Tag Archives: planet

“Happy” New Year?

(I have been out of town for the past 2 weeks, so posting has been non-existent.)

I am having difficulty wishing people a “happy” new year with everything that is going in in our world: A failing economy resulting in job losses, a housing market crash, budget shortfalls; A broken health care system that continues to prevent families from receiving adequate health care; War-ridden countries and recent escalation of conflict in Gaza; the continuation of planetary destruction with not only the effects of war, but also the sale of land for oil drilling, lack of adequate regulation for pollution generating machinery and equipment and practices, lack of appropriate measures to address global warming, the demise of local businesses due to increasing invasion of large corporate giants, to name a few.

There is so much negative occurring at this time that it is difficult to focus on the positive. Nonetheless, I have generated this list of positive things in my life:

I am thankful that I have a job with health benefits.
I am thankful that I have the skill and knowledge to be able to grow my own food and be self sustaining.
I am thankful that I have resources to help my children and grandchildren right now in the current economic crisis.
I am thankful that I can gain and share knowledge about world events and actually have the ability to do something about some things to effect change.
I am thankful that I am able to provide an education for a little girl in Ethiopia, my small postivie contribution to one life which otherwise is affected by negative circumstances.
I am thankful for my husband who is a constant daily source of friendship and inspiration in my life.
I am thankful for my family and friends here in Utah and across the country.

My hopes for the new year?

That I am able to maintain my health and attitude to continue to work on peace, justice and sustainability issues in my community and beyond.
That at least one person I know who isn’t as convinced that big change needs to occur to improve our world will come to the realization that some of the things I mention here do need to be addressed and so they make changes towards that end for themselves and in their community.
That the new administration begins to make moves in the direction towards a more peace and just society and world without war.
That family and friends I know who are without jobs and health care will find improvements in those areas in their lives.

So “happy” new year with these things in mind. Peace on earth. Good will toward all life on our planet.

What is your water footprint?

Did you know that it takes approximately 2,000 gallons of water to produce 1 lb. of beef?  According to Water Footprint, a new website that measures the footprint of water used by us on our planet.

People use lots of water for drinking, cooking and washing, but even more for producing things such as food, paper, cotton clothes, etc. The water footprint is an indicator of water use that looks at both direct and indirect water use of a consumer or producer. The water footprint of an individual, community or business is defined as the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the goods and services consumed by the individual or community or produced by the business.

Here are some facts and figures listed on the website:

  • The production of one kilogram of beef requires 16 thousand litres of water.
  • To produce one cup of coffee we need 140 litres of water.
  • The water footprint of China is about 700 cubic meter per year per capita. Only about 7% of the Chinese water footprint falls outside China.
  • Japan with a footprint of 1150 cubic meter per year per capita, has about 65% of its total water footprint outside the borders of the country.
  • The USA water footprint is 2500 cubic meter per year per capita.


This website has published case studies and other publications, national and coporate water footprints and a footprint calculator to measure your own personal water footprint.

I calculated my personal footprint with these results based on my gender, my diet (vegetarian) and my annual income, using the quick and dirty calculator:

Your water footprint = 578 in cubic meter per year

Components of your total water footprint and comparison to the global average






Global Yours Food Industry Domestic


Contribution of individual food categories to your total water footprint







Cereal Meat Vegetable Fruit Dairy Others*


You can also use the extended calculator which is a more detailed picture based on your consumption.  Here are my results:

Your total water footprint = 225 cubic meter per year

Components of your total water footprint





Food Domestic Industrial Total
Contribution of individual food category towards the total water footprint











cereal meat vegetable fruit dairy Stimulant Fat sugar egg Others

Plastic Bags – lets BAN them

Once in the slideshow, use the scroll bar on the right side of the screen to scroll through.

Everyone on earth should see this. It’s that important.

And please pass it on

Happy Summer Solstice

Today is the longest day of the year (meaning hours of daylight).
Solstice comes from the Latin (sol, sun; sistit, stands). For several days before and after each solstice, the sun appears to stand still in the sky—that is, its noontime elevation does not seem to change.

I’m planning to spend the longest day of the year enjoying my continuing summer schedule – a little of this, a little of that – and enjoying the extra daylight hours.

More info:

Solstice, from the Latin for sun stands still, in astronomy, either of the two points on the ecliptic that lie midway between the equinoxes (separated from them by an angular distance of 90°).

At the solstices the sun’s apparent position on the celestial sphere reaches its greatest distance above or below the celestial equator, about 23 1/2° of arc. At the time of summer solstice, about June 22, the sun is directly overhead at noon at the Tropic of Cancer.

In the Northern Hemisphere the longest day and shortest night of the year occur on this date, marking the beginning of summer. At winter solstice, about December 22, the sun is overhead at noon at the Tropic of Capricorn; this marks the beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. For several days before and after each solstice the sun appears to stand still in the sky, i.e., its noontime elevation does not seem to change from day to day.

(The Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition Copyright © 1993, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Inso Corporation. All rights reserved.)

Utah Nature Conservancy purchases conservation easements on ranch lands

I do not like to see ranchers private livestock grazing in public lands. It actually disgusts me to be driving through our national forests only to see bovines trampling through the streams and destroying plant life.

Hikers and backpackers are warned to not “trample” on cryptobiotic soil (and so you should see me and Tom jumping from rock to rock where possible in such places), yet ranchers are permitted to have their herds of cattle and sheep walk all over the sensitive soil just so they can get food to get fattened up more in preparation for their ultimate demise in the slaughterhouse.

However, I was glad to see in today’s Utah news that ranchers have banded together to allow the Utah Nature Conservancy to purchase conservation easements on their ranches instead of selling off land to developers. The land will reamin open in perpetuity, which is a good thing.

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