Costa Rica Study Abroad

Hi everyone, below is the information of an interesting opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica:

Program Dates
The Study Abroad Program will begin during the fall 2012 semester, with an orientation and a weekend sustainability retreat held in October, 2012 and four additional pre-departure lectures spread over November and December 2012. Tentative dates are:

October 5: Orientation

October 13-14: Weekend Sustainability Retreat

Pre-departure lectures:
November 5
November 19
December 3
December 10

The study abroad tour to Costa Rica will take place from January 7-20, 2013. The deadline to submit the final individual reflection paper will be January 26, 2013.

For detailed information please visit the Zicklin Study Abroad page.

Brain-eating Amoeba

Two people in Louisiana died last year from a fatal infection from brain-eating amoeba called N. fowleri. The infection was contracted by using neti pots filled with tap water to clean their sinuses. This amoeba travels up the nasal cavity and into the brain, and the symptoms include headache, fever, stiff neck, loss of appetite, vomiting, confusion, seizures, coma and death. With a fatality rate of 99%, this is seriously a horrific infection.

But don’t just shut off your faucets and stopped showering or drinking water, even though the N. fowleri is scary, it is only found to enter the through the nose. Boiling, filtering, distilling and consuming the water would kill the amoeba. And general things like drinking water, bathing and showering would not contract the infection.

Could global warming be a factor in the spread of the N. fowleri? Since it is a warm-water amoeba found primarily in Southern states, the spread of it to some Northern states suggested that the water is getting warmer.

For the full article published on Fox News on August 23rd, click here.

Or search “brain-eating amoeba” on the internet.

What a Waste!

According to a recent report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, around 40% of food in the United States is never eaten, amounting to $165 billion a year in waste.

Since food is cheap and in such abundance in the United States, food being wasted is not a concern for most people. Buying in bulk, which tends to be cheaper, or serving food in larger portions than people can eat, such as in buffets, will lead to food being wasted.

Retailers would overstock displays or shelves, making products at the bottom to rot and being thrown out. Ready-to-eat food is also being trashed due to excess supply.

Not only does waste occur at the end of the supply chain, but also in the beginning. Farmers would plant more than demanded, creating excess they can’t sell, which would go to waste. Food production accounts for 80% of the fresh water consumption in the United States, and since 40% of food is wasted, so does 25% of our fresh water supply.

So where do all those wasted food go? They end up in landfills, which will decompose and release methane gas. Methane gas is a greenhouse gas that is 20% more effective at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. So we should stop blaming cows for the methane gas emissions and get to the root of the real problem, our waste of food.

So what can we do to help? First of all, try not to waste food. Consider reducing portion size to reduce waste, and waist. Secondly, it is economically sound to buy in bulk to save money, but consider this, if you cannot finish that 6 pound box of cereal before its expiration date or before you get bored of eating it, try buying a smaller box instead. If you are going to throw it out after eating ¼ of it, you are actually saving money and the environment by buying a smaller size that you can finish. And lastly, try reading the expiration dates carefully, don’t throw out fresh food products simply because you misinterpret a “sell by” date with a “use by” date.

Stop the waste of food not only benefit the environment, but also people who are hungry simply because they can’t afford food. According to the report, “reducing losses by 15% could feed more than 25 million Americans every year.”

So the real cost of that hamburger you just thrown out is not just the price you paid for it, it has to account for the cost of the damage done to the environment as well as the future, and that’s not cheap.

For the complete article posted on the CNN website on August 22nd, click here.

Welcome Baruch Freshmen!

Welcome Baruch Freshmen, hope you enjoyed our presentation during the convocation and took something from it.

Please help us make Baruch a greener and better campus!

Download the convocation presentation PowerPoint file here:
Freshmen Convocation

Links in the presentation:
/ (Undergraduate Student Government)

Want to know what to recycle? Check out the Department of Sanitation website:
Department of Sanitation

Story of Stuff

Another interesting video by The Story of Stuff Project.

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