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

Eco-Friendly Cleaning

amarbleYeah, so that bathtub of yours. That toilet. That sink. That pan residue left over from that time you tested the smoke detector by frying marbles. You’ve managed to ignore the dirt and grime for a while, but let’s be honest: the word disgusting is close to being an appropriate description for your pad. If you’re looking to do some spring cleaning and make the word immaculate more an exaggeration than a total fantasy, but want to do it in the greenest way possible, check below for some guidelines to follow in the search for Eco-friendly cleaning products. Continue reading

Indoor Gardening with Vegetable Scraps

celSpeaking of spring break gardening projects, did you know that you can start growing celery indoors with the cut ends of a celery plant? Simply take your cut ends and put them in a shallow bowl of water, placing the bowl in a location that will get lots of sunlight. Make sure to change the bowl’s water every two or three days. From there, the inner areas of the cut ends will start to grow, and the outside will show signs of brown and rot-but fear not! This rotting is what feeds the new celery and spurs on its growth! Continue reading

Healthy Habits to Consider this Spring Break

Spring-15When school is in session, there often just isn’t enough time to work on a healthier lifestyle. Eating oatmeal and a banana for breakfast? With a smoothie to drink? Many college kids don’t even spend time eating breakfast at all, whether that breakfast is a three course feast or a bowl of cereal with possibly expired milk. The nice thing about living such a hectic lifestyle is that when a break comes, the world seems to move in slow motion. Even if you’ll still be working a job over spring break, the lack of school will likely transmit itself into little gaps of time that you suddenly have no clue what to do with. While this sudden freedom may be short-lived, you might be able to use the time to implement some healthy habits into your lifestyle that will last even when you return to the books. Continue reading

Saving the Monarch Butterfly

butterflies-afasdIf you’re planning on doing some gardening this spring break, you should try and include some milkweed seeds in your planting. Why? Because the Monarch butterfly is in danger of becoming extinct, and it needs all the milkweed plants it can find. The decline is illustrated by the fact that only 33 million monarchs were estimated to have made their yearly migration from Canada to Mexico-compared to 1996’s one billion. Here on the west coast, the extension of urban territory has contributed greatly to the loss of Monarch habitat-milkweed plants, to be exact, the sole plant that Monarchs lay their eggs on. This is a rare example in which we humans have the ability to neutralize (or at least push back on) the loss of habitat we have created. Simply by planting milkweed seeds, we can help the species of Monarch butterflies grow strong in numbers once again, and prevent the possible loss that may come if nothing is done. Check out this site for info on finding the right kind of milkweed to plant.

Camp Casey and Marine Life Conservation

CaseyPanThere is more to SPU’s Camp Casey Conference Center, located on Whidbey Island, than meets the immediate eye. Aside from the more apparent amenities, there is the Camp Casey Sea Lab, which contains a host of local marine life to behold, conservation at the heart of its message. The lab was built by Keith Ludeman, a retired Navy veteran who educates visitors on the sea life collected in the lab, which includes starfish, sea urchins, sea pickles, and more. These creatures are found in plenty in the Puget Sound waters off the shore of Whidbey Island, but all of them are deep-sea dwellers, and wouldn’t be viewable if not for the lab. This is very much a part of the lab’s goal-to show young students that the ocean is a habitat of importance for all of these creatures that we can’t see. The way that our actions as humans affect them and their habitat is also stressed. Continue reading

Four Cool Things About Finals Week

finalsThe days leading up to the end of finals will be unpleasant ones for many of us. They will be saturated with stress and a general feeling of impending doom, as if we were trying to get out of the way of falling meteors by studying. At times, we will feel like we are in the middle of one of those torture chamber mechanisms, with spikes on both walls slowly closing in. Staying positive may seem like an impossibility. But if that part of your brain that is in constant search of a light at the end of the tunnel shuts off, there are a few things you can think about in the effort to turn it back on. Continue reading

Mammoth Tusk Safe and Sound at Burke Museum

mammoth-tusk-on-display-burke-museumJust about a month ago I wrote about a mammoth tusk discovered underground in South Lake Union. If you followed the story, you know that the Burke Museum was able to dig it up and take it to be preserved. It was put on display March 8th as part of “Dino Day,” and the Burke blog has recently posted about the tusk’s journey out of hiding. In the effort to remove the tusk from the ground safely, Burke paleontologists had to cover the tusk in aluminum foil, add layers of burlap strips soaked in water and dipped in plaster, and place 2 by 4’s alongside the tusk. According to the blog, the tusk was covered in more layers of plaster on Tuesday after two core samples were removed and sent away for carbon dating, which can tell us just how old the tusk actually is. Continue reading


Cutting Back on Textbook Cost

meme_textbookWhen you’re picking classes, how much do you base your decisions off of what textbooks for certain courses will cost you? It’s a shame that any of us have to take this into account at all, but the unfortunate truth is that textbook cost is very often, well, ridiculous. Perhaps you’ve even tried to get through a class sans-textbook, relying on notes and friendly classmates who are willing to lend you theirs from time to time (I sound a little too familiar with this practice don’t I?). According to one study, college textbook prices have risen at four times the rate of inflation over the past twenty years. Continue reading

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Rocky Mountain Elk Herd Arrives in Washington

elkLate snowfall this year has delayed the usual feeding session of Rocky Mountain Elk, which is currently taking place in the L.T. Murray wildlife area located west of Ellensburg. The feeding program is usually scheduled for December, but the delayed nature of this year’s snowfall has pushed it all the way into March. Check out these awesome photos of the elk herd’s arrival, which will make you envious of wildlife photographers.

Natural Sources of Vitamin D

VitaminsVitamin D is important. It can improve your bone health, help you shake off depression, and keep colds from infiltrating your system. It’s estimated that at least 30% of Americans are actually deficient in Vitamin D. The most well-known source of Vitamin D is sunlight, but it isn’t something we can always access, even when it is available. There are many opportunities to up your Vitamin D through fortified foods and beverages, like cereal, milk, and orange juice. If you want to pursue Vitamin D the natural way, though, there are a few ways you can go about it that don’t involve how tan you get. Continue reading