When you read “Getting the Green” maybe you assumed we were talking about cash?
Sorry for the ruse but it is #FunFriday so we thought we’d have a little fun. The only money to be had is the green that you might put in your pocket for saving on your energy use and the greening of the environment to help save our planet.
Today’s #FunFriday article wraps up a weeklong focus on ecology and the environmental advocacy of young Stella Bowles.
We celebrate the genius of history’s Ellen Swallow Richards, the first MIT female student and professor exemplifying ecofeminism.
To make this personal, we’ve tracked down a few interesting Apps and a really cool story about a small republic doing the unthinkable – quite literally “stamping out” environmental pollution.
Let’s start by crunching the numbers with an environmental footprint calculator. GreenFoot Carbon Footprint is one of a growing list of Apps for helping individuals and businesses identify and reduce their carbon effect on the planet. Wikipedia defines a carbon footprint as the total emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent.
The GreenFoot Carbon Footprint App measures human demand on nature expressing it as a single, easy-to-understand number. Essentially, you enter information about the size of your house, number of airline flights taken, your use of a car or motorcycle, number of flights, and then a laundry list of the general amount of money you spend on items ranging from food, clothes, computers, televisions, to banking, magazines, insurance, and recreation.
Reluctant to download another App on my phone, I visited the Global Footprint network online to test my carbon footprint. I was shocked at my embarrassing score and my results included suggestions like taking more public transit.
As someone who travels on a plane at least 30-40 weeks of the year, my footprint suggested my yearly allowable carbon use had exceeded the recommended amount just into March.
I failed miserably and if everyone lived as I did, we’d need six earth-planets to house the world’s population.
Carbon footprint measurements provide a comprehensive way to measure all of the human demands we make on our environment. To take the test, visit: http://www.footprintcalculator.org As humans, we put pressure on our planet’s resources and this effects everything we’d never imagine from wildlife populations to water shortages and climate change.
As businesses pop up with ingenious suggestions on how to help reduce the footprint on the earth, there are some easy ways to stop consuming plastic bottles and resources that contribute to environmental pollution. A friend recommended TAP, a super fun App that helps you to locate water bottle filling stations…“taps”.
There are a number of Apps that do this including Tap, Refill and TapIt Metro DC. If people made an extra effort to be more green in small ways, this would translate into bigger savings. Can you imagine if Apple or Google signed on to endorse go-green campaigns with their online platforms, encouraging individuals and businesses to save energy and reduce waste?
I must admit I love my new Tap App because I can scroll through the map to find filling stations that give me all kinds of choices from types of water (sparkling, filtered or flavored water) to the source (drinking fountain, counter service, or natural spring).
There are all kinds of amazing stories and even a news media platform called Green Matters. The website shares stories from around the globe about people, businesses and countries going green in all kinds of imaginative ways.
Their mission is to “bring awareness to global issues and solutions, hoping to inspire you to make simple changes to your daily habits and lifestyle.” One of the best lifestyle examples that stood out in their latest reports was Yards Brewing in Pennsylvania. It is entirely powered by wind and processes more than 100,000 gallons of wastewater daily, converting pollutants into renewable energy.
But the most compelling story is a small republic located in the Pacific between Japan and Australia. It’s like many small islands facing rising sea levels and expensive forms of energy and fuel that is purchased from mainland coasts or countries nearby.
“Palau is an archipelago that spans across 200 natural limestone and volcanic islands, and six months ago it made history becoming the first country to require tourists to sign an eco-pledge. The pledge is a stamp that tourists receive when they visit the island, stating that they will pledge to tread lightly and preserve to do their best.
Palau is an island of 20,000 residents that receives tourists that number 8x the island population. Because tourists can have a huge impact on the area, the government wants them to interact in conscious ways that protect and preserve the environment.
I took the Palau Pledge and so can you at PalauPledge.com. If you have time, visit Green Matters for some other neat stories on eco-friendly travel sites, food and drink recipes and stories that will impact your lifestyle habits. Have a great Friday and see you Sunday for WomanScape’s weekly editorial. Remember to connect with us on social media and subscribe for more great stories of women making history on our website.