I choose a Clean World

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Do you look at a friend’s garden and wish you could have one too?   Do you look at your tiny backyard and wonder where to put a garden?   Or perhaps you live in an apartment and a garden is just not possible.

You don’t need large expanses of land, or even a small plot to grow your own food – all you need is a bit of imagination and ingenuity.

It’s still not too late in the season to try it!


Container or planter gardens are perhaps the most common type for small space gardens.   Any container, large or small, from window boxes to clay pots can be used.   Instead of planting petunias in a window box, try growing fresh lettuce or herbs.


carrotsLarger pots are a great place for carrots, other root vegetables.

peasAdd a trellis type structure to your planter or pot and grow peas!

One advantage of container gardens is they are easily moved to follow the sun, or moved to protective places during storms which would otherwise damage a traditional garden.

tomatoesDon’t forget the tomatoes!


Put your imagination in high gear.   Did you clean out a basement or attic or closet, or perhaps you plan on doing that?  Don’t toss everything into the dump – look at what you have and think about how it can be reused to grow a garden!

If you can’t go horizontal – go VERTICAL!

Maybe you have an old over the door shoe pocket hanger?

shoe bag doorshoe bag Grow leafy vegetables instead of loafers!

spice rack

ladderOld shelving units and ladders let you go HIGHER.

fenceREUSE old plastic bottles as containers, and spruce up a fence!

rain gutterHow about a rain gutter garden along a fence or the side of your garage?

Put your imagination and green thumb to work!





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Censored Billboards

Censored Fractavist Billboards | Chip Northurp | No Fracking Way

Outdoor advertising companies – aka billboards – are rejecting fracking cautionary ads as “too controversial.” Meaning the frackers call the company and tell them they don’t like the ad. So the billboard company doesn’t take it.

Banned ads included an image of a gas well flare – which of course sounds like a jet engine and is one of the many joys of living in a shale gas field. Which is maybe why the frackers prevailed on the billboard company to not take Rebecca Roter’s ad.


And as recently as last month, Park Outdoor refused to take Gas Free Seneca’s ad that featured an apparently “controversial” picture of . . . . Seneca Lake:

    From: yvonne taylor <speechatgjr@yahoo.com>

Subject: Billboard Advertising in Watkins Glen

To: kerry.leipold@parkoutdoor.com

Cc: “jeff dembowski” <jcdembowski@gmail.com>, “Joseph Michael Patrick Campbell” <muchado2@gmail.com>

Date: Friday, June 28, 2013, 12:49 PM

Dear Mr. Leipold,

We inquired about advertising on several billboards in the Watkins Glen area.  Everything seemed to be going along fine in acquiring ad space, until it was learned that we are a non-profit organization with a mission to preserve and protect the region.  Then we were told that we were not permitted to do business with you.

We represent 155 area businesses, and are incredulous that we would not be permitted to place the image attached in a few locations this summer.  Click on the link to see the list of businesses who are part of our organization. http://gasfreeseneca.com/?page_id=98

We respectfully request that you reconsider your decision to prohibit us from placing ads with you.  Please contact me at your earliest convenience.


Yvonne Taylor


Jeff Dembowski

Dr. Joseph Campbell

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MUST READS for July 1, 2013

must readsRedesigning The Electricity Market For Wind And Solar

June 26, 2013 | Giles Parkinson | CleanTechnia

Late last year, RenewEconomy wrote an analysis entitled the energy markets are broken. We were pilloried by some for exaggeration and being overly dramatic. But we simply drew on insight from the experts, and now they are quite open about the problem: the world’s energy markets do need to be redesigned, otherwise they cannot cope with the impact of wind and solar.

The International Energy Agency, in its recent special update of progress on climate policies, noted that liberalised energy markets (such as Australia’s) should be able to encourage a “significant decarbonisation” of the energy mix. The problem was that these markets – created to support incumbent, centralised fossil fuel generators, were not suited to deliver the sort of energy transformation that was needed to meet climate change targets.

Part of the problem is that the current “energy” markets are designed to allow baseload fossil fuel generation to trundle through at relatively low cost – but no environmental accounting. When demand rises, more expensive peaking plant generation is brought in, with prices rising for all generators. This has underpinned much of the revenues and profits for the incumbents.


Why Is China Investing So Much in U.S. Solar and Wind?

June 20, 2013 | Yingzhen Zhao | insights

The world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters—the United States and China—have been forging a growing bond in combating climate change. Just last week, President Obama and President Xi made a landmark agreement to work towards reducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas. And both the United States and China are leading global investment and development of clean energy. The United States invested $30.4 billion and added 16.9 GW of wind and solar capacity in 2012. China invested $58.4 billion and added 19.2 GW in capacity.

U.S.-China cooperation on clean energy was the topic of discussion at an event last week at the Woodrow Wilson International Center’s China Environment Forum. Experts from the World Resources Institute and the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) looked at this cooperation from a seldom-discussed viewpoint – China’s renewable energy investments in the United States.

New Spin On Wind Turbine Adds Solar Element

June 7, 2013 | Pete Danko | earthtechling

Go big or go home, right? That seems to be the thinking at the University of Bath, which has headlined a report on a new renewable energy device design with the not-so-timid claim: “New hybrid technology set to change the future of renewables.”

The university is touting a design that combines wind and solar in a vertical-axis turbine configuration. It was developed by a company called McCamley Middle East, with input from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Bath, we’re told.

Bath and McCamley make assertions of superiority over horizontal-axis turbines: the turbine, they say, starts up in lighter winds, handles variations in wind direction better and can continue operating at very high wind speeds. These are familiar claims for vertical-axis turbines – as Michael Barnard points out in his excellent overview of VAWTs – and theoretically defensible to some degree. But why this design would be superior to other VAWTs, none of which have yet passed muster with the Small Wind Certification Council, BTW, isn’t clear.

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dem-moratoriumTHE PENNSYLVANIA DEMOCRATIC PARTY STANDS UP FOR THE PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA with the passage of a resolution for a Statewide Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing.   The standing vote tally was 115 in favor and 81 opposed.

The resolution calls for a moratorium on fracking until it can be done safely.


AFL-CIO President, Rick Bloomingdale stated “The Labor Caucus has no official position on fracking other than it supports the jobs of those who work within the industry.”

“There are jobs being developed, but not nearly as many as were promised to us,” said Karen Feridun founder of Berks County Gas Truth, also an attendee at the state committee meeting.


Vice Chairwoman Penny Gerber opposed the resolution.

“This bill as it currently stands says it is a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, but it specifies that the moratorium will last until the practice can be done safely. Because no set period of time is provided it truly is a ban on fracking, and this is a thriving industry. It is for that reason I cannot support this bill,” she said.

Gerber is from Montgomery County.  A fracking moratorium in parts of Montgomery county, Bucks, Chester and Berks counties was enacted in June 2012  following the release of an assessment report by the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Montgomery, Bucks, Chester and Berks counties lie above the South Newark Basin –  not the Marcellus Shale.

Please note:  Lt. Governor Jim Cawley, former DEP Secretary Michael Krancer, CEO of Aqua America Nicolas Debenedictus, CEO of Penn-Virginia Resourcs (PRV) William Shea , among other “important” people  live and/or have headquarters in these areas.  The South Newark Basin moratorium could last up to 6 years or until 2018, which ever comes first.   Coincidently, 2018 is also a gubernatorial election year.

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Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday

By Diane Dreier, Guest Blogger

meatless mondayI was in Vancouver, Canada, recently and an article in the local newspaper caught my eye.  It was entitled:  “Meatless Monday Makes a Statement”.   The writer, Eleanor Boyle, talked about how the city of Vancouver had endorsed “Meatless Monday”.  The concept has its roots in a campaign to reserve food for fighting soldiers during World War I to aid the war effort.   In 2003, the concept re-emerged from a public health campaign by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health which focused on helping tackle the problems of cholesterol and heart disease – two factors associated with eating too much meat.  At the time, the Surgeon General had recommended reducing meat consumption by 15% in order to cut down on saturated fat intake.  Since 15% translates to about one day a week, it seemed a reasonable solution to eliminate meat on one day each week.

The concept of one meatless day a week has taken a while to catch on, but now, “Meatless Monday” is an international campaign.  Local governments, hospitals, schools and even fancy restaurants are on board.  Famous chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batalli, and John Fraser have pledged to go meat-free in their restaurants on Mondays.

Just to be clear – “Meatless Monday” is not about people becoming vegetarians.  In fact, the man responsible for the original advertising campaign states that eating meatless dishes on Monday is not meant to be a hardship, simply an alternative.  Because it is a sensible alternative, it has become both popular and attractive.

Even the most hard core carnivores among us would have to concede that there would indeed be health benefits to substituting other foods for meat 15% of the time.   Medical professionals tell us that going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.  Beyond health benefits to individuals who adopt this strategy, experts say that there would be enormous benefits to the planet on which we all reside.

One meatless day a week can help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.  As Ms. Boyle pointed out in her article, large scale, factory meat farms use large amounts of agricultural land and fresh water, involve massive deforestation, emit huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, and its output of excessive manure ends up contaminating water and even food itself.

An added dimension to the “Meatless Monday” campaign is to encourage consumers to buy locally and sustainably produced meat products.  The animals receive more humane treatment, are fed without antibiotics, and the process results in less stress on the environment.

Why “Meatless Monday” and not Meatless Tuesday?  The idea is that Monday is the beginning of the week and sets the tone for the rest of the week.  Even if you’ve made unhealthy food choices over the weekend, Monday is the day for a fresh start to make healthier decisions.

Meatless Monday is a meaningful change that everyone can make with very little effort.  It’s easy to remember.  And the most important part is that it’s good for your health and good for the planet.

©2013 by I Choose A Clean World

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An Industrial Park in my Backyard – Similarities Between Coal Mining and Fracking

encana luzerne county

This following is a presentation given by Scott Cannon in Plymouth Pennsylvania, on Thursday, May 30, 2013, at the Plymouth Historical Society.

Cannon discusses what started his interest in gas drilling, the problems associated with it, and suggestions on what we need to do to fix the problems.


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recycleDid you know many communities in Luzerne County have recycling?

Tin cans, aluminum, plastic, paper, glass and more can be put to new uses, but it can’t be done without YOU!

CLICK HERE for  MUNICIPAL RECYCLING for information on Recycling in YOUR community.

The average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day, that’s about 1.5 TONS a year going into landfills, and is wasted material.   75% of the materials are recyclable, but we are only recycle about 30% of it.


  • Recycling 1 aluminum can  provides enough energy to listen to a full album on your iPod, and 100 cans could light your bedroom for 2 weeks.  Not only can we reuse the material and reduce landfill waste, we can help reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.


  • The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.

We should be #1 in recycling, but we NEED YOUR HELP.

  • Plastics make up more than 12 percent of the municipal solid waste stream, a dramatic increase from 1960, when plastics were less than one percent of the waste stream.
  • Plastics are made from OIL, which is a fossil fuel, and fossil fuels are a known contributor to air, pollution, water pollution and climate change.


Recycled cardboard and paper can be reused to make packaging, kitty litter and even sheetrock.  An average American uses 465 trees to create a lifetime of paper.

  • The EPA has found that making paper from recycled materials results in 74% less air pollution and 35% less water pollution. This means that every ton of recycled paper keeps almost 60 pounds of populations out of the atmosphere that would have been produced if the paper had been manufactured from virgin resources.


  • Your recycling efforts create a more substantial impact when they come full circle. To complete the recycling life cycle — to “close the loop” — purchase products made with recycled content, especially those that can be recycled again.