Messing Up the Clean – Why Can’t BP Get It Right?

It’s been almost a month since an oil rig about 50 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico exploded and resulted in what has since promised to become one of the greatest ecological disasters of all time.  Within 2 days of the explosion, an oil slick approximately 5 square miles appeared in the Gulf.  At the time, it wasn’t known if that was residual oil from the fire on the rig or if there was a leak.  Within a few days, it’s confirmed that there is an active leak with initial guesstimates by the Coast Guard put the oil gushing out at about 1000 barrels a day; it was then upped to 5000 per day.  That number has since been revised to upwards of 70,000, but BP won’t allow scientists to use special equipment in an effort to better estimate that number.

By the end of April, over 100,000 gallons of chemical dispersant are used to prevent the oil from reaching shore.  This in itself is a problem.  In most circles, chemical dispersant is seen as a necessary evil: something that keeps lots of oil from reaching shores, yet something that’s chemical makeup is unknown to the public.  Because dispersant is not known to the public, it’s safety is a question.  In fact,  one such dispersant being used, Corexit, is banned in Britain.   Corexit was used in the ’89 clean up of the Exxon Valdez and has been linked to health problems in humans and development problems in wildlife.

Dispersants, as the name implies, Continue reading


Earth Day – What Do I Do? What Can You Do?

(Cross-posted on Facebook)

To me, everyday is Earth Day! Here are some of the things I do throughout the year that you can do too:

  • Use real dishes instead of paper or plastic.
  • Use reusable mugs or bottles instead of plastic bottles and paper cups.
  • Use reusable bags for groceries.
  • Skip the bag if you’re just buying one or two items.
  • Compost kitchen waste. We have worms that eat most of our veggie waste.
  • Use a push mower. Mowers are much dirtier than cars and ours uses no energy except people-power!
  • Replace regular incandescent light bulbs with LED or CFL bulbs. Not only does it use less energy, it wastes less energy, therefore keeping your cooling bills down.
  • Receive and pay bills online.
  • Buy used and shop at used bookstores (I love Half Price Books and,, Craigslist, Amazon Marketplace, or eBay.
  • Use your local Freecycle group.
  • Shop at farmer’s markets.
  • Join a CSA.
  • Play MP3s instead of CDs or stream video instead of watching a DVD.
  • Instead of setting your screen saver, turn off your monitor when you walk away from your computer.
  • Use rechargeable batteries in your Wii remotes.
  • Shower once a week–just kidding!

What do you do to make everyday Earth Day?

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