Gwich'in Steering Committee

Protecting the Sacred Place Where Life Begins since 1988

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How Trees Save Us from Carbon Emissions

If the world can cut carbon emissions to significantly low levels, no one would have to worry about using trees to reduce carbon footprint. No matter the campaigns by governments and NGOs, there is still a high number of factories releasing carbon into the atmosphere. This is not about to end in the next decade.

To reduce carbon footprint, trees can be planted in large numbers. While this does not offer a permanent solution, at least it purifies the air for life. Learn more about trees and carbon.

Trees Use Up Carbon

Trees need carbon dioxide for survival just the same way we need food. They take in carbon dioxide and combine it with water during photosynthesis to manufacturer food. By doing so, they take in a lot of carbon from the atmosphere and release oxygen for animals to breathe in.

Living things are made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen in different proportions. Due to their large trunks and deep roots, plants need a lot of carbon making up part of their bodies. By planting a tree, you are purifying the air and saving the environment.

A single mature tree can consume more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. Besides, it releases enough oxygen to benefit human beings and animals.

Reduce Energy and Water Use

If you reduce the use of energy in industries and at home, you reduce the process of energy production, and you facilitate a habitable environment. Mature trees are able to reduce runoff in urban settings. Instead of water ending up in storm drains that will use extra energy to filter and pump out water, trees absorb up to 1000 gallons of runoff water from rainfall.

Instead of air conditioners, trees provide enough shade saving you a lot of energy. Again, you do not have to spend a lot on heating as trees will act as windbreaks around your house making hot days and cold nights bearable.

Trees are able to absorb ground-level ozone and play a part in preserving the atmospheric ozone layer; keeping us from the grueling heat of the sun. While this may not reduce the carbon footprint much, it keeps our environment safe by keeping our snow caps and our climate intact.

Look for the Best Trees

Trees are different, and some take in more carbon than others. Scientists are studying carbon sequestration of different trees for advice on which are the best to plant. Eucalyptus and Loblolly pine are considered as good options for carbon footprint reduction.

You need to look for large trees, since they take in a high amount of carbon. As long as a tree gets enough water, it should require very little maintenance. You also need to look for trees that are adapted to survive in the climatic conditions and soil in your area.

Start Planting Trees Today

There are lots of tree types in Austin, and you only need to choose the best ones. The most effective way of decreasing carbon footprint is by stopping the over-exploitation of natural resources and reducing energy usage. Trees play an important role in achieving this so go on and plant a tree today.

The Forced Assimilation of Native Americans

Native American Assimilation

One of the more shocking and lesser known parts of the Europeans colonization of the United States is the demolition of various Native American social orders and societies. With whites feeling that Native Americans were on “their” property, the United States attempted to drive them to acclimatize to white individuals in the United States through a forced assimilation of Native Americans. Local Americans were constrained into winding up noticeably new natives in the United States. The repercussions of this enormous demolition of the American Indians is still felt today in some ways.

Whites going to the United States from Europe at first attempted to trade off with Indians. This can be seen in such goes about as the Fort Laramie arrangement which set up tribal limits and government assurance as a byproduct of whites having the capacity to cross tribal domain. Before long, with the whites pushing toward the West notwithstanding, guarantees were broken and the US government attempted to legitimize this observation over the Native Americans.

As Helen Hunt Jackson composes, “…and the United States Government breaks guarantees now as deftly as the, and with an additional resourcefulness from long practice…” Before long, wars broke out, compelling the indigenous Indians and the Europeans pilgrims into a battle for North America.

After around ten years of battling, the US and the Native Americans end the wars with numerous Native Americans being assigned land by the United States. This is not really reasonable for the Indians. As Chief Joseph said in 1879, “You should anticipate that the streams will run in reverse as that any man who was conceived free ought to be satisfied penned up and denied freedom to go where he satisfies.” Even all the more shocking was the manner by which, amid and after equipped clash, whites in the United States attempted to incorporate the Native Americans into white society; crushing American Indian

Demolitions and Excavating Impact in the Surrounding Ecosystems

Demolition on a house

There many ways you can carry out exavation and demolitions on any site. The equipment and tools used vary and so is the impact on the surrounding ecosystems. Generally, ecosystems are complex and sensitive, a small alteration to its components will lead to vast impacts. Below are the common demolitions and excavating impact in the surrounding ecosystems.

Potential for Air Pollution

These two activities produce dust and debris that are carried freely in air. In the past, this dust has been considered a nuisance. In the recent past, studies have proved that there are many health hazards associated with this hazardous dust. Diseases such as silicosis, asthma, and histoplasmosis among others have their source traced to demolition and exaction dust.  According to experienced demolition company Heneghan Wrecking & Excavating, these concerns can be mitigated by following proper procedure, as well as workers donning the proper masks and equipment.

It’s important to note that this dust directly impact on the way vegetation and other plants grow. In fact in some case, it causes complete extinction of plant species. Other animals in the surrounding may experience breathing problems among other effects and this may force them to try adapt or migrate completely from the area. All these greatly affect the ecosystem.

Also, it’s this dust that results in the formation of acid rain that corrodes roofs among other structure. The economic and health effects associated with this aspect are vast.

Concerns for Water Contamination

There is a common saying that water is life. This is true. To understand how serious the demolitions and excavating impact in the surrounding ecosystems is, try to understand its effects on water. With the two activities, both surface and ground water are exposed to pollution. Moreover, the water quality received from treatment is also reduced. All these, means that no plant, animal or human is receiving water in its pure form. This will not only implant on their growth but also their productivity. With water contamination all over, the aquatic species are at a higher risk of extinction and unnecessary disturbances.

Stability of Other Structures

ExcavationExcavation exposes pipelines, electric cables and when heavy machinery are used, the stability of structures nearby is reduced. During demolition, some of the debris may collect on the walls of the structures around. This weakens them. This not only has an economic significance but possess as a serious security problem to the habitats of the affected building.

Excavation produces pits that can be dangerous to people and animals in the surrounding. The two activities produces large debris that could be life threatening if they accidentally fall.

Effects on Surrounding Soil

First, excavations loosens the soil and exposes it to multiple forms of erosion. Also, fertile top soil is usually covered during demolition and excavation. Moreover, the debris resulting from these activities could be piled in one area and this could affect transport among other activities. Also, the habitat where these piles are situated is usually completely destroyed in the process. These forms of soil pollution negatively impact the surrounding ecosystem.

Basically, what these two activities do is to cause so much simplification to the ecosystem. It’s this that results in so much instability and extinction of main players in the ecosystem. The long term effects are global warming, depletion of natural resources and an unhealthy society.

Undesirable Chemicals in Drinking Water – What You Need to Know

Safe Drinking Water

When it comes to drinking water, there are very few of us who would hesitate when grabbing a glass of water at a restaurant or in a friend’s home when we know the water has come from the tap.  Unless we know for certain that the water in an area has been contaminated, we often assume that the water has been filtered in some capacity. The Utah based ecologist James P McMahon has some excellent information on his website about the dangers of drinking unfiltered water. He sells a water filter which is custom built, called the Urban Defender. James believes this is the best whole house water filter available today. If you would like to know more about the Urban Defender please see

So what kind of dangers could be hiding in water that hasn’t been filtered?  Are there chemicals that could make their way into our water that would make us sick from drinking it? There are a few undesirable chemicals that can be found in unfiltered water, such as:

  • Pesticides – Areas that are surrounded by farms, or get their water from natural means—lakes, wells, aquafers—run the risk of having their water contaminated by pesticides used on crops, or from lawn run-off. Pesticides in water can lead to damage to organs, and hormone imbalances.  Continued exposure over a long period of time can lead to serious illnesses, such as cancer.
  • Chlorine – This is a scent most of us can recognize fairly quickly, because it’s used to keep pools clean. Chlorine has been hailed as a miracle for stopping the spread of diseases through dirty water, and while it is extremely efficient in killing bacteria, drinking it in water over long periods of time is not good for one’s health.  In recent years, the focus has come off of removing harmful pathogens from drinking water and instead the focus has shifted to the fact that long term chlorine exposure is known to cause cancer.
  • Lead – Lead can make its way into water a variety of ways, such as from rusty pipes, or from improper filtration systems. Lead poisoning in adults can be mild, or barely noticeable.  However, the real danger comes when children or pregnant women ingest water contaminated with lead.  Babies and young children are very easily affected by lead, which can lead to cognitive delays, and permanent brain damage.  If there’s any worry about water being contaminated with lead, cease drinking and bathing with it immediately.
  • Lye (Sodium Hydroxide) – Lye is added in order to control the pH of water that is more acidic than it should be. The lye brings the pH back up to 7, which is what regular tap water should be.  However, drinking large qualities of lye in water, or drinking this mix for a long time can have serious effects on your health.  This is especially true because the usual reason there is a need to add lye to drinking water is because the use of chlorine has caused the water to become too acidic, which can slowly eat away at your pipes over the years.

One or more of these harmful chemicals can be found in any water you’re drinking in your home.  It’s important to make sure that you filter water you have access to with either a built in filter, or with a simple filter you can refill and leave in the fridge for drinking.  Being proactive is the best way to protect yourself and your family from unknowingly drinking something harmful.