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Changing to non-GMO soy transformed the health of my pigs

The Ecologist Magazine - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 18:18
From the day that Danish pig farmer Ib Borup Pederson switched away from GM soy, his animals became healthier and more productive. Birth deformities reduced, sows became more fertile, medicine costs fell, and profits went up. The changes were linked to the reduction in the levels of the herbicide glyphosate in their feed.
Categories: Ecological News

California Adds Steam to the Plastic Bag Ban Movement

Ecology Today - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:38

By Jill Richardson
Courtesy of Other Words

We can conserve by not wasting stuff we don’t actually need.

California is on the verge of becoming the first state to ban plastic grocery bags. Governor Jerry Brown says he intends to sign the bag-banning law California lawmakers approved in early September. The ban will go into effect at grocery stores and pharmacies next year and extend to liquor stores and additional kinds of retailers in 2016.

In addition to making it against the law for stores to give shoppers single-use plastic bags when ringing up purchases, the new law will also require stores to charge customers 10 cents for each paper bag they get. The kinds of disposable plastic bags used for loose or perishable items like produce will still be allowed.

California’s not the first place in the world to ban plastic grocery bags. In fact, one out of three Californians live in cities and towns — including San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles — that are already plastic bag-free. So are Boulder, Chicago, Santa Fe, Seattle, Austin, and lots of other places across the country.

When Solana Beach, California (population: 13,154) banned plastic bags in 2012, it eliminated the use (and disposal) of 6.5 million bags per year. And that’s just one very small city.

Why is the movement to ban plastic bags gaining steam? After all, they are recyclable, right?

Yes and no. For one thing, most bags don’t get recycled. They might be re-used first, but they often end up in the landfill all the same. Some bags are sent to recycling. Unfortunately, according to Californians Against Waste, they tend to jam up the machines in recycling facilities, requiring extra manpower (and, thus, taxpayer dollars) to remove them.

In addition to clogging up landfills and making incinerated trash more toxic, there’s the ocean pollution that raises concerns in California and other coastal areas. When plastic bags blow into the ocean, they can look like jellyfish — a good meal for a hungry sea turtle. Only, unlike jellyfish, plastic bags are, um, less than nourishing. Plastic bags kill tens of thousands of turtles, seals, birds, and whales every year.

U.S. consumers run through about 100 billion of these bags every year. Worldwide, the total number of bags is around 1 trillion. But despite their widespread use, we don’t actually need disposable plastic bags.

When it comes to saving the planet, we know we need to follow the three Rs: reduce, reuse, and recycle. So what do we give up? Especially if we don’t want to give up anything. In fact, most of us want more, not less.

The easiest way to conserve without downsizing our lifestyles is to improve efficiency and to conserve by not wasting stuff we don’t actually need anyway. If I can have the same quality fridge, car, and washing machine but they each use half as much energy as my old ones, then I’m saving money and treading more lightly on the planet without sacrificing convenience.

Additionally, if I can “reduce” by eliminating stuff I don’t need anyway, that’s far better than giving up the stuff I really want.

What do I want? Nice clothes, good food, and gadgets, but not the bags and boxes they come in.

Packaging is used once, then tossed out — or hopefully, if possible, recycled. Plastic bags simply serve to get your goodies from the store to your door, and then their useful life is over, unless you plan to re-use them to pick up Fido’s business on your next walk.

It’s a small inconvenience to remember to bring reusable bags with you to the grocery store. Since I’m forgetful, I just store all of my canvas totes in my car and my backpack. That way, when I arrive at the store, I’ve already got them.

Let’s come together on small inconveniences, like opting for reusable bags or, at the very least, paper bags, to reduce our environmental footprint.

Categories: Ecological News

Ebola outbreak to continue for another 18 months, warn scientists

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) The World Health Organization (WHO) may be vastly underestimating the final death toll from the West African Ebola outbreak, according to data compiled by scientists working on behalf of the federal government. The official prediction is another nine months and about...

Ebola death toll passes 2,400, WHO pleads for more aid to West Africa

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) In an unexpected turn of events, Cuba has announced that it will send over the largest medical team yet to aid West Africa during the worst Ebola outbreak in history. More than 2,400 people have now died of Ebola, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), prompting...

MasterCard tests Orwellian national ID card on Nigeria

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) The march toward enslaving the world's population by a handful of globalist statists and corporations continues, with the latest chapter unfolding, of all places, in Nigeria, compliments of MasterCard.According to the website GovtSlaves.info, the credit card giant...

6 causes of autism and a multi-faceted approach to treatment

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) Autism is a severe and sometimes lifelong behavioral disorder with no known single cause or remedy. Alternative treatments, including diet, nutritional supplementation, environmental medicine, auditory training, and behavior therapy have been useful in alleviating the...

Lead poisoning is still a common hazard in America's schools

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) An accessible and lucrative resource, lead was one of the first heavy metals to be used by humans. In 2012, lead production in the United States reached an estimated 1.6 million metric tons, making it a valuable resource for a variety of products, according to the U...

Obama to send 3,000 troops into Ebola hot zone

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) As the Ebola virus spreads throughout West Africa, President Obama has just done something which almost guarantees that it will spread to the United States: He has ordered 3,000 U.S. troops into the Ebola hot zone.In what the White House is describing as a more comprehensive...

Are smoothies really so healthy? Here's how to make sure yours are

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) Smoothies are popular these days. We drink them as an alternative to unhealthy drinks or as a meal replacement. But are they really healthy? They can be.The question is: What's in your smoothie? At some smoothie stands, smoothies are made with 3 basic ingredients...

Study finds Obamacare insurance premiums to be unaffordable for many

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) Provisions of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, allow for millions of Americans to receive taxpayer-funded subsidies so they can purchase health insurance coverage. Americans with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty rate are eligible for this new...

Tasmania's ban on GMOs to be in place for at least five more years

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) Tasmania, the "Island State" just off the coast of Melbourne, Australia, has a population of half-a-million people and includes 26,000 square miles of land. They have continued their ban on ALL things GMO until 2019, seeing "no imperative to change" from eating normal...

Want fewer bacteria when you brush your teeth?

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) Well yeah, who doesn't! Next time you pick up a new powered toothbrush make sure it has a solid head. This is because new research out of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston indicates that solid headed toothbrushes retain less bacteria than hollow...

Homeland Security orders retailers to spy on their own customers

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) The federal government is asking Americans to spy on each other again, not coincidentally over the 13th anniversary of 9/11 because, you know, that'll prevent new terrorist attacks or, at a minimum, result in a reduction in the sale of food preparation appliances, which...

Intelligent psychopaths are more likely to attain high offices in business, government

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) Psychopathic behavior lurks among human interactions today, infecting character traits and destroying families and organizations along the way. It's a behavior pattern that is void of empathy, seeking attention and personal gain no matter the cost. Entire families can...

Top foods to improve gut health and stomach acid levels naturally

Natural News - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:30
(NaturalNews) Digestive problems are not uncommon; it's estimated that 25 million Americans will get a peptic ulcer at one point in their life. (1) Even children under 12 may have GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease), but instead of having the accompanying heartburn, may instead...

Most Social Change Groups Grapple with White Privilege—But This Book Can Help

Yes! Magazine - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 02:10

Photo by Shutterstock.

As an organizer in the climate movement, I see many young white people grappling with racism and privilege, struggling to break through the limitations of middle-class white environmentalism. So it’s exciting that compassionate facilitator Chris Crass has written a book that will help.

Towards Collective Liberation is a memoir, toolkit, self-help book, strategy reflection, and call to arms all at once. Its lessons about how to work in solidarity with frontline organizations ring true to current challenges and remind us that we don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

Towards Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategy
Chris Crass
PM Press, $20.00, 300 pages

Crass brings deep insights from the canon of critical race analysis to a practical level. His writing is rooted in his personal journey, offering examples of the impact of racism and patriarchy on how we form organizations, develop leadership, and build multiracial movements.

Towards Collective Liberation spans 20 years of experience and a wide range of contexts: The Battle in Seattle and the Global Justice movement, projects like Food Not Bombs, movement-support groups like the Catalyst Project and the Heads Up Collective, and racial and economic justice community organizations. Crass acknowledges that this work is full of messy contradictions. His articles, reflections, and interviews are interspersed with how-tos for real-life situations (such as “Twenty Careful Steps Toward Anti-sexist Action”).

Crass’ fierce self-interrogation lends the book a particular authenticity and deflates the self-righteousness that often accompanies the discussion of privilege.

Towards Collective Liberation is a gift to help us bring our most powerful selves to the work. It reminds us that none of this is new; we stand on the shoulders of our movement ancestors.

Joshua Kahn Russell wrote this article for The End of Poverty, the Fall 2014 issue of YES! Magazine. Joshua is global trainings manager for 350.org.

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Categories: Ecological News

British Museum - is BP driving your heavy-handed approach?

The Ecologist Magazine - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 21:07
Amid ongoing creative protests over BP's sponsorship of the British Museum, Danny Chivers wants to know - why the harsh security tactics? Why the searches, exclusions and arrests, all for a paltry 1% or less of the Museum's funding? Is this their policy, or is it BP that's calling the shots?
Categories: Ecological News

Mine spill devastates Mexican farmers.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 19:30
Growers, cattle ranchers and dairy farmers in Mexico are bearing the brunt of a man-made ecological disaster after 40,000 cubic metres of acid-laced copper sulfate and heavy metals spilled into the Sonora River from a mine on August 6.
Categories: Ecological News

Green Latinos: Will environmental worries dispel idea of one-issue voters?

Environmental Health News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 19:30
In some key races, Hispanics who care about climate, air quality could provide key support for candidates. Activists say the green movement has hit a tipping point.
Categories: Ecological News

Indonesia finally ratifies 2002 haze pact.

Environmental Health News - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 19:30
Twelve years after signing the regional haze pact, Indonesia’s Parliament gave its unanimous approval yesterday to ratify the pact, offering a glimmer of hope that more would be done to ensure fewer haze episodes for Singapore and other neighbouring countries.
Categories: Ecological News
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