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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ecofriendly Economics & Harsh Facts: Extinction

Harsh Facts of the Week

At present rates of extinction, as much as 20% of the world's 7-15 million species could be gone within the next thirty years. This incredible rate of extinction has been unprecedented since the disappearance of dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

Of the dozens of species of rhino that once lived, only five remain.

80% of the decline in biological diversity is caused by habitat destruction. It is identified as the main threat to 85% of all species included in the IUCN's Red List (species officially classified as Threatened or Endangered).

10,000-15,000 free-roaming African lions remain, down 50,000 from only a decade ago.

One in three amphibians (32%) and almost half (42%) of turtles and tortoises are now known to be threatened with extinction, along with one in eight birds (12%) and one in four mammals (23%).

It is undeniable that the activities of the human race are the direct causes of these mindboggling rates of extinction. It is also undeniable that many of us are shamed by that and we want it to change. But, how many of us want change, and how many of us are working for change and are changing our lifestyles? Which category do you fall into?

Ecofriendly Economics

Did you know that you can raise money for a charity organization or a school that you care about by searching the web, something that you already do every day? makes this possible. This website is a search engine, just like Google or Bing, but the outstanding difference is when you conduct a search on Goodsearch, you raise a penny for a benefactor of your choosing. You can raise more money by taking surveys, signing up for GoodDining, doing your online shopping through Goodsearch, and more.

    I’ve already mentioned a couple of times in previous posts, but I wanted to feature it in Ecofriendly Economics just to get the point across. This is literally one of the easiest, least time consuming ways you can make a difference. You don’t have to change your daily routine at all. Just instead of searching the web through Google, you do it through Goodsearch.

    Founded in 2005 by siblings Ken and JJ Ramberg, this charitable search engine is fast approaching $10,000,000 raised for all of its registered charity organizations, which as of October 2012, was more than 107,000. As of 2012, ASPCA had earned over $46,000, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation over $18,000, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital nearly $16,000.

    Since I started using on May 24th, I have raised $1.66 for Save the Golden Lion Tamarin, an organization that works to conserve May’s Animal of the Month. A close friend of mine has earned $0.50 for the Wilderness Society since the 24th. Each month, I’m going to donate to an organization on Goodsearch that supports Viridorari’s featured animal. If you don’t have an organization in mind to support, please join me. I will make sure to inform Viridorari viewers each month what organizations on Goodsearch are supporting the featured animal.

    If you own a non-profit organization and would like to get signed up to receive donations on Goodsearch, you can do so here.

    Let me know in the comments who you decide to raise funds for!


Smart Outlets

As I explained in Ecofriendly Economics #5, your electronics still pull power from their outlets even when they’re idle, which is why I suggested you unplug some of your appliances when you go on vacation. The innovative smart outlet/ power strip helps reduce that idle electricity use to help you use less energy and save money on your electric bill.

    For example, when a printer plugged into a smart strip goes into standby mode, its power consumption drops. The smart strip detects this and cuts the power to that specific outlet while all other outlets in use stay on. Most smart strips also have one or two outlets that are always on. These are the ones you would plug devices that always need power into, like a cordless phone base or an alarm system. Also, since you really only use your DVD player, game console, speakers, etc. when your TV is on, some smart strips allow you to group all these items together. So, when you turn off your TV, you turn them all off. The Smart Strip does this by monitoring the control outlet. When power shifts 10% above the threshold on the control outlet, a sensor detects that the TV has been turned on, and it triggers power to the outlets controlling your TV accessories. When power to the control outlet drops, the Smart Strip detects this and in turn, cuts the power. 

    On, a ten outlet smart power strip is $49.99. Similar strips can be found on Amazon from $27 to $30. Amazon is one of the many popular shopping websites that are a part of Goodsearch’s online shopping program, so if you are looking to buy a smart strip on Amazon, make sure you do it through Goodsearch to raise money for your organization.
Animal of the Month Update
Picture courtesy of:

Golden lion tamarin groups, usually between two and eight members, consist of a dominant breeding pair at the most basic level, and then sub-adults, juveniles, and infants, which are usually the offspring of the breeding pair. When there is more than one breeding adult in a group, one is typically dominant over the other. Both males and females can leave their original group at the age of four; however females can replace their mothers as the breeding adult if they die. This will lead to the departure of the dominant breeding male from the group, who is likely her father, to prevent inbreeding. The majority of new recruits to groups are males. Along with replacing deceased members, wandering males may also aggressively displace resident males from their group. When this happens, only one of the new males will be able to breed and will suppress the reproduction of the other.

All I can say is I’m glad I don’t live in that social situation!

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