An article from a great blog we already follow, Food Policy for Thought, tells of a new wave in on-the-go snacking. The Mackay family has created vending machines filled with bananas, and apples, among others, instead of mars bars and skittles. The daunting task of keeping fruit fresh has successfully been surmounted, and leaves no excuse for the use of preservatives in snack foods! Hopefully these “FruitBar’s” will make their way to Canada soon!
When you are out and about and in need for a snack, vending machines are often the most convenient option. Once you get there, though, all intentions about eating healthy go flying out of the window when faced with the choice between chocolate bars, chips and possibly peanut butter pretzels. This zero-sum game between hunger and indulgence has stopped in Queensland, Australia, though – because they invented the FruitBar.
This is an invention deemed impossible by many: a vending machine offering a variety of fresh fruit. You can choose between a single piece of fruit, a mixed pack, and snack packs with nuts and biscuits.
Located in train stations, schools, hospitals and the like, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. At the Royal Brisbane Hospital, the machines have to be refilled several times a day. Growers join in on the excitement:
“It’s so innovative, it’s not very often…
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An article recently posted by SAVES, Student ActiVists for Endangered Species, reports that the U.S. government is banning the use of bee-killing pesticides and genetically modified crops within wildlife refuges. The products can be used by spraying, but have typically been used in the seeds. The seeds are soaked in the pesticides so that when they grow, all parts of the plant contain the pesticide internally. This greatly effects the plant, targeted animals, and now admittedly, non-target animals as well.This is to be phased out in refuges and in animal feed by 2016.
Given our recent post about the negativity of neonicotinoids, this is pleasing to hear – a positive step towards a more balanced and symbiotic ecosystem. Read their full article here, and follow their blog for more ecological news on endangered species, or to join their club for protecting endangered species!
Although city officials from Dawson Creek won’t disclose the names of the companies involved, they are confirming that fracking waste has been illegally dumped into the city’s water treatment system on at least two occasions.
Jim Chute, administrative officer for the city, told DeSmog Canada, that illegal dumping has occurred at least three times, but twice the waste was “clearly” related to fracking.
“It has actually been on three occasions in the last 18 months where we’ve caught inappropriate materials being dumped,” he said. “One of those was a load of contaminated diesel. It’s not clear to us exactly how that diesel got contaminated so we don’t know if that was frack-related or not.”
“The other two were a mix of compounds that were clearly flowback waste from a frack operation.”
Chute said the chemicals used in the fracking process can damage the city’s water and sewage treatment facilities which are unable to handle industrial waste. Chute told the Alaska Highway News the waste could cause irreversible damage to living organisms that play a crucial role in the city’s water reclamation system.
Read the full story here.
Eco People LTD recently reported Hawaii committing to geothermal energy! Governor Neil Abercrombie signs Bill 2953 which designates the Department of the Hawaiian Home Lands as the only recipient for the royalties from geothermal resources generated on the home lands. This bill is intended to support and encourage the search and use of geothermal energy – something Abercrombie believes to probably be “inexhaustible.” As a clean, dependable and sustainable energy source we firmly agree with the direction Hawaii is taking! Read the full article below, or at http://bit.ly/1pWFbPT.
Here at Eco People we love the idea of Geothermal Energy, a thermal energy generated and stored in the Earth. We love it so much because it seems so natural. From hot springs, geothermal energy has been used for bathing since Paleolithic times and for space heating since ancient Roman times, but it is now better known for electricity generation. Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.
Hawaii could see a geothermal energised future as they are currently facing tough times when it comes to their energy. Almost all their energy is imported and with the ever impending reality of climate change, prices for importing such energy would be increased drastically.
The governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie (I don’t think there’s a link) believes the answer lies beneath the earth and is already making plans to embrace the power of geothermal energy!
“I realise that there’s been…
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Yesterday 1.3 billion gallons of mining waste burst from a Mount Polley gold and copper mine’s tailing pond in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. Canadians in the region cannot drink their water, and authorities can not yet tell how many more Canadians will be effected as the water continues to flow through creeks and streams. The area is sparsely populated limiting human impact, however the environmental harm created is vast. Lake Erie’s algae bloom is a natural reaction catalyzed by human activity, whereas this disaster is a direct effect! Carelessness, and laziness are two qualities the future of our planet strongly relies on, and yet they were not shown. Read Think Progress’s full article here.
Toledo, Ohio and surrounding area are currently not able to drink their tap water because of a large algae bloom on Lake Erie. What this post from ThinkProgress adds to the story, is that climate change, and humans are direct aggressors on the formation, and severity, of these blooms.
Events such as this continue to give tangible proof of the importance in moving towards more eco-friendly practices. Read this article for more information.
BY EMILY ATKIN POSTED ON AUGUST 3, 2014
This satellite image provided by NOAA shows the algae bloom on Lake Erie in 2011 which according to NOAA was the worst in decades.
Approximately 400,000 people in and around Toledo, Ohio are being warned not to drink their tap water after high levels of a dangerous toxin were discovered in the water supply Saturday, according to the Toledo-Lucas County Department of Health.
The toxin is called microcystin, the high levels of which were caused by massive increases in algae on Lake Erie. The increases in algae, called “algae blooms”, are poisonous if consumed — causing abnormal liver function, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, numbness, and dizziness. Boiling the water doesn’t help — in fact, itincreases the presence of the toxin.
As of now, it’s…
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The United Kingdom’s energy strategy for the future is heavily reliant on off-shore wind turbines. The unknown element here is how the underwater noise of these turbines, during construction, and in usage, will effect the environment. The University of Newcastle’s Sustainability blog posted about the preliminary challenges of these turbines.
The masts which hold the turbines must initially be hammered into the sea floor, destroying habitat space, and causing loud echos and rippling waves from it’s center. In coalition with other University research teams, Newcastle’s research team spent four days on the water collecting samples of species and water with various technologies in order to map the ecosystem before construction, during, and usage periods. This will help them understand the effects of underwater noise in their marine ecosystems, and design ways of limiting potential issues into the future. Read their blog post for more information on this endeavor, and other sustainability news.
In July 2013 the RV Princess Royal was home to a group of UK underwater sound specialists, called the Bio-Acoustic Research Consortium (BARC). This new project is led by Dr Per Berggren from Newcastle University’sSchool of Marine Science and Technology and it brings together a range of noise specialists, ecologists and industry professionals with a common aim: to better understand the impact of underwater noise on marine ecosystems.
The consortium has attracted grant funding from the Natural Environment Research Council’sMarine Renewables Knowledge Exchange Programme to explore the environmental challenges associated with offshore wind development, an industry that continues to grow rapidly. The Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability (NIReS), also supplied a small grant towards equipment costs which has funded the purchase of six hydrophones, called C-Pods, for detecting marine mammals. It is hoped the knowledge gained from the project can be fed directly back to industry…
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David Quilty, blogger of The Good Human, writes some devastating news last week. The insecticide neonicotinoids which are used to kill bees have been detected in nine major rivers across six different states. While the effects of neonicotinoids are quasi-understood when used as insecticides, what the effects on the fish population will be is still uncertain. The likelihood of negative effects however, seems plausible if not probable. What’s more is that now that the toxin has infected our water supply, it can be precipitated across other areas where there is not agricultural purpose. This does not effect one farm, but breaks through ecosystem borders. Currently, Bayer and Monsanto (among others) manufacture and sell them, and it is the most widely used insecticide in the world. Already detrimental effects are compounding from the usage of this chemical, but will the present profits made from it continue to outweigh the future of our planet?
Halt and Reflect: An Open Letter is a document currently being dissmeninated across the internet calling attention to the unsustainability of our current lifestyle. An important focus is the political and institutional failure to address this issue with appropriate, and measurable positive results.
‘We work all over the world, and all over the world we see a common pattern. Existing policy initiatives, with very few exceptions, fall short of what is needed to re-align human activities with the fundamental limits of our planet. Despite heavy rhetoric on sustainability, most policy initiatives are not able to fundamentally change the global trajectory of increasing un-sustainability.’
The authors of the letter are scientists, and are calling fellow scientists to sign on in support of the message. Over 200 scientists have signed already and more continue to sign. Awareness withing all occupations is important, but this is a very good way to continue to raise awareness. Without change our environment will continue to deteriorate. Read the full letter here.