How to Fix the Food System – EcoFacts v. 9 n. 43

How to Fix the Food System

All of us living creatures are sustained by food, water and air. And we determine the quality of these, little us (really big 7 billion strong us) , in one way or another. We seem so small and insignificant, but as an engaged citizenry - no, we are not. Unengaged, we give the power to others to decide things for us. The food writer, Mark Bittman, wrote recently: "To a large extent, you can fix … [Read more...]

Fracking Away Our Future? – Ecofacts v.9 n.42

bp-oil-spill-gulf-of-mexico-governor-jindal-louisiana-c1ef43ff0f158c8f_large

Steadily increasing attention on fracking, and regulation thereof, can ONLY be a good thing. This "less conventional" method and associated ones for extracting oil and natural gas was employed for many years with little notice. In the last 15 years, the amount of gas obtained here in the U.S. from fracking has gone from 1% to 25%, much higher by some estimates. Of oil, the increase has been … [Read more...]

LED Lighting the Way to a Better World – EcoFacts v.9 n.41

LED lighting from Livingreen

Nobel prizes were awarded this week to the inventors of blue LED lighting, including Shuji Nakamura, a professor here at UCSB. You may ask what the significance is. Red and green LEDs were invented in the 60s. It took until the 90s for these fellows to create higher energy blue light from a light emitting diode, which, when combined with red and green form white, enabling multi colored and white … [Read more...]

Eco Musings… EcoFacts v.9 n.40

Connection to the Environment

It is not a facts day. I've been thinking about "connection", and how the uses of this word have evolved in recent history, and in my own I ride my bike and walk quite a bit and so very often I connect with people on the street whom I know, but frequently also with strangers. A hello and smile from a stranger always gives me a big lift, and it happens quite often, this warmth and very real … [Read more...]

Climate CHANGE – EcoFacts n.9 n.39

People's Climate March NYC 2014

A globally coordinated day of action last weekend mobilized thousands in Paris, Berlin, Istanbul, Melbourne, Jakarta - in 162 or more countries - with the People's Climate March in New York City being the centerpiece. An estimated 300,000 - 400,000 people showed up. This was planned to be shortly before the U.N. Climate Summit, where the need for action was evident in the meeting of government … [Read more...]

Nuts for Coconut Water – EcoFacts v.9 n.38

Coconut water is a perfect symbol for the confluence of globalization and marketing, for the internet-viral speeds of health claims, for our thirst for convenient and healthy alternatives to soda and tasty alternatives to water. So recently, it was a rare thing here in the U.S., on the mainland anyway. Within a decade or so, cans, bottles and tetrapaks of it seem to be everywhere. And where does … [Read more...]

U.S. and Global Soda Sales – Ecofacts v.9 n.37

Although soda sales are down in the U.S., global soda sales are still rising. More interesting is that while soda sales in general are down 3% and have been declining for nearly two decades, diet Coke and Pepsi are down much more - 7%  - here in the U.S.. Bottled water, energy drinks and ready to drink coffee and tea sales are up.  People are becoming slightly more health conscious, or speedy. … [Read more...]

Coffee Culture – Ecofacts v.9 n.36

American Coffee Culture

Coffee culture -  sure is different than it was 50 years ago, that coffee that was poured in homes and coffee shops. Now, 83% of Americans drink coffee, 63% daily, and a third of all Americans drink a "gourmet coffee beverage" every day! The soaring demands for it mean that much more of it is grown, and as usual, that means a greater impact. On us, perhaps, but certainly on thousands more acres … [Read more...]

Water Bottles and Soda Bottles in Landfills – Ecofacts v.9 n.35

soda bottles in landfills

Water has returned to first place in popularity of beverages in the U.S.. Water consumption has increased in the last decade with the sales of bottled water, to 58 gallons per year, more than a third of them -  21 gallons - are bottled. Soda was in first place before, peaking in the late nineties at a rate of 54 gallons per year average, which means for 300 million Americans, including all those … [Read more...]

What We Drink, Part I – Ecofacts v.9 n.34

Untapped Water Savings via the Pacific Institute

Okay, to state the obvious: Every living thing needs water to survive, every drink that touches our lips, every bite that enters our mouths, every thing we encounter and use, every day. Our current drought is forcing us to rethink what we drink and how we use it - how much fresh water goes down the drain, for example. And this drought won't be the last one, so things will have to change. Our daily … [Read more...]