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incoln Street Dam

Have you had an opportunity to visit the Lincoln Street Dam? The new dam, which incorporates a fish passage and safe canoe/kayak transition, provides improved drainage and flow for the upstream area during heavy rains and floods.

 

The boat passage is a secret feeding ground for some smart birds. This bird isn't telling anyone (except his buddy up on the ledge)!

 

There were lots of sandbars everywhere, likely from the last flood we had. This pair of ducks made good use of one of the sandbars.

 

When you have a chance, do check out the Lincoln Street Dam. And pick up a little trash around you when you leave, would you?

 

I happened to visit Wichita Transit last week and noticed a brochure entitled “Carpool.” What a great way to reduce one’s carbon footprint! What a great way for a business to reduce its carbon footprint – by offering incentives for its employees to carpool. Click here for information about the Wichita Transit Rideshare program. A computer program will match commuters by location and work days and times. The Carpool brochure includes useful tips about setting appropriate ground rules. I have heard a few horror stories (from another city) about wild carpool drivers making passengers so sick that they quit the carpool and returned to solo commuting. Hopefully the ground rules will help create a more harmonious rideshare experience. Here are the ground rules from the Wichita Transit brochure:

 

  1. Decide on a schedule and exchange phone numbers with the other members of the carpool.
  2. Decide on a specific pickup location(s) and pick-up time(s). Plan the route.
  3. Come to an agreement (possibly a contract) regarding smoking ,eating, drinking ,safety, radio/music choice, vehicle maintenance, bad weather, and reasonable wait time
  4. Share the driving responsibilities. Make a schedule. Does each member have a car? Will they drive their own car? What is the fee for a member who does not have a car?
Click here for the carpool application form.

 

I have been pondering the question from my previous blog since Earth Overshoot Day. One answer is quite simple – no new technology required, no self-sacrifice needed – simply unplug appliances that are not in use. There could be many of these in our homes and work places. The Earth Day Network explains that “turning off an appliance doesn’t completely stop the flow of electricity; it merely slows down the rate of energy consumption. And to make matters worse, many appliances don’t ever turn off. Instead they enter standby mode and continue to draw electricity to power displays, remote controls, and charge batteries.” Hence the term vampire energy. “In the US alone, more than 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity are wasted each year [through vampire energy], which collectively costs consumers over $11 billion!” Unplugging vampire appliances not only saves the average homeowner approximately $100/year, but also reduces resource consumption. If we use less energy, fewer fossil fuels need to be burned at power plants. As a result, smaller amounts of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.

So, who are the major vampires? Which appliance should I go home and unplug? Dosomething.org gives the following top 5 list of energy vampires: televisions, video games, laptops computers, DVD players, and cell phone chargers.

Did I plant any trees? No. However, I did go to Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine, KS to volunteer for a few hours. It was not realistic for me to set a goal of planting trees, but it was possible for me to help an organization that does plant and care for trees.

The Global Footprint Network site states that it takes 1.5 years for the earth to regenerate 1 years’ worth of resources for us.

What REALISTIC options do we have to help with resource regeneration or reduction of resource consumption?