Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Green Crush' (128) Currently Viewing: 91 - 100 of 128

April 19, 2011 at 10:54am

GREEN ISSUE: Evergreen’s foray into biomass gasification

EVERGREEN: The state college strives to be on the progressive side of climate issues. Photography by J.M. Simpson

GOING GREEN AINT ALWAYS EASY >>>

Going green is good. Compostable chip bags, solar powered busses, wind powered electricity plants. Most everyone will agree that we should save our mother Gaia's resources and cut back on our carbon footprint.

But going green isn't always easy. It can be a complicated, messy process. And as many from the Evergreen State College recently found out during a foray into biomass gasification, sometimes the best intentions for going green don't always work out as planned.

Biomass gasification is a process that heats wood just enough to create a combustible gas. The gas is then used as fuel to create useable energy.  It's a fairly simple process that has some potential as a greenhouse gas reduction strategy when done right. 

The problem is that biomass plants aren't always done right.

To read Brett Cihon's full story on the Evergreen State College's recent foray into biomass gasification, click here.

Filed under: Green Crush, Olympia,

April 19, 2011 at 7:15am

5 Things To Do Today: Misner & Smith, Murray Morgan moment, Kasey Keller hug and more ...

Misner & Smith

TUESDAY, APRIL 19, 2011 >>>

1. Misner & Smith present a fresh take on the Americana/Folk revival at 6:30 p.m. inside the Mandolin Café. 

2. The City of Tacoma will host a 9 a.m. groundbreaking celebration to commemorate the next phase of rehabilitation work for the Murray Morgan Bridge. All are welcome to attend the groundbreaking ceremony where City officials will speak on the approach to the bridge near the intersection of A and 11th streets.

3. Seattle Sounder and former USA goalkeeper Kasey Keller will pop in Tacoma's Paddy Coyne's Irish Pub between 6-8 p.m. to sign autographs, and watch you throw back $2.50 Bud and Bud Light bottles.

4. Tacoma eco-celeb SolaRichard, known for his bigger than life hats and tireless work to further the use of solar energy, calls our hydroelectric power a "green-washing" of our energy problem. By "green-washing" he meant whitewashing a problem by slapping the green label on it. Is it? The Sustainable Tacoma Commission has gathered a bunch of Solar Heads for a discussion at 7 p.m. inside the Wheelock Library. If you ever wanted to know more about solar power, this is your chance.

5. The Banned Book Club at will gather at 7 p.m. inside the Tempest Lounge to toss back tasty cocktails and discuss Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Hey kids! Do you like the live music?

April 18, 2011 at 6:06pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Green Grasshopper

ONLINE CHATTER >>>

Today's comment comes from Grasshopper in response to the Weekly Volcano's Green Issue, which hit streets last Thursday.

Grasshopper writes,

I love this "Green" issue of the volcano. This is a subject I read about all the time. Everyone talks about solar, wind, biomass, etc., but I rarely hear people talking about geothermal energy. Geothermal power is sustainable and supremely environment-friendly ??" "green" resources which are free from the atmospheric emissions of fossil fuels and the potential hazards of radioactive power sources. Check out the youtube video about Iceland's Geothermal plant. Write to your Senators, Representative, Governors, President about it. Thanks

Filed under: Green Crush,

April 18, 2011 at 4:37pm

TACOMA: Celebrations, gardens, green policies and elections

LIFE IN THE 253 >>>

Community Events

There are few things the City of Tacoma enjoys more than commemorative celebrations. A new school, a second grand opening to a museum, or maybe even a new tree in Wright Park: if an argument can be made something makes the city a better place common practice is to make sure it receives a ceremony of some kind.

So true to form, a groundbreaking ceremony is being held Tuesday at 9 a.m. to commemorate the next phase of work on the Murray Morgan Bridge.

You read that right. We're not celebrating the bridge's actual reopening... only a new step of its rehabilitation.

BUT jokes aside, it should be a great opportunity to hear city officials speak on the bridge and the bright future of downtown Tacoma.

According to Mayor Strickland's January "State of the City" address, Tacoma will soon have the most community garden space per capita in the country (take that, Portland, Bellingham and Berkley!).

That's undeniably cool, but I'd wager I'm not the only person in town without a clue as to how to get involved in a community garden. I'd also wager I'm not the only person to lack basic gardening skills.

Next Saturday, Tacoma-Pierce County Community Garden Project and Cascade Land Conservatory are sponsoring the second annual Community Garden Summit. The free event will provide insight into how to grow food and how to get involved with a community garden. It's happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23 at the Manitou Community Center (4806 S. 66th St., Tacoma). Children are welcome.

City Policy

This Tuesday the City Council will introduce two new sustainable policies, both designed to make sure the City of Tacoma leads by example as it encourages business and residents to live more sustainably. One policy will mandate City of Tacoma departments purchase more sustainable goods (light bulbs, paper, vehicles, etc). The other will make sure all new buildings, as well as the refurbishment of existing buildings, meet LEED or comparable standards. The full story is part the Volcano's special Green Issue this week.

Local Elections

Karen Smitherman, a Tacoma Public Schools teacher, officially announced her run for Tacoma City Council, Position 1 last week.

"I want to create an environment that listens to our constituents, increases local jobs, improves public safety, promotes transparency in government, improves transportation mobility, and creates effective policies that protect our environment," Smitherman said in press release issued by her campaign Friday.

In addition to professional experience teaching and directing educational programs, Smitherman has an impressive resume of community involvement, highlighted by her current work on the boards of the Tacoma Urban Network and Pierce County Juvenile Justice Coalition. The wife of former State Senator Bill Smitherman also has worked as a board member of the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

Tacoma City Council Position 1 is being vacated by Spiro Manthou who has served two terms - the maximum. Two other candidates have also filled for this seat, Joseph Atkinson, a real estate agent and legislative aide toState Rep. Katrina Asay (R), and Anders Ibsen, supervisor and vice-chair of Pierce Conservation District and also a legislative aide to State Rep. Cindy Ryu (D).

Expect more on this race in the coming months, as the battle for Position 1 may be the only Tacoma City Council seat of the three on the ballot this fall to be closely contested. Incumbents Ryan Mello and David Boe have yet to draw formidable opponents.

April 17, 2011 at 9:25am

GREEN ISSUE: Tacoma's green ideas

Green stuff.

CITY WANTS TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE >>>

Tuesday, April 19, three days before Earth Day, the Tacoma City Council will introduce two new sustainability policies, one regarding the city's internal purchasing standards and the other relating to its construction and building maintenance standards. Both policies are designed to ensure that Tacoma leads by example as it encourages businesses and citizens to act more sustainably.

To read the full article by Zach Powers click here.

Filed under: Green Crush, Tacoma,

April 16, 2011 at 9:42am

GREEN ISSUE: Duncan Green and the Thurston County Bicycle Commuter Contest

DUNCAN GREEN: He's now in his third year coordinating the Thurston County Bicycle Commuter Contest. Photo courtesy of Trudes Tango

PEDAL POWER >>>

It just makes sense that Duncan Green coordinates the Thurston County Bicycle Commuter Contest: A bicycle has always been his primary mode of transportation.

"In high school, I pretty much rode my bike to school every day, including through the snow and ice and stuff like that," says Green - and he grew up in Chicago. "I didn't get a car until I was 23."

In 1976, while he was a student at the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Green wrote a paper about the environmental benefits of biking versus driving a car. But that's not why he rides just about everywhere he goes.

"The primary reason that I ride my bike to get around is just that I enjoy it so much more than being in a car," he says. "It's just so much more fun and pleasant and less frustrating."

Every May the Bicycle Commuter Contest aims to give people another reason to ride, with prizes, drawings and events. Run by Intercity Transit, it's open to anyone who lives and/or works in Thurston County.

To read Molly Gilmore's full article on Duncan Green and the Thurston County Bicycle Commuter Contest click here.

Thurston County Bicycle Commuter Contest

Sign up by May 6 and log miles throughout May; $5 fee for ages 18 and older, intercitytransit.com or bccblog.com

Filed under: Green Crush, Olympia,

April 15, 2011 at 5:44pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: tornado whips Simpson Kraft Tacoma

ONLINE CHATTER >>>

Today's comment of the day comes from tornado in response to our Green Guide story on The Evergreen State College's foray into biomass gasification by Brett Chihon.

tornado writes,

Good article. I'd like to see a follow-up on the Simpson Kraft biomass plant at their paper mill. Is it really carbon neutral? How does it impact our already marginal air quality? Does it make the pulp mill's aroma better, worse, or no effect? Does the surplus energy generated help reduce coal and gas emissions in the Northwest and allow for more salmon friendly dam operations, or is it all sent to California for renewable energy credits?

LINK: Our 2011 Green Guide

April 15, 2011 at 10:21am

GREEN ISSUE: Eating green

Green stuff.

FROM FARM TO TABLE >>>

Eating green has awareness and education at its core. To some, eating green means growing fresh herbs in a personal garden rather than driving to a store and purchasing a dried version in a plastic container delivered by semi-truck from a dozen states away. To others, it's volunteering with the fledgling Pierce County Gleaning Project, a group whose website describes its goal as "to provide more fresh food in county food banks, to reduce the amount of produce wasted in our community, and to build community."

From start to finish, eating green can feel like an overwhelming challenge. Food growing and harvesting methods, packaging and transportation, preparation and preservation all come into play - and that's just a start.

To read Jennifer Johnson's full article on eating green click here.

April 14, 2011 at 2:27pm

FILM: 2nd Annual Environmental Film Festival

"Carbon Nation" is an optimistic, solutions-based, non-partisan documentary that illustrates why it's incredibly smart to be a part of the new, low-carbon economy: it's good business.

GOING GREEN AT THE MOVIES >>>

Last year's catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf and Japan's current tribulations with natural and man-made disasters are periodic, sober warnings of people's tenuous yet vital hold on the environment. Nature nurtures both our physical and artistic instincts. A filmmaker, for instance, looks about and sees Earth as one vast mise-en-scène, its raw materials photographed in endless combinations to suit infinite stories.

The Olympia Film Society's second annual Environmental Film Festival, April 15 - 17, celebrates a few of those stories that carry a unifying message: lean, clean and green, baby.

"I think it's made clear by the number of environmental groups (in town), not just local groups that are part of national organizations and state organizations ... (that) most Olympians are concerned about the environment," says OFS Film Programming Director Helen Thornton.

To read Christopher Wood's full article on the 2nd Annual Environmental Film Festival, click here.

[Capitol Theater, 2nd Annual Environmental Film Festival, April 15 - 17, times and prices vary, olympiafilmsociety.org for full schedule, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia, 360.754.6670]

Filed under: Green Crush, Olympia, Screens,

April 12, 2011 at 3:07pm

PERSON, PLACE or THING with Steph DeRosa: Eco soap by Jada-Moon Gridley

SOAP: It will get you clean.

THIS WEEK ... >>>

Thing: Homemade natural soap

Price: $4 per bar

Made possible by: Jada-Moon Gridley

Who also makes: Massage candles

And: Lip balms

And: Shampoo bars

And: Shaving bars

And: Lotion bars

Not found in: Drinking bars

Or: Behind prison bars

Not to be confused with: Candy bars

To read this week's full "Person, Place or Thing with Steph DeRosa" click here.

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