Kids by candle lightGreen Kids: Celebrate Earth Hour!

By Henry Adderley

The revolution against climate change starts at home, and Greenrock invites families across the island to celebrate Earth Hour together.

 

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) created Earth Hour to demonstrate that individual actions are important and add up to make a big difference. To date, a record 1500 cities and towns in 80 countries have committed to turning off their lights on March 28 at 8:30pm.

 

And as much as Earth Hour is a global event, it is also an event for the family. By talking to children and making little changes in and around the house, Bermudian families can make a positive impact for Earth Hour and beyond.

Solar water panel on roof

Solar hot water: Showering with the sun

Why are we paying to heat our water electrically when it’s 80 degrees outside? This is a question we should be asking ourselves in Bermuda. In countries like Israel and Greece, houses are required by law to have solar hot water, so why not here?

Solar water units are a simple and responsible means of heating household water. Solar thermal hot-water systems collect the sun’s energy directly in the form of heat, rather than converting it to electricity first. This method of producing hot water can reduce your electricity bill by up to 30 per cent, making it a solid investment.

slug1.jpgPest Control:
A look at the alternatives


Every summer my mother feeds her garden slugs a nice bottle of beer. It’s not that she is in the habit of placing alcohol out for all the animals around her cottage to enjoy, but that slugs are well known to be drawn to beer, which diverts them from garden vegetables. For the pleasure of their free happy hour, the slugs eventually find themselves drowned in the bowls of beer she’s distributed.  As a result, my mom can harvest her lettuce and other produce without resorting to using harmful chemicals to keep away these invading pests.

 

biggreenhelp.jpgGreen Kids: Clean green fun

By Henry Adderley and Sakeena Talbot

Worldwide children’s entertainment giant Nickelodeon has launched another new initiative to raise environmental awareness among the world’s youngsters. Nick’s new ‘Global Challenge’ is part of The Big Green Help website at www.nick.com.

 

This online multiplayer kid’s game, which went live at the end of 2008, aims to take advantage of the huge popularity of online gaming around the world to educate children about global environmental concerns.

lunchbox1.jpgGreen Kids: School Lunches

Did you know that the average school-age child with a daily disposable lunch generates approximately 67 pounds of waste each school year? That’s an enormous amount of garbage, particularly if you multiply it by your child’s entire class or all the students in Bermuda – about 18,760 pounds of lunch waste for just one average-size primary school.

 

But the typical Bermudian school student’s lunch isn’t just wasteful. It also consists of a dangerously high amount of processed food and costs far more money than it ought to.

 

whtimer.jpg

Water heater timers are a cheap and easy-to-install way to reduce your electricity bill; saving about 10 to 20% per month, especially if you have an older (pre-1998) water heater.

windpower.jpgAs electricity bills rise, more and more Bermudians are considering installing solar panels or wind turbines to offset their bills and feel more self-sufficient. In the last few years, the technologies have improved, more local retailers are selling and servicing these products, and consumers are increasingly aware that the set-up costs of an alternative energy system will greatly pay off in the long term. However, there remains a great deal of confusion as to which products are not only advisable to use in Bermuda but have the green light from Government and BELCO. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions on the matter of solar and wind generating products.

dandilion1.jpgThe Six Sins of Greenwashing

No, we don’t mean using too much water when you do your laundry. ‘Greenwashing’ is ‘the act of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service.’ In other words, the recent surge in environmental awareness has led to a lot of false or misleading claims from marketers.

In 2007, TerraChoice Environmental Marketing conducted a survey of environmental marketing claims in North America and identified ‘six sins of greenwashing’. Of the 1,018 products they surveyed – from toothpaste to printers – all but one committed at least one of these six sins.

kidsgarden1.jpgGreen Kids: Autumn Activities

This fall, why not embark on some of these planet-friendly activities with your kids? You’ll foster in them a love for the environment and sustainable action, and have fun at the same time.

  • Green is the new black. When your kids pester you for the latest fashions, discuss ways that you can be creative with their old clothes or personalise ones that you buy secondhand at a local thrift shop. Recycle them into new creations by choosing a saying or picture and printing it onto t-shirt transfer paper to iron onto their t-shirts. Add some personality to clothes by using fabric paint to stencil or free-style a design. Sew patches, sequins, trim, ribbons or buttons onto clothes or bags.  Or throw a clothes and toys swap with other families that have kids the same age: ask each family to bring cds, dvds, books, video games, clothes and toys they no longer use to swap for “new to you” items.

present.jpgMake Your Holiday Gifts a Little Greener

When the holidays roll around each year, many of us greet the season with a mixture of excitement and dread. We want to spoil our loved ones rotten with fabulous gifts, but we struggle stay in control of the budget and think of something new and interesting to give. Add to this the longing to be environmentally conscientious in our purchasing and many of us feel overwhelmed.

 

This holiday season, consider these eco-friendly gift suggestions that accommodate diverse budgets but won’t compromise your values. Don’t forget to check out Greenrock’s Top Ten Green Websites, too – many of them feature great ideas for greener giving.

 

sunscreen1.jpgThe Light and Dark Sides of Sunscreen

Putting sunscreen on a child is like trying to pet a hummingbird. Good luck getting a kid to stay put long enough to let you lather it on, let alone with the coverage that the experts deem necessary. And it’s not much better with adults. Across Bermuda all summer long there will be victims of the “forgot a patch” sunscreen crowd. Those with burnt backs but pristine white fronts, blistery noses beneath a sunglass-shaped white area, and painful, aloe-covered calves.

About Greenrock

According to The Footprint Network, which measures the ability of the planet to produce resources and absorb waste, our resource use and waste production is 60% more than the earth can produce or absorb annually.

This overshoot is the result of decisions that we each make every day. We seek to generate debate and to influence people to change their behaviour.We strive to be catalysts: Success for us is when we can Change the Mindset so that sustainable use of resources is included in decision-making for individuals, government or businesses. ... read more


Where to find Us

Suite 324, 48 Par-La-Ville Rd,
Hamilton HM11, Bermuda

Telephone: 1-441-747-ROCK (7625)
Email: info@greenrock.org
Website: www.greenrock.org