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    Entries in carbon footprint (3)


    While many saw that Rio+20 a large failure on the part of many in the environmental world, something special came out of that conference. Something special that is now starting to get a notice in America, and being picked up on various outlets through out the web, and something truly special to help fight and reduce our carbon footprints in the whole world.

    That something is a website called

    The idea sprung up from the Buenos-Aires based bicycle advocacy group, La Vida en Bici. The basic idea is that by 2030 to have bicycles be the primary mode of transportation in the urban world. They are running on the the phrase "51% in 2030. Through their website and group they will use their website to facilitate other advocacy groups, artists, social media commentators, and social activists to come together and push this imitative forward through a truly grassroots movement. is basing their whole movement on three simple facts to gain traction to their argument.




    With a beautiful blog covering everything to transit maps, subway escalators for bikes, to bike friendly hairstyles, this is a great meeting place to get the word out and inspire true social change. Espeically since they have a very clear goal.

    Check out their video below:

    [EN] launched at Rio+20, intro by Bill McKibben from mati kalwill on Vimeo.


    Check out the great work Le Vida En Bici is doing as well!


    Ecological Footprint Calculator via Derek Sherwood

    Ever wonder how much your carbon and ecological footprint really is? Now from the Center For Sustainability, you can take this quick quiz that asks you questions about daily habits. Everything from food, to housing, to travel. It seems to be a a pretty good estimator of where we stand, and helps to show you where you stack up against the rest of your country.

    Here is the link:

    Ecological Footprint Quiz

    I took the quiz in about ten to fifteen minutes and here are my results:

    My carbon footprint is 68.45 global acres and the average American's is 91.43. My food footprint is 38.46 global acres compared to the average American's of 65.74. My housing footprint is 16.61 global acres compared to the average American's of 31.58. My goods and services footprint is 16.98 versus the average American's of 57.66 global acres. I found these numbers to be interesting. Living in a fourplex and my home garden helped a lot with these footprints. Overall my global acres consumption is 140.5 global acres versus the country average of 246.61. Also, for those that are interest in what exactly a global acre is, here is what I found at FootprintNetwork:

    global hectare (gha) : A productivity weighted area used to report both the biocapacity of the earth, and the demand on biocapacity (the Ecological Footprint). The global hectare is normalized to the area-weighted average productivity of biologically productive land and water in a given year. Because different land types have different productivity, a global hectare of, for example, cropland, would occupy a smaller physical area than the much less biologically productive pasture land, as more pasture would be needed to provide the same biocapacity as one hectare of cropland. Because world bioproductivity varies slightly from year to year, the value of a gha may change slightly from year to year.

    Interesting stuff indeed. What did you score? Share with us and lets see what we can do together to reduce our numbers!

    ---Justin J. Stewart (link via Derek Sherwood)


    Meatless Mondays

    As many of you might have heard in the past year or two is the growing movement of Meatless Monday. The aim of this program is to start your week on the right step by eating all day without meat. Now for everyone that is already a vegetarian and a vegan, this might not be a big deal. There are still plenty of us that love meat, and I am one, and I will probably never give it up in my lifetime. I can help out the best I can towards the strained food system and reduce my carbon footprint by making sure that there is at least one day a week where I do not eat any meat. This is the idea that meatless monday was born under.

    The origins of Meatless Monday comes from as a public health awareness program started by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future. In the past year, and even maybe the year before, Meatless Monday has really taken off through out the country. I figured to help with my goals to reduce my carbon footprints (and possibly eating healthier), it was time for my family to go meatless on Monday.

    Obvious health benefits of Meatless Mondays include: limiting cancer risks, reducing heart disease, helping fight obesity, and fighting diabetes. Which in turn, can give you a better chance to live a longer and healthier life. Now, how does this help environmental issues? It is well known the the production of livestock and fowl has lead severe environmental degradation in places that it occurs, and that the pure transit and processing of the meat and food for the livestock leads to enormous amounts of energy being used and carbon being put into the air. Meat is responsible for one-fifth of green-house gas emissions worldwide. As for water usage from 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water goes into a single pound of beef, versus Soy based tofu which on average is 220 gallons of water per pound. On average we need 20 times the amount of fossil fuels that go into every calorie of feed on a beef farm compared to the amount of fossil fuels that is used for one calorie of a plant-based protein.

      With these arguments, one might say, "Justin, why don't you just go vegetarian?". The truth is, like I said before, I can't. I adore hamburgers and steak. I can't pass up BBQ ribs or brisket. So, in turn what I can do is make a conscious effort to eat less meat, and Meatless Monday is a great way to begin. From here on out every Monday I will be telling you what I had on Monday, and tell you my recipe, and hopefully you can use them, and share recipes with  me!


    MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th, 2010

    For my first meatless Monday, I missed breakfast. Which makes things no easier than usually, since I probably would have just had toast for breakfast anyways. For lunch is where I had my first challenge, since I usually have a salami sandwich everyday for lunch. Today, I went with Grilled Cheese on Mountain Bread.

    Grilled Cheese with fresh Watermelon JuiceNow, with my grilled cheese, I also had freshly juiced watermelon juice, which was amazing. As for the grilled cheese, well, it was grilled cheese. It was a fine lunch, but nothing to get too excited about. Now what was up next though was exciting. I would be making both Baba Ghanoush from some freshly picked eggplant, and attempt to make Dam Aloo (or maybe Dum Aloo, the internet seems to have both ways of spelling it). Let's start with the Baba Ghanoush. Baba Ghanoush is a dip that is fairly popular in middle-eastern and meditarian cuisine. It is based on eggplant, and is usually prepared with Tahini, which is also found in Hummus, making Baba Ghonoush a sibling to Hummus. I love them both and was excited to try the recipe. I found a recipe on This is the recipe that I followed:



    • 1 eggplant
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup tahini
    • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree. Season with  salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium size mixing bowl, and slowly mix in olive oil. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
  • Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
    2. Place eggplant on baking sheet, and make holes in the skin with a fork. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, or until soft. Remove from oven, and place into a large bowl of cold water. Remove from water, and peel skin off.
    3. Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree. Season with  salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium size mixing bowl, and slowly mix in olive oil. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
    I was pretty proud of this and it looked like it was going to taste pretty good, and from early indications it looks like it is going to be awesome!
    What eggplants can do!Next was on to the Dam Aloo (Dum Aloo), which is an Indian dish that is centered around Garam Masala seasoning mix and potatoes. I am a big fan of Indian food and was pretty excited to try out this recipe as well, which came from Here is the recipe that I used:


    • 450g small potatoes, preferably new
    • 1 medium onion
    • 4 tbl spn oil
    • About 1 tpn chilli powder
    • 1/2 tspn turmeric
    • 25g root ginger, peeled and ground to a paste, or 1 tspn ground ginger
    • 1/2 tspn sugar
    • Salt
    • 150 ml water
    • 1 1/2 tspn garam masala
    • Chopped corainder leaves, to garnish

    How to make Dam Aloo

    1. Scrub or peel the potatoes and cut them into even sized pieces.
    2. Boil them until just tender.
    3. Grind the onion to a fine paste.
    4. Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion paste and fry until lightly browned.
    5. Stir in the chilli powder, turmeric, ginger, sugar ad salt.
    6. Fry for 1-2 minutes without letting the mixture burn, then add the water.
    7. When the water begins to simmer, stir in the potatoes, cover and cook until the sauce has thickened.
    8. Sprinkle with  the garam masala and remove from the heat.
    9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
    It was pretty tasty, next time there are a few other recipies that call for yogurt to be added into the sauce, which I think I am willing to try to get a more and thicker sauce. That is just my personal preference though. Here are some photos of what it looked like:

     Dam Aloo (dum aloo) in the pan, chillin'!

    The Dam/Dum Aloo in the process of being eaten by me!

    In the future I would probably use a recipe that calls for yougurt in the sauce, which would make more sauce and and thicken it up a bit. I hope that you learned a lot from this, and start to share your own Meatless Monday recipies with me!

    ---Justin J. Stewart