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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
Call for Action on World Asthma Day

Today is World Asthma Day and in Philadelphia, the event will be marked with a march and rally for cleaner air.

The noon rally at City Hall will be led by the groups Moms Clean Air Force and PennEnvironment.

The City of Brotherly Love received an F grade in the American Lung Association's recent State of the Air Report.

According to Tom Schuster, senior campaign representative for the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, Philadelphia has above average rates of hospitalizations and deaths due to asthma, and almost one in five children is an asthma sufferer....

05/03/2016 10:22:37am
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
Celebrate Wildflowers

National Wildflower Week 2016 is scheduled for May 2nd thru 8th so it's the perfect time to get outside, smell the wildflowerflowers, and appreciate all they have to offer!

Why Do Wildflowers Matter?

Wildflowers and native plants help conserve water, reduce mowing costs, provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife and protect the soil from erosion. In addition, native plants can require fewer resources to maintain than plants that aren't native to a region.

Check out 20 ways to observe National Wildflower Week from the  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center....

04/29/2016 10:29:49am
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
Earth Day: A Turning Point for Global Climate Change?

It's Earth Day and representatives of 155 countries are gathered in New York City to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Under that agreement, those nations will work to keep the rise in global temperatures below two degrees Celsius, a goal that could help limit the worst effects of climate change.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of PennFuture, points out this is the latest in a series of efforts to slow climate change, efforts that stretch back some 30 years....

04/22/2016 10:23:04am
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
EPA Wants Consumers to Look For the Safer Choice Label When Selecting Spring Cleaning Products

In preparation for Earth Day on April 22 and in celebration of the spring weather, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today launched its Safer Choice spring cleaning campaign at the Weis Supermarket in Conshohocken, Pa. to encourage consumers to buy home care products that will help protect public health and the environment.

“EPA has developed its new Safer Choice label so that it will be easier for shoppers to choose cleaning and home care products that are safer for families, pets, communities and the environment,” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M....

04/20/2016 08:31:31am
Good News For Tigers

For the first time in 100 years, tiger numbers are growing. 

The World Wildlife Fund is reporting that global wild tiger populations are on the rise:

According to the most recent data, around 3,890 tigers now exist in the wild—up from an estimated 3,200 in tiger2010.  We can attribute this updated minimum number—compiled from national tiger surveys—to rising tiger populations in India, Russia, Nepal, and Bhutan; improved surveys; and enhanced protection of this iconic species.

“This is a pivotal step in the recovery of one of the world’s most endangered and iconic species,” said Ginette Hemley, senior vice president of wildlife conservation at WWF....

04/14/2016 11:53:43am
Shrinking on the Rise

Federal scientists have recently found that the Arctic Ocean’s winter sea ice cover is at a 37-year low.

Read the story from Scientific American here....

04/13/2016 09:48:08am
Grimy and Grim

Post-mortems revealed plastic as the cause of death for 13 sperm whales that beached on the German coast in January. Mistaking fishing nets and car parts for food, the animals filled their bellies with the debris and starved to death.

Read the full story from the Guardian here....

04/11/2016 09:48:58am
Don't Throw These Away

Those little silica gel bags that you find in a box of new shoes or a new camera can be very useful. Business Insider has some ideas about what to do with them and some information about just how dangerous they actually are.  Check out the video:

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04/07/2016 10:21:34am
Broad Coalition Defends Clean Power Plan

Business and religious leaders, health groups and elected officials have joined together to defend the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan.

The plan to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants is being challenged in a lawsuit filed by some members of the energy industry and 27 states.

On Friday a broad coalition of groups filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, defending the plan.

Janice Nolen, assistant vice president for national policy for the American Lung Association, says meeting the goals would do more than reduce carbon emissions....

04/05/2016 10:19:43am
Runaway Bull Caught At NY College, Then Saved By Jon Stewart

A bull that escaped from a holding area and darted through the streets of New York City has been captured and taken to greener pastures by Jon Stewart.

Officials tell The New York Times  that the black and white Angus was spotted Friday in Queens. The bull was soon corralled at York College, where students snapped pictures and took videos.

The bull was dubbed Frank Lee after a prisoner who escaped from Alcatraz. It was later taken to an animal shelter by the former “Daily Show” comedian and his wife, who are animal advocates.

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04/04/2016 09:00:15am
Tests Find Toxic BPA in Linings of Food Cans

Chemicals in the linings of most food cans may be dangerous to consumers. That's the finding of a new report just released by six nonprofit groups.

They tested nearly 200 cans from 19 states distributed to some major retailers by producers including Campbell's, Del Monte and General Mills.

Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director for the group Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, says two-thirds of the cans where lined with an epoxy containing Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting chemical.

"This is a chemical that is in the food packaging," he says, "and studies have shown that it can migrate out of the cans and get into the food that we eat, eventually make its way into our bodies and may be harmful to our health."

The report recommends consumers buy fresh fruits and vegetables, look for alternative packaging, such as glass jars, or buy only from manufacturers that disclose the safety of their can linings....

04/01/2016 10:31:28am
Could A Bacteria that Eats Plastic Save Our Planet?

According to CNN, Scientists in Japan have discovered a strain of bacteria that can eat plastic, a finding that might help solve the world's fast-growing plastic pollution problem:

The findings, published in the academic journal ‘Science‘, say that "Ideonella sakaiensis breaks down the plastic by using two enzymes to hydrolyze PET and a primary reaction intermediate, eventually yielding basic building blocks for growth."
This could be really good news for the environment. Almost a third of all plastic packaging escapes collection systems and ends up in nature or clogging up infrastructure, the World Economic Forum (WEF) warned....
03/30/2016 11:18:04am
A Low-Carbon Alternative to Plastic Made From Plants

Scientists have discovered a novel way to make plastic from carbon dioxide and inedible plant material, such as agricultural waste and grasses. Researchers say the new technology could provide a low-carbon alternative to plastic bottles and other items currently made from petroleum.

Read the full story from ScienceDaily here....

03/29/2016 02:56:56pm
Off-road vehicle damage to public lands must stop
Michael Reinemer

On Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and National Forests, the agencies are mismanaging the use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) such as dirt bikes, snowmobiles, and all-terrain vehicles, resulting in unnecessary damage to watersheds and wildlife, and conflict with other recreationists.

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05/03/2016 02:10:48pm