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Leah

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  1. What is E-waste? E-waste stands for electronic waste. This includes anything from discarded and broken cell phones, computers, iPods, and small appliances. Developed nations are dealing with a crisis of overconsumption, which produces many harmful consequences. One of these consequences is e-waste, which is created when electronic products are thrown away. Unfortunately, the production, consumption and ultimate disposal of e-waste is sped up with planned obsolescence, when products are intentionally designed to have a short lifespan—they either break quickly and cannot be repaired i
  2. Photo credit: yearofthegurl In my last post about giving green gifts, I suggested homemade bodycare products as a great gift. As an update to that, here are some recipes and suggestions to help get you started! The wonderful thing about making your own products is that you know exactly what goes into them. Unlike typical commercially produced cosmetics that boast a list of ingredients a mile long (if they even list their ingredients), you can be 100% sure that your homemade products are natural, non-toxic and safe. Plus, they can work just as well as mainstream products. You can also opt f
  3. Photo credit: alancleaver_2000 Is it too early to start thinking about Christmas? I think not. If you plan early and do a little research, green alternatives aren’t hard to find; there’s something eco-friendly out there for everyone on your list. Top 10 Green Gifts 1. Homemade Bodycare Products For the: makeup lover, spa junkie, or anyone who could use a little pampering Why it’s Green: There are tons of natural beauty products out there, but why not kick it up a notch and make your own? You can make this present as green as you want it to be! Generally, homemade products
  4. Photo credit: {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester} What are genetically modified foods? Biotechnology covers a broad range of technological “advancements†in food. These include the production of herbicides and pesticides, the use of antibiotics in dairy and meat, and of course, genetically modified foods (Otero, 2008). Genetically modified food refers to food that has had its genetic structure altered in some way, such as by mixing genes of different organisms. Generally, this has been done to make a crop more efficient to produce, export and sell (Bakshi, 2003). Examples include making
  5. Does the individualization of environmentalism have any merits? Can it successfully co-exist with collective action? Environmental advertising (or “green†advertising) assures consumers that they can evoke positive environmental change by adopting simple habits and by purchasing green goods provided by companies (Maniates, 2001). These include wearing clothing made from sustainable fibres, consuming local and organic food, purchasing hybrid cars or choosing cosmetics made with natural ingredients. However, some environmental scholars such as Michael Maniates have criticized these actions as
  6. Growing your own food is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, guarantee food safety and quality, and save money in the process. But if you’re short on time and space, containers are an easy way to garden. If you haven’t started your garden yet for the summer, it’s not too late. Soil Make sure that the soil you buy is natural, with no pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilizers added to it. There are organic options for fertilizers available (such as natural manure and peat) although plants in containers usually thrive without adding anything to the soil. In some cases,
  7. Photo credit: woodleywonderworks Taina, a Vancouver-based environmentalist and blogger, has taken on a challenge most of us would find daunting: living for a year without any plastics. She started in January, so May marks the fifth month into the project. Every few days, she updates her online followers with her challenges, successes, and angry (though justified) plastic-rants on her blog Plastic Manners. Taina cites many reasons why she’s decided to tackle this particular issue. Basically, our society is in denial about both the pervasiveness and the dangers of plastic. First, many plas
  8. Photo credit: mckaysavage Regardless of whether or not you smoke, drink, eat right or exercise, environmental toxins are inescapable. It’s a sad truth that comes with living in our modern world. Just to name a few sources, toxins are found in pollution, pesticides in food, and chemicals in plastics and cosmetics. It’s important to remember that people are part of the environment, not separate from it. Whatever toxins harm and pollute the earth have the potential to harm and pollute us. An internal cleanse (or “detoxâ€) is a natural, healthy way to gently rid the body of some of the d
  9. Photo credit: roland With only a few days left before the 2010 Olympic Games officially begins, there is a buzz around the streets of Vancouver. Being a resident of the city, I can certainly say it has undergone some radical changes in the past few months. Regardless of whether or not you support the games, it seems everyone has something to say. Recent talk has surrounded the issue of sustainability. Considering, at the very least, the carbon emissions created by all the flights into the host city (and some residents’ flights out of the city) the Olympics can never be genuinely environm
  10. Photo credit: woodleywonderworks Chances are, you already do quite a few of these already. These ideas certainly aren’t new or ingenious. However, they are simple, easy and attainable. So if you see something new on the list, give it a go. There are always things we can work on. Your Two New Best Friends... ...are your reusable shopping bag and stainless steel thermos, of course. The thing about shopping trips and coffee runs is that they’re often unplanned, so you can’t realistically say no to plastic bags or paper cups. The problem is that these one time slip-ups really add up
  11. Photo credit: mroach When it comes to climate change, journalists are notorious for getting even the simplest of facts wrong. Take, for example, an article from March 2007, by Julie Wheldon, which proclaims “Greenhouse Effect is a Myth, Say Scientists†in the headline. Yet, the body of the article does not argue that there is no greenhouse effect. In fact, no scientist would argue that the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist. Without it, life as we know it would not exist. So why does the media get it wrong? Well, there are a few reasons, put forth by different researchers. Here, I summar
  12. Photo credit: x-ray delta one Our society is suffering from estrogen overload. No, I’m not referring to Sex and The City reruns—estrogen overload refers to the increasing amount of estrogen in our environment, our food and our bodies. “Good†Estrogen Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, is responsible for normal body processes in women such as secondary female sex characteristics, menstruation, fertility, protein synthesis, bone density, metabolism and much more. Actually, there are three kinds of estrogens in the body: estrone, estradiol, and estriol, which all have speci
  13. Photo credit: iateapieIt’s amazing to see just how much power some celebrities hold over the masses. They can create the latest trends and sway public opinion with just a few sentences. In the case of Oprah and her sidekick Dr. Oz, turning açaí berries from a Brazilian food into a household name was simple. Background Information Açaí (pronounced ah-sah-ee) berries are the small, dark purple fruit of a type of palm tree that grows primarily in the Brazilian rain forest. They are eaten by locals as part of their daily diets. In North America, açaí berry juice has been sold in healt
  14. Photo credit: busymommy Breakfast: good for you and the planet! Many teens either skip breakfast or grab something starchy and sugary on the way to school. However, from a nutritional point of view, breakfast is the most important part of the day. The solution? A fast and easy breakfast smoothie. You can make your own with protein powder, yogurt and frozen berries, or try Vega smoothie mixes. They have protein for energy, plus all your vitamins and minerals to start the day right. Vega compared its Whole Food Optimizer to a “traditional North American breakfast†including hashbrowns, eg
  15. Photo credit: How can I recycle this By now, most people have now heard of BPA (or bisphenol-A), the chemical found in polycarbonate plastics. BPA is most often founds in clear, hard plastic water bottles, food containers and baby bottles (when in doubt, BPA is found in number 7 plastics). As of April 2008, BPA has received considerable press attention for health and safety concerns. Canada is the first country to ban the import of baby bottles that contain BPA. Furthermore, in October of last year, the Canadian federal government added BPA to its list of toxic substances. The reason? BPA
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