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Get Outdoors During Hiking Week

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has teamed with the Keystone Trails Association (KTA) to offer nearly 100 organized hikes and walks available throughout Pennsylvania during Hiking Week, a nine-day event happening from Saturday, May 28, 2016 through Sunday, June 05, 2016.  All of the scheduled hikes have leaders. Most hikes are on the two weekends of the event, but several weekday and evening hikes also are offered. Special hikes include night hikes; wildflower walks; hikes for people with disabilities; pet walks; geology walks and much more.  ...

05/25/2016 03:54:34pm
Lawsuit Seeks to Silence Fracking Opponents

The future of a lawsuit seeking damages from opponents of gas drilling near their homes and schools is in the hands of a judge.

The lawsuit, filed by gas leaseholders and a developer, seeks more than $500,000 from homeowners and environmentalists who are challenging a zoning ordinance that opens most of Mars Township to fracking. The leaseholders have said they're being deprived of the right to sell what's under their property. But Vic Walczak, legal director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said the lawsuit is really meant to intimidate people exercising their rights....

05/25/2016 08:41:49am
Taking a Road Trip?

Summertime gas prices are predicted to be the lowest in 13 years which mean 2016 could be the summer of the road trip.

If you plan on taking a road trip, even a short one, make sure when tuning up & caring for your vehicle that your car-care products are responsible.  Here are a few eco-friendly items the Sierra Club suggests:

  • Natural rubber helps YOKOHAMA's Avid Ascend save more than 100 gallons of gas-and more than 2,100 pounds of CO2-over its life.

...
05/23/2016 01:08:47pm
Pennsylvania Groups Call for Labeling GMO Foods

"Four simple words": That's what consumer advocates say they want to see on foods containing genetically modified organisms. On Saturday in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other cities around the state, groups are holding what they call a "March Against Monsanto" — one of the largest producers of genetically modified crop seeds.

Karen Stark, co-founder of the group GMO Free PA," wants labels on these foods to contain the words "produced with genetic engineering."

"People should know how their food is being produced so they can determine that they want to consume it or not," she said....

05/20/2016 10:17:27am
GMO Labeling Has Finally Arrived in the U.S

For that last 15 years, numerous organizations and legislators have been battling to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods.  During that time, 64 other countries have mandated this labeling, but not the U.S.  The Food Revolution Network is now reporting that, over the course of just a few days, several major companies have announced they would label GE products, including Kellogg’s, ConAgra, Mars and General Mills:

This sudden turnaround was actually triggered by a remarkable triumph of democracy over corporate power that took place last week in the U.S....

05/19/2016 10:58:32am
Waste Note

British nonprofit that campaigns to end food waste fed thousands of New Yorkers for free recently, using food that would have otherwise been thrown away: surplus from wholesalers or farms and produce with cosmetic imperfections.

Known as Feeding the 5,000, this New York City event was organized by Feedback, a British nonprofit that campaigns against food waste by presenting boisterous eat-ins sourced entirely from food that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Read the full story from National Geographic here....

05/18/2016 09:50:13am
What Do Some Expensive Farm-to-Table Restaurants Really Serve?

"Farm-to-table" has become a popular buzzword in recent years, promoting meat and produce from small-scale local producers instead of national or international commercial food suppliers. Whether it's for health, sustainability, or a desire to support local businesses, diners can expect to pay more for that local fare.

But lately, more restaurants that tout the local lifestyle are being exposed as having an utter lack of the farm-to-table qualities they supposedly espouse, as reported by DealNews:

A recent investigative piece about Tampa-area restaurants discovered that chefs and owners are frequently dishonest about the source of menu items.

...
05/18/2016 08:58:08am
Safer Choices Coming to a Store Shelf Near You

A new federal labeling program will help you choose home products that are safe for you, your family, and your pets.

There are more than 80,000 industrial chemicals in use today, and few have ever been tested for safety. And there are shockingly few federal ingredient disclosure requirements for cleaning products.

But when you look for products bearing EPA’s Safer Choice logo, you can be confident that its ingredients must pass specific health and environment criteria. It must also meet requirements around packaging, performance, and ingredient disclosure....

05/18/2016 08:52:17am
Toyota’s Fuel-Cell Mirai is the 2016 World Green Car

TOYOTA Mirai was declared the 2016 World Green Car recently at the New York International Auto Show:

“We humbly accept this award. Thank you very much.” With those words, Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division, accepted the 2016 World Green Car award at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) for his company’Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell car.  

The World Car Awards were presented at a NYAIS press conference attended by hundreds of journalists during the show’s press days.  ...

05/18/2016 08:51:09am
Senator Yudichak and Rep. Mullery Announce Growing Greener Grant for Earth Conservancy Project

State Senator John Yudichak and Representative Gerald Mullery (D-119th) recently announced a $734,600 Growing Greener grant for the Earth Conservancy Bliss Bank Project in Nanticoke.

The money will be used for Bliss Bank Phase II a 54 acre reclamation project that is part of a larger 200 acre tract known as Bliss Bank Phase I. The land is located on Prospect Street in Nanticoke across the street from Luzerne County Community College.  The goal of the project is to make the land available for development....

05/13/2016 03:52:29pm
Advocates Call for Clean Energy, Green Jobs

Religious leaders, youths and seniors rallied outside PECO headquarters in Philadelphia on Tuesday, singing gospel and labor songs. They called on the utility to create green jobs in low-income neighborhoods by committing to getting 20 percent of its electricity from rooftop solar by 2025.

Greg Holt, communications assistant with the Earth Quaker Action Team, said if the utility committed to getting twenty percent of its electricity from rooftop solar panels by 2025, it would do more than provide clean energy in neighborhoods such as North Philadelphia where unemployment is high....

05/13/2016 10:38:46am
EPA Finalizes Methane Rules

The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized new federal rules to cut methane emissions from new sources. The EPA says the rules will reduce 520,000 tons a year of methane emissions by 2025, producing climate benefits worth almost $700 million.

The gas and oil industry is the largest source of methane emissions in the nation. According to Joe Minott, executive director and chief counsel of the Clean Air Council, this is the first time the EPA has established rules for methane emissions from an industrial source....

05/13/2016 10:35:11am
A Fun Way to Learn About Beach Pollution

Heading to the beach this summer with your children?  Before you head out, help your kids learn about the importance of cleaning up beaches with the eco-conscious Magic Beach app.

The app tells the story of Ann and Ben through a series of interactive games. In the game, Ann and Ben must clean Magic Beach of its litter.  While playing Magic Beach’s games, children will improve their reading and writing skills, and learn about environmental stewardship.

Find out more about the app here....

05/12/2016 12:53:49pm
Bee-Killing Popcorn?

How many times have you gone to see a movie and ordered popcorn?  Or, maybe you just had a bowl of popcorn for a light afternoon snack?  Sat down to watch some TV with a big bowl of popcorn?  Most of us have.  Well, did you know the buttery gold popcorn many of us love to eat comes from seeds coated with toxic, bee-killing pesticides called neonicotinoids?  Here's some stats from the Sierra Club:

An estimated 80 to 95 percent of America’s corn and nearly half of its soybean seeds are precoated with neonicotinoids....

05/11/2016 11:52:29am
Dog Sculptures Made From Bicycle Parts

Former Bridal gown designer, Nirit Levav Packer, has turned to creating masterpieces out of discarded bicycle parts:

Starting her experimental metallic scrap project with the intent of recreating a very "tough and intimidating" Rottweiler, the artist found that the product was actually rather cute. It encouraged her to create another one, this time an Afghan Hound with long shaggy hair simulated with the flexible movement of bicycle chains. She says that the construction of each dog has led to the assembly of the next....

05/04/2016 10:07:06am
Ringling Brothers Retires Its Elephants

Ringling Brothers Circus on Sunday closed the curtain on the use of elephants in its shows with a final performance in Wilkes Barre.

Pressure has been mounting on circuses to end elephant acts. For the elephants, the traveling shows can mean long hours of being shackled and confined in small spaces, and the use of painful bullhooks for training them to do tricks.

Lisa Wathne, a captive exotic animal specialist with the Humane Society of the United States, calls the end of those practices cause for celebration....

05/03/2016 10:19:15am
What's All The Buzz About This App?

Did you know that pollinators like bees and birds are responsible for about one in every three mouthfuls of food we eat?bee  Unfortunately, there is increasing evidence that many pollinators are in decline.  One simple thing you can do to help is plant a pollinator garden.  April is the time when many of us start designing and preparing our summer gardens, so now is the best time to plan the perfect pollinator garden to attract bees and other pollinators.

If you need help choosing the right plants, the Bee Smart® Pollinator Gardener app can help. ...

04/27/2016 03:19:59pm
Air Quality Improving But Problems Persist in PA

Air quality is improving overall but pollution still threatens the health of more than half of all Americans, according to the American Lung Association's annual "State of the Air" report. Cleaner power plants and cleaner cars get the credit for much of the improvements.

Kevin Stewart, director of environmental health for the American Lung Association of the Mid-Atlantic, said the areas around Pittsburgh and Harrisburg still make the top ten for concentrations of year-round particle pollution.

"Fine particles are associated with an increased risk of premature death and exacerbation of lung and heart disease," he said....

04/22/2016 10:20:57am
The World’s Fish Stocks May Be In Worse Shape Than Reports Indicate

The Washington Post recently reported that we may be underestimating the overfishing of the oceans:

A study published in the journal Nature Communications suggests that the national data many countries have submitted to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has not always accurately reflected the amount of fish actually caught over the past six decades. And the paper indicates that global fishing practices may have been even less sustainable over the past few decades than scientists previously thought.

The FAO’s official data report that global marine fisheries catches peaked in 1996 at 86 million metric tons and have since slightly declined....

04/21/2016 01:50:05pm
Clean vs Dirty

Every year the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit group dedicated to empowering people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment, releases their list of conventional produce that contains the most pesticides..they call it their Dirty Dozen.  They also have a list of the Clean Fifteen...produce with the least amount of pesticide.  Why should you care about pesticides on your food?  Because they contain chemicals that have been linked to cancer and reproductive damage or are banned in Europe due to health concerns....

04/20/2016 12:23:51pm