Manual The Complete Idiots Guide to Organic Living

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Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of information contained herein. For example, a printing code of shows that the first printing occurred in Note: This publication contains the opinions and ideas of its author. It is intended to provide helpful and informative material on the subject matter covered.

It is sold with the understanding that the author and publisher are not engaged in rendering professional services in the book. If the reader requires personal assistance or advice, a competent professional should be consulted. The author and publisher specifically disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which is incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents of this book.

The first step in dealing with a problem is to understand it. Our supply is limited, and we need to stop wasting it and begin protecting it today.

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Cosmetics are loaded with toxics that we can easily avoid. Yes, the Globe Is Warming Fixing Problems Roofing Choices for Energy Efficiency And Poultry? Maybe Not Chemicals in Fabrics, Furniture, and Paints Paul, Minnesota We only love what we understand. We only understand what we are taught. Stunned by the beauty of the universe seen in 3D from the window of his spacecraft, Mitchell has been studying life on Earth—and in the universe—since taking his trip in He shared his interesting insight with me.

To confront the excesses of our civilization, of nonrenewable resources and pollution, threats of garbage piling up and our oceans being polluted. The big problem is the fact that we in the western world are wed to our consumption patterns; that more is better and money is the only real value that can make you happy. We have to change our thinking pattern and our approach to this if we are to survive.

How many new automobiles do we need? How much is necessary to live a productive life?

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Money is not the source of our happiness. We know that happiness is an internal state—it is not brought about by material goods. We have to go back and find our internal state of our heart and mind and central well-being; that is where the answers really lie. We need to learn to live in harmony with nature as opposed to conquest.

We have to do it ourselves. We have to protect our environment and live in harmony with our environment. Sometimes the kids are far wiser than we are when it comes to knowing what needs to be done and getting started on the right path. This book is about helping all of us take those first steps toward a new, safer future, about breaking old habits and working together for the benefit of all. I hope this book helps make the difference we need to turn away from a global warming disaster and toward a healthier future. Cheers to you for looking this way! Learn how to reduce your carbon emissions.

All contribute to global warming and an unhealthy environment for your family. Enjoy seeing how many are changing their policies and practices for the better of all. Teaching children the importance of green living will help secure their future and so will your investments in green companies and projects.

These sidebars feature quotes from experts. Hazard These sidebars contain warnings about things not to do. Green Gamut To help with those mysterious words that come with the territory, we have these convenient boxes. These boxes contain news, facts, and statistics that might surprise you about the long-range effects of making the change to green living. We extend special thanks to Jim Motavalli. His next book, Naked in the Woods, is about Joseph Knowles, who disrobed in to prove he could live off the land in rural Maine.

Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark or service mark. Then we take a quick tour of the many things we can do today to arrest the rush toward global meltdown. The good news is that moving toward more sustainable energy and manufacturing policies will provide many healthful and happy benefits. Moreover, the climate situation on Earth has become so dire that we all must do what we can to stop the increasing warming trend and avert potential disaster.

This is what this book is about—making you aware of the role you play in this very important situation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC , an international group of scientists convened by the United Nations to study global warming and its effects, finally produced incontrovertible scientific support that global warming is happening and is the result of excessive carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The excess of CO2 is caused by human burning of fossil fuels: coal and oil. According to the reports released by the IPCC, more than 90 percent of scientists believe that global warming is causing the waters in the seas to be warmer. This in turn is causing an increase in extreme weather, such as heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, wildfires, and droughts.

As seas and land warm, more water is absorbed in cooling processes, leaving many areas dryer and contributing to drought. Air and water current patterns are changing because of temperature changes, which affect temperatures worldwide. NASA and U. The warmer oceans atmosphere, which is causing are also causing the polar ice caps to begin melting, changes in most natural systems such as seasons and life cycles and huge chunks of glaciers are breaking off into the of plants and animals with farsea at unprecedented levels.

As the ice melts, water reaching effects. People living near the poles are seeing significant changes already. When it happens, it will be the first ice-free summer in a million years. The permafrost the land soil which is a blend of sand and ice is melting so fast that whole chunks of land are washing into the sea. Also in the Pacific, residents of Papua New Guinea are the first peoples to be officially relocated from their homes as a result of saltwater intrusion.

In addition to shrinking shorelines, the salt water has covered springs that supply these people with fresh water. Saltwater intrusion refers to the Living without fresh water is impossible, so natural process whereby salt residents collect rainwater and store it for water encroaches on drieduse during the dry season, which is about up fresh water reservoirs and half the year. Many homes have sloping replaces the empty wells, aquiroofs designed to channel water into tanks fers, creeks, and so on with salt water.

This is a simple, workable solution to help capture diminishing supplies of fresh water. Polar bears have become a very visible creature suffering under conditions caused by warming air, land, and sea. The bears hunt for seals from icebergs floating in the sea; however, warmer waters and melting ice mean fewer platforms for hunting. So the bears have to swim farther distances in search of hunting grounds and food.

In the process, they lose considerable weight, approaching the point at which their bodies will not be able to reproduce. The combination of the lack of food for existing bears and decreased reproduction means yet another species faces extinction. The World Conservation Union reports a 17 percent decline in the polar bear population in the past decade and projects a 30 percent decline in the next 35 to 50 years.

Higher temperatures have given rise to parasites, diseases, and invasive bug infestations worldwide, overtaking whole species of native inhabitants, such as these bright tropical frogs. India is fighting an outbreak of tropical illnesses spread by mosquitoes, with more than a hundred dead from July to September in In Canada, beetle infestation, spurred by winters too warm to arrest the spread by freezing the insects, has destroyed millions of acres of pine trees. Canadian forestry scientists report an even higher increase in air temperature of 4 degrees Fahrenheit in their territory over the past century.

Gelbspan says during this century we can anticipate an additional increase in water temperature of 4 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and the Union of Concerned Scientists projects an increase in air temperature of 6 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit by unless new emission control measures are enacted now.

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The IPCC reports, released in segments beginning in January , confirmed that scientists are 90 percent certain that global warming is happening and that it is being caused by human activity, mostly by the burning of fossil fuels. Our factories, power supplies, home and auto fuels are all based on energy made from fossil fuels, and by burning coal and oil, we produce carbon emissions. Today, according to a report by Co-Op America, a nonprofit organization of green businesses dedicated to promoting a socially just and environmentally sustainable society, U.

Skeptics believe that the idea is a solution proposed by industry to try to keep coal-fired power plants in operation rather than encourage the development of clean renewable energies. Texas energy company TXU cancelled plans to build eight plants, dropping the proposed total to in the spring of If these plants are built, they will significantly increase carbon emissions and the effects of global warming.

Although some technologies to reduce the CO2 output from coal-fired power plants are underway, such as Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle IGCC and carbon sequestration, neither technology is sufficiently developed to be applied in these hundred-plus plants. And the power companies will not wait for the efficiency technology to catch up with them because our current federal regulations and subsidy programs make it very easy and attractive to push forward with plant development plans now, before government regulations change in favor of cleaner, more expensive technology.

The project, a joint effort by the U. Department of Energy and a consortium of coal and oil companies, will explore the feasibility of underground carbon storage. What if an earthquake opens the land where the CO2 is supposedly stored? Peabody has proposed plans to build a new coal-fired power plant in Illinois that will emit 25, tons of toxic pollution each year. Extreme weather causes other extremes as well. Jobs are lost; homes are lost; and the insurance industry is crippled by increasing claims.

In , the U. These costs, which are all passed along to government and the public, pose a grave threat to our economy. To protect this tremendous financial resource, representatives of this fossil fuel empire have been caught perpetuating false information about global warming, by using marketing, the media, and even scientists on the dole to spread misinformation designed to confuse the public about the relationship between burning fossil fuels and global warming.

Gelbspan reports that in , Western Fuels, a fossil fuel industry lobby group, launched a public relations campaign, recruiting three scientists who were among only a handful of global warming skeptics to vocally refute the prevailing climate science. The New York Times reported on April 26, , that a group of oil industry companies, acting with the lobbying group the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, D.

NASA scientist James Hansen made headlines in when he revealed that the federal government had attempted to suppress his studies indicating that global warming was underway. The attempt to dupe the public is not unlike the treachery perpetuated by the tobacco industry for as long as it could get away with it. Tobacco companies have been called into court and penalized for criminally misleading the public, with an estimated , deaths each year as a result of tobacco-related illnesses.

Other industrialized countries have been more forthcoming with their citizens, choosing not to stall scientific solutions in an effort to prolong profiting from the sale of oil and coal. More than nations—Australia and the United States being the only developed nations excluded—agreed to the Kyoto Protocol in , an international treaty agreement to reduce carbon and other emissions to 5 percent or below their levels by Although U.

President George W. Bush claimed while campaigning that he would ratify the agreement, he has refused to do so on the basis that it would hurt the American economy. Unfortunately, American citizens began to question whether global warming was a fact or theory, setting the stage for a massive push of high-consumption activities.

Government even mandated that the EPA close access to all files detailing scientific findings related to global warming. The move was written as a budget-cutting measure, but was implemented by the administration before the budget was even passed. Theologians know that this is a distortion of biblical teachings. Many Christians see the light. This heavy metal settles in water bodies, contaminating water and fish. Peabody Energy and other coal companies fight government regulation of mercury emissions, in spite of the fact that mercury is a known cause of autism and brain damage to developing fetuses and young children and, according to Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope, that one of every six women of childbearing age in the United States has unsafe Going Green levels of mercury in her blood.

Check with your congressmen and women about their voting records and campaign financial records. Find out who contributes to their campaign and whose interests they are representing. Production accidents spill 31, gallons of oil into U. Ross Gelbspan suggests what seems an obvious path to a solution to the global warming crisis: reinvest those public tax funds in percent clean and efficient renewable energy resources. The often repeated rhetoric that says wind and solar energies are not viable resources to help meet current energy needs is simply false. Most nations have discovered that an investment in clean, renewable energy pays off handsomely both environmentally and economically, and many power companies are actually poised to produce renewable energy.

The only thing holding the big energy companies back from fully developing their renewable resources is the lack of governmental regulation or mandate to do so. One company might do the right thing, but another company might choose to follow the short-term economic route. Even if we all sat in the dark and rode bicycles we would not reach that goal.

We need to change our fuel sources. We need laws that require utilities to only sell us renewable energy, laws that require carmakers to only sell us hybrid cars. More important than the emissions avoided by lifestyle changes, is the act of telling others about the issue. Yet our government, the representative of the people, is doing everything possible to perpetuate these two industries rather than moving beyond them to the alternative renewable energy resources which have been proven to offer a safer, clean future.

The only way to change this direction is for businesses to take the lead and do the responsible thing for the future of our children. Even the coal and oil companies could and would do this if properly motivated. The public needs to speak out and let these companies, and our political representatives, know that we want and need a clean, healthy future. The voice of the people and market demand for renewable energy products will be the force that turns the tide on global warming. X Global warming is caused by increasing emissions of carbon dioxide production from industry, energy production, and automobiles.

X As temperatures rise over the next century, many changes will take place—some dangerous for life on Earth. X We can make changes today that will dramatically limit the future damages from global warming. X We owe it to our children to reduce CO2 emissions now. But now that we understand why these changes are happening, the first step in preventing that disaster is to recognize the importance of our natural systems. Since television has become a mainstay in our homes, Americans watch an average of four hours per day, and in many homes the tube is on whether anyone is watching or not. With the exception of public broadcasting, every show is peppered with advertisements, each cleverly crafted to sell products.

Old stuff is carelessly discarded at curbside; perfectly good furniture and all types of goods are shipped off to the dump every day, where they add to the more than 10, landfills across the country. Landfills are the largest producer of the greenhouse gas methane although some dumps capture the gas and use it as fuel for operating the facility.

In addition to producing so much trash, production of all these consumer goods creates industrial waste and byproducts that pollute our air and water as well as our land. This approach to business puts constant, unending pressure on workers to run ever faster on their treadmills to try to keep up with escalating growth. In recent years, the rapid increase in gas prices has driven up the cost of pretty much everything else, from groceries to rent to healthcare and medications.

Increasing market value has caused property taxes to skyrocket, and increasing disasters have more than doubled many insurance costs. The cost of living for workers has not kept pace with salaries in our current economy. Is this the life we want? How much do we really need all that new stuff we hear about on TV and then rush out to buy on the weekend? How much time would that give back to us to use teaching our children the Golden Rule or working with them to build a hut in the yard for wild creatures?

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Think about what you really need and want—what you value most in your life—as you make decisions about your life and about going green. Our choices truly have the potential to change the very fabric of our lives. One consideration to help simplify our choices along the way is to think about the consequences of our actions and activities, not just for us and our neighbors, but for all living things.

Earth itself is a big living system, and all the living components work together to make the whole. The food chain you learned about in science class is a good example. From the single-celled paramecia to humans, the actions of one creature affect the others. We are an integrated system, but humans have separated themselves from the rest of the natural world in ways that harm both nature and people. We need to look at all living things with a newfound respect and remember that our survival depends on one another. Be a discerning reader, viewer, and consumer to get to the truth of the situation.

A Sierra Club report at www. The American Lung Association State of the Air report says that air pollution from burning coal and oil results in dirty air for more than half the nation—more than million Americans—and contributes to premature deaths. The National Center for Health Statistics says that 7 million children have asthma.

Dirty air harms everyone. An internal EPA analysis indicates that with tighter regulation of soot in the air we could save several thousand lives per year. Interestingly, only 2 of the 22 members on the EPA advisory panel suggested keeping the regulations at the same standard, one a former General Motors employee and the other a former member of the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology. It would seem that their views carried more weight than the rest of the committee. The soot particles emitted from power plants, industrial factories, and vehicles can cause asthma attacks, lung disease, and heart attacks.

The American Lung Association has asked Congress to stop giving favors to corporate polluters. Please remember that your vote counts! Scientists now believe that we could avoid many diseases if we consumed more than that each day. Engineering plans and industrial use have hijacked or contaminated their water supplies. This inadequate water supply is the cause of death for more than 5, children each day. Paper mills, chemical, industrial, and power plants flush rinse water laced with chemical effluent into rivers, streams, and the oceans in a process based on the faulty assumption that dilution will make the noxious elements disappear.

Nitrogen from fertilizer gets into water as does sewage from livestock—both huge problems resulting in widespread contamination. Many illnesses and three deaths were attributed to affected leafy greens because cattle waste had contaminated the river water used to irrigate crops farther down the channel. Green Gamut Some million tons of animal waste are produced at factory farms annually, and the waste is typically treated by pooling in lagoons, then being sprayed across land. Contaminants from the waste, which include pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and bacteria, commonly run into streams and groundwater supplies.

The EPA says that livestock waste has polluted 35, miles of rivers and groundwater in 17 states. An informed citizenry can correct political injustices. Red tide, an algal bloom occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, is thought to be caused by the nitrogen runoff from farms. For much of the year, red tide consumes the Gulf, killing fish and manatees and damaging the tourism trade that depends on beaches and fishing.

The lake is part of the Everglades water system that has been compromised by development and agriculture.

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  8. The waste produced by the farms is nitrogen rich, and that nitrogen runs into the lake, fertilizing algae, which grows unchecked, sucking the oxygen from the water and making it impossible for fish or other plants to live. The future of the entire South Florida region literally depends on resolving the water quality and quantity issues that continue to challenge scientists, the Army Corps of Engineers, water district management, agriculture and residential interests, and the Florida legislature. Simple solutions are available for saving Okeechobee, yet none are implemented because of so many competing interests.

    They could shut down the farms, such as by ending the subsidies made to the sugar growers as Hodding Carter III suggested in Stolen Water, Atria, , but politicians are in the pocket of the sugar farmers thanks to generous campaign contributions. They could convert the cattle waste to energy, preventing it from contaminating the lake and producing a local energy resource at the same time. This is a promising start. These complications prevent the movement toward solutions. Rains carry surface pollutants, such as fertilizers and pesticides on lawns or oil and other contaminants from streets and driveways, into the sewers and ultimately into lakes and streams.

    Going Green Protect groundwater by preventing polluted runoff from your yard: eliminate or reduce your use of lawn chemicals and block drains with filters to capture contaminants before they leave your property. Water treatment specialists told On Earth magazine in a Fall story that filtering processes are available but are too expensive to implement without assistance. However, it seems better to find ways to prevent the contamination in the first place. Ask your doctor if there might be some other solution to medical conditions besides taking drugs; perhaps consider switching to composting toilets and filtration systems that process effluent at the source, rather than moving it around and compiling it into huge public repositories.

    Scientists have noticed that the proportion of amphibians with female genitalia is increasing. Some males show signs of female hormones. The concern is that soon there will be only females—no males to help perpetuate these species. The situation of gender displacement in frogs is not insignificant.

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    These small creatures are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine—as they go, so may we in due time, unless we find a way to clean the waters of these hormone disruptors and other contaminants. Scientists have already detected a decline in male births proportionate to female births in industrialized countries over the past three decades, and there is also an increase in male birth defects, reproductive system disorders, testicular cancer, and low testosterone. These problems have been associated with hormone-disrupting chemical exposure through common pesticides and agricultural chemicals, plastics, and household products such as shampoo and soap as well as pharmaceutical contamination of waterways.

    The theory is that the water will remain unchanged in the wells, and can be withdrawn for further treatment and use when needed. Unfortunately, these wells are leaking and their contents are contaminating groundwater supplies, lakes, rivers, and oceans. Yet the process continues to be offered as a viable solution for wastewater treatment. The process of digging into the stone aquifers—the natural underground water storage systems from where most public water supplies are drawn—fractures the limestone and other materials, causing cracks through which the water migrates out of their storage wells.

    Many micro-viruses from such waste in water pass undetected through traditional filtering and treatment systems. For your home water supply, consider installing a reverse-osmosis water filtering system or a carbon-activated filter. Metal pipes may rust or otherwise degrade, possibly leaching metals into the water supply as it makes its way from a water treatment plant to your home.

    Lead pipes leach lead into water supplies, and pipes made from polyvinyl chloride PVC , a material used in recent years, may leach toxic chemicals into your water supply as well. A]WZ Soil is essential to us because it provides nourishment for the foods we eat. If the soil is contaminated or lacks nutrients, it will affect the quality of food it produces. Endocrinologist Candace Pert states that we now know that chemicals in our environment are a cause of many of our diseases, cancer in particular.

    Anthropologist Dr. Elizabeth Guillette has studied families exposed to agricultural chemicals over the past 30 years. She has documented developmental differences including I. Louis Guillette, Distinguished Professor of Zoology at the University of Florida, has found that amphibious life in Lake Apopka is showing signs of hormone disruption and gender disturbance, with males developing female genitalia.

    Other UF researchers in the area report an increased incidence of cancers and other diseases among farmers. The trend toward large manufacturing farms and away from small family farms has meant an increase in mechanized and chemicalized farming practices. Large factory farms raise fowl and livestock under conditions that some animal activists consider inhumane, and to use drugs to boost growth and production such as in dairy cows is common practice.

    Raising livestock is energy intensive and much more costly than raising grains and vegetables. He suggests reducing our meat consumption and moving toward vegetarianism as a compassionate means of increasing food production to address malnutrition, particularly in developing countries. But all this is changing. These large farms are big players in the political arena and wield great influence over laws and regulations governing farming. Therefore, to find that regulations favor these big corporate entities, while they may not be so attractive to small family farmers—or consumers—is not uncommon.

    The practice of dredging coal from under the surfaces of our mountain majesties devastates whole communities. The lack of forest cover causes floods that routinely wipe out mining communities, and the coal slurry left in local lakes and streams ruins water supplies.

    The Rainforest Action Network reports that we have already blown the tops off of mountains in the Appalachians and polluted more than 1, miles of waterways with mining debris. Which holler would God throw his waste into? For instance, a broken pipe at Hope Creek Plant in New Jersey allowed a steam leak that interfered with plant performance and safety in In another case, four workers died in an accident that occurred because corroded equipment caused a steam leak and malfunction at the Mihama plant in Japan in Also, the nuclear power plant at Indian Point in New York was shut down when a radioactive water leak was detected in October In March , groundwater surrounding the Braidwood nuclear power plant in Braceville, Illinois, was found to be laced with tritium, caused by a leaking storage tank.

    Also in , a lawsuit against a power plant in Florida was dismissed by a judge who refused to hear testimony suggesting a link between dozens of area childhood cancers to the leak of radioactive wastewater inadvertently poured down a plant sink that drained to a municipal dump until it was detected. Such incidents are routine in U. There is a push to build up to 30 new nuclear plants while regulations are particularly favorable to the industry, but the track record of these plants does not support such an investment. The U. But is nuclear power a safe solution to our oil addiction? The Union of Concerned Scientists has issued a report stating that in the past 41 years of nuclear Hazard power plant operations, 51 plants have had to be shut Nearly 3 million Americans down for one year or more because of functional live within 10 miles of problems.

    These plants have been found to leak lowan operating nuclear power level radiation into their surrounding communities, plant … The potential danger but often the level is not reported because it falls from an accident is exposure below the safety limit set by the Nuclear Regulatory to radiation from the Federal Commission NRC. Because many scientists feel Emergency Management Agency. A version of the Precautionary Principle was passed as law in Europe and should go into effect sometime in This concept should be one of our first methods applied as we seek to find alternative sources of energy and more environmentally friendly ways of life for a healthier future for our children and theirs.

    X Our Earth is under siege from current industrial and agricultural practices. X Many of our energy-generating activities and other industries damage our natu- ral resources. X We can help protect our natural resources by preventing contamination of air, soil, and water. X This is the framework of our task to begin living in harmony. What does it mean? A material is considered sustainable if it can be created or harvested and used without harming the environment, if it is renewable so its supplies will not be wholly depleted, and if its afterlife does not contribute to the waste stream.

    Another definition of sustainability is the ability to meet our needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs The World Watch Institute. Renewable means sustainable— we can replenish supplies of the resource as we use it. Our Earth was designed as a sustainable system. Each form of life has its own resources necessary to survive. People, for example, can survive by eating plants, drinking water, and breathing air. When we die, our bodies decompose into the earth, fertilizing the ground so that more sustaining plants can grow and provide a healthy resource for another generation of the species.

    The common business model for the past years has been that natural resources feed into the economy. Oil, coal, grains, and agricultural products, even water, are all used to create saleable products.

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    But often, the process from raw material to finished product creates some unpleasant by-products—pollution—which go back to the environment. So the model has been to take from the environment and put back only waste. We have reached the point where our environment can no longer continue to provide raw materials for our production of goods. We have created an unsustainable system, and now it is time for us to create systems that take less from the environment and give back to it or nourish it as we go along so that we can leave a healthy foundation for future generations.

    Here are a few examples that give you an idea of what needs to be considered when determining sustainability. Some types of wood are considered a sustainable resource because new supplies can be grown quickly without environmental damage or quality compromise. Rainforests are filled with hardwoods that are endangered by development, timbering, and destruction by locals desperate to make a few dollars by selling charcoal made from burned forest wood.

    The embodied energy required to move materials raises the environmental costs considerably when transportation costs, fuel spent, and pollution created are taken into consideration. A sink is something that absorbs greenhouse gases naturally, helping to maintain a healthy atmospheric balance on Earth.

    Forests serve as a natural sink for CO2 because trees process the CO2 into oxygen through photosynthesis; however, our diminishing forests mean less natural neutralization of atmospheric CO2. Embodied energy refers to the energy that goes into the manufacture and transportation of a commodity during its productive life. Combustion of these products produces one of the most dangerous pollutants in the atmosphere, CO2, the major contributor to global warming.

    Procurement of petroleum products is dangerous in that it can lead to war or be a factor in it, and mining for it is damaging to the earth and surrounding environment, such as with oil wells and coal mining. Besides fuel, other products derived from petroleum, including nonbiodegradable plastics and carcinogenic synthetic chemicals, have lasting negative effects on the! So whether we get chemical and coal companies to stop using fossil fuels or not, sooner or later they will be forced to find alternative solutions.

    The current problem is that we need to turn around on the path toward destruction by reducing our emissions of CO2 by 70 percent within 10 years to avoid a catastrophic climate crisis, according to an accepted scientific analysis presented in a report from the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction, a governmental agency of the United Kingdom see Appendix B. Their use does not produce any pollutants or emissions nor any byproducts that require mitigation.

    Water was originally a sustainable resource, taken in by various life forms including plants, animals, and people, then excreted back to the soil as urinary waste, filtered through the ground, plants, soil, and sediments, before feeding back into the groundwater systems as fresh water. Industries have corrupted this system by the huge overuse of water which then, partially treated, is dumped as wastewater directly back into our creeks and oceans.

    The unfiltered pollutants kill sea life and plants and migrate back into the groundwater and the public drinking supplies. Nearly all of our waterways today are contaminated with some level of pollutants. Our bodies are saturated with synthetic chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens and endocrine disrupters, which pose health risks including irreversible damage to developing brains and bodies. Green Gamut A landmark study conducted by the Environmental Working Group EWG , called Body Burden, examined placental fluid of 10 infants, finding an average of industrial chemicals in each sample, including known carcinogens, known as toxic to neurological and nervous systems, and known to cause birth defects or abnormal development.

    No studies have been done so no one knows yet, but the rise of diseases and disorders in the twentieth century could be a huge clue. Furthermore, if synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers are used on crops, they pollute the ground, groundwater, and runoff water, affecting ecosystems far afield from application.

    Going Green We need to let these companies know that we— consumers and buyers of their products—want sustainable products now. As they say, votes made with your pocketbook are the most effective. Smart homeowners and corporations are implementing energy-efficient! Bush have implemented many environmentally friendly practices at their 1,acre ranch in Crawford, Texas, where they plan to retire. They recycle rain runoff and wastewater for use in irrigating their lawn, which is planted with wildflowers and native grasses that are accustomed to Texas heat and periods of drought. They have a geothermal heating system that warms and cools the home using underground temperatures.

    A corn-burning stove in the kitchen fills the twostory bungalow with heat, and biodiesel fuel produced by soy beans fuels a radiant floor heating system as well as the family cars. Bill is an architect and designer who creates eco- and spiritually friendly homes and buildings worldwide with his company Helicon Works. The company says that there is already enough wind energy produced in just three states to provide adequate electricity for our entire nation. Architect Bill Hutchins used straw bale construction in his home in Takoma, Maryland.

    Photo by Angie Seckinger, Courtesy www. Many power companies provide customers the option of paying a few dollars extra per month to support wind or other renewable resources. The power company invests funds collected in research and development of wind or other renewable energy, so the buyer is helping to support the development of renewable energy. Sloane and Roland Muench decided to convert their oceanfront home in the Florida Keys to solar when they retired there in John Nettles of Nettles Electric installed photovoltaic cells on their flat roof that collect enough energy even to run their air conditioning system, an unusual feat for Photovoltaic cells are solar energy the time.

    Muench, a retired physician from collectors that can be placed on Washington, D. New techwhere solar power was much more prevalent. Muench says they were amazed to disand buildings to a municipal cover that even the stars and moon generate power source. Photovoltaic cells on the roof provide power with backup generators ; a cistern collects water; and all systems are designed to conserve natural resources.

    The home, built by Deborah and Jim Davidson as the perfect tropical getaway, rents by the week with boats and water toys and even music piped out to the private beach. The wind and sun power Solar Village homes, built with nontoxic sustainable materials such as solid wood cabinets and granite countertops, were laid out in a design to encourage pedestrian traffic and reduce the need for vehicles. Nearly 1, houses, each a shade of Palm Beach peach, sit in various configurations.

    Some are stacked like cracker boxes; some have slices of green between them; others are surrounded by grand expanses of mature trees and natural-looking wetlands. A lake sits amidst the new construction, giving the place that Florida stamp of appeal. From above, Evergrene no doubt looks just like all the other puzzlelike pieces of urban sprawl, eating into the wilderness faster than anyone can stop it.

    A dozen homebuyers, to be exact, of the homes in the community elected to invest in energy-saving upgrades such as high-efficiency air conditioning systems, low-flow showers and toilets, and ultra-effective blown-in insulation. See Chapter 5 for more on these and other home-based energy-saving ideas.

    Trish Riley WCI, a mainstream production builder, is a publicly traded firm that has more than 50 new communities for sale and has built homes and high-rises for more than , people over its year history. The yard, certified as native by the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods program, features plants whose flowers attract butterflies and fragrant herbs instead of thirsty, pesticide-, fertilizer-, and herbicide-dependent turf.

    Sidewalks and driveways are made with pavers spaced slightly apart to allow water to drain back into the soil and aquifer instead of sewers water that washes oil-stained driveways is a major source of water pollution. Buyers have been drawn to innovations related to indoor air quality, like low VOC paints and formaldehyde-free floorings, which are more conducive to a healthy family environment; and to things that make a home more energy efficient, like ceiling fans, improved insulation, and Energy Star appliances read more about Energy Star in Chapter 5.

    In many cases ecoinnovations are visually indistinguishable from traditional choices. Nontoxic paints come in all the trendy colors; air filters and insulation are hidden from view; energy and water-saving appliances are sleek and modern and just as reliable as less-efficient models. Bamboo floorings are sexier than many kinds of traditional wood, and carpets made from recycled soda bottles are bright, durable, soft, and cushy just like traditional fibers.

    Evergrene includes a acre lake, and many old oak and mahogany trees on the property were moved to the perimeter of the development rather than razed in the development process. The builder has moved on to begin developing similar environmentally friendly communities in the northeast states of New York and New Jersey.

    Rebates and tax incentives help make green innovations easier to implement for homeowners. Green Building Council reports that there are about 5, LEEDregistered projects nationwide and in 12 other countries, and the National Association of Home Builders says its members reported building more than 61, green homes from —, calling the green revolution a quiet one, yet one of the most significant new developments in the housing industry. According to the Virginia Sustainable Building Network, new homes are twice as efficient as they were in , yet residential buildings account for about 20 percent of national energy use.

    Paul McRandle, home building specialist for the Green Guide, an ecofriendly e-newsletter, notes that subsidy programs encourage people to buy energy-efficient appliances, but although appliances are more efficient, manufacturers are making them larger, reducing the benefit. Green building projects may still be anomalies, but they are popping up across the country, with ecofriendly condos in New York City, housing communities in Minnesota, and in cites from Maine to California.

    Rampant growth and development driven by financial gain are often blamed for ecowaste and environmental damage. In a wry twist, maybe following the money will lead us to a healthier planet this time. X Water was originally a sustainable resource but is becoming increasingly polluted and unusable.

    X Some wood is sustainable, but hardwoods are an example of woods that can be considered unsustainable. X Energy production could be sustainable using renewable fuels, such as sunlight and wind. X Meat production is not sustainable because livestock use a relatively excessive amount of resources. But actually our efforts will be the very thing that makes the difference. As consumers, we set the pace of all markets. We can definitely trigger the change.

    Coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear power dominate the landscape, with just 10 percent coming from hydropower and 6 percent from the sun and wind. If you decide to save the earth, it will be saved. Each person can be as powerful as the most powerful person who ever lived—and that is you, if you love this planet. Most states offer incentives to homeowners who choose to use renewable energy, and several have passed renewable energy laws and regulations to support the development of renewable resources and limit production of greenhouse gases.

    And they spend big bucks to influence government officials, who in turn appoint them to public service commissions, which make the decisions about power resources available to citizens. The power industry has become one of the biggest businesses in the nation. Like all businesses, it has a profit orientation. Nuclear power plants may produce power without oil, but they also produce radioactive waste products—an unresolved issue. As of late , California, a proven leader when it comes to new technologies and ideas, generates 31 percent of its electricity from renewables.

    These energy resources such as solar, regulatory measures are seen by environwind, geothermal, hydro, and mental activist Ross Gelbspan as a critical biofuel power. From an economic standpoint, renewables are also promising. The Worldwatch report says that renewables create more jobs than fossil fuels for every dollar spent on energy production. Embassies around the world, as well as in private homes, apartment buildings, and hotels.

    Renewables are ready. They are proven, reliable, and off-the-shelf. We have the tools and the technology to begin the transition to the post-petroleum era. We need only the political will to use them. The equipment prevents tons of pollution and once it has paid for itself, it usually has years to run before repairs or replacement becomes necessary. Solar cells collect sunlight and convert it into electricity using DC power inverters that change the energy to AC power for household use.

    Florida Power and Light does not use solar energy as part of its power generation, in spite of the fact that the sun shines daily in the Sunshine State. Other companies are leading the way with solar technology, however, including British Petroleum BP Solar, which utilizes solar power to run some of its fossil fuel stations across the United States. Whole Foods Market, which became the largest company in the nation to offset percent of its electricity usage with wind power in , purchases its wind credits from Renewable Choice Energy.

    The American Wind Energy Association says that the cost of producing wind energy has dropped by 80 percent over the past 20 years, thanks to improved technology and increasing demand. Interestingly, FPL does not offer wind energy as an alternative to its Florida customers, except for those willing to pay a premium. Although wind power is much more widely developed in European countries, the United States may be catching up.

    In , we installed more wind turbines than any other country. Opponents of wind energy complain that wind turbines will disrupt their views, and groups have formed specifically to oppose wind turbines on mountain ridge lines. In some cases the wind turbines could generate more power if placed along mountain ridge lines, but the units seem sleek rather than unsightly, and certainly are more attractive than nuclear cooling towers or smokestacks from coal-fired power plants.

    Another oft-voiced concern is that wind turbines may kill birds. In some isolated incidents birds have hit turbines, but in most studies, the number of bird casualties did not compare significantly to other hazards facing the wild bird population. The Audubon Society estimates that 25, birds die from wind turbine collisions annually but compares that to more than million bird deaths from windows, wind shields, buildings, and power lines.

    The Audubon Society is working with the American Wind Energy Association to develop wind resources safely to protect birds and wildlife. Courtesy American Wind Energy Association Coal-fired power plants emit CO2 and particulate soot, which damages lung tissue and can cause death from respiratory illnesses and lung cancer. Unfortunately, dams do pose environmental problems for a number of reasons. When a dam and reservoir reduce water flow for electricity production, farming communities, wildlife, and terrain downstream suffer a reduction in water supply.

    Also, working against the forces of nature has proven dangerous time and again. When dams break, the communities that have established themselves in the dry areas where water once flowed are frequently flooded, as the water tends to go back to its original course. The floods in New Orleans when the dam around Lake Pontchartrain burst during Hurricane Katrina is a good example; another is when a dike around Lake Okeechobee burst, drowning thousands of people during the Labor Day Hurricane of So while hydropower provides a clean, renewable energy source, future development of more hydropower resources is not practical or advisable because of potential side effects of building dams.

    ‎The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Natural Soaps on Apple Books

    The fluid captures the warmth and carries it back to the house, where the heat pump draws the warmth from the water and uses it to heat the house. Installing a geothermal pump system can be expensive, but they save considerable money on energy costs, keeping building temperatures moderate in both winter and summer so that other sources of heating and cooling need be used only minimally.

    Already some biofuels are being used to power auto engines as well as homes with oil heating systems. Wood stoves have evolved into super-efficient options for space heating, and newer stoves burn dried corn kernels and pellets made from natural bio waste such as sawdust, wood chips, plant stalks, corn, and other grains. Pellets burn at very high temperatures, and pellet stoves produce high heat very efficiently. The downside of using a home stove for heat is that you must constantly maintain the stove and the fire and keep a supply of fuel, whether wood, corn, or pellets.

    Burning these materials produces emissions, including CO2, which contribute to global warming. Maintaining profit margins for hungry investor shareholders causes prices to rise, and maintaining regulatory controls for least expense to the power company means that a considerable amount of operating funds are spent on lobbyists to influence governmental regulators.

    Weaknesses in the existing grid system have been exposed when the system has shut down under duress. During the blackout of in the northeast, an overdemand of supply caused a power outage affecting 10 million people in Canada and 40 million in the United States. It was the largest blackout in North American history, lasting for two days throughout most of the region.

    During disasters, such as hurricanes, power outages can last for weeks because infrastructure systems of above-ground wires are vulnerable to destruction from storms. They are no longer dependent on municipal power supplies or systems to maintain power resources in their own homes and businesses. Solar and wind systems are both well suited to powering individual systems.

    Larry Sherwood of the Interstate Renewable Energy Council estimates that between 35, and 70, homes in the United States live off the grid and use solar power as their sole energy resource. This concept is known as net-metering, an innovation that 14, or more homes are practicing. When they proposed net-metering to the Florida Keys Co-Op, the utility needed to learn about the idea before they could approve it, but eventually a workable agreement was forged, and a few others have followed.

    Most states require fair payback systems so that if a home is producing more energy than it needs, it trades it back to the public utility at a one-for-one rate against its electricity use from the utility. This is called dual-metering. Growing pains are not uncommon when new procedures like net-metering come on the scene, but as the kinks get worked out, some innovations turn out to be win-win for all. X Solar, wind, water, geothermal, and biofuel power are better energy solutions than the traditional choices of coal, oil, gas, and nuclear power.

    X We can take charge of our own power needs and become independent of munici- pal networks. X Net-metering is the practice of a home generating its own power and sharing it with the community. X Some states require municipal power companies to compensate customers for power at the retail rate, while others pay only wholesale rates.

    We can also learn to conserve water more effectively and to reduce our contribution to the landfills—simple techniques and reformed habits all begin with the knowledge about what we need to do and why. Wholesome tips for a healthier you. Everyone knows that we should be doing more to be good to our body? This guide provides step-by-step information on everything from food to cleaning products to how to detoxify our bodies. It includes choosing quality natural products, exploring holistic alternatives to conventi Wholesome tips for a healthier you.

    It includes choosing quality natural products, exploring holistic alternatives to conventional medicine, and determining what to eat? Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Aug 14, Michelle rated it really liked it. I devoured this book, read it to my husband, and want to live more organically. My poor children will never see another Oreo again! Just kidding, it really is about noticing the chemicals we clean with, put on our skin and breathe. As a health-guru it was very interesting to me to know what specific chemicals do and how they are made and why they are added to our products.

    I do think many of our health problems are due to non-o who knew that chemicals are to blame for so many of our modern ills? I do think many of our health problems are due to non-organic living. This book is an excellent guide as to where to start. Jul 15, Kathy rated it really liked it.