Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eco-meme -- I Have Been Tagged

On my personal blog I can not get enough of tags, they work out fantastic when I go through dry spells and have nothing to say. Plus there is nothing like sharing quirky randomness with the blogosphere to really let people know the real you. Or at the very least the realest you that you are willing to put online for everyone to get to know.

I have not yet been tagged over here at Green Leaf Reviewer until Hyla from Green Earth Journey did so a few days ago. I thought about this a lot as I know there is no true obligation to satisfy the requirements of a tag but I felt compelled to complete it anyway. But as per my usual, I am doing so with a little twist. The rules are published as follows:

* Link to the person who tagged you
* Post the rules on your blog
* Write six random things about yourself
* Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them
* Let each person know they've been tagged

In lieu of random facts about myself I intend to share random items I have been introduced to of late as related to the environment. Hopefully these topics will raise awareness and spark conversations either here or on each of our own blogs. Think of it as six mini GLR blogs in one! Also I never tag back so if you would like to snag this, by all means please do so!

1. CPSIA. What is it many of you may be asking? I had begun reading about this topic over on Etsy a few months ago and since then Julie has shared some additional information on her own blog regarding this very hot button topic. CPSIA stands for Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and was enacted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in 2008 as a way to ensure all items sold for children are free of lead. This goes into effect on February 10, 2009 and has become a hot button issue because items must be tested to ensure compliance. Due to the cost prohibitive nature of certain lab testing methods, many home based businesses will be forced to close leaving many entrepreneurs out of work. Please feel free to read the CPSC Press Release from January 8, 2009 for more detailed information.

2. Green Art. Victoria from Victoria Case Art Design was looking for a way to go green in her work so when she came across Green Art colored pencils and watercolor paints her curiosity was peaked and environmental nature satisfied. She tried out the pencils and gave us all her very honest review of their performance both from a professional opinion as well as what a lay person (or child) might think. Today she added her ten cents regarding the watercolors and in brief, she did not find them adequate for professional use but certainly wonderful for the everyday user. Moms purchasing such items for art classes be on notice and check out this Earth friendly option!

3. The dirtiest clean coal I have ever seen. In Harriman, Tennessee on December 22, 2008 a coal sludge spill of about two and a half million cubic yards was introduced into the land surrounding the Kingston Fossil Plant. Twelve homes were damaged, one of which was ripped from its foundation, after the retaining wall at the coal plant collapsed and the grey ash sludge spread its way to over 400 acres of land, six feet in depth. This spill is one of the worst environmental disasters of our time and the fact that it did not get a lot of press nationally is simply wrong. I wanted to thank Charmaine for bringing this news story to my attention and let everyone know that additional details can be read on the Environmental News Service website.

4. In happier news on this subject, the Obama EPA Administration plans to begin investigations into all coal ash ponds nationally, regardless of the fact that they are not subject to federal regulations. The plants are but the off site storage facilities of the sludge are not and although it was proposed to set a national measure on them by the EPA in 2000, they never proceeded under the Bush Administration. Obama is primed to do so now as not only one spill has occurred as indicated above, but a second in Stevenson, Alabama just five days ago. Both spills occurred at facilities maintained by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The sludge can contain toxins such as mercury or arsenic so I fully applaud the Obama EPA for making these initial strides to shore up and hopefully regulate such facilities before more harm is done.

5. Follett Higher Education Group. My Aunt is a nurse and attends a local college here in Massachusetts. She popped into the book store and discovered that they, as well as a number of other educational facilities, are doing their part to go green! FHEG is a manager of bookstores nationwide (over 750) and additionally provide support, product and services to another 1,800 stores across the United States. Their goals include sustainability and they are now rolling out reusable bags available for purchase at just $0.99 as opposed to the plastic bags of the past. For a student this is ideal as this bag will be utilized many, many, many times over during the course of collegiate life!

6. It is called natural selection for a reason. It was reported today that on Macquarie Island in Australia some thought it would be a fine idea to remove all the feral cats so the native sea bird population would rebound. In doing so it triggered an increase in the population of rabbits. Rabbits like to eat leafy greens. Those leafy greens were what the birds used as cover from predators. See where I am going with this? The cats and rabbits (as well as rats and mice), it is suggested, were introduced via ships over the past century. Since they are not native species it is now deemed acceptable to begin poisoning those animals to eradicate them so the birds can once again thrive on the island.

So there you have it. Please feel free to share your thoughts on any or all of these topics!


High Desert Diva said...

I like your eco-tag.

I hadn't heard about the 2nd spill...where is the news coverage of these environmental disasters?

Jenn said...

I was thinking the exact same thing Charmaine. I briefly caught some info on the one in Tennessee one night but it was during like the 6:00 news & then they never mentioned it at night. Alabama I just found out about while doing this research on Obama yesterday. I believe they said the Tennessee spill was something like a million times worse than the Exxon Valdez but I couldn't confirm that so didn't put it in. I just feel bad for the people who live in the area, now their houses will be deemed "safe" but there is mercury and aresenic in their soil. Sucks.

ginger said...

i haven't heard about either of these spills till just now. what a shame.

number 6 also irks me. i can't even begin...

Bridgete said...

Here's a link about the CPSIA stuff. There's a petition you can sign and a form letter to send to your congressmen. There's also some other suggestions available for how to help.