Archive for April, 2011

Breathing Dirty In California

Do you live in California? Did you know that residents in California cities breath in the worst air? The Golden State currently has the most cities with the worst air pollution.

According to a report by HealthDay News, CA topped the list of U.S. cities with the worst air pollution. A study on air quality was conducted by American Lung Association.

They also found that 48% of Americans live where smog is too high, 20% live where there are short-term spikes of pollution, and 6% live where there is harmful, year-round soot.

But wait. There’s more. The article reports that about 17 million Americans affected by three types of hazardous pollution. Exposure to pollution can lead to low birth weights, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. (Those were just some on the list).

How do you think Californians can help decrease air pollution?
To learn more, visit the California Environmental Protection Agency website.

Air pollution in Los Angeles. A layer of smog hovers over the city.

Advertisements

Leave a comment »

Deforestation Encouraged By Demand For Gold, Other Materials

In Peru, the demand for gold has resulted in illegal and destructive mining that in turn, has increased deforestation in the Madre de Dios region.

According to Mongabay.com, an environmental science and conservation news site, the loss of forests in Peru is only the beginning. Mining has detrimental effects such as an increase of mercury which contaminates the air and soil.

In addition, according to the article, social problems like drug trafficking, indentured labor, and child prostitution, have arisen from the illegal gold trade.

But Peru is not the only country facing this issue. Three years ago, officials in Tibet planned to ban gold mining to protect the environment.

According to an article by the Associated Press, many parts of China are polluted and water supplies are contaminated because of illegal mining. In parts of Tibet, water is used as a source for China.

What will the push for gold and other precious materials eventually cost us?
Deforestation in Peru. Photo by Mongabay.com

To learn 5 ways you can help stop deforestation, read the article by Mother Nature Network.

Leave a comment »

Earth Day 2011

This year, Earth Day landed on April 22nd and provided people opportunities to take action and participate in helping to preserve the planet.

Earth Day Network gave people the opportunity to register and pledge an act of green for their “A Billion Acts of Green” campaign on their website. EDN is trying to prove that real change can occur if millions of people commit to their actions. So far, a little over a million people have made a pledge.

“Our family will use less water, plant a tree and grow a food garden,” “I pledge to use less styrofoam, as well as recycle all paper and plastic products…,” and “I will bring my own reusable shopping bags to the store,” are all examples of pledges people have proposed.

Pledges range by topic from advocacy, energy, transportation, and water. EDN’s reasoning behind this campaign helps raise awareness on the way we treat our planet. It is true, also, that if millions commit to their actions, then maybe a big difference can be made. What do you pledge?

Earth Day photo from space. Photo from National Geographic.

To learn more about Earth Day or how to make a contribution, visit Earth Day Network.

To view more photos of Earth Day, visit National Geographic.

Leave a comment »

Plight of The Honey Bees

Without honey bees, many of the fruits and vegetables we consume would not be pollinated. If they aren’t pollinated, we simply can’t enjoy them and we would lose the majority of our food supply that feeds the world’s growing population.

But honey bees are disappearing. What in the environment is causing this to happen? Could it be pesticides? Global Warming?

According to an article by Associated Press, scientists believe that pesticides, disappearing habitats, wet weather, and a particular parasite are to blame.

In addition, United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, has estimated that 70 species of bees pollinate 100 crop species that provides 90 percent of the world’s food.

UNEP also warns that if honey bees aren’t protected, their decline will continue to rise.

There remains hope however, that honey bee populations can be conserved and restored. For example, farmers and landowners are being provided incentives to help restore them.

In addition, popular ice cream makers, Haagen Daz has created a site where people can learn more information on helping save the honey bee population. On their interactive website, www.helpthehoneybees.com, Haagen Daz provides information on the honey bee crisis, what they are doing to help, and how you can help.

Leave a comment »