Going green with goats

As I wrote in my Life on the Island column a few weeks ago, I am not a fan of leaf blowers: they’re loud, disruptive, and blow teeny-tiny particles of dust all over the place. All the better to trigger the asthma and jangle the nerves! It sounds like Los Angeles is going about some of its business without using polluting, gas-powered engines. They recently hired a herd of goats (with tenders) to clear a vacant lot slated for redevelopment. According to the article, “100 goats turned loose on a downtown L.A. plot,” the goats cost about half what people wielding machines would have. East Bay fire officials have long used goats (and, too, sheep) to clear dry brush that would be a fire hazard, as have many other cities and private companies.


Life on the Island: Leaf blowers, no!

This week’s Life on the Island column is about the noise and particle pollution of leaf blowers. Read it in whole (or, in part, if you prefer) here. [Ed. note: The Alameda Journal blog is officially on vacation until August 20, but you can find the online Alameda Journal here—or read what other bloggers are saying at Alamedans.]

Past “Life on the Island” columns
July 29, 2008: Backyard wells and conserving water
July 22, 2008: Out and about on a home-town date
July 15, 2008: Changes in school leadership offers new opportunities
July 8, 2008: Getting an education in civics Continue Reading


Where does the green waste go?

green bin_0248

A neighbor asks: “Why do we compost?” “Where does it go?” As you know, here in Alameda we have great big green bins that we can fill with anything organic—apple peels, rotten zucchinis, used tissues, chicken bones, and, as just confirmed by Teresa Montgomery from Alameda County Industries, even our pizza boxes.

Montgomery reports that everything Alamedans put in their green bins goes to Newby Island in San Jose, where it’s Continue Reading