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Assaulting public lands, Rep. Bishop bill declares “No new parks”

Michael Reinemer

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) has introduced a bill, H.R. 3990, that would make it harder for presidents to protect federal lands as national monuments under the Antiquities Act – and make it easier to gut protections for lands already designated as monuments.

Walmart effect: Retailers lead the way on chemical safety at a critical time

These latest actions show that toxic-free consumer products are good for business.

     

Trump’s EPA is making a reckless and damaging decision. Here’s what you need to know.

Pruitt is ignoring a groundswell of support for pollution limits that would protect our climate and save thousands of American lives.

     

Tricks to Make Your Halloween a Treat for Mother Nature!

1.) Instead of buying a costume that will be worn once & thrown away, make costumes from old clothes & other items you have around the house. You can also get inexpensive costume materials from thrift stores or yard sales, or trade costumes with friends to get something “new” & different to wear. After Halloween, wash & store your costumes for use in subsequent years, trade with friends, or donate the clothing from which they were made to day care centers, homeless shelters, or charities.

2.) Use recycled & recyclable materials to create your Halloween decorations. Bed sheets hung from the ceiling or tree branches make great ghosts & can be taken down, laundered, & returned to the linen closet when Halloween is over. Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day. Doing so will not only save energy, but will also help your lights last longer. Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store & reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays.

3.) Host a Halloween party that features organic, locally grown pumpkins for carving, apples for bobbing, & other pesticide-free, locally grown foods appropriate to the holiday & the harvest season. Set the table with cloth napkins & reusable dishes, glasses, & silverware. Consider renting more formal tableware that you might not use very often.

4.) Once the jack-o-lanterns have been carved & the games have ended, apples & pumpkins can be used in pies, muffins, soups, or other dishes. You can also roast pumpkin seeds & serve them to your guests.

5.) If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps, & other organic, biodegradable yard & household waste.

6.) When your little ghosts & goblins go trick-or-treating, make sure they carry reusable bags or containers that don’t need to be discarded after they are used. Cloth or canvas shopping bags, or even pillowcases, make terrific eco-friendly alternatives to paper or plastic bags, or to the molded plastic jack-o-lanterns many kids use to collect candy.

7.) When the neighborhood ghouls show up, give them treats that also treat the environment gently. There is a growing variety of eco-friendly candy—from organic chocolate to organic lollipops—available online and from local organic groceries, health food stores, or consumer cooperatives. Choose treats that use little or no packaging. Whenever possible, buy locally produced treats from local merchants.

8.) Rather than drive to other neighborhoods, stick close to home this Halloween & walk from house to house to reduce fuel consumption and air pollution. If you are attending a party, use public transportation or ride your bicycle. If traveling by car is really the only way to join in Halloween fun, try carpooling.

9.) Teach your children to keep candy wrappers in their bags until they return home, or to dispose of them in trash cans along their route. Preventing candy wrappers from becoming Halloween litter on the street is the right way to treat the environment. Take along an extra bag when you take the kids out treat-or-treating, and pick up litter along the way to help clean up the neighborhood.

10.) HAVE A HAPPY AND SAFE GREEN HALLOWEEN!

More Green Halloween tips/ideas:

*Halloween Candy/treat ideas click here!

*More ways to celebrate a Green Halloween here

How to Make the Most of Your Autumn

The leaves outside may be red and gold, but autumn is a great time to be green.  The Sierra Club’s Green Your Autumn page has plenty of tips, recipes, and a nature slideshow to help inspire you to make the most of the season!

Here are a few fall activities to add to your list:

1.) Visit a farm. Take your family to the nearest organic farm to stock up on pumpkins and apples for Halloween. (Preserve biological diversity by supporting rare-fruit orchards whenever possible.)

2.) Enjoy seasonal recipes. It’s time to eat pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes, carrots, leeks, cranberries, apples, and pears. Start with roasted pumpkin seeds and work your way to butternut squash enchiladas and homemade cranberry sauce.  If possible, shop your local farmer’s market.

3.) Make decorations. Autumn holidays offer a chance to entertain guests and show off your eco-friendly DIY style. Opt for crafts that utilize items you already have on hand or that serve a dual purpose, such as edible table displays.

4.) Take a hike. Gaze upon the brilliant fall foliage as you inhale the crisp, cool air. Or, if your region has more palm trees than poplars, get out there and enjoy the unique sights and smells of your corner of the world.

5.) Winterize the home. OK, this task might not sound as fun as eating a pumpkin pie, but saving money on heating bills during the colder months sure feels good.

6.)  Put on a sweater instead of turning up your heat.  Fall is the perfect season to feel comfortable in a sweater.  So, wait until winter to turn on the heat.  Be extra green and purchase a sweater from a thrift or vintage store instead of buying a new one. Recycling and reusing clothes save resources and cuts down on pollution.

7.) Buy Organic Candy and Avoid Palm Oil.   Since Halloween & Thanksgiving both occur in fall, this is the season of sweet treats.   We all know kids want candy come October 31st so read the labels on the candy you purchase. If possible and affordable, stick with organic candy that doesn’t contain palm oil or at least uses sustainably grown palm oil. For more information on palm oil, visit The Rainforest Action Network’s website.

Source:  The Sierra Club

October is Vegetarian Awareness Month

Happy Vegetarian Awareness Month!  If you’ve been toying with the idea of going meat-free, this month is the perfect time to start.  Vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, save animals’ lives and help to preserve the Earth.

VEGETARIAN DIETS:

  • Reduce the risk of major killers such as heart disease, stroke and cancer while cutting exposure to foodborne pathogens
  • Provide a viable answer to feeding the world’s hungry through more efficient use of grains and other crops
  • Save animals from suffering in factory-farm conditions and from the pain and terror of slaughter
  • Conserve vital but limited freshwater, fertile topsoil and other precious resources
  • Preserve irreplaceable ecosystems such as rainforests and other wildlife habitats
  • Decrease greenhouse gases that are accelerating global warming
  • Mitigate the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture

If you are a vegetarian and want to educate those around you, Vegetarian Awareness Month is a great time to raise awareness and encourage friends and family to join you in adopting a vegetarian diet.  Here are some easy ways to do that:

  • Make a list of your favorite vegetarian restaurants, or those that serve favorite dishes, for your friends and family—or take them to one of them to see (and taste) for themselves.
  • Share some of your favorite vegetarian recipes with your friends and family members.  Give them a recipe list, or make them one of your favorites and attach the recipe to it.
  • Are you a gardener? Need to get rid of the last of your summer produce to make room for your cool season crops? If so, give those you love a basketful along with recipe and meal planning ideas. Not a gardener? Then shop at your local farmers’ market and give them a basketful from there.
  • You can also organize a produce swap. This can be with friends and family or with other gardeners, to increase their awareness about the number of produce varieties to choose from.

If you are not a vegetarian, here are some tips for you:

  • Observe Meatless Monday. This is a growing trend, and is a perfect way to kick off the month by eating meat-free for Vegetarian Awareness Day. You can also try to do this throughout the month and have a variety of vegetables to keep your diet interesting.
  • Educate yourself about the nutritional benefits of a vegetarian diet and find out the other ways that it can benefit you.
  • Go for one whole day as a vegetarian and tell friends and family you are doing this.
  • Host a meatless meal or potluck with your friends. This will help all of you get more tasty recipe ideas and become familiar with different veggies.
  • When you dine out, try the meatless options and encourage your friends to do the same.

The North American Vegetarian Society is giving non-vegetarians an added incentive to go meat-free.  Pledge to go meat-free during Vegetarian Awareness Month and you’ll have the chance to win up to $1,000.  Even just one day will make you eligible for the drawing.

Non-vegetarians who pledge to abstain from all meat, fish and fowl will be entered in a random drawing for cash prizes.  Click here to find out all the details.

Source:  care2.com

 

Green Your Dental Routine During National Dental Hygiene Month

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!  It’s the perfect time to make a few eco-friendly changes to your dental routine that will help keep your teeth clean and healthy while helping to save the environment:

Turn Off the Faucet – By turning off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth, you can save up to 8 gallons of water per day, that’s over 200 gallons a month! Conserving natural resources helps to improve the environment around us.

Do Not Flush Floss – It is important to properly dispose of floss. Non-biodegradable nylon floss cannot dissolve in water and will not break down like other disposable products. When floss is flushed down the toilet, it works its way through the water system and out into the ocean, polluting the water and potentially killing birds, animals and sea-life through accidental ingestion. This is avoidable by simply throwing floss into the garbage. You can also purchase floss packaged in cardboard containers, which helps to reduce plastic waste in our landfills.

Try Silk Floss – Floss creates waste if you’re using a brand that is primarily made of out plastic. A great floss to check out is made by Radius and is made out of 100% natural silk. According to their website the silk is organic and biodegradable. So, floss and then toss (it on the compost pile).

Green Your Toothbrush – This is an incredibly easy change to make because more and more grocery stores are carrying options. Check out this post dedicated to this topic called “Green Your Toothbrush! (And Look Good Doing It)” where you can find some really great info!

Recycle/Reuse Toothbrushes, Packaging, Toothpaste Tubes, Mouthwash Bottles and Floss Containers – It is estimated that 50 million pounds of toothbrushes are thrown into U.S landfills each year. Help clean up the environment by purchasing recyclable toothbrushes. Terracycle and Preserve are two companies that offer eco-friendly options to recycle toothbrushes, packaging, toothpaste tubes, and floss containers. You can also reuse toothbrushes around the house for cleaning appliances, jewelry and even your shoes. Before you toss your toothbrush, try and find a creative way you can use it instead.

Unplug Your Electric Toothbrush Charger –  It isn’t necessary to charge your electric toothbrush every day, all day. The average brush lasts several weeks between charges and it is usually easier on the battery to not be charged constantly. Maybe you don’t put your toothbrush back on the charger but leave the charger plugged in?  When an electrical item is left plugged in even though it’s turned off, it is still very likely consuming some electricity. So to better safe then sorry, unplug that charger!

Turn Off the Lights – When possible, use natural lighting when brushing your teeth. If this is not an option, you can replace old bulbs with CFL or LED lights to help conserve energy.

Slow Down – Don’t brush so hard and be gentle on your gums. It will make your toothbrush last longer, saving you money and reducing waste.

Leave the Car at Home – If possible, walk or ride your bicycle to your dental appointment.

These small changes to your dental routine can make all the difference in helping to conserve energy and natural resources and help clean up the environment.

Sources:  White Dental StudioGentle Dental

 

DOI changes to sage grouse plans put “vital habitat at risk,” says TWS

Alex Thompson

Today, the Interior Department announced it will be working toward broad changes to the landmark sage grouse conservation plans, putting the fate of the greater sage grouse and the more than 350 species that its habitat supports at risk of survival.

Keywords: 

Arctic Refuge in grave jeopardy with House and Senate sneak attacks

Michael Reinemer

The U.S. House approved a budget resolution today that paves the way for drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Senate Budget Committee is expected to pass their resolution with a similar provision later today.

Emmer mining bill pushes sell-out agenda that favors pollution, foreign mining and private profiteering over conservation and recreation on our public lands

Michael Reinemer

In its recent report “Too Wild to Drill,” The Wilderness Society listed the Boundary Waters as one of the 15 wild areas in the U.S.