Posts Tagged Barack Obama

Revive the Victory Garden

The other day I was helping my nine year old study for her Social Studies test.  The topic: World War II focusing on food rationing and Victory Gardens.  How appropriate in today’s atmosphere of uncertainty.

Originally, Victory Gardens were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted in private residences during World War I and II to primarily ease the demands on the public food supply brought on by the war.  But these gardens were also morale boosters.  What a perfect tradition to revive!  We thirst for some sort of spirit enhancer and Eat the View , a people-powered campaign to start a victory-type garden on the White House premises does just this. The idea behind the White House Victory Garden is to grow organic produce for the White House kitchen as well as for local food pantries.  Some believe this is simply a symbolic move if the Obama’s favorably decide to adopt the Victory Garden concept; but it’s functional, too. “Through the process of growing your own food, you reap the benefits of better health through tastier, more nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables, a more physically fit body, and, quite possibly, improved psychological well-being, something that money can’t buy.  Assuming you don’t live on a toxic waste dump, your food will potentially be safer.  It can be economical.  And, when you grow it yourself, you gain an appreciation for what the true value of food really is.”

So why not undertake “Victory” home garden?  Start small with some herbs.  If you’re more adventurous, find a local spot in your community where everyone can take part. Here are some great tips to keep in mind that will not only save you money, but will allow you to conserve food (by growing your own) and natural resources. You can be part of the solution by keeping America’s food supply safe, healthy, nutritious, and local:

 

·          To create a compost in my backyard.

·          To use drip irrigation or soaker hoses in my garden and/or flower bed instead of regular sprinklers which will use less water.

·          To buy natural pesticides for my garden as opposed to using chemical pesticides.

·         To use mulch in the garden to conserve water.

·         If your green thumb isn’t cooperating, be sure to buy food from a local farmer’s market instead of the supermarket when possible.

 

What a symbolic and real statement President and First Lady Obama can make:  eat locally and healthy. The Victory Garden will address the issues that affect us all from global warming, environmental ruin, and economic crises.

 

To make and keep track of your Earth Promise’s, visit www.earthpromise.com/login.cgi

 

 

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Look Towards the Sun

Solar energy is hot—literally. Today, increasingly more people are becoming fascinated by the savings renewable energy can offer.  And savings is a hopeful word in today’s economic turmoil.  So, what is solar energy exactly? Wikipedia  puts it simply, “Solar Energy is the radiant light and heat from the Sun that has been harnessed by humans since ancient times using a range of ever-evolving technologies. Solar radiation along with secondary solar resources such as wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass account for most of the available renewable energy on Earth. Only a minuscule fraction of the available solar energy is used.” Thanks to President Obama, that small fraction is slowing growing.

Governor Charlie Crist was present yesterday to unveil the installation of Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) first large-scale solar roof. This will harvest Florida’s sunlight abundance into useful energy. The initial up-front investment was indeed costly, but the monetary benefits combined with the decrease in the usage of our natural resources is immeasurable. There is little or no maintenance with solar panels. “More than 230 solar panels were installed on the roof, producing energy that will help reduce the building’s current demand and prevent greenhouse gas emissions.” To read more about this energy saving investment, visit, The Business Journal

So what kinds of energy conservation and efficiency can you do now on a smaller scale for your home? Here are some suggestions:

 Those interested in purchasing and installing large-scale solar panels or other sun-plugged products, here are some useful sites:

SolarHome.org  offers “great deals on everything from panels and batteries to chargers and lights – all powered by the energy of the sun.”

RealGoods.com not only educates on the benefits of installing solar products, but offers an array of merchandise.

Solar energy may be one of the most important sources of energy we have.  Make a promise to utilize our ever-present renewable resource.

Join Earth Promise to make, and keep track of your personal promises.

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Stimulus Bill Is Looking Mighty Green

While there is much debate on Obama’s stimulus bill that was passed Friday, the idea that there are any (or at least green jobs) is hopeful.  The economic stimulus touts to not only create green jobs, but will also tackle our global warming and reliance on fossil fuels.   President Obama needs our support, as our future depends on it.  

 

MSNBC’s article about Obama’s stimulus package being signed today in Denver, Colorado, clarifies this step forward with the promise of more jobs in the near future:

President Barack Obama will sign the $787 billion stimulus package today.  “The setting, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, is meant to underscore the investments the new law will make in “green” energy-related jobs.”

The Miami Herald’s   article from yesterday states, “Robert Pollin, a professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, said the green investment portion of the stimulus more broadly should yield about 1.7 million jobs, about 30 percent of them in construction.”

So let’s help President Obama’s “major milestone on our road to recovery. “  Visit Earth Promise and see how your changes can make an enormous impact.

  

Join Earth Promise to make, and keep track of your personal promises

 

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Green and Easy Ways to Cut Your Electricity Bill

With President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan  moving to the Senate, Obama pledges to jump-start the economy. “This is not just a short-term program to boost employment,” he said. “It’s one that will invest in our most important priorities like energy and education; health care and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century.”  Some (and not even close to all) of the country’s serious challenges include updating our electric grid and weatherizing over 2 million homes.  Thankfully, this will not only provide much needed employment, but will steer Americans’ progressive green agenda.  So what kind of energy saving promises can we as individuals make? 

Here are some great investments in energy savings you can do at home:

 

·         To wrap the water heater in an insulation blanket to store heat.  Why make this earth promise? This can save about 25% of the energy in your home. 

·         To installer dimmer switches on lights in areas of the house where they would be useful.

·         To adjust the thermostat when away from the home travelling .  Installing a programmable thermostat can pay for itself in just one season!

·         To put door sweeps on all doors to prevent heat or air conditioning to escape

It is important to note that maintaining your heating and air conditioning systems with a $50-$100 annual tune-up will help keep it operating efficiently and reduce your costs up to 5%.

Be sure to visit, Earth Promise, for more energy saving tips.

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Cooking Tips To Help Your Environment and Your Wallet

In his memorable inaugural address, Obama acknowledged the economic and employment crisis we are in, but also promised to “invest in our most important priorities like energy.”  President Barack Obama plans to unite these top priorities, the economy and jobs, with the change of ideals concerning our environment.

How can we as individuals help?  Over the next few days, I’ll go through each area of the house to give some easy, yet impactful changes you can make.  Not only will they lesson your carbon footprint, but save you money.  Now doesn’t that sound nice?

Here are some Earth Promises you can easily implement when you cook:

·         To keep the refrigerator door closed as much as possible

·         Always cover your pots when boiling water so that it boils quicker and thus uses less energy from the stove.

·         To use my toaster instead of the oven for smaller amounts of food that needs to be heated up or cooked.

·         To keep the microwave clean in order to maximize its performance

·         To cook in bulk and store in the refrigerator or freezer to lessen the frequency of using the stove.

 

So keep in mind that going “green” is not an extravagance; it is a necessity today.  Every small change you make is impactful, economically, and for valuable for our Earth’s sustainability.

 

Check back tomorrow for more Earth Promise changes you can easily apply to your life. 

If you want to receive Earth Promise blogs by email, click here

 

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An Open Letter to President Obama About the Environment

Dear President Obama,

Congratulations to you, your family, to this country and all others around the world.  With you as our president, many aspects of our society will improve as we leave one administration and start another. 

Today is a day of service your wife has led, Martin Luther King Day, and the final countdown to your inauguration.  While you have a lot to turn your attention to, I ask you to make the environment and the climate crisis a focal point.  It is connected to so many aspects of our lives and policies, and as you have indicated, it is important to make it one of our top priorities.  I am the Founder of Earth Promise (www.earthpromise.com), an online community dedicated to bringing people together who want to take better care of the environment.  We provide an easy way for people to make, track and keep promises about actions that will benefit the earth.  I am writing today to learn about your Earth Promises and how you can impact those made by others.  You are the leader to move us forth.  President Bush did not view this as a top priority.  I ask you to please make it one.

Why am I writing this letter to you?  It is for your two daughters.  It is for my two daughters.  It is for their generation and the ones that follow.  Yes, we will pay the price for inaction on this issue.  But left as is, it will get worse and worse for them.     

We all need to think about the environment, and how it affects us and our future generations.  The polar bears, the trees, the ice caps cannot speak.  We need to take action and help them.   We need to take action to protect them.  We need to take action and speak for them.  I think Dr. Seuss said it best in his book The Lorax, written WAY ahead of its time (1971).  “I am the Lorax.  I speak for the trees.” We need to speak for the trees.

Your New Energy Plan for America is an outline for success in this area with support.  We need the backing of politicians and corporations to help us down the path to fix this crisis.  We also need the average person.  They need to be educated on the impact of global warming and know they can take steps to help.  While there are many sites, TV shows, and movies about this issue, no voice can come through stronger to people than yours.  Speak for the trees.

An individual has many opportunities to take action and make Earth Promises or changes in their lifestyles to benefit the environment.  From reducing ones use of water, electricity, and gas and reducing the amount of waste, all of us can make a difference.   These potential changes can be seen in all aspects of our lives from the home and school to shopping and food to travel and cars.  Many are easy steps that may not appear to be a lot on its own, but when many people take similar actions, the impact grows exponentially. 

You can help with these Earth Promises as well.  We need your help to generate momentum to create programs that enable, incent and drive groups of people to make these Earth Promises.  Encouraging schools to implement recycling programs and give them an incentive to do so.  For top schools, maybe that incentive is new energy efficient computers, or even a trip to visit you.  The effect of such a program will not only have a direct effect on the environment but will teach students about the crisis.  Think of the viral impact.  How about working with retailers to eliminate the use of plastic bags?  Give a tax credit not just for being in a certain tax bracket, but for taking action to help the environment.  What about a program revolving around planting trees? 

While many people are already taking steps to help the environment, there are still many who are not.  We need to change them from just thinking green to acting green.  With your words, with your guidance, with your encouragement, you can make these Earth Promises part of the lives of more and more people. 

As my colleagues and I worked on taglines for Earth Promise, we kept coming up with ones that included the word Change.  Of course, you ended up taking a lot of the good ones! But it is what we need to do regarding global warming and the climate crisis.  In the end, we decided on a tagline that works as well.  It is Caring Together.  We need to care for this planet, care for our trees and animals, and care for ourselves.  But mostly, together we need to care for our future generations.  For our daughters, and for our future.

I wish you nothing but the best as you steer this country down the path it needs to go.

Regards,

Adam Berg

Founder, Earth Promise

www.earthpromise.com

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Michelle Obama’s Call to Service

Change does not have to wait until President elect Barack Obama is sworn into office, January 20, 2009.  Michelle Obama has invited our nation to participate in a day of service on January 19, 2009.  She parallels the Renew America Together initiative to Martin Luther King, Jr. since his life’s message was to rebuild our country and conquer the challenges that lie ahead.  This is not to say that we Americans should dedicate a single day to volunteer; we need to make this an ongoing commitment.

A plethora of community service events throughout the country have been organized to answer President elect Obama’s call to make a change.  To be a part of this historic pre-inaugural event, visit, www.usaservice.org, to sign up to participate or host a service event in your community.

Some of the events being hosted around the nation are:

  • Beach clean-ups
  • Park clean-ups
  • Food drives
  • Blood drives
  • Habitat for Humanity events
  • Clothing drives
  • Tree plantings

Make our nation’s enthusiasm for change a lasting commitment.  For some ideas regarding how small changes can make a big difference, visit, http://www.earthpromise.com/

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