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What Will Your City Look Like?

As Antarctic glaciers continue to melt at an alarming rate, we must consider how our national coastlines will be changing as ocean levels rise. NASA and the University of California Irvine recently published a report about this and the organization Climate Central used the data to have an artist create very photorealistic renderings of what our national coastal landmarks will look like in the future.

Additionally, Climate Central has created interactive maps that allow you to explore sea level and coastal flood risks across the U.S. for eight states. Please take a moment to look at the startling renderings and the interactive maps to get a glimpse of our future in a much warmer world.

jefferson-memorial-underwater

The Jefferson Memorial

 

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What’s the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a growing problem in the northern Pacific Ocean and one that could dramatically alter life on our planet within the next 20 years.

“I remember the first time I felt it; I was paddling out on my surfboard and noticed a mushy, plastic-like substance sliding through my fingers. That’s what started my obsession with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” says charity fundraiser and environmentalist Veronica Grey. “The patch is located between Hawaii and California in the northern Pacific Ocean, where millions of small bits of plastic have gathered in a vortex of ocean currents known as a gyre.”

“Fifteen years ago The Patch was the size Texas, but now it’s the size of the continental United States,” says Grey, who used her iPhone to shoot the documentary, which features renowned scientists, journalists and environmentalists.

Grey paired her professional skills with her personal passion for the ocean, creating the award-winning documentary “Aqua Seafoam Shame,” (www.Pacific-TV.com), which spotlights the mess in the ocean that has garnered precious little media attention, she says.

Plastic in the ocean has far-reaching implications that, if not addressed within 20 years, could change life on this planet, she says. To date, 177 species of sea life are known to ingest plastic; other species feed on those creatures, extending the chain of damage.

“People eat the seafood that eats plastic, and the planet gets its rain from the oceans, which are being polluted at an exponential rate,” she says. “We use significantly more of our planet’s surface as a dump than for growing food; this has to change.”

To begin addressing plastics pollution, Grey encourages people to use alternatives:

  • Americans buy 2 million bottles of water every five minutes; ditch disposable plastic bottles and carry reusable, refillable bottles.
  • Carry a cost-effective canvas bag instead getting disposable plastic bags at the grocery store. We waste 10 billion plastic bags every week!
  • Do not line your trash cans with plastic bags. Use paper bags or nothing.
  • Skip the lid on your to-go drinks. The paper cup is normally recyclable but the lid usually isn’t.
  • Remember that each and every time you flush; it all ends up in the ocean. Be mindful of what you toss in your toilet!

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Toxic Chemicals in Child Car Seats

On Wednesday, August 3, the nonprofit Ecology Center will be releasing it’s fourth report on toxic chemicals in children’s car seats at HealthyStuff.org. Research shows that many of these products are made with dangerous chemicals that can pose serious health risks for children.

Chemicals tested for include bromine (associated with brominated flame retardants), chlorine (indicating the presence of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC and plasticizers), lead, and heavy metal allergens. Such chemicals have been linked to major health problems such as liver, thyroid and developmental problems in children. Babies are the most vulnerable population in terms of exposure to chemical-laden dust and inhaling toxic fumes, since their systems are still developing.

The Ecology Center tested over 150 infant, convertible and booster car seats (including brands such as Graco, Fisher Price, Britax, Evenflo, Peg Perego and more) and found that while some are virtually free of the most dangerous chemicals, others are saturated. To sample the car seats they used a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, which identifies the elemental composition of any material in less than 60 seconds.

Be sure to check HealthyStuff.org on August 3rd for this critical safety information.

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Lower Your Family’s BPA Exposure by 60%

So, if you’re not familiar with BPA (bisphenol-A) by now, I’ll give you the condensed version…it’s a chemical. It’s found in lots of things like can linings, baby bottles, pacifiers, food containers, receipts, dental sealants and more and it does lots of bad things to your body—BPA has been linked to breast and prostate cancer as well as obesity, early puberty, cardiac disease and lowered sperm counts, even at the low levels. Research indicates it’s best to be avoided, as evidenced by most of the civilized world banning it from baby bottles.

Canada took it a step further and declared it a toxic substance. Yay Canada! Here in America, however, we have a huge chemical lobby that has convinced our government representatives (yes, the ones who are supposed to be representing citizens, not chemical companies) to not ban BPA from baby bottles or anything else.

So, what are we supposed to do?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Taking the Week Off!

My kids are off for the whole week and Thanksgiving is almost here so we’re closing up shop for a few days. We wish you all a safe and  happy holiday!

See you after Thanksgiving!

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Does YOUR Juice Have Lead In It?

Green Mom Action Alert!The Environmental Law Foundation tested numerous juice samples earlier this year and found that 85% contained lead.

YES, LEAD—the stuff that damages the central nervous system, including the brain, and can produce anemia, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, hearing loss and permanently lower IQ’s! Children are especially susceptible to lead as their bodies absorb more of the heavy metal.

To be fair, minute amounts of lead are found throughout the food chain, but I still find leaded juice completely unacceptable. Unfortunately, I’m not sure of a solution other than simply drinking more (filtered) water and less juice.

Please download this PDF and see if your brand(s) are listed and check how they ranked. Bear in mind that not every brand on the market was tested so if yours is not listed, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe.

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Toxic America TONIGHT on CNN!

cnn_toxic_america.jpgOn June 2 and June 3 CNN is airing a two part special with Dr. Sanjay Gupta called “Toxic America“.

Wednesday night covers “Toxic Towns” and will delve into the environmental health and justice problems plaguing the community of Mossville, Louisiana—a sad example of our broken chemical safety system. Read the rest of this entry »

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Climate Counts

climatecounts.jpgWhat: Climate Counts web site

Features: Keep tabs on your favorite companies and their efforts to address climate change with Climate Counts, a web site that scores their impact on the environment. Check the scorecard for a ranking of a company’s grade and the ways they’re reducing their carbon footprint (Kraft Foods, for example, is up 19 points from last year and is listed as ‘Striding’ toward their environmental goals. Sara Lee, on the other hand, is ‘Stuck’, meaning they have yet to take meaningful action on climate change)

Green Factor: The goal is clear (and green): to encourage awareness among consumers, and, in turn, within the companies themselves

Bonus: The site is full of information. Sign up for their newsletter, watch videos, contact companies directly, download a helpful iPhone app and more!

Find It Here: Climate Counts

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We’re Blushing!

mom_blogs_2010.jpgWe just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for a couple of really nice nods we’ve gotten recently.

In December, Eco-Office Gals named The Green Mom Review as one of the top 10 green sites of 2009, along with the fabulous Big Green Purse  and Green & Clean Mom! Thanks ladies! We appreciate it :)

And more recently, Viewpoints named The Green Mom Review as one of the top mom blogs of 2010 alongside such notable sites as Cool Mom Picks, Dooce and  The Mommy Blog. Thank you for such a lovely honor!

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SIGG Comes Clean: BPA in Bottles

sigg_bpa.jpgYesterday we learned that some SIGG reusable bottles do, in fact, contain bisphenol A (BPA). As proponents of eco-friendly living and staunch supporters of reusable bottles, we at The Green Mom Review are very unhappy that we based our SIGG bottle feature (April 2008) on misleading information directly from SIGG.

The fact is, we featured SIGG bottles on April 15, 2008. A day later, we posted an addendum regarding SIGG’s proprietary inner lining material. In this addendum, we also included a link to an official statment from SIGG with the subject line “Quality and Safety  Guarantee.”

In that statement, SIGG clearly states that there is no presence of BPA in their bottles. This was dated April 16, 2008. SIGG announced yesterday that their bottles are BPA-free ONLY IF manufactured AFTER August 2008. That’s quite a discrepancy in the timeline and we are very disappointed over what appears to be an intentional attempt by SIGG to deceive consumers.

To clarify, SIGG knew their bottles had BPA in them and they were less than forthcoming with this information in an official statement released in April 2008, well over a year ago, when the bottles were STILL being made with a liner containing BPA.

Using clever wording like “no presence” of BPA may get SIGG off the hook legally but they were still dishonest and as an editor of a green living site, I’m not pleased. As a mother, I’m incensed that SIGG would use semantics to mislead parents who are doing everything they can to keep BPA out of their kids’ bodies.

To find out if your SIGG bottles have the liner containing BPA, please compare with the pictures below:

 Check for BPA in lining of SIGG Bottles
Click image  to enlarge

For further questions or comments, consumers have been invited to email SIGG’s CEO.

On Our Blog: Food Inc: The Truth About What We Eat

 

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