How to stop using paper towels

Chuck works on motorcycles, and I’m a kitchen clean freak. We used to go through a shameful amount of paper towels. Like, buy in bulk, hate-the-earth, bulldoze-Costa-Rica amounts.

librarian canvas bagThen my friend Skud gave me a great idea. I cut up a cheap jersey sheet I had kicking around (those things pill up in about 5 washes, FYI) and I sliced up a couple conference t-shirts. We now have a canvas bag full of washcloth-sized fabric squares hanging in the kitchen.

This provides an endless amount of cleaning rags for just about any job.
They are washable, bleachable, and nearly indestructible. You can run them through the wash and re-use them, or if they are gross, just toss them into the compost.

It’s a great way to re-use otherwise disposable fabrics, and they are cheaper and more sturdy than paper towels.

Take that, Brawny!

Yahoo! Games picks up video game based on Macauly Library sounds

snapshot.pngNYC game developers Large Animal Games have created a downloadable PC video game based on bird sounds and expertise provided by the Macaulay Library at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology.

Which is where I work.

The game is called Snapshot Adventures. It was recently was acquired by Yahoo! games, which is a great for both the Lab and for environmental education, since part of the money it earns will directly fund our ecology work.

picture-3.png You can play it for free here.

Research Obsession: Climate change

I challenge you to play the BBC’s online Climate Challenge game. picture-4.pngIt’s free, fun, and uses Flash, so you don’t have to download anything stupid.

picture-3.pngI learned more about the relative merits of various greenhouse gas reduction techniques by playing this game then I did from four weeks of reading every popular science article I could find on the topic.

picture-2.pngYou are the President of the EU. You have a few years to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions before the gulf stream stops churning and Europe floods and/or plunges into an ice age. Goodbye, Paris. You have a whole bunch of options, but only limited time and money. You also need to avoid plunging your economy into chaos, drought, famine, or poverty.

Go get ’em tiger! Oh, don’t forget to keep your approval rating high enough to stay in office, you tax-raising pinko, you.