World Environment Day


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Here’s a striking photo of an environmental activist dressed as a whale killed by a harpoon performs during a rally to commemorate World Environment Day in Vina del Mar city near Santiago.

Pelicans covered in oil


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Some of the other photos out there are much worse, but it’s heartbreaking to see these pelicans covered in oil.

Meanwhile, oil spill protests are heating up against BP.

We’ve added more depressing photos after the jump.

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President Obama arrives in New Orleans as BP tries to contain the spill


Photo from fOTOGLIF

President Barack Obama is greeted by Florida Governor Charlie Crist, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Admiral Thad Allen, Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, upon Obama’s arrival in New Orleans this afternoon. Obama traveled to the Louisiana gulf coast to further assess damage from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Meanwhile, BP is still working on an effort to capture the oil spewing from the sea floor.

Killing Multiple Birds With One Stone

Try to guess the significance of the following number: 2.5 trillion. If you guessed “consumer debt in the United States,” you were correct. The above stat comes courtesy of the Federal Reserve. If we divide that debt across all American households, you get the often-quoted figure of $8,100 in consumer debt per household. Keep in mind that this is consumer debt, defined as debt that does not include home mortgages. These numbers should not come as a surprise with the fairly easy credit approval process and the average American holding at least two credit cards.

So how does one dig out of debt?
Eliminating debt is straightforward when there is only one creditor owed. The situation becomes increasingly difficult for those who have multiple credit cards. Debt consolidation has been a popular approach to help individuals and families start the process of eliminating debt. Consolidating debt is not new but it certainly is spoken of a lot more as economic conditions deteriorate. The concept is simple. Instead of making individual payments to every source of debt, each with a different interest rate, debt consolidation would bundle everything together into one. The debt consolidator would, in essence, become the creditor and would manage the individual payments to the original debts.

There are many companies that offer debt consolidation. Most companies provide a counselor to evaluate each candidate and their financial situation. The consolidator will usually offer multiple plans, but only after you qualify. Plans will vary depending on how much can be paid monthly and other market forces such as current interest rates.

Consumers should do their homework and evaluate their options as they move forward in the process. Debt consolidation is not the “magic bullet,” but it can certainly help.

Drought Resistant Buffalo Grass

If you are searching for the perfect lawn that will look good all year round, won’t need much watering and will withstand summer heat and foot traffic, try planting Buffalo grass. Buffalo grass is a true North American grass and was one of the grasses fed on by the huge herds of buffalo that once roamed the continent from Mexico to Montana. Buffalo grass also provided the sod of choice used by the first settlers when they built their sod houses.

Buffalo grass is being widely planted once again due to environmental concerns about diminishing water supplies. Some areas are banning the watering of lawns during the hot summer months when water demands are the highest, and for many the ideal lush green lawn is now a thing of the past. Because Buffalo grass is very drought resistant, looks good and has no disease or insect problems, the ideal lawn is again possible. This grass will turn a golden brown color during long periods of drought and high heat, but it will not die from these extremes. Instead it will turn green and start growing again as soon as the conditions moderate, without irrigation or fertilization. Just about the only thing Buffalo grass cannot do is grow in shade.

Buffalo grass once covered thousands upon thousands of acres of the prairie states and held up to yearly grazing of large herds of buffalo, as well as long periods of drought and heat. Because it thrived so well under those harsh conditions, new varieties are being developed to take advantage of and strengthen some of the original Buffalo grass traits. Once established, lawns of these new varieties of Buffalo grass are hardy and hold up well to foot traffic, making them ideal for parks and school yards where many traditional sod grasses fail.

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