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Reduce Your Impact on Earth’s Climate
Fifty years ago, climate scientists began to raise concerns that burning fossil fuels and land-use changes, such as deforestation, increase the concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Those scientists believed that the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere could change the Earth’s climate.
THIS AIN’T YOUR GRANDDADDY’S ICE CREAM TRUCK Many businesses might be used to seeing former Augusta advertising account executive Enrique Romero. By holiday time, they will see him in a different light – behind the wheel and grill of The Brown Bag, a new on-the-go food venture. Romero spent several years in the food service business in Miami and has a love of good food, good service and convenience. He is developing a Monday-through-Friday schedule to set up the new food truck in front of select office complexes and manufacturing plants during the hectic lunch hours. He will offer hot and cold lunches at a slightly lower cost than area sit-down restaurants. The Brown Bag truck will also be seen at area community events and is available for catering.
BULLCHICKS ON HOLD The BullChicks restaurant that
was scheduled to open in early November near Surrey Center is now on hold. Not much remodeling or activity has been seen at the stand-alone restaurant in the past month. The franchisees of the Texas-based chain have backgrounds in running other restaurants in the CSRA, including Waffle House and Burger King.
The restaurant was slated to open in the vacant Wife Saver building on Highland Avenue. Wife Saver President Chris Cunningham said he chose to close that location earlier this year because of the economy and an increase in crime. BullChicks offers 20 varieties of flavors and toppings for its burgers and chicken wings.
COWABUNGA GRILL CLOSES The Cowabunga Grill closed in early December after six months in business in the former Daily Grind coffee shop building on Washington Road in Evans. Karen Miller (previously of T-Bonz and Somewhere in Augusta) was the general manager with backing from owner Gary Gibson (Gary’s Hamburgers). The buzz is that there was a conflict over whether to have a beer and wine or alcohol license, so the establishment could offer alcoholic beverages to patrons who came in to watch the big screen televisions. Gibson is seeking a different restaurateur who will take over the lease and eventually pay for restaurant equipment that he installed there.
CSRA HOTELS AND AIRPORT DOING BETTER Each month, the
Augusta State University Department of Economics puts out a report on the state of our economy. They review real estate, employmnet and how many “heads were in beds” to determine how the local and regional economy is getting along. The Augusta Tourism Index ticked up slightly in the past quarter. It increased by 2.2 percent from June 2010 to September. It is up .4 percent from September of last year. The good news for the third quarter is that more folks were in hotels paying more money than usual. The bad news is that employment in the leisure and hospitality sector continues to decline. “Employment in this sector often lags the business cycle. Hopefully, if there is continued improvement in the hotel industry they will start hiring again,” said Dr. Simon Metcalfe, a professor at ASU. Passenger numbers from Augusta Regional Airport also indicate improvements in this sector. In the third quarter, total passengers passing though the airport was up .2 percent from the third quarter of 2010. Incoming passengers increased by .9 percent from the third quarter of 2010. Neil Gordon owns Buzz on Biz LLC, a company dedicated to highlighting business growth through newspaper, television, radio, and Web content. Story idea? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Today, as atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases reach new highs, warnings from the scientific community are becoming louder. A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that Earth is getting warmer because of the buildup of greenhouse gases from human activities. We are also beginning to see the consequences of global climate change, such as stronger storms, increased flooding, more droughts and shrinking ice caps. The consequences of climate change can lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease outbreaks and mass migrations of displaced people – here in the United States and around the planet. These conditions have the potential to destabilize governments, cause political unrest and contribute to the growth of terrorism in already vulnerable regions. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense identified climate change as a serious threat to national security. The good news is that there are many things each of us can do to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the Earth’s climate. First, determine your own carbon footprint. Your carbon footprint is a powerful tool to understand the impact of your lifestyle choices on climate change. It is a measure of the amount of greenhouse gas, typically given in tons of CO2-equivalent (CO2-eq) per year that is produced by your day-today activities. The carbon footprint includes emissions of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels for energy consumption and transportation, in addition to the greenhouse gases emitted during the production and distribution of the goods and services you consume. According to the United Nations Environment Program, the average person living in the U.S. generates about 20 tons of CO2-eq each year, while the global average carbon footprint is about 4 tons of CO2-eq per year. You can find a carbon footprint calculator on the University of California Berkeley website at coolclimate.berkeley.edu/carboncalculator.
Once you have determined your carbon footprint you can look for ways to reduce it. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the transportation sector accounts for approximately one-third of greenhouse gas emissions and is the fastest-growing major source of greenhouse gases. You can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by using more eco-friendly alternatives such as carpooling or taking the bus for your daily commute, walking or riding a bike for shorter trips, even telecommuting, if possible. Another way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions is to improve your gas mileage by keeping your vehicle it in good running condition, properly inflating your tires, driving the speed limit and replacing your current vehicle with a hybrid or another type of fuel efficient vehicle when it reaches the end of its useful life. The EPA estimates that about 17 percent of your carbon footprint is associated with electricity use and home heating and cooling. Some simple steps you can take to reduce your home’s carbon footprint include cleaning air filters regularly and having your heating and cooling equipment tuned annually by a licensed contractor, turning down the water heating setting, using energy star light fixtures and appliances, washing laundry in cold water, turning off lights and electronic devices when you leave a room and unplugging appliances when not in use. Finally, reduce your carbon footprint when buying food and consumer items by choosing products that are organic, produced locally and have minimal packaging. There is a better chance that these products were produced in an environmentally friendly way and if it is produced locally, it will have a smaller transportation footprint.
Anne Lovell is an environmental consultant who lives in Aiken with her husband and three dogs. Her column, Living Green, focuses on practical ways to be more environmentally conscious.
vergelive.com | community driven news | December 14, 2011 9
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