Archive for Environmental Justice

Environment Negatively Affected by H.R.1 Amendments

Amendments in the H.R. 1 bill have halted numerous regulations that will severely hinder the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to protect the environment, prevent the worsening of climate change, and protect endangered species.

 According to a publication from the Center for Biological Diversity, the provisions in the bill would attack the EPA’s attempts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, remove Endangered Species Act protections for many species, reduce restrictions on toxic mercury pollution, allow public lands to be used for harmful activities, and slow progress that would protect U.S. citizens from unsanitary air and water.

With this bill, industries can take advantage of slipping under the EPA’s radar. They wouldn’t have to comply with regulations set upon them, allowing them to take the easy and most efficient way out when it comes to toxic dumping.

OMB Watch, a non-profit government watchdog organization, believes that those most affected by the bill are consumers. Without restrictions and regulations provided by the EPA, consumers will not be able to report hazardous products or be warned by reports written by other consumers.

According OMB Watch, senate leaders who have criticized the cuts are pushing for an extension of the current bill in an attempt to reach a compromise.

The amendments made in the H.R.1 bill will affect the EPA's ability to restrict the way industries dispose of waste.

 

Other Key Amendments

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Food Prices Crisis

 

Food prices around the world reached a record high in January, making food the most expensive it has ever been. The costs of staple foods, like corn and wheat, rose by approximately 50% in 2010. The repercussions on people throughout the world include poverty and hunger in millions. The rise in costs is attributed to issues around the world: the heat wave in Russia and the Midwest, the use of ethanol as fuel, and the demand for meat which requires grain and water for production. The use of biofuels is credited to the crisis and it is argued whether or not they are really helpful to the environment.

Food Prices: Crisis Deepens as Biofuels Consume More Crops by Bryan Walsh Time Magazine

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Global Warming Awareness: Running Out Steam

 

Mother and daughter plead for a better future at downtown LA rally. The used of duty energy could jeopardized our future and our ecology. Photo by Oscar Ortega

According to a report by NPR, this past Sunday, people in this country are beginning to believe that Global Warming is a fallacy, that all the studies done over the last decade are over exaggerated.  Are the melting of the poles not a proof of what’s going on? Are these people out their mind?

Humans tend to believe in Holy Books and a Savior that will come down from the heaven and  take them to an eternal life, that sounds pretty exaggerated to me. They have been waiting for more than two thousand years and nothing have happened! yet there are no scientific proof that it has happen or that it will ever happen.

Now let’s analyze these events, we are experiencing extreme temperatures due to deforestation, frequent natural disasters than a hundred years ago, water levels are raising due to melting ice in the poles, pollution in our oceans is killing marine life that means that our food chain it’s about to suffer an unprecedented change that will affect every single living organism in this planet, more species are despairing from the face of the earth due to our own fault.

According to experts, it’s unpredictable the ramifications of these events. The human race and environment has not experienced anything similar since mankind has been keeping records. There are always conspiracy theories that will follow issues like this but for sure there are very strong economical interests, such as corporation, behind this movement that could affect the necessity of keep moving toward a better and greener future for our ecosystem.

Yes, I am skeptic when it comes to religion because I can’t see it nor I cant’ feel it, but I can see and feel our environment changing and that is a fact. I don’t need a “Holy Book” to tell me that.

http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/assets/swf/CSPANPlayer.swf?pid=197233-1&start=5008&end=5124

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Plastic Grocery Bags Banned in L.A. County Starting in 2011

by Karoline Steavenson

The Los Angeles Times and other local news outlets reported Tuesday that the L.A.

County Board of Supervisors approved a ban on plastic grocery bags countywide

starting  July 1, 2011. Food and drug stores will no longer be allowed to bag customers’

items in plastic bags. Customers can carry their goods home in paper bags, but those will cost $0.10 each.

Here is the portion of the ordinance that gives the details of the new law:

“Approve and adopt the Ordinance banning plastic carryout bags at all supermarkets and other grocery stores, convenience stores, food marts, pharmacies, and drug stores located in the County unincorporated areas, while requiring stores that provide recyclable paper carryout bags to impose a charge of ten (10) cents per bag to a customer, effective beginning July 1, 2011, for certain affected stores and January 1, 2012, for all other affected stores.”

Rong-Gong Lin II, reporting for the L.A. Times, wrote that, “In Los Angeles County alone, 6 billion plastic bags are used each year, an average of 1,600 bags per household a year. Government figures show that only about 5% are recycled.”

In conversations about plastic grocery bags I have sometimes heard dog owners complain that they need plastic grocery bags to clean up after their dogs. Consumers can buy plastic quart and gallon size bags at many dollar stores for that purpose.  They can also buy dog clean up bags from many pet supply stores.

Petco Waste Clean Up Bags – 100 for $8.47

Kyjen Pooch Pick Up – 100 for $4.81


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eWaste Recycling

by Karoline Steavenson

eWaste is comprised of old, unwanted, non-functioning televisions, radios, CD players, amplifiers, computers, game consoles, car rechargers, cellphones, cellphone rechargers, USB cables, floppy disc readers, cameras, and many other electronics that are a part of nearly every life now.

Old electronics can be recycled easily.(Photo from http://commons.wikimedia.org)

Often these old TVs, cables and other eWaste items wind up in the dumpster.  That’s not where they belong. The batteries and other electronics in these items harm the environment even if they don’t work.

Broken or unwanted electronics can be dropped off at an eWaste collection center or picked up by a private eWaste business.

The City of Los Angeles has several permanent collection centers.

EWC Recyclers and All Green Electronics Recycling are two local businesses that pick up some large items from residential clients for no charge, or consumers can drop off their eWaste at one of their local offices. They also pick up larger loads from businesses for a fee.

Consumers can also give their broken electronics to Goodwill Industries Thrift Stores. They have an eWaste recycling program too.

The components and metals in electronics can be harvested and reused. (Photo from http://www.ocgoodwill-ewaste.org/ )

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Guayakí is so good

By Julio A. Cruz

Like most of you, I did not know what was Guayakí Yerba Mate Organic until I saw its Fair Trade table at the Fair Trade Futures Conference in Quincy, Mass. early September.

Guayakí Yerba Mate logo. Photo Courtesy: University of San Diego Student Radio.

Guayakí isn’t only Fair Trade but certified organic, too. I’ve only tried a couple of drinks, including the 16 oz. non-carbonated organic yerba mate Lemon Elation which comes in a can.

Some might ask, what is a yerba mate? I had that same question, and found that it’s:

Yerba mate is the legendary infusion from South America that is luring people away from their daily coffee fix.  Yerba mate first caught the attention of world-class athletes and health-conscious people, but now mate is becoming a favorite healthful daily ritual for all people taking their well-being seriously. Grown in the sub-tropical rainforests of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, yerba mate has long been revered as the “drink of the gods”.

So as you can see, it’s healthy, good for us. It’s also Kosher certified.

In its packaging process, starting from the start in growing the yerba mate to processing it, to packaging to transporting it to having it in your hands, Guayakí products takes out carbon from the environment.

Even the pamphlet, which all its info is on, the paper used is from 50% Post-Consumer Waste paper, it’s processed with free of Chlorine, uses vegetable based inks,  and it’s Green-e certified.

They even plant native trees in South American forests.

So get out, check out Whole Foods Market, for example, and choose any of its six stimulants, like yerba mate, coffee, tea, kola nut, cocoa or guarana.

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Honest Tea is going Fair Trade

By Julio A. Cruz

Triple Pundit reports that Honest Tea will be Fair Trade Certified by the end of the 2011 first quarter.

Variety of drinks from Honest Tea. Photo Credit: FreeMania!

This makes them much better in its social and environmental practices plus places them even higher in the beverage category. It comes to no surprise they announce this during Fair Trade month.

It’s probably been a couple years since I started consuming Honest Tea. The green tea with honey grabbed my attention. Now I have about three of their 28 different flavors.

I enjoy the drink because it taste good, it’s healthy, certified organic, light, and very environmentally-friendly.

They do have some drinks in glass containers, which are usually found in Whole Foods Market, but for the most part the drinks are on plastic #1 containers, being 22 percent less plastic than regular bottles, BPA-free while saving world resources.

The drinks are tasteful, especially the ones from the  pomegranate and blueberries to the one with goji berries, where most of its fruits come from the eastern part of the world.

I’m going be even more satisfied when I drink, let’s say the new lemon tulsi as I see the Fair Trade Certified label on the bottle.

Some of its drinks come in packages of 12 and can be found in a Smart&Final.

What this does now is have Honest Tea officially meet Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International (FLO) and Fair Trade USA standards that better tea farmers’ quality of life.  Meaning, that workers gain a fair portion of profits, have fair working conditions, freedom of association, minimum wage, and that they work under environmentally sustainable agricultural practices.

Hones Tea are ahead of the pack now and people are supporting it, like the President and CEO of Fair Trade USA Paul Rice who said:

“Honest Tea is once again raising the bar for the entire industry. Honest Tea has been a pioneer in social responsibility from the beginning…and that they care about the workers who harvest their tea and the future of their communities.”

Enjoy!

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