Love Your Mother Earth
Earth provides us with all we need to exist and asks for nothing in
return. We have taken advantage of this and exploited her for
profit. The abuse and destruction of the earth has increased to the
point where we have not only poisoned the earth and it’s creatures,
but also ourselves. We are all part of the environment and what we
do to the environment, we also do to ourselves, as well as to our
future generations. You can take steps in your everyday life to
ensure the survival of our living planet.
Source: www.greenpeace.org -
The United States, as one of the world’s largest consumers and
waste producers, plays a major role in the degradation of the earth.
We must ALL be part of the solution. Air pollution In 1990, American
industry emitted more than 2.4 billion pounds of toxic pollutants
into the atmosphere.
In 1991, 98 areas exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency's
recommended levels for ozone, and an estimated 140 million Americans
lived in those areas. Also in 1991, 76 areas exceeded recommended
levels for carbon monoxide, 70 did so for particulate matter, and 50
did so for sulfur dioxide. Such air pollution levels have been
associated with increased respiratory health problems among people
living in the affected areas. According to the Healthy People 2000
report, each year in the United States --
• The health costs of human exposure to outdoor air pollutants
range from $40 to $50 billion.
• An estimated 50,000 to 120,000 premature deaths are associated
with exposure to air pollutants.
• People with asthma experience more than 100 million days of
restricted activity, costs for asthma exceed $4 billion, and about
4,000 people die of asthma.
The detrimental effects of air pollution on health have been
recognized for most of the last century. Effective legislation has
led to a change in the nature of the air pollutants in outdoor air
in developed countries, while combustion of raw fuels in the indoor
environment remains a major health hazard in developing countries.
The mechanisms of how these pollutants exert their effects are
likely to be different, but there is emerging evidence that the
toxic effects of new photochemical pollutants such as nitrogen
dioxide are likely to be related to infection.
You can take steps in your everyday life to ensure the survival
of our living planet.
Stopping Global Warming As pollution increases, so does the
world's average temperature. Global warming forces rapid changes in
human and animal habitats. Life becomes more difficult, many species
will not survive. Human industries and activities produce the
world's air pollution, most of it carbon dioxide and other
"greenhouse" gases that result in global warming. The U.S. releases
approximately 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per person each year.
What You Can Do You can help stop global warming by taking these 10
steps to cut your yearly emissions of carbon dioxide by thousands of
1. Next time, buy a car that gets at least 30 miles per gallon
(reduces carbon dioxide 2,500 pounds a year over a car that gets 10
2. Where you can, choose an electric utility company that does
not produce power from polluting sources such as fossil fuels and
nuclear fission. (Enormous potential reductions in carbon dioxide
3. Replace standard light bulbs with energy-efficient
fluorescents. (Reduces emissions by 500 pounds per year light bulb.)
4. Replace worn-out home appliances with energy efficient models.
(Reduces emissions by up to 3,000 pounds per year.)
5. Choose the best energy-saving models when you replace windows.
(Reduces emissions up to 10,000 pounds per year.)
6. Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket. (Reduces
emissions up to 1,000 pounds per year.)
7. Install low-flow showerheads that use less water. (Reduces
emissions up to 300 pounds per year.)
8. Ask your utility company for a home energy audit to pinpoint
the biggest energy-wasters. (Potential reduction of thousands of
pounds per year.)
9. Whenever possible, walk, bike, carpool or use mass transit.
(Reduces emissions by 20 pounds for every gallon of gasoline used.)
10. Insulate walls and ceilings and save about 25% of home
heating bills. (And reduce emissions by up to 2,000 pounds per
Energy Star Website:
http://www.energystar.gov - Energy Star products use less
energy than other products, save you money on utility bills, and
help protect the environment.
Climate Change site provides more information, breaking news, and
Forests are essential to the web of life: they are home to millions
of species, protect soil from erosion, produce oxygen, store carbon
dioxide, and help regulate climate. Forests are also essential to
human beings: they provide us with food, fuel, shelter, medicines,
and a variety of wood products. They also purify our air and water
and provide us with places of recreation and renewal. With
irresponsible forest practices, many of these functions are severely
Almost half of the planet's original forests have disappeared. Of
what remains, only about 10 percent are protected. In the minute it
has taken you to read this page, some 64 acres (that's roughly the
size of 60 football fields) of forest have been lost. Threats such
as illegal or irresponsible logging, land clearance for agriculture
and development, and fires destroy these ecosystems at astounding
While WWF employs a multi-faceted approach to protect, manage,
and restore the world's forests, certification is one process that
may help mitigate these affects. However, for this system to be
effective, forest managers, logging companies, manufacturers,
retailers, and builders must adopt practices that maintain or
restore the health and integrity of forest ecosystems. About 2.3
million square miles of forest are harvested annually to supply
global consumption. And this is where you come in. As a consumer of
forest products - things like paper, furniture, and cosmetics - your
purchasing decisions have an important impact on forests.
The companies that produce and sell forest products depend on
your dollars, so they will listen to your opinions and react to your
behavior. What You Can Do
• Purchase conscientiously. Look for wood and paper products
displaying the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label. The FSC label
guarantees that your chair, plywood, snowboard, guitar, or hairbrush
is made from wood harvested to rigorous environmental standards, and
your purchase supports responsible forest management. You can find
these products on the Web at www.certifiedwood.org. Ask for FSC
certified products at The Home Depot, The Body Shop, and from your
housing contractor or architect.
• Encourage suppliers. If you cannot find the FSC logo on the
products, ask the shop to stock them. The more customers request for
products from well-managed forests, the greater the incentive for
forest owners and retailers to provide them.
• Specify FSC. If you work in a company, organization or
statutory body encourage them to request FSC-endorsed sources every
time they make a purchase.
• Provide information. If there are no suppliers near you,
provide local stores with information about FSC, and send them the
list of certified forests, or other certified suppliers. More
details can also be obtained from FSC accredited certification
• Get involved. If you would like to get involved with a local
group, get in touch with a national FSC contact person. If there is
no local group and you are interested in setting one up, read the
FSC Guidelines for developing Regional Certification Standards and
the FSC Protocol for Endorsing National Initiatives.
• Join World Wildlife Fund’s Conservation Action Network and help
us reach out to lawmakers, corporations, and other institutions that
influence forest management.
• Learn more by visiting WWF's Forest Conseration Web site.
www.worldwildlife.org Overfishing The world's fish are the victims
of their own popularity. As more people make nutritious and
delicious seafood an integral part of their diets, much of the
world's stocks are being depleted at alarming rates due to
overfishing and harvesting practices that damage the environment.
The United Nations estimates that at least 60 percent of the
world's most valuable marine life is either overfished or fished to
the limit. Worldwide demand for fish is projected to rise 40 percent
in the next few years, making action to reverse the current crisis
even more urgent. So, it is the challenge for all of us --
conservation organizations and consumers, chefs and supermarkets -
to help keep America's favorite seafood plentiful for future
generations and to preserve our oceans. Facing the challenge are
organizations like Whole Foods, Inc. and the Chefs Collaborative,
who are working with WWF to form coalitions and launch educational
campaigns to protect oceans from unnecessary destruction. In the
past, groups have pushed for boycotts of certain fish. Now many are
supporting fisheries where threatened fish are allowed to reach
healthy levels and seafood is caught in eco-friendly ways. An
independent label, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
stamp-of-approval, helps Americans make environmentally responsible
seafood choices. Using purchasing power to encourage improved
management of our ocean resources, consumers can now look for the
MSC label on seafood products like wild Alaska salmon and Western
Australia rock lobster.
"I don't think very many chefs at all are aware of how dangerous
a situation this is," says Rick Bayliss, chef at Chicago's Frontera
Grill. "So they call up their local fish distributor and order
whatever sells, not even giving a thought to the environment." What
You Can Do Purchase conscientiously. Look for products displaying
the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and make smart decisions when
ordering seafood. The Right Fish to Eat
• Halibut - Alaska/Canada
• Striped Bass - Atlantic
• Squid - Pacific "market"
• Albacore - Pacific
• Lobster - Australian rock lobster
• Shellfish; mussels, clams, oysters - farmed (various sources),
cockles (Burry Inlet, U.K.)
• Dungeness crab
• Caviar - farmed U.S.
• Salmon - wild Alaskan Keeping toxic chemicals away from
wildlife and your family
You do a lot to keep you family healthy, but you may not have
considered all the potential dangers of toxic chemicals in your
surroundings. Toxic chemicals can be found in virtually all
creatures and in all environments. Enormous quantities are released
every day and once in the environment, many toxic chemicals can
travel great distances, persist for years, and grow more
concentrated in living things as they move through the food web.
An estimated 1,000 new chemicals enter the market every year, in
addition to the tens of thousands of chemicals already in commercial
use. Very few of these have been tested adequately for the threats
they may pose to wildlife and humans. There is growing evidence that
many of these chemicals can alter sexual and neurological
development, impair reproduction, cause cancers, and undermine
WWF has created a list of actions you and your family can take to
reduce your consumption and use of toxic chemicals at home and in
1. Buy organic cotton clothing, fruits and vegetables, and other
2. Wash and peel fruits and vegetables whenever possible.
3. Stop using pesticides. Green up your yard using natural
- Use traps and biological controls such as parasites and
- Use disease and pest-resistant plants. Include in your
garden plants that repel insects such as basil, chives, mint,
marigolds, and chrysanthemums.
- Use compost and mulch to improve soil health and reduce the
need for pesticides and fertilizers.
4. Use environmentally friendly cleaning products in your home:
- Don't buy or use chlorine bleach.
- Use simple and inexpensive cleansers such as soap, vinegar,
lemon juice, and borax (see World Wildlife Fund's Household
- Avoid air fresheners and other perfumed products: Freshen
your air by opening windows or using baking soda, cedar blocks,
or dried flowers.
5. Urge your schools and communities to use non-toxic cleaning
products and to stop using pesticides.
Join with World Wildlife Fund to ensure that our children will
know animals like rhinos and tigers as more than zoo attractions.
Below are ways that you can use your power as a consumer to protect
endangered species around the world. What You Can Do Say "No" to Bad
Souvenirs Some souvenirs could end up costing a lot more than you
paid for them. Think twice before you buy any products made from any
endangered species, including animal hides and body parts,
tortoise-shell, ivory, or coral - they could be illegal. Supporting
this damaging trade doesn't just add to the pressure on endangered
species, you could also risk having your goods seized when you get
Use the following web resources for information that can help you
say "no" to illegal wildlife products: World Wildlife Fund’s Buyer
Beware Section (www.worldwildlife.org) provides you with more
information on some of the products you purchase which may support
illegal wildlife trade. Information from World Wildlife Fund’s
section on Wildlife Trade (www.worldwildlife.org) details the
effects of the illegal wildlife trade, and includes a listing of
products that are banned for international trade.
Really, the best thing that we can do for the planet is to use less
of it. At the heart of the environmental crisis is our consumer
Here are a few questions you can ask yourself before you buy:
Do I, or the other person I am buying this for, really need this?
Is there another product which would do the same thing but more
Will this last a long time?
Do I know how this item was made, how it will be used and how it
will be disposed of? Where was this made and under what
Are the materials used to make this renewable and have they been
harvested in a sustainable manner?
Regrettably, because we live in a “disposable society,” we are
encouraged to buy a new and “improved” item even if the one we have
can be repaired. When we buy, we should buy items which are durable,
we should maintain them, and have them repaired when necessary. If
we practice this, many things cannot only last a lifetime, but can
be passed along from generation to generation. If something is truly
unusable for its original purpose, try to be creative and think of
how else it might be used. When you are done with it, think of
whether someone else might be able to use it as well.
Rather than throwing an item out when neither you nor anyone else
can make use of it, have it recycled. And while recycling is not
perfect — it requires energy and the process of changing something
into something else often produces by-products — it is better than
sending goods to the landfill or having them incinerated. Find out
what types of materials can be recycled in your area. Clean and sort
the materials before putting them out on the curb — often collectors
will not pick up recycling that is mixed or contains
non-recyclables. For more information on recycling, visit the
National Recycling Coalition website.(www.nrc-recycle.org).
• Eat lower on the food chain — fruit and vegetable production
requires far less energy than meat production.
• If you do eat meat, buy free-range, organically raised meat and
poultry products. These have been raised humanely and on untreated
• Grow your own vegetables, fruits and herbs without using
• Eating organically grown fruits and vegetables doesn’t just
reduce the amount of pesticides getting released into the
environment, it’s also more healthy for you, the farmers and food
handlers. Just look for the "certified organic" label.
• Eat local fruits and vegetables which are fresher and less
likely to be waxed. Also, some imported produce may have been
treated with pesticides and chemicals that have been banned in the
United States and Canada.
• Cut excess fat off of meat and poultry and avoid high fat dairy
products. Many chemicals released into the environment are stored in
fat tissue and are cumulative.
• Avoid storing food in plastic. Use reusable glass containers
for storing food in the refrigerator, but be careful, not all glass
containers can be frozen.
• If you use plastic for storage, use containers specifically
designed for this.
• Never microwave food in a plastic container. Even plastics that
are approved for food storage and are "microwavable" may leech
chemicals into your food when heated.
• If you must use plastic wrap, do not let it come in direct
contact with your food and make sure that it is not made of
polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl). Waste
• Buy in bulk. It’s cheaper and it uses less packaging.
• Buy vegetables loose, not in plastic bags.
• Avoid plastic containers, they are made of different types of
plastic which are costly and difficult to separate and recycle.
• Choose products in refillable or reusable containers.
• Compost your food scraps.
• Look for products made from recycled materials.
• Use cloth instead of paper napkins and towels. Water
• Keep a covered container of water in the fridge for drinking -
you won’t have to run the tap until the water is cold every time you
want a drink.
• Keep a bowl of water in the sink while preparing food for
quickly rinsing your hands.
• If you must use a dishwasher, only do full loads and use the
econo setting. To save energy, stop the machine after the rinse and
open the door to let the dishes air dry.
• Don’t let the water run while doing dishes.
- www.worldwildlife.org -
Sofia M. Pico, LMT