April 30, 2010

oil spill


image from NOAA

In brief:

The US administration has banned oil drilling in new areas of the US coast while the cause of the oil spill off Louisiana is investigated.

From the AP:
"The oil slick could become the nation's worst environmental disaster in decades, threatening to eclipse even the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the Exxon Valdez, the grounded tanker that leaked 11 million gallons in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989. The sheen measured about 70 miles by 130 miles as of Thursday, and officials expected to update that figure Friday.

It imperils hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world's richest seafood grounds, teeming with shrimp, oysters and other marine life.


"This is a very, very big thing," David Kennedy, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press about the spill. "And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling."

Read more here.

"The harm right now to the fishing industry and to the economic sector is just almost incalculable." - Richard Arsenault, a lawyer for a group of Louisiana shrimpers

"Every a**hole who ever chanted 'Drill Baby Drill' should have to report to the Gulf Coast today for cleanup duty." - Bill Maher via Twitter

For more information about the spill and the aftermath, visit NOAA.

April 26, 2010

earth day posters



In my Earth Day post I mentioned a poster contest held by Martha Stewart Whole Living in collaboration with Pencil. New York City public school children participated in the contest. I was always entering poster contests when I was in school. I am happy to share some of the entries. You can visit the Whole Living website to see all the finalist posters.

April 22, 2010

earth day 2010

Happy 40th Earth Day! I often don't even have a post on Earth Day, which might be surprising given the theme of my blog. While the intentions might be good, I find that there is so much hype and green messaging happening around this date that it gets kind of overwhelming. Do all the stories and events inspire you to change some habits? Or does it perpetuate a crunchy, eccentric ethic?

On the local radio morning show this morning they had a guest (a business reporter from the newspaper, I think) who said he believed true environmental change will happen through financial incentives—that at the end of the day, it is all about money. For industry, government, and maybe many folks this is probably true. Switching to solar looks a lot more appealing when there is a huge rebate check from the government to do it!

In thinking about Earth Day, I've put together a few of the most inspirational events and announcements that I've received:

----------
Moms Rising is asking folks to join in signing an Earth Day letter to Congress urging support for safer chemicals in products used by babies and children, and in all consumer products. It is a quick and easy (and important!) thing to do.

----------
Environment California is calling for donations to help ban plastic shopping bags in all of California. A great step considering all that plastic floating in the Pacific.

----------
Who doesn't love a good poster contest, especially by students? Martha Stewart’s Body+Soul: Whole Living magazine partnered with PENCIL (a New York City public school education organization) to celebrate Earth Day this year by sponsoring an Earth Day Poster Contest at ten New York City public schools. They are having an exhibit of the posters tonight, but I won't have images to share of them until after the party. What a fantastic and engaging idea!

----------
Al Gore, the founder of Repower America, sent a message asking people to call their senators. There will be legislation introduced in the next few days looking to improve the US climate policy (which is far less progressive than many other countries).

"Today, on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the world is looking to the U.S. for leadership on climate. Call your Senator to tell him or her to fight for the strongest possible clean energy and climate legislation. Call now: 1-877-55-REPOWER (1-877-557-3769) And then report your call here. "

----------
Repower America has done a great job at refreshing the Earth Day message with Biz Markie. They say, "it's easy to succumb to doom and gloom. But each of us came to this movement because of the joy we find in working together to build a sustainable future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. Today, on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we have come together in this video to share that inspiration -- all while joining in the call for the strong clean energy and climate legislation our nation needs."

You know that I'm a big believer in protest and reform through song and smiles!
Happy Earth Day.

April 14, 2010

catherine mohr builds green


I just watched this video from TED and wanted to share it. Catherine Mohr humorously shares her experience of building a green house. The surprising lesson is that "sometimes what you are not expecting to be the biggest changes are [the biggest]".

It is a short video which inspires one to really question green propaganda vs. actual fact.

April 11, 2010

tuna

It seems I've been blogging in my head and not actually writing and posting my thoughts. These recent thoughts (which have yet to be written) all seem to be about food. It makes sense, really, since I'm a mom and in charge of feeding my family something somewhat nourishing.

My journey with this blog has been to share things I learn about relating to the health of my family and the environment—so naturally food fits right in there.

I'll skip straight to today's food dilemma: tuna.

My son recently discovered that he liked tuna salad sandwiches. I love it too, but had actually been avoiding it because of issues with mercury and also with BPA in the cans. Surely there is some small quantity of it that would be okay?

I found this information on the NRDC website:

"Since children get most of their mercury from canned tuna, it is important for parents to limit their children's consumption to less than one ounce of canned light tuna for every 12 pounds of body weight per week, in order to stay below the level of mercury the EPA considers safe. That means that a child who weighs 36 pounds should not eat more than 3 ounces (half a standard-sized can of chunk light tuna) per week. Children should avoid albacore or white tuna because the levels of mercury are higher."

At the store earlier today I had found 2 kinds of tuna at the store that looked interesting.

This first one is a brand I've loved for a long time. The quality seems good and I like that it is local. I hadn't known about the albacore being higher in mercury. So I looked at the Dave's website and learned that the albacore they catch is much safer because they use smaller, younger fish from colder waters. These fish have not built up the mercury levels that the older, larger albacore have. I also read on their website about the differences between their tuna and national brand tunas. They have completely sold me! I'm feeling much better about serving their tuna. You can even see pictures of each of their fishing boats online.


The second kind of tuna I found at the store today was Wild Planet. I haven't tried this brand yet, but the label sure got my attention since it addressed many of my concerns.

But the real test will be if the tuna sandwich gets eaten in his lunch.