Eco-Asceticism – Encounter

Watch this video, and see a brief reflection upon the the Buddhist practices of merging mediation and environmental awareness.

Buddhist tradition is not alone in its religious approach to sustainable living. Example can be found in Catholicism and Hinduism as well.

Kyle Kramer, an organic farmer from Indiana, has committed his home and his family to living close to the environment through rejection of the use of air conditioning and TV. He does not claim to suffer as much as many of those who cannot avoid luxuries in developing countries, but he recognizes that his family could utilize these electricity hogs if they so wanted-they dedicated however that due to their Catholic beliefs, their small acts of suffering would be beneficial not only to ease their ecologically conscience minds, but their spiritual wants as well.

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Musings on Energy and Gardening

“Put a pepper in a pot!”-That’s what a friend of ours would say while we were planning a community garden initiative. Not only does this phrase contain delightful alliteration, but it also points to the to the fact that learning to garden is as simple as planting peppers (or tomatoes, herbs, or whatever vegetable you choose) in pots.  Furthermore, something we don’t think of much is that in the act of gardening, one benefits from solar energy in one of its most natural forms.  So what if you don’t have the money to install sexy photovoltaic solar panels, just plant something—anything–and experience the power of the sun.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting your hands on some solar panels to supply some (or all) of your electrical needs. However, in our mad dash for technological solutions to environmental problems, I think that we forget that (part of) the answer may be growing right under our feet, in and around us.

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Organic Ways to Repel Bugs

With summer just around the corner, we are all being reminded of what it brings with it–bugs. There are plenty of chemicals to repel these bugs that can be bought at almost any store, but why use harmful chemicals when you can use your own organic repellents?

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Small Ways to Save Energy: Room AC Units

Something I noticed here in Athens is that many buildings, dorms, and houses do not have central air conditioning. Many residents here make the decision to buy a window air conditioning unit to keep their rooms cool during the summer. I know I certainly did and so did all 4 of my other roommates when we realized that our apartment was not going to have central air conditioning. That was going to be a total of 5 individual window ac units running in the house so like every college student on a budget, I was concerned for our electricity bill and the gross amount of electricity that would be wasted running 5 window ac units. How in the world were we going to save money and electricity running that many ac units? I found a few small ways that help cut down on the amount of electricity wasted while continuing to keep our house cool.

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Fracking

The following post is part of a research paper that I completed earlier this semester on fracking. This will hopefully be an insightful post that explains what fracking is, the positives and negatives, as well as what it means for us and our environment. This post shows both sides of the issue and uses information from many different sources. The more popular fracking becomes, the more important it is for others to understand what it is.

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Motion Sensing To Save Energy

Reducing the amount of energy we use sure is a difficult objective to achieve, if we do not know where to begin. I even had trouble coming up with a topic to write about on how to reduce the energy we use. This is why I am writing this blog, to provide some ideas of how to reduce energy.

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Earth 2050 – Driven by Design

In the year 2050, the world is expected to reach a population of over 9 billion.  At the same time, it is projected that the worlds energy consumption will double from our current use.  In a world where energy sources are already being depleted, scientists and environmentalists alike are searching for a new, effective energy source to fuel a demanding population.

When thinking about the future of energy and fuel use, many scientists have played with

Land tied up for fuel production, leaving populations starving.

Land tied up for fuel production, leaving populations starving.

the idea of bio-fuels.  With bio-fuels, glucose is extracted from plants such as corn or sugar cane and mixed with a yeast. A (small) byproduct from this reaction is a layer that forms at the top of the liquid that can then be skimmed off and used as fuel.  This process is not only time consuming, but the amount of land that would be needed to feed the demand for fuel would leave very little room for edible crops to feed the growing population.

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