Archive for the ‘wiki’ Category

Tipping the Planet

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
I’ve often said that the environmental movement needs convenient actions, not inconvenient truths. Said differently, many of us have a sincere ‘will’ to change our planet, but are not not sure of the most effective ‘way’ to do so. When you couple this with the environmental preachers out there, who are quick to chastise us – it’s not surprising that there is a sense of apathy. The more ardent campaigners find it hard to understand why the majority of us are not more environmentally contentious – yet for most of us, environmental conscientiousness competes against a plethora of other forces within our daily lives.
In addition, there is often disagreement about how one should act. If we try to be green, yet we’re still criticized, it can lead to people giving up trying, rather than trying harder. If we hear rumours that hybrid vehicles are actually less efficient, because of the dangerous chemicals in their batteries, or the increased energy consumed to build them – whether this is true or not – it can lead to a sense of hopelessness. If we’re told that we shouldn’t fly, yet we have family or work abroad, it often merely serves to make people give up trying, rather than flying.
Rather than making us feel guilty about what we’re not doing, it’s important to make going green easy, even easier. We need to uncover and promote actions and activities that are convenient. We need to find out which airlines are the greenest, and try to fly with them, or put pressure on those that aren’t to change. We need to make flying green, rather than telling people they can’t. We need to determine which cars are the best to drive, the cheapest to run AND the best environment. Only when it works for consumers, will we see real change.
Ignorance often stands in the way of people’s desire to do ‘the right thing’, or prevents people from realising how simple it is to make small beneficial changes to one’s life.

With this in mind, I want to draw your attention to Tip the Planet. Started a few years back, I wanted to create a user-generated central place where people could put tips and more information about environmental issues and actions. Since then, I’ve hardly touched the site and yet more and more people have started to edit the site. For example, someone who wanted to share their knowledge, went wild on the ‘air-dry washing‘ page, and suddenly we’re number one in google. Although the pages don’t look pretty, every time I go back to an edited page, I discover that someone else has added a link to a new site, or a piece of information. In time, and through the power of wiki technology, the information will get better and better. If one person shares a tip they’ve uncovered which proves convenient and a thousand people implement it, suddenly we’ll start to see change occur on a bigger and bigger scale.

So, if you’re looking for solutions rather than problems, or want to share your experiences, take a look and help spread those conveniences, rather than lament the inconveniences.

Drinking Responsibly

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
In the summer when the temperature rises everyone, quite naturally, is a little thirstier. Adding a slight twist to the phrase “drink responsibly” here are some easy ways to quench your thirst the green way:
H20 – Drinking plenty of plain water every day (the recommendation is that you try to drink at least 8 glasses a day) is great for you but those plastic water bottles are terrible for the environment. If you really cannot bear to drink the water straight from the tap invest in a water filter, either one that affixes to the faucet or a pitcher with a filter and then fill up a reusable canteen with the water you need to get through the day. Not only will you be helping to save a little space in the landfills but you will save yourself money as well.  More great water tips
Beer and Wine – When it comes to the hard stuff there are more and more organic wines and beers coming onto the market every day or alternately you could try your hand at actually making your own. Homemade wine, made with local fruits of course, can taste every bit as good as the stuff you find at the store and wine making is a more interesting hobby to list on your social networking profile than say, watching TV. If you aren’t up to brewing your own beer at least try to support your local brewery and then recycle the cans or bottles whenever you can. More alcohol tips
Hot Beverages – Just because its summer does not mean anyone gives up their morning coffee or tea. If you are a tea drinker only fill your kettle with the amount of water you actually need and think about reusing your tea bags. Coffee addicts should give up that expensive Starbucks habit and invest in a thermos and a pound of gourmet fair trade coffee to brew at home (and even after that expense you will still be saving money. –  More beverage tips
Have more drink tips we missed here?

Or, if you have too much beer, here are some alternative uses

Going Green for the Summer

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
Summer is here and most of us will be spending plenty of time outdoors, so it only makes sense that people ‘should’ be thinking greener than ever. Here are some great ways that you can enjoy the lazy, hazy days of summer while still doing your part to keep Mother Nature happy:
Clever Cooling – As soon as the temperature begins to heat up its tempting to blast the AC day and night. It does not have to be that way though. No one is suggesting that you have to give up your air conditioner completely but by following some of Tip the Planet’s clever cooling tips, you can save money and stay chill all season long. For instance, did you know that by installing light-colored awning s some studies report that you can reduce heat gain in your home by up to 77 percent?!
Buy Local – Planning a couple of cookouts this summer? Help the environment and your local economy by seeking out local foods to throw on the grill whenever possible. Tip the Planet has some wonderful tips for getting the best bang for your buck when buying local produce.
Be Nice at the Beach – We all enjoy a great day at the beach. And that is the way it should be, but pollution caused by careless humans makes a trip to some beaches a not so pleasant experience. It is every individual’s responsibility to keep the beaches clean and safe for everyone to enjoy for years to come. This means doing a little more than just remembering to take your empty cans, bottles and dirty diapers home with you (although all of those things are a great place to start).
Before you head out for your next day of sand, sea and fun make sure you read Tip the Planet’s beach environment tips to learn more about what you can do to help preserve the summer fun for us all.
Relax Responsibly – Need new patio chairs? Deck furniture looking a little the worse for wear? Before you head out for the local home store or the nearest Wal-Mart check out Tip the Planet’s guide to choosing environmentally friendly furniture that can help you relax responsibly without having to sacrifice style or comfort.
Tip the Planet is the fastest growing green wiki on the Net. Have a great green summer tip to share? Add it to Tip the Planet and help educate us all.

Preventing Oil Spills

Monday, May 31st, 2010
What can be Done to Prevent Future Oil Spills?

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has once more brought the issue of the dangers of offshore oil drilling, both to humans and to the environment in general, back into sharp focus. The effort to even stem the flow of oil from the sunken rig involved a number of different measures from the slightly strange – trying to mop up oil with tonnes of hair donated by barbers from all around the world- to massive and somewhat untested measures like the “top kill “procedure set into motion by BP on Wednesday May 26th, 2010.
Whatever the end result of the efforts, there will still be massive damage done to the ecosystems in the areas affected by the spill. Perhaps the hardest hit will be the delicate coastal areas around Louisiana which were only just beginning to bounce back from the damage Mother Nature inflicted upon them during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
However given that this far from the first devastating oil spill to wreak havoc on the world’s waters what else should be done to prevent these incidents from ever occurring at all?
Many environmentalists suggest that offshore drilling should be slowed and that companies like BP and Exxon should shift more of their focus to developing alternative energy sources. They encourage people to cut their own consumption of fossil fuels by driving less or trading in their older vehicles for more energy efficient models and taking advantage of the alternative energy supplies being offered by many local electricity companies.
As they have after previous oil spill accidents the US Government will of course launch inquiries into what went wrong in the Gulf of Mexico and it is also probable that once the finger pointing between the companies involved in the latest incident has died down they will no doubt make a great many promises about making greater efforts to be environmentally conscious (as they have in the past) However it may just be up to the man in street to help prevent another oil spill from occurring by consuming less fossil fuels in their everyday lives, reducing the need for offshore drilling at all.
To learn more about the devastation caused by an oil spill and how you can help visit Tip the Planet , a leading green wiki

Beyond Petroleum Spills?

Monday, May 31st, 2010
British Petroleum and the Environment

British Petroleum (BP) has once again been very much in the headlines recently as they struggled to contain an oil spill from a rig the company had been leasing in the Gulf of Mexico.
Early reports seemed to indicate that perhaps a lack of maintenance on the rig was a problem and it is true that the blowout preventer, a series of valves designed to shut off any oil leak did not function correctly, part of the reason that the flow of oil was so difficult to halt.
BP is currently the third largest global energy company and unfortunately in the past doesn’t have a flawless record. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident, in which 11 lives were lost when the rig exploded and ultimately sank into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, is not the first time the company has been involved in an oil spill. In Prudoe Bay, Alaska in 2006 the company had to halt operations when corrosion in offshoot pipelines caused over one million liters of oil to spill into Alaska’s North Slope.
That incident came unfortunately only a year after an explosion had rocked the company’s largest refinery in Texas, resulting in the deaths of 15 people and forcing a town to come to a practical halt for several days.
Despite a shakeup in 2007 under a new management team and several forays into alternative energy projects British Petroleum still takes a lot of heat from environmentalists. The company has been accused on many occasions of “greenwashing” – the practice of trying to look like one is making environmentally conscious efforts and innovations but failing.
BP have made some green gains however. They are now one of the largest generators of wind power in the world and have made large inroads into the solar power business. However, in the aftermath of yet another environmental disasdter they still have a long way to go.
To learn more about BP and its’ environmental record visit Tip the Planet, the internet’s fastest growing green wiki.