July 15th, 2014

The Fracking Debate in The Fracking Truth

Posted by Lisa Carey

By: Mark

Chris Faulkner predicts that the United States will never run out of oil and gas in his newest book, “The Fracking Truth.” Faulkner uses his background as the Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Breitling Energy Corporation to make the startling forecast and claims to be able to debunk the myths about one of the most controversial energy technologies available: Hydraulic Fracturing commonly known as Fracking.

“The Fracking Truth is a primer on America’s ongoing energy revolution, but it’s also a call to action,” says the book’s website. “The oil and gas industry has failed itself and failed the American public by doing a poor job of educating the public on fracking and related technologies that have created the American energy revolution.”

It is described on Amazon.com as “The Fracking Truth is a primer on America’s ongoing energy revolution, but it’s also a call to action. The oil and gas industry has failed itself and failed the American public by doing a poor job of educating the public on fracking and related technologies that have created the American energy revolution. Readers will learn about the myths and the truths of the controversial practice of fracking, how the United States is benefitting from the fracking boom, and how fracking can actually help the US and the world achieve climate change goals. The Fracking Truth seeks to bridge the information gap between public perception and an industry that fuels our daily lives, our national economy, and our future. After years of economic devastation and turmoil, the energy boom driven by fracking gives us a second chance at security, prosperity, and global leadership. Let’s hope we get it right.”

Faulkner is considered an international fracking expert who gained entrance into the energy field by chance. He claims in his author bio that “no oil company owns him or pays him to flog a point of view.” However,  Faulkner is the Founder, President and CEO of Breitling Energy, an energy company based in Dallas, Texas that engages in “the acquisition of lower risk onshore oil and gas properties and the exploration and development of such properties.”

The book claims to have many “fracking facts.” Reviewers of the book have stated that the book does have several graphs, charts and sources to support these facts. However, some may disagree with the book’s website claim that “Fracking has been safely used in the US since 1947.” EarthJustice.org’s map of Fraccidents in the U.S. directly conflicts with Faulkner’s “safe fracking” statement. All of the documented fraccidents on EarthJustice’s website are documented and sourced.

Hydraulic fracturing is one of the most controversial energy technologies on the market. “The Fracking Truth” is a book that looks at fracking.  It has a clear agenda of “debunking fracking myths,”  but while debunking the myths is the true damage caused by fracking being swept under the rug – or Earth – as the case may be.

Those interested in the fracking debate might also consider reading “The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone” by Seamus McGraw for an honest look at a community effected by the fracking boom, and getting two sides of a very different fracking story.

Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world..

July 10th, 2014

VeeV An All Natural All Organic Alternative to Vodka

Posted by Lisa Carey

VeeV has introduced a ready-to-drink cocktail that consumers can feel great about buying and drinking. The superfruit cocktail manufacturer VeeV Spirits has created VeeV VitaFrute Cocktails that combine VeeV Acai Spirit with fresh ingredients for an all natural, all organic drink that just needs to be served over ice.

The cocktails are available in a variety of flavors from margarita to lemonade. The ready-to-drink cocktails are 125 calories per 3 oz. serving and are 30-proof. VeeV’s website offers a wide array of cocktail recipes for consumers to discover a better way to drink. There is a recipe for the Martini 2.0 and one for the Brazilian Mule. A cocktail lover will find no shortage of new twists to put on the old fashioned cocktail.

“In all that we do, we want to enhance the social drinking experience by providing quality products that we can feel good about,” said Courtney Reum, co-founder of VeeV. “Skimping on quality for convenience has never been an option for us, which why we’re so proud of VitaFrute, our new ready-to-drink cocktails.”

It should be pointed out that VeeV is a green company. The distillery is the only distillery in America to get its power through renewable wind energy. The 4 column process uses 200 percent less energy than traditional pot still. VeeV is a partner of 1% for the Planet – a group of businesses, companies, and nonprofits that donate at least 1% of annual net revenues to environmental organizations worldwide.

VeeV has been donating to organizations that benefit the restoration and replantation of the rainforest. They are also large supporters of the farming communities surrounding the distillery. VeeV is also a member of TerraPass –an organization dedicated to helping businesses and individuals take responsibility for their impact on the climate.  TerraPass provides educational tools and resources to help businesses prepare complex carbon footprint analysis and helps businesses and institutions develop custom renewable energy solutions for their operations.

VeeV VitaFrute Cocktails can be purchased in cities across the nation. A store locator can be found on their website.  The suggested retail price is $14.99. A pretty good price for an all natural, all organic cocktail drink that’s good for the environment.

It’s no secret that I like going green and saving green – so of course I’m going to share with you this coupon I found.

June 28th, 2014

ResponsibleTravel.com and Born Free Foundation Find Public Support Dropping for Marine Parks

Posted by guest

By: othree

By Linda St.Cyr

Public support for marine park shows has flipped, according to a poll carried out by ResponsibleTravel.com, an ethical travel company, and international wildlife charity, the Born Free Foundation.  The travel company and the charity surveyed 2,050 people in the UK and found that growing public awareness of ethical issues and physical implications of keeping dolphins and whales in captivity was changing public opinion.

86 percent of the people surveyed said they would not wish to visit a marine park to see whales and dolphins as part of an overseas holiday. It should be noted that survey responders were to read a statement prior to answering their final question. The statement read:

“Captive whales and dolphins are kept in marine parks and visited by tourists on holiday. They are highly intelligent, social animals. In the wild, they:

*live in family groups, called pods of up to 100 individuals;

*have considerably higher life expectancies than their counterparts in captivity;

*can swim the equivalent distance of London to Sheffield (260kkm) or more in one day;

*are capable of diving to depths greater than the height of Niagra Falls (60m) and hunting live fish using sophisticated techniques.

In captivity these animals are confined to tanks, they are fed dead fish and commonly develop problems such as abnormal repetitive behavior and aggression. They are trained to perform tricks and stunts, often to loud music and a cheering crowd.”

Of those who responded that they would visit a marine park, 64 percent changed their mind after reading the statement to say that they would not visit a marine park.

Justin Francis, Managing Director at responsibletravel.com, said that as public awareness of whale and dolphin captivity issues continues to increase, it is important for travel companies and the representative body ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) to stop supporting “orca circuses” as it is an irresponsible form of tourism.

Responsibletravel.com has joined forces with the World Cetacean Alliance and launched a petition encouraging the travel industry to stop supporting killer whale and dolphin shows. Born Free Foundation works worldwide for wild animal welfare and compassionate conservation.

Over 2000 dolphins, 227 beluga whales, 52 killer whales, 37 porpoises and 17 false killer whales are held in 343 captive dolphin facilities in 63 countries around the world. The cetaceans are used for public entertainment and often kept in facilities that are just a fraction of the animals’ natural habitat.

 

Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.

 

June 16th, 2014

Save the bees: Bee Sweet Lemonade saves bees and tastes great

Posted by Lisa Carey

bee sweet lemonade

 

This weekend the kids and I headed out to Whole Foods to meet an amazing 9 year old little girl. Mikaila is the CEO of Bee Sweet Lemonade and not only is she quite the entrepreneur, but she’s also working for a great green world.

Bee Sweet Lemonade is a lemonade company started by a 9 year old little girl. She started is after several successful National Lemonade Days, and with the help of her grandmother’s secret recipe. But she’s not just a businessperson, she wanted to create a buzz about bees and why there are needed.

bee sweet lemonade

The workshop included talking with Mikiala as she shared with my daughters about why bees are important. This girl has done her research. After several stings in one summer, she became very frightened of them. So  the family decided to learn all they could about bees to be more knowledgeable about them, their stings and help to overcome her fears.  We also found out some pollination information and planted our own cantaloupe seeds.  Here’s some of what we found out.

Let’s start with the Bee Sweet Lemonade.

This lemonade keeps it simple. Pure filtered water, Lemons, Mint, Flaxseed and Honey, the ingredients are freshly squeezed, local, and organic.  So each step is made with the environment in mind. I have to admit, I’ve done my own taste test and I like the mint flavor in the lemonade very much.

Not only has it sparked a great business model, but after finding out the facts about bees the company now donates 20% of the profits to to local and international organizations fighting hard to save the honeybees. Their motto – Buy a Bottle – Save a Bee!  The organizations these

You can’t make the lemonade without the honey, so let’s talk about bees. 

There’s a great guide on all about bees, for you and your kids available online.

This guide shares with us that:

  • Nectar is a sweet watery substance that the bees gather. After they process the nectar in their stomach they regurgitate it into the honeycomb cells. Then they fan with their wings to remove excess moisture. The final result is honey.
  • Bees are the only insect in the world that make food that humans can eat.
  • Honey has natural preservatives and bacteria can’t grow in it.
  • A beehive in summer can have as many as 50,000 to 80,000 bees. A bee must collect nectar from about 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey. It requires 556 worker bees to gather a pound of honey. Bees fly more than once around the world to gather a pound of honey.
  • Did you know that a hive also produces beeswax, pollen, propolis, and royal jelly.
  • Beekeepers only harvest the extra honey – not all of it. Well, in theory of course. There are probably many out there that harvest the whole thing.
  • And, the average life of the worker bee is 3-6 weeks during the honey season.
  • Food produced through pollinators: cherries, broccoli, onions, almonds, just to name a few.

We’ve talked here on Greenjoyment about the decline in the bee populationWorldwide Bee Colony Collapse also known as Colony Collapse disorder is pretty simple. Humans, a lack of land on which to polinate, chemicals and pesticides are slowly, but surely killing off the bee population. But what’s the big deal some people may ask?  Pollination is essential for many of the best and healthiest foods we eat!  But it doesn’t just affect the foods we eat but entire populations of workers such as farmers and bee keepers. If there is not food to grow, there is none to sell. This isn’t just an environmental issue, but an economic one too.

 What can you do to help? The  Greenpeace report has outlined these solutions.

  1. Ban the seven most dangerous pesticides
  2. Protect pollinator health by preserving wild habitat, and
  3. Restore ecological agriculture

I would add, support those that support these efforts, like Bee Sweet Lemonade?

Get social and create your own buzz about this great green drink and her eco-friendly efforts to protect the bee population from declining.

Find Bee Sweet Lemonade on Facebook and join in the discussion!  Find out more about where you can buy this lemonade and follow the buzz about it’s awards and accolades online.

May 22nd, 2014

Disney’s Mickey & Friends Go Green!

Posted by Lisa Carey

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which are used to support this site. All opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise sourced. I actually own a copy of this book and enjoyed sharing it with my children.

EDDA USA has announced the publication of Disney’s Mickey & Friends collection titled “Go Green! A Family Guide to a Sustainable Lifestyle.” The new collection of books will encourage children and families to learn about green living, sustainability, and how to adopt a sustainable lifestyle in a simple and fun way.

This is the first book in a brand new series that seeks to be a guide for families to take steps toward transforming their lives into a healthier, greener, and more sustainable lifestyle.  The books make sustainability simple to understand and fun for children by making the concepts into easy-to-achieve individual steps.

There are three main focal points to the books: explaining sustainability in a simple and fun fashion, putting the concepts into perspective for children and families, and showing families easy and fun steps to make the world they live in a greener place.

Disney Go Green is a new brand of Disney books, encouraging families to lead a sustainable lifestyle. It is however not only a line of books but an opportunity for families to spend time together,” says the Amazon overview of the newly released title.

The book is jam-packed with fun facts, tips and green activities that families can participate in together.  There is a section on understanding your ecological footprints, the three R’s of sustainability (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), and a section devoted to eating locally and growing your own organic garden.

Other titles that can be expected in the series include “Go Green! The Family Challenge” and “Go Green! Create Your Own Garden.” The books do not expect children and families to become a sustainable household overnight. It focuses on teaching children and families to take one step at a time to live a greener, sustainable lifestyle.

Disney’s Mickey & Friends book “Go Green! A Family Guide to a Sustainable Lifestyle” is available for purchase in Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and Target stores in the U.S. and in Canada. It is also available through major online retailers including Amazon.

May 16th, 2014

McDonald’s Lab Grown Chicken PETA Approved

Posted by guest

By Linda St.Cyr

McDonald’s has plans to be the first fast food restaurant in the United States to add lab-grown meat to its menu. The fast food chain known for chicken nuggets and Big Mac’s is planning to ‘grow’ their own chicken McNuggets in special laboratories across New Jersey. The company’s goal is to reduce the number of real chickens needed to supply the franchise’s 35,000 outlets around the world.

McDonald’s is making the move after the success of Sergey Brin’s lab-grown burger experiment in London last year. Sergey Brin’s petri dish hamburgers were served up at an event in London last August with a price tag of $325,000 per burger. Although the company made headway in making lab-grown meat a reality, the price tag is going to be hard for companies to get around until these foods can be funded into the marketplace.

Sergey Brin’s and McDonald’s lab-grown meat ideas stem from what appears to be a desire to be more environmentally friendly and to squash animal rights issues. Surprisingly, animal rights activists like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are on board with the lab-grown meat experiments. It appears that PETA is okay petri-dish grown chickens for food, but not okay with the way chickens are raised, processed, and slaughtered by McDonald’s and other food chains currently.

Ingrid E. Newkirk, president of PETA, celebrated the announcement of McDonald’s plans.

“Although we think it’s bizarre that the future McNuggets will be grown in a lab, we’re relieved to know that chickens no longer have to be sacrificed to feed McDonald’s customers,” Newkirk said. “But we won’t truly be happy until the company stops selling real beef burgers too, since cows suffer in disgusting feedlots across the United States.

The benefits of lab-grown meat include a reduction of gas emissions, companies would no longer have ethical issues in regards to animal rights, and there would be less use of land and water. The downside to the lab-grown meat industry is society’s current trend away from processed food.  Another downside to the lab-grown meat industry is that there are no standards governing what goes into the making of the meat products nor has it been tested for health and safety reasons.

 

Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.

April 29th, 2014

Political Push for Raw Milk

Posted by Lisa Carey

By Linda St.Cyr

Raw milk is getting a political push from an alliance of food activists, anti-regulation libertarians, and congressional members. Many states have banned raw milk or placed restrictions on the sale of the unpasteurized product.  The new alliance forming seeks to legalize raw milk despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control.

Health officials believe a rising toll of illnesses stem from pathogens in raw milk.  According to the Boston Globe, “Public health officials have also documented how pathogens in raw milk have produced kidney failure in more than a dozen cases and paralysis in at least two.”

Despite the risks, raw milk enthusiasts believe that the bacteria-killing heat from pasteurization kills enzymes and other properties that can cure such things as allergies, asthma, and even autism.  Raw milk activists believe that consumers should be able to purchase and drink whatever type of milk they want. Consumer demand for raw milk is on the rise as people are growing tired of industrialized food.

Seeking to legalize unpasteurized milk, members of congress have introduced 40 bills in 23 states that would get the FDA out of the business of policing raw-milk sales. Realmilk.com claims that there is a “secret war” against raw milk. The evidence suggests that the war isn’t such a secret.

For the past 15 years or so, farmers have had to close down their farms in response to the FDA’s enforcement efforts, undercover agents have documented straw purchases of raw milk crossing state lines, and farmers have been arrested for drinking and selling the unpasteurized beverage.

Representative Thomas Massie, a Republican of Kentucky, grew up drinking raw milk. He introduced two bills seeking to legalize the unpasteurized product. His bill has been dubbed “Milk Freedom Legislation.”

“They are buying raw milk for themselves and their families,” Massie said of the consumers who buy raw milk in containers secretly labeled “For Pet Consumption Only”. “And they are doing it because we have some very stupid laws out there.”

 

 

Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.

April 24th, 2014

IKEA Invests in United States Wind Farm

Posted by guest

By Linda St.Cyr

IKEA announced that it will be making a renewable energy investment in the United States with the purchase of Hoopeston Wind in Hoopeston, Illinois.  The Hoopeston Wind Project is the largest single IKEA Group renewable energy investment to date. The company’s goal is to generate as much renewable energy as the total energy it consumes by 2020.

IKEA plans to do get the wind farm up and running by working with Apex Clean Energy, a solar developer currently constructing the 98- megawatt Hoopeston Wind Project. The wind farm is expected to be fully operational by the first half of 2015.

IKEA has made commitments to grow in the United States, reduce their carbon footprints, and be a leader in mitigating climate change and boosting clean energy sources. The Illinois wind farm will be home to 49 wind turbines. The wind farm is expected to generate the equivalent of 34,000 average American households electricity needs.

“The US has amazing wind and sun resources that will never run out. We are delighted to make this investment – it is great for jobs, great for energy security, and great for our business. Importantly, it’s great for the future of our climate,” said Steve Howard, Chief Sustainability Officer, IKEA Group in a press release.

The wind farm project in Illinois will be bigger than any of the wind farms IKEA has previously built. The Swedish company has built wind farms sin eight other countries including Canada and Germany. The company also produces renewable energy with 550,000 solar panels owned globally through the production of geothermal energy.

IKEA does not see the wind farm as a short-term investment. The company sees it as a long-term investment that makes economic sense and shows that the company cares about the environment. IKEA is one of the few companies that invests in its own energy projects.

Andrew Winston, founder of sustainability consultancy Winston Eco-Strategies and author of “The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World,” told the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, “Ikea is on the vanguard of moving the business from fossil fuel [dependence].”

“It’s good business. In a world that’s really volatile and very unpredictable, renewable energy is very predictable. There’s the hedge against fuel  prices. It does lower the costs and gives them resilience. There’s lots of value. It isn’t altruistic. Nobody is moving as fast as they are,” said Winston.

IKEA plans to open three new stores in the United States in 2014 and 2015. It also has plans to expand its manufacturing partnership with a key US supplier. The Hoopeston Wind Project is expected to be operational by 2015.

Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.

April 15th, 2014

Walmart and Target Make Sustainable Food an Economical Choice

Posted by Lisa Carey

sustainable fruits

By Linda St.Cyr

Sustainable products often seem targeted to upper-income consumers. Organic, sustainable food is often 3 times the price of the non-organic food product. Eating organic constantly and consistently can be a real challenge for those of us who are on the lower end of the economic scale.  Walmart and Target are attempting to change the perception and affordability of sustainable products.

Walmart announced that it will offer a new line of organic food, labeled “Wild Oats”, at prices comparable to its conventional counterpart.  Walmart expects to undercut the existing price points in the industry for common household products.

The Associated Press reports, “[A] Wild Oats’ 6-ounce can of tomato paste, for example, is priced at 58 cents, compared with 98 cents for a national-brand organic version. And a 32-ounce can of chicken broth under Wild Oats is priced at $1.98, compared with the $3.47 for a national-brand alternative, according to the discounter’s survey of 26 nationally branded organic products available at Walmart.com.”

Walmart’s goal is to remove the premium associated with organic groceries. But Walmart already has some competition. Target has already begun selling sustainable foods under the label “Simply Balanced”. The majority of the items available under the Target label are made without GMOs and the ones that currently have GMOs will see them eliminated by the end of 2014.

Target has plans to stock 120 new products on their shelves that are more environmentally friendly. The umbrella category for the items is “Made to Matter—Handpicked by Target”.  The company will be working with 17 brands whose goods it already stocks. The brands will provide new products and products that have been adjusted to be more environmentally friendly.

Both of the chain stores say the increase in sustainable products is a response to consumer demand.

“Almost all of our guests, 97 percent, say they buy some product that is natural, organic or sustainable,” Kathryn A. Tesija, Target’s executive vice president for merchandising and supply chain, told The New York Times.

“They’re looking for products in this category,” she said. “We’re making it easy by calling them out.”

 

Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.

March 26th, 2014

Oklahoma City Offers Eco-Friendly Freebies for Earth Day

Posted by guest

By Linda St.Cyr

Oklahoma City is getting ready to have a party for the planet as we head toward Earth Day 2014. The city is offering freebies, eco-friendly initiatives, and fun events in anticipation of creating a healthier planet.  The events kick off on March 30 and run through Earth Day 2014. Earth Day is celebrated on April 22.

One of the first events offered in Oklahoma City is “Open Streets OKC” where NW 23rd between Western and Robinson will be vehicle-free for a four hour period of time between noon and 4 p.m. on March 30.  The free community event hopes to turn a major city street into a safe place for people to exercise, ride bikes, and play.

Several recycling days will take place for very specific items that are hard to find the proper recycling areas for.  On April 5 there will be a “special household hazardous waste collection” that will allow people to get rid of unwanted tires, ammo, computers and pharmaceuticals.  There are two down sides to the special waste collection: it is only open to Oklahoma City residents and some things like televisions, tires with rims and off-road tires will not be accepted.  A free shred day will take place on April 12 where people can shred and recycle their personal papers.

Oklahoma City will be celebrating Earth Day in style at Earth Fest on April 12. It is a free annual celebration held at Martin Park Nature Center. There will be eco-friendly talks, demos on everything from invasive species to rain barrels and aquapontics. There will also be tons of activities available for kids. There will also be a refuge cleanup at Stinchcomb Wildlife Refuge on April 12. The cleanup is hosted by Friends of Lake Overholser. There will be a free lunch after the clean up and a prize giveaway for attending the event.  Those who wish to attend the cleanup can email FriendsOfLakeOverholser@Cox.net or call 702-8192 to register.

METRO Transit will also be getting in on the party for the planet. The bus company will be offering free bus rides on Earth Day, April 22. The company wants customers to save on their gas bill and reduce their carbon footprint.

Oklahoma City is getting a head start on saving the planet. This is one bandwagon that many other cities should be happy to jump in on with their own events.

Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. She writes about news, sustainability, green energy, food, celebrities and much more. Often she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and shedding a light on human rights violations all over the world.

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