Archive for November, 2009

A £75 Litter Fine…For Feeding the Ducks

In the state of Tennessee, it is illegal to toss food into the environment, just as it is to toss food wrappers. I’ve never heard of anyone being fined for littering for feeding ducks. Yes, I’ve done it in our own Centennial Park at Wataga Lake.

If the ducks are “cleaning it up,” is it litter?

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Friday November 13,2009

By Martin Stote

A MOTHER who was feeding ducks with her little boy was stunned to be served an on-the spot fine for spreading litter.

Vanessa Kelly was even more amazed when the council warden told her 17-month-old Harry could carry on throwing bread because he was too young to prosecute.

She insisted yesterday that she would refuse to pay the £75 fine, which she branded “ridiculous” because there were no signs to say feeding the birds was forbidden.

Vanessa, 26, who is feeling the pinch having just lost her job, said: “I was horrified. It is ridiculous. Parking fines are less than this.

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No More Styrofoam

StyrofoamCup_1897I see less and less styrofoam trash in the environment. This cup was so out of place on the sidewalk.

It was almost shocking to see.

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Scoop Your Dog's Poop

BagOPoop_1898I appreciate whoever scooped up after their dog, but please don’t leave the bag behind.

I know how embarrassing it is to walk around the neighborhood and to carry the poop bag.

I’ve done it many times. At least, the neighbors appreciate your effort.

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Good News from My Alma Mater

This is great news from the Tennessean this morning:

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee‘s flagship campus is riding a green wave that is sweeping across campuses nationally.


UT-Knoxville has ramped up its recycling efforts. It has rolled out an extensive energy savings and carbon reduction program. And it is encouraging staff and students to ride the bus and turn off the lights.

Some university programs are even incorporating environmental awareness into the curriculum — notably, the UT College of Architecture and Design.

“By end of next academic year, every course in their college will have a sustainability component,” UT spokesman Jay Mayfield told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Some peer pressure is involved. Colleges are now being ranked on their eco-enlightenment by the Sierra Club, the College Sustainability Report Card and the survey-based Princeton Review.

“It seems to be the students that are pushing this movement,” said David Soto, the Princeton Review’s director of college ratings.

UT-Knoxville scored 85 out of a possible 100 in the Princeton Review and received a “B” on the College Sustainability report card. It was not one of the 135 institutions included on the Sierra Club list.

The university compares well with other large Southern institutions, Mayfield said.

“We pay attention to the rankings, but I think the concern is much more evaluating against ourselves and trying to improve our operations,” he said.

Last year, UT’s College of Architecture and Design announced the goal of being a carbon-neutral design campus by 2010. The initiative promised to incorporate “the elimination or reduction of the need for fossil fuel as a central tenet in its design education.”

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Olympic Medals Will Contain Recycled Metals

Here is great news from

Recycled Metals Become Olympic Gold


–> November 2, 2009 – As unique as the world’s top athletes and their awe-inspiring performances, every medal won at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will be a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Teck Resources, a Vancouver-based diversified metals company, is supplying the metals used in the production of the Olympic and Paralympic medals.

“Our employees worldwide are honoured to supply the metals for the medals that will be cherished by the world’s best winter athletes in 2010,” said Teck’s president and CEO, Don Lindsay.

“We’re also excited that these medals will contain recycled metal recovered from end-of-life electronics, consistent with the sustainability philosophy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Source: Globe-Net

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Cash for Clunkers plan does little for planet

In fact, I never knew that the program was initially aimed to get more fuel efficient cars on the road. I thought that it was to help tanking American car companies. The report says that some of the clunkers got better gas mileage than the new cars. Only in America.

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Study: Most deals provided meager gains in mileage

By Ted Bridis • ASSOCIATED PRESS • November 5, 2009


WASHINGTON — The most common deals under the government’s $3 billion Cash for Clunkers program, aimed at putting more fuel-efficient cars on the road, replaced old Ford or Chevrolet pickups with new ones that got only marginally better gas mileage, according to an analysis of new federal data by The Associated Press.

“If we’re looking for the environmental story here, we’re going to be disappointed,” said Jeremy Anwyl, chief executive at, an analyst firm. “It might have started out from the perspective of improving the environment, but it got detoured as a way to stimulate the economy.”

The single most common swap — which occurred more than 8,200 times — involved Ford F150 pickup owners who took advantage of a government rebate to trade their old trucks for new Ford F150s.

They were 17 times more likely to buy a new F150 than, say, a Toyota Prius. The fuel economy for the new trucks ranged from 15 mpg to 17 mpg based on engine size and other factors, an improvement of just 1 mpg to 3 mpg over the clunkers.

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Save and reuse; what you can do with shredded paper

This is a great story. I have put some shredded paper in my compost bin, but I was not sure that it was acceptable. It is. I’m not sure about using it for cat litter. I have had no luck with green cat litter, but it is worth a try.

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Reported by: Sara Noel
Last Update: 11/03 10:53 am

Paper is often wasted. Maybe you use both sides of a sheet of paper, use the backs of your mail envelopes for grocery lists or reuse newspaper to wrap gifts. All are good ways to waste less paper. Many households put their mail and paper through a shredder to protect against identity theft or to follow state and federal laws. An average home can accumulate quite a bit. In some areas, it’s not accepted in curbside recycling. So what do you do with the shredded paper?

Here are a few suggestions.

COMPOST: Avoid glossy paper, but the rest can be mixed into your compost pile and used in your garden. Birds will use some for building their nests, too. One reader, Meg in Missouri, shares: “I use it for bedding in my worm composter. I put it in the compost pile. And my husband brings home HUGE bags of shredded checks from work. I mulch my tomatoes, and it works great.”

PETS: You can use it as kitty litter (especially helpful after your kitty has any type of surgery). You can simply add the shredded paper into the litter box or make litter that’s more like pebbles by soaking the shredded paper in warm water with a couple of squirts of dish soap, sprinkling in some baking soda, squeezing out the water and crumbling onto a screen to dry. Visit for complete instructions. It seems like a lot of work, but it takes only about 45 minutes for two to three weeks worth of litter. You can use shredded paper for hamster or guinea-pig bedding, nesting material for hens or in a whelping box for dogs. Use it to stuff a pillow to make a pet bed. Call your local pet-rescue center/humane society and see if they want any for their animals, too.

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