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garden tower – container garden and composter

garden towergarden tower

garden tower Here’s an innovative, space-saving, DIY gardening solution we found on Kickstarter. A self-sustaining planter that’s perfect for a small yard, patio or urban rooftop. The Garden Tower allows you to grow up to 50 food-producing plants in 4 square feet. The tower is a variation on the vertical gardening concept. Kitchen scraps and food waste are loaded into the center of the tower to create rich, organic compost that can serve as the planting medium for up to 50, fast-growing plants, flowers or herbs.

Earth worms help create nutrient-rich organic compost. Food scraps are loaded into a 6-inch diameter compost cylinder that runs vertically down the center of the tower. (more…)

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

McDonald’s New Eco-labeling of Fish Items


Personally, I’m certainly not a fan of Mickey D’s, but this news headline regarding their ecolabeling of items on their fish menu caught my eye. At first glance, I thought Great. Progress. A fast food chain letting consumers know that their fish items were sourced in a smart, certified sustainable way. But, naturally, the eco label news is controversial. Don’t fall for the seemingly good news hook, line and sinker. Here’s the scoop. According to (a food watchdog):

In the U.S., all Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and Fish McBites, a new menu item, are made from MSC certified wild-caught Alaska pollock. The National Marine Fisheries Service has called the Alaska pollock fishery “one of the best managed fisheries in the world,” but others disagree. Some Alaskan fishermen plan on boycotting McDonald’s because pollock fishing fleets end up killing thousands of king salmon every year. Also, according to a 2012 U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization report, Alaska pollock is “fully exploited,” meaning its production will not increase.

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A Green Book Review: NATURE WARS – How Wildlife Comebacks Turned Backyards into Battlegrounds

nature wars cover

For a balanced, fair, and at times surprising look at the clash between humans, wildlife, and forests, Nature Wars by Jim Sterba provides a thoughtful and fascinating history of North American forests.

Sterba takes readers on a grand tour of attitudes, both historical and contemporary, toward the wild and its beasts: from a time when clearing trees meant progress and the idea of preserving them was unintelligible, to the establishment of National Parks, to the political climate after the first Earth Day, and up to today’s tension between cat lovers, bird lovers, locavores, environmentalists, farmers, hunters, animal rights activists, suburbanites, city planners, forest researchers, and other groups.

Striking about this narrative is the way American forests and wildlife not only disappeared, but also came back, with little notice. As we’ve become further disconnected from hands-on experiences in nature, while simultaneously increasingly concerned about the environment, a “hands off” approach seems intuitive. However, this may be an oversimplified ideology and “a misplaced feeling of virtue for doing [our] bit to help the planet.”

Efforts of the environmental movement have yielded important victories, and we still have dire issues to address. But what is to be done with restored abundance of — an invasive species, a renewable resource, or a reforestation? Nature Wars challenges notions of scarcity and beliefs that nature is best left alone before we muck things up even worse. Sterba makes a compelling argument for local stewardship and the responsible management of land and wildlife. (more…)

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