National Parks in Danger

31 07 2011

It takes a great deal of time for perceptions about our environment, climate change and the future of our world to adjust. Many people still do not feel that these issues are serious enough to be concerned about. Unfortunately, we may pay a serious price for the time it takes for people to see what’s already happening around them.

This is why it is so important for those of us to whom preserving the environment is a priority to do everything we can to assist in its protection. Even the smallest steps make a big difference when millions of people follow through and take action.

This week, a new study has indicated that Yellowstone National Park is in serious danger of major forest fires in the coming years. These findings truly indicate the seriousness of our climate change problems in a current and very obvious way.

What are some things we can do to help prevent more news like this? Share these ideas with your friends and neighbors, and let us know what you come up with in the comments.

From The Huffington Post:

The study, by researchers at the University of California, Merced, concluded that rising temperatures associated with climate change could result in many more severe forest fires in the coming decades. Professor Anthony Westerling and his team found that by 2050, forest fires “would likely cause a major shift in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem” and “affect the region’s wildlife, hydrology, carbon storage and aesthetics.”

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, predicts that by 2050, years with no major fires will be extremely rare. Towards the end of the century, the average wildfire size is expected to exceed the largest from the current record year of 1988. In that year, fires affected over 1,200 square miles of Yellowstone forest, an area about the size of Rhode Island.

This new study comes at a time when nearly half of all Americans believe “the seriousness of global warming is exaggerated,” according to a Gallup Poll earlier this year. But what do the results of this study mean for those who do believe in the seriousness of climate change?

– James Gerken, The Huffington Post

(Click here to read the rest of the article.)



Green News: “Going Green Makes Sense for Business”

28 07 2011

Green Printer believes that products and choices that are good for the Earth are good for everyone, and we love to see other people jumping on the bandwagon! Take a look at this week’s article on green business in the Monteray Herald, by Mary Claypool:

The green trend came upon the scene many years ago and has continued to gain momentum.

Customers expect businesses to be conscious of their impact and many prefer to shop at environmentally friendly stores. For businesses, helping the environment is easy and can lower costs.

There are a variety of basic steps that can be taken to create a sustainable work environment and an environmentally friendly business for customers. Since customers care about the environment, it doesn’t hurt to promote yourself as a business that cares about its impact on the environment.

From phasing out incandescent light bulbs and using recyclable products to installing energy-efficient equipment and systems, every business can make simple changes that save energy costs and natural resources.

With the need to increase revenue and lower costs, every effort that supports either is a benefit. Some easy steps to consider:

· Report leaky faucets. It saves up to 20 gallons of water a day.

· Put a recycling bin at your desk. Buy 35 percent post-consumer recycled paper products and use washable cups, flatware and plates. Use the back side of paper for scratch paper before it is put in the recycling bin. Use green printers or “treeless” paper.

· Ask all vendors what green solutions they use. Use landscape companies that use electric equipment rather than gas. Turn off your computer monitor when not in use.

· Avoid using large office equipment during the3 p.m. to 7 p.m. peak. Instead of traveling to meetings, use online conference calls whenever possible and encourage employees to telecommute one day a week.· Set up a paperless billing system for your customers. If you are using your car for lunch, park and go inside; avoid idling your car in drive-throughs.

· Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps(CFLs). Replace fluorescent tubes and magnetic ballasts with T8 or T5 tubes and electronic ballasts. Replace warehouse and other high-bay lighting with HID lamps or high-bay fluorescent fixtures.

· Install occupancy sensors in general usage areas so lights turn on if an area is occupied and turn off automatically when the area is not. Clean bulbs, fixtures and diffusers regularly to maintain maximum illumination levels.

· Install photocells or timers on outdoor lighting systems so they only operate from dusk to dawn. Replace your incandescent exit signs with LED exit signs. Install motion detector lights.

These steps are simple and, in most cases, do not increase your costs. Even the smallest business can implement many of these steps. There are a variety of websites that can offer advice and suggestions. The Small Business Administration at www.sba.gov is a great place to start.

Great advice! Are you using any/all of these tips within your office right now? Try to begin implementing them and let us know the results!

Are there any “green tips” not listed above that you use to positive results that you’d like to share with us? We’d love to know your ideas and thoughts!