A few weeks ago I traveled to Austin, Texas for the 93rd Annual American Meteorological Society’s Conference. At this conference, meteorologists and climatologists gather together to discuss their work and future studies.This conference was a great opportunity for students like me to understand the industry more and talk with future employers and graduate advisors.
One thing I started thinking about during all the talks about climate change was all the resources that went into making this meeting happen. Every attendee received a name badge; ribbons for different conferences, classes and labels; a big schedule booklet; reusable bag; and other paper handouts. It made me think. Are we contributing to climate change too?
Around the conference building, there were a few recycle bins for the big booklets, which was good because when they ran out of books they were able to grab them out of the bins. But it was interesting to think of all the booklets, how much paper was used and how each booklet will be used for a week and then sit on a shelf to collect dust. It might be interesting to see if this format eventually translates to electronic handouts or apps.
There were also snacks and coffee offered to the attendees throughout the conference. These were served on plastic and paper settings. It made me wonder if they were made from post consumer products or decomposable products. With all the free coffee offered, I really wished I’d traveled with my reusable coffee cup. From now on, I vow to make a little extra room in my travel bag for my reusable coffee cup. My cup is going to see a lot more than just the Bay Area now.
I seemed to notice fewer recycle bins around compared to home, I did find this one and it made my day. It’s nice to see people caring for our environment and future generations.
Has any one else been to a conference and had similar thoughts?
- Illustration by Tamara Chang
Blog post about the connection between science and the arts from Michael Parrish, Dean of Science at San Jose State University. http://blogs.sjsu.edu/cos/2013/01/12/steam-forging-links-between-science-and-the-arts/
New Year, New Program!
Happy New Year to all our Green Ninja fans! We had a fabulous year in 2012, with more than 500,000 views of Green Ninja educational films on our GreenNinjaTV YouTube channel. Now, we are super excited to announce plans for a brand-new set of programing. Coming in Spring 2013, production will begin on “The Green Ninja Show” – a 16-episode series hosted on YouTube and aimed at upper elementary to middle school children, their teachers, and parents.
Get Your Name in the Credits, or Even a Walk-On Role!
We have launched a Kickstarter campaign for our new Green Ninja Show. Watch the one-minute video to hear all about it (watch to the end for the dramatic surprise ending — don’t worry, no ninjas or scientists were injured in the making of this film). Donate $10 and get your name in the credits. Donate more and get a walk-on role for you or your child!
What Your Support Will Mean
The funds we raise will enable us to pay for the studio staff and equipment rental, develop the studio set, hire students for specific highly skilled roles, and hire a social media architect to help design the social marketing and publicity campaign to build our subscriber base for the show.
The Green Ninja Show will be directed by Professor David Chai (http://www.houseofchai.net/), an acclaimed animator/educator and twice nominated Annie Award winner for Best Short Subject. San Jose State University (SJSU) students will write and produce the show under David’s guidance and in partnership with Spartan Film Studios. Faculty and students from the College of Science and the College of Education will ensure effective science and educational content.
For the last week, I was sick with a cold. After a day with a constant runny nose, I wondered how many trees I had killed with as many tissues I used. I decided I needed to find some kind of alternative. I went to Target first, I found out that most tissue companies make their cardboard boxes from 45% post consumer recycled products… but other than that, these products weren’t any better for the environment.
The end of the paper product aisle, however caught my eye. I found a whole section devoted to “green” products, such as PrideGreen and Scott Naturals. These products included biodegradable trash bags and sandwich bags made of up to 100% recycled materials.This made me wonder if other stores had these products too.
When I went to Trader Joe’s, I found 100% recycled tissues but they had this warning on the bottom not to leave them in the wash, I am guessing because they would disintegrate. Because they were single-ply they seemed like I was going to use more tissues than I already had been.
When I went to CVS, I found toilet paper again but no tissues and Walgreens was the same.
When I searched online, I found Seventh Generation, a company that provides biodegradable and recycled products. These tissues had reviews for very soft tissues that were considered to be better that products with lotion in them. This company also provides laundry detergents, cleaning products, baby diapers, and other disposable items. Surprisingly, the prices were also about the same as their competitors.
During my search, I was pointed toward an article that talked about paper napkins versus linen napkins. Did you know that paper napkins have a smaller carbon footprint? Paper napkins have 10 grams of greenhouse gas emissions, while linen napkins have 127 grams and cotton napkins have 1020 grams. But remember this is only for one use so if the napkins are used once then a paper napkin is the better choice. but if you plan on using the napkin multiple times the cloth would be the better choice. The same goes for picking up a spill, instead of using ten paper napkins to clean up one towel or cloth napkin would be the better choice.