When a country wants television more than they want clean water, they’ve lost their grip.*

Are your friends amazingly accomplished people?

Mine are.

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They’re good at their jobs, crush it in the friend department, and manipulate the market like nobody’s business. They know stuff.

Well, most stuff. One thing they may not know is how to dry their hands.

 

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I stumbled on a TED Talk by a lawyer from Oregon. He opened my eyes to how many paper towels we waste. The number hovers around 571 million pounds per year–in America alone.

To make one ton of paper towels 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water are polluted.
In the U.S. we currently use more than 13 billion pounds of paper towels each year and that number is growing steadily. This equals more than 3,000 tons of paper towel waste in the U.S. alone.

His proposed solution is gilt-edged genius.

Hint: It isn’t this.

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Ready?

 

 

That’s it. Twelve shakes. After that you’ll only need a single sheet.

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You’ll rid your skin of excess water and save a tree…or a million.  Try it.

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Let’s talk water.  We take it for granted that it will be there. Safe and clean, always on tap.

 

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Here in south Florida, the Everglades provide 1 in 3 of us with fresh drinking water. But that water supply is at risk.

Last November, 75 percent of Floridians voted for Amendment 1 that set aside hundreds of millions of dollars to buy land to save the Everglades and protect our drinking water supply.

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Voters said yes to providing the Legislature with the funding necessary but Florida legislators and Governor Rick Scott did not act on it during the 2015 legislative session.  Add my voice to the chorus of disapproval.

 

Shake. Fold. Act.  It’s as simple as that.

 

Got a simple eco-tip ?   Do share.  Here’s mine:  Use 100% recycled paper towels. The Natural Resources Defense Council says 544,000 trees can be saved annually, if every U.S. household replaced a single roll of virgin fiber paper towels with 100% recycled ones.

*Header quote: Lewis Black, American comedian, author, playwright, social critic and actor.

 Toni12/1/15

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie

The prompt: Capture a black and white image that says eerie.

This guy surprised me, lurking in the mangrove swamp, deep inside the Everglades.

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Alligators prefer apple snails to human beings ~ there’s not a single documented case of a park visitor being attacked by an alligator in the backcountry of the Everglades. As for poachers, fugitives, crackpots, and other undesirables attracted to this hostile environment – well, that’s another story.

Toni 11/2/13

Day 2

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STALKING THE WILD MAD STONE : GUMBO-LIMBO, HIGH WALKERS AND THE WAY IT IS..in a series of KeyNotes

KeyNote #3

Here’s the welcoming committee at Everglades National Park…..

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Turkey Vulture at Everglades National Park, Florida, USA

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…and one of the many signs at the park entrance and the head of the Anhinga Trail.

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Vulture warning sign in the Marina Store window at Flamingo in Everglades National Park. © 2010 George Leposky

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Rangers at Florida’s Everglades National Park say vultures like to rip rubber from cars. They nibble on windshield wipers, munch on door and sunroof seals. Any parts made from rubber and vinyl are on the menu of these hungry prehistoric birds.  ( I suggest you park that rental car in a sunny location, not under a tree.) Nature’s cleanup crew is known for its appetite and has always been appreciated on Florida’s roads, pastures and parks. Until now.  How to put the fear of Man into these pranksters?

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“Hmmm? Are tires good to eat, too?” © 2010 George Leposky

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Wildlife biologists have tried yelling at them, using blasts from fire hoses, running noisy leaf blowers, attaching flapping plastic bags to cars and dangling dead vultures upside down.

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Following a suggestion by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the city of Greeneville obtained a permit to shoot and hang a limited number of vultures.

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Sometimes, they even bring out the cannon.  It’s powered by propane, easily carried by one person and plenty loud.  But no cannonballs.  At least, not yet.

No one really knows why the vultures have a yen for car rubber.  One theory is that the birds are using down time to sample available fare. Car snacking tends to occur in the morning when the birds are hanging out together, waiting to warm up and take to the air.  A vulture expert suggests that it’s like they are ‘trying stuff’ and the bad behavior may be more common among younger birds. Who knows, maybe they’re just a gang of bored juveniles.  Although it has an ugly bare-skinned face ~ all the better to plunge into the most revolting of cuisines ~  a vulture is graceful on the wing as it forages for carrion.

The park is home to hundreds of them who ham it up for tourists.

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The Anhinga Trail at Royal Palm does not disappoint. Gators lurk under anhinga nests. Newborn chicks, some newly-feathered, teeter a few feet above gators.  You can almost hear Mama saying, Don’t get so close to the edge. Yo! Babies!Are you listening to me?

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When a gator ‘stands tall’, locals call it a highwalker. On land, it moves very quickly and can run 9-10 mph for short distances. Alligators are known to do astonishing things. They swim miles looking for mates, crawl over land to find new girlfriends and scrap with other leathery Casanovas that happen along. In the spring, feisty alligators, usually males, roar like thunder.

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Click here to Watch video of the gator symphony

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The Anhinga Trail lets you see the flora and fauna up close.

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A Purple Gallanule walks on top of water lilies in the canals, clambers through dense shrubs and clings to stems and blades of grass. Its extremely long toes help it walk on lily pads without sinking.

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A Wood Stork, on the Endangered Species list, feeds by touch in shallow muddy water.

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The Gumbo-Limbo Trail loops through a jungle-like tropical hardwood hammock. The Gumbo-Limbo, Bursera simaruba, is a tropical tree native to Florida, a hurricane-resistant species that adapts to a variety of habitats. These trees provide wind protection for crops and roads as living fence posts. If you stick a branch into good soil, it will root and grow into a sizeable tree in a few years.  Most carousel horse makers use its wood. But the locals have another name for the tree –

they call it the Tourist Tree because the bark is red and peeling, like the skin of a sunburnt you-know-who.

(This tourist uses BullFrog SPF 50 SuperBlock Lotion with Titanium Dioxide, UVA/UVB Protection.  It’s waterproof and sweatproof.  And it’s PABA free.  There’s even BullFrog Mosquito Coast DEET-free sunblock that repels insects. Gel, lotion, spray or stick – I don’t leave home without it.)

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See you next time, at the end of the road ~ the southernmost point in the contiguous 48 states.

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Toni  2/26