A round-up of this week’s environmental, green and ecofriendly news and updates.
With so many disasters such as hurricanes and flooding happening around the world, of course we focus on the human tragedy. But animals, including much-loved pets, suffer too.
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many animals were rescued but some say an estimated 600,000 dogs and cats were displaced or died as a result of the storm. We don’t yet know the figures for Hurricane Harvey, or the other dreadful storms in Asia.
Can we do anything to help? Of course! Here are some suggestions:
- Donate money to your local or national animal protection society (e.g. the ASPCA or the Humane Society). They help with transport, rescue and other needs. Or go online to find shelters directly impacted by a disaster.
- Contact shelters to see what they need – some may need food, transport, volunteers or money. If you live outside the disaster area, your local shelter will know what’s needed.
- Be willing to foster. After large disasters, shelters brace for a high volume of new animals. Some shelters might be looking for short-term fosters to care for pets while their families recover from damage and get back on their feet.
What about preparing in advance for a disaster? Here are some tips:
- Make sure all your pets have a microchip – and be very sure that your information is up-to-date. This will make it easier to reunite if you are separated (collars and tags can get lost).
- Have an “emergency bag” for your pet. It should contain leashes, any medical information, food, water and anything else your pet needs. Keep it handy.
- If you have to evacuate, take your pet with you. Some emergency shelters allow pets.
What to see in the night sky in September:
Full moon tonight (6 September)! It’s called the Corn (or Barley) Moon for the crops that were traditionally harvested this month. (Delightfully, some Native American tribes also call it the “Moon When the Plums Are Scarlet” and the “Moon When the Deer Paw the Earth”).
On September 15 (at around 6:31 a.m. EST), the Cassini spacecraft will complete its mission with a dramatic death dive into Saturn. It has spent 20 years in space, studying the ringed planet and its moons. If you want to see its final moments, you can watch a live stream of the historical event here.
Autumn officially starts on September 22 with the autumnal equinox.
Are they safe?
Which ones are best?
Are natural pills better? Find out here.
Global Green News:
Last week, sunbathers on the south coast of England became sick after an unknown haze spread. It caused vomiting, stinging eyes and respiratory problems, and some were hospitalized. The source is still a mystery, but it is now thought that a ship “vented” pollutants. Investigations continue.
Dubai announced plans to roll out over 300 miles of new bike paths, as well as new metro stations and dedicated bus lanes, all in the hope of encouraging exercise, improving transportation and helping to reduce car dependence.
An experimental neighbourhood in the U.K. wants to show that smart design can improve energy efficiency. 16 homes in Wales will generate and store enough clean energy for all their electricity needs – and the entire neighborhood will be connected. It will be one autonomous unit of clean energy production.
US Green News:
Hurricane Harvey showed that we need to encourage communities to adopt higher standards for building, and make cities more resilient to disasters such as flooding. That means not building in flood-prone areas, and planning for water run-off. Yet President Trump has signed away the requirement that future building must comply with tougher flood standards. So future buildings will be even more prone to destruction — not just for massive events like Harvey, but for the everyday kind of inundation that climate change is making more common. That means federal (taxpayer) investments will be repairing facilities at a lesser standard. Thus I don’t understand why Trump said from the White House: “Believe me, we will be bigger, better, stronger than ever before. The rebuilding will begin and in the end it will be something very special.”
In the depths of Winter, it can be difficult to get fresh, local food. But if you live in the American Midwest, you may be in luck. A former mailman living in Nebraska has designed a greenhouse that uses geothermal energy to heat it. He produces lemons, oranges, green figs and grapes — and all for only $1 a day. Just the heat from the Earth, nothing artificial at all – wonderful!
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.
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