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  Photo: Bradley Gordon BPA-free plastics may contain other chemicals that appear to pose an equal if not greater health hazard. SFGate—For Debra Berliner, the debate over using plastics...

But first… listen to this wonderful Green Divas myEARTH360 Report featuring EcoWatch Founder Stefanie Spear (who wrote this post) discussing the latest environmental headlines:...

A Call to Action Pope Francis says climate change is the overarching environmental challenge of our time — and we have a moral obligation to confront it. Our...

There are a number of psychological barriers preventing people from acting to prevent climate change. Robert Gifford at the University of Victoria calls these “dragons...

From the 60 Minutes Report—Depleting the Water Lesley Stahl reports on disturbing new evidence that our planet’s groundwater is being pumped out much faster than...

Fighting for the planet isn’t easy. It takes more than science and passion for scientists to be heard on climate change and beyond… The following is...

1. There are no federal safeguards to protect our communities from coal ash or other water pollution caused by burning coal—and yet there are...

National governments, international groups, non-profit organizations, and business leaders from around the

Not acting on climate change could have the same results as the inaction on Ebola with significant human and economic impact, warned World Bank...

There is no doubt that history was made in Paris this month. National governments, international groups, non-profit organizations, and business leaders from around the...

New, shocking findings about mountaintop removal. There’s been some shocking news out of Appalachia in recent days. First, a game-changing new study demonstrated, for the...

eco films on demand…

 

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Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Resistance

Antibiotics were first massed-produced in the 1940s. Their ability to fight and kill bacteria revolutionized medicine and had profound effects on everything from agriculture to war. After less than 80 years, however, these miracle drugs are failing. Resistant infections kill hundreds of thousands of people around the world each year, and there are now dozens of so-called Superbugs each with its own challenges and costs. How did this happen? Using microscopic footage, harrowing personal stories, and expert insights RESISTANCE clarifies the problem of antibiotic resistance, how we got to this point, and what we can do to turn the tide.

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Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

The Human Experiment

From Oscar winner Sean Penn and Emmy winning journalists Dana Nachman and Don Hardy, The Human Experiment lifts the veil on the shocking reality that thousands of untested chemicals are in our everyday products, our homes and inside of us.

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Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

I Am

“I AM” is the story of a successful Hollywood director Tom Shadyac, who experienced a life threatening head injury, and his ensuing journey to try and answer two very basic questions, “What’s wrong with our world?” and “What can we do about it?”. Tom visits some of today’s great minds, including authors, poets, teachers, religious leaders and scientists searching for the fundamental problem that causes all of the other problems, while simultaneously reflecting on his own life choices of excess, greed, and eventual healing.

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Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Edible City

Edible City is a fun, fast-paced journey through the local Good Food Movement that’s taking root in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the nation and around the world. Introducing a diverse cast of extraordinary and eccentric characters who are challenging the paradigm of our broken food system, Edible City digs into their unique perspectives and transformative work— from edible education to grassroots activism to building local economies— finding hopeful solutions to monumental problems. Inspirational, down-to-earth and a little bit quirky, Edible City captures the spirit of a movement that’s making real change and doing something truly revolutionary: growing the model for a healthy, sustainable local food system.

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Join me and The Green Divas Radio Show for a #GDwater twitter chat!

Join our World Water Week twitter chat (be sure to follow @TheGreenDivas, @GreenDivaMeg,@LynnHasselbrgr, @GreenDivaLynn @myEARTH360) and use the hashtag #GDwater! We’ll be talking all about water issues, why we should all care about them (how water scarcity will be impacting us all in the future) and what we can do. Click here to RSVP to the twitter chat. Or just show up!

Special guests will include @water and @MarielHemingway.

What’s the big deal?

Millions of women and children in the developing world spend hours daily—walking up to six miles—collecting water.

780 million people lack access to clean water, which is 2-1/2 times the number of people living in the U.S.

They fill up from water sources that are often polluted, then carry their 40 pound jerry cans on their backs all the way back to their villages. Every 21 seconds, a child dies from a water related disease. Four thousand kids every day. Every year, 3.4 million people die from a water related disease. An American taking a five-minute shower uses more water than the average person in a developing country slum uses for an entire day.

And clean water security is something that could impact all of us with climate change and population growth combined with agriculture sapping (and dirty energy tainting) our resources.

World Water Week, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), takes place in Stockholm, Sweden August 31st through September 5th, 2014. It’s been the annual focal point for the globe’s water issues since 1991.

What better time to try to raise awareness about water in a bigger way?

Four more ways to help…

1. Give to my water.org fundraiser—$25 is enough to give one person access to safe water for life. Giving just one dollar helps, too!

2. Share this post anywhere and everywhere. On twitter, use the hashtag #GDwater and, if it fits #WWWeek.

3. Read the posts in our blog hop below to learn more about water issues and share those as well!

4. Have your own blog? Write about water issues then enter your post in our blog hop.

Oh, and listen to this Green Divas Radio Show interview with water.org…

While we didn’t get to speak with Matt Damon, who is behind the amazing organization Water.org, we did get a chance to speak to Moree Scofield, who’s working hard to help raise awareness about the plight of so many people who do NOT have easy access to clean, safe water. Learn more about how to get involved. Great podcast!

Join the Green Divas World Water Week Blog Hop!

Continue on for other article links to learn about water issues, ways to conserve water in your own home, how to take action and more! Have your own link? Share it below!

Rules for sharing your link:
      • Must be related to the water—the issues, ways to conserve water, etc.
      • No sponsored or affiliate only posts (some affiliate links within the post are acceptable, but we will not approve standalone sponsored or affiliate posts).
      • No giveaways or product reviews.

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But first… listen to this wonderful Green Divas myEARTH360 Report featuring EcoWatch Founder Stefanie Spear (who wrote this post) discussing the latest environmental headlines: a new map showing the acidification of our oceans; and this John Oliver and Bill Nye video which puts the climate debate to rest.

And now for the John Oliver and Bill Nye viral climate change denial video…

In case you missed this hilarious Last Week Tonight with John Oliver viral segment earlier this year, you can watch it now as it’s just as relevant today as it was months ago.

With the release of the final component of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report last week, the new book by veteran environmentalist George Marshall about the thousands of abusive emails received by climate scientist Michael Mann and news that climate denier-in-chief—Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe—will soon head the Senate Environment Committee, makes it a perfect time to get real with John Oliver and remember that public skepticism about global warming is irrelevant. As Oliver points out…

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe it.”

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Every community has a story.

We traveled around, listening to local stories of climate change, and collected more than 50 written, video and photo interviews. From farmer to faith leader, business owner to fisherman, and many others—they all share their stories.

We’re sharing these interviews with a collaborative storytelling effort, The Climate Listening Project, to connect local community conversations about climate change impacts and resilience.

View the trailer:

The project began in Western North Carolina for many reasons, including…

  • Climate Interactive, one of the world’s top climate think tanks, is based in Western North Carolina;

Laura Lengnick (photo below), Western North Carolina resident, served as a lead author of the report “Climate Change and Agriculture in the United States: Effects and Adaptation” which served as USDA’s technical input to the Third National Climate Assessment released in May 2014. Her forthcoming book, Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate, is being released in 2015.

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Connecting science with climate stories.

People in local communities around the world are connecting the science with the stories, talking about the impacts they’re experiencing from climate disruption, working together on local mitigation and adaptation, and hoping and building for a resilient future.

Via the Natural Resources Defense Council Switchboard:

Even though climate change is a problem which must be addressed nationally and internationally, the impacts are very much local.  Resiliency to climate impacts starts in our communities.

The Climate Listening Project is an effort to help communities share their climate stories.  Sharing concerns about climate change, climate impacts they are seeing in their daily lives and ideas for how to address those, we prepare ourselves to face climate change.

What’s your climate story?

See what people are saying or share your story by connecting here on Facebook.

Bonus:

Listen to the latest Green Divas myEARTH360 podcast:

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Get Outside & Play!

Posted on July 12, 2013

Did you know June is Great Outdoors Month?

Here’s something I just found on my old blog, written in June, 2009! Things have changed since then. My son is now 12 and for the last few years it’s been nearly impossible to get him inside when the weather is nice.

My 2nd grader will be home from school soon. It’s a beautiful day and I am anticipating my daily challenge of getting him outdoors.

Up until the last year and a half, he was perfectly content to play outside. Even by himself (he’s our only child). With certain friends, imagination led them to dig, play with trucks, dig some more, play hide and seek or tag. As they’ve gotten older, they’ve gotten bored faster out there, climbing the occasional tree before badgering me every 15 minutes with, “Have we been out here long enough yet?” The good news is they’re not begging to watch TV or play video games. They just want to play in the sea of LEGO that is Ethan’s room.

Hold on. The bus just dropped Ethan off. I will try to catch him on video for his reaction to playing outside today…

[wpvideo MowKybC4]

Is it me, or did it seem like I was trying to capture a comment from a corrupt politician?

When I was Ethan’s age, we were carefree and just played outside. Even in the winter when it was 20 below we stayed out until our fingers and toes were numb. It was the thing to do. And we had fun, darn it! Granted, I wasn’t an only child, but I wasn’t always playing with my brothers, either. I could play outside with my Barbies or pretend I was Agent 99 from Get Smart . My parents would have to call to us in more than once—finally resorting to yelling—before we’d go inside.

Today’s children are the first generation ever to grow up isolated from nature–outdoor time for kids has decreased by more than 50 percent.

And, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study, kids spend, on average, more than six hours per day with electronic media (more recent data says seven hours!). This trend has galvanized groups like the No Child Left Inside Coalition (NCLI) and American Recreation Coalition. The National Wildlife Foundation’s Green Hour Campaign gives parents and caregivers the information, tools, and inspiration to get their kids—and themselves—outside.

On Earth Day 2009, historic legislation was introduced to the Senate: No Child Left Inside Act. If passed, this act would have marked the first environmental education legislation to pass Congress in more than 25 years.

“Environmental education must be a part of the formal pre-K-12 education system if we are to fully prepare students to become lifelong stewards of our ncompete in a green economy,” Congressman John Sarbanes (D-MD) said.

The bill died. But several states, including ConnecticutIllinois, Massachusetts and Wisconsin, endorsed the movement by creating programs in local parks and schools that addressed the concern of children’s disconnect with nature.

I decided I needed to get to the bottom of why playing outside had become more of a chore for Ethan. It took a few dollars, but he finally agreed to a formal interview. Here it is, starting with the question of why, now that he’s “older”, he seems to get bored outside at a much faster rate.

[wpvideo JaVtzpjk]

Many children are involved with sports, which certainly help get the kids outside. But sports are not Ethan’s thing. He likes to say, “I was born to play LEGO and cook.” Ethan did recently show an interest in basketball, so we bought him a basketball hoop. Every day for the first week all he wanted to do was play hoops. By himself, with others, it didn’t matter. But the novelty has worn off.

I think my challenge is a bit trickier because I have an only child. I’m not going to let that be my excuse. I, together with my husband, have to put forth a little extra effort and, well, use our imagination. Not only because I’m an “eco mom,” but because outdoor play offers many benefits:

  • Daily unstructured free play improves children’s physical and mental health
  • Children who play outside are more physically active, more creative, less aggressive and show better concentration
  • Outdoor experiences and education enhances children’s ability to learn and retain knowledge
  • Outdoor experiences build a conservation ethic and concern for the natural world.

So off with the shoes and into the grass. Watch out for the ant hills!

What are some ways you get your kids playing outside?

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I love the earth and everything, but geez.

Nothing wrong with celebrating and being grateful for the earth. And flowers and compassionate people and sunrises and sunsets. Tasty food. Children’s laughter. A hug. And whatever else is good about life.

But there are far too many “holidays” for the earth and, in my humble opinion, the seemingly never-ending supply of earth-dedicated days diminishes the true importance of being mindful on a daily basis.

Celebrating the earth and its parts should just be part of who we are. Like arms and legs, eyes and ears. If we have them we’re probably grateful for them and we try to take care of them so they continue to work.

Playing devil’s advocate, many people give little to no thought about how they impact the earth and others around them. Maybe they need a reminder or subtle kick in the arse with an environmental holiday replete with eco-friendly streamers and people breaking out in earthy songs to get them back on track. Maybe some eco-friendly gifts, too.

But too many holidays could serve to overwhelm these same folks, who may just throw up their hands in surrender, crying, “I prefer the fun kind of holidays that call for drinking and/or lighting off fireworks!”

Everybody, take a deep breath.

So, today is World Environment Day. I’m not buying a card. I’m not living today differently from yesterday. I’m not calling my parents. I’m just writing about how there are too many Earth holidays.

If you like to have any reason to celebrate and want to know all the earth-related days, here they are:

  • World Wetlands Day – February 2
  • World Sparrow Day – March 20
  • World Water Day – March 22
  • Earth Day – April 22
  • Arbor Day – Last Friday in April (each state also has its own observation based on best tree planting time)
  • Green Up Day – first Saturday of May in Vermont
  • International Migratory Bird Day – May 3
  • Greenery Day – May 4 in Japan (previously April 29)
  • International Day for Biological Diversity (World Biodiversity Day) – May 22
  • Bike-to-Work Day – Third Friday in May
  • World Environment Day – June 5
  • World Oceans Day – June 8
  • Global Wind Day – June 15
  • World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought – June 17
  • World Population Day – July 11
  • International Tiger Day – July 29
  • International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer – September 16
  • Clean Up the World Weekend – September 17-19
  • Zero Emissions Day [1] – September 21
  • Car Free Day – September 22
  • Ecological Debt Day (Earth Overshoot Day) – September 23 in 2008, but receding
  • World Rivers Day – every last Sunday in September
  • World Habitat Day – first Monday in October
  • International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction – second Wednesday in October
  • World Planting Day – October 22
  • International Day of Climate Action – October 24
  • International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict – November 6
  • America Recycles Day – November 15(ish)
  • World Soil Day – December 5
  • International Mountain Day – December 11
  • Ozone Action Day – at certain times during the summer months
  • eDay – variable date

For your edification, I’ve added special week-long, year-long and even decade-long events. Don’t expect me to remind you of these again.

  • Green Office Week
  • Bike to Work Week Victoria
  • National Clean Beaches Week – July 1 to 7
  • Conservation Week
  • European Mobility Week – September 16 to 22
  • Bike Week – second week in June
  • Recycle Week – 20 to 26 June 2011
  • Green Office Week
  • European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) – 9 days, last complete week in November
  • No Car Day – China, week of September 22
  • International Polar Year – 1882–1883
  • International Polar Year – 1932–1933
  • World Population Year – 1974
  • International Year of the Ocean (IYO) – 1998
  • International Year of Mountains (IYM) – 2002
  • International Year of Ecotourism (IYE) – 2002
  • International Year of Freshwater (IYF) – 2003
  • International Year of Deserts and Desertification – 2006
  • International Year of the Dolphin – 2007–2008
  • International Polar Year – 2007–2009
  • International Year of Planet Earth – 2008
  • International Year of Sanitation – 2008
  • International Year of Natural Fibres 2009
  • Year of the Gorilla – 2009
  • International Year of Biodiversity – 2010
  • International Year of Forests – 2011
  • International Drinking Water Decade, 1981-1990
  • International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction – 1990s
  • United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development – 2005-2014
  • Water for Life Decade – 2005-2015
  • United Nations Decade on Biodiversity – 2010-2020

Did I miss any? Please let me know. But don’t expect a card from me.

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