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8 Ways to Reduce Light Pollution & Keep the Stars Twinkling

By Green Diva Meg thegreendivas.com
May 9, 2012
File under: Eco-Friendly Activities, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Concerns, Saving Money, Sustainable Practices, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Preservation

Until I interviewed the Dark Ranger (aka Kevin Poe), I hadn’t thought much about the seeming disappearance of the stars in the sky. I knew my suburban existence had something to do with not seeing as many stars as I remember as a kid, but I also figured I had romanticized that magical sparkly starry sky of my summer-camp days in the Berkshire mountains of Western Massachusetts. The other time I remember a fabulously star-filled sky was during a honeymoon trip to a pretty remote island – the tiki torches didn’t seem to diminish the twinkling of that night sky much at all.

 

Light Pollution’s Harmful Effects on Wildlife

Ecomii’s Eco-Ideas for the Outdoors

 

Kevin (who I kept calling Ken during our first interview – Sorry Ken, I mean Kevin! Public apology #2), is a park ranger in Mt. Zion National Park and has made it somewhat of a life’s mission to help illuminate (cute, right?) us about why we need to start paying attention to light pollution.

Sometimes terms like sky glowglarelight trespasslight clutter and over-illumination are used to describe excessive night light’s intrusion on a naturally dark sky. Here’s the International Dark Sky Association’s glossary of relevant terms about light pollution page. Also, if you want to see where light clusters around cities and towns are and what they look like from the sky, here’s a great interactive Google ‘night lights’ map that you can search for your own area and see how it looks from the night sky.

 

Save Money Room-by-Room by Greening your Home

Learn More about Daylighting and how it can Help you Conserve Energy

 

Good reasons to be concerned about light pollution:

Waste of Energy – Let’s face it, there is probably a lot of over-illuminating going on, especially here in the US, where we have an obsession with keeping the lights on all night. According to the International Dark Sky Association, we burn up a whopping 22,000 gigawatt-hours of useless light that is pointed up towards the sky! Their math has this at an estimated cost (in terms of money) of $2.2 billion a year. In terms of carbon footprint?

3.6 million tons of coal or 12.9 million barrels of oil is used
to generated this type of lost light

Ecosystems & Wildlife – While light pollution can disrupt elements of the ecosystem in subtle ways that may ultimately have lasting effects, it has a definite and negative impact on nocturnal animals. In general all animals (including humans) have a biological code that follows a circadian rhythm, which is just a inherent natural clock.
…read more of 8 Ways to Reduce Light Pollution & Keep the Stars Twinkling here

 
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Keep the Vampires Away and Reduce Home Energy Use

By Green Diva Meg thegreendivas.com
March 28, 2012
File under: Eco-Friendly Activities, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Concerns, Health, Home, Lifestyle, Sustainable Practices

Why Should We Care? by Green Diva Meg
These posts explore a myriad of topics relating to green, sustainable and healthy living and offer simple and clear information from the fun and quirky point of view of the Green Divas. Each post provides practical, no nonsense information on What Can We Do to make a difference.


Why Should We Care About Vampires? No Not the Twilight Kind, The Ones that Suck Energy Out of Our Homes?

Sometimes saving the planet really does start from home. We can make a difference in our home energy conservation without putting solar panels on our rooftops or installing windmills in the back yard. Here are some good reasons to consider paying more attention to how much electricity we not only use, but probably waste and some simple tips to help save energy, the environment and a few bucks on our electricity bills!

The Environmental Impact

  • According to The Environmental Defense Fund, 65% of pollution attributed to global warming (or climate change) comes from the generation of energy and its use.
  • Coal is the most common fuel for generating electricity in the United States.
  • In 2010, 45% of the Country’s nearly 4 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity used coal as its source of energy. [From EIA, the US Energy Information Administration]
  • 5 – 20% of our home electric bill comes from phantom or vampire electrical use, which usually comes from electronics that stay plugged in and draw electricity even when they are turned off.

 

Conserve Energy and Money with these Simple Tips

Learn More About Global Warming

 

So, What Can We Do?

…read more of Keep the Vampires Away and Reduce Home Energy Use here

 
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Ed Begley Jr Talks About Why We Should Care

By Green Diva Meg thegreendivas.com
February 22, 2012
File under: Culture, Eco-Friendly Activities, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Concerns, Family, Home, Lifestyle, Products, Recycling, Saving Money, Sustainable Practices

Why Should We Care? by Green Diva Meg
These posts explore a myriad of topics relating to green, sustainable and healthy living and offer simple and clear information from the fun and quirky point of view of the Green Divas. Each post provides practical, no nonsense information on What Can We Do to make a difference.

We had a ROCKIN show this past week! We had a film crew in the studio for the show to help us launch our new Why Should We Care campaign on the radio show and for a web video series. And as if that wasn’t enough fun, we got to talk to a few of our favorite Green Divas and Dudes about what they are up to and added some great ideas to our Why Should We Care campaign . . .

Why We Should Care
This week, we had two awesome call-ins for this segment:

First the beautiful Sarah Stavrou called in and talked about her design and textile company, Sarafine, and talked about why we should care about recycling. She recycles a lot of old cloth into pillows, jewelry and all kinds of beautiful pieces.

Then the always-fun and informative Ed Begley, Jr. called us and shared about his new project, On Begley Street and of course, his continued passion for finding better ways to live more sustainably. He shared some great thoughts on how easy AND economical it is to get started on the green living path.

…read more of Ed Begley Jr Talks About Why We Should Care here

 
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Why Not Choose Renewable Energy? It Is Easier Than You Think

By Green Diva Meg thegreendivas.com
February 1, 2012
File under: Energy Efficiency, Environmental Concerns

Why Should We Care? by Green Diva Meg
These posts explore a myriad of topics relating to green, sustainable and healthy living and offer simple and clear information from the fun and quirky point of view of the Green Divas. Each post provides practical, no nonsense information on What Can We Do to make a difference.

WHY SHOULD WE CARE . . .  ABOUT RENEWABLE ENERGY?


We hear a lot about “renewable energy.” We know it’s good for the environment, but do we really know what it is and how to get it? And if you are like me, you instantly envision solar panels on your roof and then get overwhelmed thinking about how to make it happen. Fortunately, there are a few ways for anyone who is hooked up to the current electrical grid to buy greener energy, and to my surprise, sometimes it is cheaper (but it really depends on what state you live in and what renewable options are available). Choosing green power could make significant impact on the environment, because electricity generation is the largest industrial polluter in the country. So what is renewable energy anyway?

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from naturally replenished resources like sunlight, wind, geothermal heat, tides, even rain.

About 16% of global energy consumption comes from renewables. This is exciting and encouraging, right? But what about the other 84%?

Non-renewable electricity generation currently produces:

  • About two-thirds of the annual U.S. emissions of sulfur dioxide, the main cause of acid rain and very small soot particles. These fine particles are believed to be responsible for the largest share of the 50,000-100,000 deaths caused by air pollution in the United States each year.
  • About 30 percent of the nitrogen oxide emissions, which stress forest ecosystems and combine with organic compounds in sunlight to form smog. High smog levels can also trigger heart and respiratory problems and contribute to air pollution deaths.
  • About 40 percent of the carbon dioxide emissions. This heat-trapping gas causes global warming, which may lead to increased droughts, flooding, disease, ecosystem disruption, and severe weather.
  • Toxic-metal emissions (such as mercury and lead) and nuclear waste.

[FROM: union of concerned scientists]

WHAT CAN WE DO?

Here are 3 low-stress options for buying renewable energy that don’t include putting solar panels on the roof of your home or building!

  • Green Pricing is an optional utility service for customers who want to help expand the production and distribution of renewable energy technologies. With green pricing, you do not have to change your electricity provider. Instead, customers choose to pay a premium on their electricity bill to cover the extra cost of purchasing clean, sustainable energy.
  • Green marketing is the sale of green power in competitive markets, where consumers have the option to choose from a variety of suppliers and service offerings, much like they can choose between long-distance telephone carriers. The key difference between green marketing and green pricing is that with green marketing, you are actually switching electricity providers.
  • Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs or sometimes “green tags”). A REC represents the environmental attributes or benefits of renewable electricity generation (usually one credit = one kilowatt-hour). RECs can be purchased in almost any quantity and are usually available from someone other than your electricity provider.

[from green-e, the a leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market]

certified Green-e renewable energy finder

Listen to the Green Diva’s Sleeping Naked is Green, 5-min segment on Buying Renewable Energy.

The Green Divas Radio Show, podcasts, audio vignettes and blog posts feature fun and low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green, while maintaining some comfort and style. Green Diva Meg, co-host Green Diva Lisa and sidekick, Green Dude Scott offer tons of easily accessible information and resources to help make the journey to a more sustainable world easier and a little more fun and entertaining. The radio show broadcasts live every Saturday morning from WMTR 1250 AM in Northern, NJ/NY Metro area, streaming live on WMTRam.com, or catch up on the podcast.

 

 
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6 Low-Stress Ways to be a Better Eco-Citizen in 2012

By Green Diva Meg thegreendivas.com
January 4, 2012
File under: Culture, Eco-Friendly Activities, Energy Efficiency, Environmental Concerns, Family, Food, Goals, Home, Lifestyle, Recycling, Saving Money, Stress Management, Transportation, Waste Reduction

 

GD Meg & Hubby Experiencing a California Sunset

Why Should We Care? by Green Diva Meg
These posts explore a myriad of topics relating to green, sustainable and healthy living and offer simple and clear information from the fun and quirky point of view of the Green Divas. Each post provides practical, no nonsense information on What Can We Do to make a difference.

 

This post isn’t exactly a “Why Should We Care.” It’s more “Hints on How To.” I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions, but my husband and I have gotten into an annual habit of reviewing the year that is passing and imagining the year ahead. While we prefer to dwell on the winning moments of the past, we take the time to focus on areas that could use some improvement and strategize ways to manifest better versions of ourselves in the coming year. Always keeping in mind advice from some wise friends – progress, not perfection.

Here are a few ways we will be improving our green diva (and green dude) status in 2012:

…read more of 6 Low-Stress Ways to be a Better Eco-Citizen in 2012 here

 
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