As an expert navigator of a craft that's designed to run strictly on wind power, Patagoniac and US Sailing Team member Andrew Campbell brings us an interesting perspective on the environmental impact of organized competition. Andrew has been a member of the US Sailing Team since 2001 and is currently training and racing his Olympic-class Laser around the globe in pursuit of a spot on the 2008 Olympic team. He just returned home from the World Championships in Portugal and the PanAm Games in Rio de Janeiro where he won a gold medal. He also maintains his own blog: CampbellSailing.com
I was recently in Mallorca, Spain training for my Olympic sailing bid in the single-handed men's division when I saw an interesting article in Outside magazine. It featured the Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team and its effort to throw off the shackles of emissions from the purported 1,500 support and transport vehicles that drive approximately 2,000 miles during races like the Tour de France. Their venture, in which they are apparently succeeding, is to "become the first carbon-neutral pro bike squad, purchasing enough wind-energy credits to offset all the emissions the team and staff will generate." Is it ironic that a team of cyclists, a bunch of guys on bicycles pedaling away and emitting little more than the CO2 out of their exhausted bodies, could make such a significant impact on the environment?
[Andrew Campbell racing his Olympic-class Laser. Photo: Luther Carpenter]
Continue reading "Questioning the Environmental Impact of World-Class Competition" »
Adrienne, one of my co-workers on the Web team, just sent this wonderful report from Japan where she's halfway through a two-month long environmental internship with Umigame-kan Organization (translated) on Yakushima Island.
On July 26, 2007 I saw my first baby sea turtle emerge from its nest. One minute there was nothing and in the next second there were two nostrils poking up through the sand. I knelt in the sand to take a closer look. As I got closer, I saw a full baby's face looking back at me. I smiled with glee. Next, its two front arms appeared. It used its arms to pull its body up out of the sand. I could not believe what I was witnessing. To make things even more rewarding, four more babies followed. They used each other's heads like a ladder to climb out of the nest. I found this quite amusing.
I was amazed to see how strong the babies' instincts were to head straight to the sea. Some of the babies emerged with their back to the sea, but instantly turned around and headed straight to the shoreline. I followed close behind. The five babies moved quickly. They had a lot of energy for how small they were. If I took my eyes off for one minute, I would lose them. I could not help but giggle at the site of their speedy movements. I cheered, "Go baby, Go!"
Continue reading "Enviro Internship: Lending a Hand to Sea Turtles" »
In the same way we can’t drill our way to oil independence nor can we buy our way to a sustainable future. So was the gist of recent New York Times article on Sunday July 1st. Appropriately placed in the Sunday Styles section of the Times, the article (subscription required) goes on to point out that green consumption while better is not best in combating global warming. If you buy a Prius, there is still another new vehicle on the road, albeit a less polluting one.
But we all knew that right? Maybe not to the degree that is necessary to curb our insatiable appetite for all things green and sustainable (two words that are dangerously overused these days). Do you really need five new pairs of organic cotton jeans? One pair might suffice or better yet, dig into the back of your closet, and pull out last year’s jeans. With the world’s population growing exponentially, and the US gobbling up a lion’s share of its natural resources, we have got to consume less if we are serious about the health of the planet. Our consumption habits must change for us to truly reduce our carbon footprint and combat global warming. Buy green yes, but better yet, buy less.
One of our grantees Center for a New American Dream, has long advocated that less is more. Check out their take on the concept of buying less.
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