Denis M. Garrison
As introduction here is my biographical sketch: Rich Magahiz is a former
Californian, former scientist, current entrepreneur, current blogger, future
mystic, future recollection. His work appears online at World Haiku Review,
Amaze, iscifstory, tinywords, Abyss & Apex, and clouds peak
(forthcoming). His website is at http://magahiz.com:8080/frabjous/index.html.
A few words before to send our rengay, which have been written by me and
some other haiku poets from different countries in 2005. I proposed to them to
make together an experiment starting to write rengay always from this hokku:
house on the bank
the river flows
but time has stopped
So we could see how many could be the directions to which might flow the
waters of our imagination.I called this experiment Delta-Rengay, because at
one point of the river the poems started to separate like delta of any river.
It will be very interesting if you let us know your impression. Best regards!
Hello, everyone, I've just posted two new issues of The Ghazal Page.
Although I'm not absolutely committed to publishing monthly, issues
6 and 7 do correspond with June and July. I hope issue 8 will be published
around the first of August. There's also a new entry on the Ghazal Blog
and a new comment and response. Thank you for your interest in The Ghazal
Page. Be well, Gino Peregrini
Dear, I've gotten the opportunity to go stunt flying with a fantastic
biplane, the PITS S2B Acro. See the photos.Good for my haiku writing?
in a biplane
where is the sun
Geert Verbeke, Flanders
Modern English Tanka is a new digital and print literary journal
dedicated to publishing and promoting fine English tanka (including tanka
written in cinquain and cinqku set forms). We are interested
in both traditional and innovative verse of high quality and in all serious
attempts to assimilate the best of the Japanese waka/tanka genres into a
continuously developing English short verse tradition. In addition to verse,
we publish articles, essays, reviews, interviews, etc., related to tanka.
What is not wanted: Doggerel, didactic (schoolroom) cinquains, and tanka
sequences are not wanted. Serious poetry and adult themes are appreciated.
Nothing pornographic or in any way nasty, hateful,
bigoted, or partisan political, will be accepted. All such judgments will be
made at the sole discretion of the editor. Modern English Tanka, Maryland USA.
Website. Editor: Denis M. Garrison. Email 1
to 40 tanka, or email articles, reviews, essays, etc., to
the Editor. Before submitting, please
read the detailed submission guidelines on the website at
English Tanka looks for top quality tanka in natural, modern English idiom. No
payment for publication. Publishes digital edition online and print edition.
Thank you for sharing this call widely. Sincerely, Denis M. Garrison
The new journal, Modern English Tanka, will only be as good as its
contributors, but knowing all the
fine tanka poets here, I have no worries in that respect.This morning, a
couple hours into the existence of MET, it is online with tanka from three
poets and more ready to go live. Everyone, please check us out at http://www.modernenglishtanka.com/
and send us your finest to share with the world. Denis Garrison.
In Tanka@yahoogroups.com, "Michael McClintock" <MchlMcClintock@...wrote:
"I may be wrong, but I think this will be the first English language
tanka journal of this scope and focus to attempt this "best of both
worlds" method of distribution, both on the Web and as a print journal.
The potential for contribution and readership is greatly enhanced. Bravo for
taking on this pioneering effort, Denis! Your news is tremendously exciting.
Just letting you know the haiku section of Aha! Poetry is listed on the
links page of Liquid Haiku, a newly launched section of my website,
Illumination Gallery. Best, Peter Schmideg
9 June 2006
Tanka Poets Announce New Publishing Venture - Poets M. Kei, Michael McClintock, and Denis M. Garrison today announced the
formation of ~Seamark~, a publishing venture ‘For Poets, by Poets.’
McClintock, well-known in the English-speaking world as one of the foremost
tanka poets of the day, is also a co-editor of The Tanka Anthology and
President of the Tanka Society of America. Garrison, a poet and the well-known
editor of Haiku Harvest and several other poetry journals, recently
established a new journal, the 3 x 5 Poetry Review. M. Kei is a young
tanka poet and editor who is the Moderator for Kyoka Mad Poems. The new
anthology from Seamark is his brainchild. All three poets will continue their
established associations and responsibilities as well as taking on the duties
of running the new publishing house. Seamark’s first project is Fire Pearls: Short Masterpieces of Love and
Passion. A call for submissions will be made later this summer. Poets
should not submit until the call is made as the editors are very busy
finalizing plans for the new anthology. Submissions made before the opening
date will not be read. For more information, visit the web site.
From Sandy, in the AHA Tanka Group, are these quotes about writing poetry:
Poetry is the language in which man explores his own amazement. ~Christopher
If I knew where the good songs came from, I'd go there more often. ~Leonard
Ink runs from the corners of my mouth. There is no happiness like mine. I have
been eating poetry.
~Mark Strand, "Eating Poetry," Reasons for Moving, 1968
Poetry is a packsack of invisible keepsakes. ~Carl Sandburg
The poem is the point at which our strength gave out. ~Richard Rosen
Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with
ourselves we make poetry.
It is the job of poetry to clean up our word-clogged reality by creating
silences around things.
If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have
let him alone.
"Expectations are resentments under construction." ~Anne Lamott
Something that seems to have nothing to do with poetry except that saving
the planet will save poets so they can write another day.
Green Guide by DAISY PRINCE and EMILY BUTSELAAR
1. LIGHTBULBS MATTER Switch from traditional incandescent lightbulbs
to compact fluorescent lightbulbs (C.F.L.). If every American household replaced
one regular lightbulb with a C.F.L., the pollution reduction would be equivalent
to removing one million cars from the road. A 30-watt C.F.L. produces about as
much light as an ordinary 100-watt bulb. Although the initial price is higher,
C.F.L.'s can last 12 times as long. C.F.L.'s are available at most
home-improvement stores and at bulbs.com .
2. DITCH PLASTIC BAGS Californians Against Waste - cawrecycles.org, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, estimates that Americans use 84
billion plastic bags annually, a considerable contribution to the 500 billion to
one trillion used worldwide. Made from polyethylene, plastic bags are not
biodegradable and are making their way into our oceans and waterways. According
to recent studies, the oceans are full of tiny fragments of plastic that are
beginning to work their way up the food chain. Invest in stronger, re-usable
bags, and avoid plastic bags whenever possible.
3. RINSE NO MORE According to Consumer Reports, pre-rinsing dishes
does not necessarily improve a dishwasher's ability to clean them. By skipping
the wash before the wash, you can save up to 20 gallons of water per dishload.
At one load a day, that's 7,300 gallons over the course of the year. Not to
mention that you're saving time, dishwashing soap, and the energy used to heat
the additional water.
4. FORGET PRE-HEATING Ignore cookbooks! It is usually unnecessary to
pre-heat your oven before cooking, except when baking bread or pastries. Just
turn on the oven at the same time you put the dish in. During cooking, rather
than opening the oven door to check on your food, just look at it through the
oven window. Why? Opening the oven door results in a significant loss of energy.
5. A GLASS ACT Recycle glass (think beer bottles, jars, juice containers)
either through curbside programs or at community drop-off centers. Glass takes
more than one million years to decompose; Americans generate almost 13 million
tons of glass waste a year. Glass produced from recycled glass reduces related
air pollution by 20 percent and related water pollution by 50 percent. Go to
earth911.org for local recycling information.
6. BANKING ON THE ENVIRONMENT Want to have a more energy-efficient home
or office? Save green by being green. Purchase appliances and electronics with
the Energy Star certification. Begun in 1992 by the E.P.A. to rate
energy-efficient computers, the Energy Star program today includes more than 40
product categories, and it also rates homes and workplaces for energy
efficiency. Energy Star estimates that, with its help, Americans saved enough
energy in 2004 to power 24 million homes, amounting to savings of $10 billion.
To learn more about Energy Star, visit energystar.gov.
7. HANG UP YOUR DRYER It goes without saying—clothes dryers are huge
energy gluttons. Hints to reduce energy use: Clean the lint filter after each
load (improves air circulation). Use the cool-down cycle (allows clothes to
finish drying from the residual heat inside). Better yet, abandon your dryer and
buy some drying racks, if you don't have a clothesline. Generally, clothes dry
8. GET A GOLD LAUNDRY STAR An Energy Star–qualified washing machine
uses 50 percent less energy and could reduce your utility bills by $110
annually. Standard machines use about 40 gallons of water per wash; most Energy
Star machines use only 18 to 25 gallons, thus also saving water. Whenever
possible, wash your clothes in cold water using cold-water detergents (designed
to remove soils at low temperatures). And do your laundry only when you have a
full load. If you must do a small load, adjust the water level accordingly.
9. GREEN PAINT Most paint is made from petrochemicals, and its
manufacturing process can create 10 times its own weight in toxic waste. It also
releases volatile organic compounds (V.O.C.'s) that threaten public health. (
V.O.C.'s are solvents that rapidly evaporate, allowing paint to dry quickly.)
They cause photochemical reactions in the atmosphere, leading to ground-level
smog that can cause eye and skin irritation, lung and breathing problems,
headaches, nausea, and nervous-system and kidney damage. The best alternative?
Natural paints. Manufactured using plant oils, natural paints pose far fewer
health risks, are breathable, and in some cases are 100 percent biodegradable.
Remember: Never throw your paint away. Check out Earth 911's "Paint
Wise" section for re-use programs in your community; earth911.org
10. BUILD GREEN Before embarking on any home remodeling, make sure your
architect has green credentials. Although there is no national organization of
green architects in the U.S., that doesn't mean you can't get an architect who
will build along sustainable lines. Ask where he or she sources materials, and
request that energy-saving devices, such as solar paneling, be installed. Visit
directory.greenbuilder.com. or environmentalhomecenter.com
for more green-building information.
11. GET A GREEN ROOF A green roof is more than simply a roof with plants
growing on it. It functions like a "breathing wall," consuming carbon
dioxide from the atmosphere and emitting oxygen. Green roofs generally use
low-maintenance, drought-resistant plants. Vegetation is planted or laid down as
pre-vegetated mats on a thin layer of soil. More intensive green-roof systems
may contain trees and larger plants, but these require deeper soil and are more
expensive. One of the biggest benefits of a green roof is water management: it
can absorb more than 50 percent of rainwater, thereby reducing runoff, a major
source of pollution in our waterways. Plus, it can help reduce air-conditioning
costs during the hot summer months. The vegetation looks after itself through
the seasons and creates a habitat for insects, which, in turn, provide food for
birds. Green roofs can also last more than twice as long as conventional
rooftops. They look better too. For more information, visit greenroofs.com.
12. PLAY IT COOL Avoid placing your air conditioner next to a TV, lamp,
or other electrical appliance that generates heat. A heat source will confuse
the unit's thermostat, causing it to misread how hot the room is and make the
air conditioner run longer than it should. You can also program an air
conditioner to start running 30 minutes before you arrive home (as with
heating). There is no need to cool a home if no one is in it.
13. FOOD MILES MATTER Food is traveling farther than ever. Once upon a
time people ate seasonally—artichokes in the winter, cherries in June. Now you
can buy most fruits and vegetables practically year-round. The average American
meal contains ingredients produced in at least five other countries. The
transportation of food and agricultural products constitutes more than 20
percent of total commodity transport within the U.S. To help reduce CO2
emissions (released from trucks, airplanes, and cargo ships), it's best to buy
food that's in season, organic, and grown locally. Go to ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets
to find the farmers' market nearest you.
14. GO VEGETARIAN ONE DAY A WEEK To produce one pound of beef requires
2,500 gallons of water—that's 40 times more water than is used to produce a
pound of potatoes. Before buying beef, think about the immense cost of energy
used to raise cattle and to transport meat to your supermarket shelf. Besides
all this, cows consume enormous amounts of antibiotics and are a prodigious
source of methane, which is the number-two greenhouse gas; livestock are
responsible for almost 20 percent of the methane in the atmosphere.
15. BUY EGGS IN CARDBOARD CARTONS Cardboard egg cartons are normally made
from recycled paper, which biodegrades relatively quickly, and are also again
recyclable—Styrofoam or plastic cartons take a much longer time to biodegrade
and their manufacture produces harmful by-products.
16. DRINK SHADE-GROWN COFFEE Shade-grown coffee is for the birds,
literally. According to coffeeresearch.org, about 150 species of birds live on shade-grown-coffee farms, while only 20 to
50 inhabit full-sun farms. With increased demand for cheap coffee, many Latin
American growers have moved toward full-sun plantations, clearing the habitat of
numerous native birds and increasing the use of pesticides and fertilizers. By
drinking shade-grown coffee, you can help bird habitats and reduce the need for
farming chemicals. Shade-grown coffee beans can be purchased at many grocery
stores. Starbucks offers shade-grown coffee as well.
17. SAVE WATER INDOORS A typical American household uses 350 gallons of
water each day. About half that—175 gallons—is used indoors (toilets consume
about 30 percent of the indoor total). Unnecessary water usage comes in the form
of leaks. Fixing leaky faucets and toilets is a quick and easy way to conserve
water. A steady faucet drip can waste 20 gallons of water a day. Leaky toilets
are even worse, wasting upward of 100 gallons a day. Since toilet leaks are
generally silent, check for them regularly by removing the tank cover and adding
food coloring. If the toilet is leaking (and 20 percent of them usually are),
color will appear in the bowl within 30 minutes.
18. TAKE SHOWERS, NOT BATHS The average American household consumes about
60 gallons of water a day from showers and baths. To reduce this number, take
quick showers and install a low-flow showerhead that uses fewer than 2.5 gallons
of water per minute, as compared to about 5 gallons with an older showerhead.
Baths are relaxing, but it can take 50 gallons of water to fill a tub.
19. STOP THE WATER By leaving the water running while you brush your
teeth, you can waste 150 gallons of water per month—that's 1,800 gallons a
year! Turning the water off while you brush can save several gallons of water
per minute. Also pay attention to this water-saving principle while shaving or
washing your face.
20. INSULATE YOUR HOUSE Good insulation is one of the best ways to reduce
your heating bills and cut your CO2 emissions. Heating and cooling make up 50 to
70 percent of energy use in the average American home. Also, replace old windows
and be sure to seal holes and cracks in your house with weather stripping or
caulk. A well-insulated house can prevent hundreds of pounds of CO2 emissions
per year and can cut your heating and cooling bills by up to 20 percent. For
more information, visit eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/insulation.html
21. TURN YOUR THERMOSTAT DOWN ONE DEGREE If you turn your thermostat down
by one degree, your heating costs will decrease by about 3 percent. Turn it down
five more degrees for four hours a day and reduce your heating bills by almost 6
percent. If you're going to be away for the weekend or out in the evening, turn
your thermostat down. It's not true that reducing the temperature means it will
take more heat to bring it back up to a warm level (unless you have a heat pump
in your home). Also, turn the heat down if you are throwing a party—every
guest will be the equivalent of a 100-watt heater.
22. DON'T BE A BUTT TOSSER About 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are
littered worldwide each year—making them the most-littered item. The myth that
cigarette filters are biodegradable is just that, a myth. Although the filters
do eventually decompose, they release harmful chemicals that enter the earth's
land and water during the decaying process. There is nothing earth-friendly
about the breakdown. If you must smoke, carry a 35-mm. film canister to store
your used butts in until you can properly discard them.
23. DON'T JUST DUMP Envelopes come in huge quantities for free every day.
If you are careful when opening letters, you can use the envelopes again by
simply putting a label over the original address. This saves money and trees,
while reducing waste. Try to re-use jars and plastic containers—for example,
when taking your lunch to work. (Doing so prevents waste, and making your food
at home is less expensive than the alternative.) Ask your office manager to buy
re-usable mesh coffee filters instead of bleached paper ones, which may contain
dioxins. They are tree-free and should save your company money.
24. AVOID DISPOSABLE GOODS Institute a mug policy in your office.
Americans throw away some 25 billion polystyrene cups every year, most of which
end up in landfills. Refill your water bottles once or twice, and make your
coffee in a ceramic mug. If you bring in cutlery from home, you will also cut
down on those pesky plastic forks, knives, and spoons.
25. GROW YOUR OWN GARDEN In 1826, J. C. Loudon wrote in An
Encyclopaedia of Gardening, "For all things produced in a garden,
whether salads or fruits, a poor man that has one of his own will eat better
than a rich man that has none." To start a vegetable garden costs nothing
but a few packs of seeds and rudimentary garden implements, and it saves
enormous amounts of money, to say nothing of the food miles and the packaging
that go into supplying you with fresh fruits and vegetables. Of course, a
vegetable garden is only productive for part of the year, but it is amazing how
long that growing season lasts and how much you can produce from one small
26. BUY RECYCLED PRODUCTS There has to be a market for products made with
recycled goods. Support this movement by purchasing recycled goods—you will
save virgin materials, conserve energy, and reduce landfill waste. Recycled
paper products include toilet paper (which is no longer scratchy, like it used
to be), copy paper, paper towels, and tissues. Look for garbage bags and bin
liners labeled "recycled plastic," and buy recycled toner cartridges
for your fax machines and printers.
27. PLANE BETTER Air travel is currently responsible for 3.5 percent of
the global-warming gases from all human activity and is growing fast. Cargo
transport by air is increasing by about 7 percent annually and passenger air
travel is up in the last few years by between 4 and 7 percent. The impact of air
travel is enormous; a round-trip between New York and Los Angeles emits one ton
of CO2 per passenger. (To determine CO2 emissions for your next flight, go to
co2.org.) Try to limit the number of flights you take. If you're traveling
within a country, why not take a train? (Air travel releases at least three
times more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than rail travel does.) If you're
planning a business trip, consider whether a video linkup or a conference call
28. CARBON OFFSETTING Air traffic is the fastest-growing source of
greenhouse-gas emissions, so when you do fly, consult a carbon-offsetting
organization such as Climate Care to "carbon-offset" your journey.
Climate Care determines your flight's emissions and the cost to offset the CO2.
For example, to offset that round-trip flight between New York and Los Angeles,
you would pay about $10 to Climate Care, which invests in forestry and
energy-efficiency projects. For more information, visit climatecare.org.
29. SWITCH TO GREEN POWER The leading cause of industrial air pollution
is electricity production. According to the American Lung Association, more than
50,000 Americans die each year from air-pollution-related causes. If available,
get your electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind, sun, water, and
biomass, all of which generate electricity with fewer environmental impacts.
With utility companies in 35 states offering green-power pricing plans, around
half of all electricity consumers could buy green, yet only half a million do.
Does green power cost more? Yes, but barely. For example, New York's Con Edison
charges an additional one-half cent per kilowatt-hour for its green-power
products. To see if your energy provider offers green-power options, visit eere.energy.gov/greenpower.
30. STANDBY NO LONGER Electricity "leaks" are no laughing
matter. Televisions, video and DVD players, cable boxes, and other electronic
equipment found in nearly every American home are wasting huge amounts of
energy. When these devices are left on standby (the equivalent of
"sleep" mode for computers) they use about 40 percent of their full
running power. Every year, the energy wasted in this way is the equivalent of
the annual output of 26 power plants. To avoid the drain of these "energy
vampires," plug them into a power strip and turn it off when they are not
31. TURN OFF YOUR CHARGERS Most cell-phone chargers continue to draw
electricity even when the phone isn't plugged into it. If your cell-phone
charger averages five watts per hour and is plugged in all the time, that means
a total of more than 40 kilowatt-hours every year, or about 93 pounds of CO2.
The same problem applies to your other electronic equipment—your laptop, iPod,
digital camera, and BlackBerry. Unplug all your chargers when they are not in
32. RECYCLE YOUR BATTERIES Although the number of electrical gadgets that
use disposable batteries is on the decline, each person in the U.S. discards
eight batteries per year. Overall, Americans purchase nearly three billion
batteries annually, and about 179,000 tons of those end up in the garbage.
Batteries have a high concentration of metals, which if not disposed of properly
can seep into the ground when the casing erodes. Avoid disposable batteries by
using your outlets whenever possible. If you can't do without batteries, use
rechargeable and recycled ones. You should also have your batteries collected
and recycled. Go to rebat.com for a list of companies that participate in battery reclamation.
33. TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER WHEN YOU LEAVE AT NIGHT While computers do
require a power surge when you first turn them on, they don't need enormous
amounts of electricity to function for lengthy periods. Also, you can set your
computer on "sleep" mode, which uses about three watts per hour, if
you are going to be away from your desk for more than 15 minutes.
34. GET INVOLVED Recycling at home doesn't get you off the hook at work.
If your office doesn't recycle, or recycles only paper, find out why. If you
work in a small office, call your local authority to discover what recycling
equipment and services are available. These may include storage containers and
compacters as well as collection. If you work in a larger office, ask your
building-services coordinator why there are no recycling facilities and whom you
would need to speak to about starting a recycling program for paper, glass,
metal, and plastic. For more information, visit earth911.org.
35. PRINT DOUBLE-SIDED American businesses throw away 21 million tons of
paper every year, 175 pounds per office worker. For a quick and easy way to
halve this, set your printer's default option to print double-sided (duplex
printing). This has the added advantage of halving the paper pile on your desk.
To further cut your paper wastage, make sure you always use "print
preview" mode to check that there are no overhanging lines and that you
print only the pages you need. Other ways to cut down on paper before you get to
the printing stage include using single or 1.5 spacing instead of double
spacing, and reducing your page margins.
36. CONSERVE WATER IN YOUR GARDEN Attach a barrel to your downspout that
will collect rain from your roof's eaves. Your plants will thank you: rainwater
is better for your garden, as the chlorine in tap water can inhibit plant
growth. You can also save six gallons every minute of watering simply by
attaching a trigger nozzle to your hose so that you use water only when it's
needed. In addition, if you grow your grass a little longer, it will stay
greener and require less water than a closely mowed lawn.
37. CREATE A LIVING FENCE When replacing yard fences, instead of building
a wooden fence, opt for a living fence. A living fence is a hedge or row of
trees, which can be groomed to maintain appearance. Not only is a living fence
less expensive than a traditional fence, it also never needs to be painted. This
saves you money and time and keeps harmful chemicals out of the environment. Try
to use native flora and to avoid hedges comprised of only one species.
38. RECYCLE YOUR NEWSPAPER There are 63 million newspapers printed each
day in the U.S.; 44 million, or about 69 percent, of these will be thrown away.
Recycling just the Sunday papers would save more than half a million trees every
39. PLANT A TREE It's the simplest thing in the world to gather acorns,
chestnuts, sweet chestnuts, and sycamore seeds in the autumn, plant them
immediately, and forget them until the following spring. The success rate for
acorns is not as high as for the other three, but in a good year about 40
percent germinate into oak trees. There's little that will stop the others from
growing into healthy trees within the first year. Start saplings in Styrofoam
coffee cups, which can be split with a knife so that the roots aren't disturbed
when you plant them outdoors. Keep the saplings for four or five years, then
plant them in your own garden, offer them to friends, or return them to nature.
It may seem like a very small contribution, but if 5 percent of the U.S.
population were to germinate one tree in one year, there would be almost 15
million extra trees absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. For more information,
visit arborday.org .
40. AVOID PESTICIDES Use natural methods of pest control. Form a log
pile—dead wood provides a habitat for many kinds of wildlife, such as snakes
and ground beetles. Both are natural predators for snails and slugs. If you
create a small pond to encourage frogs and toads, they will help mop up the rest
of your slug life. In the short term you can get rid of slugs using beer traps
(slugs are attracted to yeast). To get rid of whiteflies, buy Encarsia
formosa, small parasitic wasps that eat whiteflies. Grow flowers such as
marigolds to attract ladybugs, hoverflies, and lacewings, all of which protect
41. BAT BOXES Want to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your backyard?
Then invest in a bat box. One bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes a night. You
will also be making a contribution to our country's temperate biodiversity: bat
populations in America and around the world are declining, especially in urban
areas, where they have few roosting spaces. Ideally, group two or three boxes
together, place them as high as possible, and face them so the sun directly
heats them for six to seven hours each day. If you are making a bat box
yourself, use untreated and unpainted wood. It is essential that bats not be
disturbed, so make certain your bat boxes cannot be reached by any local cats.
For more information, visit batconservation.org/content/Bathouseimportance.html.
42. WALK OR BIKE Always consider alternatives to driving, especially for
journeys under two miles. It's better for the environment to walk, cycle, or
even take the bus than to hop in your car. Currently, only 2 percent of employed
adults walk to work in the U.S. Walking adds to life expectancy, is safe, helps
with mental and physical health, and, best of all, is completely free. Cycling
is another way to get around and has recently become more popular, what with
more bike paths and cool new gadgets like L.E.D. lights for riding in the dark.
New kinds of folding bikes have been specially developed for the commuter.
Surprisingly, recent studies have shown that bicyclists in cities are less
exposed to air pollution than people in cars and taxis.
43. BUY A HYBRID Hybrid cars, which run on a combination of a gasoline
engine and an electric motor, are all the rage these days. They get up to 50
miles per gallon, while a typical S.U.V. might travel around 15 m.p.g. Hybrids
can offer substantial savings, and you may qualify for a one-time tax credit of
up to $3,400. For information on U.S hybrid-car incentives, go to hybridcars.com/tax-deductions-credits.
44. BIOFUELS 101, PART 1 Have you heard of biofuels? Biodiesel and
bioethanol are alternative fuels derived from crops such as sugarcane, oilseed
rape, and used cooking oil, which are generally blended with diesel fuel or
gasoline. Biofuels are available in a range of different blends—for example,
30 percent biofuel and 70 percent gas or diesel. Biodiesel is generally
appropriate for any diesel vehicle designed to run on low-sulphur diesel.
Biodiesel blends are becoming more widely available in the U.S. Check biodiesel.org/buyingbiodiesel/distributors
to find out about local availability.
45. BIOFUELS 101, PART 2 Bioethanol is an alcohol-based fuel. A 5 percent
blend of bioethanol can be included in ordinary gas and used by any car in the
U.S. that runs on unleaded gas. You may already be using bioethanol-blended gas,
as the 5 percent version is now being sold in the U.S. through unmarked
unleaded-gas pumps. Saab and Ford both have a flex-fuel model available, which
can run on bioethanol-based fuel or on straight gasoline. If you drive an older
model, you can still use biofuel if you are willing to have your car converted
46. DISCOVER YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT If you think you're already pretty
green, determine your carbon footprint: a measurement of how your lifestyle
choices affect carbon emissions. Your footprint will take into account your
habits, the food you eat, your gas and electricity usage, your car and air
mileage. Your score will be compared to the average figures for your county.
These online tests aim to help you estimate your own carbon emissions and
calculate how much of the planet's resources are required to sustain your
lifestyle. They may motivate you to make changes, helping you set simple goals
to reduce your negative impact on the planet. To learn about your carbon
footprint, go to carbonfootprint.com/calculator.html.
47. GET AN ELECTRIC LAWN MOWER Surrender your gas lawn mower. Gasoline
lawn mowers are among the dirtiest of modern machines. A study funded by the
Swedish E.P.A. found that using a four-horsepower lawn mower for an hour causes
the same amount of pollution as driving a car 93 miles. The trouble with gas
lawn mowers is that they not only emit a disproportionate amount of CO2, they
are also responsible for releasing carcinogens such as polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons into the air. Retire the noisy monster and buy an electric or
manual model. Better still, reduce the number of times you mow per season and
let some of your lawn grow wild, which has added benefits for bugs, butterflies,
and birds. For more information, visit greengrasscutters.com.
48. GREEN GRILLING If you have a charcoal barbecue grill, make sure your
charcoal comes from a sustainable source. Enormous areas of tropical rainforest
are destroyed every year to produce the 900,000 tons of charcoal burned annually
in the U.S. Chimney starters are the most environmentally friendly solution to
lighting charcoal. They use only a couple of pieces of newspaper, meaning you
can avoid the gas-flavored meat that accompanies barbecues started with lighter
fluid or fire starters. If you are replacing your grill, remember that using a
gas, rather than charcoal, grill is the most environmentally friendly way to
barbecue. It avoids forest destruction and doesn't add to local air pollution.
49. RE-GIFT GIFT WRAP Help cut down on the consumption of paper and
plastic by re-using wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, and gift bags. These items
should be good for at least one more wrapping. If you are feeling creative, use
old calendars, pages from magazines, or even newspaper to wrap gifts. Or use
fabric for festive wrappings. It can be used over and over.
50. A GREEN ENDING Green funerals don't just mean a woodland burial. Very
few people actually know about the green alternatives to steel or hardwood
coffins. Many private funeral homes present green alternatives to traditional
coffins, including wicker caskets and shrouds. Currently, 89 percent of coffins
sold are made of chipboard that is manufactured using formaldehyde. When
chipboard coffins are cremated, they can release toxic gases. If buried, they
disrupt local ecosystems; as the chipboard decays, the formaldehyde and glue
leach into the soil and groundwater. Finally, most people opting for a green
good-bye will choose a meadow or woodland burial, with only a memorial tree
marking the grave. For more information, visit fullcirclecare.org/endoflife/funeral.htm.
51. PUBLISH POETRY ONLINE. Save a tree, publish your poems online!
52. WEAR ORGANIC COTTON. When you think about the amount of
insecticides and pesticides poured on cotton plants, do think of where that
fabric goes. Especially children need the purest fabric next their tender
bodies. Check out the great patterns by my friend, Harmony Susalla on her website.
Support organic cotton growers by asking for organic cotton in stores.