Surferbird News-Links, 20th Edition


Welcome to the 20th edition of Surferbird News-Links. Have I really written 20 of these posts? If I could throw a party, I would invite everyone to my wood for some fellowship and fun! Thank you for your support, so far, on this journey.

Some of today's stories include: cricket pasta, environmental sources of methane, eco-friendly toothbrushes, agroecology in India, towns with a can-do environmental spirit, desalination, an outdoor vacuum cleaner, and so much more.

A new online eco-friendly store

I learned about a new eco-friendly online store this past week - tiny yellow bungalow. Kitchen supplies, bamboo toothbrushes, vintage soap dishes, reusable produce bags, handcrafted stoneware, and lovely hand printed cotton cloth napkins represent only a handful of their products. I'm thrilled to add them to my resource page and to share them with you. Take a peek, and enjoy a tour of their eco-friendly, yet elegant, products.

Fall in Vermont - today's pic

Why do leaves "change" color in fall? A short explanation is given in this link ( But most importantly, take a look at the gorgeous photo of fall in Vermont.




Indian farmers sequester carbon with trees. ( - You've probably guessed by now that I've become obsessed with agroecology. Here's another story of dried up land transformed into lush farmland - land now graced by mango and cashew trees. Agroecology improves a family's standard of living, while trees sequester carbon. That seems like a good trade off to me.

A website about regenerative agriculture ( - I mentioned this website in last week's post on climate change. Even though I used to garden, I never dreamed I would become so interested in farming and agriculture - until I started my blog. I love this website for the pastoral images of the high savanna of Baja Arizona and the soulful dedication to regenerative farming.

Climate change

These towns took climate change into their own hands.( - I love the can do spirit of these five towns locted in different countries across the world. And at least one them operates on 100 percent renewable energy - such an impressive amount of determination expressed at the local level.

Forget about climate change. Could we simply agree on clean air? ( - Did you know that 1 in 7 children lives in a community with unhealthy air? Fossil fuels continue to be the main source of air pollution. And our children are the most vulnerable. Maybe we need to talk more about this. Do you think we could have a discussion about clean air with climate change deniers? Let's try.

Where is all the methane coming from? ( - Since 2007, atmospheric methane has risen sharply. And scientists now think that microbes are the primary culprit for this most recent increase. These microbes are found in rice paddies, the guts of ruminants, and in wetlands, primarily from the tropics. On the other hand, scientists also recently discovered that sources of methane from the fossil fuel industry are twice what we once thought. Remember, methane doesn't linger nearly as long as CO2, but it packs a triple punch.

A giant outdoor vacuum cleaner ( - What would Surferbird News-Links be without another pollution sucking gadget? Ah yes, me and my gadgets. But this 26-foot-long filter (8 meters), placed on top of buildings, can clean 800,000 cubic meters of air per hour. I've shared similar filters and vacuums, but this one appears to be quite effective. Even airports are checking them out.

Green technology

A small house in Norway ( - A fresh interior with a homey feel best describes this small house in Norway.

A thirteen-year-old student invents an inexpensive renewable energy powering device ( - I'm in awe of this young woman's creativity and ingenuity.

Affordable desalination technology ( - This technology uses wave energy instead of electricity to desalinate water. No power bill required - thank you very much! Here's the video.


Cricket pasta - it's what's for dinner ( - I've been following these edible insect stories in my Twitter feed with a mix of disgust and curiosity. Nutritionally speaking, though, insects could replace some of our meat. Did you know that you can buy cricket pasta online? Bugsolutely, the brand name for one of the pasta varieties,is absolutely made from 20% cricket flour. I can't wait for the comments on this one. But what seems icky to us, other cultures have consumed as a regular part of their diet for eons.

Does your food contain pesticides toxic to bees? ( - How does your grocery store score for commitment to foods that don't contain pollinator harming chemicals? I discovered a few surprises. Check it out.

A new cookbook by Anthony Bourdain ( - Just because I don't cook from cookbooks much these days doesn't mean YOU wouldn't appreciate knowing about an important new one. Appetites is a family cookbook dedicated to Anthony Bourdain's daughter. Containing the time-tested family recipes Bourdain uses, when he cooks for his family, Appetites is the first cookbook Bourdain has written in ten years.


The recent New York Times piece on GMO crops ( - This New York Times article on GMOs created quite a stir in the media last week. Here's a link to EcoWatch, which provides a nice summary.

A different perspective on GMOs( - I feel we need to look at GMOs from more than one perspective. I haven't written a post about them, yet, due to the vast amount of research required to do an adequate job. For now, the article in Grist doesn't completely disagree with the New York Times post, but it does provide an alternate view.

A look at the significance of ag chemical and seed company mergers - ( - Can you imagine the seed and ag chemical companies that sell to farmers dominated by only three companies? As always, there are many sides to this issue. And how does this relate to food security, especially taking climate change into consideration. Civil Eats does an excellent job exploring the complexities of these mergers.


Eco-friendly toothbrushes ( - So, the owl has a bit of homework to do. And it's in this article. Since I first created my resource page, new toothbrush companies have appeared on the horizon. I dabble in too many nests! This article in Grist sums up the state of eco-friendly toothbrushes nicely. I'm partial to the bamboo, though. Who wants to recycle a plastic toothbrush by mail? And I still have a bone to pick with recycled plastic items in that it gives the plastic industry all the more reason to keep making the stuff. But I do agree it's better than purchasing items made from virgin plastic. Bamboo toothbrushes, here I come!

Is a vegan diet safe for everyone? ( - The author uses science and takes a methodical approach to the dilemma of why a vegan diet works for some but not for others.

Science and technology

Innovations in medicine and technology for 2017 ( - Ten important innovations are poised to improve road safety, medical diagnostics and screenings, surgery, and drug therapies.

A smelly bike lock ( - If you don't like the smell of vomit, then, don't attempt to cut this bike lock. Make a thief throw up - what an incredible idea.


Where is all the methane coming from?, which I linked to above, turned into "Where have all the flowers gone." But then, something happened - a passing thought, a painful wish, a reminder to love and be loved for all the paths we've taken - in every season, through all time. And "Since You've Asked" by Judy Collins took over. The owl gets to keep some secrets.    Laura