Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hello there!

Dear Children,

I haven't been able post any photos here for quite awhile because my laptop computer is sick. Please check back now and then and hopefully I'll have something for you soon.

How is your vacation going? Are you helping to fight global warming? Sometimes it's very hard to do, but we have to keep trying.

I'm in Virginia now, almost all the way through, in a town called Stephens City. I've walked 560 miles. Next week I'll be in Pennsylvania, which is where I live. Some of my friends and family will join me to walk a day or more. It will be great to have company.

Love, Nana Greta

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

How to be global warming fighters

Summer roses

Dear Children,

Soon you will be on vacation and I hope your days will be fun and relaxing. Last week I suggested that during your vacation you should walk more and take public transportation sometimes in order to use less gas. Today I want to talk to you about electricity in your home.

Maybe you already do this, but if not, try to turn off all the lights in your home that are not being used. Talk to your parents and other members of the household so that they know why you are doing this. Other things that can be turned off when they're not really needed are the TV, air-conditioners, fans, computers, chargers and power strips. 

Sometimes we turn on lights indoors even when we don't really need them. Instead we can use natural light coming in through the window - all we have to do is get closer to the window. 

Why is electricity a problem? Most of our electricity in the East of the United States (that includes Boston) is made by burning coal, which emits a lot of carbon dioxide, adding to global warming. Sometimes electricity is made by using the force of rushing water. That is a cleaner process but we need to be very careful about how we use water because we need it for so many other things and there are places in the world where there isn't enough water to go around. 

Electricity made from the wind with huge wind mills, or from the sun with solar panels is clean and doesn't contribute to global warming. These technologies are fairly new and can be very expensive to get started, but hopefully in your lifetime they will become widely used. I made a little video of some old-fashioned windmills on a farm in Alabama for you. It's posted at the bottom of this page. The noise is an electric mower that the farmer is using to mow his lawn.

Saving water is one more way to fight the climate change problem: be careful to not waste water. Don't let the faucet run more than you need to, give plants only the amount they need, take shorter showers, and pay attention when you wash dishes or clothes to use water wisely.

If all the children in the world would save electricity and water it would make a huge difference. 


Nana Greta 

Monday, June 1, 2009

The hills and valleys of Virginia

Dear Children,

On Friday I climbed my first real mountain on this journey. Near the top I found this Black Snake right along side the road. At first I thought it was a strip of tire, but then I noticed the small head with a tiny eye watching me attentively. I walked across to the other side to let the snake have its space. Later I learned that while this snake is not poisonous it can be somewhat aggressive and it's better not to bother it.

This is what I saw at the top of the mountain. I think you will find the story interesting.

I really liked this statue in the city of Abingdon - I think it's a statue of the fairy named Ariel.

And here are cattails in a meadow beside the road. 

Next time I write to you I will make another suggestion for your summer.

Love, Nana Greta