Greenwich Scouts hold Camporee, Service Project at Seton’s Wyndygoul

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of scouting in Greenwich, Boy Scouts recently held their 2012 Fall Camporee and completed a service project at the Pomerance Property, the site of Ernest Thompson Seton’s Wyndygoul Estate. tErnest Thompson Seton founded the Greenwich Council.

There were 115 Scouts and volunteers on site to help clear four trails in the Pomerance Property and Montgomery Pinetum, marking this as the 100th service project over the last two years. It also marked the successful completion of the Greenwich Scouting “Good Turn for Greenwich” service initiative.

Here’s a link to a story about the event.

The Seton Journals: A rare look at the writings and drawings of an artist/illustrator/naturalist

The Greenwich Citizen in Greenwich, Connecticut has an interesting article on Seton’s Journals entitled The Seton Journals: A rare look at the writings and drawings of an artist/illustrator/naturalist
Here’s a link to the story and photos:

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whole food plant-based diet weight loss tips

There’s no need to count calories on the WFPB diet, but that doesn’t mean you should dive in without knowing what you’re doing. Transitioning to a nutritious plant-based diet takes some preparation, and a little guidance certainly helps. Here are a few tips to help ensure that you’re giving your body what it needs while you’re dropping the weight that it doesn’t:


1. Transition slowly

If making too many drastic changes all at once sounds intimidating, you can take it slow. If you force yourself into something you’re not ready for, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up falling back into your old habits. Instead, transition gradually. Start by switching out two or three meals per week for healthy plant-based alternatives. As you get used to it, expand to include the rest of your weekly meals. Learn more about biofit.

From there, you can begin weeding out the other processed and non plant-based ingredients that tend to find their way into your daily life. Research plant-based dairy alternatives and stop including animal milk and cheese on your shopping list. Then, switch over to cutting out eggs. (Here’s the MamaSezz guide to cooking and baking without eggs.) As you take things one step at a time, you’ll give yourself a chance to adjust to your new dietary lifestyle, and that will make it easier to really commit to it.

2. Eat the rainbow and don’t stress over deficiencies

With the exception of vitamin b12, you can get all of the nutrients your body needs from non-animal sources. That said, it takes some planning. For example, if you’re not eating meat then you’ll need some good plant-based sources of protein (such as nuts, edamame, chickpeas, and tempeh). Likewise, omega-3s, iron, calcium, and zinc are all available from plants. To get all these vital nutrients just ensure you’re eating a diverse plant-based. Check out these steel bite pro reviews.

3. Don’t skip meals

Remember, it takes more plant-based foods to equal the calories in traditional American meals, so don’t jump the gun. Sure, if you’re trying to lose weight fast, cutting out meals may seem like a logical solution. But the reality is that you’re going to need the nutrition to keep yourself healthy and happy. Besides, fiber-rich, plant-based meals will help you feel full, and go a long way towards helping you avoid unhealthy snacking. Starving yourself is not part of the WFPB diet; focus on healthy meal prep, and give your body the food it needs.

4. Eat your whole grains

Carbs are bad, right? Well, no, actually; they’re not. Not intrinsically, anyway. In fact, carbs should be your main source of energy, and a plant-based diet meal plan for weight loss should reflect that. That said, not all carbs — or carb sources — are equal. Heavily refined/processed carbohydrates are basically empty calories that have been stripped of fiber and nutrients. Whole grains (and the whole carbs they contain) are just fine. In fact, it’s suggested that that the majority of your plant-based diet should come from whole carbs. Foods such as brown rice, rolled oats, quinoa, barley, and farro will help you get the whole carbs you need.

5. Cut the oil

A lot of diets promote the use of oil in cooking as a better alternative to butter, which it absolutely is! The problem here is that better doesn’t necessarily mean good. Plant-based oils replace harmful saturated fats with less-harmful monounsaturated fat — which can still damage arteries and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

The WFPB diet isn’t about eating less-harmful foods; it’s about eating healthy foods. That means cutting out the oil, for a low-fat, plant-based diet that will help keep you happy and heart healthy. Besides, oil is incredibly high in calories, and even if you aren’t counting them, they still count. When cooking, replace oil with healthier options (here’s how to cook without oil), and you’ll see the results in your health, and on your scale.

6. Snack when you’re hungry

It seems pretty central to most diets that snacking is the enemy, but ask yourself this: Is snacking still wrong if you’re snacking on the right foods? If you find that you’re hungry, then by all means grab a little something, just make sure that it isn’t junk. Healthy nuts, fruits, and vegetables can curb your cravings, and help you remain committed to your plant-based diet.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to eat between meals, then make sure that you have high-quality, whole-food snacks on hand for when you need them. After all, a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts aren’t going to derail your diet, but a hunger-motivated junk-food binge definitely could.

Seton’s Father: One Who Knew the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing

This morning’s Chicago Tribune has an article entitled “10 Things You Might Not Know About Debt.”

Number seven on the list is as follows: “Canadian naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton, a father figure in the development of the Boy Scouts, had a difficult relationship with his own dad. When Seton turned 21, his father handed him an itemized bill for everything spent on him up to that point, including the doctor’s fee for his birth. The total came to $537.50, and his father set the interest rate at 6 percent. Seton reportedly paid the debt.” Here’s a link to the full article:

This story, which Seton told so many years later in his autobiography, The Trail of an Artist-Naturalist , has remained in my mind for a long time. He described his father as “one who knew the price of everything and the value of nothing. There are plenty of reasons to doubt this literal accuracy, but no doubt his strained relationship with his father was one of the contributing factors that came together to form this driven man who influenced the world in so many ways.

The Biography of a Grizzly on a Great List of “Great Books and Where to Read Them”’s blog Off The Road – Travel Adventures of a Nomad on the Cheap recently had an interesting post entitled “Great Books and Where to Read Them.”  One of the books listed was Ernest Thompson Seton’s Biography of a Grizzly, which the author, Alastair Bland,  suggests should be read in the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park.  Seton is in good company in this article, which includes a variety of other authors, books and suggested locations.  Highly recommended.

A New Look and Expanded Resources

Pros and cons of electric cars

Electric vehicles offer many benefits, but they also have some disadvantages when compared to conventional gasoline-powered cars. One of the biggest questions prospective electric car buyers face is whether to purchase an all-electric vehicle (AEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), or a gasoline-powered car.


Pros and cons of all-electric vehicles

All-electric vehicles offer many benefits, including high energy efficiency, reduced emissions, and strong performance.

Pro: Electric cars are energy efficient

Energy efficiency refers to the amount of energy from the fuel source that is converted into actual energy for powering the wheels of a vehicle. AEVs are far more efficient than conventional gas-powered vehicles: AEV batteries convert 59 to 62 percent of energy into vehicle movement while gas powered vehicles only convert between 17 and 21 percent. This means that charging an AEV’s battery puts more towards actually powering the vehicle than filling up at a gas pump.

Pro: Electric cars reduce emissions

Emission reduction, including reduced usage of fuel, is another pro for all-electric vehicles. Because they rely on a rechargeable battery, driving an electric car does not create any tailpipe emissions which are a major source of pollution in the United States. In addition, the rechargeable battery means much less money spent on fuel, which means all energy can be sourced domestically (and often through renewable resources such as solar panel systems).

Improving battery technology in today’s light-duty AEVs means they can drive 100 miles while consuming only 25 to 40 kilowatt-hours (kWh)  of electricity. Assuming that your electric car can travel three miles per kWh, the electric vehicle can travel about 43 miles for $1.00. By comparison, if we assume that gas costs $2.50 per gallon, an average gasoline vehicle with a fuel efficiency of 22 miles per gallon will only be able to travel 10 miles for the same price. The distance traveled for a fuel cost of $1.00 is nearly four times as far with an electric vehicle. Check out the latest Effuel reviews.

Pro: Electric cars are high performance and low maintenance

All-electric vehicles are also high performance vehicles whose motors are not only quiet and smooth but require less maintenance than internal combustion engines. The driving experience can also be fun because AEV motors react quickly, making them responsive with good torque. AEVs are overall newer than their gas powered counterparts and are often more digitally connected with charging stations providing the option to control charging from an app.

Con: Electric cars can travel less distance

AEVs on average have a shorter range than gas-powered cars. Most models ranging between 60 and 120 miles per charge and some luxury models reaching ranges of 300 miles per charge. For comparison, gas powered vehicles will average around 300 miles on a full tank of gas, and more fuel efficient vehicles getting much higher driving ranges. This may be an issue when looking at AEVs if you frequently take long trips. Availability of charging stations can make AEVs less suitable for activities like road trips.

Con: Electric cars take longer to “refuel”

Fueling an all-electric car can also be an issue. Fully recharging the battery pack with a Level 1 or Level 2 charger can take up to 8 hours, and even fast charging stations take 30 minutes to charge to 80 percent capacity. Electric car drivers have to plan more carefully, because running out of power can’t be solved by a quick stop at the gas pump.

Con: Electric cars are more expensive, and battery packs may need to be replaced

The battery packs within an electric car are expensive and may need to be replaced more than once over the lifetime of the car. All-electric vehicles are also more expensive than gas-powered cars, and the upfront cost of all-electric vehicle can also be prohibitive. However, the fuel cost savings, tax credits, and state incentives can help to offset this cost overall if they are available.

Overall, all-electric vehicles, like any vehicle, must be assessed based on personal needs and vehicle usage. There are many pros to owning an electric vehicle, such as fuel savings and reduced emissions, but this can come at the cost of relying on battery charging and higher costs. Consider what works best for you when looking into purchasing an all-electric vehicle.

When the time comes to buy a new (or new-to-you) semi–truck, the choice may be hard to make. New trucks come with lots of perks, but what about used trucks?   If you’re feeling unsure about which kind of semi-truck is best for you, we’ve compiled a list of the pros and cons of each so you can be informed on your next truck purchase.

Buying a New Semi-Truck

The Advantages of Buying New

New trucks can come with a wide variety of bells and whistles, making them appealing to any potential truck owner. Some of these perks include:

  • You’re Covered by a Warranty. When purchasing a new semi-truck, they will typically come with a warranty, meaning that if anything were to go wrong it would be covered. Used trucks may also come with a warranty, but this will vary based on where you purchase the semi-truck.
  • Top of the line amenities. When you purchase a new truck, you get to be on the ground floor of whatever cutting edge technology is released. With a new truck, you get complete freedom to choose whatever features you would like, given that they are in your price range. Older trucks may not yet have features you may want, which can mean costly additions.

The Drawbacks of Buying New

However, purchasing a new truck is easier said than done. There are several drawbacks to new semi-trucks as well:

  • It’s more expensive up front. The cost of a new semi-truck will definitely be more than anything you will find for a used truck. While this does come with more benefits and a warranty, the initial cost will be significantly higher.
  • It requires a long-term commitment. If you aren’t planning to be on the road for a considerable length of time, it may not be in your best interest to buy get a brand new rig for your business. This could leave you with a high loan repayment even after you’ve left the industry.

Buying a Used Semi-Truck

The Advantages of Buying Used

  • There’s less risk involved. If you plan on using your truck only during one season or don’t intend on logging that many miles, getting a used truck is a great option if you have no desire to have a significantly higher loan. Find the best deals at these commercial truck auctions.
  • Cheaper upfront cost and lower depreciation. The initial costs of used semi-trucks are vastly lower than newer trucks, and they depreciate at a lower rate. A new truck loses a great portion of its value the second it drives off the lot, whereas older trucks lose value at a much slower rate. This can make it better for resale value as well.

The Drawbacks of Buying Used

  • It may be more expensive in the long term. Used trucks may be cheaper when you purchase them, but further down the line, you may find that used trucks can be a money pit. Used trucks typically have higher fuel costs and will need more repairs in the future, making it costlier in the end.
  • You have less knowledge of the truck’s history. When purchasing a used truck, you may not know the entirety of the truck’s history. There may be reported issues, but a previous owner may not have been honest about engine troubles or tire issues that may have happened in the past. Buying a new truck comes with a certain peace of mind that you will be the first owner, meaning that no unknown issues exist.

Scouts Discover Standing Rock Site in Greenwich

There has been a great deal of interest in Seton in the Greenwich, Connecticut area this year, much of it focused on the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scout Council there,of which Seton was a founder.
One interesting development was that a Boy Scout working on his Eagle Scout service project was working to clear an overgrown trail on the Pomerance-Tuchman property now owned by the Town of Greenwich. This property was once part of Seton’s estate. While clearing the trail, the Scouts came upon a strange rock sculpture. After some research, they discovered the sculpture was Seton’s Medicine Rock and they had uncovered the main Woodcraft ceremonial ground there.
Here’s a link to an article on the discovery in the Greenwich Citizen.