- June 8th 2012
Today is World Oceans Day – a day focused on learning more about the world’s oceans and how to protect and conserve them. Around the world, aquariums, zoos and museums are focusing on the day, while people have been inspired to take personal action to help this previous resource. This year’s theme is Youth: The Next Wave for Change. About 400 events are planned in 70 countries. Events in the US are listed on this page.
Test Yourself – World Oceans Facts
Here are some interesting – and some worrying – facts about the world’s oceans:
- Many water basins cross two or more nations – a UN study shows that 45% of the world’s water basins fall into that category.
- About 97% of the world’s water is salt water – and the US Geological Survey says 70% of the freshwater supply is frozen in the Artic and Antarctic – I guess we won’t be drinking that any time soon!
- The Mariana Trench in the Pacific is the deepest part of the ocean at 35,979 feet deep. You could drop Mount Everest in it and still have about 10,000 feet left over.
- The deepest part of the ocean is pitch black, not blue, because light can’t penetrate that far.
- On Earth, more creatures live in the ocean than on land – about 80% of all species.
- Only about 5% of the ocean has been explored so far.
- About 90% of the big fish in the sea are gone.
- Two-thirds of ocean species are over-fished, according to UN data.
- Agricultural run-off is increasing the number of coastal dead zones.
- Estimates of the amount of plastic in the ocean keep rising; a 2010 estimate by 5 Gyres put the figure at 315 billion pounds.
Recent research from the Oceans Project found that while many Americans support the idea of a healthy ocean, most feel that the issue is too big for individuals to take action and feel powerless to make changes. However, the same research showed that 22% of Americans are active environmentalists and 57% are sympathetic to environmental issues. The Ocean Project provides plenty of ideas for celebrating the day and for being more active on ocean and environment issues – check them out here.
- April 20th 2012
Earth Day 2012 is on Sunday 22 April. More than any other time of the year, it’s a time to go green. Here are 22 interesting and fun facts about Earth Day.
- Earth Day is the world’s largest civic observance, with more than 1 billion participants worldwide.
- The first Earth Day was held on 22 April, 1970. The day was founded by US Senator Gaylord Nelson, inspired by anti-war protests and appalled at a major oil spill in Santa Barbara, California in 1969.
- The date was chosen to avoid conflict with other holidays. However, Arbor Day falls on April 22 in Nebraska.
- Another reason for the choice is that the date is the official first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and fall in the Southern Hemisphere.
- More than 20 million Americans took part in the first Earth Day.
- The movement brought together a range of groups who had been fighting separate battles on different environmental issues.
- One of the names considered for Earth Day was the National Environmental Teach-In (you can see why they went with Earth Day!)
- The first Earth Day in Canada was held in September 1980. It now takes place on April 22.
- Earth Day went global in 199o, putting environmental issues in the spotlight in 141 countries. Read more »
- April 29th 2011
Whew! Where did the month go? It’s been a while since the last edition of Friday Five, but I’ve got some great ones today.
First, to follow up on Wednesday’s post on the health risks of life on the road, there are some tips on eating well and staying active while traveling. These are from the Independent Traveler site and they cover health tips for the plane, road and hotel. Best tip? Pack an exercise band and download a workout routine to make hotel room workouts easy.
Next, the Wall Street Journal’s Scott McCartney takes another look at what’s happening with airfares. In Airfare Bait and Switch, he points us to an article outlining the rapid changes of fares between the time the passenger sees a fare and makes the purchase. It looks like the computers are running things – a scary thought, if you ask me.
Here’s one for the travel writers – some tips on writing great descriptions from Quips and Tips for Achieving your Goals. It’s a different approach to travel writing, but one that may help if you’re stuck for an idea.
And now for a bit of fun. Today Travel has an article on 5 things you shouldn’t wear on a plane. Along with sensible suggestions for your health, there’s another tip. I won’t ruin it for you, but you might want to rethink those slogan tees.
And finally, some stupid quotes about the environment. Should the speakers have known better? Probably, given that they include former presidents and presidential wannabees. Here’s a taster:
“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.” ~ Dan Quayle
- April 13th 2011
Tropic Ocean Airways, a private seaplane charter airline, has launched this week. It offers round trip shuttle flights between Key West and Miami, as well as private charters and snorkeling tours to the abundant reefs and islands in the Florida Keys, travel to and from waterfront resorts and complete scuba diving and fishing charter packages through partner businesses in Key West.
What makes Tropic Ocean Airways different is the focus on protecting the environment, according to founder and president Rob Ceravolo. Eco-friendly measures include: capturing fuel during testing, filtering and reusing the fuel to prevent waste and ground seepage; and, the use of special injectors that balance fuel distribution, as well as a high-tech engine monitor that eliminates unnecessary fuel burn, reducing emissions and decreasing fuel consumption.
The airline also buys carbon offsets via TerraPass, making it nearly carbon neutral.
- November 6th 2008
I love Florida, yet I’ve only seen a small part of it. My first trip there was in the 1980s. I’d just started my first job and a few of us decided to book a long weekend in Miami. Truth to tell, I didn’t do much sightseeing then; it was enough for me to be in a different place and soak up the sun. But I made up for it on subsequent trips. The one thing I haven’t done yet is take an eco-tour of Florida, but I’ve been doing a lot of research and I’ve come up with a list of places I’d like to visit. Here are a few of them: Read more »