Start your morning by reducing the trash that pollutes our watersheds!

Monday morning has closed in on us once again.  Although some of us are instantly wide-awake and others keep hitting that snooze button, there is something many of us, still in PJ’s, have in common.  Coffee.  And now, with our eyes barely open, we can easily get our morning cup o’ Joe without any hassle by using single-serve coffeemakers, like the Keurig machines.

Unfortunately, these machines are based on a single-use pod that’s thrown away after every cup.  More waste in our watersheds!  According to the non profit news organization Mother Jones, Green Mountain produced 8.3 billion “K-cups” in 2013.  That’s enough to wrap around the earth 10.5 times!  Scary, right?  Thankfully, other companies such as Greenway have organic, compostable coffee pods with netting around the coffee (think tea bag), instead of the larger plastic pods.  These little guys have the same great coffee and are better for the environment.

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2014/03/coffee-k-cups-green-mountain-polystyrene-plastic

 

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Canada:  British Columbia, Winlaw, Slocan River Valley

NWNL Pointers on Stayin’ COOL

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Sparked by a blog by John Cronin, Hudson Riverkeeper (1983-2000), Founding Director/CEO of Beacon Institute for Rivers and Estuaries, and now Senior Fellow for Environmental Affairs at pace Academy.

As John Cronin wrote: “According to Stan Cox, author of the 2010 book “Losing Our Cool,” air conditioning in the US has a global-warming impact equivalent to every US household driving an extra 10,000 miles/year.”

Since global warming impacts every watershed on the planet, NWNL wants to brainstorm about what we each can do to reduce further problems.

Please send us ways you avoid using a/c so we can all
stay cool without it.

Watering hole in Johnson Shut-Ins State Park, Missouri.
Watering hole in Johnson Shut-Ins State Park, Missouri.

The obvious for our NWNL Team is to “hang out” in water – a stream, a pool, a cool shower, the ocean, a kayak, a canoe…. But there’s also:

• Wake up earlier when working conditions are cooler; and then nap midday to make up for it.

• Spruce up a cool garage or basement for some summer movies – or a game of Charades.

• Install and use overhead fans in lieu of A/C if your rooms have high ceilings

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• Explore the fun of hand-held fans! Go to China Town for strongly made, efficient fans; and share with children how to fold a rectangle of paper into a fan.

• Ask doormen / shopkeepers to keep doors closed if the A/C is on.

• Wear clothes that are made of cotton, linen or breathable, wicking fabrics on hot days.

• Have friends over for an ice-cream social!

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• Ride bikes and scooters instead of hot, steamy subways.

• Slip into “Porchin”:  a rural tradition of screened-in card games, loose clothing and flowing iced tea.

• Try swimming instead of running for your regular exercise.

• Take cool – rather than hot – showers. Go to bed with wet hair to be cooler as you go to sleep.

A child’s game in Uganda

Uganda, crossing Kasinga Channel, boys playing on Katunguro Bridge
Uganda, crossing Kasinga Channel, boy playing on Katunguro Bridge

Where would we bee without pollinators?!

Did you know that pollinators make 75% of our food crops possible? Globally, about 1,000 plants we depend on for food need to be pollinated by bees, butterflies, ants, hummingbirds, bats and other small animals.

June 16-22, 2014 is National Pollinator Week.

Find out what ecoregion you live in for a pollinator friendly planting guide.

Help protect bees by telling the EPA to ban neonicotinoid pesticides! http://bit.ly/BeeTheChange

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

US: Oregon, Columbia River Basin, foxglove
US: Oregon, Columbia River Basin, foxglove

In all things of nature there is
something of the marvelous. -Aristotle

On the banks of the Omo River

Ethiopia:  Omo River Basin, Karo tribal farm (with irrigation) called Kundama, young girl displaying 3 catfish just caught, standing against field of sorghum
Ethiopia: Omo River Basin, Karo tribal farm (with irrigation) called Kundama, young girl displaying 3 catfish just caught, standing against field of sorghum
Ethiopia:  Lower Omo River Basin, Lebuk, a Karo village, dance ceremony
Ethiopia: Lower Omo River Basin, Lebuk, a Karo village, dance ceremony
Ethiopia: Omo Valley, Karo painting, bird's eye view of Omo River, trees, snake, chicken, jug of water
Ethiopia: Omo Valley, Karo painting, bird’s eye view of Omo River, trees, snake, chicken, jug of water

These photos were selected in response to a weekly photo challenge – the theme is HAPPY.

Click here to view more images of Omo Valley cultures in Ethiopia.

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director

Intn’l day of ocean celebration!

Today is World Oceans Day.

Did you know that 50% of all the oxygen we breathe is produced in the ocean by sea plants and phytoplankton? These microscopic organisms live in oceans, lakes and rivers and form the base of the aquatic food chain.

– Posted by Jasmine Graf, NWNL Associate Director