Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spread the word on water conservation! is offering a free copy of BLUE PLANET RUN: The Race to Provide Safe Drinking Water to the World!

Just go here to download your free copy!

Also check out their homepage to find out what you can do to help provide safe drinking water for people around the world!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Getting the kids involved!

With the continued deterioration of the water quality in the Gulf of Mexico, this is a great way to get kids involved in both environmental issues and working with children from other countries.

Water Monitor Eyes Farm Runoff in Gulf of Mexico

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hurricane forecaster predicts average '09 season

I wouldn't mind just a few small hurricanes that sit offshore and pump some waves our direction. :)
By ESTES THOMPSON, Associated Press Writer – 37 mins ago
RALEIGH, N.C. – The 2009 hurricane season will be less active than last year's flurry of storms, and there's less than a 50 percent chance that a hurricane will hit the southeastern U.S., a researcher said Thursday.

On the Gulf Coast, however, there is a 70 percent chance a hurricane will make landfall.

The N.C. State University team's forecast of 11-14 named storms for the Atlantic season, including six to eight hurricanes, was generally in line with predictions from Colorado State University researchers. They called for an average season with 12 named storms, including six hurricanes — two of them major.

Last year was one of the most active hurricane season's on record, with 16 named storms, including eight hurricanes, forming in the Atlantic. Five of the eight hurricanes were at least Category 3 strength.

The forecast from the N.C. State team led by Professor Lian Xie said there was a 45 percent chance a hurricane would hit the southeast coast and a 40 percent chance a major hurricane would hit the Gulf Coast.

"We anticipate the overall activity of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season to be close to that of an average season seen in the past 20 years," said Xie, whose team evaluated 100 years of hurricane positions and intensities along with weather patterns and sea surface temperatures.

Last year's forecast was for a slightly more active season than average with 13 to 15 named storms, he said.

"I would also like to emphasize that long-range hurricane predictions, although have shown some skill in the past, are still not a precise science," he said.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

It's about time - but they can do better!

During my sophomore and junior years (96-97) in college I actually co-oped for Kimberly-Clark's research division in Neenah, WI. I was in charge of researching biodegradable polymers my first semester and the second semester creating a biodegradable diaper. Well, I haven't seen that launched yet, 12 years later, but you'd figure they would have been a little more on the forefront of the whole recycled paper market.

I think 40% recycled material is pretty weak as there are plenty of options out there with 100% recycled material.

Kimberly-Clark Launches Recycled Paper Products

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Kimberly-Clark Corp is going "green" in toilet paper, napkins and paper towels, launching a line of consumer paper products that uses recycled material.

The launch this month of Scott Naturals makes Kimberly-Clark the first major paper products maker to have a full line that taps into the growing market for environmentally friendly products.

It follows on the success other mainstream manufacturers have had in selling products that are marketed as environmentally friendly, most notably Clorox Co's Green Works line of cleaners, which already accounts for a big chunk of that company's sales growth.

The success of Green Works, launched in late 2007, helped demonstrate that "green" products would be purchased by more than just a handful of consumers, said Brian Morgan, senior research analyst at market research firm Euromonitor International.

"Some of the big players, they really weren't convinced that it could be a mainstream strategy," he said.

Kimberly-Clark said consumers who buy Scott products --the company's lower-priced "value brand" compared with its Cottonelle and Viva lines -- have been asking for environmentally friendly paper products.

"We think there is a big, key, unmet need for consumers of getting the right price, quality and environmental benefits," Scott brand director Erik Seidel told Reuters in an interview.

The U.S. market for toilet paper, napkins and paper towels totaled $11.89 billion in 2008, according to Euromonitor.

Charmin and Bounty maker Procter & Gamble Co does not make recycled paper products, and a spokesman would not comment on any future plans. Georgia-Pacific, whose brands include Quilted Northern, does not have a full line of products marketed as containing recycled fibers, but does have recycled fibers in some of its products, a spokeswoman said.


Paper products with recycled fibers have been a hard sell to all but the most environmentally concerned consumers because of the perception that they do not perform as well as standard products when it comes to aspects like softness.

A recent test by Consumer Reports found that Marcal's Small Steps and Seventh Generation's toilet papers -- two of the larger "green" options -- were still "only so-so" in terms of softness, despite recent changes in formulation.

"You have to have a balance of having that (environmental) element with something that is effective," Morgan said.

Kimberly-Clark said it is using a blend of recycled and virgin fibers to feel and absorb more like standard products.

The Scott Naturals toilet paper has 40 percent recycled fiber, while the paper towels have 60 percent and the napkins contain 80 percent.

The cost of the napkins and paper towels is in line with Scott's traditional products, while the toilet paper costs 6 percent more because it is more expensive to manufacture, Seidel said.

Keeping the price in check may help Scott Naturals' viability.

"With paper products, it's much more commoditized than with household cleaning," Euromonitor's Morgan said. "People aren't willing to pay even 10 or 20 cents more per unit."

(Reporting by Brad Dorfman, editing by Matthew Lewis)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Look what I found!

While cleaning out boxes under my bed, I stumbled on this gem. I knew it had to be around somewhere!

Yes, that happens to be the signatures of Mr. Robert August and Mr. Wingnut. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get them myself. They were visiting a Liquid Dreams Surf Shop in York, ME a couple of years ago, but I had to leave before they got there to go to my sister's dress rehearsal. How dare she get married when these legends were in town! :) - Love ya sis!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cleveland Surfs!

I know it's hard to tell by the photo (sorry all I had was my camera phone), but this Saturday in at Edgewater Park in Cleveland there were 3 whole surfers out in the wind swells! Just goes to show to be thankful for whatever waves you can get!

Fewer Shark Attacks-Thank The Economy

So I was in need of a "lighter" story to share today and I found an interesting article at that I thought I'd share:

Recession Causes Worldwide Slump in Shark Attacks
By Brendon Thomas
Managing Editor

A recent report from the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida cited the recession as the reason for a decline in shark attacks last year.

“Shark attacks worldwide in 2008 dipped to their lowest level in five years, a sign that Americans may be forgoing vacation trips to the beach,” the report said.

It’s either that, or sharks have hunkered in the depths to weather the recession themselves. But people who are way smarter than me, namely George Burgess, an ichthyologist and director of the International Shark Attack File, thinks the drop in shark attack numbers is directly related to the economic downturn.

“I can’t help but think that contributing to that reduction may have been the reticence of some people to take holidays and go to the beach for economic reasons,” Burgess said. “We noticed similar declines during the recession that followed the events of 2001, despite the fact that human populations continued to rise.”

This may be so. After all, his logic is sound and his use of words such as reticence makes me want to believe him. But so far, the outlook for 2009 doesn’t look as rosy. Especially after numerous shark attacks on surfers around the world, including two fatal attacks in South Africa and an alarming number of incidents in Australia.

Couple this with the fact that the recession itself is freeing up a lot of time for people to go surfing when they would normally be working, it seems that this theory might not hold up in the long run.