Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Belated Earth Day Greetings

Yesterday was Earth Day, and I'm happy to see that so many of us celebrated the event. I thought I'd write a little post about some interesting earth-friendly ideas that I've read about lately. But first, let me make one thing clear . . .

The earth doesn't need to be saved. You read right. And I mean it. The planet is going to be just fine. But we're going to need to work a lot harder to preserve/restore our environment for one simple reason:

If we don't, HUMAN BEINGS (and our animal friends) are going to be in a whole lot of trouble.

So if you can't work up a great deal of sympathy for a big hunk of rock spinning through space, just think of all the human lives that will be happier, healthier, and longer if we clean up the messes we've been making.

Now back to business. The following two ideas are incredibly simple--but that doesn't make them any less ingenious. The first is a refrigerator that doesn't use any electricity. Its inventor won a big prize recently, despite the fact that the technology he used has been around for centuries. But his super-simple device could make a huge difference in the lives of poor people around the world who don't have access to electricity.

All you have to do is "take a smaller pot and put it inside a larger pot. Fill the space in between them with wet sand, and cover the top with a wet cloth. When the water evaporates, it pulls the heat out with it, making the inside cold. It's a natural, cheap, easy-to-make refrigerator."

How big a difference could this make? Aside from helping millions of people eat better, healthier food, in the communities in which the refrigerators are already being used, "more girls attending school as their families no longer need them to sell food in the market." How amazing is that?!? Read more here.

The second invention has also been around for a while. It's called a "hay-box cooker," and it can reduce the energy used to cook by 80%. They were used during World War II when fuel was in short supply, and they're still common in parts of the world where firewood is hard to come by.

According to the New York Times, "The first step is to find a box large enough to fit a good-size pot. Pad the bottom with about four inches of hay, pillow stuffing, shredded newspaper or anything else that insulates. Fill your pot with the ingredients for soup or stew, cover it tightly, bring it to a good hard boil and let it simmer for 5 or 10 minutes. Then transfer the pot to the hay box. Pack the sides and top with a thick layer of insulation, and close the box. Four to eight hours later, your low-carbon meal should be ready for eating."

So, as you see, simple ideas can go a long way. There's no reason that a single person CAN'T make a big difference. What would happen if each of us managed to come up with just ONE good idea?


Anonymous Spiffy said...

Great ideas!!!!

12:29 PM  
Anonymous ss chick said...

thats so cool! (yes, i know i've said that alot). and i agree, we should work harder to preserve our planet. i mean, it's been providing us with living essetials for millions of years! we should thank it in return by keeping it in good shape. well, besides spherical, ya know.


6:40 PM  
Anonymous Raph said...

Those are all really fantastic. And I completely agree - if we all just make a small contribution, we'll end up being able to make a difference.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol! Awesome! I'm like totally freaked out about global warming and was hoping you would find something interesting to post - you always find the coolest stuff!

And I guess your right, Kiki/Kirsten/Ananka - the earth isn't really the thing needed to be saved. Did you know that we are actually due for an ice age? But because of global warming, it has kept the cold, I guess, global warming is /saving/ the world, and not destroying it.

How is it that my comments end up always being so incredibly long?


10:03 PM  
Blogger SAMEANANYMOUS said...


6:58 AM  
Blogger Cassie said...

That is really smart. I'm going to try the homemade refridgerator thing. Maybe keep ice cream it in, LOL.

Once we had an Insulator Project in our science class, the winning insulator was a box with insulating foam, bubble wrap, tin foil, and cotton balls in it. For 20 minutes, the Coke can {filled to the top with boiling water} that was put in it only lost 1.5 degrees.

Think of all the other non-energy wasting things we can come up with if we try! ^_^ We sixth graders could invent something that could be almost as good as something electrical that keeps your food warm {'cause we're GENIUSES}.

This ended up being a really long comment, sorry about that. =B

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Marinovska said...

Save the earth! :-)

2:57 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

Hi i love kiki strike it is the best book ever. I couldd read it a millions times!

9:32 PM  

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