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Thursday, June 6, 2013


Thursday, 8:00 AM.  46 degrees F, wind N, light with stronger occasional gusts.  The sky is completely covered with a low overcast, and there is some fog. The barometer is trending down, at 30.09 in.  We got another .25" of rain last night and everything is sopping wet, including Buddy, who smells like a fish.
   The apple orchards are finally in bloom, but don't expect them to look like the above photo since they are very heavily pruned to increase the size of the apples and enhance their ripening .  Old, untrimmed apple trees are the most beautiful in bloom but their apples don't amount to much.
   I was asked by new blog reader Cliff Barre to allow him to post a guest blog on the Almanac, and decided to give it a go, since the topic of "eco tourism" is relevant to our interests.  I doubt I would do this very often however, as I have my own thoughts to post.  But enjoy it, and thanks to Cliff for his interest and hard work.
Art Ode

GOING GREEN: A Journey Worth Taking
By Guest Blogger Cliff Barre
   For all the hand wringing that goes on whenever the term “green” is used, it certainly seems as though many public and private institutions are starting to hop on board. No longer content to let the do-nothing and it’s-too-expensive crowds win the argument by default, green initiatives have started to pop up in some of the most unlikely of places. As a regular traveler concerned with the health and well-being of the planet, this shift has brought to light a number of unfamiliar destinations and a host of interesting new ideas.


The Redwood wilderness outside Santa Rosa, California has been attracting visitors for as long as there have been people to visit. Although the carbon footprint involved in going to such a pristine location has long presented a difficult choice to eco-friendly travelers, visitors can at least take heart that either way, something very good is happening in the area. Utilizing the vast reservoirs of steam underneath the wilderness for power is nothing new to the city of Santa Rosa- they’ve been doing it since the 1920s. By piping into the Geysers, 31 steam turbines are able to produce 850 megawatts of electricity for homes on the California grid.  In the late 1990s, problems arose when it became apparent that the area’s natural steam was almost exhausted. Undaunted, the city approved a plan to pump up to 12 million gallons of wastewater a day into the steam field.  In recycling the wastewater, the city avoided having to switch over to conventional processes while boosting output by an additional 85 megawatts.


On the more manmade side of things, Destiny USA, a new Syracuse, NY attraction, is taking a multi-faceted approach to Green Initiatives that includes both active solutions and public education. Among the numerous green designs utilized by the building, one of the most innovative is composting. As a massive regional mall with 29 million visitors annually, the facility is on track to compost over 100 tons of food waste from pre- and post-consumer foods scraps. Currently, 19 of the Destiny USA restaurants have signed on to the effort to become a zero landfill facility.  Furthermore, to overcome objections to green initiatives comes in educating people on the importance and benefits brought by the various processes. To this end, Destiny USA’s new expansion has been equipped with designated common areas that feature information on the facility’s sustainability efforts. Combined with similar pre-existing locations, Destiny USA is actively promoting sustainability among its tenants and its visitors.
   Traveling off-the-beaten-path doesn’t always mean trampling through an untamed wilderness. Indeed, sometimes exploring simply means discovering the amazing ingenuity of mankind and embracing it. As explorers, tourists, and travelers, for all the adventures we have been granted, finding and leaving the world a greener place is definitely a journey worth taking.
   You can follow Cliff's blog at: Peace, Love and Travel with Cliff and Triff.

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