Say “No” to Plastic Bags!

Get in the habit of bringing your own bags shopping.

Get in the habit of bringing your own bags shopping.

I do the majority of my grocery shopping at food coops, but when I visit regular grocery stores I am appalled by the number of plastic bags leaving with purchases. I know most them aren’t recycled.  My city will put fees on some plastic bags in 2017, and I can’t wait!!  It will be a fabulous education tool for many people!!

Below is from Earth911.com, and contains some information I didn’t know, how the below businesses have reduced plastic bags. Please shop retailers that protect our earth.  I haven’t shopped at all these retailers so please let me know if this information is accurate???

From Earth911.com: “Did you know that studies have shown that about 12 million metric tons of plastic debris, including plastic bags, has accumulated in our oceans around the world? Due to this pollution, more than 100,000 marine animals die each year due to plastic entanglement! That is a startling number – and one that doesn’t show any signs of slowing its growth.”  Read the entire article here.

These are the retailers to patronize!

  1. Adidas
  2. Ikea
  3. COSCO, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s
  4. Whole Foods
  5. Local Coops Earth 911 gives a shout out to New Pioneer in Iowa City. I shopped there while traveling this summer and recommend shopping there if you are in Iowa City or traveling along Interstate 80 through Iowa.

And more on plastic pollution here.

The plastic bag fee in Britain has reduced plastic bag use by something like 80%!

Posted in birds, healthy, lakes, oceans, rivers, streams, sustainable, wildlife | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

World Photo Day

Health 4 Earth

Health 4 Earth

A beautiful picture from Climate Reality reminding us to protect the only home we have!

Posted in climate change, healthy, sustainable | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Warm Air Holds More Moisture

999922_619252368141411_1083645899_n (1)Have you been caught in a record rain storm and flooding this summer? Chances are that most of us in the United States and Europe have experienced a heavier than normal rainfall. My travel this summer has brought me to see displaced people following storms (nothing like Louisiana or California).  I have seen lakes created from heavy rain submerging homes, closed roads and bridges, yards with 20 uprooted trees, and experienced power outages.

What is going on with these storms?  July 2016 was the hottest ever recorded since records started in 1880.  As the earth warms, some places get dryer, but in other places the atmosphere is able to hold more moisture dumping larger amounts back to earth.  Places in Louisiana received 31 inches of rain, unbelievable! I feel sad for everyone displaced from everything they own.

PBS had an interesting conversation about our weather extremes here.  Is this all part of climate change?

1391694_590095197723795_1697668544_nThere are consequences to our warming earth according to meteorologist Paul Douglas,  “More moisture in the air, higher dew points and heat indexes, more thousand-year rains, wet basements with greater regularity, and more expensive insurance policies.”

 

Posted in climate change, healthy, lakes, oceans, rivers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pollinator Garden Walk

My back yard: Cone flowers, butterfly weed

My back yard: Cone flowers, flox, and butterfly weed

This past week my yard was part of a “Pollinator Garden Walk” led by my neighbor, a pollinator expert. We walked, biked, or carpooled to 4 neighborhood yards. All the yards had boulevard plantings, two had no turf grass,, and three yards had rain gardens. We observed lots of bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and caterpillars.
Below are the ideas to attract pollinators suggested by the pollinator expert:
* Choose native and single-flowered plant varieties
* Go organic, eliminate pesticide and herbicides64px-Eyed_Brown,_dorsal
* Leave areas of bare ground or loose leaf litter
* Plant milkweed
*Install a bee nesting house for mason bees and other stem-nesting bees

Cardinal flowers are happy this year with lots of rain!

Cardinal flowers are happy this year with lots of rain!

 

I would add: Plant with diversity of flowers, bloom times, and colors.

Never use plants treated with neonicotinoids! Ask before purchase of plants.

 

 

Favorite Pollinator Plants

Posted in birds, healthy, pollinators, sustainable, wildlife | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Avocados Deforest Monarch Winter Grounds!

The stickers on avocados say where they are grown. Say "No" to Mexican avocados!

The stickers on avocados say where they are grown. Say “No” to Mexican avocados!

I embarrassed to admit I have Mexican avocados in my refrigerator. NEVER again. According to this article monarch wintering forests are being removed to grow avocados.
Education is a good thing, and new information arrives daily. Please take this new information seriously and purchase avocados from California. Read the little sticker on the avocado to find out where they are grown. Yes, you might have to pay higher prices, but this is important to help save the monarch butterfly!

Also, inform the produce people at your local grocery that you will purchase only avocados from butterfly safe areas, which Mexico is not.

Smart consumerism may help the monarch!

Smart consumerism may help the monarch!

Please comment with any new information you learn on monarch wintering grounds and other products we shouldn’t purchase??

Posted in healthy, pollinators, sustainable, wildlife | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

North Land Butterflies/Superior Views

wpid-20150913_135245.jpg

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Look carefully and you might see a new butterfly. It has been exciting to have eggs and monarch caterpillars on my swamp milkweed, and painted lady caterpillars on pearly everlasting plants.

Eyed-Brown

Eyed-Brown

In the past month I have been able to identify some new north land caterpillars and butterflies. Enjoy these pictures, but it is better to see the real thing rather than a picture!  Get outside and observe!

Monarch Caterpillars

Monarch Caterpillars

Painted Lady eggs and caterpillars on the pearly everlasting

Painted Lady eggs and caterpillars on the pearly everlasting

Two Atlantis Fritillary on bee balm

Two Atlantis Fritillary on bee balm

Grey Comma, a dull name for a butterfly  beauty

Grey Comma, a dull name for a butterfly beauty

Common Wood-nymph

Common Wood-nymph(wikepedia)

 

 

Posted in healthy, pollinators, sustainable, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yikes, a Moth!

Hummingbird moths appear in the daytime.

Hummingbird moths appear in the daytime.

The luna moth grows to a wingspan of four and a half inches.

Credit: David Moskowitz

What do you know about moths?  They are not the “Ick” insect you might of thought of as a child.  Because most, not all, are nocturnal we might not experience them except caught in a window or spider web. The best ones I have seen are in the bathrooms of campgrounds, and they are magnificent! This is National Moth Week, so what better time to get out and see if you can find and observe a moth.  This information is from  http://www.livescience.com/

Seven facts about moths:

1.There are more than 11,000 species of moths in the U.S. alone.

Moths outnumber butterflies, their nearest relative, by more than 10 to 1, said Matthew Shepherd, communications director and senior conservation associate at the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization focused on insect conservation in Portland, Ore. There are upward of 11,000 moth species in the United States alone — that’s more than all the bird and mammal species in North America combined.

A moth the size of a pencil tip.
A moth the size of a pencil tip.

Credit: David Moskowitz

2. Moths make great mimics.

Moths are notorious for their ability to camouflage to keep from being eaten.

3. Moths are important pollinators.

4. Many adult moths don’t eat.

While some moths suck nectar, others don’t eat at all. The adult Luna moth, for instance, doesn’t even have a mouth. After it emerges from its cocoon, it lives for about a week. Its sole mission in life? To mate and lay eggs

The luna moth grows to a wingspan of four and a half inches.

The luna moth grows to a wingspan of four and a half inches.

Credit: David Moskowitz

 

5. A male moth can smell a female more than 7 miles away.

Though they lack noses, moths are expert sniffers. They detect odor molecules using their antennae instead of through nostrils.  Male giant silkworm moths have elaborate, feather-shaped antennae with hairlike scent receptors that allow them to detect a single molecule of a female moth’s sex hormone from 7 miles (11 kilometers) away.

6. They are important food for many animals.

Because of their abundance, moths are major players at the bottom of the food chain.

7. Moths: The next superfood?

In some places in the world they eat moth caterpillars. They are high in fat and protein.

Read the entire article from livescience

 Explore the world of moths this week and enjoy!  Let us know where you see them?

 
Posted in pollinators, wildlife | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment