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Showing posts from 2013

Sustainability: Plastics

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Image Source: Plastic Problems : How Do Plastic Bags Affect Our Environment?
I had started this project last week, but since plastic has come up in several conversations recently (this one being the coolest, by far), it must be a sign that plastic is on peoples' minds. Consider the plastic in your life, please. It's quite astounding once you realize how prevalent it has become. In many ways, plastic has benefited our lives greatly by making the things we use lighter, cheaper and more convenient. It's brought us portable music, cool ways to organize our space, carry things with us, communicate. It's even been a leading element in saving lives. Plastic is cool, right? Cool like Katy Perry.

Plastic is created from various combinations of petrochemicals to make polymers that are derived from the mining of petroleum. Deriving items from hydrocarbons not only supports the domestic and foreign reliance on a finite resource (finite, based on the rate of human consumptio…

Miami's Dreaded Dredging Proposal

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I have still been working on my 'Accountability' project each week, but I haven't had much time to get certain editorials down in text.  Here is a photo from the Port of Miami shipping yard at Government Cut.  In December I hope to catch up with a few stories, one of them being about the amount of exports that come into Miami, where all of this stuff is going, who's in on the profits and proposals, including a proposed bill to dredge Biscayne Bay in order to remain a prominent figure in the international trade market.  This dredging is in response to the proposed Panama Canal Expansion Project, expected for completion by 2015.  What you maybe haven't heard is the extreme detriment that Miami's dredging proposal will have on biodiversity in Biscayne Bay, the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary, and the commercial fishing industry, itself.  Please stay tuned to learn more about how these topics are connected and what this will mean to the future of Miami, Florida.


This …

Accountability: What happens to your broken electronics?

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When you purchase new electronics, what do you do with the old components you are replacing? Do you donate them? Give them to a friend? Throw them away? Send them to a recycling facility? Many people I see throw countless items in the garbage everyday. Multiply this by the billions of people on this planet and you should easily see a problem. While not all countries have waste collection programs, here in the US we do. You can contact your local Solid Waste Management to see how you can properly dispose of your spent electronics. Most of these items can be disassembled by these agencies, where parts can be recycled back into new electronics. Most of the plastic housings can also be recycled.

Here are the links for our counties here in South Florida. You can easily look for the department in your county by searching, "Solid Waste Management" in your search browser.
Miami Dade County: http://www.miamidade.gov/publicworks/home.asp
Broward County: http://www.broward.o…

Accountability: Hill's Pet Nutrition Science Diet

I recently emailed Hill's Pet Nutrition headquarters to ask if they had any future plans of making the packaging for their pet products recyclable anytime in the near future. The best way to get the answers you need is to reach out and ask. It's important that we hold businesses accountable for the things we feel are important. I feel like responsible manufacturing, production, and distribution is imperative to our future. The same goes with honest business practices and concerns for their customer-base. This goes beyond the satisfaction of the product itself; it extends to the source of their resources, how the extraction of these resources effects local communities, how the disposal of wastes effects environment health for you and your future. These are extremely important ideas and we deserve to demand them. Here is my original email:

Hello,

I have been a customer with Hills for a long time, purchasing dog/cat food for my pets. I was disappointed to see that your pac…

A Thoughtful Approach

NatureBox is a company founded in 2011 by co-founder and CEO Gautam Gupta. Their aim is to decrease obesity by changing eating habits and encouraging healthy snacking. Customers who join NatureBox receive 5 snacks each month for $20 through an ongoing monthly subscription that can be cancelled or paused at anytime with a simple (and pleasant) phone call. They also have family plans of 10 or 20 snacks each month for $30 and $50, respectively. When it comes to choosing snacks, NatureBox has made it easy by rolling out an interactive beta version that allows you to fine-tune your snacking choices each month by picking specific snacks for your monthly delivery. I discovered the Beta version after calling to inquire on how to receive only vegan snacks, which they are beginning to introduce in greater quantity into their product line.

NatureBox is like any business--existing to create a profit, but the co-founder and CEO seem to be passionate about their mission. In addition to their …

Life's a Beach, parte dos

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City Time Lapse

Meet Rob Whitworth. Below you will find a link to his Vimeo page, and here is a link to his photography.

Kuala Lumpur DAY-NIGHT from Rob Whitworth on Vimeo.
Also check out his incredible Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City time lapse.

Open Letter

Dear Unnamed, December 2004,

I wish you only the best. It's time we go our separate ways. Life should be about growth and evolution of our self as a component to the present moment. For me, it has been a spiritual journey--becoming closer to the Earth and closer to my ability to cease an instance and create harmony reliant only upon itself. It's time you found comfort and satisfaction in your skin; within your new journey--despite all that has happened, and despite all you may still endure. The past is a circle that connects with the present and it is important that we find peace within that circle. That we take what was and what is and accept them as air; free to float about without dictation, influence or agenda.

This is your opportunity to start anew and create balance in a realm that maybe feels intimidating and uncomfortable. We think of others, often. Swear we need them, but it is not always so. Our ability to give stems from an inner stability that has created …

Soneto I

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Matilde, nombre de planta o piedra o vino,
de lo que nace de la tierra y dura,
palabra en cuyo crecimiento amanece,
en cuyo estío estalla la luz de los limones.

En ese nombre corren navíos de madera
rodeados por enjambres de fuego azul marino,
y esas letras son el agua de un río
que desemboca en mi corazón calcinado.

Oh nombre descubierto bajo una enredadera
como la puerta de un túnel desconocido
que comunica con la fragancia del mundo!

Oh invádeme con tu boca abrasadora,
indágame, si quieres, con tus ojos nocturnos,
pero en tu nombre déjame navegar y dormir.

Another chapter closed

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From left to right: Caroline, Betsy, Lauren, Joey, Me, Steph, Craig, Sean, Martha.Importants not pictured: Zack, Serina, Halley
The FIU Layman Lab chapter has come to a close, along with the end of the 2012-2013 school year. It's been a fairly good ride for most of us. Some of the current students will stay affiliated with the lab in one way or another. Either through continued work in Abaco, Bahamas with independent research or with helping Friend's of the Environment establish their new educational research center.

Betsy will remain at FIU while continuing the last little bit of her work in Abaco. Lauren is graduating and will be moving on to UNC for her post-doc. Joey has graduated with the completion of his undergraduate thesis. He will be graduating next Tuesday, cum laude, and will be attending Portland State in the Fall. Martha has also accomplished her undergraduate thesis with great success and will also be graduating alongside Joey this Tuesday, cum laude. Mos…

A Cynic...

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"... is someone who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

Camera Buffs, Unite!

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Every once in a while I like to give shout outs to companies and products that I really love. Today's boost goes to a company I have blogged about in the past. Meet Photojojo (a link also lives in the lefthand column of this blog). They are a combination of innovative camera gadgets (that are very reasonably priced), along with inspiring photo project ideas and tips for taking better photographs.

The GadgetsAs long as I have known Photojojo they have always been on top of the latest and greatest camera trends. Their gadgets are amazingly avant-garde and may make you feel like quite the modern-day maverick. Here are a few of my personal favorites: bicycle camera mount, rotating 360 degrees time-lapse stand, remote shutter trigger controlled by iPhone/Pad/Touch, telephoto lens adapteriPhone SLR mount, a nifty pocket tripod that uses cable tension to stabilize your shot, or a heavy duty aluminum camera clip for your pack or belt strap. I could go on and on. Find their full sto…