Archive for February 2010

Challenge #3: A Green Valentine’s Day?

This challenge went to Charles because he loves to cook. He suggested a recipe from our favorite celebrity chef, Alton Brown, called Salmon Fillet en Papillote with Julienne Vegetable. We can walk to the corner store and purchase sustainably harvested wild salmon from Alaska’s well-managed fisheries. It’s not local, but it does support people who are looking out for the health of our wildlife and oceans.
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Feb/10

10

Oh So Busy!

Kalluk

It’s hard to believe how fast time is flying. It seems just last week we were still wondering if we’d be hearing the pitter patter of cub paws (see post Polar Bears: Waiting May Be Over). Now the air is filled with roaring earth movers, jack hammers, and concrete mixers as the work is progressing for the new educational experience at the San Diego Zoo’s Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge.

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Challenge #3: A Green Valentine’s Day?

With our buttery climate and enthusiastic siphoning of water for farming, you’d think it would be a piece of cake to rustle up the ingredients that are made, grown, and raised within a 100-mile radius of San Diego for my world-famous chicken noodle soup. I seized the opportunity to prance over to our Sunday Farmer’s Market, grocery bags in hand, to “hunt and gather” for our Green Valentine’s Day feast (albeit a few days early, due to the Challenge #3 deadline). My chicken soup will be good for the soul and the heart!
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As you know by now (read posts New York Roommates and Packing for a Porcupine’s Flight), we have spent the week traveling around New York. We have been visiting with media and giving talks to different groups about polar bears and what is going on at the San Diego Zoo’s Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge.
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Feb/10

5

New York Roommates

Living with a porcupine and two tortoises in a hotel room in Manhattan is indeed as unique as it sounds, if for no other reason than everyone seems to be on a different sleep schedule! (Read Rick’s previous post, Packing for a Porcupine’s Flight.) Sure, there is plenty of “city noise” that comes though the closed windows, but honestly I can sleep though most of that, sirens, honking, and all. However, in-the-room noise is another story…
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Challenge #3: A Green Valentine’s Day?

Inside the Mill Valley Farmer's Market with our San Diego Zoo bag and food from our Winter Co-op market share

We may have a leaky house, but the Ballentines like to cook. We are also facing a nice blizzard type of storm here in the next 24 to 36 hours, so it’s lucky that today was the first day I could pick up some local grub from a market co-op I discovered in January!
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Jane, on the right, takes a Polar Bear Plunge in the Chesapeake Bay!

At the start of 2010, we asked families across the country to see if they could reduce their own carbon footprint (see post, Families Take the Challenge to Go Green!). They agreed to post blog entries regularly, sharing their challenges, ideas, and victories. The San Diego Zoo gives them a specific challenge to address every two weeks.
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Challenge #2: Staying Warm for Winter.

Unfortunately, it seems that both the thermal leak detector and the electrical monitor I was to receive as part of the San Diego Zoo’s Green Family Challenge kit were taken off of my front porch, so this blog post leaves me a little limited for Challenge #2. I enjoy picturing the look on the thieves’ faces: an unwatched FedEx box, ripe for the taking. “Anything could be in there,” they thought to themselves. “Video games! Books! Movies! Mixed nuts!” Imagine their surprise when they opened it to find conservation materials. But, I digress, because fortunately, a few days before, another interesting conservation gadget arrived on my doorstep.
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Challenge #2: Staying Warm for Winter.

“Give a kid a hammer and everything gets nailed down,” or “Give a politician a screwdriver and everything gets screwed up.” Such analogies could be applied to me with our new energy Thermal Leak Detector, Power Cost Monitor, and Shower Regulator, provided as part of the Green Family Challenge kit. With the cold snow blowing through the Windy City of Chicago, you bet I am eager to find ways to keep us warmer for cheaper. Not only is it the heart of a Midwest winter, we are also first-time homeowners, so these exercises and devices are great tools for us to find out what is working and what is not.
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Prehensile-tailed porcupine

Prehensile-tailed porcupine

Okay, so this sounds like a joke, but here it goes…Two San Diego Zoo keepers, a porcupine, and two tortoises get on a plane in San Diego. However there is no punch line, at least not yet, but there is a big adventure at hand for all involved. This week we are headed to New York, kicking off our media tour to tell everyone about all the exciting things happening at the Zoo’s Polar Bear Plunge this spring (March 2010). (more…)

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