Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity.- Ralph Bicknese

The Elwha River and Environmental Restoration

elwhaThe Elwha River runs the length of 45 miles on the Olympic Peninsula and is home to all five species of pacific salmon. For the time being, however, it’s most known for being in the process of undergoing the largest dam removal project in history, part of the Elwha Ecosystem Restoration Project, an initiative of the National Park Service to remove the river’s two dams and restore it to its natural state. Continue reading


Eating Healthier for Less

keep-calm-and-help-me-i-m-poor-12A lot of people (including the writer of this post) would like to eat healthier and more organically than they do, but find the task to be economically unfeasible. The frugal thing to do is to buy six packets of ramen for a dollar, then add imaginary bits of carrot and stir them in with the noodles. Yum yum. Real, fresh fruits and veggies are costlier to come by, an expense that seems impossible to mix with an already strained budget. If you’re eligible for a SNAP EBT card, there’s a super cool program going on called “fresh bucks” that could assist you in your pursuit of non-imaginary produce. Continue reading

Surviving the Heat without AC

heatIf you have issues with hot summer days, then we have something in common. Personally, I’d take the biting chill of winter over the enveloping heat of summer any day. But since humans don’t yet have control over external temperatures (what’s taking you so long, scientists?) we all have to deal with those extra hot days. The fatigue, sweat, and general discomfort caused by heat can make people like me run for the AC, even in a city like Seattle, where temperatures rarely reach high levels. Unfortunately, air conditioning uses up a lot of energy to be so effective. The good news is, there may be other ways to keep your space cool without resorting to the powers of generated indoor breeze. Continue reading

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Harbor Porpoises Return to Puget Sound

porpoisesSound the seashell trumpets! As reported by the Seattle Times (in a great article worth checking out), Harbor Porpoises are once again populating the Puget Sound in numbers after a decades-long absence. Last common in the 40’s and 50’s, possible reasons for their disappearance include industrial pollution, vessel noise, and entanglement in gill nets, which researchers say might have driven the porpoises further north. But it now appears that these troublesome conditions have reduced enough for them to return, and they’ve become a common sight once again. This is something of an environmental victory for the city, giving cause to deem Seattle’s pollution cleanup efforts effective. Continue reading

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Getting to Know Our Trees

yaySometimes I forget how lucky I am to be living in a city with trees around every corner, lining sidewalks and providing helpful summertime shade. It’s only when I see a city without the same amount of bark that I realize how remarkable Seattle is. To be able to appreciate so much nature in such an urban setting is truly something to be thankful for, and no city matches Seattle in terms of tree diversity. Since trees are such a frequent and welcome presence to us here, perhaps we should take the time to be neighborly and learn some of their names. First off, let’s take a look at the three most present types of trees in Washington State. Continue reading

Going Green on the 4th

fireworksA lot of people feel an urge to barbeque around this time, especially on the 4th of July. Hot food, warm night air, sitting on the grass watching colorful things go boom. It’s a pretty sweet vibe. But it’s also a scene that can be made more eco-friendly in a few small ways, ones that won’t make a dent in the fun. Continue reading

Sustainable Coffee Practices

tumblr_lv16mbK86H1qbi3l5o1_500If coffee is as big a part of your life as it is mine, the way you get it matters ecologically. Because let’s face it. We can’t just stop drinking coffee. It’s a happy addiction. What we can do is go about it in the most sustainable way possible, with little efforts here and there. Continue reading