A story of survival and hope – the Survival Pear Tree at the World Trade Center


Survivor Pear Tree at ground zero World Trade Center

On this anniversary of 9/11, it’s important to remember not only those we lost that day but also the stories of hope and inspiration. Such is the story of the pear tree that remarkably survived in the rubble after the World Trade Center towers came down.

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10 National Parks (areas) you haven’t heard about

Lake Kuzitrin, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska. Photo credit: National Park Service

Lake Kuzitrin, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska. Photo credit: National Park Service

Editor’s Note:  I came across this article earlier today. As a Nature lover, I was surprised to learn about these national treasures. Perhaps if we know of them we can appreciate them more.

Of the 401 parks managed by the National Park Service, there are definitely some fan favorites—the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite. Each year nearly 275 million visitors flock overwhelmingly to the big names on the NPS list.

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New book sets history straight on Kennedy murder

JFK book photoCertain events define generations and nations. Many remember where they were when these events occurred – when the astronauts first stepped on the moon, for instance. But almost everyone who was over the age of 8 or so recalls all too vividly where they were when they heard that President John F. Kennedy was shot.

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Cast your vote for our National Parks

Natl. Pks Conservation Assn. logoThe National Parks Conservation Association is finalizing its new 16-month calendar. But the choice for its cover is still undecided.

They’ve narrowed it down to the final four. Take a moment to check it out, then cast your vote for your favorite. Anyone can vote. It’s a fun way to support these wonderful national treasures. And it’s easy!

Grave Matters brings helpful green alternatives to modern burial

Grave Matters offers tasteful green alternatives to traditional burials

Two things in life are certain – death and taxes.

Death’s a subject rarely discussed unless one is forced to. Whatever the reason, death and burials are mired with grief, strained coping abilities and a myriad of details to deal with.

With a mind-numbing cost upwards of $10,000. traditional funerals and burials are generally left to funeral homes to manage. But this fairly new impersonal tradition is changing.

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Think Solar Day on Sunday

Solar Day celebrates the benefits and importance of all things solar.

Solar Day celebrates the benefits and importance of all things solar.

Father’s Day is two holidays in one. The first annual Solar Day – a day promoting the benefits of solar energy – is taking place in some of the country’s top metropolitan cities.

John Reed, a San Francisco Bay area business man who’s brainchild this was, sees this as a way to recognize that we have control over our home and business energy, even if we can’t control the oil and gas companies.

For more details on Solar Day, see www.solarday.com.

Let’s make June 21st an annual Solar Day around the globe.

Six Flags plans to cut waste, protect ecosystems

Six Flags announced their company-wide Green Initiative, with plans to cut waste, reduce fuel and electricity use and protect the watersheds and ecosystems across theme park and water parks.

The theme park giant is creating groundbreaking pilot program at four parks. Vehicles and trains currently running on diesel will be converted to vegetable oil generated in Park kitchens. Lighting will shift to LED lamps and park lights, reducing green house gas emissions from electricity consumption.

Six Flags also plans to further recycling and waste reduction efforts. Partnering with Coca-Cola, they’re already placed over 3,000 recycle bins in all twenty Six Flags parks in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

“Six Flags is taking aggressive steps to help protect and preserve the environment for future generations,” said Mark Shapiro, Six Flags President and CEO.

For more details, see http://3.ly/3JC.

A fascinating use of Ethanol

bankWith the introduction and growing marketing of ethanol, the loss of food corn created food shortages around the globe.

The FlameDisk Charcoal (grilling) Alternative is fueled by solid ethanol
The FlameDisk Charcoal (grilling) Alternative is fueled by solid ethanol

Regardless of this, new ethanol-based products are coming to market that manufacturers hope consumers will go wild about.  In time for hot summer days and family cook-outs, uGo has reintroduced their FlameDisk Charcoal Alternative

With claims of being environmentally-friendly, the FlameDisk boasts it will reduce carbon monoxide output by 99% and deliver 91 percent lower VOC. It’s recyclable packaging is also aimed at reducing waste.

According to Sierra Magazine,  on July 4th, Americans in the US will burn enough charcoal to power 20,000 households for one year. uGo boasts that the Flame Disk is faster, easier and cleaner than wood or charcoal burning methods and won’t alter the taste of our favorite foods.

Available online and at national hardware stores, this sounds like a cool alternative. BUT considering the product’s source (food corn diverted to make ethanol for recreational use), plus the fact that 4 ethanol production plants just filed for bankruptcy, perhaps we need to find another alternative.

Kleenex – their Non-Sustainable Logging Practices

Softness is nice but not at the expense of our old growth forests. Kimberly-Clark, makers of Kleenex, is purported to still be harvesting wood from old growth forests, including the Boreal Forest, logging in areas containing trees 180 years old or more.

If this weren’t enough, Kimberly-Clark also purchases fiber from companies that both clear-cut and log in ecologically critical Canadian habitat.

Despite protests by K-C corporate about their sustainability practices, seems that “greenwashing” is alive and well. Cutting down old growth trees while saying you only use “100 percent recycled tree products” sounds suspiciously like a corporate game of “let’s see what the consumer will believe” or a sophisticated “shell” game.

The next time you buy tissues, remember that hype doesn’t mean it’s true.

A Cool Way to Recycle your Favorite Ride

Remember your favorite hot rod? Have an old “clunker” you love but your friends or family feels is an eyesore? Now there’s a way to keep that love alive in an earth-friendly way.

A 62 Ford Galaxie transforms into a unique coffee table

A 62 Ford Galaxie transforms into a unique coffee table

An enterprising Texan can turn “the love of your life” into furniture, even amazing art.  Joel Hester’s The Weld House in suburban Dallas specializes in creating handmade steel furniture from 20 year old cars and trucks. The end results are astonishing, beautiful and unique.

For details and pictures, see www.joelhester.com.