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Showing posts from February, 2010

Comet the cause of megafaunal extinction in North America?

Lately, my favorite thing to watch on TV has been Ken Burn's National Parks: America's Best Idea series. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to catch it when it's actually on TV, but many days I end up watching it On Demand. Last night, the only episode On Demand was one I've already seen, so I scanned through the other History & Nature shows on the Comcast On Demand menu and saw that there was something from PBS Nova called "Megabeasts' Sudden Death." I opened it to read the description and was so incredibly excited! It was an episode about the new theory of what killed off the megafauna (like mammoth, mastodon, giant sloth) at the end of the Pleistocene epoch, right around the time of the last ice age. If you recall, I wrote an entire research paper on this subject for my English class earlier this year, so I was very eager to watch the show. Short-faced bear and other animals, with mastodons in the background. It focused on the new evidence that a c

Wordless Wednesday: After the rain

Energy Sources

My Human Geography class this year has been a very useful source (no pun intended!) of education regarding environmental issues. It has, of course, taught me a lot about the world in general, such as different aspects of culture, religion, ethnicity, political geography, political conflict and many other things. But in regards to the environment, I've learned about agricultural practices and have become aware of terms like environmental determinism (how the environment can influence culture and human activities) and possibilism (the concept that the environment does create a limit on human actions, but that humans can overcome some limitations and change the physical environment to fit their needs). With the study of agriculture came a look at the issues of agribusiness, genetically-modified crops, feedlots, grain-fed cattle, etc. Right now, we're learning about industry, development and energy resources. Last week, we watched Morgan Spurlock's 30 Days episode on coa

Wordless Wednesday: Picnics

Valentine's Day, computers vs. paper & why I don't like the Internet

Happy Valentine's Day! May you enjoy a simple, resourceful and non-wasteful day of celebrating love and apprectiation for others. Pesticide-free flowers, organic free trade chocolate, soy candles and organic dinner? I would hope! We're going to my grandparent's house this evening to celebrate with them and my aunt and uncle. Not sure that every one of those ingredients will be involved in our Valentine's Day celebrations tonight, but at least my sister and I made recycled Valentine's Day cards with old magazines, tattered books and scratch paper :-) On an entirely different note, I've been thinking lately about the greenwashing that's made its way into our minds to think that using the computer is a green alternative to using paper. In some ways, it can be. For large corporations and companies who use up so much paper in documents and reports, using the computer for emails and virtual files rather than printing everything is "greener" than using a

Soup, The Secret of Roan Inish and The Secret Garden

Last night, my best friend Alexys and I made soup with organic carrots, onion, Russian kale, celery, potatoes, garlic, vegetable broth and all purpose seasoning. It was delicious! This morning, after returning from a walk to the bagel shop and reading "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner with my entire family, we watched The Secret of Roan Inish , one of my favorite movies of all time. I recently purchased it for $10 from our local Hollywood Video store that is going out of business. We had leftover soup during the movie, which was the perfect thing to be eating during the movie because of the homemade, countryside, old Irish lifestyle and feel of the movie. If you're never seen it, it's about a young Irish girl named Fiona who goes to live with her grandparents in the countryside three years after her entire family was forced to flee from their home of Roan Inish, or island of the seals. It's a tale of mysterious "Irish and Orcadian folklores of selkie

Your town's news at

A few days ago, I was contacted by Marnette Federis, Editor of (which doesn't yet exist on the web). She's asked me (and my columist-writing, English-teaching, Credit Union-CEOing dad ) to consider writing for a soon-to-be website all about Pleasanton, the town in which we live. She came across our blogs in her search for anyone in Pleasanton who can write. The website will be a compilation of articles, pictures, videos, announcements, etc. written by local writers (young people, real professional journalists, any kind of writers) all about Pleasanton. The subject of the writing is sort of up to the writers themselves, although there will be articles about sports, business, and local news just as there is in a traditional local paper, and the contributors will be paid per piece they submit. Different from a newspaper, however, which is written by a set of journalists who are generally experienced in writing and most often not still in high school,

End of the week roundup: Interesting articles

I always come across interesting articles that I want to share on my blog, but it always feels insubstantial to post just one link unless the topic is something that I have time to elaborate on for an entire post. So as a solution, I’ll post links to some of the most interesting posts/articles I’ve come across this week, along with some short quotes from the post. Ancient Greenland gene map has a surprise by Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor on February 10 “The DNA gives strong hints about the man, nicknamed Inuk. "Brown eyes, brown skin, he had shovel-form front teeth," Eske Willerslev, who oversaw the study, told a telephone briefing. Such teeth are characteristic of East Asian and Native American populations.” Herbs 101 by Progressive Pioneer on February 10 "I really do feel so empowered when I learn about simple things I can do to keep us healthy. I feel like there can often be a lot of fear in our culture about taking your health into your own hands, b

Wordless Wednesday

© Copyright 2010 Green Gal

Holiday green tip: Create recycled Valentine's Day cards

This Valentine's Day, show your love for the Earth while showing your love for friends and family: create a Valentine's Day card of recycled or reused materials or make your own to avoid purchasing a wasteful card from the store. Whenever we purchase something that can otherwise be hand-made, we tell corporations that we support what they're doing and we increase demand for those products, when we otherwise could be decreasing our reliance on the corporate world. It increases the amount of trees cut down to make cards, the amount of plastic used to laminate those cards, quantities of ink used, transportation and fuel usage, and many other things that can be damaging to the environment in such a large-scale operation. Don't you wonder how many cards go unused and unpurchased every year? There are so many cards being produced for Hallmark, Walgreens, Walmart, Target--there's no way they're all used. Most of them are not recyclable. Nice Hallmark cards can show s

What I've learned so far: Reading labels

This month, I've been trying to keep track of the foods I eat, where it comes from, whether its organic and what the ingredients are. The first few days I was successful and logged everything, but I became less diligent and got behind. For most packaged products I've at least read the entire label and made a mental note of what comes from where. Some things I've learned so far: The olive oil that my family typically uses comes from Trader Joes and it's organic, but it's made in Spain. So this Saturday, I suggested to my mom that we buy some olive oil at the Farmers' Market. So we did! Now our olive oil is from Modesto, not Spain. The Trio fruit, seed and nut bars that my mom loves are produced in China! The "Product of China" bit is difficult to see on the wrapper, and there's a mention of California, as that is where the company is based. It's definitely not where the bar is produced however, and there is no mention of China on their websi

Saturday morning food & dirt

For the third Saturday in a row, I visited our downtown Farmers' Market. My mom accompanied me today, and we bought a bunch of delicious food, including organic carrots, an organic onion, organic Russian kale, olive oil from Modesto, Beckmann's Old World Bakery french bread loaf from Santa Cruz, amazingly seasoned potatoes and chicken from RoliRoti , brussel sprouts from San Juan Bautista, organic strawberries and organic blackberries from Watsonville. Then my mom dropped me off at the local elementary school, where my Environmental Club is helping to create some gardens. I leveled out some new topsoil and then walked home. So far it's been a lovely day! I have some homework to do today and some soup to make! Green Gal --- What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. -- Jane Goodall

Wordless Wednesday: My Room

I was just looking through blogs and came across The Crunchy Wife via NatureWithMe and saw that The Crunchy Wife had posted a Wordless Wednesday post. I have seen these on many blogs and never really thought about posting my own until today. Here are some photos I took in my room on January 24. I think my room well-reflects who I am and what my interests are... Take a look! Green Gal