Wow, the things you can compost! Don’t think it is just limited to table scraps. This list shows that most of what you throw away can actually be diverted from the landfill and into community compost bins or personal compost piles.
81 things you can compost
Our list moves well beyond raw veggies. You’re likely to find a surprise or two.
Well done, Chicago! Hope this plan goes through.
Method to open greenhouse-topped production plant on Chicago’s South Side
The style-conscious soap wizards at Method unveil plans for a wind- and solar-powered manufacturing facility that will also include rooftop food production.
This documentary looks very promising! Really, when hasn’t the BBC performed when it comes to bringing the beauty of the natural world into our living rooms?
Mark your calendars and be sure to give it a look!
'24 Hours on Earth': A day in the life of our planet
Stunning photography highlights a new BBC documentary that follows the daily drumbeat of light and dark, watching animals make the most of fleeting opportunities.
Bringing nature back into urban areas. Fingers crossed this project is successful as it could very well be an inspiration to international cities everywhere!
London’s Garden Bridge to bring tranquility, foot traffic to the Thames
Joanna Lumley, best known for portraying one of the most morally bankrupt characters in television history, is behind an urban garden/footbridge project in London that’s brilliant, bold and well, absolutely fabulous.
Today is THE day to celebrate this powerful, inspiring, intelligent, resourceful, and for some, spiritual creature that lives in an ecosystem in peril. Increase your knowledge about these mammals and on climate change and expand your appreciation of the planet today and put that Google search engine to work! :)
Happy Polar Bear Day!
Today is the day for polar bears!
Join in and show your support by taking action on reducing your carbon footprint and raising awareness on polar bears. Feeling like a challenge? Have a go at Polar Bears International’s Thermostat Challenge and let them know how you get on!
What will you be doing today to help polar bears?
There is something fundamentally wrong in treating the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation.
Watch this short video to understand what the planet is going through these days. An informed citizen is the best kind of citizen!
Submitted by Julia Kole on Tue, 2013-07-16 08:54
They dart in front of our cars as they cross the road (sometimes unsuccessfully). They taunt our pets as they climb just out of their reach. Every spring, gardens and lawns everywhere are at their mercy as they search for stored acorns from the previous fall.
It is easy to forget that the Sciurus carolinensis is a wild animal and not just an animated lawn ornament. With their abundant populations in Ontario, it almost seems like every tree in every forest, park and yard has a grey squirrel occupying it. Their comical behaviour as they show off their acrobatic abilities makes for some entertaining wildlife. However, remember that these urbanized critters deserve their space just as much as any wild animal.
The Fast Facts:
Size: 380 to 525 mm, including the tail
Weight: 338 to 750 g
Lifespan: About 6 years in the wild and up to 20 years in urban areas.
Diet: Omnivore. They will eat seeds, nuts, berries, insects, eggs and human foods.
Most active during: The day. Grey squirrels do not hibernate in the winter but are only significantly active on warmer winter days.
Predators: Owls, hawks, racoons, foxes, lynx, snakes, feral and domestic cats, dogs, weasels, minks, and skunks.
I was not in short supply of comments and anecdotes when I asked my online audience to send me their thoughts on the grey squirrel. Here are some questions and comments that I decided to expand upon, and one little story that I just thought was fun to share:
“I see both grey squirrels and black squirrels in parks everywhere. Are they related?”
Actually, they are both one and the same! Black squirrels are eastern grey squirrels that have adopted a glossy black coat instead of the salt-and-pepper look of other grey squirrels. There are two schools of thought as to why this is. One theory is that squirrels living in city parks and suburban neighbourhoods encounter very few natural predators and thus do not need to wear their camouflaging coats anymore. Another popular theory claims that grey squirrels in Ontario and Quebec have developed a black coat to adapt to the cold-weather climates they live in. A black coat would attract more of the sun’s warmth than a reflective grey fur coat and thus would be more beneficial in the wintertime.
“My mom strongly dislikes them because they ‘relieve themselves’ on our window sill and dig up her entire garden”
As opportunistic omnivores, a squirrel may be quite comfortable searching around a house to fulfill their basic needs of food, water and shelter. Bird baths, ponds and other water landscaping provides squirrels with a water source. Bird feeders and garbage bins are buffets waiting to be devoured for a squirrel. The dug-up gardens you lament over in the spring? People normally attribute rabbits to the upheaval of bulbs and young plants but new evidence points an accusing paw towards the grey squirrel. In addition to wanting tasty flower bulbs, they may also be searching for their food caches they had buried the previous autumn. Although squirrels can find most of their caches through their sense of smell (not by memory as is commonly thought), about 20% of buried nuts and seeds are forgotten and left to germinate and grow in the soil. A squirrel may not approve of your taste in the flowers you have planted but they unintentionally may leave you a lovely tree or shrub instead. Squirrels are an essential part of natural reforestation in their natural habitat and will apply these practices in an urban setting as well.
“A squirrel bit me once when I was a kid. There is no love lost on squirrels. I read somewhere that they are related to rats. When I look at a squirrel, I think of a rat”
Squirrels are a type of rodent so she was right to relate them to rats. As to why this squirrel decided to get confrontational with a human, there may be a few reasons. Young squirrels spent their young lives up in the trees so when they first venture from their nest they are completely unaware of the dangers of humans. Juvenile squirrels will get very close to humans out of curiosity and are known to eat from their hands and even climb up pant legs. If startled or again just out of curiosity, it is possible for a squirrel to nip at a hand so it is best to give all squirrels their distance.
A squirrel may get aggressive when they feel that they or their young are threatened and their bite can go through most fabrics so again, give these creatures their space. Squirrels are not known to carry rabies or display unnecessarily aggressive behaviour but may get very bold with humans if they are used to being fed human food.
It certainly may seem that squirrels are a few acorns short of an oak tree. Anyone who has watched them understands where the expression “gone squirrely” comes from. They are agile, vocal creatures who have fantastic agility and balance. They also decide to play “chicken” with traffic very frequently, often with terminating results. If you encounter a squirrel running across your driving path, slow down or stop if it is safe to do so. However, the safety of yourself, your passengers and the traffic around you takes precedence so if you are unable to avoid the squirrel, just keep driving ahead. Sometimes they get lucky, sometimes they do not. You can assure yourself that it’s just natural selection at work.
Their incredible ability to climb up and down almost anything can make them a menace at bird feeders and around a house. Common issues a homeowner may face are squirrels taking up free room and board in chimneys, attics, eves- troughs and air vents. The best way to avoid run ins with squirrels is through prevention. Make sure you squirrel-proof bird feeders by attaching aluminum flashing on the polls the feeders are sitting on. It is a good idea to install wire mesh over any openings on your house to avoid unwanted furry families living with you.
To end it off, here is an observation of campus squirrels from my friend who attends Guelph University:
“Since moving to Guelph I have realized that squirrels can really vary in size. The ones here are about double the size and they have no fear… especially the ones on campus. If you are eating lunch outside they will steal it if you aren’t looking! There are pictures on Facebook of the Guelph squirrels holding entire waffles, slices of pizza, and parts of sub sandwiches. They seem to prefer pizza though. My friends that have come to Guelph from different parts of Canada all agree on the fact that they are insanely huge.”
For more information about eastern grey squirrels in Ontario, please check out the following websites:
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