My Path to the Certified Environmental, Safety and Health Trainer (CET)

CET Self Assessment Exam

My well worn Self-Assessment Exam.

I’ve spent a chunk of my career teaching environmental, health and safety (EHS) courses. I’ve know about the Certified Environmental, Safety and Health Trainer (CET) for years, but I didn’t really need it for my job. Therefore, I never pursued it. I asked other EHS trainers I know and no one else had it or had even considered it. Was this process going to be worth the effort? Eventually my curiosity got the best of me. I didn’t have any first-hand accounts of the process. Therefore, I write this in hope that it helps you on your path to the CET.

Spoiler: I was approved, passed the test and am now a CET. Continue reading

Oktoberfest with Green Drinks Bozeman, MT

Green Drinks is a great example of living the environmental professional lifestyle. It is a group of people who work in the environmental field that meet monthly for a happy-hour style gathering of food, drinks, and conversation. The environment of beer (or other drinks) is just the thing this blog is all about. In their own words, Green Drinks includes a lively mixture of people from NGOs, businesses, academia, government and the local community across political and economic spectra who enjoy the opportunity to chat and network under a broad umbrella. Continue reading

Environmental Predictions Using Klosterman’s “But What If We’re Wrong?”

Yes, the book cover is deliberately upside down.

But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman looks at present issues as if they were being viewed in the past. Explaining how we live now as if now was then is a fun and somewhat ridiculous exercise. He writes about gravity, time, rock music, television, and more. If you’re familiar with Klosterman’s work, it fits with his interesting writing. One area he doesn’t touch on is the environment. In fact, he states he’s not going to touch on the environment. I can think of many reasons he chose not to address the environment. For one, he may not have wanted the issue to become politicized. Unfortunately, this happens too often with environmental discussions. That’s what I’m here to do. I’ll play this game and make environmental predictions about the issues of today as if they were in the past. Continue reading

An Environmental Tale As Old As Time

Created at frinkiac.com.

Every Environmental Professional can tell some version of this story. It’s a microcosm of environmental protection history and the current Executive Branch’s take on a healthy environment. I can tell you several examples from my own career. The specifics aren’t necessary to understand the point. So let me tell you an environmental tale as old as time. Continue reading

The Hazmat of Pre-Refined Gas and a House Explosion

Map of oil and gas wells in Colorado. Click on the map to link to the interactive map. From the Denver Post.

Pre-refined gas is a mixture of methane and propane that comes from natural gas wells. Pre-refined means that it hasn’t yet been refined into natural gas for energy. It is an extremely flammable gas and a hazard that is managed in the oil and gas industry. It’s not something you should have to worry about blowing up your home. Unfortunately a pipeline leaked this gas into a house in Firestone, CO. The house was built only a few hundred feet from a natural gas well. The leaking gas ignited in the house and the explosion killed 2 people. You can read more about this tragedy here. I’ve been asked about this several times since it happened. Therefore, here’s the basic how and why. Continue reading

Environmental Art: Unintentional Aerosol Can Explosion

This is part of a series where I examine interesting pieces of environmental art.

The image to the right is a photo of an aerosol spray can explosion inside a flammable storage cabinet. The can wasn’t old and there wasn’t any fire or unusual heat or pressure added. It made this cool splash on the door and sides, with the rest of the paint soaking the bottom. I was surprised when I opened the cabinet. I think my reactions were, “What the?” and then, “Cool.” Is this environmental art? It is art at all since it was unintentional? I think the unintentional part makes it better than if it was deliberate. In fact, there seems to be a whole class of unintentional or accidental art. I thought it was interesting enough to take a photo of it. Therefore, I’m calling it art. Continue reading