Monthly Archives: September 2013

Earthgirl Shows the Boys How to Skateboard

Ok kids…your mum-dad brought you a skateboard and the extra gear but are too busy to teach you. Well, trust me. I’m Earthgirl and I’ll teach you how to skateboard in the open air.

The first thing you need to do is to get comfortable standing on the skateboard. Set the board and try standing on it. Move your feet into different positions, while standing on the board. You need to get used to the feel and size of your board.

Next step is to find your skateboard stance – regular or goofy footed. It simply means whether you want to skate with your right foot on the board, or the left. Do what you feel comfortable in.

Now, you have to learn to push your skateboard. For that, you need to get the skateboard on a surface where the board can roll. Take your front foot on top of the board and use the back foot to push off with so that the board begins rolling. Once you’ve made the rolling speed that you want, put the back foot on the board. When the board slows down, push off some more with the back foot. Spend some time practicing.

You also need to know how to stop the skateboard. Easiest way to do that is foot braking which means taking off the back foot and dragging it on the ground. Another way is heel drag. You make the heel of the back foot stick off of the back of your skateboard. You now step down on your heel, while keeping the front half of the foot still on the board and drag the heel a short way.

You also need to learn how to turn the board in the direction you want. It is really not too hard. While rolling, put weight on the heels and the board will slowly turn in that direction. The harder the push, the sharper the turn of the board will be.

This is not all about skateboarding, but certainly enough to begin with. When you are done with it, you can begin learning the tricks. For now, this is enough!

Do Vegetarians Have a Smaller Environmental Foot Print?

Eating less meat is probably the simplest way to contribute to environment. Behind every portion of meat is a phenomenally system of farming that consumes acres of land and plenty of energy. Moreover, it is behind devastation of forests and pollution of water bodies and air.

The fact that there are a billion people not having enough to eat and millions adding to the number every year announces the urgency to rethink consuming animal food.

The humans eat about 230m tonnes of animals a year. The species we breed require vast amounts of food and water, emit methane and other greenhouse gases. In 2006, the UN reached the conclusion that the combined climate change emissions of the animals bred for their meat were about 18% of the global total that is more than the environmental impact of all forms of transport.

Depending on the factors included in the livestock, the contribution of meat-eating on the environment may be as low as 5-10% of global emissions or as high as 50%.

Global consumption of meat is expected to double in 40 years and it points to the mother of all food crises down the road. Studies show that an average American meat-consuming family would require 20 times of land needed by a Bangladesh family living off vegetarian diet.

Experts calculate that if the grain fed to animals in western countries were consumed by people directly, at least twice as many people may have been fed.  The reason is that farm animals are inefficient converters of food to flesh. Broiler chickens require around 3.4kg of grain to produce 1kg of flesh, while the pigs would need 8.4kg for it.

And consider this; the meat eaters get increased chances of obesity, heart disease cancer and other illnesses. Isn’t it convincing to leave the meat? It’ll be easier for you as well as the environment.

Barefoot Running- Good, Bad and Green

Barefoot RunningThe sedentary lifestyle has made us more health conscious and we now look for different ways to exercise and keep the body fit for longer years free from diseases and other problems. Practices like jogging, running, cycling, gym, and yoga are being adopted by many. In recent times, a new kind has evolved for the runners and high speed sprinters called Barefoot Running. Though it has been going on for centuries, it has fast found place in recent exercise regimes of many.

The main aspect of running barefoot is the way the foot strikes. It is better to strike at the forefront than at the heels. Barefoot running is being preferred by many because the foot and lower leg were made to absorb the shock of landing on the forefront of the foot and turn it into forward motion. Running with shoes however, forces a person to land on their heel which prevents the foot and lower leg from being able to absorb the shock. Instead the shock gets transferred up the leg to the knees and hips resulting in injuries.

However, on the other side of the coin, a more obvious concern with barefoot running comes with various surfaces. A gravel surface will run the risk of a more focal issue on your foot. A trail will have a surface of twigs and sharp rocks that can cut the foot. Even a safer and more even surface can have errant rocks and broken glass that may not be seen. Any place that you run or walk barefoot must be examined well to avoid such hazards.

But if we look at the pros that outweigh the cons, barefoot running can be adopted by all. You may start slow at first by doing a few stretches and warm up sessions. There are manufacturers in the market that have come up with eco-friendly almost-naked shoes that help you in barefoot running. Made from renewable merino wool and rubber sole made with 50% scrap material, the shoes called fivefinger, lightweight slip-ons, sock like slip-ons, etc. are just the best products for a healthy you and a ‘green’ environment.

Earthgirl – What is in My Sunscreen – Ugh!

Earth GirlThrough the summer I’ve seen guys and gals shielding themselves with commercially-prepared sunscreens. Little did they know about the harmful chemicals in these sunscreens. Poor folks ended up exposing themselves to the very elements they were trying to keep off.

I thought to share the elements in my all-natural sunscreen that has kept me young and full of vigor forever.

First line of defense against the sun’s harmful rays comes through dietary changes. You’ve to bring down the consumption of processed foods. Eat seasonal summer foods like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, fruits, beans, nuts and legumes. These foods are high in antioxidants and protect the skin.

As the second step, you can use ingredients like raspberry seed oil, shea butter, carrot seed oil, wheat germ oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, hemp oil and soybean along with natural mineral zinc oxide and possibly titanium oxide as sunscreen.

Made of organic and mineral sun-blocks, natural sunscreens are free of harmful ingredients. These are incredibly lightweight, blend well with the skin and are subtly scented. Using them, you steer clear of suspect chemicals. Perfect for faces and bodies, these serve as an effective broad spectrum sunscreen.

Go Green to Decorate your Room

Decorating Room

Your room is your personal space. With a lot of emphasis on making this earth a better place to live, begin the charity from home. And here, it is your own room. So, follow these simple, efficient and beautiful ways and turn your room environmental friendly!

  1. Reclaimed wood is a great choice for flooring, walls and furniture. This choice saves time, money and energy.
  2. Replace your incandescent bulb with just one compact fluorescent and it will prevent the emission of over 400 pounds of greenhouse gases.
  3. Air conditioning uses a lot of energy. Switch to CFL bulbs to lower the temperature. Ceiling fans, double glazing, cross ventilation will all help.
  4. Don’t chop off the trees that are outside your room, instead trim them. They provide shade and keep your room cool. Also put plants inside your room in a corner that don’t require much water and sunlight.
  5. Paint your room with low VOC white paint. They contain fewer atmosphere- polluting volatile organic compounds.
  6. Use 100% natural and organic fabrics like cotton and linen for drapes, curtains, or Roman blinds.
  7. There are beddings, pillows and sheets available in stores that are organic and eco-friendly. These are free from chemicals and dyes, emit no toxic chemicals and are recyclable.
  8. Visit stores that keep antique and used stuff. You can find a lot of pieces that will look good in your room.
  9. Use your art class talent by making unique usable stuff through paper-mache technique like wall hangings, pen stand, cloth hanger, etc.
  10. Lastly, decorate your walls with wallpapers made of non-vinyl, eco-friendly material.

Be it constructing a new room or renovating your old, go the Green way and implement these techniques for environmental friendly atmosphere.