Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Going Green, Anyone?

That chair is far too comfortable for my own good. A green chair, green pants, green socks, green stripes on my shirt, even a green lampshade and green coasters! How much more green can I get?

I've spent the majority of my working years in jobs which kept me outside, even a few years of school which often had me outside. I've worked in everything from basic landscape maintenance, ornamental horticulture, retail nursery, pest control and large tree care to lakes, forests and uncontrolled natural areas. Because of this I've developed a respect for the environment, an understanding of how it can be affected and knowledge of what can happen when it's abused in ways from which it can't fully recover. I've seen the effects of change and abuse with my own eyes.

Lately it seems that everything you see or hear about the environment is bad. Toxic air and drinking water, poisoned oceans, contamination from nuclear waste dump sites, global warming altering the planet's weather patterns, animal species endangered or going extinct, the list goes on. I can't even remember the last time I saw or read anything positive about the state of our planet and it's diminishing ability to continue supporting life.

If all of that sounds familiar it's because it was in my previous blog entry but it fit better here so I moved it. I'm like that. Anyway, I'm curious if anyone out there is doing anything to reduce their own environmental impact. For my part, I use the most energy efficient settings on all of my home appliances. I've switched most all of my regular light bulbs over to more energy efficient compact fluorescents. Outdoor lighting and the pool filter are on timers. I recycle as much as I can and compost what I can to reduce landfill waste. I've made up my mind to buy an old fashioned reel type mower (no engine), and yes I'll actually use it. I've even cut down on water usage, watering the garden only when necessary and trying to plant more drought tolerant plants.

So who out there is attempting to be more green, and who just plain doesn't care? Inquiring minds want to know.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Discovery Channel, Planet Earth In HD

I was pleasantly surprised at the BBC series Planet Earth which recently ran on Discovery Channel. Throughout all eleven episodes the damage we are doing is scarcely even mentioned. Instead it focuses on the incredible diversity of habitat and animal life which exist on our planet. Each episode concentrates on a specific habitat; it's features and it's animal life. Some episodes contain footage of habitat areas that have never been filmed, including previously unfilmed animals and animal behavior. Most all of it is filmed in high definition so it's incredibly clear on HDTV.

If you get a chance to catch a few episodes, I highly recommend it. Despite the damage that we as a species are causing and the fact that our population is steadily spreading into new territory there are still pristine areas where nature goes about it's business undisturbed as it has for millions of years. It's a refreshing change to see it presented this way. You can read about the series in this Wikipedia article.

I also recommend Blue Planet, a similar series dealing exclusively with our oceans. It begins showing again on Aug 19th.