Viridorari is an environmentally focused blog. The mission of Viridorari is to help you incorporate healthier, "greener" habits into your life, to benefit you, the people around you, and the environment.

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Activism Spotlight & Suggested Reading: KXL Pipeline

Happy Arbor Day!
Each year, the United States celebrates Arbor Day on the last Friday in April. It is a holiday that encourages people to plant and care for trees, and it originated in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The first Arbor day was held on April 10th, 1872, and it was estimated that 1,000,000 trees were planted that day. By the 1920's, each state in the United States had passed a law that designated a day for Arbor Day. Since then, many more countries have started to recognize a similar holiday.

Suggested Reading
So, I’ve brought up the Keystone XL Pipeline a few times now in some of my posts. It’s an issue that’s become very important to me recently, and I want to make sure as many people as possible know about this ongoing dispute in the United States.

This debate has been happening for a while now, and although I’m truly concerned about the environment (could you tell?) I didn’t even know it was happening until very recently. This is why I want to use this week’s “Suggested Reading” section to educate readers about the dispute. There are organizations all over the place opposing the pipeline, so if you decide you aren’t a fan of the pipeline, like me, it will be really easy for you to get involved.

Never heard of KXL before? That’s okay- I’ll give you a condensed summary.

If built, this pipeline would run from Canada to Texas for the purpose of transporting petroleum products, namely tarsands oil. Tarsands is a dirtier, more harmful kind of oil, and if any spills were to occur, it has the potential to wreak monumental damage on its surrounding environments. Furthermore, the pipeline will release large amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Supporters of the pipeline cite the advantages it will have on the economy, which is a valid point, to an extent. However, many can agree that the risks far outweigh the pros. This includes the EPA, which released a report on the project that discusses the massive impact KXL will have on the environment.

This may just be me- but personally, I value the Earth (you know, my home, that I can’t leave) more than money.

The article I want to offer up today for “Suggested Reading” comes from CNN, and was written by Ben Brumfield. The article, “Oil, money and politics; EPA snags Keystone XL pipeline” lays out the facts about KXL, and provides reasoning for both sides of the argument. I think this article makes a great educational piece for someone who doesn’t know much about KXL, and it will allow you to make a responsible decision about which side of the fight you’re on.

Tell me what you decide in the comments. Do the cons really outweigh the pros? I hope you’ll think so, but that’s your decision to make.

Follow Viridorari on Twitter to get the latest “green” news (including info on KXL) and receive updates about the blog.

Activism Spotlight

It's Arbor Day, so why not feature an organization that plants trees?

As part of its mission to protect natural lands and preserve the environment, Earth Day Network developed The Canopy Project. The project recognizes that trees reverse the impact of land degradation and provide food, energy and income, and its goal is to help communities, especially impoverished ones, by planting trees to sustain their economies and environment. Earlier this year, Earth Day Network made a pact with the Global Poverty Project to plant 10 million trees over the next five years in impoverished areas across the globe.

In the past three years, The Canopy Project has planted more than 1.5 million trees in eighteen different countries. In Haiti, where earthquakes caused landslides on deforested hillsides, The Canopy Project planted a whopping 500,000 trees in order to stabilize soil and prevent further erosion. In three impoverished central Ugandan districts, Kiboga-Kyankwanzi, Kayunga and Kamuli, the project planted 350,000 trees to provide farmers with food, fuel, fencing, and soil stability.

Across the United States, restoration projects of urban canopies have been completed in many cities.  In 2012, The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, through Earth Day Network, planted twelve fruit tree orchards across these cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Flint, and St. Louis. The orchards were located in low-income areas where the trees not only beautify the community, but also provide food. Since 1981, Friends of the Urban Forest has helped citizens of San Francisco to plant and care for street trees and sidewalk gardens. The organization conducted plantings in low-income neighborhoods to increase community interaction and cooperation. In Los Angeles, TreePeople’s Fruit Tree Program provides poor families, school children, and community residents with sources of free fruit. This initiative helps to alleviate hunger, improve nutrition, and provide beautification.

To watch a video about the Canopy Project with Jaden Smith, go here.

There are several ways that you can help out the Earth Day Network to support their endeavors, such as The Canopy Project. Like most organizations, you can donate directly. If you want to donate to Earth Day Network, go here. You can support the organization’s Billion Acts of Green campaign by making your green pledge here. I pledged to recycle my electronic waste, and I told the campaign about Viridorari and its mission! They have already surpassed a billion acts, and are now trying to make it to 2 billion. The Earth Day Network is also looking for volunteers and guest bloggers. If you’re interested in one of those options, you can sign up here to be a guest blogger, and here to be a volunteer.

Did you plant a tree for Arbor Day? Are you going to help out the Earth Day Network in some way? What do you think about the Keystone XL Pipeline? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below or email me at Now, Viridorari is on Twitter! You can let me know about your thoughts on this post by directing your tweets to @viridorari. When you follow Viridorari, you’ll receive updates on the blog, the latest green news, and outlets to be more environmentally active!

Animal of the Month Update

The month of April is winding down, and soon Viridorari will have a new Animal of the Month. I hope in the final days of April you'll consider donating to an organization that supports snow leopard conservation. Tomorrow, after the Green Challenge, I will provide information about a third organization you can support. I've already discussed Panthera and the Snow Leopard Conservancy.
Also, Mother's day is coming up soon! Mark your calendar: May 12th! These adorable snow leopard cubs sure seem to love their moms. Make sure you do something special to remind your mom how much you love her.

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