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What’s in this issue ...
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The next level
Ken and Frieda Lansing of Windermere Farms make committment to rigorous process of organic certification

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A low impact Halloween

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Swipe and wipe: Easy cleaning tips International flavor of coffee Bike guru peddles shift in culture Greenpeace: Oil still on sea floor

What's really in that plastic Halloween costume? What's reverse trick-or-treating? We've got these answers and more in our Hallo(green) quiz.
Holiday isn’t just about the sugary sweet stuff ❘ PAGE 7 Halloween decorations out of green, budget-friendly materials ❘ PAGE 9

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
Going Green is a special online publication of The Commercial Appeal. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Follow Going Green on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GoGreenMemphis. Editor: Kim Coleman, 529-5243, goinggreen@commercialappeal.com Community Editor: Emily Adams Keplinger, keplinger@commercialappeal.com
On the cover: Cover illustration by Kim Coleman/The Commercial Appeal/istockphoto

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Sunday, October 31, 2010 | GOING GREEN

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The Green Page
Safe routes to schools is just one of the topics on tap for neighborhood summit.
A.J. Wolfe The Commercial Appeal files

Groups
Check these websites for more information about green events in the Memphis area. Citizens to Preserve Overton Park (CPOP): overtonparkforever.org Clean Memphis: cleanmemphis.org Coalition of Livable Communities: livablememphis.org/ Friends for Our Riverfront: friendsforourriverfront.org/ Greater Memphis Greenline: greatermemphis greenline.org/ Lichterman Nature Center: memphis museums.org/lichtermanoverview/ Memphis Botanic Garden: memphisbotanicgarden.com/ Shelby Farms Park Conservancy: shelbyfarmspark.org Strawberry Plains Audubon Center: strawberry plains.audubon.org/ Tennessee Clean Water Network: tcwn.org Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation: tenngreen.org/ Tennessee Trails Association, Memphis Chapter: tennesseetrails.org /memphis.php V&E Greenline: vegreenline.org/index.html Wolf River Conservancy: wolfriver.org

Events
4th Annual Summit for Neighborhood Leaders — Livability is a Family Thing: Saturday, Nov. 6, 8:30 am.m to 1 p.m. at Bridges, 477 North Fifth Street, Memphis The event’s focus will be on building cities for children, the elderly and everyone in between. Breakout sessions include green parenting, walkability & increased property values, safe routes to school, preservation beyond old buildings, engaging youth, navigating bikes on the road and more. For more information, contact Sarah Newstok at 901.725.8370 or sarah@livablememphis.org. Sierra Club Environmental Justice Conference: “An Interconnected Environmental Web”: November 13, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the River, 292 Virginia Ave. W., Memphis This conference is geared to the interests of the “average person next door” with a wide selection of workshop topics and speakers. Sierra Club extends a special invitation to high-school and college students, neighborhood watch leaders, community activists, community groups and church leaders. It’s free to the public with lunch included but registration is required to reserve the meal. A conference schedule and list of speakers can be found at: sierraclub.org/ej/ downloads/2010-conf-brochure.pdf For more information and to register, contact Rita Harris at rita.harris@sierraclub.org or (901) 324-7757.

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GOING GREEN | Sunday, October 31, 2010 From Planetgreen.com

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Move over, black and O orange. There’s a new color for Halloween:

GREEN.

nce a Celtic celebration of the harvest, Halloween is now a little less spiritual and a lot more commercial; total up candy sales, costume shopping and decorations, and it’s an industry worth almost $6 billion a year. With that kind of consumption comes a hefty environmental impact that lasts long after you’ve seen the last of those fun-size Snickers bars. Luckily, the basics of Halloween — spooky tales, playing dress-up, things that go bump in the night — don’t require mass quantities of cash or a wasteful amount of resources as long as you’re willing to let your imagination run wild. Making your own costume will put a dent in the consumerism — and chances are you’ll find the materials right in front of you, if you just look around. Simple makeup and hairstyles created with natural products can give your look impact, and your home gets a makeover of its own with biodegradable decorations from the local farmers market. As for the sweeter side of Halloween, indulge your sugar habit with fair-trade and organic chocolate, lollipops, jellybeans and candy bars. An at-home Halloween gathering will save energy where trick-or-treating might require a car: Dim the lights, set out some soy candles and get the younger set bobbing for apples, making crafts from recycled paper and telling their favorite ghost stories. Whichever green options you and your family take advantage of, you’ll feel better on Nov. 1 knowing you helped combat the holiday’s terrifying eco-damage — just in time for Christmas.

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Quiz: How green is your Halloween?
1. What toxic material is found in plastic Halloween costumes? A. Formaldehyde. B. Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). C. Polyurethane. D. None of the above. 2. When decorating your home for Halloween, why should you avoid traditional wax candles? A. Paraffin releases toluene. B. Paraffin releases benzene. C. Soy candles last longer. D. All of the above. 3. How many pounds of candy corn were shipped to stores last year? A. 2 billion. B. 5 billion. C. 7 billion. D. 9 billion. Inspiration for decorating comes from the harvest bounty — think pumpkins, gourds, straw bales, and corn husks (all from your local farms, of course). 4. What’s reverse trick-or-treating? A. Kids hand out samples of fair-trade chocolates to adults when they go door to door. B. Kids don’t accept non-fair-trade chocolates when they go trick-or-treating. C. Kids donate their candy to a local food bank so that needy children can have candy. D. All of the above. 5. Why is Halloween makeup so scary? A. It’s not regulated by the FDA. B. It can contain phthalates. C. It can contain parabens. D. All of the above.

Half the fun of Halloween is the sugar high. By stocking your bowl with organic, natural treats, you can escape many of the chemicals and preservatives .

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ANSWERS

1. B: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is often found in the soft vinyl material that a good majority of plastic Halloween costumes are made from. PVC can release toxic chemicals and is a known carcinogen. It's not something that you want to be putting on your body or your face. Additionally, it cannot be recycled. 2. D: These are all true. If you want to decorate your house with the spooky lights of Halloween try to avoid wax candles. The paraffin in wax candles releases toxic chemicals like toluene and benzene in the form of soot and smoke. Not to mention the fact that wax candles burn down way faster than soy candles. Also, make sure you carve your jack-o-lantern from a local pumpkin. 3. D: That's right, 9 billion pounds of candy corn were sent out to stores last year. Traditional candies like these are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, chemicals and preservatives — way scarier than even the most ghoulish costume. Instead, choose organic candy companies. 4. A: Reverse trick-or-treating is a means to get the word out about fair-trade chocolate. Though major chocolate manufacturers have promised for six years now to begin buying from fair-trade cocoa farmers, little has actually been done. Through the program, fair-trade chocolate companies donate samples along with cards outlining the fair-trade program. When kids walk around to go trick-or-treating they hand the cards and samples out to the houses where

Bobbing for apples and telling ghost stories are fun and eco-friendly activities for the kids. they go. 5. D: As you draw on those cat whiskers and clown circles, take a moment to check the ingredients on the makeup that you're using. Makeup (including Halloween makeup) is not regulated by the FDA and additionally traditional makeup can include some pretty frightful ingredients like parabens, which are known to cause breast cancer, and phthalates, which are known to cause sperm damage and reproductive issues. You don't need to waste money on fake blood because you can make it yourself. Pomegranate juice mixed with a broken-off stick of your concealer makes a great, fake blood.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010 | GOING GREEN

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Tips for tricks, treats: Holiday isn’t just about the sugary sweet stuff
By John Evans
Special to My Life

Halloween: By the Numbers
36 million: Number of children in the U.S., ages 5-13, who were expected to go trick-or-treating last year. $117 million: Value of 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins grown by California, New York, Illinois and Ohio in 2007. 24.5 pounds: Weight of candy eaten, per person, by Americans in 2007. 2,077: Number of shops, in 2006, where trick-or-treaters could rent or buy costumes. 93: Percentage of children who are expected to go trick-or-treating. 9 billion: Number of pieces of candy corn shipped to stores in October; total weight of the sugary kernels is 35 million pounds. 163: Percentage that organic candy offerings increased from 2005 to 2006; the industry went up another 4 percent in 2007. $5.77 billion: Money Americans are expected to shell out for Oct. 31 this year; the total breaks down to $66.54 per person.
Sources: U.S. Census, Candy USA, Austin Business Journal.

It’s finally starting to feel like fall and so begins the two-month-long marathon of holiday festivities. First up is Halloween — a holiday seemingly defined by costumes and candy. While sugary treats are fine in moderation, don’t forget to take advantage of the other seasonal items available. To celebrate the season to the fullest, here are some tips for enjoying the holidays (without a sugar crash):
Visit the local pumpkin patch with your family to pick out a few pumpkins. Walking around is great exercise, and carrying a pumpkin will help burn extra calories. Enjoy carving and decorating the pumpkins together, and don’t forget to save the seeds for a healthy snack – rinse them, add seasoning and bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until they’re toasted (about 20 minutes). Take a tour of a nearby orchard. Fall is the perfect time to visit an orchard, especially if you’re interested in enjoying the fresh fruits of the season. Plan ahead and schedule time for the family to pick apples or pears together. Do yard work, assigning age-appropriate tasks. Everyone can help clean up leaves, pick up sticks and decorate for the season. Don’t forget to jump in the leaf pile when you’re done. Host a healthier tailgate. Attending football games is a definitive part of the season, so ensure you have healthy food available. Black bean chili, grilled kabobs and fresh vegetables with Greek yogurt for dipping are all great options. Enjoy your beverage of choice, but have water between every full-calorie drink to stay properly hydrated. Don’t forget to bring a flying disc or football along to toss around with friends and family.

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East Memphians Todd and Jenny McCormick enjoy the harvest season with their sons Tray, 2, and Drew, 1. The McCormicks are members at the DAC Fitness location in Laurelwood.
Take your workouts outdoors. Cooler temperatures will allow you to push through and complete a more intense exercise routine outside. Fall is also a great time to join a running group or sign up for a 5K race. Obviously, you can’t overlook the fact that candy will be available, whether it is around the office or at home. Here are a few tips to help you (and your kids) enjoy without overindulging: Save money (and your waistline) and buy treats a day or two before you need it. Steer clear of purchasing your favorite candy, which will help you avoid eating it altogether. Eat before the event. Make sure everyone eats a healthy meal before collecting candy. This will reduce the urge to eat the treats as you roam the neighborhood and may reduce the crankiness that accompanies a sugar rush and subsequent crash. Limit candy collection time. Instead of making candy the focus of the holiday, involve your children in other activities. Participate in a neighborhood costume contest or attend a harvest festival with friends. The children will still get to dress up and enjoy the costumes, without focusing on getting the most candy. Enjoy a treat or two. Denying yourself a special treat now and then will only set you up to binge later. During Halloween, candy is perfectly sized for an individual treat, so pick your favorite and have a piece. Stash your children’s candy and allow them to enjoy a piece or two every few days. Donate or take the rest to your office to share with coworkers. For more information about DAC, visit daclife.com or call 767-8437 John Evans is a fitness director at DAC.

The Commercial Appeal

Sunday, October 31, 2010 | GOING GREEN

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DIY decor saves all around

Zach Long/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Jeanette Contee has made several Halloween decorations out of green materials, including this cat based off a soda bottle.
By Kellie Bramlet
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Jeanette Contee’s yard is a little spooky this season. It’s full of ghosts, black cats, monsters, aliens and even some of the cast members of SpongeBob SquarePants. All these spooky creations were made by Contee herself, with a little help from granddaughters — SpongeBob and

friends were their ideas. And all these creations are green. No, not the color. Some are orange. Some are white. SpongeBob, of course, is yellow. But all were made from recycled materials: cardboard boxes, milk jugs, jars and paper mache. Contee wasn’t necessarily trying to use green materials. She just used what was available so she could save money. She borrowed boxes from neighbors.

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“Anything they had, I used
JEANETTE CONTEE, on decorating for Halloween

Zach Long/Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Jeanette Contee has made several Halloween decorations out of green materials such as boxes and soda bottles. She used old containers. She made her own paste out of flour and water. “Anything they had, I used,” she said. The result is a whimsical take on the typical Halloween decorations lining the garden beside the front porch of Contee’s Central Lubbock home. Contee has always done art projects with her seven granddaughters, who range in age from 8 to 1. But this is the first time she’s done a project on this scale. She hopes to make a cardboard train for the yard to celebrate the Christmas season. She said the total project took about 15 days. A single sculpture of a black cat, for example, took one day, she said. And when it came to inspiration, she didn’t need to look any further than her granddaughters. Each one had a different opinion, she said. “My granddaughters love it,” Contee said. “And that’s what I love.”

The Commercial Appeal

Sunday, October 31, 2010 | GOING GREEN

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Bats: Halloween icon beneficial for insect control
By Matt Hickman
Mother Nature Network

Q: Last week, I was visiting the home of a new friend that I met in Bikram yoga class. We were out on her back porch having tea when I noticed a pole with a peculiar-looking birdhouse mounted on top. I asked her about it and she explained it wasn’t a birdhouse but a bat house. Not wanting to seem unworldly to my new friend, I choked back a gasp, shook my head in agreement and proclaimed, “Oh, of course!” The truth is, I have no idea why she’d want to attract bats to her backyard. Care to school me in backyard bat boarding so that if she ever brings up the topic I can at least seem somewhat non-horrified? Should I be investing in a bat house? Rest assured, your non-knowledge of bat houses and chiroptophobic reaction isn’t unusual. I’m all for bats since they are extremely beneficial, gentle and misunderstood animals ... as long as they stay a good distance away from me. Seriously, the things give me the heebie-jeebies. Chances are your Bikram buddy is fostering bats as a means of natural insect control. A single little brown bat, which is probably the species that’s taken up residence in your friend’s backyard, can eat up to 1,000 of the real blood-suckers, mosquitoes (they also

dine on gnats, moths, beetles and wasps), in an hour. Not too shabby? It’s a much better — not to mention, cheaper — alternative to toxic sprays, energy-sucking zappers and other environmentally unfriendly pest-control methods as long as you don’t mind the fact that you’ve got a few bats loose in the backyard. Plus, fruit-eating bats are excellent pollinators and are crucial in helping ravaged rainforests sprout back to life via seed dispersion. A world without bats would be a rather difficult one: Agriculture would suffer, rainforests would fail to regrow and mosquitoes would rule. Setting up a bat house isn’t as easy as plopping a funky designer birdhouse down in your backyard. There’s a science to it that involves specific locations, heights, temperatures, etc. I recommend checking out the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department’s Homeowners and Bats page or Bat Conservation International’s extensive bat house installation section for advice. If you’re DIYoriented you can build your own bat house; otherwise, the Backyard Bird Co. and the Bird Shed offer a decent selection of BCI-approved bat houses. If it makes you feel more at ease, invest in a Belfry Bat Detector so you’ll know when bats are in the house, so to speak.
Submit a question to Mother Nature at mnn.com/askmothernature?destination.

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Mike Maple/The Commercial Appeal

Windemere Farms is the only certified organic farm in the Memphis city limits. Owners Ken and Freida Lansing inspect Shiitake mushrooms growing on the logs.

HIDDEN

By Suzanne Thompson / Special to Going Green

TUCKED AWAY like a priceless

GEM
Certified organic farm tucked away in our own ‘backyard’

pearl inside its shell, Windermere Farms, the only certified organic farm within at least 100 miles of Memphis, is hidden in the Raleigh area near Lake Windermere. Just up an asphalt drive between 3040 and 3060 Woodhills Drive lies a small valley where organic fruits and vegetables are cultivated on five of the 17 acres of land owned by Freida and Ken Lansing.

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The land, originally a 65-acre tract, has been in Ken Lansing’s family since the 1940s. Since the early years of their marriage the Lansings have usually had some type of garden, and have eaten natural foods. Lansing, dressed in a button-down Oxford shirt and khakis, looks more like a professional than a farmer. Perhaps that’s because he worked as a public accountant for years, and later became a Certified Public Accountant. “I decided if I was going to be in this business I might as well get certified,” he said. He adopted the same philosophy with farming, and in 2007, the Lansings decided they wanted to take their lifelong commitment to healthy eating to another level, and have their farm certified as organic. “People who are non-organic have no idea what it means,” said Freida Lansing. Organic certification began 20 years ago, with the passage of the Organic Food Production Act of 1990, which required the USDA to develop national standards for the organic production of food. The Agricultural Marketing Service, a division of the USDA, operates the National Organic Program (NOP), which issues and revokes certifications. The NOP accredits state agencies, private businesses and organizations to certify farms and food producers. Farmers who sell less than $5,000 in products per year may sell products using the organic name without certification, but must still be truthful about that in labeling and marketing. Farmers with larger operations who claim to be certified as organic without certification are subject to fines of $10,000 or more.

Windermere Farms & Apiaries
Address: 3060 Woodhills Dr. Memphis 38128 Phone: 386-2035 Online: winfarms.com

Ken Lansing looks over a honeycomb from their honey barn. Honey and honeycomb are available throughout the summer.

Freida Lansing said there’s a misconception that organic products should be less costly because farmers don’t have to purchase chemicals, but maintaining the soil and crops is much more labor intensive.

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Mike Brown/The Commercial Appeal files

Ken Lansing sets up his table for Farmers' Market at the Garden at Memphis Botanic Garden with some of his fresh picked organic strawberries. Organic certification is a painstaking process requiring farmers to produce vast amounts of paperwork describing in detail soil conditions, the products used for fertilization and pest control, and the way the food is processed before it is sold. For instance, the Lansings cannot use a pea shelling machine that has been used by someone who raises non-organic peas, even though the peas pass through the machine in a matter of seconds. “That’s how exact you have to be,” said Freida Lansing. The NOP website, ams.usda.gov/nop, provides information on accreditation, certification, compliance and enforcement, and lists operations with revoked certification as well as those whose certifications have been reinstated. The NOP organic certification also includes standards for water, and even the proper use of manure. Manure must be turned in the soil for 90 days before harvest of a fruit or vegetable that does not touch the ground, like corn. The time frame for fruits and vegetables grown on the soil, such as strawberries, is even longer, 120 days. The Lansings are preparing to plant 8,000 strawberry plants, which won’t be harvested until spring, so there’s ample time to enrich the soil with manure. Even though the rules are strict, they all have a purpose. “The soil bacteria has to have time to

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eat up things in manure that may be harmful to human beings,” Ken Lansing said. He purchases manure because composting it himself would simply be too time consuming. Manure composting piles, he said, pointing to one about the height of an upended king-size mattress and the same width, must be turned three times within 15 days. It must also be kept at a constant temperature of between 130 and 160 degrees to be in compliance with rules for organic certification. To avoid using city water, Lansing dug a pond that is filtered through a sand filter, like those used for swimming pools, on one of the hills surrounding the farmed area. This is done to keep algae from clogging the drip lines delivering the water. The pond captures rainwater, creating a natural source for irrigation. “The most green thing we do is capture our water,” Lansing said. Freida Lansing said there’s a misconception that organic products should be less costly because farmers don’t have to purchase chemicals, but maintaining the soil and crops is much more labor intensive. “Organic costs more because every weed is pulled by hand,” she said, because the use of pesticides is so strictly limited. Some pesticides may be used, but only those from natural products, like soybeans, and have not been processed using chemicals. Organic farmers also cannot use genetically engineered seeds, many of which contain a built-in pesticide, so if an insect bites the plant grown from it once or twice, the bug dies. “My strawberries are certified

Shoppers’ Guide to Pesticides
The lists below, taken from foodnews.org, show fruits and vegetables with the highest and lowest amount of chemicals. The “Dirty Dozen” contain the highest amounts of pesticides and should be bought as organic products; the “Clean 15” contain the lowest amount of pesticides.
THE DIRTY DOZEN

Peaches Apples Bell peppers Celery Nectarines Strawberries Cherries Kale Lettuce Grapes (imported) Carrots Pears
THE CLEAN 15

Onions Avocados Sweet corn Pineapples Mangoes Asparagus Sweet peas Kiwi Cabbages Eggplant Papayas Watermelon Broccoli Tomatoes Sweet potatoes

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organic plants; I didn’t just go down to the co-op and buy seeds,” he said. In order to be certified organic, the soil at the farm must be free of chemicals for a minimum of three years. Lansing said an inspector visits the farm from time to time to inspect the operation of his farm. “They come out and check everything we use. They look at labels, equipment,” he said. Organic farmers must notify the certifying agency if they begin using a different product. In 2010, for the first time, the Lansings started a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. The Windermere Farm CSA requires the members, the number of which is limited, to pay $200 or $300 before the planting season begins, which goes into an account for each member. The fruits and vegetables are not prepackaged, so members may chose what they would like to have when they are at the farmers market. A sum equaling the value of the items they have selected is deducted from their accounts, less the 10 percent discount given to members only. There’s no carryover for unused money in the accounts at the end of the harvest season, so the Lansings send newsletters, and encourage members not to wait until the end of the season and try to use up a big balance. Another new program the organic farm has started is “Farmer for a Day,” which gives urbanites the opportunity to come out and get their hands dirty planting, weeding and doing other things the Lansings deal with on a daily basis. “Farmer for a Day” requires a commitment of a four-hour stint.

Mike Maple/The Commercial Appeal

In 2007, Ken and Freida Lansing decided to take their love of healthy food to the next level and take on the rigorous process of having their farm certified as organic. The Lansings also offer tours of the farm for a fee. They also allow people to come to the farm to pick certain crops, such as strawberries and purple hull peas. In the fall, the Lansings offer some vegetables, like beans, okra, chard and kale, but the biggest seller is bittersweet, which bears stems covered with colorful berries about the size of an English pea. Bittersweet is used for decoration and if cared for properly, can last from two to four years, Freida Lansing said. At farmers markets, bunches of bittersweet sell for $15 to $25, depending on size. The couple has never regretted the decision to go organic, despite the rigorous work it requires. Devout Christians, the Lansings believe organic farming is the way the creator meant for things to grow. “It’s part of God’s design to get the maximum nutrition out of what you eat,” Ken Lansing said.

The Commercial Appeal

Sunday, October 31, 2010 | GOING GREEN

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Five ways to green your clean
CLEANING GREEN can seem really complicated and expensive, but it’s not. Going green, when done correctly, should simplify our lives and reduce our expenditures. And going green “correctly” can seem like a laundry list of specific behaviors, but it’s not. Going green is a value, not a list. Each person may have a different expression of that value. DEANNA It’s similar to valuing CASWELL “education.” Though Practically parents want to make sure their children are Green educated, they go about expressing that value differently. Some choose public school, some choose private school, some choose home school or private tutors — the choices are as nuanced as the families choosing them. Same for going green. So in light of that flexibility, let me tell you five ways to go green in your house cleaning. 1. Daily swipe and wipe. You can almost eliminate your need for highpowered bathroom cleaners with a daily swipe. When you’re getting ready in the morning, swish the toilet with the brush. While you’re in the shower, wipe down the stall; while you’re brushing your teeth, wipe out the sink. After dinner, wipe the counters and table, and scoot a damp towel around the kitchen floor. If this becomes a daily habit, spray cleaning will become a ceremonial

A daily wipe down of major surfaces eliminates buildup and the need for those high-powered cleaners. experience and not a necessity. Most high-powered cleaners are for build-up. If it never builds up, you’ll never pass the point where a shot of vinegar can’t freshen up the whole room. 2. Keep harsh cleaners to a minimum. If you can’t maintain the daily swipe and wipe, do your weekly cleaning with a spray bottle of half vinegar and half water. Scour with baking soda. Reserve that high-powered stuff for rare occasions, like when the kids have drawn on the counters with markers. It may cost a little more elbow grease, but it will save you money and spare everyone’s lungs. 3. Go phosphate free. Making your own detergents is fun and economical; however, if you’re a “forget the laundry in the washer overnight” person like me, those preservatives in conventional laundry products come in really handy. I

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waste three times the water and homemade detergent just trying to get rid of that musty smell on wet, neglected towels! But these days, plenty of detergents are phosphate-free. Their production isn’t as green as the make-yourown variety, but they are an improvement over conventional detergents and cleaners. 4. Paperless kitchen. Rags work better, last longer, and don’t have to be bought every week. In my home, one parent (me) is paperless, while the other (hubby) isn’t. When he cooks, he pulls out the secret stash of paper towels and at our dinner table he distributes paper napkins. I don’t nag him about it. It’s his choice. But when it’s just me, there’s no paper. 5. Composting your paper products. If you choose to use paper products in your kitchen, one way to go green is to compost them when you’re finished. Paper with food grease on it is nonrecyclable, but it’s 100 percent compostable. There’s no reason to pack the landfill with trash that can reduce your fertilizer costs in the spring. Truly green living should be simple, economical and flexible. Use rags, wipe down the kitchen and bathroom frequently, spray diluted vinegar — it’s all much cheaper than high-powered cleaners and an endless supply of paper towels, mop covers and dusters. But, most important, pick and choose what fits your family and don’t stress about the rest.

The world in a mug
Coffee has its own language at McCarter Coffee Co.
By Felicia Benamon
Special to Going Green

Have you had coffee from Burundi, India or Yemen? How about Sumatra? McCarter Coffee Company in Millington will tempt and lead you to the world of exotic coffees. At 5995 U.S. 51 N. (near Fite Road), McCarter Coffee Company offers specialty coffee blends from exotic lands. “We get most of our coffee beans from Africa … then it’s the Middle East, the Indian Ocean region and finally, Central America,” said owner Jim McCarter. There are at least four countries from which he buys organic coffee: Mexico, Nicaragua, Ethiopia and Sumatra. “No pesticides were used on the coffee beans and there has to be a band of so many acres of organic land around the farm of the beans to prevent runoff of pesticides,” said McCarter. He mentioned that these farms tend to be “mom and pop” owned and they pick the beans by hand. McCarter adds that for a foreign country to be certified to produce organic coffee, they should be relatively stabilized and certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture. McCarter Coffee Company has three

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Justin Shaw/The Commercial Appeal files

McCarter Coffee Company specializes in freshly roasted coffee beans. "All the beans were roasted within the last week" says owner Debra McCarter. roasters at its location in Millington that can produce 40 pounds of wholebean coffee within an hour. McCarter supplies more than a dozen restaurants in the Memphis area including Otherlands, Brother Juniper's and Restaurant Iris. McCarter said he does mostly wholesale, but he also sets up at a variety of farmers markets in the area and sells from his store. “We will bring ground coffee to the farmers markets because some people don’t want to do it themselves,” he said. A couple of restaurants and cafes in Memphis serve McCarter’s Louisiana

McCarter Coffee Co.
Where: 5995 U.S. 51 N. , Millington. On-premises McCarter Coffee store hours: Friday 2-6 p.m., Saturday 2-5 p.m., Sunday noon-5 p.m. Contact info: 626-4924, mccartercoffeeco.com, e-mail: mccartercoffeeco @hotmail.com Products also available: Memphis Farmers Market downtown (Saturday), Agricenter Farmers Market (Saturday), Millington Farmers Market (Saturday), Botanic Garden Farmers Market (Wednesday).

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Chris Desmond/The Commercial Appeal files

Fresh from the roaster, beans empty into a tray where the beans cool and are slowly stirred. Jim McCarter operates a coffee micro-roasting business in Millington. Style French Roast with Chicory blend. “We sell about 20 different coffees from 20 different countries. The lightest roast we sell is Mexican Chiapas … from that region. The darkest roast we offer is from the Republic of Congo,” said McCarter. He continued to say that each bean is unusual in character, taste and flavor. “Coffee is one of the highest rated commodities in the world,” McCarter said. Unique blends of coffee are truly an international language at McCarter’s Coffee Company.

Justin Shaw/The Commercial Appeal files

McCarter Coffee Company specializes in freshly roasted coffee beans.

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Coffee-Rubbed Pork Chops with Pan Sauce
For the rub: 2 tbsp. medium-dark roast coffee beans, finely ground 1 tbsp. salt 1 tbsp. black pepper 1 tbsp. dark brown sugar ½ tsp. smoked paprika* ½ tsp. onion powder ½ tsp. garlic powder ½ tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder ¼ tsp. ground cumin Pinch of ground cayenne pepper Chops: 4 thick-cut pork chops 1 tbsp. olive oil 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the rub ingredients, blending with a fork to distribute the spices evenly. Smear each pork chop with the rub on all sides. Place the chops in a large container, seal and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Allow the pork chops to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before continuing. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the pork chops for an additional 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the

thickness of the pork chops. If you have a meat thermometer, the pork chops should cook to 155 degrees. Transfer the pork chops to a covered plate, and allow them to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Return the skillet to the burner over medium-high heat. To prepare the pan sauce, add 2 cups of water to the skillet, stirring to release any stuck bits. Add 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning and sweetness. Drizzle over the pork chops before serving. *Smoked paprika adds a great depth of flavor to the rub, but regular paprika, preferably hot, will work as well. Coffee sounds like a strange ingredient for a dry rub, but it actually gives foods a rich, earthy flavor and it doesn't taste anything like coffee grounds.

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Photos by Kyle Kurlick/Special to The Commercial Appeal

Kyle Wagenschutz, Memphis’ first bikeway/pedestrian coordinator, leads a 40mile bike ride earlier this month during the Bluff City Blues 100 race. Wagenschutz was hired as part of Mayor A C Wharton’s emphasis on sustainable living.

Dream peddler
City’s new bike guru pushes for ‘rich bicycle and pedestrian culture’
By Jonathan Devin / Special to Going Green
KYLE WAGENSCHUTZ found out long ago that

bicycling in Memphis is the road less traveled, but that could be about to change. Now, as the city’s first bikeway/pedestrian coordinator, he is charged with putting the training wheels on Memphis’ cycling dreams.

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“I think the dream is that when people redesign of Cooper Street in Midtown. think about Memphis, they think, One plan favored by businesses on the ‘That’s a great place to go on vacation street has bike lanes running alongside because I can take my bicycle and ride traffic, and another favored by area wherever I want to,’ ” said cyclists has lanes shielded from traffic by Wagenschutz, 27. “We want Memphis to on-street parking spaces. be a premier Southern city that has a “There’s a big movement toward more really rich bicycle and pedestrian culture bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in inside it. the city, and in the last several years “That’s a reflection of renewed and there’s been an upswell in community reinvigorated economic and social and support from different groups with a real cultural activities that are all going to be intensification of that support in the last intertwined in the growing of 12 to 15 months,” he said. Memphis.” Wagenschutz’s personal interest in Mayor A C Wharton announced bikes developed slowly over time. Wagenschutz’s hiring in mid-September. He was born in Peoria, Ill., but his The new position, which reports to the family moved often because of his city engineer’s office, is part of a father’s career in the Navy. They campaign promise Wharton made to eventually settled in Millington, where create bike lanes in Memphis during his Wagenschutz went to high school. tenure and to emphasize sustainable “Growing up on Navy bases, there are living in general. often schools on the base, but no buses, In the few weeks since he was hired, so you had to ride a bike to school,” said Wagenschutz has been meeting with Wagenschutz. organizations involved in projects As an undergrad at the University of associated with an Memphis, he lived explosion of close enough to cycling interest campus that he “We want Memphis to be a generated by the could ride to premier Southern city that has opening of the classes while Shelby Farms working on his a really rich bicycle and Greenline. bachelor’s of pedestrian culture inside it.” “Groups like the business Greater Memphis administration in KYLE WAGENSCHUTZ Greenline and management Bikeway/pedestrian coordinator Livable Memphis, information they’re all working systems. together on a “When I really connection with the end of the Shelby got into biking, though, I was looking Farms Greenline, which ends at Tillman for a new bicycle, and I went to Street, going down Broad Avenue and Revolutions,” said Wagenschutz, into Overton Park,” said Wagenschutz. referring to Revolutions Community He’s also reviewing plans for the Bicycle Shop, a ministry of First

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Congregational Church, which teaches people to build their own bicycles from recycled parts. “I worked through the program there and really got involved — they asked me to stay and volunteer, and I did,” said Wagenschutz. “The last year and a half I’ve been running the place.” He plans to remain director of Revolutions unless work conflicts develop. Fielding questions about cycling issues led Wagenschutz back to the University of Memphis to complete his master’s degree in city and regional planning. “People were often asking us

to help them with projects,” said Wagenschutz. “They wanted to talk to a City Council person or the city engineers. Well, none of us were experts on anything like that. It dawned on me that I needed to get some additional education.” He was asked to apply for the city position when it opened earlier this year. That sparked controversy immediately, since Wharton had just asked city departments to cut their budgets by 25 percent. But the mayor’s office insisted that Wagenschutz’s salary would be a combination of an unfilled clerk’s salary and federal grant

Wagenschutz says private businesses need to do their part in promoting cycling in Memphis, such as by providing showers and locker rooms for employees who commute on bicycle.

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money from the Metropolitan Planning Organization. “It’s a complete turnaround from the previous administration,” said Wagenschutz. “They were largely silent on (cycling) issues, which we took to mean that they didn’t have a position. Mayor Wharton has a campaign of building 500 miles of bicycle facilities during his tenure.” Down the road, Wagenschutz hopes to work on larger projects like shower and locker facilities for commuters. The lack of facilities is something he deals with every day. “At City Hall, we’re fortunate: We have a locker room and showers,” said Wagenschutz. “When I worked for a commodities brokerage, there were no facilities in White Station Tower.” These days, Wagenschutz arrives at meetings 20 minutes early with a change of clothes in hand. “A good point is that private businesses need to get on board and provide shower facilities and lockers for their employees before we can ask people to make a commitment to commuting on a bike.” Outside of his new job, Wagenschutz is married to his wife, Carrie, an ER nurse at Baptist Memorial HospitalMemphis, and enjoys hiking, camping and playing bass guitar. Just before taking office, he and several friends cycled north to Fort Pillow for a weekend of about 210 miles of cycling. “The ride up was just beautiful,” said Wagenschutz. “It was 85 degrees, and blue skies as far as the eye could see. Our transportation modes are all connected to how we live and our quality of life.”

Film director Chris Paine: The electric car gets its revenge
By Jim Motavalli
Mother Nature Network

Filmmaker Chris Paine, whose “Who Killed the Electric Car?” was a huge success in 2006 and arguably created a market for theatrically released documentaries, will be back with “Revenge of the Electric Car,” which celebrates the electric vehicle’s triumphant rise. Who would have thought that the industry would soon arise from the nadir that saw the last General Motors EV1s ignominiously crushed? Paine sat down with us for a few questions and answers about the outlook for electric vehicles — so much brighter today than four years ago — and Iceland’s role as a vanguard country in the plug-in revolution. As we spoke, Paine had just come from filming at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant in Michigan, where he watched some of the first Chevrolet Volts roll down the assembly line. Q: Are we on the verge of a revolution in transportation? A: Yes, this is it for the

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We filmed outside the Hamtramck plant, unable to even get in and do an interview. And now here we are, six or seven years later, inside the plant and on the line as electric cars are being made. A lot has changed.

Photo courtesy of Chris Paine

VOLT AGE: Chris Paine with GM's reborn EV hope, the Chevrolet Volt. automobile. This is the culmination of a lot of work; the torch is being passed back to the consumer. Finally, these cars will be available everywhere. It’s too bad there’s a recession going on, because people don’t have a lot of money to buy a new car, but they certainly will have the option this coming year. And not all of them will be very expensive — there will be some really terrific cars anyone can afford. Q: You were in Detroit filming at the Detroit-Hamtramck Chevrolet Volt plant. A: Yes, we saw some of the first Chevrolet Volts come down the assembly line. Q: In a way, it’s like coming full circle, because “Who Killed the Electric Car?” is about GM shortcircuiting its last EV program. A: It’s really funny, but when we made that film, we were locked out of GM. We filmed outside the Hamtramck

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plant, unable to even get in and do an interview. And now here we are, six or seven years later, inside the plant and on the line as electric cars are being made. A lot has changed. Q: You have people in your first film like Chelsea Sexton, who started out as a GM employee outraged at the crushing of the EV1. And she’s now one of the key players in the unfolding EV revolution, as a consultant to many of the prominent companies. The auto companies have embraced the environmental movement they weren’t previously willing to do. A: And they all went bankrupt, or at least the American companies did (with the exception of Ford), and they began to see when gas prices reached $4 a gallon the public was going to demand some options with gasoline. There was a perfect storm with gas prices. And there was growing environmental consciousness, as well as technological advances with batteries and other components. Q: Do you have a sense of the size of the early adopter market? Some say 200,000 early adopters and only 40,000 to 50,000 cars available. A: I think that’s an excellent, reasonable estimate. Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn, one of the characters we’re following in the film, says publicly that EVs could become 10 percent of the auto market by 2020, and that the adoption rate could be very steep. Q: Do you think that there could be a big market in converting cars to EVs, as companies like Amp Electric Vehicles (which converts the Chevrolet Equinox, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky) are doing?

A: I do. Converting cars is terrific from an environmental perspective because you’re not creating a whole new car every time. Q: Do you concur that Iceland could be the first country to go electric? In a lot of ways, it’s easier there than almost anywhere else because of very cheap zero-emission geothermal and hydroelectric electricity, plus a very concentrated population of just 300,000. I’m optimistic that, despite its financial problems and delays in getting cars delivered, Iceland can be in the vanguard. There is a memorandum of understanding with Mitsubishi to sell the electric i-MiEV car in Iceland, but so far only a few have been delivered. A: We really agree on that, Jim. We were actually going to open our entire film in Iceland. I was at the Driving Sustainability conference two years ago, and I stayed there an extra week and filmed around Iceland. We talked to the president and the geothermal people, and as you say the main problem is getting the cars. It’s proving really challenging for them. We shot a story about one of the designers of the i-MiEV, who was the son of the man who designed some of the motors for the big geothermal plants in Iceland. Geothermal is such an environmental success story there. Iceland, of course, also had a very big experiment with fuel cells, of course, and there’s still a Shell hydrogen station there.
Visit the Mother Nature Network at mnn.com.

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GOING GREEN | Sunday, October 31, 2010

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Air shutter helps morph Chevrolet Cruze Eco into 40-mpg leader
DETROIT — Squeezing out every last drop of fuel efficiency is one of the key tasks for Greg Fadler, aerodynamics engineering group manager at Chevrolet. Fadler and his team worked on making the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco one of the most fuel-efficient small cars on the market, achieving up to an estimated 40 miles per gallon on the highway — hybrid-like efficiency without the hybrid cost. Engineers used some of the proven approaches to making the Cruze Eco a gas sipper, trimming its overall weight and lowering the ride height. But the real innovation is behind the front grill where an automatic air shutter system allows the car to change shape and cut through the air more smoothly. The air shutter system uses sensors to detect wind and temperature conditions. The sensors are married to electric motors that open and close the shutters automatically. With the shutters closed at high speeds, wind drag is reduced. At lower speeds, the shutters open to maximize engine-cooling air flow. The air shutter system contributes nearly half a mile per gallon in combined city and highway driving. “The real fun of the job is when we discover something new or innovative that allows us to do something better than we or our competition has done before,” Fadler said.
— General Motors

REVIEW

Fiesta a fuel-efficient, stellar subcompact
By Mark Phelan
Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — This has been a good year for mythical creatures. After years of unconfirmed sightings that were widely dismissed as fictitious, the Department of Natural Resources just took a photo of an honest-to-goodness cougar prowling northern Michigan’s woods. If cougars walk among us, who knows what else is possible? An American automaker might even build a subcompact car that looks great and whips the competition’s fuel economy. Check that last one off the list. With the 2011 Fiesta subcompact sedan and hatchback, Ford offers the most fuel-efficient and sophisticated subcompact car on the market. Prices for the 2011 Fiesta start at $13,320 for a base S sedan with a 120-horsepower 1.6liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed transmission. The 1.6-liter engine is standard in all models. The best-equipped sedan, an SEL, starts at $16,320. The stylish and practical Fiesta hatchback — my favorite Fiesta by far — stickers at $15,120 for an SE and $17,120 for an SES. Swapping the manual transmission for a very good six-speed dual clutch adds $1,070 to any Fiesta model. The Fiesta competes with subcompacts like the Chevrolet Aveo, Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. The Fiesta’s base price is in the upper middle

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of that group. When fully equipped, the Fiesta comes in on the high end, although it offers features to justify that. Foremost among those is its fuel economy. A $695 SFE option package that includes the dual-clutch gearbox, low rolling resistance tires and some aerodynamic tweaks gives the Fiesta a stellar 29 mpg city/40 mpg highway rating in EPA tests. That’s several miles per gallon better than the next best fivepassenger subcompact. Fiestas without the SFE option got EPA ratings of 29 mpg city/38 mpg highway with the dual-clutch gearbox and 28/37 with the manual. The Fiesta could use more interior storage cubbies for gear like iPods and phones, and weak low-rpm torque means you have to rev the engine freely for good acceleration, but the car’s looks, value and other features offset those weaknesses. The Fiesta offers a roomy and appealing interior. Headroom is particularly impressive. Cargo

space is about average for the sedan and hatchback. The interior offers a wide range of features, including turn-by-turn directions, a new feature Ford has incorporated into the Sync voice command system for phones and iPods. The Fiesta’s handling is very good. The steering is responsive and provides good feedback. The brakes are confident. The suspension muffles bumps and keeps the Fiesta secure and stable in quick drives on twisting roads. The engine’s lack of low-end torque makes Fiestas with the dual-clutch transmission more enjoyable to drive. A dual-clutch transmission essentially combines the mechanical pieces of a manual with computer controls, so the driver does not have to work a clutch pedal or shift gears. A good dual-clutch combines the responsiveness and efficiency of a manual with the comfort of an automatic transmission. The dual-clutch transmission is the way to go. It more than pays for itself in fuel economy and performance.

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A WHIFF OF CHANGE

Sifting through trash to study recycling efforts

David Joles/Star Tribune

Green Corps member Emily Bowers, left, braced herself for a new load of garbage to sort through as part of the Minneapolis Enhanced Recycling Project.
By Amelia Rayno
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Many locals view Minnesota as an exceptionally green community — and why not? The recycling rate there consistently ranks among the nation’s top five. But Minnesota Green Corps — a new statewide program that’s training a fresh crop of environmentalists —

wants to dissect a different statistic: why the rate has not improved in nearly a decade. To learn more about its residents’ recycling habits, and work to reignite the green campaign, the corps launched a 12-month project aimed at providing answers. The work began in mid-October, with workers sorting and analyzing trash from 100 houses in Minneapolis’ Seward neighborhood. It’s a dirty job —

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part of that day’s “fun” included maggot While working to help communities in need, the program also places high priraces — but it’s a project that Minority on training and educating its nesota Green Corps, a division of members, many of whom are transiAmeriCorps, believes will make a diftioning into new, environmentally oriference. ented careers. They work for next to “How can you really tell people what nothing: $11,400 for 1,700 service to do if you don’t know what’s in hours. But they are driven by the conthere?” said Pam McCurdy, a strategic viction that their efforts will someday marketing specialist for the Minnesota represent meaningful change. Pollution Control Agency, which runs “I like the idea that everyone really the Green Corps program. “You have to can do something,” said Nancy Lo, a get in there,” she said, looking over an full-time Green Corps member who will assembly line of navy blue trash carts. be seeing the project through from beAnd get in there they did. Working ginning to completion. “It’s easy to say, out of an unused Public Works Depart‘Gee, I throw away a lot of stuff,’ but ment garage, the four Green Corps when you actually put numbers on it, it members and a few volunteers sifted makes you stand back and go, ‘Wow.’ ” through coffee grounds and crunched With this project, the Green Corps TV dinner sleeves. They picked out will be able to deduce which kinds of sheets of newspaper and crumpled pamaterials are being consistently recyper towels. They pulled away banana cled. “We’ve hardly found any aluminum peels and broccoli stems. Each smelly or glass (in the regular trash),” said article was meticulously separated into Paul Kroenig, a sublue bins by catpervising environegory, and then mentalist for the the bins were “It’s easy to say, ‘Gee, I throw county’s Departweighed and ment of Environrecorded. away a lot of stuff,’ but when mental Services. The Hennepin you actually put numbers on And they’ll learn County recycling what’s not making project is one of it, it makes you stand back it into the recycling 26 programs for and go, ‘Wow.’ bin and base their the fledgling Minnew messaging efnesota Green NANCY LO, forts on those tarCorps, which sent Ffull-time Green Corps member gets. For example, members to 25 loMcCurdy said, cal governments, about 12 percent of nonprofit agencies generated trash is recyclable paper. and educational institutions statewide “You kind of have to make it easy for this year, its second year of operation. people,” said Green Corps member Rose The effort has four prongs: energy Buss, who called the project “both inconservation and air quality, waste preteresting and gross,” noting that recyvention and recycling, green infrastruccling is not always easy or convenient. ture and a “living green” outreach.

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Greenpeace: Oil is still in the Gulf

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Sandra Brooke, director of coral conservation for the Marine Conservation Biology Institute, and Research Professor Steve Ross of the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, look over terrain maps of the sea floor of the Gulf of Mexico , on the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise.
By Cain Burdeau
Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — Greenpeace said last week it disagreed with official statements that most of the oil from the BP spill is gone from the Gulf of Mexico and added that it has a laboratory test to confirm crude from the disaster sits on the sea floor.

“We’re still seeing a lot of oil out there,” John Hocevar, a marine biologist with Greenpeace, said during a news conference on Oct. 25 to mark the end of a three-month expedition by the group’s Arctic Sunrise vessel. “It’s on the surface, it’s in the sediment, it’s in the water column and it’s hundreds of miles away from the spill site.” Federal agencies have said that most

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of the oil spilled into the gulf has evaporated, dissipated, been dispersed or been burned and skimmed. As early as Aug. 4, U.S. officials said only 52.7 million gallons of oil were left in the gulf, about 31 percent of the 172 million gallons that spewed into the water from the broken BP well. Government scientists also say they have not found any visible oil on the sea floor so far. “They have often made it appear that everything is fine when it wasn’t,” Hocevar said. He said the White House should have waited before lifting the moratorium on drilling in the gulf because “there’s an awful lot that we need to understand (about the spill) still.” “NOAA remains concerned about the impact of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill,” said Debbie Payton, a NOAA oceanographer. “Together with our academic partners we are monitoring the fate of the oil, from the beaches to the open ocean, from the surface to the sediments.” Hocevar said Greenpeace recently received test results from a single oiled sediment sample taken in late September from 1 mile deep and about 41/2 miles from the spill site. He said the tests confirmed that the oil in the sediment was from the BP spill. Hocevar said Greenpeace wanted to take one sample and prove that the oil was from the BP spill. University scientists have said they have found oil on the sea floor, but it has taken far longer for them to get results for their large batches of samples, he said. Samantha Joye, a marine scientist with the University of Georgia, said by e-mail that she has been waiting for five weeks to get lab results “fingerprinting”

oil she found on the sea floor in early September. Only a few labs are able to do the detailed analysis to determine if oil found in the gulf is the same oil that came out of BP’s busted well. NOAA said it had “not visually identified any areas with vast quantities of oil at depth.” The agency said some sediment samples “have revealed sheen concentrations ... These findings are not surprising, and are to be expected for a release at this magnitude at 5,000 feet.” Over 850 days at sea, NOAA said it had collected more than 30,000 samples from nearly 100 sampling research missions. The agency said it was awaiting test results to fingerprint the oil. In the gulf, there are many natural oil seeps, so fingerprinting is particularly important. The Arctic Sunrise spent three months looking for oil and marine life in trouble after it arrived in the gulf following the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. Over that period, the Greenpeace vessel also helped about 20 scientists conduct a variety of oil spill research, Hocevar said. One of those scientists, Caz Taylor, a population biologist and blue crab researcher at Tulane University, said that she was concerned about blue crab populations. On journeys aboard the Arctic Sunrise, she pulled in blue crab larvae across the gulf — from Galveston, Texas, to the Florida Panhandle — and found “mysterious orange droplets” on them, she said at the news conference. Extensive lab testing would help determine if the orange blobs on the larvae were caused by the oil spill, she said.

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P.O. gets stamps of approval
Postage stamps from the U.S. Postal Service have passed an eco-benchmark. According to the service, they are now certified as “Cradle to Cradle” products. Ditto for stamped products. To get the certification, the ingredients had to be tested and shown as either biodegradable or recyclable and their toxicity as 100 parts per million or less. The Postal Service also had to show that its operations were powered by renewable energy and considered people and ecosystems. OK, so that last one is a little vague, but you get the gist. “Our Cradle to Cradle products are designed to be safe and environmentally responsible,” said Sam Pulcrano, vice president or sustainability in a prepared statement. “In 2009, the Postal Service provided one billion eco-friendly mailing and shipping supplies to our customers.” Now, 27 billion stamps and stamped products join them. The service lays claim to being the only mailing and shipping company worldwide to provide packaging supplies that are certified as Cradle to Cradle, a designation of the global marketing and certification firm, MBDC, which stands for McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry.
— Sandy Bauers, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Put your garden to bed for the winter
By Robin Shreeves
Mother Nature Network

I spent some time recently pulling the tomato plants that weren’t producing any more. There are still four plants giving it their all, so I left them in the ground and pruned them so that all their energy will go to the branches that are still producing. One of my Roma plants still has potential. It’s sad-looking, but it’s not giving up — so neither will I. Eventually, though, I’ll have to put the entire garden to bed for the winter. There are lots of things you can do to put your garden to bed for the winter, and avid gardeners will take lots of time and many steps to accomplish that. However, if you have a small kitchen garden and not a lot of time, you might want an easier solution. Still, you don’t want to just leave everything dying in the garden all winter long — it will make next year’s gardening that much more difficult. Here are five basic steps you can take to put your vegetable garden to bed for the winter. 1. Clean out all the annuals. Any plant that isn’t going to come back next year needs to be pulled out by the roots and disposed of. Once they’ve stopped producing altogether, get them out of there. 2. Cut back perennials. Many herbs (and some vegetables) will come back year after year. Cut them to about 2 inches above soil level once they’ve completely gone to seed and are no longer producing usable leaves. 3. Compost all disease-free materials. Use all of the plant materials from this year’s garden to

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iStockphoto

If you take the time to do a few simple steps, you'll be on your way to a fertile garden next spring. help nourish next year’s garden. Add raked leaves to the compost pile, too. 4. Turn your soil. Turning the soil will help eliminate some pest problems next spring. Any grubs or eggs from undesirable insects will be broken up, brought to the surface and feed the birds this fall. 5. Plant a cover crop. Oats and buckwheat or winter rye get scattered over the garden, covered with a light layer of soil and watered if needed. The cover crop will die during the first hard frost and stay on your garden to protect it from weeds until you turn it under in the spring. Check out this video about how to plant a cover crop for more specific information: mnn.com/food/organic-farming/blogs/preparing-your-garden-bed-for-winter. Taking a few hours to do this now in the fall will give you better soil next spring and help keep undesirable bugs and weeds from popping up in next year’s garden.
Robin Shreeves blogs about finding ecofriendly food options at mnn.com/featuredblogs/sustainablefood.

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