Adam Shake

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by Wendy Gabriel

In honor of Earth Week, I decided to find out how spring looks to some of my favorite sites (and people) around the web. These are some amazing photos they were generous enough to share with me.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Native American Proverb 

Adam Shake is a Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Simple Earth Media and founded Twilight Earth and Eco Tech Daily. He is an environmental writer, advocate, entrepreneur, speaker and Washington DC based activist. His photos of cherry blossoms in Washington Dc are some of my favorite. [more]

Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard. ~Standing Bear

Alison Kerr is an American from Scotland who lives with her family in a leafy suburb in North East Kansas, within the Kansas City metro. She writes about our connections with nature and with each other and ways to grow greener kids, home, garden, and community at Loving Nature’s Garden. Alison kindly sent me this photo of her gorgeous red tulips. [more]

Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Carole Brown is a Conservation Biologist with a passion for Ecosystem Gardening – giving a little back to wildlife by creating welcoming habitats in our gardens, conserving natural resources, and choosing sustainable landscaping practices. Carole has worked as a wildlife habitat landscaper for almost twenty years, designing, installing and maintaining Ecosystem Gardens for wildlife for homeowners, businesses, and other property managers. She is a consultant, educator, and author of Ecosystem Gardening. Avid birder, butterfly watcher, and lover of all wildlife. Carole is also an awesome photographer with an eye for nature. [more]

Marghanita Hughes is a children’s book author, illustrator and the creator of the award winning Little Humbugs. It was while observing her children revelling in the awesome wilderness of their new surroundings in British Columbia that the idea for the Little Humbugs was conceived. Marghanita is passionate about encouraging our children’s interest in the guardianship of The Earth we share. She strongly believes that children can influence change. Her Mission is to deliver this positive message to them through the delightful characters in her enchanting stories. Marghanita shares a Little Humbug and her beloved peach blossoms. [more]

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man. ~Author Unknown

Melissa Hincha-Ownby is a lifelong writer. Her writing career started at 13 when she wrote a weekly column in her small town’s newspaper. For the past three years, Melissa has focused on blogging and other online writing venues. She is the Business Blogger at the Mother Nature Network and the owner of Raising Them Green, a blog dedicated to providing parents information to help them raise eco-conscious children. Melissa shared a photo of her two children taken by their Grandpa.

Take some time today to connect with nature. Take a walk, notice a budding leaf, marvel at a bird in flight and share the wonder and magic of the outdoors with a child.

Bethe Almeras is an award-winning author, web producer, and eLearning designer. A gifted speaker and trainer, Bethe prides herself on being a kid at heart and sharing the benefits of play with others. Bethe is The Grass Stain Guru and graciously provided this wonderful photo of a redwinged blackbird. [more]

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes. ~e.e. cummings

How does spring look in your corner of the world?

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Guest Article by Adam Shake

My brother once said, “If our family had a family crest, it would be a skinny guy standing on a soapbox, fist in the air and yelling into a bullhorn.” Yup, that’s the Shake Men. Ready to mix it up at the slightest provocation of a dissenting opinion. Ready to espouse upon an idea and even more than ready to defend an argument. The problem is, the Shake Men don’t see eye to eye on all subjects, which makes for some VERY interesting family get-togethers!

This being said, I’m a little flummoxed at my current state of nervousness, given the opportunity to Guest Post for Wendy.  You see, my bio says things like writer, activist, environmental advocate, member of professional business sustainability panels and Co-Founder of an online media company with seven environmental websites and some of the worlds best writers. It’s full of accolades and highfalutin verbiage that really serve no other purpose but convince people that I might, kinda, know what I’m talking about. To me though, it speaks of my passion.

So why am I nervous? Because to me, Wendy, and her zeal to make a difference for her girls, her family and herself, are what inspire me. It’s Wendy (and people like her) who keep me going, keep me passionate and make we want to make the world a better place. Because that’s what environmentalism is really all about, isn’t it? Making the world a better place for our children and theirs? So if I write an article for Wendy, it’s a little different than writing an article for some big, huge website with millions of readers. It’s different than being interviewed on the radio. It’s different than speaking at a conference. Wendy is a friend, and this, is personal.

But I digress. What I really want to talk about is community and what draws us together, and how our environment is a catalyst for what I’m finding to be, a warm, vibrant and caring group of people.

Just a few years ago, we were called hippies. But now we’re wearing suites and ties to work while taking the Metro train to our jobs on Pennsylvania Avenue. A few years ago, we were called TreeHuggers, and now we are proud to wear that label. A few years ago, we were protecting spotted owls and the loggers were mad. Now we are protecting whole swaths of forest so that they can act as carbon sinks to absorb excess Co2 and lessen the impact of Global Warming. Yes, a few years ago, we were sitting in trees to keep the trees from being cut down. Now we’re sitting in trees to keep mountain tops from being blow off to extract the coal in what is one of the most devastating acts to our environmental and human health. Yes, we’ve gone mainstream, and in doing so, we’ve made connections and communities with people who care about everything from corals dying from ocean acidification to children dying desertification.

You are part of this community. You may have a cause, an ideal, an area of land, an ethos, even an animal that you think is worth fighting for. But whether you care about Acid rain, Bio-fuel or Coal, Diesel Hybrids, Energy or High Fructose Corn Syrup, we are a family. A family who cares. A family united in one single cause, creating a better world for our children and theirs.

My message to you is this. When people start to care as much about others as they care about themselves, they will start to care about the environment. Because the environment is what care for us all.

We must move forward. Our community must demand that the health of our planet be placed above the profits of Corporations. Only then, will we gain the one fundamental freedom of which we are all entitled to by virtue of birth – the freedom to live. To Breath. To Drink. To Eat. Without fear of sickness or death.

Keep up the good fight and Alter the Eco!

Thank you Wendy, for allowing me the honor of adding to your wonderful site. Thank you also for being a friend to our lovely planet, your great community and to myself.

Editor’s Note: I am elated to have Adam Shake, the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Simple Earth Media and founder of Twilight Earth and EcoTech Daily, bring his point of view to My Green Side. Not only is Adam a noted environmental writer, advocate, entrepreneur, speaker and Washington DC-based activist; he is my friend.

Cartoon courtesy of  Seppo.net

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by Wendy Gabriel

Editors Note: I was thrilled to first interview Adam Shake in March of 2009. I felt it Adam Shakewould be great to catch up with him again since there have been a lot of exciting changes going on in his world.

Adam Shake is a Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Simple Earth Media and founded Twilight Earth and Eco Tech Daily. He is an environmental writer, advocate, entrepreneur, speaker and Washington DC based activist. In addition to many of his accomplishments, he is most proud of having risked arrest at dirty coal powered power plants and the work he has done to raise money for homeless kitchens and environmental non-profits. He spent over a decade in the U.S. Army and has worked with Homeland Security and the Defense Industry. When not working on Pennsylvania Avenue, he can be found in the woods with his Wife and Rhodesian Ridgeback, kayaking, sailing or on the Appalachian Trail. Adam is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and is an active participant in a number of environmental and social media clubs and organizations.

You can find Adam on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and Digg.

There have been a lot of exciting changes for you during the past few months including the creation of the online media company, Simple Earth Media. What makes Simple Earth Media different from other environmental blog networks?

That’s a great question. I think it’s important to let people know the differences between a website and a network. There are some really great environmental websites out there like Mother Nature Network, Treehugger and Planet Green. These are single sites that put out a huge amount of original content on a day to day basis. Then there are Environmental “Networks.” Networks have a number of websites under one company.” Simple Earth Media is one of those.

I think the biggest (and best) difference between us and other networks is that each one of our websites started out as a strong and popular site, with its own loyal readers, community members and social media followers, before joining the network. Put simply, we didn’t just create a bunch of new websites, or take some start-up sites and put them together. We also didn’t take a huge infusion of cash and start this company up from scratch. Simple Earth Media, and all of its sites were created organically.

Where other websites have one social media identity, we have 6 facebook pages, 6 twitter accounts, a podcast site that interviews everyone from environmental writers, CEO’s of sustainably conscious companies and environmental hero’s like the Cousteau’s and Ed Begley Jr.. and a social media presence that spans the globe. This means that as a group we are reaching out to hundreds of thousands of people across the Internet. That’s why our tagline is “New Media Making a Difference.”

You are very passionate about the Climate Change debate especially as it relates to coal energy. What would you tell people who still believe Clean Coal is a possibility?

It’s important to understand that “Clean Coal” is not a thing, it’s a concept. It’s not something that you can hold in your hand. What it really is, is a marketing ploy paid for by Big Coal. Back in the 1940’s and 50’s, there were people who went on record saying that everything from Asbestos to Cigarettes were actually good for you. These people were paid by the Asbestos and Cigarette lobbies. We’ve come a long way since then, but “Clean Coal” is only more of the same.

What the term Clean Coal really means, is that Big Coal wants to take the CO2 that comes out the top of the power plant stacks, and bury it in the ground instead. This sounds good in theory, until you realize what it takes to do that. First, it takes 3 times as much coal to make this happen, for the same amount of electricity. You see, it’s coal that would power this process. This means that Big Coal orders would go up 300 percent.

Not only does this mean that the average consumer could end up having their utility bills possibly triple, but there would be three times the environmental devastation. The fact is, all the easy coal has been taken. I mean, we wouldn’t be ripping the tops off of mountains and dumping the fill in valley streams and rivers, if there were easy and available seems of coal running near the surface like there were 40 years ago.

Clean Coal is a sham, and does nothing but hurt the consumer, hurt the environment, and make coal companies even richer.

Sean Daily recently did a wonderful interview with you on Green Talk Radio. During the interview you mentioned that you were a people hugger not a treehugger. Can you explain that a little?

I recently heard a parent say “My kids keep telling me that I should do more to save the environment. I tell them that when they are working, they can save the environment.” My response to him was “Instead of doing the right thing for the environment, how about doing the right thing for your kids?”

We did a disservice to ourselves until about a decade ago. For a long time, environmentalism was more about saving animals and plants than it was about saving people. The common consensus was that “Those treehuggers care more about the spotted owl than they do about people.” It hit its head about 10 years ago when “Treehuggers” chained themselves to trees to keep the loggers from chopping them down and ruining the habitat of the owls.”

Since then though, more and more of us are saying that environmentalism is about saving ourselves more than it is about saving the environment. We need clean air, water and soil to survive. By protecting those things, we protect ourselves.

When you look ahead at where we are headed, especially in the area of Climate Change, what gives you the most hope for our future?

David Suzuki, the famous Canadian environmentalist recently berated himself, saying “I’m a complete failure. I’ve been fighting the fight for over 30 years, I’ve started a foundation, I’ve been on the radio and television for over 30 years, and we are in worse shape now than when I started.”

I watched David say this during an interview, and I was torn between getting choked up and wanting to scream at him “We may be worse off now than 30 years ago, but how much MORE worse off would we be if you had not done what you did?!”

I look at history and I see people like Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt, each of them by themselves didn’t solve our problems of environment desecration and over consumption, but together, they started the movement. Now we have people like Cousteau’s, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCapro, Ed Bagely Jr, and Mariel Hemingway all using their star power to further sustainability. There are thousands of people just like my business partner Sean and I. There are writers (just like you), journalists, owners of businesses and people who make it their life’s work to protect their children and children’s children. There are billions of people who are starting to realize that it’s not about the name on the outside of your shopping bag or purse, but about whats in it. It’s not about the size of your car, but about how far it can get you on the least amount of gas. This is what gives me hope. Billions of us working together, to bring positive change to a planet in peril.

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by Wendy Gabriel

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Twilight Earth and I was recently honored to become one of their contributing writers. Twilight Earth is dedicated to saving the Environment through shared News, Discussion, Advocacy and Activism and is all about clean Air, Water and Soil, three basic human rights that are essential to our survival.

So here’s the big news of the day courtesy of Simple Earth Media:

Sean Daily, CEO of Green Living Ideas, Inc. and Adam Shake, founder of Twilight Earth, have teamed up to create online environmental media company Simple Earth Media.

A group of the Web’s leading environmental blogs, podcasts, and social media outposts Simple Earth Mediatoday announced that they have combined to form a single environmental publishing and social media powerhouse. The resulting new entity, named Simple Earth Media, includes top environmental media and publishing entities such as Green Living Ideas, Blue Living Ideas, Twilight Earth, GreenTalk Radio, EcoTech Daily, and Natural Papa.

Simple Earth Media’s brand mission is to create a compelling, organic, educational network of environmental online venues that engage an ever-growing audience concerned with sustainable lifestyle habits and business practices.

“Bringing the Green Living Ideas and Twilight Earth site networks together was a natural fit all around,” said Sean Daily, Simple Earth Media’s CEO and President. Daily continued, “Adam and I share a very similar outlook and perspective, not only on the type of editorial content that is necessary and relevant for the future of humanity and the planet, but also in regards to the types of companies we want to work with as sponsors and advertisers supporting our network. We are also really fortunate to have a combined staff of the best writers in the business.”

In addition to the sizeable daily web traffic and newsletter subscribers of the constituent sites, the combined social media audience and following of the Simple Earth Media network is unprecedented, totaling over 50,000 Twitter followers in addition to tens of thousands more friends and subscribers on FaceBook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms — making it one of the largest online environmental social media communities in the world.

The Simple Earth Media family of websites and audio/video podcasts, cover the topics that conscious consumers are most concerned with, including sustainable living tips and ideas, alternative energy and alternative fuel vehicles, water, ocean, and marine life conservation, clean tech, environmental news, and natural health and parenting topics.

Our success is measured on the change that we make in helping to protect and nurture our environment, our families and our health,” says Adam Shake, founder of Twilight Earth. “It’s not about saving the environment, it’s about saving ourselves. Clean air, water and soil are basic human rights. We’ve got to continue to fight for those rights.”

Simple Earth Media employs some of the Web’s best-known and most highly-regarded environmental writers, including Derek Markham, Jennifer Lance, Ariel Schwartz, Susan Kraemer, Scott James, Wendy Gabriel and numerous others. The company’s tagline is “New Media Making a Difference.”

As a family of environmental websites, Simple Earth Media can better assist you in finding the information you’re looking for, to help educate you on the changing world you live in. As always, we continue to offer our support to you, our readers, as we continue to grow.

Here’s to working together in a much bigger way, and to making positive change to our planet and its inhabitants!

Go to Simple Earth Media to find out more about this exciting new powerhouse.

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A look back at some of the men of Four Questions.Adam Shake

Four questions with Chris Baskind
Chris Baskind is a writer and the publisher of several websites, including the green living journal Lighter Footstep. He recently launched More…
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Four questions with Glenn Fay
Glenn Fay
is an educator, active outdoor-lover and crusader for the common good of humans and nature. He is founder of OakleighVermont.com. More…
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Four questions with Dr. Alan Greene: part I
Dr. Alan Greene is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, an Attending Pediatrician at Packard Children’s…
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Four (more) questions with Dr. Alan Greene: part II
Four (more) questions with Dr. Alan Greene: part III

Four questions with Adam Shake
Adam Shake is an environmental writer, a noted global warming activist and the CEO of Twilight Earth. How do you make your day-to-day life a little…
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By Wendy Gabriel

Today I am honored to have a guest post on Twilight Earth’s Twilight Earthsite.

Adam Shake, the founder of Twilight Earth, has been instrumental in my journey of environmental discovery. He has also become a friend. I really can’t say enough good things about him. He’s a wonderful writer, a passionate environmentalist and he even wrote a post  to promote The Greek: Christopher Gabriel from Blog Harbor, Live on WDAY – Thursday and Friday.

Twilight Earth’s other mainstay, Derek Markham, has also been a source of wonderful environmental news and discussion. His list of Environmental Clichés I Agree With line up exactly with everything I believe to be true.

Twilight Earth is dedicated to saving the Environment through shared News, Discussion, Advocacy and Activism, I am thrilled to be part of that shared discussion today.

Please take a moment to read: Let’s Make a Healthier World for Our Children.

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Adam Shake is an environmental writer and global warming activist.

Adam Shake

How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?

I love this question. It’s kind of like “How do you breath?” After a while, doing things like recycling your toilet paper rolls and keeping your heat set at 59 degrees 20 hours a day while sleeping or at work in the winter, becomes second nature. Food doesn’t go to waste and anything that can be recycled is. As a result, we end up with less than one bag of “landfill” trash each week. I also take the Metro train to work, to lower my carbon footprint.

Why is being green important to you?

According to some people, environmentalism has become tantamount to a “pseudo religion.” But I don’t worship the planet anymore than I worship a loved family member. Every action that we take has an effect on the environment, and that effect has an effect on us. By protecting the environment or “being green” we are ensuring our own protection. Why is being green important to me? Because I want my Grandchildren to inherit a healthy planet, so that they can be healthy in return.

What is one green tip you would like to share with us?

There are thousands of “Top 10 ways to go green” list’s out there, so the one thing that I’d like to share is that before we can change the way we live, we have to change the way we see. I would suggest living the way you’ve always lived for 1 week, but during that week, ask yourself “How is what I’m doing right now, impacting the environment?” After one week, you’ll find that you are already making better choices, and you’ll know what other choices are right for you and your family.

Where is your favorite spot on earth?

This is the toughest question of them all. I’ve seen the aurora borealis in Northern Michigan, the deep carpet of the Milky Way from the center of a desert and a meteor shower from the Colorado Rockies. Sometimes when I’m eating lunch on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, I think that the winter sun slanting between it columns is the most beautiful thing in the world. I guess my favorite spot on earth is wherever I happen to be at the moment.

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By Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP:  Use a permanent coffee filter instead of a paper filter.  Little Greek Goddess Drinking Her "Coffee"Your coffee will taste better and you will be saving the environment, and money, at the same time.

Do you remember when you purchased your last coffee maker?  Do you remember seeing a black and gold permanent coffee filter?  It was probably tucked into your filter holder along with a few sample paper filters.  I’ve seen them.  Many of them.  I often asked myself, “Why would anyone use this?  Wouldn’t it be a little messy?”   Then I started to wonder about the environmental impact of paper filters. 

The white paper filter has been bleached with chlorine or chlorine compounds.  When these chemicals react to wood pulp (used to make paper products), they release a variety of chlorinated toxins called dioxin.  Dioxin is not our friend.

I have been using my permanent coffee filter for about three years.   The paper filters for my coffee maker cost approximately $4 for a box of 100.  Making one pot per day, that works out to a savings of roughly $44.00 and 1100 filters.  More importantly, however, are the reductions in the use of wood, chemicals and energy.

Recently I got some great advice on how to reuse our coffee grounds from noted environmentalist Adam Shake at Twilight Earth:

  1. Soften and add shine to hair. When washing your hair, rub coffee grounds through wet hair and rinse. For brown hair, coffee grounds add highlights.
  2. Fertilize plants. Old coffee grounds are nutrient-rich for plants that thrive in an acidic soil.
  3. Deodorize a freezer. Place a bowl with used coffee grounds in the freezer to remove unwanted odors. Add a few drops of vanilla to coffee grounds.
  4. Add used coffee grounds to the pots of indoor plants.
  5. Work used coffee grounds into your garden soil before seed planting. After your plants start to emerge, work in coffee grounds near the plants. Used coffee grounds are said to repel snails and slugs as well as adding nutrients to the soil.
  6. Use coffee grounds to repel ants.
  7. Keep cats from using your garden as a kitty box.  Spread used coffee grounds and orange peels throughout flower beds.

For more great ways to use old coffee grounds, read Green Daily’s 21 Ways to Use Old Coffee Grounds

It’s the little things we do that can really make a big difference. 

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By Wendy Gabriel

Starting today, Friday’s at My Green Side will be Photo Friday! 

I’m going to feature a photo that makes me smile, gives me a chuckle or just forces me to stop and think.  My hope is that it will do the same for you.  And to that end, I want you to share your own thoughts about it – did you smile, did you chuckle, did it make you stop and think or . . . did you sigh and say “well, there’s always next Friday.”

The inspiration for Photo Friday came from Adam Shake’s Photo Sunday at Twilight Earth and Wordless Wednesdays at Drive Fast Take Chances.  Thank you.

Our Favorite Park

Our Favorite Park

 

The Greek and the Goddesses at the Park

The Greek and the Goddesses at the Park

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By Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP:  Precycle.  Stop needless consumption.

Adam Shake with Twilight Earth describes precycling as “the act of ‘not purchasing’ something that would otherwise be recycled or thrown into a landfill.”  It’s a fancy, more compelling word for reducing your consumption.  Remember our mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  Now let’s kick it up a notch: Reduce/Precycle, Reuse, Recycle.  Very catchy.

For many people this decision has been taken out of their hands.  Due to the current economic situation most people do not have a lot of disposable income to spend frivolously.  But we do have a choice:  We can continue to complain about the world’s economic bleakness and blame anyone who seems culpable, or we can embrace this great opportunity we now have to stop and think about how we spend our money.  Some ideas for precycling:

Buy used stuff

Sports equipment, workout equipment, consignment/thrift store clothes, used cars.  There are local shops all of the country that resell anything and everything.  Also, take a look at FreeCycle.com.

Buy local and organic

This has become a priority in our home, not only for the sustainability but for the health benefits.  The more I research conventionally processed foods, I find they’re becoming more and more devoid of nutrition.  But not only are our nutritional needs being shortchanged, we’re getting a lot of things that are making us unhealthy.  From the  irradiation of produce and meat, pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, mercury and who knows what else is allowed to be put in our food in the name of keeping us “safe,” our food supply is slowly killing us.

Meanwhile, it takes connections to the CIA to find and purchase healthy raw milk products in my state.  Thankfully, I can always rely on the Eat Well Guide and Sustainable Table to help me find good food. 

I’m not telling you to stop buying stuff.  I am imploring you to stop and think about the stuff you’re buying.  Do you need that 10-pack of paper towels or could you use and reuse a nice set of dish towels?  Do you need a case of bottled water or could you use a filter for your tap water?  Do you need a brand new Lexus or could you outfit my home with solar panels?  OK, maybe that last one is a stretch…

Be Thoughtful.  Be Green.

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