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GREEN FOCUS: Cool Things That Are Green

Oregon Green News Recap | Jan 24 to Jan 28
1/31/2011

Some interesting local green news has developed over the last week that we'd like to share.

1/26/11  ::  The water that is flushed in your toilet or irrigates your garden is one step closer to being from reused graywater that comes from your dishwasher, washing machine, or kitchen sink.  The DEQ has drafted the 'graywater' regulations for homeowners, schools, businesses, apartment complexes and others to apply for a $50/year permit to install an irrigation system from showers, baths, sinks, and washers.  Do-it-yourself kits would be about $1000 and bigger systems could be up to $10,000.  About 100 gallons/day come from graywater sources in the typical houshold, which make up 60% of a homes water use.  Learn more about the DEQ graywater plan and public hearings.

OregonLive article
 

1/27/11  ::  Oregon's 5th largest crop produced in 2009 was alfalfa at $184 million.  So, the USDA allowance of genetically modified alfalfa to be planted affects Oregon's farmers.  It's been a lengthy ride for this approval by the government for biotech companies and organic producers, it's opponents.  Organic farms are concerned that modified seeds can contaminate their organic crops through pollination.  So, the alfalfa that is mostly used as hay for cattle may not be eating organic, thus contaminating beef and dairy.  GMO seeds resist weed killers like Roundup.  Both of which are made by Monsanto.  There are more decisions that will be made by the USDA shortly about GMO seeds for sugar beets and corn amylase.  It's going to be very difficult for organic producers to curtail the biotech GMO movement since the Secretary of Agriculture, Tim Vilsack, is the founder and former chair of the Governor's Biotechnology Partnership, and was named Governor of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, an industry lobbying group. 


1/27/11  ::  Multnomah County has approved a 15-year food initiative.  It is a road map for county efforts to make access to healthy, local food more equitable.  There are 65 community actions, which include creating a farming incubator for new farmers, bringing full service grocery stores to lacking neighborhoods, and working with schools and other groups to have access to their land to grow food and market it.


Other News  ::  We, as in the royal we, really don't know a whole lot about our oceans.  One would figure that the winter migration pattern of a rare Wester Pacific Gray Whale would have been known knowledge by now.  But, it's not known.  So, Oregon State's Marine Mammal Institute has collaborated with A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IEE RAS) and others to place a tracking transmitter on one such whale named, Flex.  They are now seeing that it may be passing by Oregon in the next few weeks.  Here is Flex's migration map.




Written by: Jonathan Davis, Founder and Editor
 





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