The Simple Things

September 16, 2008

We live in a very environmentally aware society. The problem is it is hard to act on that awareness. In plain truth, it’s just too hard to feel like you are making a difference. Some of the proposed solutions are too big of a changes too quickly and I think many of these once aware citizens have a bad taste in their mouth from trying too hard to save the earth, but the truth is there are plenty of easy, simple ways everyone can make a difference!

1. Unplug unused appliances. How can this possibly help burn less oil??? The amount of unused energy is the United states is very disturbing. According to the LUF Green team, “40% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while they’re turned off.” This percentage is staggering to say the least. Imagine the energy we could save by simple unplugging the old toaster that is rarely used.

The projected difference simply unplugging things would make is simple phenomenal. The LUF Green team stated in its April 2008 web blog that, “If we averted phantom loads in all U.S. homes, we could shut down 17 power plants.” This shows how much our little changes can actually make a difference! Some still may say that the hassle out weighs the conservation, but that is just simply not the case. There are plenty of ways to stop this unneeded use of our precious energy. One way is the Smart strip power strip. This device “unplugs” your appliances for you!

2. Use warm or cold water when doing laundry instead of hot. According to CES Philadephia, “Up to 85 percent of the cost of operating a washing machine comes from heating the water. Cut that energy use in half by switching the temperature control from hot to warm.” That data is gives a clear picture of how much you help the enviroment and your check book! However, many critics of this solution claim tat washing with cold water does not have the same quality of washing with warm water. This is actually not the case. Cool water detergents actually produce the same results as warm water ones!

3.  Avoid buying products that are covered in layers of packaging.  According to, “About 33% of what we throw away is packaging.” If we conserve our waste and be mindful of how much we actually threw away, we could make make a world of difference!







The debate over the drilling of oil in Alaska is a hot topic in the government today. As oil prices sky rocket and foreign dependency grows larger and larger, all eyes turn to Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska. According to, the department of the interior estimates that there exists a mean of 3.5 billion barrels of oil available there. However is all the damage going to be worth it? Will the destruction of some of the last truly wild places be outweighed by the massive benefits drilling can provide? The best way to come to any answer is by looking at both sides… 

First the Pro side

If we were to pursue drilling in Alaska, the benefits would seem almost endless. First off developing the area would create an estimated 250,000 to 735,000 much needed jobs.  The second and maybe the most persuading argument for the Pro side is the fact that it would decrease our dependancy on foreign countries for oil.

Does this look pretty to you?

Does this look pretty to you? SOURCE: EIA

Today, according to the Energy information Administration we receive oil from “Canada (1.883 million barrels per day), Saudi Arabia (1.479 million barrels per day), Mexico (1.124 million barrels per day), Venezuela (1.085 million barrels per day), and Nigeria (0.946 million barrels per day). The rest of the top ten sources, in order, were Iraq (0.693 million barrels per day), Angola (0.636 million barrels per day), Brazil (0.280 million barrels per day), Algeria (0.269 million barrels per day), and Russia (0.228 million barrels per day).” Now it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the huge amount of dependency we have on so relatively insecure countries i.e. Iraq and Russia.

Thirdly, this action is supported by 75% of the Alaskans in the surrounding area, according to 

Also, many supporters believe that this movement into the Alaskan wild would not even distrupt the natural wild life in the area. According to,



 “Oil and gas development and wildlife are successfully coexisting in Alaska ‘s arctic. For example, the Central Arctic Caribou Herd (CACH) which migrates through Prudhoe Bay has grown from 3000 animals to its current level of 32,000 animals. The arctic oil fields have very healthy brown bear, fox and bird populations equal to their surrounding areas.” This claims to proove that the wildlife would be able to coexsist with the oil companies and even thrive.



Now for the Con argument

First off, protesters disagree with the idea that the wild life would not be harmed. Many of the different species would not be able to cope with the infiltration of their home by oil companies like the caribou do. One animal that has had probably the most attention is the polar bear.

According to, The polar bear would fac e a varity of problems including “1) death, injury, or harassment resulting from interactions with humans; 2) damage or destruction of essential habitat; 3) contact with and ingestion of oil; 4) contact with or ingestion of other contaminants; 5) attraction to or disturbance by industrial noise; 6) harassment (disturbance) by aircraft, ships, or other vehicles; 7) increased hunting pressure; 8) indirect food chain effects due to the impacts of oil and gas related activities” Does this seem uneffecting to you?

Secondly, many critics argue that the oil serge we would recieve from ALaska would not last long and we would have to wait to use it! According to a article, estimated to provide only a 6 month supply of oil, which wouldn’t be available for 10 years. Does this really seem like a good reason to destroy one of America’s natural beauties? I for one dont think so.

In my personal opinion, America would be out of its mind if we peruse this ridiculous cause. We have to focus our time, energy and money, not on the drilling of Alaska but looking at new fuel sources. We also can not add to the already long list of threats to the many endangered animals that are being abused in the Arctic. This is just how i feel i guess. I just think the bad outweighs the good on this one and i hope our government can see that.