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[ Get outside on Saturday and celebrate our planet! ]

1thing-EarthDay

 

In honor of Earth Day on Saturday, click here to check out a few eco-friendly tips to help you take care of our planet! 

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[ Before you eat… ]

Guide-to-Eating-Fish-and-Shellfish-from-SF-BayGuide to Eating Fish and Shellfish from the San Francisco Bay

 

 

Mercury in Lake FishMercury in Fish Lakes Advisory

 

 

 

 

Keep Your Family Safe from MercuryKeep your Family and Water Safe from Mercury

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[ Friends of the Earth ]

Friends of the Earth591x218

 

Friends of the Earth is an international  protection organization that “strives for a more healthy and just world”. Their work pushes for reforms politically on a large scale as well as smaller community networks focused on the preservation of shared Earth resources. 

“We understand that the challenges facing our planet call for more than half measures, so we push for the reforms that are needed, not merely the ones that are politically easy.” – FOE

Together they have 75 national member groups collaborating for the international conservation effort, representing more than two million activist in more than 60 countries. In the United States, FOE works with Congressmen, state authorities and community groups in all 50 states to urge policymakers and community leaders to “work towards a healthy environment for all people.” 

Throughout their 47-year history, Friends of the Earth has been working “to change the perception of the public, media and policy makers” and institute global environmental protection efforts. Their main efforts go specifically to curbing the environmental degradation on drivers like public investment, granting corporations the right to pollute, or other factors on federal and state levels.

What Makes FOE Different: 

  • They fight for what’s needed over the longer term for all creatures on our planet, not for what is easy or popular in the short term
  • They are a loud and fearless voice for the environment and have been for 47 years
  • They act globally and locally, with a worldwide networks of activist in 75 countries (and counting)
  • They know that solving deep-rooted environmental problems requires exposing and fighting the economic forces that fuel them 
  • They employ a variety of tactics such as policy analysis, grassroots activism, litigation and creative communication to win their campaigns fairly.

What FOE Has Achieved: 

  • Limits the Air pollution from Ships 
  • Persuaded Thousands of Grocery Stores to Commit to Not Selling Genetically Engineered Salmon 
  • Stopped Construction of Dangerous Nuclear Reactors
  • Exposed Corruption in the Review of the Keystone XL tar sands oil Pipeline.

On an international level they have collaborated to bring projects like the Climate Justice and Energy Program giving communities the right to choose their own sustainable energy sources, and working with the UN negotiators to agree on climate finance and ending deforestation. 

They also have started a Food Sovereignty program aimed to halt genetically modified organisms from human consumption. FOE is also responsible for the Forest and Biodiversity program that campaigns against illegal logging and deforestation and works with communities to manage their forest as well as opposing and exposing the negative impacts of monoculture plantations of crops like sugar cane, palm oil and soy. 

In a statement on their website FOE describes their battles to protect the environment as, “Hard work. But the pressures facing our planet and it’s people are too important for us to compromise.”

For more info visit http://www.foei.org/

 

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[ The Global Environment Facility ]

TheGef_591x218

 

We frequently say going green will only work when it helps save the “green” – as in cash. The GEF is uniquely positioned in that space where financial investments are made to help the environment. 

About The GEF 

 The Global Environment Facility (GEF), is a catalyst for action on the environment. Through its strategic investments, the GEF works with partners to tackle the planet’s biggest environmental issues.

  • A UNIQUE PARTNERSHIP of 18 agencies — including United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, national entities and international NGOs — working with 183 countries to address the world’s most challenging environmental issues. The GEF has a large network of civil society organizations, works closely with the private sector around the world, and receives continuous inputs from an independent evaluation office and a world-class scientific panel.
  • A FINANCIAL MECHANISM for 5 major international environmental conventions: the Minamata Convention on Mercury, the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • AN INNOVATOR AND CATALYST that supports multi-stakeholder alliances to preserve threatened ecosystems on land and in the oceans, build greener cities, boost food security and promote clean energy for a more prosperous, climate-resilient world; leveraging $5.2 in additional financing for every $1 invested.

Achievements

Over the past 25 years, the GEF has supported a range of notable achievements: 

  • Creation of more than 3,300 protected areas covering 860 million hectares, an area larger than Brazil.
  • Conservation-friendly management of more than 352 million hectares of productive landscapes and seascapes
  • 790 climate change mitigation projects contributing to 2.7 billion tons of GHG emission reductions.
  • Sustainable management of 34 transboundary river basins in 73 countries.
  • Improved cooperation and governance of one-third of the world’s large marine ecosystems.
  • Sound management and disposal of  200,000 tons of highly toxic Persistent Organic Pollutants.
  • Climate change adaptation to reduce the vulnerability of more than 15 million people in 130 countries.

The Future

  • Environmental threats are growing on a global scale. Although the GEF has had a huge impact in addressing these threats, it recognizes the need for a more comprehensive vision.
  • The 2020 Strategy positions the GEF as a champion of the global environment. It sets out a blueprint for tackling the root causes of environmental degradation through core projects and innovative pilots, while delivering cost-effective, high-impact results. To do all this, the GEF will mobilize local and global stakeholders — from national and local governments to the private sector to civil society, including indigenous peoples and research institutions.

Get more information at https://www.thegef.org

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[ Solve Ant Problems without Toxic Pesticides ]

WW_1-THING_ANTS

There’s usually a better way than poison spray to solve your pest problem. Choose less toxic products and methods for effective pest control that protects people, pets, and your neighborhood from harmful chemicals. Find product lists and free fact sheets at MyWatershedWatch.org

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[ Polar Bears International ]

PolarBear_Flipper

Polar Bears International is made up of volunteers and scientists working together to inform about the plight of the polar bears and the environment they live in.

Information from their website – http://polarbearsinternational.org/ 

Vision
We envision the long-term survival of polar bears and the unique part of the world they call home. We see this iconic species roaming the sea ice for generations to come.

Mission
Our mission is to conserve polar bears and the sea ice they depend on. Through media, science, and advocacy, we work to inspire people to care about the Arctic, the threats to its future, and the connection between this remote region and our global climate.

Strategic Objectives

  • Serve as the global resource for information regarding polar bears and their habitat.
  • Be the leading voice on climate warming impacts to polar bears and their Arctic home while actively seeking solutions through education, advocacy, and action.
  • Conduct, support, and share scientific research that informs polar bear conservation.
  • Educate an international audience about polar bears conservation and provide mentorship for the actions that will help ensure their survival.
  • Proactively and effectively communicate science-based information on polar bears and their conservation.
  • Maintain transparency in fiscal management and sound business policies and practices.
  • Follow best environmental practices as an organization, including minimizing our greenhouse gas footprint.
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[ The Celebration of the Sea Foundation! ]

The Celebration of the Sea Foundation works to inspire, educate and engage people around the world to protect the ocean and its Splash-Logoresources. A specific focus of all their initiatives is STREAM (Science, Technology, Recreation, Engineering, Arts & Music) education for children and families. The Foundation’s programs focus on ways in which each of us can make a positive impact on the environment while placing specific emphasis on the world’s ecological systems. Additionally, emphasis is placed on developing and supporting educational and environmental programs for inner city students and families. The Celebration of the Sea Foundation is also proud to have developed the World Ocean Watch (WOW) Environmental and Educational Marine Science Program & Eco-Link™ to train students around the world to serve as ambassadors for our planet’s oceans. The Eco-Link Challenge is an open call for students to serve as Eco-Reporters and submit environmentally based Public Service Announcements and short form informational videos to engage and educate the public on critical environmental issues around the world.

Objectives:

  • To promote a sense of global stewardship towards the environment and the living things that inhabit it.
  • To produce engaging and educational programs for families, teachers and students.
  • To make the world of science, exploration and the arts exciting and interesting to both children and adults.
  • To utilize interactive technology and outreach programs to motivate everyone to want to learn about the environment and protect the animals that inhabit it.

Strategy: To emphasize ENTERTAINMENT, EDUCATION and TECHNOLOGY in the production of the following – all of which promote the theme of community (how all aspects of the environment, including human activity, are intricately related) and all of which strive to motivate people, particularly children, to improve current environmental conditions:

  • Educational programs and ancillary support materials for classrooms and families.
  • Live and recorded video content for television and social media networks as well as custom apps and web based interactive broadcasts for schools and family home viewing.
  • Traveling exhibitions to be showcased at high profile public forums, leading aquariums, maritime centers, museums and entertainment facilities.
  • Concerts, festivals and special events.
  • Field expeditions (in-reach/out-reach programs) for students, teachers and families. (Many expeditions have a diving/snorkeling and exploration component).

For more information, visit their website here!

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[ Defenders of Wildlife ]

1thingnovember2016

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. 

Founded in 1947, Defenders of Wildlife is a major national conservation organization focused solely on wildlife and habitat conservation and the safeguarding of biodiversity. They believe in the inherent value of wildlife and the natural world, and this singular focus defines their important niche in the environmental and conservation community and serves as the anchor for our organizational values.

Defenders’ approach is direct and straightforward – They protect and restore imperiled species throughout North America by transforming policies and institutions and promoting innovative solutions – and this approach makes a lasting difference for wildlife and its habitat. 

  • On the ground at the state and local level, developing practical, innovative programs that protect and restore key species and habitats and inform our national policy work.
  • With state, national and international policy makers to secure laws and policies that protect animals and their habitats. They are widely recognized by their peers and policymakers for the effectiveness of our advocacy work, particularly with the Department of the Interior and Department of Agriculture and are known for being the most effective advocate for wildlife funding in the federal appropriations process.
  • In the courts establishing legal safeguards for native wildlife and fighting efforts to roll back environmental protections. They act as legal counsel on behalf of a population segment that cannot act for itself, North America’s wildlife.

For more information, visit their website at http://www.defenders.org.

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[ Green Tips for the Holidays ]

So you live a green lifestyle all year long. You recycle, you minimize your impact by bringing your own bags and using a reusable cup for your morning coffee, you drive a low-emission car, and program your thermostat….you are set, right? Did you consider ways to green the holidays???? It doesn’t have to be difficult to make a difference!

* An obvious way would be to buy recycled wrapping paper, but you could take it a step further and use your old newspaper, or wrap it in another gift, such as a tablecloth, a scarf or a reusable shopping bag.

* As for the tree, real or fake? Cutting down trees and branches for decorations kills or injures trees, but a lot of the fake pine stuff is made from PVC which is toxic and energy intensive to make the plastic which releases gasses. There are fake pine decorations made from polyethylene which doesn’t carry the same health risks. Or use a potted real tree that can be planted in the spring.

*If you do use a real tree, be sure to give it new life at the end of the season! Mulch it or chip it. For more ideas check out the National Christmas Tree Association (www.realchristmastrees.org) and learn how to recycle it.

*LED lights are easy to find and will use a fraction of the energy that lights used to use. Use a timer for outdoor lights so they don’t stay on all night!

*Try upcycling! Get a little creative and turn something discarded into something usable. Recycle your old candles, jeans, tissue boxes, revamp glass bottles and jars, or turn old cookie tins into new fabulous gift tins. Pinterest.com is full of great ideas, just search UPCYCLE. There are thousands of ideas, surely one will appeal to you and your skill level.
Upcycle Candles
Glass Bottles and Jars
Give cookie tins a new life 

*Give green. Instead of giving someone another dust collector, donate to a charity that you or your recipient believe in. It’s a win-win! Some ideas to get you started:
Gifts that Give More
70 Years of Family Farming 
Sierra Club 
Nature Conservancy 

*If you do shop, shop local. Support the businesses in your local community and spend less gas driving all over. Art and craft shows are prevalent this time of year and you can support a local artist and give a gift of something thoughtful and artful. Pottery bowls can be esthetically pleasing and functional, or a hand knitted hat is stylish and warm.

*Eco-friendly gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Try gift cards for a group of friends to take a cooking class together. Make some jelly or jam, or bread that can be frozen for later. Be really green and give a worm composter so less food waste goes into the landfill. Try cloth dish towels and napkins as a gift to replace the paper ones. Give a fancy reusable water bottle or coffee/tea travel mug. Be super practical, and give LED bulbs or a blanket for the hot water heater. Reusable shopping bags are handy too! Programmable thermostat. Bus/train passes. Glass storage containers. A basket of nontoxic cleaners. Beeswax candles. Coupons to exchange for your time (ie babysitting or sharing a meal). Donate time to a local environmental group.

Eco Christmas
Eco Friendly Décor
Green Christmas 
Unique and Cheap Eco Friendly Gifts 
Green Gift Ideas

* December 30th is National Bicarbonate of Soda Day! Otherwise known as ordinary baking soda, bicarb has so many uses it belongs in every green house. Surely you have used it for your baked goods….but have you tried it as a facial scrub? Toothpaste? Or even deodorant? A paste of baking soda can relieve the itch from bug bites, and putting it in a bath can help relieve itchy skin and help you relax. Use it as a scrub to remove burnt on stuff from your pots and pans, mix it with vinegar to clean your sinks and tub, or even sprinkle it on your carpet before vacuuming to remove odors. And if you overindulge this season, use half a teaspoon in a glass of water to help with heartburn and indigestion.

51 Uses for Baking Soda

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[ American Farmland Trust ]

AmericanFarmlandTrust_Flipper (2)

No farms, no food. That’s the message of an organization called the American Farmland Trust.

35 years ago, visionary farmland conservationists founded American Farmland Trust.  It’s now part of a national movement to save the land, soil, water and people needed to feed America, and the world.

According to the organization, it’s an uphill battle. Every hour, more than 40 acres of farm or ranch land is lost to urban sprawl or development. Every year, 1.7 billion tons of topsoil is lost to erosion each year in the U.S. That’s enough to fill 1,200 Empire State buildings.

From the halls of Congress to local councils, the American Farmland Trust fights for programs and policies that protect farmland, food and the environment. By mobilizing partners and engaging citizens, they advocate for the changes needed to sustain America’s farmland and the farmers who grow our food.

Since AFT’s founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, the organization has helped save millions of acres of farmland, and led the way for establishing sound environmental practices on millions more.

Want to help? Find out more here. https://www.farmland.org/

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