14 January 2009

cleaning up dirty: a web roundup

From the oxymoronic "clean coal" to green clothing care, here's a little collection of articles and ideas on how to keep the world a little cleaner.

The no 'poo method: Wash your hair the non-toxic and economical way, with these tried and true baking soda and vinegar recipes
[One Green Generation]

Lighten up in '09: A buyers' guide to the most energy efficient (ie, less carbon-spewing) and least mercury containing CFLs
[Environmental Working Group]

Butts for fashion: Keeping cigarette butts out of the wastestream by creating yarn from it for knitting, crocheting

Goody gum drops! Tips for removing chewing gum from clothing, the eco-friendly way
[Planet Green]

Dirty snow: It's an energy-sucking industry -- tips on choosing ski resorts with a smaller carbon footprint

Dirty, dirty coal: It'll never be clean!

It becomes a game of rhetorical bait-and-switch. Point out that there are exactly zero commercial power plants in the U.S. that sequester any carbon emissions, and “clean coal” advocates talk about how they’ve reduced “emissions” (though not greenhouse gasses). Mention that coal-burning power plants are still the country’s largest source of acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide pollution and airborne emissions of birth-defect- and brain-damage-causing mercury pollution—or that they’re responsible for roughly 24,000 deaths every year in the United States—and ACCCE will tell you that they’re a mere ten years away from perfecting the art of carbon capture.

5 actions you can take right now

A message from Michelle Obama

1. Get involved in bettering your community and country: organize or join a National Day of Service event (with the Sierra Club)
President-elect Obama is calling on all Americans to participate in service projects over Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend, January 17 through 19. The Sierra Club is answering the call and asking its members and supporters to organize service events in the name of the Club.

More info on the National Day of Service, organized by Michelle and president-elect Barack Obama, here.


2. Protect national forests: sign a petition to president-elect Obama
The Bush Administration removed it, so please, Mr. Obama, reinstate protection on more than 58 million acres of pristine, roadless national forests.

3. Support green schools to help the economy: sign a letter to your representatives
Greening America’s schools must be a priority to help: 1) stimulate a new clean energy economy, creating millions of new jobs in green technology and energy-efficient school construction; 2) help strengthen America’s global competitiveness by providing safer, healthier, and better overall learning environments; 3) help schools become more energy efficient – saving schools enough money to hire two additional teachers – while protecting our environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Protect NY state farmland: sign an email alert to your legislator
The Governor is proposing staggering cuts of almost 40% to agricultural programs in the Environmental Protection Fund, like the Farmland Protection Program, meaning that almost 90% of farmers interested in protecting their land this year will be turned away.

5. Tell the EPA to regulate nanosilver: sign a petition
Hundreds of consumer products incorporating nanomaterials are now on the market, including cosmetics, sunscreens, sporting goods, clothing, electronics, baby and infant products, and food and food packaging, many of which contain nano-silver. Help ensure that these products are safe by supporting a petition to the EPA.