Potpourri ...

National Organic Farmer's Survey
Organic farms are family farms: more than four-fifths of respondents to a 1993 survey by the Organic Farming Research Foundation are sole proprietors or family partnerships. Nearly half of them make 25% or less of their 1992 net family income from farming, but nearly one-fourth made 76-100% of their 1992 net family income from farming. The median gross income from the farm in 1992 was $15,000 to $30,000, but about one-fifth of the farms grossed $100,000 or more. The respondents have been farming on average 16 years, and they average 46 years old. Three-fourths are male. Over two-thirds have completed college, and one-fifth hold graduate degrees.

Good Vibrations & Hot Stuff
Should you hand wash or machine wash your dishes when trying to save water? For industrial users, this debate can be left behind. Turns out both those options use more water than vibrating your dishes. The cutting edge in cleaning technology uses super-hot bubbles through water to kill germs and suck grime (literally) off dirty dishes.
Designed for big, commercial kitchens, this technology could save 7.5 billion gallons of water, $75.6 million in energy costs, and untold drums of caustic cleaners, according to the Department of Energy. Ultrasonic Products, of Channel Island Harbor, California, have started marketing the units. Unfortunately, fitting the technology to household appliances will not be practical in the short term.

California Energizers
California is home to 74% of all wind-generated electricity, 90% of solar-produced electricity, and more than 40% of geothermal-produced electricity. Nearly 27% of all electricity in California (dependable capacity in 1990) is from renewable energy sources: 18.8 percent from hydroelectricity, 4.2% from geothermal, 2.7% from biomass, 0.55% from solar and 0.42% from wind. If the rest of the country had the same energy resource mix that California has, the country's output of carbon dioxide would decrese by 44%. In 1990, a total of $48.6 billion was spent in California by end-users on energy purchases of electricity, natural gas and petroleum products. In 1991, 48% of all energy used in our state was in the transportation sector, and 74% of all the oil consumed was used by that same sector. (California Energy Commission)

At Rest

University of Vermont zoologist Joan Herbers estimated the following percentage of time spent resting (not deep sleep)
  Gorilla . . . . . . . . 51
  Howler Monkey . . . . . 70
  Lion  . . . . . . . . . 75
  Short-tailed shrew. . . 68
  Walrus. . . . . . . . . 67
  Fence lizard (male) . . 86
  Fence lizard (female) . 97
  Ana hummingbird . . . . 82
  Honeycreeper. . . . . . 50
  Red-winged blackbird. . 60
  Acorn Ant . . . . . . . 62
(National Wildlife)

Keep a lid on it
Oil-based paints contain three to five times more toxic solvents than water-based, latex paints. Keep lids closed when not in use. Paint with brushes or rollers rather than sprayers. (Woman's Day)
What happens to recycled newspaper?
Newspaper is torn apart, wetted, beaten and cleaned. The result is an immediate separation of fibers that are cleaned once more and laid on a paper machine. The collected fibers are layered 7 or 8 times, given a clay coating for whiteness and printability and are transformed into jumbo rolls of paper that are eventually cut, folded and glued into product boxes. Recycling one four-foot stack of newsprint save one 17 foot pine tree. Recycling one ton of newsprint saves 96 gallons of gas. (Garbage Times)

Drip, Drip, Drip
At any one time, only about .005% of the total water supply is actually moving through the hydrologic cycle (the process of how water moves from clouds, through liquid or ice and back). This cycle uses more energy in one day than human kind has generated throughout history. A drop of water spends about nine days passing through the air; once it falls as precipitation, it may remain in a glacier for 40 years, in a lake for 100 years, or in the ground from 200 to 10,000 years. A water molecule may remain in the ocean for 40,000 years before being cycled. (Water, by Leopold, Davis)

Water Allows Life
A human
being can live several
weeks without food, but without
water, the longest one can expect to live is
10 days. Almost every organism depends on
water for more than 50% of its body weight. The
average amount of water in the human body is
65%. Most of the about 50 quarts of water
in a person is found between the cells,
bathing and lubricating them. The
wettest part of the body -
blood - is 83% water;
the driest - tooth
enamel - is 2%.
(Water, by Leopold, Davis, and The Cousteau Almanac).

The Aluminim Recycling Can-Can
In most cases, aluminum cans are recycled back into new aluminum cans. The cans are crushed and bound into bales. The cans are then shredded and put through a machine that removes the paint. The
cleaned scraps are melted in a furnace at 1,800 degrees. The melted scrap is mixed with pure aluminum to compensate for the different types of aluminum in the scraps. The molten aluminum is placed in a casting furnace for a final cleaning. The metal is poured into a huge mold called an ingot. The ingot enters a large rolling mill that transforms it into 1/4" thick sheets. They are then rolled into coils and transferred to a can-making plant. (Garbage Times)

Six billion pens are thrown away annually in the United States. (Woman's Day)