To celebrate Earth Day, Time highlights 3 ways to make a difference everyday.

Speak Up, Eat Less Red Meat, Stop Home Leaks. (Read it here.)

Find more ideas with my Green Actions.

Support these environmental organizations.

Recently the Maine Legislature approved a ban on the use of bisphenol-A  (BPA) in packaging for baby food and infant formula. Has your state banned BPA’s yet?

BPA is found as a chemical compound in epoxy resins and metal-based food and beverage cans since the 1960s.  Many of these resin are used in food packaging.  These chemical enter our bodies when we eat the food which has been packaged in containers made with these chemical.  It is estimated that over 90% of the general public has BPA in their bodies at this time.

The effects of long term exposure to BPA’s are unknown at this time.  Animal testing has shown a high probability of impacts on the brain, behavior and prostate glands effecting unborn and young children.

In cooperation with the National Toxicology Program, FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research is carrying out in-depth studies to answer key questions and clarify uncertainties about the risks of BPA.
In the interim:
•    FDA is taking reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply. These steps include:
•    supporting the industry’s actions to stop producing BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market;
•    facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA for the linings of infant formula cans; and
•   supporting efforts to replace BPA or minimize BPA levels in other food can linings.
•    FDA is supporting a shift to a more robust regulatory framework for oversight of BPA.
•    FDA is seeking further public comment and external input on the science surrounding BPA.

Read more about harmful BPA’s here

Read the FDA Update on BPA here

Find more resources that will help you take action now here.

Find environmental organizations to support here.

This past year the world faced many extreme weather events from record breaking flooding in Australia to deadly cold and snowfall in Europe and severe drought and devastating hurricanes in the US.  In the face of this extreme weather Earth Day 2013 organizers around the world are working toward a united theme: The Face of Climate Change.

Monday April 22 is the 43 annual Earth Day. It is estimated that over 1 billion people around the world will take part in an organized effort to bring this years theme to life. Together we need to call on our leaders to make key changes to protect our fragile world.

What are you doing for Earth Day?

Get involved here

View a 2012 weather timeline here

Find more resources that will help you take action now here.

Find environmental organizations to support here.

Be more green!

You can make a difference today!

Make many small changes to make one big change!

And you’ll save a lot!

Take action now!

Here’s one idea.

Limit Light Pollution

Did you know that we could save electricity,live healthier and save wildlife by just flicking a switch?

New studies have suggested that light pollution has started changing the behavior of many nocturnal animals.  Many birds not only navigate by the magnetic north but they also find their way by following the night stars during their nocturnal migrations.  Unfortunately with so much outdoor lighting in any of the worlds countries – these bird groups are  becoming increasingly confused and flying into tall buildings and towers. in   In 1981,the light drenched smokestacks at the Hydrox Generating plant in Ontario, Canada. caused the deaths of 10,000.00 birds.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 4 million to 5 million birds die this way every year.

This environmental danger is not just restricted to wildlife.  It has been discovered that many people  suffering with sleep disorders, depression, insomnia, cardiovascular disease, and cancers stem developed their diseases from the alteration of the circadian clock caused by night-time lighting.  Other studies including two that were done in Israel have concluded that there is a correlation between breast cancer and outdoor lighting. these showed that women living in highly lite areas had a 73% higher risk of developing cancer then women from living in less outdoor artificial lighting areas.

So what happens when we start limiting our outdoor lighting?  Starting this July the French Government will become the world leader in preventing light pollution. With the hope of saving approximately two terawatt/hours of electricity per year the country will be mandating all commercial interior lighting to be turned off one hour after the last worker leaves. This, in conjunction with the turning off of all storefront and window lighting by 1am should save enough of electricity to light 750,000 homes.

Read more about the health effects of light Pollution here.

Read more about the wildlife toll of light pollution here.

Find more resources that will help you take action now here.

Find environmental organizations to support here.

Be more green!

You can make a difference today!

Make many small changes to make one big change!

And you’ll save a lot!

Take action now!

Here’s one idea.

Recycle your Old Cell Phones

We have all heard the call to recycle our old cell phones.  We have heard that doing so can save us energy, resources and keep dangerous materials such as like lead, mercury, cadmium, brominate flame retardants and arsenic out of landfills and ultimately our precious  groundwater.

The fact are staggering. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Americans discard 125 million phones each year, creating 65,000 tons of waste.  With the average person in North America changing out their cell phone every 18-24 months, the waste generate from these upgrades have caused cell phone waste to become the fastest growing segment of manufactured garbage in the nation.  Sadly, only about 10 percent of the cell phones used in the United States are recycled. If Americans recycled all of the 130 million cell phones that are tossed aside annually in the United States, we could save enough energy to power more than 24,000 homes for a year.

There are several ways to recycle our old phones.  One is reuse.  The market for refurbished cell phones has grow over the last few decades.  Many organization reuse this old equipment for help with their charity and safety programs.  Other markets reach out to smaller developing countries to provide phones where they would be otherwise unaffordable.

Cell phones are filled with valuable reusable materials all of which can be recovered and reused to make new products.  For every one million cell phones recycled, we can recover 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, 33 pounds of palladium, and 35,274 pounds of copper; cell phones also contain tin, zinc and platinum. Many of these metals when reclaimed from old phones can be reused in jewelry making, electronics and auto manufacturing.   This reclamation saves valuable resources and rescues these metals from landfills.

When the rechargeable cell phone batteries are no longer able to be reused they are able to be recycled to make other rechargeable battery products.  The overall recycling of just one cell phone saves enough energy to power a laptop for 44 hours and recycling one million cell phones could save enough energy to provide electricity to 185 U.S. households for a year.

The next time you upgrade to a new cell phone, think before throwing your old one away or tossing it into a drawer.  The area for recycling and reuse of these old phones is growing every year.  Answer the call and recycle!

Find more resources that will help you take action now here.

Find environmental organizations to support here.

Be more green!

You can make a difference today!

Make many small changes to make one big change!

And you’ll save a lot!

Take action now!

Here’s one idea.

Try Limiting Your Use of Antibacterial Soaps    

 We are heading in the holiday season which comes “hand in hand” with the cold and flu season.  We have all been told to sneeze into our sleeves and wash our hands often to keep the germs at bay.  There is a whole industry built on keeping people safe and germ free. Consumers in the United States spend almost $1 billion per year on “antibacterial” soaps and other products, often believing these products will protect their families from harmful germs and illnesses. So one would think, with all these special wipes and soaps we should be protected.  Recently, new research has some scientists concerned that we might be harming ourselves as well as endangering our environment by using these antibacterial soaps.

Let’s look at the facts.  Most of us use these products to prevent cold and flu viruses.  When actually these antibacterial products kill bacteria, not viruses. These soaps are made up of two major antimicrobial’s, Triclosan, and Triclocarban.  These antibiotics soaps and wipes were originally created in the 1960’s for use before surgical procedures.  They were commercialized in the 1980’s, and by 2001 over 76 percent of liquid hand soaps contained these chemicals.  Most scientific research has proven that the over-use of these chemicals can reduce the overall effectiveness of antibiotics.  The more we use these chemicals the more resistant they become to bacteria, the more difficult it becomes for us to fight off disease.

When we wash our hand these chemicals are absorbed into our skin and contaminate our blood and urine.  One study found that 97 percent of all US women showed levels of triclosan in their breast milk.   According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), levels of triclosan in humans have increased by an average of 50 percent since 2004. Initial studies found that human blood levels of triclocarban spiked after using soaps containing the chemical.

The effect of these chemicals does not end after we wash our hands. Most of these product are washed down the drain thru urine or waste water during washing.   Triclosan is one of the most frequently detected chemicals in streams across the U.S. It has even been found in the bodies of wild bottlenose dolphins. Both triclosan and triclocarbon are found at high concentrations in treated sewage sludge (also known as biosolids) that is often applied to agricultural fields as fertilizer. Because triclosan has been shown to accumulate in earthworms living in these fields, there are concerns about these chemicals also moving into plants and wildlife. In 2002, the USGS published a landmark study showed 80 percent of 139 streams sampled from across 30 U.S. states were found to contain measurable levels of organic wastewater contaminants. Triclosan has also been found to inhibit photo-synthesis in diatom algae.  These algae are responsible for a large part of the photosynthesis on Earth.

While we know very little about the other long term effects of these chemicals that we are using, what we do know is that these chemicals may not help us or our environment stay healthier.

There are alternatives, many are organic and far less harmful to us and our environment.

What can we do to limit our use of these chemicals?

1) Wash your hands carefully and more frequently with natural soaps.

2) Use organic products that contain olive oil, honey, and candula oil.
3) Stay away from products that contain harsh ingredients ie: chlorine, ammonia or glycol ether.

In general, be careful of not only what you put on/in your body but also of what you wash down the drain or put in landfills.

Find more resources that will help you take action now here.

Find environmental organizations to support here.


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