Monday, July 21, 2014

Playhouse Makeover

I love a good hand-me-down, especially if I can turn it into a project! My mom was given a playhouse from my cousins and after a Pinterest search I came up with a plan to give the playhouse a make over.


I simply unbolted the roof and all the sides of the house came apart. I then scrubbed each piece and hosed them all off really well.

After the pieces dried, I sprayed painted each section it’s chosen color, waited for them to dry and reassembled the house.


It’s not perfect by any means, but I do think it turned out pretty cute! As an added eco-bonus, we used a cut open feed bag as a clean floor surface. (my Mom’s idea)

The kids seem to like it!!!


Saturday, July 12, 2014

What the Frack!

I’ve wanted to write about Fracking for some time but I wanted to make sure I had my facts straight and quote the appropriate sources. However, with such a controversial topic I decided to post this as an “opinion piece” and I provided you with an overview of Fracking and as well as a few resources to form your own opinion.

Fracking or Hydraulic Fracturing is a procedure in which water, chemicals and sand are shot underground into rock formations to “fracture it” and release gas or oil trapped in rock. 

But why? 
For years, gas and oil drilling was conducted by drilling straight down into the earth to pockets (my words) of gas and oil. Recently these site are becoming fewer; forcing drillers to drill down and break up the layers of rock, force water and chemicals in, and then push the gas and oil out.

So what’s the problem? 
The sides are divided between those who feel that we need to find more ways to access oil and gas domestically vs. those that see the potential environmental and human risks that result from the process. Others feel the need for implementation of stronger regulations and guidelines until more is known about the process of Fracking and it's long term effects.

So what do I think? 
I obviously want to see the U.S. less dependent on foreign oil however, the environmentalist in me can’t help but see the potential hazards associated with this process. I just don’t believe we can alter the earth in this way without consequences. Also, in addition to the physical changes made under the earth's surface, the concern of the chemicals used and the waste waters that result after the process are concerns for the ground water supply. 

Just a week or so ago, (which prompted me to finally post about Fracking), was a story on the Today Show about the connection between Fracking and earthquakes in Oklahoma. From 1975 to 2009, Oklahoma had one recorded Earthquake. From 2010 to 20013, 40 earthquakes were recorded. In just the first 4.5 months of 2014, 164 earthquakes were reordered. Fingers are pointing to Fracking as the cause in such an increase in Earthquakes in the state.

In 2012, a film called Promised Land written by and starring Matt Damon and John Krasinski featured a rural community divided as a gas company salesperson tries to persuade the land owners to rent their land for the purpose of Fracking. While the film portrays a negative bias towards Fracking, it does show the choice that struggling farmers must face when given the opportunity to bring in a lucrative income from their failing farmland.

Lastly I wanted to share a video from one of my heroes, Linda Ellerbee, on Nick News called “What’s the Deal with Fracking”. This video is geared toward young adults but gives a great glimpse into the many opinions on the process of fracking from the gas companies, farmers, community members as well as environmentalists.

Nick News: "What's the Deal with Fracking?"
Get More: Nick News Episodes,Nick News,Nick News Games

Although not extensive, I hope this gives you a little more information about Hydraulic Fracturing than when you started. Please take a moment to view the videos I provided as they really do give you a view from all sides.