Sunday, October 14, 2018

Vote, vote, and vote some more

President Trump does not understand the science behind climate change, what climate change is, or the threat that it poses to all of humanity.  He proved this point during his recent interview with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes (transcript here). That's why we need to vote, vote, and vote some more.  Vote for any candidate who is willing to face climate change head-on.  Vote against candidates who bury their heads in the sand.  Vote.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Go Garamond!

I print a lot.  Unfortunately, my job as a teacher requires printing various materials for my students, because not all of my students have access to a computer outside of school.  So I always print double-sided, and I try to recycling as much as possible. Not the best solution, but the best I can do.... 

Now there's something more I can try -- I can go garamond!  It turns out that some fonts use less ink than others, saving significant ink and money in the long run.  I think I'm going to mention this item to the next meeting of the high school's environmental club!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Hedgehog highway

This new little film about how to help hedgehogs thrive in the U.K. reminds us of things we need to do here in North America too -- most notably, providing free access to habitat and not creating barriers such as walls and fences. Conservation managers call these free access areas "wildlife corridors" -- you may have seen them near highways.  I've written about the proposed wall along the U.S./Mexico border is an environmental disaster, but removing wildlife barriers is also something we can tackle in our own backyards.  And those hedgehogs really are cute!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Otterly wonderful!

It's Sea Otter Awareness Week, which means we have to celebrate!  I was born in Carmel, California, and the Monterey Bay area is always a favorite of mine. This week's mammal comes from beautiful Monterey Bay -- it's the sea otter! Did you know,

  • sea otters are the only marine mammal that doesn't use blubber to stay warm in the icy waters of the Pacific -- to stay warm, they have incredibly thick fur that traps air
  • sea otters are a keystone species in their habitat -- the role that they play impacts all the other species in the area
  • sea otter populations seem to be spreading (that's good news!) -- there was a recent sighting in southern California
  • sea otter mothers tie their babies into floating seaweed while they go looking for food, but there's always a plan B:

Saturday, September 22, 2018

World Rhino Day!

Today is World Rhino Day 2018!  As with many large African species, black rhinos and white rhinos  are threatened by habitat loss and illegal hunting. To save them, conservationists are working hard to coordinate programs with local communities, decrease demand for rhino horn, and even airlift some individuals to safety.  Why should we care? As the World Wildlife Fund's website states:

"In almost all rhino conservation areas, there are other valuable plants and animals. The protection of rhinos helps protect other species including elephants, buffalo, and small game. Rhinos contribute to economic growth and sustainable development through the tourism industry, which creates job opportunities and provides tangible benefits to local communities living alongside rhinos. Rhinos are one of the "Big 5" animals popular on African safaris and they are a popular tourism draw in places like the Eastern Himalayas."

Do you want to help?
  1. Learn more about rhinos and their conservation
  2. Never buy products containing rhino horn or any other body part
  3. "Adopt" a rhino from WWF or donate to the African Wildlife Foundation to help with conservation efforts

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Food for Thought on a Sunday

Ever notice how your appliances (and a lot of other things you buy) are not made to last?  This feature of modern manufacturing is a HUGE waste of resources.  We're told to reduce, reuse, recycle, but it's tough to reduce when we're forced to buy new stuff, instead of simply fixing things when they break.  Here's a great opinion piece on the topic:  To a refrigerator dying young.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Meat-free Friday -- Lemon Pasta

image from wikipedia
I always find September and May to be super-busy months, thus I need a recipe that super-easy and super-delicious. This recipe works well for a hot dish at dinner or a cold dish for lunch leftovers. It's adapted from one I saw on the Today Show.

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb farfalle pasta
  • 1/3 cup basil
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
1) Cook pasta until it's al dente.
2) Mix together olive oil, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and basil.
3) Pour liquid over pasta and toss with pine nuts or almonds.