The Alternatives for Plastic Rings

 

One video that has become a viral sensation on social media is the “Edible Six Pack Rings” by a beer company called Saltwater Brewery.   Saltwater Brewery has invented an alternative for six pack rings that is environmentally friendly for the creatures of the sea. The plastic rings hurt an estimated one million sea birds, and 100,000 marine animals around the world. With this new product, the if the creatures come in contact with the edible rings they can eat it and not have to suffer from the side effects. If the sizxpack ring is not eaten it can dissolve in the ocean. The material is made of barley and wheat that is left over from the brewing process. The material is also biodegradable.  I think that edible six pack ring will have an amazing impact for the environment and the sea animals.

Advertisements

It’s “Love a Tree Day”!

 

After researching recent environmental news for my last blog post, I came across a cool fact.  May 16 is National Love a Tree Day!  Trees are everywhere and it is so easy to get out there and appreciate every one of them.  They provide food and shelter for animals and building material for us.  They create shade, block traffic noise, and soil from eroding.  The best way to celebrate trees is to just get out there and enjoy what we have.  Actually hug your favorite tree.  Trees have been known to actually improve concentration levels, depression and stress.  After you hug your favorite tree, try to find out what type of trees are around you.  By looking at their leave you can see if they are the same or different.  You could also adopt a tree and track its growth throughout the months.  It could grow so much over the course of a year!  But make sure to give it some love by watering it extra during dry times.  Maybe even plant some more trees!  It’ll absorb carbon dioxide and give out more oxygen.  It’ll make your neighborhood more beautiful and offer homes for other organisms!  Another way to show your love for the green community, is to promise to buy a real christmas tree this Christmas.  After the holidays you can replant it and keep it alive or donate it to a tree organization that helps keep plants alive.  We have a lot to be thankful for and trees is just one part of it.  So let’s get out there and enjoy them specifically today!!!

http://www.care2.com/causes/5-awesome-ways-to-celebrate-love-a-tree-day.html

 

 

A Future for Big Cats

I recently came across a video regarding the National Geographic Society’s “Big Cats Initiative”. This video talks about how the number of big cats in the wild is decreasing rapidly. This includes lions, tigers, cheetahs, and leopards. National Geographic Society is helping bring awareness to this issue by supporting scientists and conservationists working to save these animals. The problem that drove this initiative is that big cats are being threatened. For example, there is as few as 3,000 tigers, 7,500 snow leopards, 10,000 cheetahs, and 30,000 lions that remain in the wild. The reason the number of big cats in decreasing is because of habitat loss and degradation as well as conflicts with humans. The solution is to fund on the ground research and innovative conservation projects to protect the planet’s top felines. So far the National Geographic Society has supported 64 innovative projects to protect 7 iconic big cat species in 27 countries. They have also built 1,000 bomas to protect livestock, big cats, and people. Above is the video which explains its initiative and describes what is happening to the big cats. 

 

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/big-cats-initiative/

Too Hot to Handle

Unsurprisingly, this past April has the highest recorded temperatures than any April in the past. This record-breaking April is just one of the seven other months that have broken the records of being the hottest months in history. The past two years have been the hottest on record since 1880, which alludes to danger for our planet. The rising temperatures can trigger extreme weather and climate change, and most habitats and ecosystems will not have enough time to adapt to the hotter temperatures. However, the rising of temperatures is becoming a popular trend, so ecosystems must attempt to prepare themselves for one hell of a ride. It was not until October that scientists were able to determine whether or not 2015 would be the hottest year in history, but scientists have been able to determine at this point in time that 2016 may just top last years temperatures, making this year the hottest year up to date. El Nino has contributed to the rise in temperatures as well as industrial plants, but scientists believe that these two factors are not the only factors in the equation. Now, the world is left to worry what the future holds.

 

http://www.iflscience.com/environment/april-smashed-temperature-records-putting-2016-track-hottest-year

Trees Not Towers

When I was younger, and from time to time, my mom would have our family take hikes in the local woods. In my town, Sudbury, we have about three maybe more forest areas in which people walk. Recently in my town I have been seeing these signs and posters plastered with phrases such as, “Trees Not Towers”. I did not really know much about this topic, so I talked to my mom and did some research. This protest, called Protect Sudbury, is a fight against the corporate deforestation in my small town.

The company Eversource presented the idea of cutting down an eighty-foot wide field of trees and in it’s place, putting hundred foot poles carrying high-voltage transmission lines. The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Seating Board wants to ensure, “a reliable energy supply for the Commonwealth with a minimum impact on the environment at the lowest possible cost”. This is a funny and ironic statement because the low price of this project comes at the cost of the environment. In addition to concerns about deforestation, many people have spoken about their worries surrounding ideas such as possibly the health impacts of Eversource’s pesticides use plan, the effect of electromagnetic fields (EMF) from the transmission towers, the impact on home values and abutter rights, protected species that inhabit the forests that will be affected by the plan and more.

We have learned in and outside of class the negative impacts that deforestation has on our environment. Deforestation drives climate change, strips away habitats for animals, interferes with the water cycle and more. Although these impacts are remarkable to the environment, another devastating fact of this plan is that the appearance and character of my town would be changed forever.

It saddens me deeply to think that my small town could be taken over by a large company, determined to destroy the habitats of many and the natural beauty of the land. It is even more remarkable to me to think that on my drive to school everyday, that instead of passing trees I would be passing huge towers. I am very pleased that there are organizations such as Protect Sudbury working tirelessly towards stopping this plan.

If you are interested in getting involved or reading more about this topic, below is the Protect Sudbury website and it has a bunch of interesting blogs to read. A lot specifically on the negative impacts that this plan, if implemented, would have on the landscape and animals inhabiting it.

http://www.protectsudbury.org/

IMG_0691.jpg

By Emma Plumb -Goodbye to the Cambodian Tiger

Tigers are probably my favorite animal. They are incredibly majestic, solitary predators with distinguishing orange and black stripes. However it seems that tigers are functionally extinct in Cambodia, a region that has historically been home to thousands of the big cats. The indochinese tiger no longer has a breeding population in the country, and activists are hard at work to reintroduce the species into the wild. They plan to first introduce stricter laws against poaching and habitat loss, as well as making sure the tigers have plenty of prey animals before reintroducing captive species to the area. Cambodia is one of 13 countries in the world that indochinese tigers inhabit, and the world population of the species is dwindling at just over 2,100. It is tragic that these majestic animals have been subjects of poaching and habitat destruction to reduce their numbers so much. Hopefully through the work of local governments and environmental groups the indochinese tiger may again roam free in Cambodia.

Untitled

http://environews.tv/world-news/official-tigers-now-extinct-cambodia-gov-scrambles-reintroduce-species/

 

Your inner fish

Who is ancestor of human? This is a question that had already bothered scientists for hundreds of years, starting before Darwin and continuing today.

A scientists, Neil Shubin had some great discovery of human’s ancestor. He found out that ancient fish is related to human in a lot of parts. It includes organs, bones, etc. For organs, especially in embryo form, fish and human look alike. Both have a body, head and a tail. There are some other organs, which fish and human both have,  but perform different function. Gill arches in fish grow into gill apparatus, while they grow into lower jaw in human body. Gonads grow toward heart in fish, but it falls outside of human body. This is because fish is a cold-blooded animal, while human is warm-blooded. So, gonad could not stand the temperature near heart.

The most spectacular finding is the bone. In human, our bones on arms and legs are grown in four section, two long bones, several short bones and digits (fingers). Every reptile and mammals also have this So if we are related to fish, there are definitely similar bone structure in fish. However, the fin of fish are different from our bone structure, so there must be an intermediate step between fish and reptile. Neil shubin found that intermediate species, called Tiktaalik. This species can swim in the river, but also have a bone structure similar to human, which allows it to move on land. This finding is incredible since it fulfills the gaps of evolution between fish and evolution. images.jpeg

Source: Book “Your inner fish”