Air Quality for 48188

National Public Radio (NPR) posted an interactive map, searchable by zip code and/or city, that allows you to find out who has been emitting hazardous chemicals into the air. The map lists more than 17,000 facilities nationwide. The color-coded dots and scores of one to five smoke stacks are based on an EPA method of assessing potential health risks. You can zoom into your neighborhood by clicking on the map or use the search box in the upper right hand corner to find your area of interest. You can even look at the full EPA reports on selected facilities.
[Photo courtesy of AP Images]

Once Upon a River

Once upon a river : a novel by Bonnie Jo Campbell — What if we were left to discover life, love and the world on our own at a very young age with no preconceived socially-defined rights and wrongs? This is one of the questions that Bonnie Jo Campbell will force you to ponder. The protagonist is 16-year-old Margo who sets out in a flat-bottomed teak rowboat on the Stark River in southwestern Michigan to find her mother, who has abandoned the family. Margo fashions herself after her hero, Annie Oakley, which adds a sense of timelessness to the novel — although unbelievably it is set in 1970. Margo sustains herself, and in fact thrives, in the face of every sort of adversity through a combination of courage, stubbornness and savvy. This novel is not, however, for the faint of heart. There’s incest, rape, murder and graphic descriptions of animal skinning, among other things. Though, like Jim Harrison's Michigan-based fiction, you will find yourself absorbed by Campbell's keen observations of the local environment.

Save Energy and Cut Your Bills

Save energy and cut your bills by Nick White — offers practical advice on how to cut your consumption and costs at home. From reducing your fuel and electricity use to generating your own energy it has solutions for the busy homeowner. As cold weather approaches you may also want to check out CPL's other home energy resources. CPL also has Kill A Watt energy meters available for check out. The Kill A Watt energy meter can help you find out how much energy your appliances are consuming. By connecting appliances to the meter it will assess how efficiently they are running.

Public Invited to Attend Vice President Al Gore's Presentation in Detroit

Former Vice President, best-selling author and Nobel Prize co-recipient Al Gore will be the plenary keynote speaker at the International Joint Commission (IJC) Great Lakes Water Quality Biennial Meeting in Detroit, Michigan at 1:15 pm on October 13, 2011. Vice President Gore will be discussing the climate crisis. Seating is limited, so the public is urged to register. Registration is free.
[Photo courtesy of AP Images]

CSAs Gain Momentum

As more folks look for alternatives to factory farmed foods, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) are growing in popularity. Joining a CSA is a great way to eat healthy and support local farms. To find a CSA near you, you can visit CSAFarms.org. There is also an option for those interested in participating in a CSA this winter. One clever organization, Locavorious, has partnered with several small farms in the communities around Ann Arbor to offer frozen produce subscriptions, similar to shares offered by regular CSAs. During the peak harvest, they prepare and package local produce at its peak freshness, and preserve it in a community freezer. To learn more about the advantages of eating locally, check out what the library has on the topic of local foods.

Michigan Shrimp Farms?

Shrimp: shrimpThe Shrimp Farm Market hopes to start a sustainable Michigan shrimp farm industry. Russ Allen, the owner, has created several industries around the world and believes that the time is right to start an indoor, biologically secure and sustainable model for growing shrimp in Michigan. Learn more about eating fish sustainably from Bottomfeeder by Taras Grescoe and/or Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and their printable Seafood Watch Pocket Guide. [Photo courtesy of AP Images]

Small Green Roofs


Small green roofs : low-tech options for greener living by Nigel Dunnett ... [et al.] Just flipping through this book will excite those considering green roofs. You will find tons of pictures of green roofs on small sheds and structures making this daunting idea seem doable. There are over 40 small-scale examples of green roofs that help demystify the process of planning, designing, installing, and maintaining green roofs. The book provides you with the basics of design as well as practical considerations - with the bulk of the pages devoted to real-life examples.

Super Species: The Creatures That Will Dominate the Planet

You are probably no stranger to the term "invasive species." If not familiar with the term, then you have at least heard the names of some of the species like the sea lamprey, Asian carp, and/or Emerald Ash Borer. Garry Hamilton examines the impacts of invasive species in Super Species: The Creatures That Will Dominate the Planet. While many experts view invasive species as a threat to biodiversity, others believe these creatures may be nature's way of restoring ecological vibrancy in the wake of human-mediated destruction.

buymichigannow.com

The idea behind Buy Michigan Now is to challenge supporters of the state to factor Michigan into their buying decisions — when possible, buy locally. Buy Michigan Now makes it easy to do this by providing a directory where you can look up Michigan businesses that meet one of the following criteria:

  1. They operate entirely in Michigan
  2. They are headquartered in Michigan with additional operations outside the state
  3. They are a Michigan-owned franchise or affiliate with some fees or revenue paid out of state

One great reason to buy locally is to reduce your carbon footprint, for more local green resources check out the CPL's Canton Green Resources.

Ozone Action Days Begin May 1

It doesn't feel warm enough, but Ozone Action season started May 1. Consider carpooling and using transit for cleaner air and the fuel savings.

It is the little things that we all do on Ozone Action days that can have a positive impact on air quality. Here are tips for Southeast Michigan residents to help keep the air clean on Ozone Action days:

  • Try not to refuel on Ozone Action days. If you need to refuel on an Ozone Action day, fill up in the evening when the weather is cooler and don’t "top off" the tank
  • Reduce automobile use on Ozone Action days. Plan to carpool, use public transit, or walk to work
  • Choose the push mower over the lawn mower

Remember you can request email notifications of Ozone Action days by emailing: ozoneaction@semcog.org and putting "Notification" in the subject line or become a fan on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.

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