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Like most Americans, I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on September 11, 2001. I was getting ready to go to class at Cuesta College. I logged into Yahoo!, and saw a news headline about burning buildings. I was more interested in checking my e-mail, so I ignored it.

Then, my dad walked in the house, his face like I had never seen it before. We turned on the television, and my life and worldview changed forever.

At that moment, we were very worried about more attacks, especially since we lived just miles from the Diablo Canyon nuclear Power Plan. I remember reading in the phone book about how to respond if the plant ever exploded or melted down. “Stay inside. Take your pets inside the house. Keep your windows closed and the air vents off.”

Right. That’s definitely going to stop the radiation from getting to me.

It’s serious business. Just this year, we saw the devastation that can happen when an earthquake or other natural disaster hits a plant. I think we will see the effects of the Tokyo disaster for many, many years to come.

Other countries, like Germany, have committed to shutting down their nuclear power plants. Meanwhile, the U.S. is all “nuke, baby, nuke!” and continues to invest in nuclear energy.

This is the moment when I put my head in my hands, a bit mortified. Sometimes, being an American makes me feel like I wear “Stupid” on my forehead.

This is a great blog series on this whole debate, published on Grist. I challenge you to read it, and really consider whether you are comfortable with the idea of generating power by using an extremely toxic, and yes, dangerous, method.

(BTW, this is just my opinion. Please feel free to start a heated debate by commenting below. I’ll play nice… I promise. 🙂

Find me online:
Twitter: sarahbolton2003
Facebook: sarahchristinebolton

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I was never a big fan of chemistry, but this table of SEO Ranking Factors is a fabulous tool if you are doing any website optimization. Plus, it kind of makes me feel like I am a smart nerd after all.

Feel free to share this post with your friends… especially if you want to impress them with your scientific-y awesomeness.

Find me online:
Twitter: sarahbolton2003
Facebook: sarahchristinebolton

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As humans, and I think especially as Americans, we always want to know how much something is worth, monetarily-speaking. This video (which I found on Jessica Palmer’s blog) was produced by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, and presents a very thoughtful approximation of just how much the nature is worth:

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During a meeting with a client this morning, he mentioned an article he had recently re-read about Facebook, written back in 2005. At that time, there were a few million Facebook users, and the article talked about how the social network would be mostly for college students.

Fast forward to today: Facebook now has more than 500 million users. And they are most definitely not just college students. My mom is on Facebook. My Grandma is on Facebook. And some people even have profiles for their dogs.

So, what’s my point? Well, other than the fact that I can no longer post scandalous photos on my profile (as if I ever did), social media is blowing up. And it’s not just the hardcore geeks who are blowing it up.

I just discovered this company, Futerra Sustainability Communications, a PR/communications firm based in the UK. They focus exclusively on CSR and sustainability, and have a rather kick-ass blog. One recent post discussed social media. I took one quote in it’s entirety, because it sums it up really well:

A key realisation that many at the table felt was that social media is moving ‘beyond the usual suspects’. This is in relation to age, sex, and location but also sustainability knowledge & engagement. Social media creates a dialogue with potential advocates that other media sources have little influence over.

So, basically, social media may be opening up doors to communicate issues of sustainability with people previously not very reachable. Of course, reaching out to people and actually affecting change are two completely different things.

Did you find this post interesting? Leave a comment below, or share it via your social networks.

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As if social media doesn’t already completely permeate our lives, now the cultural phenomenon has its own week. Five cities – Bogota, LA, Milan, Beunos Aires, and Mexico City – are hosting a week-long event featuring workshops, presentations, and of course, parties. If you can’t manage to catch the next plane to Italy, some of the classes will be offered as webinars.

Mike Bonifer, CEO of GameChangers, LLC, posted a great overview of the week’s festivities on the Huffington Post.

Milan

Photo courtesy of Trey Ratcliff.

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FedEx is often on the cutting edge of sustainability. I wrote an article about their electric fleet for the Memphis Business Journal, and now, they are at it again, with pedicabs on the streets of Paris. There are currently three in operation, with plans to add several more in the near future.

The tricycles are started manually, and then powered by the driver, with some electric assistance. Not only are the vehicles completely free of CO2 emissions, they also allow the driver to avoid traffic by using pedestrian-only areas in the city.

Another plus? The driver in this video has some ripped calves from all the pedaling. I don’t know about you, but having my packages delivered in a sustainable way by a buff young driver makes all the sense in the world…

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