“It’s important for us to pay attention to our own health and well-being. Eating a healthy diet, surrounding ourselves in a toxin-free environment, and staying away from chemicals whenever possible are all ways to help make your life the best it can be.”


{Wednesday Roundup} 2/7/2013 This Week’s Top Eco Stories

by Lindsay E. Brown 

Timberland Empowers Local Farmers and Communities 
Timberland planted 2.2 million trees in the rural area surrounding Gonaives and continues to support an agroforestry program to train Haitian farmers to improve crop yields.

In 2010, Timberland partnered with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, a non-governmental organization, to help them meet their commitment of planting 5 million trees in a five-year period. (At that time, Haiti was 98 percent deforested.) An additional 1 million trees will be planted this year as well as in 2014 and 2015.

We know that trees are vital to our health. They help clean the air of pollutants, lower temperatures and generally make people feel better and reduce stress. These planted trees also serve as physical borders around farms to prevent flooding and erosion, as food sources, sustainable fuel and as shade from the harsh sun.

Warning Too Late for Some Babies 
A premature baby died after his parents gave him Simply Thick — a product given to infants who have difficulty swallowing.  The baby’s small intestine stopped working, two weeks after he started using Simply Thick, according to the New York Times.

A month after the baby’s death, the FDA warned that Simply Thick may increase infants’ risk of developing a life-threatening illness. According to the FDA, 22 infants developed necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) after being fed baby formula or breast milk mixed with Simply Thick. Seven of them died.

A Burden of Care Over Seized Exotic Wildlife in Thailand
The illegal wildlife trade, estimated to be worth $7-10 billion annually, devastates endangered species, damages ecosystems, and threatens local livelihoods and regional security.

Over the past two years, officials in Thailand have captured more than 46,000 animals from traffickers, vendors and trappers. This figure has more than doubled the 18,000 seized for the two previous years.

New Ads Highlight World Bank’s Deadly Coal Plans for Kosovo
The World Bank and the U.S. State Department want to finance a massive new coal-fired power plant in Kosovo. But new studies show that Kosovo does not need a new coal plant; they can achieve their energy and development aspirations through other cost-effective investments in energy efficiency, reductions in power losses, and renewable energy.

According to this Huffington Post article, coal plants kill, to the tune of 835 people every year.

Mapping the Nation’s Emissions
The Environmental Protection Agency released an interactive map of greenhouse gas emissions in 2011 from the nation’s biggest industrial polluters.

UPS to Roll Out Fleet of Electric Vehicles in California 
One hundred electric vehicles will join the United States Postal Services fleet of brown vans. The company has said it’s the biggest corporate roll-out of zero-emissions vehicles ever in California. UPS expects the trucks to reduce fuel consumption by 126,000 gallons a year and to lower carbon emissions.

“Climate change is not waiting. Pollution doesn’t wait, so we can’t wait, either,” Gov. Jerry Brown said.

NASA to Launch World’s Largest Solar Sail
NASA’s Solar Sail Demonstration, also known as the Sunjammer Project, may launch as early as 2014 when it will send the largest solar sail yet built into orbit, to demonstrate the technical viability of the device.

A Clean Flexible and Reliable Grid: How We Get There
The BiPartisan Policy Center released a report called Capitalizing on the Evolving Power Sector: Polices for a Modern and Reliable U.S. Electric Grid. For the initiative, the organization brought together groups including energy companies, NGOs, public utility commission representatives, and others, and charged them with finding acceptable policies to ensure grid reliability and efficiency.

Have a tip you’d like us to include in our next roundup? Tweet @LauraSeydel and @LindsEBrown using hashtag #EcoRoundup

Photo credit: Timberland

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