Posts tagged “Environment

My Generation: Wes Rides the London Tube

Where did you study abroad?
London, UK

What was the most exciting thing about this place?

The London Tube (subway system) was the best public metro I’ve ever used in the world. While cars are still relatively prevelant on the London streets, the bulk of the populace uses the Tube to get to work, home and wherever they need to go. And most importantly includes going to my favorite pub, “The Old School Yard”  and grabbing a hearty meat pie and a tall pint of English ale.

Was there anything related to environmental awareness or sustainability worth sharing?

For being one of the largest metropolitan cities in the world, London has some of the best parks and gardens. Having nice and natural areas for recreation and preserving some sense of biodiversity in a major urban center is something expanding cities all around to world can use an example.

Is there one thing that you do in your daily life that can be attributed to sustainability?

I don’t litter (too much)

Why do you think Sustainability or environmental awareness is so important to our generation?
While the consequences of macro environmental issues seem too far off for us to care about (global warming, rising seas, etc) there are many natural wonders that we can preserve right now through increased education and more effective government actions. Taking extra steps to save endangered species and preserving untouched natural areas may seem small and unimportant in the overall scheme of global sustainability, but these small steps will lead to larger leaps towards a more globally sustainable society.

What degree, have you received or are currently seeking?
I have achieved a BA in Business Administration with a focus in Finance from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

If you could travel to one place in the world where would it be, and why?
Singapore. It is a melting pot of different cultures from all over Asia and is a very interesting city. Also since it is unique in the sense that is essentially a modern city-state, it has taken great measures to be one of the most sustainable cities in the world.

Vermillion Bay Oil Rig Explosion, Sep 2



Yet another oil rig has exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. This time in Vermillion Bay Louisiana. The explosion occurred around 9:30 am this morning (September 2.) All workers were accounted for. It is still undetermined if oil is leaking due to the explosion. The oil rig is owned by Mariner Energy in Houston. The platform has been producing 1,400 barrels of oil a day.

World Wildlife Fund

~ World Wildlife Fund

Here is another fantastic environmental foundation! One, that many people have probably heard of before. Grass Stain has officially become a supporter of the World Wildlife Fund via Social Vibe. With over 45 years of experience in saving the planet, the WWF has been one of the leading conservation organizations. The organization has a broad network with more than 6.2 million members in almost 100 different countries. The World Wildlife Fund has a unique way of combining innovation, collaboration, and research, to promote action on a local and global scale.

“We are committed to reversing the degradation of our planet’s natural environment and to building a future in which human needs are met in harmony with nature. We recognize the critical relevance of human numbers, poverty and consumption patterns to meeting these goals.” Their goal, “By 2020 WWF will conserve 19 of the world’s most important natural places and significantly change global markets to protect the future of nature.”

Some of the major climate projects the WWF is working on consist of progressive research in the Florida Keys, Antarctica, North East Atlantic, and in American Samoa. This scientific data will help aid in a wide variety of issues dealing with coral bleaching, sea surface temperature, and marine wild life vitality.


The Duwamish Community Environmental Health Fair


“Since 2005, DRCC and its agency and NGO partners have produced the Duwamish River Festival at Duwamish Waterway Park. In 2010, as a consortium of groups, we decided to transform the event to reach more families living in the South Park and Georgetown area in advance of the upcoming Superfund public meetings. We hope you will join us for the first Duwamish Community Environmental Health Fair at Concord Elementary, to learn more about how the cleanup and restoration planning will impact human health and the environment.” ~ DRCC

Health Fair Highlights:

Air/Aire: Air toxics sources and health impacts, and agencies’ efforts to improve the air in the Duwamish valley.

Water/Agua: How to protect rivers and streams from pollution, and learn about safe fishing and Duwamish recreation.

Land/Tierra: Learn about upcoming Superfund T-117 toxic cleanup site and upcoming riverwide cleanup, and how land and river mud will be removed to improve human health and environment.

Wildlife/Fauna: What animals and birds live in the Duwamish river valley? How can we make their habitat better? Why are resident fish and shellfish too polluted for humans to eat?

Healthy Communities/Communidades Saludables: Learn how to mprove indoor air quality, reduce house mold, clean hands often, and read labels of products and buy safer alternatives.

Healthy Gardening/Huertos Saludables: Anyone can create backyard habitat for birds and wildlife! How to plant a safe, organic garden, lots of giveaways!

Get Involved!/¡Involúcrese! Big cleanup and restoration projects are coming to your neighborhood, and learn how to get involved!

Community Services/ Información comunitaria: South Park Bridge closure information, Department of Neighborhoods, South Park Action Agenda, and neighborhood organizations.

Presentations  –   Presentaciones: EPA-DRCC present information on T-117 cleanup information, Improve air quality, Chef Robert shows how to safely clean a salmon, “Your River, Your Future,” Organic Gardening, and Walking School Bus to Marra Farm!

Environmental Justice

For the past few months I have had the great pleasure of working on a documentary for the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. The coalition is a non-profit organization gaining momentum in environmental justice a topic emerging under the environmental umbrella. The EPA defines Environmental Justice as such, “Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this Nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.”

The lower Duwamish River is an interesting site for that it is one of the most toxic Superfund sites in the country. Over the years, chemicals and toxins have found their way into the river through drainage systems and water runoff. The neighborhoods along the river have thus become affected. These include the  South Park and Georgetown communities. It is not only a problem for these disadvantaged neighborhoods, the Duwamish River runs directly into Elliott Bay and out to Puget Sound.

Due to environmental regulation a majority of industry along the river has been cleaned up. But, there is still a lot that needs to be done to transform this Superfund site. Major figure heads in the cleanup have been the DRCC (Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition), the Port of Seattle, the Environmental Protection Agency, the City of Seattle, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

If you would like to contribute please check out the DRCC website for more information:

Quote: ~ EPA

National Wildlife Refuges at Risk

Brown Pelicans at Breton NWR

As of right now there are eight major National Wildlife Refuges at risk or in danger of being affected by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Pass -A-Loutre is most likely to be hit first by the oil slick, a refuge known for its roost of endangered Brown Pelicans. The second is one of the oldest Wildlife Refuges in United States History, the Breton National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. This sanctuary is habitat to over 34,000 birds, various sea turtles, and other wildlife. Around 17,000 pairs of nesting birds call the island home, rearing their chicks. Next on the list is the Gulf Islands National Wildlife Refuge. This habitat hosts approximately 12 different federally listed threatened and endangered species. Other Refuges that are at risk are the Delta, Mississippi Sandhill Crane, Grand Bay, and Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuges.

Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff Illustrates the picture of commodity chains based on our consumer driven culture. It is an eye-opening short film, shedding light on the actual production of the supplies and products we use everyday. The narrator is Annie Leonard, an environmental activists, who has a history in traveling around the world to far off destinations. Her research has driven her to answer one question “Were does all the stuff we buy come from, and where does it all go when we throw it out?” The answer has revealed some astonishing results.

Social Vibe Creates Social Impacts

Social Vibe brings together people, charities, and sponsors under one social networking site. It has more than 1 million members boasting the popular slogan, “Get Sponsored, Give Back.”  Individuals can make a positive and measurable impact towards the charity of their cause. Non-profits and foundations such as Surfrider, PETA, Environment, Invisible Children, and Step up 2 Cancer  are teaming up with the public to raise real dollars to make real changes.  Social Vibe is most known for their innovative “Badge” enabled by Myspace, Twitter, Facebook, Blogspot, and WordPress.