Be sure to pick up the Alive! this week to see my Nature Notes column, which has a bunch of fun stuff relating to my continued efforts to be outside as much as possible. It's cold, I know, but you should join me...

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Backyard bird count seeks help from amateur birders This weekend, join thousands of birders in the Great Backyard Bird Count, which runs from February 15-18. All you need to do is watch for birds for 15 minutes each day and record the greatest number of each species you see. You can upload your checklists here. Last year, about 80,000 checklists were entered, helping scientists determine where birds migrate and how prevalent they are.

"Over a long period of time, these things really amount to a great amount of data to study," said Delta Willis, a spokesperson for the National Audubon Society. "It can sound kind of like a frivolous thing, but all those eyeballs add up to great info that scientists couldn't get on their own."

Business Week: Using Nature as a Design Guide My friend Ashley Rouston, a local blogger and advertising agent, sent over this article, which details the burgeoning "biomimicry" design movement, in which companies look to the natural world to help take their business green. An interesting example is recreating the shape of a kingfisher's beak to design the front end of a Japanese bullet train. [Full article]

Be sure to pick up the Alive! this week to see my Nature Notes column, which has a bunch of fun stuff relating to my continued efforts to be outside as much as possible. It's cold, I know, but you should join me...

View larger image

Backyard bird count seeks help from amateur birders This weekend, join thousands of birders in the Great Backyard Bird Count, which runs from February 15-18. All you need to do is watch for birds for 15 minutes each day and record the greatest number of each species you see. You can upload your checklists here. Last year, about 80,000 checklists were entered, helping scientists determine where birds migrate and how prevalent they are.

“Over a long period of time, these things really amount to a great amount of data to study,” said Delta Willis, a spokesperson for the National Audubon Society. “It can sound kind of like a frivolous thing, but all those eyeballs add up to great info that scientists couldn’t get on their own.”

Business Week: Using Nature as a Design Guide My friend Ashley Rouston, a local blogger and advertising agent, sent over this article, which details the burgeoning "biomimicry" design movement, in which companies look to the natural world to help take their business green. An interesting example is recreating the shape of a kingfisher's beak to design the front end of a Japanese bullet train. [Full article]

Get Green conference a success, says Columbus Chamber The annual Get Green Columbus business conference took place yesterday, and a record number registered for the day-long seminar detailing how to reduce energy use and waste.

"It was great participation," said Chaz Freutel, of the Columbus Chamber, which put on the event. "Mayor [Michael] Coleman did a great opening, and Commissioner Paula Brooks did a great closing."

Each green team committee put together by the mayor shared past successes and plans for th coming year. Speakers also described how to undertake an energy audit, waste audit and regulatroy audit. Freutel said that businesses increasingly are eager to make environmentally friendly changes, adding that about 75 of the 290 registered this year were from businesses.

The chamber has a similar meeting planned for July. [Get Green Columbus]