Yellowstone National Park. An image from my favorite post of 2016
Thanks to everyone who came to the blog in 2016. There was an 80% increase in readers from 2015. The blog continues to grow! Here are my Top 5 environmental blog posts in 3 categories: my favorite posts of 2016, most read posts of 2016, and my favorite early blog posts. I’d recommend checking out the lists if you came here for something other than what’s listed. If you enjoyed a post or one listed below, share it and spread the positive environmental messages.
My top 5 favorite posts of 2016
- Joy of the National Parks in Photos
- The World’s First Fully Solar Powered Beer Fest
- The Joy of Science & Natural History Museums
- What are HCFCs and their Connection to Costco and International Diplomacy
- Environment of Beer: Coors Brewery Tour
One of the ways I’ve chosen to become more involved in the environmental community is to make regular donations to environmental organizations or causes. I’ve donated before, but this makes it official and public. It’s not only coming from me, it’s coming from this blog as an official endorsement. I’ve chosen 2 organizations for The National Environmental Professional 2016 gift – Protect Our Winters and The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado.
Publicizing the donation is an effort to extend the reach of my gift by promoting these organizations. It might introduce you to them. It may inspire you to give or to get involved. Or it may inspire you to find a similar cause that is close to where your live or within your work/life community. We need as many positive stories about the environmental community as possible. Continue reading
My last post was about how I hadn’t been inspired me to write. That changed on November 8. The newly elected representative in the White House is worrisome for those working in the environmental field or any science field. Threats to the Clean Power Plan, withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, promoting the unhealthiest, carbon-intensive fuel source, opening preserved public lands to oil and gas drilling, and generally halting energy and environmental progress. It’s the disregard for science, health, and information (aka facts) that’s most troubling. I’ve found my environmental inspiration. I’ll continue to use this space to share the stories that enlighten, entertain and inform people. As for the above photo: skiing in Colorado always inspires me. Continue reading
I had the pleasure to attend, and sample, a very fun beer fest in Grand Lake, CO. It was part of the Spirit of the Lake Regatta and Grand Lake Brewfest, Aug 13, 2016. Finding a beer fest during a vacation is good enough. Then I saw that it was a fundraiser for youth outdoor environmental education programs. It also claimed to be the worlds’ first fully solar-powered beer fest. Even the live band was powered by solar panels. Hosted by Infinite West, it was a net-zero, zero waste event that was the perfect example of the environment of beer! Continue reading
Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) are liquids or gases that are most commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning. Break it down and it’s a compound made of hydrogen, chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. They were developed for and are used as a less ozone-depleting substance (ODS) than chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). You’ve probably heard of CFCs, the ODS that were phased out years ago. HCFCs are considered Class II ODS, which means they have less potential to destroy the ozone layer than Class I ODS, such as CFCs. HCFCs are being incrementally phased out, leading to a complete HCFC phase out by 2030.
HCFCs are a problem when they leak into the atmosphere during manufacturing, use, or disposal. They are a very powerful greenhouse gas, which contribute to climate change. Continue reading
The proper training could have avoided this garbage can of used oil.
Warning: this article might test your knowledge of environmental, health and safety training abbreviations and acronyms!
As professionals in the environmental field, we may be exposed to hazardous work conditions, possibly radiological, chemical and/or physical. For some of us it’s a routine part of our jobs. If you are working around hazardous conditions, there is most likely a required environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) training course you’ll need to complete. Unfortunately, people often get inadequate information or misinterpret the course(s) they need. Depending on your job, the required course could be from a federal regulation, state regulation, a requirement of a client, and even individual job locations may require a specific course or more. Continue reading
Getting lost in a metasedimentary cirque in Glacier National Park. Remote, but accessible.
Filmmaker Ken Burns called the National Parks, “America’s Best Idea.” I don’t know if I’d go that far. See: cheeseburgers and basketball. They’re still a wonderful idea. In honor of the National Parks 100th birthday on August 25, 2016, here are some of my favorite photos and locations from exploring the parks. They have shaped who I am as a person and environmental professional. Growing up and going to school in the eastern U.S., I was in awe of the photos of the majestic National Parks in the western U.S. I wanted to see these huge landscapes and get lost in the mountains and deserts. I’ve been able to do just that over the past 20 years. Continue reading