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[1THING] Blog: Archive for September, 2013

[ Solar Puts Out the Welcome Mat ]

Solar Puts Out the Welcome Mat


Visitors tour a Solar Decathlon home (Photo: F Delventhal/Flickr)

If you’ve noticed an uptick in the number of solar panels
being installed on homes and businesses in your region in the last several
years, you’re not alone. The price of solar panels has dropped a whopping 75%
in the last five years. By the end of 2013, a solar project will have been
installed, on average, every four minutes in the U.S.

It’s one thing to see the statistics. It’s quite another to
see solar hard at work in your own community.

EarthShare member organization The American Solar Energy
Society (ASES) is introducing people around the country to the solar projects
generating clean energy in their midst. On
Saturday, October 5 they will hold their 18th annual National Solar Tour
. Homeowners and businesses in neighborhoods
across the country will open their doors and to show what they’ve done to slash
utility bills and help cut pollution from power plants.

Want to learn how your neighbors are making use of clean
energy? Thinking about going solar yourself? Chances are there’s a solar tour
happening near you
that can give you the information and inspiration you
need to make it happen.


The ASES National Solar Tour is the largest grassroots solar
event in the nation, involving about 150,000 participants and 5,000
solar-energy sites nationwide. In 2012, the National Solar Tour drew more than
90,000 people in 38 states to 578 registered Solar Tours. Sites included
residential, commercial and municipal properties, appealing to a wide audience.

In addition to highlighting available solar options, an
increasing focus of the tour is on energy-saving techniques and sustainability
through green building design, energy efficient appliances, and use of green
materials during remodeling. Tours also provide helpful, real-world examples of
costs and how to save money with federal, state, and local incentives.

“The National Solar Tour offers families an opportunity to
have meaningful conversations with friends and neighbors who’re reaping the
benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency each and every day,” says
actor Ed Begley Jr. “It’s a great way to get an up-close and personal
perspective on how easy it can be to live the green life — and how rewarding.”

Get motivated! This is a chance to see affordable and
practical technologies in your neighborhood that are solving our nation’s
energy problems and reducing our carbon emissions. If you’re considering solar
energy, or just want to see what all the buzz is about, visit a business or
resident on the National Solar Tour to learn more.

To find a tour near
you visit
http://www.ases.org/solar-tour/find-a-tour/. Also see our tips on going solar.



October’s ‘1 Thing Charity Get The Word Out’ comes from  Jill in SacramentoThe charity is Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project. I didn’t know much about dolphins other than a ‘Flipper Reference’. Reading more about Ric, he has been on both sides of this.  He spent 10 years training dolphins for as ‘Flipper’, then he has spent over 40 going against what he started out doing.  I never thought to much about dolphins and the dangers they run across in the wild and in captivity.  I didn’t realize dolphins have so many stress related sickenesses that can, and does cause death.  Check out some 411 about this project, and how dolphins are getting the help they need all over the world. They need more help then I ever imaged, and you will discover the same.  Find out how even doing a small thing can help in a BIG WAY!

dolphin photo

The goal of Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project is to put an end to dolphin exploitation and slaughter once and for all. Dolphins are regularly captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit. The Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters in countries around the world, but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation, and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.

The Dolphin Project has achieved many important victories for dolphins over the years. We brought the world’s attention to brutal drive hunts taking place along the coast of Japan, as seen in the 2009 Academy Award-winning feature documentary “The Cove,” ; we successfully negotiated for an end to dolphin slaughter in the Solomon Islands; we and we continue to raise awareness that captivity is cruel.

Ric O’Barry has been working towards there goals for over 40 years, and he continues his quest to put an end to dolphin suffering. Be sure to stay tuned for information on how you can get involved and make a difference.

To donate, take action and find out more info on Ric O’Barry’s  Dolphin Project please visit: dolphinproject.org.

Earth Island InstituteEarth Island Institute

The Dolphin Project is a proud part of the Earth Island Institute, a non-profit, tax deductible organization founded in 1982. The Earth Island Institute has a long and active history in dolphin-related causes. In 1986, through the International Marine Mammal Project, EII organized a campaign to urge U.S. tuna companies to end the practice of intentionally chasing and netting dolphins with purse seine nets, and to adopt “Dolphin Safe” fishing practices to prevent the drowning of dolphins in tuna nets. This campaign included a consumer pressure, litigation, and revisions of the US Marine Mammal Protection Act.

In 1990 a major breakthrough was achieved and the first companies pledged to become dolphin-safe.  Today 100% of American tuna have become verifiably dolphin safe. Through the International Monitoring Program, the Earth Island Institute regularly inspects tuna companies to insure consumers that the tuna they buy is truly “dolphin safe.”

Earth Island Institute is an umbrella organization with has more than 60 projects working for the conservation, preservation, and restoration of the Earth. For more information, please visit: earthisland.org.

Here are some smaller supporters w/ VERY BIG VOICES! Click the photo to watch the video. It’s powerful!

Small group photo

*Take the Pledge!


[ Did you know this?!!!! ]

1 thing photoOctober is National Vegetarian Month!  Tuesday October 1st kicks the month off with ‘World Vegetarian Day’. Can you go a whole day without having any meat/by products? All veggies/proteins that are not meat/animal based?

Click here to take the pledge!  You could win $$!


Shannon put together an awesome list of benefits of being a vegetarian and tips to try if you haven’t tried a Vegetarian diet.


  • Reduce the risk of major killers such as heart disease, stroke and cancer while cutting exposure to foodborne pathogens
  • Provide a viable answer to feeding the world’s hungry through more efficient use of grains and other crops
  • Save animals from suffering in factory-farm conditions and from the pain and terror of slaughter
  • Conserve vital but limited freshwater, fertile topsoil and other precious resources
  • Preserve irreplaceable ecosystems such as rainforests and other wildlife habitats
  • Decrease greenhouse gases that are accelerating global warming
  • Mitigate the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture

If you are not a vegetarian, here are some tips for you:

  • Observe Meatless Monday. This is a growing trend, and is a perfect way to kick off the month by eating meat-free for Vegetarian Awareness Day. You can also try to do this throughout the month and have a variety of vegetables to keep your diet interesting.
  • Educate yourself about the nutritional benefits of a vegetarian diet and find out the other ways that it can benefit you.
  • Go for one whole day as a vegetarian and tell friends and family you are doing this.
  • Host a meatless meal or potluck with your friends. This will help all of you get more tasty recipe ideas and become familiar with different veggies.
  • When you dine out, try the meatless options and encourage your friends to do the same.

Click here for more FABULOUS VEGGIE 411!

You can go even further into VEGAN territory.. check out this site VEGANS ROCK ATX!  Vegans in and around ATX share recipes, where best Vegan dishes in ATX are, and lots of other cool tibits!


[ Happy 2013 Green Halloween…. ]






Get ready for a ‘Green Halloween for 2013! Here are some tips that can help!


1.) Instead of buying a costume that will be worn once & thrown away, make costumes from old clothes & other items you have around the house. You can also get inexpensive costume materials from thrift stores or yard sales, or trade costumes with friends to get something “new” & different to wear. After Halloween, wash & store your costumes for use in subsequent years, trade with friends, or donate the clothing from which they were made to day care centers, homeless shelters, or charities. Check out ‘National Costume Swap Day’!

2.) Use recycled & recyclable materials to create your Halloween decorations. Bed sheets hung from the ceiling or tree branches make great ghosts & can be taken down, laundered, & returned to the linen closet when Halloween is over. Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day. Doing so will not only save energy, but will also help your lights last longer. Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store & reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays.

3.) Host a Halloween party that features organic, locally grown pumpkins for carving, apples for bobbing, & other pesticide-free, locally grown foods appropriate to the holiday & the harvest season. Set the table with cloth napkins & reusable dishes, glasses, & silverware. Consider renting more formal tableware that you might not use very often.

4.) Once the jack-o-lanterns have been carved & the games have ended, apples & pumpkins can be used in pies, muffins, soups, or other dishes. You can also roast pumpkin seeds & serve them to your guests.

5.) If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps, & other organic, biodegradable yard & household waste.

6.) When your little ghosts & goblins go trick-or-treating, make sure they carry reusable bags or containers that don’t need to be discarded after they are used. Cloth or canvas shopping bags, or even pillowcases, make terrific eco-friendly alternatives to paper or plastic bags, or to the molded plastic jack-o-lanterns many kids use to collect candy.

7.) When the neighborhood ghouls show up, give them treats that also treat the environment gently. There is a growing variety of eco-friendly candy—from organic chocolate to organic lollipops—available online and from local organic groceries, health food stores, or consumer cooperatives. Choose treats that use little or no packaging. Whenever possible, buy locally produced treats from local merchants.

8.) Rather than drive to other neighborhoods, stick close to home this Halloween & walk from house to house to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution. If you are attending a party, use public transportation or ride your bicycle. If traveling by car is really the only way to join in Halloween fun, try carpooling.

9.) Teach your children to keep candy wrappers in their bags until they return home, or to dispose of them in trash cans along their route. Preventing candy wrappers from becoming Halloween litter on the street is the right way to treat the environment. Take along an extra bag when you take the kids out treat-or-treating, and pick up litter along the way to help clean up the neighborhood.


More Green Halloween tips/ideas:

National Costume Swap Day!  Most do it on Saturday, October 12th. Instead of buying new costumes, you can swap with others. It’s new to you, and is a great way to celebrate a Green Halloween. If you can’t find one in your area, start one! J

*Halloween Candy/treat ideas click here!

*More ways to celebrate a Green Halloween here







ACL Music Festival kicks off  this Friday (10/4) through Sunday (10/6) and the following weekend Friday (10/11) through Sunday (10/13).  ACL also cares.  There are many charities being helped thanks to the ACL Music Festival and those who attend.  From Mama Earth Friendly caused w/ ‘Shared Earth & ‘The nature Conservacy’, to HAAM and more. Click hereto find out more!

This is the 1st year ACL Music Fest is two weekends, which is double the fun, but also means double or more the mess when it comes to trash, waste and more that builds up over the time of the festival.  If you are going, please be nice to MAMA EARTH.  Remember to ‘ROCK & RECYCLE’ Click here for more ACL GREEN TIPS to do during the festival. Keep ATX Beautiful and Mama Earth Happy!  Be sure to share the ‘GREEN WORD’!


(Update 10/2/13) ACL Music Festival pays for improvements for ATX Parks.. They pay millions! Click here!


[ Climate Change Action Could Save 500,000 Lives Annually, Study Says ]

Global action to curb climate change could save 500,000 lives annually, far outweighing the projected cost of reducing fossil fuel emissions, a new study says.


[ Friday mystery photo ]

Craters of the Moon National Wilderness Area is located and Idaho, and is comprised of 43,234 acres of unique and otherworldly wilderness. 



[ The Wilderness Society applauds the extension of Secure Rural Schools program ]

Emily Diamond-Falk

Statement from Alan Rowsome at The Wilderness Society

The following statement is from Alan Rowsome, senior director of government relations for lands at The Wilderness Society:


[ Sunday, September 29th is National Coffee Day! ]

ATX MugShannon sent me the heads up about Sunday… National Coffee Day.  She sent me some Green Tips to celebrate the day and also make Mama Earth Happy. I also ran into some freebies you can look into grabbing from Starbucks to Dunkin Donuts! Click here!

The National Coffee Association’s 2013 survey of National Coffee Drinking Trends revealed that 83 percent of Americans drink coffee regularly.That averages to three cups a day per person, or 587 million cups, making the U.S. the world’s biggest coffee guzzler.

You can keep it Green on Sunday by trying some of these tips! Enjoy!

1.) Ditch the paper cup: Fifty-eight billion paper cups are thrown away each year… Grab a reusable cup.  Many places give you a bit of a discount for using one. Starbucks gives you .10 off a drink. Every little bit helps us and Mama Earth

2.) Forget paper filters: As  long as you’re abandoning paper cups, why not forego paper filters, too? Instead  of a traditional coffee pot, consider buying a French press, which doesn’t  require a filter.  It’s also cheaper and makes more flavorful drinks. A reusable  mesh filter is an option for those who already brew their Joe in a pot. Linda Green Homes offers an array of reusable filters for the  gamut of coffee brewer brands.

3.) Look for socially and environmentally responsible labeling: Next time you refill on coffee beans, make sure you choose bags bearing the following labels:

USDA organic     Fair trade     Shade-grown  

4.)Buy from roasters who participate in farm assist programs: Support roasters who go the extra mile by providing grants and assistance to help farmers fund the costly certification procedure. Check their websites, which often prominently publicize this information.

5.) Choose Arabica beans:  Unlike Arabica beans, Robusta beans thrive in the sun and therefore tend to have  higher yields. That means growing Robusta often requires deforestation.

6.) Prepare to dish some dollars: Cheap coffee might make less of a dent in your wallet, but the same can’t necessarily be said of its effects on farmers or the environment, which often take the brunt of the cost in the form of exploitation and deforestation to keep prices low. Shoulder some of the financial burden, and avoid buying coffee from convenience store chains, fast-food restaurants, and other inexpensive outlets.

7.) Compost coffee grounds: Get  the most out of your coffee—even after you’ve downed it. They work great for gardens.

Do you have a  green coffee tip you do that hasn’t been mentioned?  Share it!



[ Conservation organizations partner on DC service project to celebrate National Public Lands Day ]

Emily Diamond-Falk

The Wilderness Society and the Rock Creek Conservancy volunteer in local Washington park