Tag Archives: Pollution

VOD: Bill Nye Tells You Everything You Need to Know about Climate Change

The millenial generation grew up receiving their science facts from a guy with neat curly hair and a wonderful array of bow ties. Many of us are adults now and “Bill Nye the Science Guy” has long been off the air, but that doesn’t stop that magical man of science from trying to save the world anyway. In this YouTube video Bill describes what climate change is, how we got here and what we need to do to stop it.

“This climate science is no longer a matter of opinion, politics or dogma,” Bill says towards the end of the video. By the time the current population of children reaches middle age the human race’s carbon dioxide production will be double the earth’s natural carbon cycle – yet we are already seeing the hazardous effects through higher temperatures and more extreme weather. If we act now we can prevent things from getting worse but we are dangerously approaching the point of no return where we will be forced to recognize a new normal of extreme weather and unbearable temperatures. Why would we ever let that happen when there are so many clean energy sources being made available to us? That’s a question we should probably be taken more seriously.

Did you know this about climate change? Have you tried replicating Bill’s simple experiment? Let us know in the comments below!

Sign Petition To Stop Plastic Pollution: Just REFUSE


 

REFUSE Plastic Video from the Plastic Pollution Coalition

We’ve all seen images of birds and fish, with plastic grocery bags in mouth. Disturbing indeed, and don’t think this is propaganda from PETA. Plastic bags are entering our food chain through oceans, rivers and the stomachs of wildlife. The toxins they carry are nearly impossible to eliminate as we don’t really know how if ever they break down naturally.

You might ask well how do all these bags get into our water supply, most people throw them away when they unpack their groceries, right? You’d be amazed how these little wonders of mass production have nine lives, so to speak. They go to landfills, where they blow away due to their zero weight, almost like kites on a gentle breeze. Gulls and pigeons carry them for the food scraps inside. You get the idea. For a compelling visual of how this works, view the video “Plastic Bag” (trust me it’s a lot more entertaining than it sounds, very well done).

Plastic Bag By Ramin Bahrani

There IS one way to stop this madness, and it’s called the REFUSE campaign by the Plastic Pollution Coalition.  The Plastic Pollution Coalition.org is a group dedicated to stop plastic pollution and its toxic impacts on humans, the environment and wildlife.  Next time you are grabbing takeout from a restaurant, some toiletries at the pharmacy, or any other one-stop shop, forgo the disposable plastic items.  Your waterways, streets, and landfills will thank you! We appreciate your support.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / Chris JL

Pork: Greening the Other White Meat

In our blogging journey through everyday things, we’ve covered your morning routine–from workout to shower, from coffee to cubicle.

Now it’s lunchtime, baby. Panda Garden. Porky goodness. Mooshu style.

The "other white meat" in your takeout container falls behind beef and chicken in American consumption, but we do pig out on pig–on average, each of us consumes 51 pounds of Wilbur annually. That translates to big impact on our water and air.

Due to the high variety of bacteria, worms and other undesirables in pig flesh, and because of the quick-spread disease potential of crowded pig farms, heavy doses of antibiotics are administered routinely. Those same drugs end up in your body via waste streaming into our water supply, and via that Mooshu pork to go. Other side dishes you might not have ordered include growth hormones to encourage meat-heavy livestock and vaccines injected to avoid profit-damaging disease.

The crowded piggies also contribute to climate change by emitting methane air pollution, otherwise known as farting.

But the real travesty of pig farms, as you may have heard, is their contribution of dangerous phosphate and nitrate levels to our water supply. Large, corporate pig farms are home to deep vats of untold tons of pig crap, called "lagoons," which regularly overflow or seep past inadequate lining into the earth. The bad stuff in pig manure is associated with stomach cancer, blood oxygen disorders and other health ailments.

We won’t go into the ethics of eating meat to begin with–just yesterday we enjoyed a savory ham cheesecake with red pepper jelly, the pre-cubed ham being delicious yet of unknown origin. But as a rule, we try to limit our meat intake and purchase it from local ranchers who raise livestock humanely (some may say there’s no humane way to raise an animal for slaughter), hormone-free and with minimal or no antibiotics. Big, corporate pig farms are responsible for the bulk of this industry’s environmental offenses.

Not all corporations are, um, pigs. Burrito peddler Chipotle gets its pork from ranches in California and the Midwest that raise antibiotic-free hogs fed vegetarian diets and allowed to graze freely. The restaurant’s website includes videos on their pork sources–definitely worth watching Paul Willis talk about his eco-friendly Iowa operation. (Simran visited this farm and saw the little piglets and their mamas. As sweet as they were, the trip did not dissuade her from dining on swine but did convince her that her pig-outs had to be sustainable.)

Cheap, responsible meat options are out there, allowing you to feel better about what’s between your chopsticks.

Speaking of chopsticks, we’ll break them apart next time.

This post was written by

Sarah Smarsh

and

Simran Sethi

. Thanks to the

University of Kansas School of Journalism

and Lacey Johnston for research assistance.

Birds of a Feather…?

I was painting the deck the other day when I noticed a certain amount of activity in the wisteria that rampages around one end of it. Robins were dashing to and fro. I continued to paint, aware that this was not a good place for a nest as this door is heavily used. The Robins were building a nest, there was no doubt about it now. We had tea after a while, and the female Robin was getting her nest just right about three feet from where we sat. The painting continued, and so did the nest construction.

I began to hope that the Robins would be happy to be so close to us, and wouldn’t mind the sounds and sights of clumsy human as they raised their brood. I began to wonder what I could do to persuade the squirrels to keep away, too, since they’d rob the nest given even a tiny chance. I was getting quite protective about ‘my’ Robins.

Two days later the nest is constructed but the birds, spooked by so much activity, have given up.

It astounds me that the genetic imperative remains so strong in so many creatures even when the obvious dangers of the situation are so plain. It’s almost as if they just can’t see the disadvantages of their chosen lifestyle, even though everyone else can. So here’s a thought: We’re like Robins. We build houses along the San Andreas fault, sure that it won’t hurt us. Or perhaps we build them in the California hills, hoping the bush fires won’t rage in our direction. Even more sinister is that we can see we’re choking in our own pollution, but just we keep on building our nests as if it really will be safe for the next generation, as if we don’t have to take action and choose more wisely if we want to survive.

Goverment’s in a Flap? Who Cares?

I’ve been interested by the week’s news that the British House of Commons has been in a state of uproar. The Speaker has been forced to resign (the first occasion for over 300 years) as a result of a furore about Members of Parliament padding their expenses.

What possible significance could that have for us? Well, the penalty for these errant politicos seems to be that they will be forbidden to stand in the next election. They won’t be sacked immediately, therefore, but they’ve been given notice. In the United States we have, of course, no possible way of knowing to what extent our senators and congessmen and women are inflating their expense accounts. We do know, however, that former senior members of Halliburton channeled millions to their former colleagues in a series of actions that were effectively uncontested ‘closed bids’, and that no action was taken. None.

The comparison is not made lightly. Halliburton supplied shoddy equipment and services at inflated prices and helped to undermine Iraq’s social and economic recovery in the process – because the real effect was that reconstruction didn’t happen, or happened in ways that were open to corruption. No one has any doubt that many moderate Iraqi young men were turned to extremism as a direct result, and that many more joined questionable militias simply to earn their daily bread.

In England the public outrage has been deepened because so many people have been hurt by the recession. It feels insulting to have politicians claiming expenses such as, for example, for the cost of cleaning out of a private castle’s moat, or the manuring of a rose garden, when others are scrimping to get by. What it means is that the composition of the next parliament will be very different. It also means that many of the energy-efficient and green initiatives of the past few years may come to a grinding halt as the conservative party looks set to take over.

Thus a few selfish actions by a very few people who ought to know better may well have a significant impact upon global warming policies. It may even derail them completely. And since England is one of the leaders in ‘green’ policy, well ahead of the US in its actions, the rest of Europe will be weakened in their own stances against pollution and greenhouse gases.

It doesn’t seem quite fair, somehow.

Are you paying twice for bottled tap water?

In the United States, we pay for our tap water (either through a direct bill or taxes), and then we pay again when we buy bottled water – forty percent of which comes from municipal sources, which means it’s still essentially tap water.

Why are we paying for it twice? We pay more for water than we do for milk or gasoline (somehow less cute than the common wisdom that wine is cheaper than water in France).

And Mother Earth pays, too. MSN money honey Anthony Mirhaydari sums up the eco-challenge nicely:

A recent report by the Swiss Gas and Water Association finds that bottled water has 100 times the environmental impact of tap water. The Sierra Club notes that bottled water produces 1.5 million tons of plastic waste each year – the vast majority of which ends up in our landfills and oceans. According to two oceanographers with the British Antarctic Survey, while strolling along the shores of Spitsbergen Island up in the Arctic ocean, where mankind’s doomsday Svalbard Global Seed Vault is located, one can find a piece of plastic detritus every 15 feet or so.

We use water to manufacture the petroleum-based plastic bottle the water comes in, and we use fossil fuels to ship water from Fiji or France to our tables.

Hello, people. We have the privilege of living in a country where we can drink our water. But we’ve been seduced by the beverage industry into believing only they can quench our thirst with colored, caffeinated, vitaminized, electrolyted water. We have become so parched that we can’t walk down the street without toting a single-use plastic bottle touting the magical effects of its water source.

Apparently, Kabbalah Water will heal us and Bling Water will define us. At the Bling H20 website, Bling Water "creator" Kevin Boyd describes noticing on Hollywood studio lots that "you could tell a lot about a person by the bottled water they carried." First of all, didn’t god create water? Secondly, the water is bottled in Dandridge, Tennessee – since when is Southern Tennessee a spring of L.A. status? Yes, Dandrige’s water ranks very highly on EPA’s water quality index, but why are we spending so much money ($40 for Bling’s "Go Green" 750ml bottle) on cross-continental water instead of cleaning up our local waterways? Tinseltown’s water is so polluted with run-off and industrial contamination that perhaps water by way of Tenessee does make sense.

Here’s what the less blingy among us do:

1) Work to identify problems at the source, pushing for the protection of Wetlands.
2) Reduce the amount of toxic junk we flush down and rinse away (including pharmaceuticals).
3) Lobby our local officials to protect our source water.
4) Use it sparingly: in the yard, in the house, everywhere.
5) Carry our own bottles (Coated aluminum is Siman’s preference, Sarah goes with BPA-free plastic) and proudly fill up at water fountains and taps.

We are not naïve. We know there’s so much work to do around water – who has it, how they use it, if it’s clean, how it gets carried, who pollutes it, who squanders it, how much of it we have left, and so on. On the one hand it makes our small changes seem, well, small. On the other, we know that even the micro-movements are crucial.

The marketers are right. We can’t live without water. But we can live without the overzealous way it’s being sold to us. Drink that in.

This post was written by Simran Sethi and Sarah Smarsh. Thanks to the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Lacey Johnston for research assistance. 

 

 

                          

                                                       “A Letter from GOD : To Nietzsche”
                                                          (SERIES II:   LETTERS FROM GOD- 1)
 
From today I am starting a New II Series-‘LETTERS FROM GOD’ in continuation of  earlier series on my Blog(‘God is Great’),in the Name of God,the Lord ,based on creative imagination. and with full reverence to GOD the Allmighty (OUR FATHER),with ‘intention’ of spreading the "message of Global Inter- Cultural Understanding",Hope Readers  will like It,and support 
 
 
My Dear Son, Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (‘God is dead Fame’)
 
Hi there! Blessings! (In spite of your stupidity of calling ‘ME’ (Your ‘Cosmic Father) “God is dead”.It would have been good for you if you would  have called me Daddy,’not Dead’)
 
Lately I have not heard any thing new from you since you declared “GOD is dead”. But soon  you died your self, on August 25, 1900. While you may see I am still ‘Here and Now’ (a presence as they say), not dead as declared by you!
 
 People are singing songs in my praise, erecting new temples and churches, mosques all over the world, in more numbers, probably they don’t believe in your opinion in which you said-“I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.” However, I want to make it clear to you that I have never asked people to worship me or praise me. It is their own decision as I have given them the freedom of choice and they  if they have a democratic and secular system?,  to do what ever they choose to do!, Have you any objection?(Oh, now you yourself dead how can you object?).
 
I am sorry to learn that you  died as a mad man, but that was your own doing and saying-““There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.”I feel very sad to learn that when alive, You have to resigned from the chair of Classical  philology at the University of Basle at the younger age in 1879 because of health problems, which plagued you for most of your life and in 1889 exhibited symptoms of insanity, living in the care of your mother and sister until Your death in 1900.It is said that before this you served in the Prussian forces during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871 as a medical orderly In his short time in the military you experienced much, and witnessed the traumatic effects of battle. You also contracted diphtheria and dysentery. Walter Kaufmann speculates that you might also have contracted ‘syphilis’ along other infections at this time, and some of your biographers speculate that syphilis caused your eventual madness. However all this shows that you were not a man of normal psychology.
 
I have been also informed that after graduation in 1864 you commenced studies in theologyand classical philology at the University of Bonn, for a short time, but after one semester you stopped theological studies and lost faith in Me. This shows your were avers to religion and against me from very beginning .But I have no grudges against you. On the contrary I have all the sympathies for you. I have no doubt, you must definitely been a man of complicated and frustrated psychology, that’s why you gave such a crude comment against ‘Me’-“God is dead”. But as you see ‘I’(as cosmic consciousness) and my name has always been  and is still here getting more prominent  day by day again , among my believers .Even scientists and new age people believe in me ,of course using  modified terminology as ‘Now and Here’, Cosmic consciousness /Cosmic intelligence and Here and Now, with my   love to people with ‘let go’or Faith in Me(God) attitude and service to the poor and sufferers. My commandments are part of every civilized society.
 
I am sorry to learn that in view of your attitude towards Christianity(one of my various paths) and the ‘concept of God ‘expressed in Zarathustra, you became in effect unemployable at any German University in those days and has to suffer (Not because of ‘Me’ but  of Your own ‘KARMAS’).And that was your own choice and you confrontational attitude had been at the base of your popularity I know very well. The statement "God is dead," occurring in several of your works (notably in The Gay Science), has become one of your  best-known remarks and made you popular and for which you are still remembered( infamously).
 
On the basis of this remark, most commentators regard you as an atheist; others suggest that this statement reflects a more subtle understanding of divinity(ME). In your view, “developments in science and the increasing secularization of European society had effectively ‘killed’ the Christian God, who had served as the basis for meaning and value in the West for more than a thousand years.”But in my view your opinion  has not proved right as you can see Christianity is second most widely followed religion in the world now, along with other religions, with Christianity: 2.1 billion; Islam: 1.5 billion; Hinduism: 900 million; Chinese traditional religion: 394 million; Buddhism: 376 million. In comparison Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist people (non believers) only  1.1 billion.
 
I have learnt fromYamaraj’ (god of Death/Lord of Hell) that you are repenting now for what you said against me and asking for forgiveness. I normally don’t interfere in the matters of other demy- gods, especially Yam raja (god of death).And ever body is treated in’Yamaloka’ (land of lord of death) according to his own  karmas, faith and belief .As I have made man in my own image and has given free will to go through the process of life . As a matter of fact I don’t interfere in the  day today matters of man and other living beings down there on planet earth.
 
 Dear son Nietzsche, after you declared that –“God is Dead”, some of my believers lost faith in Me especially during last few decades Besides you ‘Marks, Angels and Mao’ type people also contributed to some decline in my followings. The situation was aggravated due to arrogance of Man due to progress and development in science and technology with increase of consequent materialistic attitude. For last few decades some extremists belonging to particular community resulted in defamation of my name and scepticism about utility of religion, which is unjust .Due to extreme wealth and materialistic approach of life many people are not following ‘Ten commandments’/Moral- ethics. But millions and billions are still some how looking towards me in one way or the other with faith and love. And, In spite of Man’s  faults I have not lost my faith in humanity as such .Thanks to hard work  of  godly beings like Christ, Mohammad, Krishna, and Buddha, and superb  human like Vivekananda, Arovindo ,Mother Teresa ,Martinluther king and so on and so forth from every religion.
 
But during last few decades situation on earth is deteriorating fast due to advance of materialistic civilization and human greed. General public has become corrupt due to corrupt politicians and their wrong policies. Exploitation of natural resources, pollution of the environment and increase in population (population explosion), and wars have brought earth on the edge of destruction.And above all Fundamentalists/ Terrorist Forces (Pseudo Followers),and others who have not authorized by me are imposing  destruction. Almost a situation like third world war seems to be around the corner.
 
So, as I have declared the  Second Coming of Christ in Bible/ or Incarnation of  Kalki Avtar in GITA and Coming of Nabi/the Mahdi (????  -"Guided One) etc , my advent as New consciousness(New Age) on Earth(New Earth & New Haven) on earth  has become imperative. Christians / Hindus/Buddhist, etc. can refer to their respective scriptures in this matter as follows,:
 
BIBLE(Christian):
 
Acts 2:19-21 (NIV) I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
 
According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
‘GITA’ (Hindu):
??? ??? ?? ???????
??????? ???? ????
??????????? ????????
???????????????? ?????
 ???????????????
???????? ?? ??????????
?????-????????????????
????????? ?????????
 
Translation-
 
("Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself."
"To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium.")
 
Essence:
 
— "Whenever virtue subsides and wickedness prevails, I manifest Myself. To establish virtue, to destroy evil, to save the good I come from ‘Yuga’ (Age) to ‘Yuga’."
 
 
BUDDHIST:
 
The Prophecy of Maitreya), stating that gods, men, and other beings will worship Maitreya who is a teacher of Trance ‘Sadhana’ (Enlightenment)
 
"will lose their doubts, and the torrents of their cravings will be cut off: free from all misery they will manage to cross the ocean of becoming; and, as a result of Maitreya’s teachings, they will lead a holy life. No longer will they regard anything as their own, they will have no possession, no gold or silver, no home, no relatives! But they will lead the holy(simple) life of chastity(unexploitation) under Maitreya’s guidance. They will have torn the net of the passions(Ignorance/wrong Identity), they will manage to enter into trances(Love and Ecstacy/Bliss), and theirs will be an abundance of joy and happiness, for they will lead a holy life under Maitreya’s guidance." (Trans. in Conze 1959:241) .
 
 
and Wait and have patience,
 
I will be coming!
 
I will be back!  Amen , ?????, Amen , ’Amen ; ????‎, ’?m?n ; "So be it; truly"Thathastu…..
 
 
 
With Blessings From Your Father
            
               Sd/
 
Lord, ‘GOD’ /Param –Pita(Ishwar)/ Ishwar, etc.
 
Through :  Intent Post office
 
Post Master: @run Raghuwanshi, ‘humble Servant of Lord’, God-the GREAT.
 
 

           

Perfume Pollution as Harmful as Cigarette Smoke

Many workplaces, health clubs, yoga studios, and other public settings are going scent-free, banning perfumes and scented products and the “perfume pollution” they leave in their wake. Currently, many people suffering from asthma, other respiratory disorders, environmental illness, chronic fatigue syndrome, and even healthy people suffer from perfume exposures, which linger in the air long after the wearer has left. 

 
There are potentially over 500 chemicals just in the ingredient "fragrance" in perfumes. Many of these synthetic chemicals are derived from petrochemicals and are proven neurotoxins (meaning they can cause damage to the brain and nervous system) and carcinogens (linked to cancer). The research is shocking, as I learned while researching and writing my books The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan and The Brain WashMany of the chemicals in perfumes and other scented products are as harmful as cigarette smoke. Most people realize the dangers of exposure to cigarette smoke, including second hand smoke, but aren’t aware of the equally damaging chemicals in perfumes and colognes. 
 
If you can smell it, it’s because these toxic synthetic molecules from perfumes are entering your nasal passages, giving them direct passage into your brain, mostly unimpeded by the blood-brain barrier. Even if you can’t smell perfumes, you may be suffering ill effects from exposure.
 
Arguably the most powerful organ in the body, the brain governs thoughts, moods, emotions, movement, speech, and all the body’s functions.  Until recently, scientists believed that this mysterious organ was protected by an impermeable mechanism known as the “blood-brain barrier.”  This is only partly true. Recent studies show that this system allows many environmental toxins including those found in perfumes and other scented products access to the delicate brain, and that once found in the brain some can take decades to eliminate – decades that can result in damage in the form of inflammation and plaque build up in the brain – two of the precursors to serious brain disorders.
 
Some of the most common chemicals in perfumes are ethanol, benzaldehyde, benzyl acetate, a-pinene, acetone, benzyl alcohol, ethyl acetate, linalool, a-terpinene, methylene chloride, a-terpineol, camphor, and limonene. While some of these chemicals are harmless, most in this ingredient list can cause irritability, mental vagueness, muscle pain, asthma, bloating, joint aches, sinus pain, fatigue, sore throat, eye irritation, gastrointestinal problems, laryngitis, headaches, dizziness, swollen lymph nodes, spikes in blood pressure, coughing, and burning or itching skin irritations. 
 
That perfume or cologne that you think makes you smell attractive is more likely damaging your health. In an upcoming post I’ll share ways you can protect your brain from harmful substances using food, herbs, and other natural options. Also, check out my article, “Brain Healing Power of Periwinkle” http://www.intent.com/blog/2009/04/20/brain-healing-power-periwinkle
 
Michelle Schoffro Cook, DNM, DAc, CNC is a best-selling and six-time book author, whose works include:  The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, The Brain Wash, and Healing Injuries the Natural Way.  She is a doctor of natural medicine, doctor of acupuncture, holistic nutritionist, and energy medicine practitioner.  Her work has been featured in/on:  Woman’s World, First for Women, Dr. Roizen’s YOU: The Owner’s Manual Radio Show, Gaiam Life, Yahoo! Shine, and The Huffington Post.  www.TheLifeForceDiet.com.
 

Shoe Fetish, Eco Style.

Last time, we learned that your yoga mat may be messing with Earth’s Zen. Today, we look at another staple of the American workout: tennis shoes.

Not the Chuck Taylor kind. The rubbery, cushy, pumped-up, neon kind that may or may not feature springs, air pockets, reflectors, retractable wheels and motion-sensitive lights.

Training for the New York City marathon in 2004, Sarah wore through three pairs of these running-shoes-on-‘roids in twice as many months. In an era when the majority of "tennis shoes" are purchased not for athletic endeavors but for comfort, these products don’t hold up to the promise suggested by their $100 price tags, she noted (and then doled out for another pair).

But with ye olde cobbler long dead (re-soling Jesus’s Birkenstocks in forgotten profession heaven) and cheap production methods shortening the lives of shoes, Americans have gotten into the habit of pitching worn out (or simply undesired) kicks and buying new ones. Shoe-shopping has become something of a fetish, a joke, an emblem of the spoiled housewife who fills her emotional void with Italian suede.

We could go into Manolos, but we’ll focus here on sporty treads, not just to stay on-topic but because they account for a third of the U.S. shoes market.

The production of athletic shoes is infamously shady, from a human rights perspective. Historically, manufacturing giants such as Nike have followed cheap labor, exploiting workers in developing countries so that they might enjoy enormous profit margins. (Nike has really turned itself around in recent years, however, and is now one of the greener players on the field.)

In terms of Mama Earth, your walking shoes definitely walk all over her. They’re loaded with plastic components, such as vinyl, that produce cancer-causing emissions when manufactured AND during their decades-long (some say centuries-long) decomposing process in landfills.

As for the cushioning that has been the foot’s savior, it’s the landfill’s curse. Typically made of polyurethane treated with flame-retardant chemicals, the soles and lining of discarded shoes seep toxins into our earth and water–evidenced by studies finding these chemicals (penta-BDEs) in human breast milk. This bad-ass chemical is banned in Europe, but U.S. polyurethane foam still kicks it poison style.

Leather shoe components may result from inhumane slaughter, may come from species other than claimed on the packaging, and certainly were fashioned with highly toxic, energy-guzzling methods.

Then you’ve got all the stuff that holds your shoe together. Glues, solvents and such. It won’t touch you when you’re running, as far as we know, but it’s a health hazard to the poor people assembling your shoes, and ultimately to your grandchildren when they drink water tainted by the Reeboks you threw out a half-century ago.

Whoa, player, what’s the good news? Nike has a well-established shoe recycling program, Reuse-A-Shoe, that turns old tenneys into basketball courts, tracks and other sports surfaces. The company also has designed an eco-friendly boot that incorporates hemp and recycled rubber waste.

Last year, Brooks introduced a biodegradable midsole. And some companies, such as Birkenstock and Splaff, have environmentalism embedded into their mission statements.

And Simple’s Green Toe line (Simran loves ’em) are green from sole to lace.

Besides shopping for conscientious brands, you might ask yourself if you need to be shopping for shoes at all. Sarah says emotional shoe-shopping is a habit worth kicking. Simran, who has been called Imelda by quite a few, says make your fetish eco and try Charmone Shoes, Terra Plana or Beyond Skin.

This post was written by Sarah Smarsh and Simran Sethi. Thanks to the University of Kansas School of Journalism and Lacey Johnston for research assistance. You can find the entire Life Cycle series here.

All “Heated Up” About Global Warming

“Is there really Global Warming or are you just wearing too many layers?”
Steven Colbert, Comedian
 
This quote from the host of the television show “The Colbert Report,” makes me laugh out loud, although the Global Warming controversy is no laughing matter. In his insightful way, Colbert goes on to say that “Global Warming has been real ever since Al Gore invented it.” But is it real? And, even if it is, do we care?
 
There have been and continue to be endless debates among “experts” all over the world on both sides of the Global Warming issue—now often referred to as “climate change.” (After all, somehow we have to account for the really cold winter we’ve been having!)
 
A recent U.S. survey, based on the opinions of more than 3,000 scientists, concluded that “human-induced Global Warming is real.” On the other flip side of the debate is the feeling among other experts who say the warming of the planet has nothing to do with human intervention and that the Earth is simply going through a natural cycle. In fact, we’re now hearing about the next “ice age” that’s on its way. Is the sky falling? Who do you believe? What do you believe?
 
What I’m about to say may shock you, but quite frankly, WHO CARES?! And, how many of us actually even understand what Global Warming truly is or what exactly we’re supposed to do about it? Should we build shelters for stranded polar bears? Should we drop giant ice cubes in the arctic? Should we rationalize it by saying that Al Gore just made the ultimate disaster movie and do nothing? Of course not, but most of us just don’t know what our role in all of this is supposed to be. So let’s simplify things.
 
It really doesn’t matter who’s right and who’s wrong or what’s real and what isn’t because the bottom line is, whether Global Warming truly exists or not, we’ve made a mess of our Planet and need to clean it up. So, let’s do something positive for the Earth that we can all wrap our arms around…combat a real problem we can literally see almost everywhere we turn… POLLUTION!
 
So, check out how simple this really is. We litter. Stop it! Our cars spew carbon monoxide when we drive two blocks to the market. Try walking. It’s good for you. If you have to buy plastic bottles or aluminum cans, fine. But, recycle! All of this and much more is hurting our health, the health of our loved ones, and slowly killing off our wildlife and destroying nature. Yet, by taking even small steps, we can contribute to the solution, rather than the problem. Become a modern conscious consumer…make small changes. You don’t have to trade in your SUV for a Prius. Just do what you can. If everyone contributes a little bit more, it will make a big difference.
 
For the past couple of years, in addition to our philanthropic work on “I’m Tired of…” bracelets, which raise money for many of the world’s important causes, including Global Warming and pollution, I have been the editor of White Apricot, an online newsletter and website that focuses on eco fashion, beauty and lifestyle for what we call the “modern conscious consumer,” someone who wants to contribute but doesn’t wish to completely sacrifice his or her lifestyle in the process. Trust me, you don’t have to become a treehugger, like Ed Begley, Jr., and power your household appliances by riding a bicycle.
 
I still drive an SUV because my lifestyle requires it, but I try to walk whenever possible. Every morning when I arrive at our office, I also clean up the litter that’s piled up in front of our building. I used to take 20 minute showers. Now I’m in there for less than 10 minutes. Is that still too long? Maybe. But, I’ve cut the time in half. It’s all good.
 
No one likes the fact that the polar icecap is melting and our glaciers are disappearing, but what can we do as individuals to fix that problem? Maybe, if we start with pollution, it will make a difference. I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that as abhorrent as pollution is, the fact that many of us stand by and do nothing is worse. If we all take incremental steps, we can have an impact!! Don’t waste! Don’t litter and pick up other people’s litter. Turn off the water when you’re brushing your teeth. Stop using so much plastic that winds up in landfills. Teach your children to care for the environment. Recycle! Try to buy products that don’t hurt the Planet whenever you’re able.
 
Maybe we won’t stop Global Warming, but at least we can make a difference and make our world a better happier place while we’re here.
 

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