If you came looking for Apple Guardians, you found it! Only the site name has changed. All else stays the same. Welcome back.

September 30, 2011

Are Your Kids Eating BPA for Dinner?

The Breast Cancer Fund has uncovered the presence of BPA in canned foods marketed directly to young kids.  They tested 12 canned foods – two cans each of six canned meal products – marketed to, and largely consumed by, children, including:

·         Annie’s Homegrown Cheesy Ravioli
·         Campbell’s Disney Princess Cool Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
·         Campbell’s Spaghettios with Meatballs
·         Campbell’s Toy Story Fun Shapes, Shaped Pasta  with Chicken in chicken Broth
·         Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Pasta, Mini ABC’s & 123’s with Meatballs
·         Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Noodlemania Soup

Every food sample tested positive for BPA, with Campbell’s Disney Princess and Toy Story soups testing the highest. 
Now it’s canned foods that are exposing small kids to BPA at similar levels as the baby bottles that have been banned in numerous states and largely driven off of store shelves.  The Breast Cancer Fund also put out a report addressing the concern that children may be particularly vulnerable to the effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals like BPA.

There should be no place for toxic chemicals in our children’s food.  I hope you’ll join me by askingCampbell Soup Company, Con Agra (maker of Chef Boyardee), Annie’s Homegrown,and Hain Celestial (maker of Earth’s Best) to stop marketing BPA to kids intheir canned foods.

The Breast Cancer Fund has launched the Cans Not Cancer campaign, creating a national voice to urge food manufacturers to replace BPA with a safer alternative.
It’s time for moms across the country to unite, just like we have for BPA-free baby bottles and phthalate-free toys, and demand that canned food companies stop marketing this toxic chemical to kids.

Act now:
·         Sign the petition telling Campbell’s that BPA is not “M’m mm good!”
·         Follow these tips to avoid the sneakiest sourcesof BPA.

September 25, 2011

Loggerhead Sea Turtle gets Protection

The northern loggerhead sea turtle is finally getting full protection under the Endangered Species Act.  In response to two legal petitions last week, the National Marine Fisheries Service designated the North Pacific loggerhead sea turtle "endangered" under the Act -- upgrading its status from the less-protective classification of "threatened."  The rare and ancient marine reptile, which spends much of its time off the coasts of Mexico and California, has declined by at least 80 percent over the past decade due to fisheries by-catch, climate change, oil spills and other threats.

Although loggerheads in the Northwest Atlantic are also seriously at risk and have seen a 40 percent decline in nesting on Florida beaches since 1998, the agency did not list them as it did their North Pacific cousins.  Instead, it split loggerheads into nine populations worldwide and protected only five of these.  But North Pacific turtles now have a much better shot at recovery: Threats like deadly long-line and gillnet fisheries will be under increased scrutiny, and the Fisheries Service will now have to identify areas to set aside as federally protected "critical habitat" for the turtles.

September 24, 2011

Europe's Vibrant New Low Car(bon) Communities

Stockholm, Sweden

Eight new developments across Europe have employed successful design and policy measures to limit car use.  These developments have lower rates of car ownership and car mode share, and higher rates of bicycling, walking and transit use than comparable areas or their surrounding cities.  This also means these developments have lower carbon footprints from transportation.

Greenwich Millennium Village in London has a car mode share of 18%, less than half of that in the surrounding district, which has a car mode share of 44%.
Vauban, in Freiburg, Germany has a car mode share of 16% compared with the citywide average of 30%.

Car ownership rates in Houten are only 80% of that of the surrounding city of Zeist in The Netherlands.

Also in The Netherlands, bicycling mode share in GWL Terrein in Amsterdam is 50% compared with the rest of Amsterdam West, which has a cycling mode share of 32%.
These developments have employed a combination of carrot and stick measures that promote walking, cycling and transit use, while regulating road use and parking to make car use less convenient.

It is also worth noting that nearly all of these developments were created in close proximity to existing urban centers and near good transit connections.  This combined with strong design measures to make cycling and walking safe and pleasant take away a lot of the "need" for car ownership, and make commuting by car even less essential.
Download the report from the Institute for Transportation& Development Policy for more information about all eight European developments.

September 13, 2011

Nickelodeon's "Victorious" for our Planet

I don't prefer to watch TV, but I do like to spend quality time with my daughter.  Over the weekend my daughter and I had the house to ourselves (we love it when the boys take their golf trips).  And, since I didn't get home from work until after dark on Saturday, our quality time consisted of whatever my daughter wanted to watch on TV. 

Being the average kid, she had us flipping the channels between Disney and Nickelodeon.

One of the more popular shows on Nick right now is Victorious.  All ages love this show.  I've seen it with my daughter a few times, but this time I noticed something I hadn't before.

Everywhere these kids went they would be carrying their purse or backpack or books or something, but they would also be carrying their stainless steel water bottle.

No one ever talked about it.  It was never focused on in any way; just like they wouldn't focus on what puse they were carrying or outfit they were wearing.  It was a regular part of what they did, day in and day out.  No one had plastic! 

The subliminal message this sends out to kids is fantastic!  I can see it now:  Young girls telling their moms that it's not cool to carry an ugly plastice water bottle, and that they want a metallic pink one instead because it's what Tori carries on Victorious. 

Kudos goes out to Nickelodeon's Victorious.  As one of the most popular shows out there right now for kids, they know they have a tremendous power of persuasion.  And they're using it to benefit the planet!  How cool is that? 

Imagine what more can be done using this medium.  What if we saw recycling bins in the backgrounds of these shows instead of trash cans?  What else can we think of? 

Kids these days can grow up with conservation as the norm, and not something that takes a conscious effort.  Nickelodeon has it right.  Kids are our future, and the of the planet depends solely on how they will live as adults.  Keep up the good work Nick. 

September 10, 2011

Environmental Summer Program for Teens

For the past 17 summers the Nature Conservancy has hosted a program called "Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future" (aka LEAF).  The program appeals to urban teens with little or no experience in nature, with one-third of its alums going on to pursue environmental careers. 

My daughter participated in this program and it's amazing!  Check it out and, if you haven't had your teen participate already, look into it for next year.  You'll be glad you did. 

Judge Approves 757 Species Settlement

Here's great news to start the weekend:  A federal judge has just approved the Center for Biological Diversity's landmark agreement to move 757 of the country's most imperiled, least protected species toward protection.

The judge's signature today makes the historic agreement the Center reached with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official and legally binding.

And it's the latest step in a decade-long effort at the Center to get vital federal protection for hundreds of America's most vulnerable plants and animals.  All of them now have a fresh shot of survival.  Celebrate this important moment.
Even before the judge today made the agreement legally binding, significant progress toward protecting species included in the Center's settlement.  Over the past two months, dozens of species listed in the agreement have been proposed for listing.  That includes one of the rarest butterflies in the United States, the Miami blue, which has been proposed for emergency protections.

There's never been an agreement like this one: Between now and 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Service will decide on Endangered Species Act protection for hundreds of species, including the American wolverine, the Pacific fisher, Mexican gray wolf, sage grouse and the Pacific walrus.

The deal includes species in all 50 states, including 26 birds, 31 mammals, 67 fish, 22 reptiles, 33 amphibians, 197 plants and 381 invertebrates.

With the judge's approval today, important decisions will be made about the fate of these species to be in the coming months and years.  And because of the ongoing hard work by scientists, lawyers and advocates in reaching this agreement and continuing to fight for protections for other imperiled plants and animals, you can celebrate knowing that many of these species will finally get the help they so desperately need.

Reflect on this historic victory for America's plants and wildlife. There is always more work to be done, but pause and celebrate the big victories when they are earned. 

September 7, 2011

A Wake-Up Story

Children need bedtime stories.  Parents need...
A Wake-Up Story.



Blog Widget by LinkWithin