#80 Paper Towels, Facial Tissue, & Toilet Paper

Though this topic was not been included in the most recent list of upcoming topics, I have been meaning to do some research on the sustainable options that are available when purchasing various types of paper tissue products, including paper … Read More

#79 What is a Derecho and a Haboob?

Over the life of this blog, I have focused only on issues related to sustainability. But taking care of the planet not only requires knowledge and awareness of what actions we can take, but it also requires an appreciation and … Read More

#78 Effect of House Color on Energy Usage

From an environmental standpoint, there are two major attributes of paint that should be considered prior to painting the outside or inside of one’s home (or anything else for that matter). These considerations include the effect the paint will have … Read More

#77 Carbon Footprint of Community Water Consumption

by Dr. Tamim Younos A carbon footprint can be defined several ways. Basically, it refers to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions attributable to direct and/or indirect consumption of fossil-fuel (coal, petroleum and natural gas) based energy to sustain … Read More

#76 Solar Inverters: Making Solar Usable

One often overlooked aspect when planning the installation of a solar panel array is the inverter. I briefly mentioned in a previous article that the inverter is the device that converts the energy received from the sun through the solar … Read More

#73 Revisiting the Spiritual Value of Water

Taking a break from all of the numbers presented in the last few articles with regard to emissions, I would like to take a week or more to focus on my other passion with regards to sustainability: clean water. Water … Read More

#72: Planes, Trains, or Automobiles

First of all, Happy 2022! As we have all been traveling a lot over the last few months, I thought looking at the environmental impact of traveling may be appropriate for this article. In Post #70, I wrote about the … Read More

#71 Christmas Trees: Fake or real?

I have thought about this question a lot over the years since, I do have to admit, I have always had an artificial Christmas tree. Due to having serious asthma when I was a kid, real Christmas trees were a … Read More

#70: Carbon Footprint of Plastic

This week I would like to look more closely at our personal contributions to greenhouse gas emissions with regard to some of the most common single-use plastics that we use in our everyday lives. I will initially discuss the various … Read More

#68: Do Your Solar Panels Reflect Your Values?

I recently became part of a project involving the installation of a large solar array. Such a project requires several initial steps prior to actually installing the solar panels. The current step involves selecting the actual panels as well as … Read More

#67: Sealcoating Your Driveway

A few weeks ago, the HOA for our town house complex announced that all public parking areas and driveways, in addition to the private driveways of those homeowners who were interested, would be sealcoated. The company that performed the sealcoat … Read More

Bottled Water: Panacea or Plague?

by Dr. Tamim Younos Early civilizations used various types of vessels, made from animal skin or clay, to carry water from its source for consumption in royal palaces, peasant households and war zones. At present, the synonym “bottled water” refers … Read More

Earthworms: The Original Green Architects

by Dr. Tamim Younos* Charles Darwin studied earthworms for 40 years. In his final book, The Formation of Vegetable Mould, Through the Action of Worms (1881), L. Sambourne’s satiric portrait of Darwin published in Punch, 1881, Darwin concluded, “It may be … Read More

Native Plants: Ragweed & Thistle

During a recent long road trip to South Dakota, I had my share of exposure to two of my favorite (sarcastic) plants: ragweed and thistle. As I mentioned last month, both of these plants are members of the Asteraceae family. … Read More

Summer Celebrations (by Keara Moore)

I spent Independence Day hanging out on Gravelly Point in Arlington, Virginia. Grills were fired up in the background, cheerful people played volleyball, airplanes swooped down overhead, and the river was full of boats – yachts, tour cruises, jet boats, … Read More

Native Plants: Asteraceae Family

After a slight distraction by the discussion on cicadas, I would like to return to native plants this week. Last month I posted an article on the native plant called the aster. But I got a little bit ahead of … Read More

Cicadas. Why?

Before I continue with native plants, though there is a lot more I would like to cover on that topic, I wanted to touch on a topic that has recently become a major issue in a few parts of the … Read More

Native Plants: Asters

A week ago the Green Team for my church, in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, conducted a native plant giveaway. We offered various types of plants that grow in shade and sun and that each have various other qualities, … Read More

Green Mondays: Earth Day (Thursday, April 22)

Have you questioned the reason that Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22? On this day in 1970 the modern environmental movement was born. This was the first time that a voice was given to the emerging public … Read More

Week 52: One Year of Sustainability!

This is it! Our goal in February of last year when Green Mondays began was to follow weekly objectives related to reducing carbon emissions and promoting environmental sustainability for 1 year or 52 weeks. If you can remember that far … Read More

Week 51: Sustainability – Road Salt

As the last few weeks have been a bit snowy with similar weather persisting for at least the next week or so, I thought we should get back to a topic that is about snow and cold. A common scene … Read More

Week 49: Health – PFAS in Your Water

Last Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made the announcement that under the new Biden administration it would begin to regulate the concentrations of chemicals referred to as PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in drinking water. Stricter drinking water limits … Read More

Week 47: Plastic Pollution – Clothing

I would now like to focus on a different environmental issue that you may want to take into account when purchasing clothing: plastic pollution. First of all, you may wonder what clothing has to do with plastics. In the past … Read More

Week 46: Carbon Emissions – Clothing

Going back to carbon emissions, there is one other industry I would like to discuss that is a dominant contributor in this area: clothing and footwear. According to an article that was published in Business Insider, current global trends in … Read More

Week 42: Carbon Emissions – Food

We are going to move away from the Internet to another major contributor of carbon emissions: Food. The choices we make in terms of the food we eat include both when we eat away from home at restaurants and when … Read More

Week 41: Carbon Emissions – Streaming Videos

As almost all of us have been stuck inside more than we would like due to COVID, one activity that has become even more popular than it already was is streaming movies, videos, and other online content. I have to … Read More

Week 38: Health – COVID-19 Food Assistance

Back in Week 5 of Green Mondays, which coincided with the beginning of the shutdown due to COVID-19, I focused on helping neighbors who are most vulnerable to catching the virus and to the economic impacts of a shutdown; this … Read More

Week 37: Carbon Emissions – Housing

As we learned two weeks ago, activities related to housing represent the highest sources of carbon emissions both domestically (33.6%) and overseas (34.7%). Specifically within housing, emissions are predominately due to the two most common sources of energy used: electricity … Read More

Week 36: Carbon Emissions – Income Inequality

Last week I focused on the overall picture of how we all contribute to greenhouse gas emissions in terms of five different categories: housing, transportation, food, services, and clothing. I was going to go into the housing category today in … Read More

Week 35: Carbon Emissions – Overall Picture

Last week we (including myself) learned how fossil fuels are created and about the three major types. This is nice, but how do we fit into the overall picture of how much carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere due … Read More

Week 34: Carbon Emissions – Fossil Fuels 101

When writing about reducing our carbon footprint several months ago, I did not fully realize the importance of starting from the beginning with regard to fossil fuels. What are fossil fuels, how did they form, why are they considered non-renewable, … Read More

Week 33: Sustainability – Leaf Blowers

Leaf blowers have become more popular and affordable over the last few decades. Many of us have memories of spending an afternoon raking leaves, and hopefully many of us are still creating those memories. The issue for many though is … Read More

Week 32: Health – Skip the Receipt

One common item that we do not put much thought into and that can contribute toward serious environmental and health impacts is the receipt. In a report provided by Green America, it was estimated that the production of receipts in … Read More

Week 31: Carbon Emissions – Plant a Tree

We often hear about how we need to cut our carbon emissions due to the warming effects that greenhouse gases (e.g. carbon dioxide and methane) have on our atmosphere and planet. In addition to reducing the sources of these emissions, … Read More

Week 24: Plastic Pollution – Toothbrushes

This week I am moving away from solar to focus on another plastic product almost all human beings use and for which there are more sustainable alternatives: the toothbrush.  One disturbing fact that I was recently reminded of is that … Read More

Taking a Break for a Laugh

I hope you all had a great 4th.  I decided this week to take a break from the green activities and send something that hopefully will make you laugh, which we are all in need of at the moment due … Read More

Week 20: Composting – Final Steps & Tips

During the last two weeks we have discussed how to select a compost bin and the ingredients that go into a compost pile (i.e. greens and browns).  Now all you need to do is select a location for your bin and … Read More

Week 19: Composting – Gather Materials

The second step when beginning a compost pile is to gather the actual materials that will be used to create the pile within your compost bin.  The general rule is that 4 components are needed to make a basic compost … Read More

Week 18: Composting – First Step

An important topic related to waste reduction is composting.  Composting is something I have been wanting to do for a while now but just felt it was complicated to begin and never took the time to do the research required.  … Read More

Week 16: Plastic Pollution – Straws

While we are on the subject of plastic, we cannot forget the plastic straw.  Here is one take on this issue: As part of the answer to the President’s comments, plastic straws are more of a concern because not only are … Read More

Week 14: Plastic Pollution – Plastic Bags

I hope everyone was able to enjoy or is on their way to enjoying milk out of a glass bottle; I think the higher quality taste and the positive impact on the environment make the extra investment worthwhile. I would like to continue … Read More

Week 13: Plastic Pollution – Milk & Eggs

After spending a few weeks thinking about what goes into the life cycle of plastic products, particularly single-use plastics, I hope that you have become more sensitized to the importance of stopping this life cycle at the beginning, which for most … Read More

Week 11: Plastic Pollution – Plastic Bottles

The first step in reducing our consumption of single-use plastics is eliminating the need for the plastic bottle. One of the most common reasons we consume plastic bottles is to increase our consumption of “healthy” and “clean” water. Then when … Read More

Week 9: Plastic Pollution – COVID-19 Crisis

Happy Easter Monday!  This week we are going to take a break from implementing activities that help to reduce our carbon footprints and take a look at the current increase use of single-use plastics and innovations that are being developed … Read More

Week 8: Benefits of Cold Water

This week we will again focus on reducing our carbon footprint by implementing actions that are included within the Home Energy section of the EPA’a Carbon Footprint Calculator (www3.epa.gov).  The specific action we will address is related to washing clothes.  … Read More

Week 5: COVID-19 Neighbor Assistance

Due to the unprecedented events going on with regard to the COVID-19 outbreak, I would like to take a one-week break from our energy conservation agenda in support of caring for those who are the most vulnerable in our communities, … Read More