The Earth Watch Institute is an international organization that works with volunteers and scientists to improve the health of our planet. They claim that research is their top priority, and they use the research to attempt at solving the earth’s most important environmental problems.even works with WWF, the Climate Group, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. The five organizations teamed up with the assistance of HSBC Bank to form the HSBC Climate Partnership with a five-year program aimed at raising international awareness and inspire environmental progress.
Stumbleupon.com has become very popular recently among the college community as a way to browse your interests with the click of a button. Stumbling offers procrastinators all over the world the access to millions of websites relevant to their members’ specific interests. While this website sounds like an evil distraction meant to ruin any students’ precious study time, when applied properly, stumbling is accurate and informational. When you stumble within the “Environment” category, the site brings users to sites like a blog about ways to recycle different types of waste or press releases about eco-friendly products like reusable spray bottles. These are just some of the many useful sites that stumbling can show users to raise environmental awareness in web-browsers. Finally, procrastination has never been so informative!
Breathingearth.net is a world map that visualizes CO2 emissions, births and deaths, and rising or falling populations. I found this site to be eye opening in that large countries like the USA and China emit 1000 tons of CO2 approximately every two seconds. This type of visualization is compiled of past data collected by the CIA World Factbook and the United Nations Statistics Division. It is a visual simulator, and along with showing emissions and population increase, it keeps track of how many births and deaths have taken place as well as how much CO2 is emitted since the page is up. In my case, after 12 minutes approximately 3000 births, 1200 deaths, and 630000 tons of CO2 emissions took place.
Scorecard is a website that allows you to enter your zip code and you receive a “pollution report card” for your county. The categories are: toxins, air,water, agriculture, environmental justice, and health hazards. I find it really useful to know how polluted your area is (and which pollutants are the most prominent) to better understand how to be healthy/safe and lower pollution.
For example, here are some facts that you may not have known about Crawford County:
In 2002, this county ranked among the dirtier 40% of all counties in the U.S. in terms of air releases.
The top polluters in Crawford County are: LORD CORP. MOLDED FIBER GLASS TRAY CO., U.S. BRONZE FNDY. & MACHINE INC., UNIVERSAL STAINLESS & ALLOY PRODS. INC., and GRAND VALLEY MFG. CO..
In 2004, this county ranked among the cleanest/best 10% of all counties in the U.S. in terms of the number of designated Superfund sites.
In 1999, this county ranked among the dirtiest/worst 20% of all counties in the U.S. in terms of nitrogen oxides emissions.
My favorite facet of this website is at the bottom where it says, “Do More” and then it lists five options for users so that they can take action. The options include sending a message to the top polluters in your area, and telling the E.P.A. not to weaken pollution reporting.
Greenwala is a website whose mission is to “harness the power of a community to create opportunities for people to “Go Green” and improve their lives”. They strongly believe in individuals each making a difference on their own and as a community. Some unique features of Greenwala are: many videos, links to online petitions, classified sections, a green store, and different subjects such as pets and food.
A really interesting article that I found on http://www.greenwala.com is about turning steel into solar panels with photovoltaic spray paint. This reminded me of when an upperclassman came into our Environmental Science 110 class with Professor Bowden and showed us the solar panels that will be put in place at Allegheny College. I found it really intriguing that the technology can be advanced further and improved upon so quickly and so soon after the creation of solar panels.
http://www.treehugger.com is a website devoted to environmental awareness and action. At the top of the site’s page you will see three columns: “1. Get Informed”, “2. Interact”, and “3. Take Action”. This feature shows Treehugger’s main goals very clearly, to promote awareness of environmental problems, to allow for communications about the issues, and to encourage people to help the environment. Some really interesting features include: slideshows, articles involving celebrities and fashion, games, quizzes, and even a job board! Even though the website has pizazz, it still covers very serious and important issues. Some of the more practical features include articles about: science, food/health, business/politics, green basics, and a guide on how to go green. The “guide” is a series of links that are divided into many categories so that you can read thorough information on how to be more environmentally friendly in every aspect of your life. Click here to check out the green guide!
Here are some of my favorite articles on Treehugger:
This Device Provides Clean Water for only Pennies a Day
Trash Metering Cuts Waste by 50% in one Month
^ This relates to sustainable cities and landfills like we’ve been discussing in Professor Bowden’s Environmental Science 110 class.
Convertible Clothing at Urban Outiftters
Quarter of US Meat Samples Carry Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, Factory Farms to Blame: Study
S.E.Q.L., Sustainable Environment for Quality of LIfe, is an organization in North and South Carolina funded by the Environmental Protection Agency. On their website, I found a list called “100 Way to Save the Environment”. The list is great because it gives very simple suggestions that would be easy to implement into your daily life such as: wrap your water heater in an insulated blanket, use traps instead of poisons, and buy items in bulk. Also, there are categories for different locations such as home/office and different elements such as water/air. This makes it really easy to find tips on an area in which you would like to improve. Click here to see the full list!
The Center for Economic and Environmental Development is Allegheny College’s leading environmental organization. CEED aims at, “creating innovative approaches to environmental stewardship, environmental education, and regional revitalization.” Their goal is to work alongside local partners and establish a green initiative within the community. One of CEED’s more successful projects was designing a storm water management system at the Interstate 79 interchange in Meadville. CEED is also in charge of the sculptures made of road signs alongside route 322 in Meadville. If you are looking to get involved in helping Meadville embrace an environmental initiative, CEED is perfect organization to involve with.
Allegheny College is aware of environmental issues that face our earth and has been working hard to make more of its’ students and staff conscientious about protecting the planet. The hub of Allegheny’s green initiative can be found at a website called “The Green Gator,” which is accessible through Allegheny’s website. The site is run by the Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED) on campus; they published “The Green Gator” as a green-living guide for students. The guide can be found on the Green Gator site; also on the site is a list of upcoming events and links to other relevant campus organizations’ sites such as the Environmental Science Club, Sustainable Initiatives at Allegheny, Students for Environmental Action, and the ASG Blog.
The United State Geological Survey is an organization that monitors the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, and the impacts of climate and land usage change. This is also a great site to explore water resources because since society depends on fresh and reliable water systems as well as fragile ecosystems, the USGS helps better understand water resources, with water quality information, data, publications, maps and projects.