Plastics – The Global Crisis That Won’t Go Away

Posted by: Rhona Reid On February 15, 2018 12:00 pm

 
Single use plastics take five minutes to produce, five minutes to use and 500 years to break down, the vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, told reporters recently.  

499 years to go.

In a move that highlights just how catastrophic the risk of choking the planet in plastic really is, the EU has announced a plan to ensure that by 2030, all packaging on the continent must be reusable or recyclable.

No More Plastic Imports to China

The move is partly in response to China announcing that it will no longer accept plastic waste imports.  For years, EU countries have met their own higher recycling targets and reduced landfill by shipping the excess to China.  Here, the large-scale

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Water, Water Everywhere…

Posted by: Rhona Reid On February 7, 2018 12:00 pm

 
It sounds obvious, but water is everywhere at the moment.  From Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water cleaning up during awards season; the reckless craze for so-called “Raw Water”; the fact that South Africa’s Cape Town is about to reach Day Zero when the water runs out, and closer to home, that America’s own water supply is barely out of the news these days.  

Water is making headlines every day.
What Do We Want From Water?

Water is big news.  Of course it is, it’s a massive part of our lives.  We depend on it for life itself and yet we’re all guilty of wasting it from time to time.  So how did we become so complacent

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Why Reverse Osmosis Is NOT the Answer to Chromium-6

Posted by: Rhona Reid On February 6, 2018 7:00 am

 
The cancer-causing contaminant Chromium-6, brought to the public gaze by Erin Brockovich, is at levels exceeding public health goals in 50 states.

Chromium-6 – Here to Stay?

Millions of people are trying to find a workable solution to protect themselves and their families and to avoid drinking contaminated water.  

What Reverse Osmosis Water Does to the Pipeline

A reverse osmosis water system is sometimes touted as a possible solution on both a domestic and municipal level.  After all, it removes contaminants and that’s the goal, right?

Unfortunately, reverse osmosis is not a solution on either front.  On a city-wide basis, aside from the prohibitive cost of building the plant, the stripped-back water – though admittedly free of contaminants

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Half of All Americans Have Radiation in Their Water

Posted by: Rhona Reid On February 1, 2018 12:00 pm

 
According to this report published in January by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), 173 million people – around half of all Americans – have been exposed to radiation in their drinking water.  That means an increase in the possibility of developing certain types of cancer and can also have a detrimental effect on fetal development.  

Radioactive elements enter our groundwater…and stay there.
The “Erin Brockovich” Chemical

By studying 50,000 water systems countrywide, the EWG found that millions of people across 50 states are drinking water that contains radioactive contaminants; including the most commonly-occurring radioactive element, radium.

In Texas – one of the worst affected states – up to 80% of homes are supplied with water containing potentially dangerous levels

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The Environmentally Friendly Odd Couple?

Posted by: Rhona Reid On January 30, 2018 7:00 am

 
Back in November last year we talked about America Recycles Day, a great cause supported by Keep America Beautiful.

We all need to do more of this.

Now, it’s easy to think about the bottled water industry being right at the other end of any “Earth-friendly” scale, but some recent news is heartening and perhaps surprising.  

Planet-Friendly Partnership

On January 17, at the 2018 Keep America Beautiful National Conference, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) announced that it would be sponsoring the Keep America Beautiful initiative. 

“We stand committed to helping Americans better understand recycling and its potential for economic, environmental and community benefits by working with all stakeholders—manufacturers; the waste management industry; government entities; other nonprofit

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Sandbranch: The Town Without Water

Posted by: Rhona Reid On December 7, 2017 12:00 pm

 
There has never been running water here.  Some of the dwindling number of residents, all of whom live in poverty, recall that there were wells up until around 30 years ago, where locals could draw water. Those wells are now dry or contaminated.  People who live here have to make a seven-mile journey to buy water or depend on donations made to the local Baptist church.

Welcome to Sandbranch, just 14 miles southeast of Dallas, the fifth wealthiest city in America.  

Welcome to Sandbranch.
Forgotten Community?

There hasn’t been any investment here for a long time.  The community doesn’t have trash collections, proper sewerage or street lighting – yet most of the residents don’t want move, or lack

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The Future for Flint’s Children

Posted by: Rhona Reid On November 21, 2017 7:00 am

 
In 1990, the New England Journal of Medicine published the results of an 11-year study into the long term cognitive and neurobehavioral effects of lead exposure in children.  

What are the long terms behavioral effects of lead exposure for children?
What Does Lead Do?

The children had been exposed to lead during their childhood, in some cases relatively low levels.  132 test subjects were re-examined in 1988 and the following neurobehavioral traits were identified as being related to lead exposure during childhood:

  • School absenteeism
  • Lower vocabulary
  • Poorer hand/eye co-ordination
  • Slower reaction times
“No Safe Level of Lead”

Although some lead can be excreted by the body, children are more susceptible to long term effects from lead exposure, as their

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Can an 11-Year-Old Really Change How Lead in Water is Identified? 

Posted by: Rhona Reid On November 14, 2017 7:00 am

 
America’s water system is undeniably in crisis.  The projected cost of fixing the miles of pipeline that criss-cross the country runs to $1 trillion, according to some estimates.  There’s no quick fix.

Our infrastructure won’t be updated any time soon…
Next Generation – New Hope

But where there is a future, there is always hope.  And where there is hope, there is a future.  Maybe the next generation will come up with some answers, determined to put right what is broken and unsustainable.  This possibility has been highlighted by eleven-year-old Gitanjali Rao, winner of America’s top young scientist award.

Mythical Inspiration

Horrified by the news of lead contamination in the water of Flint, Michigan, Gitanjali quickly realized the …

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Drowning in Plastic – The Ocean Story

Posted by: Rhona Reid On November 9, 2017 12:00 pm

 
The Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean is almost 7 miles deep.  Its perpetually black depths are commonly referred to as the most remote place on the entire planet.  Extraordinary creatures survive in the dark with water pressure of eight tons per square inch.  But something else has been discovered in this inaccessible ocean trench.  Astonishing levels of man-made pollution, along with plastic bags and soda cans.  

There’s nowhere left on earth that’s safe from pollution.
Plastics on the Menu

We’re steadily choking our planet with plastic, according to recent research.  Up to 13 million tons of plastic finds it way into our oceans every single year, where it can then be ingested by wildlife.  Of course,

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Imagine a Day Without Water?

Posted by: Rhona Reid On October 26, 2017 12:00 pm

 
The third annual Imagine a Day Without Water took place on the 12th October.  Schools and workplaces participated with utilities and water organizations to look at how much we depend on water.  

Can you imagine a day without water?
The True Value of Water

The recent hurricanes that have seen thousands of people having their access to clean, safe water cut off, highlight just how vital water is to our health and well being.  

Some communities in America already know how impossible it is to try to go a day without our most precious resource: Water.  Imagine a Day Without Water 2017 is the third annual day to raise awareness and educate America about the value of water.

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