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Main Line Today Archives: Go Green, a reusable guide to being one with the earth
 

Main Line Today Archives: Go Green, a reusable guide to being one with the earth

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An oldie but goodie look at the earth-friendly movers and shakers and resources in and around Philadelphia and its Western Suburbs.

An oldie but goodie look at the earth-friendly movers and shakers and resources in and around Philadelphia and its Western Suburbs.

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    Main Line Today Archives: Go Green, a reusable guide to being one with the earth Main Line Today Archives: Go Green, a reusable guide to being one with the earth Document Transcript

    • MY ACCOUNT | SUBSCRIBER SERVICES | ADVERTISE | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | ARCHIVESH OB ME RES ET S SO T HF A O U P R H P A E IN N A NT E L GS I T G H &CALENDAR NIGHTLIFE HOME & GARDEN WEDDINGS TRAVEL PARTIES & PROMOTIONS RESOURCE GUIDES VIDEOS SUBSCRIBE ADVERTISEMENT EMAIL PRINT FEED Subscribe Go Green! Get our Health A reusable guide to being one with the earth. & Wellness supplement B Y D A WPUBLISHED MARCH.8, 2007 AT 12:00 AM R N E W A D E N FREE! A reusable guide to being one with the earth. No wonder green is the color of chameleons. Over the years, it’s been associated with envy, money, nausea, friskiness (think Subscribe today » green M&Ms), even a rock band. These days, green is the color for everything enviro-friendly—alternative fuels, renewable ADVERTISEMENT energy, recycled clothing, furniture, kitchen countertops, building materials, pesticide- and antibiotic-free foods. And that’s just scratching the surface. Green is so hot that being anything less is simply not cool. So instead of painting the town red, why not throw on a hemp outfit and recycled rubber sandals and drive your biodiesel convertible to the hottest restaurant in town—one that serves organic dishes on recycled glass plates prepared in a solar-powered kitchen? If that sounds a little too granola, you haven’t been paying attention. Saving the planet isn’t a hippie thing—it’s a hip thing. You don’t have to see An Inconvenient Truth (though we recommend you do) to know that our billions of years on this earth have put an enormous amount of wear and tear on the environment. Chances are you’ve already made some changes in your daily life to help alleviate the strain. For those who haven’t, a good time to start would be Earth Day (April 22). As for the rest of us, we can always do more. And with MLT’s help, you’ll be well armed to take on the world. Growth Industry Community supported agriculture in the western suburbs is starting to reap more than it sows. Chester County community supported agriculture is finally getting the attention it deserves, and local farmers and restaurateurs get all the credit. Chefs like Sean Weinberg of Restaurant Alba in Malvern and Patrick Feury of Nectar in Berwyn are showing support by purchasing locally and showcasing these high-quality, organic ingredients on their menus. But it’s the farmers—Sue Kilpatrick (pictured above) of Charlestown Cooperative Farm, Karen Vollmecke of Vollmecke Orchards, Sam Cantrell of Maysie’s Farm and others—who are giving those ingredients life. It’s an enormous job caring for 60-plus varieties of vegetables, along with fruit crops and flowers. Simply put, organic farming is a tough job. The pay isn’t nearly as good as a doctor’s, but the on-call hours are comparable. In many ways, running a farm is like being a domestic engineer and a CEO at the same time. It can be a multi-tasking nightmare, and when you’re following sustainable guidelines, there’s no cutting corners. In the Current Issue But if you live by the expression “you reap what you sow,” a little inconvenience goes a long way. “Organic growers trade convenience for maintenance and observation skills,” says Vollmecke. “But January 2012 if you operate under the belief that all systems are connected, sustainable agriculture is of the utmost importance in terms of the environment.” converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
    • Vollmecke should know. Last November, the Chester County Agricultural Development Councilrecognized her as Farmer of the Year. And while none of us should be doomed to a diet of pesticides Featuresand synthetic fertilizer, the real benefits of CSA are ecological. Backwards Stars James Van Der Beek and Haverford’s Sarah Megan Thomas »Sustainable agriculture’s mantra is that whatever is taken out of the environment is put back in. St. Rocco Church Welcomes MexicanWater, soil and air are replenished so they’ll be available for future generations, and the waste stays Immigrants in Avondale »within the farm’s ecosystem, eliminating buildup or pollution. Cover cropping decreases the chance Emlen Tunnell: NFL Hall of Famer and All-of erosion and loss of topsoil, and acts as a green manure when the crops are tilled in spring. In Around Nice Guy »addition, healthy soil rich in organic matter has a greater capacity to retain moisture, which helps Empty-Nesters Choose Renovation Over Downsizing »conserve water. Hogfish Grill: Waynes Work in Progress »Keeping things as locally based as possible helps minimize transportation costs and fossil fuel use, New and Popular Cosmetic Procedures for the Face »while rotating different types of plants and animals around the fields enriches the soil and helps Hope for Haiti Two Years After theprevent disease and pest outbreaks. (Chemical pesticides are used minimally and only when Earthquake »necessary, and many sustainable farms are chemical free.) Maria Bello: Actress, Philanthropist, Kickboxer, Mother and More »At Charlestown Cooperative Farm, technological advances such as a solar-powered hoop house—a100- by 30-foot structure constructed with metal hoops covered by two layers of clear plastic and Departmentsheated by a corn furnace—create a controlled micro-climate, extending the growing season and Remembering Haiti Two Years After thesaving energy. Burning corn is considered a carbon-neutral process: As it grows, it takes in carbon Earthquake »dioxide from the atmosphere. Then, when it’s burned, it emits the same amount of carbon dioxide New York Travel: Glenmere Mansion »back into the atmosphere. Environmentally sustainable and energy-efficient, this process is also A. Roy Smith: Preservationist of the Year »cheaper than fossil fuel alternatives. Through the winter growing season, the burning of corn should Wayne Art Centers Craft Forms 2011 »save between 1,000 and 1,500 gallons of home heating oil.Chester County is fortunate to have both non-certified and certified organic farms, all open to thepublic. But as their popularity has grown, so have the waiting lists. Charlestown Cooperative won’t Related Articlesbe open to new members until 2008—proof that great taste, increased nutrition, value and aconcern for the environment are at the top of many of our grocery lists. “We’re very thankful thatpeople would choose to spend their food dollars with us,” says Vollmecke.Buying organic in the grocery store can be a bit threatening in terms of price, but when you break itdown, the savings through a local co-op like Charlestown are notable. For new members, a season’s(22 weeks) worth of produce costs $650, or approximately $30 a week. A typical season runs fromJune to November, but with the hoop house, it could be even longer.“We’re so used to buying cheap food,” says Kilpatrick. “But it’s not proportionate to the damagebeing done to the environment; $1.50 for a head of iceberg lettuce isn’t going to cover it. Andcheap food isn’t necessarily good for you.” At the start of the growing season, shares of that year’sharvest are sold to members of the community. Pickup hours vary among the farms, but generallyit’s a simple process—no more challenging and far more stimulating than the supermarket. “Oncepeople taste the difference—especially in things like carrots and eggs—they’re hooked,” saysKilpatrick.—Dawn E. WardenEARTH ANGEL: Teaching AwarenessMike Weilbacher’s isn’t your typical Main Line back yard. Instead of grass, the Merion Stationresident has a native wildflower garden. Black-eyed Susans and asters cover the ground, with not ablade of grass in sight. “I ripped out my lawn,” he says. “Grass is like concrete, while gardens absorbwater. Plus, there’s no mowing—meaning there’s no fossil fuels from the lawnmower. I had mylawnmower recycled in an iron scrap. Neighbors think I’m wacky.”By day, Weilbacher leads the fight against environmental irresponsibility as executive director ofLower Merion Conservancy. But off the job, he just wants to unwind. “I’m not the green police,” hetells friends, who often apologize for serving food on paper plates or using plastic cups at dinner converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
    • parties. “It’s fine.”You might also know Weilbacher as “Mike the Science Guy” from WXPN’s Kid’s Corner, a keynotespeaker and workshop leader for various environmental issues and a regular contributor to avariety of publications, including E: The Environmental Magazine, Learning and the PhiladelphiaInquirer.Yet Weilbacher doesn’t see himself as an environmentalist. “I consider myself a naturalist—someone who studies nature,” he says. “There’s something genetically embedded in me that needsto be outdoors in nature.”Nonetheless, that fascination got Weilbacher into environmental work at a young age. Hevolunteered for clean-up projects at local parks and later helped found the ecology club in highschool. “I began reading about environmental problems in the sixth or seventh grade, when theyreally became mainstream,” he says. “Something captivated me, and I’ve been involved eversince.”After high school, Weilbacher majored in science and environmental education at CornellUniversity, then went on to earn an M.S. from the University of Michigan. His thesis: “A Case Studyof the Performing Arts as Environmental Education.” From there, he got involved in all sorts ofenvironmental jobs, working everywhere from summer camps to radio stations (he was host ofWHYY’s Earth Talk). Over the years, Weilbacher has preached the importance of environmentalsensitivity to more than 100,000 kids and adults at various parks and nature centers.Today, one of the most pressing issues for Weilbacher and many others is global warming. “CO2 hasbeen increasing for as long as it has been measured. It is an indisputable fact—not opinion—thatCO2 levels are increasing,” he says. “That’s why all of the warmest years on record are recent years.What confuses people is actually factual information—there are piles of it. But when you put it alltogether, we’re fools not to notice.”Even more daunting, Weilbacher asserts, is the impact global warming might have on the economy.“This winter has unnerved everybody. People can see the climate changing,” he says. “It will have ahuge impact on the economy. We’re talking about losing several major countries as floodwatersrise. All coastal ports are in trouble, including New York City. Because of this, where we grow foodwill change. Iowa won’t be able to grow corn anymore. We’ll have to shift where crops are grown. Itcan be done, but the restructuring process will take an economic toll.”To face the problem head-on, one needn’t go any further than our own neighborhoods. “My wifejust got a Honda Civic Hybrid,” Weilbacher says. “Hybrids are important, but not the end-all, be-all.” To limit household waste, says Weilbacher, “the best thing you can do is recycle your guts out.It’s the easiest and most effective way to conserve.”And keep those tires inflated and use compact fluorescent light bulbs. “Easy adjustments can bemade. We don’t have to live in caves,” says Weilbacher.Or scrap our lawnmowers.—Benjamin BerlinerEARTH ANGEL: Solar SisterSarah Hetznecker is a sun worshipper—but not in a bikini-clad, baby oil kind of way. This votarygets her kicks transforming those soothing rays into a valuable commodity, helping your wallet andMother Nature in the process. Peddling solar energy has proven to be a lucrative and satisfyingendeavor for this environmental professional—very much a labor of love and an immense source ofpride. converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
    • Before Hetznecker fell under the spell of solar power, she worked as a geologist, immersing herselfin ground-water issues and remediation. In 1996, her environmental leanings and formidablenetworking skills led her to form the Society of Women Environmental Professionals, anorganization with gender, ecological jobs and green politics in common. One of the group’s goals isfinding ways to conserve energy.“So many of our environmental issues suddenly seemed to be handled, but when you lookeddeeper, it became clear that the real cause of our environmental issues was—and still is—tied to ourchoices and uses of energy,” says Hetznecker. Hetznecker’s infatuation with solar energy blossomedinto a serious commitment in 2000 after she attended a conference hosted by Penn Futures. Theplatform: renewable energy.A year before, she and her husband, Gary Sheehan, had co-founded Mesa Environmental Sciences,a Malvern-based environmental consulting firm. Having gleaned the importance of energyconservation and its impact on the global environment, Hetznecker took things to the next level,addressing the energy needs of commercial, residential and agricultural clients through customizedsolar photovoltaic system design and installation.In layman’s terms, solar energy is defined as energy from the sun that’s converted into thermal orelectrical energy using photovoltaic or solar cells. Photovoltaic cells are semiconductor devicestypically made of silicon; they contain no liquids, corrosive chemicals or moving parts. Theyproduce electricity as long as light shines on them, and they require little maintenance, operatesilently and don’t pollute. All of that makes PV energy the cleanest, safest method of powergeneration. A five-kilowatt photovoltaic electric system can serve up to 7 5 percent of a home’selectric needs and eliminate 14,7 53 pounds of carbon dioxide, 20.6 pounds of nitrous oxide and81.6 pounds of sulfites per year, on average. A photovoltaic electric system’s appeal today lies inthe increased availability of grid-tied systems. The no-battery-required technology addsinvisibility, and aside from the physical panels—either roof- or ground-mounted—“you don’t evenknow it’s happening,” says Hetznecker.What matters most to consumers are the benefits to the environment and, of course, their utilitybills. Legislative measures in the form of tax and renewable energy credits are helping make suchalternative energy forms more affordable. But unlike Pennsylvania, a leader in renewable energyinitiatives, not every state has bucked up. Mesa follows the market, installing in states with rebatesand incentives. (For legislation updates, visit desireusa.org.)Hetznecker’s list of clients includes Gov. Ed Rendell’s residence in Harrisburg, French CreekVineyards in Elverson, Stargazer’s Winery in Unionville, the Schuylkill Center for EnvironmentalEducation and Charlestown Cooperative Farm. “Mesa has become a leader in the industry,” saysHetznecker. “And I’ve become clearer about my business niche and sense of purpose.”—Dawn E. WardenEARTH ANGEL: In the FlowMaya K. van Rossum spent her first Mother’s Day walking through the pouring rain with an 8-month-old baby dangling around her neck, trying to convince residents of a New Jerseycommunity by the Delaware River to attend a hearing about Route 29, a proposed truck route alongthe river’s New Jersey side in South Trenton. It was a solid day’s work for the Delaware Riverkeeper—and one of many.“You’re involved with every aspect of it—that means knocking on doors, testifying, talking to thepress, arguing with politicians,” says the Radnor attorney turned advocate. “If you’re going to workwith a community, you have to really work with a community.”Despite van Rossum’s efforts, Route 29 was built, destroying a significant part of the Delaware River converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
    • habitat and cutting off community access to the river. Not that such setbacks have deterred her onebit.As the voice of the river, van Rossum represents her client in court, at public hearings, in writingand online at delawareriverkeeper.org. Any place where decisions are made that might affect theriver, you’ll find van Rossum arguing her client’s case. After all, the river can’t speak for itself. “I gotto achieve my life dream,” says van Rossum, who came to the Bristol-based non-profit DelawareRiver Network in 1994. “I have no intentions of going anywhere else.”To this day, van Rossum meets people living near Route 29 and the conversation turns to that“horrible highway.” Usually she finds that she knocked on their door, but they didn’t go to thehearing. And so the highway stands.“There are a lot of people who come out and fight the good fight, and a lot of people who sit at homeand hope someone will fight it for them,” Rossum says. “That’s why I won’t sit in my cushy home. Ifyou’re going to be the voice for the river, you’ve got to be out there fighting for the river every day,all day and in all weathers.”Van Rossum gets her passion from her mother, who wasn’t an advocate or an environmentalist butwas always concerned about the smallest critters and the most insignificant habitats. Whenneighbors put leaves alongside their garbage cans, van Rossum and her mother collected thebundles and used them in their garden. And when a section of the Blue Route went up near theirVillanova home, leaving the woods a muddy mess, the van Rossums and others restored the area.“She taught me to be connected with the environment and really appreciate it,” van Rossum says.“Not through advocacy and talking about the environment—she did it by example.”As an environmental warrior with two law degrees—one of them in corporate finance from WidenerUniversity—van Rossum has battled the likes of PennDOT and the U.S. Army for the DRN, whichprotects and defends the Delaware River through advocacy and enforcement. Just recently, shewon a 17 -year fight with the Salem Nuclear Generating Station, which was killing more than threebillion fish a year despite having the technology to reduce that number by 95 percent. “I feel thepain of the river,” she says. “I put my heart and soul into every fight no matter how big or small. It’snot just a loss for me; it’s a loss for the river, the little critters, the habitat.”Here on the Main Line, van Rossum is now grappling with O’Neill Properties over a proposedcondominium development at Route 320 and Conestoga Road that threatens downstreamcommunities and Ithan Creek with increased flooding, erosion and pollution. And like every battleshe’s involved in, no matter how close to home, it’s one she has every intention of winning. “I cango to bed every single night knowing I made the decision I thought was truly right,” she says. “Inever have to second-guess, ‘Did I do something good today?’”—Corinne ClemetsenEARTH ANGEL: Veggie Vroom!Kipp Bachurski drives his ’87 Mercedes-Benz 300SDL about 350 miles a week. In a year, themechanic for Lower Merion School District would spend $450 commuting to and from work,emitting over 201,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every week—if he wererunning on gasoline.But Bachurski collects leftover cooking oil from local restaurants and bars, bringing it home to hisbasement where he cleans and filters it for fuel. Not only does he get about 30 miles a gallon, hedoesn’t pay a cent—and carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 21 percent.In fact, vegetable oil contains very little or no polyaromatic hydrocarbons—the source of harmfulexhaust—and it hardly contributes at all to greenhouse gas emissions. And by taking all that extraoil off the hands of restaurants, the waste won’t end up in a landfill, sewer trap or stream. “You’re converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
    • pretty much driving for free,” says Bachurski. “But I do it for both the cost effectiveness andenvironmental concerns.”To make the change, Bachurski bought a conversion kit for $600. Alterations included installing asecond tank in the spare tire compartment, running two lines up to the engine and using a coppercoil to heat the oil to 160 degrees so it’s thin enough to run the same way gasoline would. In thewinter, Bachurski must start the car on biodiesel fuel until the oil is hot enough.The Mercedes isn’t the first car he’s transformed. Last January, Bachurski converted a 1998Volkswagen Beetle and ran it on oil from Lower Merion’s cafeterias. Before that, he owned a 2004Contour that ran on cleaner-burning natural gas. “It’s not a job for everybody,” Bachurski says,mentioning his always-grimy hands and a basement that currently houses 80 gallons of vegetableoil—50 gallons are stored in an enormous drum; the rest is in buckets on the floor.Instead of that gasoline smell, Bachurski’s car gives off the odor of food cooked in the burning oil—French fries, chicken fingers, onion rings, you name it. His son worked at a movie theater for a fewyears and managed to get a hold of several gallons of butter oil. “It smells like the movie theater,”he says.Slowly but surely, Bachurski is convincing those around him to join in the veggie-oil brigade. Herecently helped a coworker to convert his car. “Sometimes people think you’re a little goofy, butwhen they see that you’re driving for nothing, they think again,” he says.—Corinne ClemetsenTo Hybrid or Not to Hybrid?Read this before you decide.One of the biggest ecological decisions consumers are weighing these days is whether or not topurchase a hybrid car. To help us sort out the pros and cons, we asked Nicholas Aoyama, a salesassociate and self-taught hybrid guru at Martin Main Line Honda in Ardmore, to break it down forus.Honda dominates the pack of the 11 most fuel-efficient cars. It holds the No. 3, 6 and 8 spots,alternating with Toyota much of the time. The most popular model is the Civic Hybrid, a compactfour-cylinder with a city-to-highway ratio of 49/51 mpg. The Honda Insight rates higher, with a60/66 mpg city-to-highway ratio, but isn’t as popular as the Civic or Toyota Prius. The up-frontcost of a hybrid is $3,000 more than a regular Civic. “What you’re paying for is the research it tookto bring that technology to life,” says Aoyama.From the outside, not much is different. But try to fold the rear seat back and, well, you can’tbecause that’s where the battery sits. You may detect a difference in get-up-and-go, too. Mosthybrids don’t have as much horsepower as gas-powered cars. “You could call it a con, but mostpeople won’t notice. It’s enough,” says Aoyama.Here’s a breakdown of how it all works: While you’re coasting along on the highway, your eco-friendly car runs on battery power, which as Aoyama points out, doesn’t have quite the samemuscle as gasoline (so you shouldn’t count on seeing a hybrid pickup truck). Since the generatorsare located on the wheels, every time you go into coast mode, you’re also charging the battery.When you come to a stop, the engine shuts off and it feels like you’re stalled. But when you step onthe accelerator, the response is instantaneous as you’re hit with full power from both sources.“Hybrids are great for people who drive a lot and for long distances,” says Aoyama.In terms of gas mileage/expenses, savings will depend on the person—and not surprisingly, citydriving won’t reap the same dividends as highway. “In a typical non-hybrid compact car, you’llspend $1,400 a year on gas,” Aoyama says. “In a hybrid, that number drops to about $650.”Ultimately, it could take up to five years to make up the hybrid’s higher sticker price in reduced fuelexpenses, but state and federal rebates help. Currently the federal tax credit is $2,100; inPennsylvania, it’s $500.“One in 25 people who buy a Civic these days are choosing the hybrid,” Aoyama says. “Whenthey’re not, it’s because they’re realistically looking at their monthly payments and seeing adifference of at least $45. That may not seem like a huge chunk of change, but multiplied by 12 converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
    • months, it can make a difference in a family’s budget.”—Dawn E. WardenWhat’s with the Weather?Local meteorologists weigh in on the global warming issue. How real is it? Should we care?Glenn “Hurricane” Schwartz, NBC 10The weather is so naturally variable that sometimes we see the change in the environment—anddamages to it—before there’s widespread acceptance that it’s been changed and/or damaged. But asthe trend continues, there becomes less and less doubt that a good bit of it is “anthropogenic”—from human sources. Also, in the past 10 years, more and more research has convinced a formerskeptic like me into believing this is real.Eventually, sea levels may rise to the point where our coastline changes dramatically. Hotter andmore humid summers will lead to more dangerous and longer-lasting heat waves. Andthunderstorms will have greater potential to cause flooding due to more water vapor in the air.Rob Guarino, Fox 29We continue to set more warm records than cold. Global warming is a threat to our region becausewe’re on the coastal plain. As the ice melts in the Arctic/Antarctic, the ocean will rise, along withthe water on the Delaware waterfront. Homes will be in jeopardy, and we increase the chance ofEast Coast hurricanes along New Jersey, New York and Delaware. And since Philly, Wilmington andTrenton are highly industrialized, we increase the risk of cancer, asthma and other problems.Kathy Orr, CBS 3As soon as we have a warm day out of the ordinary, people think it’s global warming. It’s not just aday or a week in one place; it could be warm here on the East Coast and cold on the West Coast. It alldepends on how you define global warming. We are obviously warming right now. In the pastmillion years, we’ve gone through warm periods— interglacial periods—and we’ve gone throughcold periods—glacial periods. We might see more extremes like in the 1930s with the Dust Bowl.In 1996, we had the highest recorded snowfall in Philadelphia. Right now, we’re in a cyclical patternof hurricane activity that occurs every 23 years. That hasn’t affected our area like Katrina did, butplaces up as far as Long Island are at risk. How much of this is manmade—from deforestation, fromfossil fuels—we don’t really know. We won’t know for at least a few hundred years. Our childrenwon’t know, our grandchildren won’t know; so we have to be responsible. You certainly can’t ignorethat we’re putting a lot of stuff into the environment, and we can assume that it has some impact.The fact is, we don’t know how much of it is manmade.Interviews by Corinne Clemetsen and Brian Krier.Go Green! GlossaryAlternative energy: Renewable energy sources such as biomass, nuclear, small hydro, solar,wind, geothermal, tidal energy, photovoltaic conversion systems and hydrogen fuel.Biodiesel: A diesel-equivalent, processed fuel derived from biological sources such as vegetableoils, which can be used in unmodified diesel-engine vehicles.Carbon dioxide (CO2): A molecule made up of one part carbon and two parts oxygen. In recentyears, a buildup of CO2—largely from the burning of fossil fuels—is widely thought to becontributing to global warming.Composting: The biological decomposition of solid organic materials by bacteria, fungi and otherorganisms into a soil-like product used to enrich garden soils.Ecological footprint: A metaphor used to depict the amount of land and water a humanpopulation would need to provide the resources required to support itself and to absorb its wastes(given prevailing technology).Electrolysis: A process in which electrical currents are used to break down water molecules intotheir most basic atomic components—two parts hydrogen, one part water—for use as fuel. converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
    • Fossil fuels: Carbon-rich deposits in the earth—such as petroleum, coal or natural gas—derivedfrom the remains of ancient plants and animals and used for fuel.Geothermal energy: Heat that comes from the earth’s interior.Global warming: The theory that man’s use of fossil fuels is responsible for a steady increase inatmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, trapping heat in the atmosphere and warming the climate.Greenhouse gases: Any of a number of gases that absorb infrared radiation when they’rereleased into the atmosphere, leading to the so-called greenhouse effect. Examples include CO2,methane, nitrogen oxides and various fluorocarbons.Hybrid: Cars, trucks, and crossovers that combine at least two different power sources to improvefuel economy and reduce emissions. Most common method: gasoline and battery/electric power.Hydrogen fuel cells: The product of a technol-ogy that feeds hydrogen into one side of a “stack”and oxygen into the other. The resulting reaction produces a current that can be used to powereverything from an electric motor to a spacecraft.Mybrid: Mild hybrids—or mybrids—make more limited use of battery-generated power than a fullhybrid. Generally less expensive than a full hybrid, but not as fuel-efficient.Plug-in hybrid: A hybrid type that allows extended use in electric mode.Radiant heating: An efficient heating system that warms cold objects to evenly give off heat.Renewable energy: Energy derived from sources that don’t deplete natural resources, such assolar, wind and geothermal.Sustainability: Meeting the needs of the present without depleting resources or harming naturalcycles for future generations.Zero-emission vehicle (ZEV): One that produces absolutely no emissions while running. Theonly true ZEVs are electric vehicles (EVs).Xeric garden: Landscaping with water conservation as a major objective—usually accomplishedby using plants native to the region.13 Ways to Go Green1. Buy carbon offsets. The easiest, most powerful way to become carbon neutral, this serviceaims to reduce the net carbon emissions of individuals or organizations through proxies whoreduce their emissions and/or increase their absorption of greenhouse gases by planting trees orinvesting in alternative sustainable energy sources such as solar or wind power.2. Use public transportation and drive less. Driving is the No. 1 source of the CO2 choking theatmosphere in the United States.3. Buy compact fluorescent light bulbs.4. Wear organic. Stylish hemp and organic cotton products can be found at rawganique.com. converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
    • 5. Join an enviro-friendly committee or organization.6. Eat organic. Organic food is healthier for the environment—and your body.7. Turn down the heat.8. Go vegetarian. More than a third of all fossil fuels produced in the United States is used to raiseanimals for food.9. Plant a tree.10. Educate yourself and your children.11. Buy sustainable household products. Like gas stoves.12. Maintain proper air pressure in your car tires.13. Appreciate the outdoors.Enviro-friendly Fast Facts• Pennsylvania imports more trash than any other state. Recycling reduces strain on landfills whilefueling the economy with raw materials and jobs. (Source: pennenvironment.org)• Since 1988, the state’s recycling programs have been supported, in part, by a $2-per-ton fee ontrash disposal at landfills. Thanks to this funding, Pennsylvania has more than 900 curb-siderecycling programs.• While the Pennsylvania House has passed a bill to reauthorize the state’s Recycling Fund, theSenate has yet to take action.• Released in February, Gov. Ed Rendell’s Energy Independence Strategy will push Pennsylvaniainto the top tier of states taking steps to cut consumer energy costs while significantly expandingthe alternative fuel, clean energy and conservation sectors. Rendell says EIS will cut our energybills by $10 billion over the next 10 years and “give us the ability to produce enough homegrownDo you like what you just read here? Subscribe to Main Line Today »Buy individual issues from the archives »Add your com ent: m Log In Create an account Create an instant account, or please log in if you have an account. Email address (not displayed publicly) Password Forgot your password? converted by Web2PDFConvert.com
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