demand in the Midwest and parts of the South far from ports?
For a number of reasons, my work environment has become particularly stressful, to the point where it has visibly impacted my well-being. Do I quit, or stay and defend myself? [more inside]
I'm a grad student in conservation biology who has always had a strong interest in conservation issues. However, I feel like the technical side of my education is much stronger than the philosophical side, and I want to restore that balance. Who should I read, what resources should I look into, what organizations or publications are out there that will help me gain a deeper understanding of the philosophical, historical, and cultural components of environmentalism? [more inside]
Which facility was constructed first, the WVa American Water treatment plant, or the Freedom Industries chemical storage place? In other words, did WVAW "come to the nuisance," or did Freedom choose to build upstream from the water plant? what dates was each facility constructed? (and if Freedom came subsequently to WVAW, did the latter protest at the time?)
It's taken as a given that reusable nappies and sanitary pads are more environmentally friendly than their disposable equivalents - but are reusable cotton pads/rounds better for the environment? [more inside]
Many people I know who aren't global warming skeptics are still planning to procreate. Though I might like to have a kid someday, the thought of their future quality of life strikes me as a potentially decisive ethical objection to it. While I've seen plenty of arguments against procreation that deal with the ethics of creating more consumers, that issue is distinct from the ethics of creating new sufferers. Can you point me to any well-reasoned arguments--whether yours or something you've seen, on either side of the issue--that deal with the ethics of choosing to bring children into a hotter world? [more inside]
This is just a thought experiment at this point, and probably will remain so. In the back of my mind I have the idea that when my old SUV finally gives up the ghost I might rip out the internal combustion drivetrain and convert it to an electric vehicle, possibly with a removable range-extender generator. Setting practicality aside for the moment, can you help me envision what this would involve? [more inside]
So it's too late for this to matter for the 2013 tax year, but I wanted to ask this while it was fresh in most people's minds: If you give to environment-based charities, what are your favorites? [more inside]
I unpack a cardboard box. I cut the tape and flatten the box, and a person with a truck takes it to the recycling center, where it is chopped up and wetted into a paste and made into other boxes. What happens to the tape that held the box together? Is it soaked off before the box is chopped up? Is it a total waste, or is it incorporated into a recycled product? How bad is plastic tape for the environment?
I've become mildly obsessed with trying to improve the fuel efficiency of my old truck. I've already done all the basic things and I realize that I'm fighting physics at this point, but what else might I consider if I wanted to make a bit of a hobby out of it? [more inside]
I am looking for resources and information on "green" web hosting. [more inside]
Our vanpool just switched to a 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan. It's a FlexFuel vehicle and we'd like to know when/if it makes sense to use E85 fuel. We live in Minnesota. Our typical commute is 40 miles at highway speeds. Environmental concerns will be weighed, but so will economical ones.
One day I googled "what is the most effective way to help the world" and found a link that told me to "identify a cause with lots of leverage".
What happens to the balloon part of a weather balloon? [more inside]
I am currently living about 5 miles from a coal-fired power plant. The smoke plume is obvious and seems somewhat ominous. Should I be worried about adverse health impacts? [more inside]
Does it make ecological sense to return glass bottles from Switzerland to Belgium for re-use? [more inside]
I'm will be looking for a car soon. A USED car, as I simply can not afford a new hybrid or anything like that. I have heard of TDI Jettas being as few efficient as Prius's. I am aware that diesel is not so awesome environmentally. But I want to know if it evens out. I'm looking for links to reputable information on the topic. NOT - opinion of hear say. If you know enough to talk my ear off about it then you know where to find the information, then do so and send me a well resourced link to back it up. [more inside]
I have a can of old art fixative. Is it better for the environment if I use it or dispose of it? [more inside]
We'd like to at least consider cloth diapering twins, mainly for environmental reasons (which, by the way, Is it totally settled that cloth diapering is greener? We live in SoCal so water is more of an issue than in most areas). Has anyone tried it, either with singletons and multiples, and would you recommend it for twins? If so, any specifics on brands/methods/tips would be great.
I have £150 spare this month and would like to spend it in a way that benefits the environment (climate change related). I'd love your suggestions about how I can use this money to have the most impact, whether that's donating to a top notch environmental charity or investing it in a green tech (renewables, insulation etc.) company that is doing particularly good work.
Mom wants a fuel-efficient car . . . what should she get? [more inside]
Surely when people try to be more "green", some efforts are significant and some are mere rounding error. What are some examples I could use, with an emphasis on the quantifiable and counterintuitive? [more inside]
I think the EnergyStar program could do more good, and may actually be doing harm in its current form. In what ways could I try to impact it? [more inside]
What does it mean for palm oil and soya to be 'organically farmed'? Is it ethical to buy products with organic palm oil in? (I know that in general palm oil is bad news and I try to avoid it.) [more inside]
Canadian politics question. Screwing the environment and shutting down science - what's in it for Harper? [more inside]
Any National Park Service or other closely affiliated agency (BLM, Army Corps of Engineers, etc) able to speak about their experience with said agency? [more inside]
So, what is the most oil-dependent thing that most people do / western lifestyle choice? How do we discourage that thing / encourage an alternative? [more inside]
Some friends of mine live in a brilliant location in downtown DC, and one of them is leaving, giving me an opening to move in. This is far and away the best apartment I've ever had a shot at. Just one possible catch: the building's ground floor is a dry-cleaning business, so I'm concerned about exposure to PERC. Should I be? Does DC have any more stringent regulations than those enforced by the EPA? Can I request a test of air quality in the building before I move in (as appears to be available in NYC)?