Environment

Seasoned Printing & Sales Veteran Jeremy Warner Appointed...

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:48

Jeremy Warner offers over 30 years of printing and sales experience as new Technical Sales Representative for Anderson & Vreeland, Inc., leading manufacturer and distributor of flexographic plate...

(PRWeb March 02, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12552309.htm

Categories: Environment

New Orleans-Themed Urban Design Competition Announces Four Finalists:...

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:48

Graduate Student Teams Representing Harvard University, University of Maryland, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison Advance to Final Stage and Compete for...

(PRWeb March 02, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12552761.htm

Categories: Environment

What foods should I take camping?

Grist.org - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 12:01

Q. I have a 3-day snow camp in the wilderness planned for a class I am taking. It looks like freeze-dried meals – while convenient, light in weight, and easy to prepare in harsh conditions – are not recyclable. Are there other, more eco-friendly options out there that would be easy to pack and cook in potentially snowy or rainy conditions? I did find one package that can be burned, but I’m concerned that in the wilderness, it could be toxic to the environment.

Stephanie
Los Angeles, CA

A. Dearest Stephanie,

Being willing to sleep out in a snowdrift impresses me plenty already. So the fact that you’re concerned about trash and toxins in the face of other, more pressing concerns — such as oh, not freezing to death — makes me extra-wowed. You are a hardy breed indeed.

You’re right that freeze-dried or plain old dehydrated meals are a popular choice among other hardy explorers, for all the reasons you cite. When you have to carry your entire pantry on your back, things like canned chili or baked potatoes no longer seem so appetizing, do they? Several companies sell just-add-hot-water meals for exactly this purpose. But because stouthearted mountain women like you often battle snow or rain in the course of their adventures, those meals tend to be packaged in watertight pouches made of mylar, foil, or plastic — making some of them difficult or impossible to recycle.

The brand you dug up, Mary Jane’s Farm, is a little different. According to a company spokesman, their EcoPouch is made of paper lined with linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), a type of plastic that doesn’t give off uber-terrible chemicals like dioxins when burned. Still, organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Forest Service are not keen on burning plastics or trash of any kind.

For the final word, I’ll defer to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the authority on how to conduct ourselves sustainably in the wilderness. The experts there say don’t burn any trash in a campfire. The reason: You have to stoke your fire long and hot enough to completely burn the pouches, which has its own environmental impact, or you’ll leave unsightly, animal-attracting scraps behind. Better to carry the empty pouch back out with you and throw it away (check with your local recycling company, but plastic-paper hybrids are usually tough to recycle).

As you probably suspect, Stephanie, we can do even better than that. Did you know you can make your own dehydrated meals at home? That way, you can create a menu as organic, local, affordable, and tasty as you wish. You can even pull this off using a regular oven, though if you keep up with the camping thing, a dehydrator is a more efficient way to go. Even better: You have a world of lower-waste packaging options open to you.

There’s a reason backpackers love plastic baggies for carrying pretty much everything — they’re light, cheap, and waterproof. They’re also made from #4 polyethylene (LLDPE falls under this umbrella), considered a “safe plastic.” But it isn’t recyclable in most communities. One alternative would be toting your treats in reusable containers like Tupperware (perhaps taped shut to be safe), but I know that’s on the heavy, bulky side for your purposes.

You might also try reusable lunch baggies: The ones fashioned from plastic-lined fabric could suit. They’re still heavier than a Ziploc, but that could be a price you’re willing to pay, Stephanie. While it’s always advisable to reduce plastic wherever we can, a plain old fabric pouch would lose that essential waterproofness — and some brands are using BPA- and phthalate-free liners, which we like. Here’s one more idea: Carefully wrap your meals in recyclable aluminum foil packets or paper bags, then slide them inside a reusable dry bag. These watertight pouches are made for outdoor pursuits, and the smaller ones are still pretty lightweight.

And if you end up defaulting to a few plastic baggies anyway? Just give them a rinse, dry them, and save them to use on your next camping trip. Turning to plastic bags a handful of days a year does not an environmental disaster make, especially considering you won’t be showering, using electricity, or driving on those days (and you took a bus to the trailhead, right?).

Heartily,
Umbra


Filed under: Food, Living
Categories: Environment

Brazil’s nutrition wisdom: No junk food, no eating alone

Grist.org - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 11:44

For years, U.S. nutritional policy has been flailing. You’ve probably already heard about the somewhat revolutionary recommendations on cholesterol and coffee that emerged last week from a federal nutrition advisory committee. The panel published a review of nutritional science that is one stop on the bureaucratic road toward preparing a new set of national dietary guidelines.

Every five years we get a new set of these guidelines from the government, sometimes containing information that contradicts the previous versions. In between, we get a continuous torrent of food fads and diet books. You’d think we’d tune out all this noise, but we don’t; meanwhile, we keep getting fatter and less healthy.

There’s got to be a better way, and Brazil may have found it — by ditching the scientific jargon and instead offering some simple wholesome advice.

The reason nutrition is so acrimonious and confusing is that it’s preposterously hard to study. To get solid data, you need to focus on one thing at a time: Do a randomized controlled study on what happens when you increase one particular type of fat in diets. But these precise studies are often not applicable to the grand and complicated mess of human health. The effect of a nutrient may depend on the other molecules in the meal, on the time of day you eat it, on your genetics, on your lifestyle, on your gut bacteria, on your age — I could go on.

One solution would be to stop focusing on the minutia, and instead make some simple common-sense recommendations. That’s the method that Brazil has adopted. Instead of talking about saturated versus polyunsaturated fat, the Brazilian guide has one “golden rule” that anyone can understand and follow: “Always prefer natural or minimally processed foods and freshly made dishes and meals to ultra-processed foods.”

There’s also other advice on how (rather than what) to eat: “Prefer eating with family, friends, or colleagues.” And: “Make the preparation and eating of meals privileged times of conviviality and pleasure.” The guidelines exchange precise detail for wonderfully touchy-feely wisdom. The suggestions are distinctly similar to the ideas proposed by Michael Pollan in In Defense of Food.

I spoke with Carlos Monteiro, a doctor based at University of Sao Paulo, whose Center for Epidemiological Studies in Health and Nutrition conceived of this guide. He explained that the origins of this unusual approach in confusion over counterintuitive data based on what people were cooking and eating at home.

Q. How did you from go looking at specific nutrients to a holistic focus on eating?

A. One of the first things I noticed in Brazil was that foods like sugar and vegetable oils — that common sense could say are causes of obesity  — were in decline. People were buying less and less vegetable oils, and even sugar. And also foods like rice and beans, which are very common foods in Brazil, and even some items like milk and meat were in decline — not so fast as rice and beans, but they were in decline.

Q.So Brazil had an obesity problem growing at the same time it was consuming less of these foods.

A.What we realized is that people were simply cooking less. They had used sugar and oils to prepare food and dessert. And these elements of the diet were being replace by everything that was ready-to-eat, let’s say, very modern products. It was not cheese or salted meat, but it was certain types of products with lots of ingredients and very little whole food.

Q.That’s what you’re calling ultra-processed food?

A.Yes, we created the definition of ultra-processed foods to describe these.

The fat and the sugar that people were not eating — they were eating much more through these ultra-processed products. So we came up with a proposal to classify foods according to four categories — minimally processed foods, processed foods like cheese and bread, ultra-processed foods, and also the culinary ingredients, which is a very specific type of food that you don’t eat by itself, you just use it to cook minimally processed foods.

That’s a very important difference between our guidelines and other guidelines that refer to oils and sugars as something you need to eliminate from our diet. Without oil and sugar, at least in Brazil, you cannot cook.

Q.I think the point is that you need to communicate to the people, and if you are saying to the people eat less oil and sugar, that’s good advice, but it’s hard for them to apply that to the oil and sugar in the ultra-processed foods that are becoming a bigger and bigger part of their diet. The oil and the sugar that people actually see [l when they cook is not the problem. Is that right?

A.Exactly. The oil and table sugar that you use to cook — it’s not only useful, it’s essential. Probably in any cuisine in the world you cannot cook without some kind of fat or oil.

Q.How did you decide that ultra-processed foods were the category to target?

A.We used recent surveys of what people eat — 30,000 people considering two days of their diet. And we came to the conclusion that the more people used the ready-to-consume products, the more problems they had with the diet. Not just in terms of salt and sugar, but also in terms of energy density, nutrients, some 500 bioactive compounds, antioxidants — everything goes in the wrong direction.

On the other side, people that preserve that pattern of having freshly prepared dishes had the best diet. The good news is that these people are not the richest. They have lower income, many of them live in isolated places in Brazil.

Q.Are you saying that all processed foods are bad? I can anticipate the criticism — I’m grateful that my mother isn’t grinding corn on her hands and knees.

A. This is important. We are not saying you can’t eat any processed food. On the contrary, what we say is base your diet on minimally processed foods. Take rice and beans — they are processed, you have industries behind these foods. Processed foods like oil and even sugar and salt, they are all necessary in moderation. Processed foods, bread and cheese, again we say they have a space.

What we say people should avoid is a very specific set of products that represent 30 percent of calories for the average Brazilian. For the United States it is double this.

Q.I was just reading this piece in Vox, and the last line asks why can’t America do the same thing as you. And the answer seems clear to me: The politics of food here only allow for small legalistic statements. A new set of recommendations came out today and the meat industry is already frothing at the mouth. How did you get this passed? Are the food politics different in Brazil?

A.It’s a very interesting question — we are still thinking about this. We worked on this for three years and until the last minute, we were not sure that we would get these published. Brazil is not different from other places where the food industry is very important.

When we went for a public consultation — that’s the normal process in Brazil for new policies [like U.S. public comment periods] — we received about 3,000 suggestions. The comments from the food industry were very negative. They basically didn’t like anything. They said they would prefer the old guia. Why didn’t we use portions or serving sizes? Why aren’t we saying everything is good in moderation? Why are we so radical on ultra-processed products? They also didn’t like the idea that the guidelines we say it’s not the solution to take some salt out of a product. This in particular they hate. They say, ‘Whoa, we are doing our best to improve our products and you are saying that these premium products are not the solution.’

But there were even more comments from civil society. Many people, particularly people more linked to food insecurity, suggested we include that these minimally processed foods are also very good for the environment, for equity, and the fairness of the economic system. And we made this change.

We presented this to the Ministry of Health. At the last minute there was pressure on the Minister of Health and the launch was postponed. We had tickets to go to Brasilia and at the last minute the launching was cancelled. But it was cancelled because the plan had been for the minister of nutrition to handle the launch, but it turned out that the minister of health wanted to do it personally in the most important setting, the National Health Council.

So the guide wasn’t supported by the industry, but there was a lot of support from other areas. That’s how politics works.

Q.Here, it’s really hard to get a recommendation through without bulletproof science supporting it. In part because we’ve made recommendations in the past that turned out to be misguided.

A.The food industry is saying, we accept recommendations if they are supported 100 percent by randomized controlled trials. That’s something we never would get if we look at actual meals. We used the best evidence we could get, but we didn’t use only randomized controlled trials, because if you use only randomized controlled trials then you can only make claims about nutrients. This is a trap.

Q.One factor that actually could move the political impasse here would be the success of your experiment in Brazil, if it works. You won’t have randomized controlled trials, I assume, but there will be evidence generated by this policy change. Are there people studying this?

A.Yes, of course. We have the baseline data so it will be no problem to follow and see what happens with the diet. But what we are very much engaged in now is the dissemination of the recommendations. We want to train the health workers — Brazil has a huge family health program — we want them to bring this message when they visit people. The other setting is schools. And there will need to be other policies, like taxation, like control of advertising. If you don’t control marketing, it’s much more difficult to get the messages of the guide to people.


Filed under: Article, Food, Politics
Categories: Environment

Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety Names New Chief Safety Officer

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 09:47

Mark Chubb, president of the USA Branch of the Institution of Fire Engineers, to oversee fire safety operations and training in Bangladesh and guide remediation efforts in all factories from which...

(PRWeb March 02, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12552778.htm

Categories: Environment

Pixel Film Studios released the TranStatic Volume 2 plugin for Final...

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 09:47

TranStatic Volume 2 for Final Cut Pro X was announced today made exclusively for Final Cut Pro X

(PRWeb March 02, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/final-cut-pro-x-plugin/2015-03/prweb12506624.htm

Categories: Environment

Growing List of Professionals Gather for World’s Most Comprehensive...

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 09:47

AutismOne/Focus for Health 2015 Conference in Chicago addresses autism, measles, and other childhood diagnoses

(PRWeb March 02, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12552454.htm

Categories: Environment

Gonesh Introduces Sandalwood Line Of Home Fragrances

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 09:47

Gonesh has introduced a new line of home fragrance products, the Sandalwood Shop collection, with prices that range from $1.99 to $9.99.

(PRWeb March 02, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/02/prweb12532582.htm

Categories: Environment

New Product Showcase Award Winner Bambeco® At Natural Products...

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 09:47

Bambeco®, the leading brand of stylish, sustainable home decor and furnishings, will reveal its newest product line at this year’s Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, California,...

(PRWeb March 02, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/02/prweb12548191.htm

Categories: Environment

Laser Scanning Drones: XactSense is First to Fly Velodyne’s New...

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 09:47

XactSense inc. has developed a new platform for low-altitude aerial mapping using the newly released Velodyne LIDAR VLP-16 “Puck”. Drone LIDAR mapping for the masses is here.

(PRWeb March 02, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12551581.htm

Categories: Environment

Belize On The Rise As A Spring Break Destination

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 06:47

With students across North America planning their spring break vacations, Belize is beginning to stand out as a Caribbean destination with a lot to offer, according to the Lodge at Chaa Creek.

(PRWeb March 01, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12552091.htm

Categories: Environment

Metal Roofing Company in Carrollton, GA Completes Installation &...

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 06:47

ReRoof USA finishes project at AAA Private Self Storage. ReRoof USA is perfect for people needing the best metal roofing company in Carrollton, Georgia for installation & contractor services on...

(PRWeb March 01, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/metal-roofing-company/in-carrollton-georgia/prweb12552873.htm

Categories: Environment

Nurture the earth, and it will teach you

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 06:47

Jennifer Brighton emphasizes finding compassionate awareness through nature in new book

(PRWeb March 01, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/02/prweb12548904.htm

Categories: Environment

3 Ways To Tell First-Time Home Buyers Are Compatible With Their Real...

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 03:47

The Federal Savings Bank offers prospective home buyers a few tips on selecting the correct agent for them.

(PRWeb March 01, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12552781.htm

Categories: Environment

Weekly Home Sales Fall While Price Hold

PR Web - Mon, 03/02/2015 - 03:47

Peoples Home Equity shares the latest results from DQnews.com’s “National Home Sales Snapshot.”

(PRWeb March 01, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12552784.htm

Categories: Environment

$180 Mill Solar Farm Nears Construction in North Carolina

PR Web - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 15:46

Innovative Solar Systems, LLC, has an 80MW Solar Farm Project located in Anson County, NC that is construction ready and merely awaits purchase and sale contracts from investors.

(PRWeb March 01, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12552541.htm

Categories: Environment

Discover Energy Solutions Launches Program to Benefit the 100 Club of...

PR Web - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 15:46

Donated Solar Energy Systems to help cut utility costs for families who have recently lost a loved one in the line of duty.

(PRWeb March 01, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12550655.htm

Categories: Environment

New Study Finds Indirect Asbestos Exposure Can Raise Mesothelioma Risk...

PR Web - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 12:46

A long-term study of sheet metal workers suggests that many are at risk for asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma and asbestosis, even though they may not work directly with asbestos.

(PRWeb March 01, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/03/prweb12551922.htm

Categories: Environment

This community is taking on the Koch brothers’ pollution — and they’re winning

Grist.org - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 11:00

This story was originally published by Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

It’s not easy to take on a wealthy, multi-national corporation and win. Especially for residents of Chicago’s struggling Southeast Side.

But that’s exactly what’s happening on the banks of the Calumet River, where the steel plants that used to give residents of a mostly Hispanic neighborhood access to a middle-class lifestyle were replaced, nearly two years ago, with black dust called petroleum coke (“petcoke”) piled five or six stories tall.

The piles of petcoke — a byproduct of the oil refining process — belong to KCBX Terminals, owned by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers. The piles have been roiling area residents ever since the black dust of mostly carbon and sulfur began blowing into the backyards, playgrounds, and neighborhood parks. It blackens skies and leaves behind a sticky residue, raising concerns about aggravated asthma and other health issues.

A small but energetic coalition of residents have stepped up to fight the blight, holding protests and marches, educating their neighbors about the issue and pressuring elected officials. They’ve made incredible progress in a relatively short time.

Last week, as the Chicago Tribune reported, BP, one of KCBX’s largest customers, abruptly announced it would discontinue sending its petcoke to the site beginning this summer. In addition, the city of Chicago announced it had denied KCBX’s request for a deadline extension to enclose its petcoke piles via multi-million dollar structure. Shortly thereafter, KCBX announced it would “consolidate” its two petcoke storage and handling sites into one, removing the piles but continuing to operate as a site where petcoke would be transferred between trains and barges.

The third petcoke site in the area, owned by Beemsterboer, shuttered its facility and removed all of its petcoke last year.

Still, area residents believe their battle against some of the most influential players in one of the nation’s most powerful industries, is very much ongoing — and they are digging in for more.

Tom Shepherd, president of the Southeast Environmental Task Force, one of the organizations on the front lines of the petcoke battle in Chicago, said his group is “waiting for the next shoe to drop.”

“It remains to be seen whether it will be a foolproof operation over there [at the consolidated south terminal],” Shepherd said. “We’re in a wait-and-see pattern right now.”

Shepherd and others have been have been working to get petcoke out of the neighborhood ever since the piles started to appear in the summer of 2013.

A group of area residents and activists poses with the weather balloon rig they are using to monitor petcoke operations in their neighborhood.Olga Bautista

It is Shepherd who spearheaded a bus tour for individuals interested in getting a closer look at the petcoke facilities and the communities surrounding them. His organization, as well as the Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke and the Natural Resources Defense Council, have also led demonstrations calling for petcoke to be banned from their community. In addition, they’ve gone door to door in the neighborhood, talking to the community about the facilities and collecting information about how the petcoke has impacted residents’ day-to-day lives.

The groups’ efforts have also attracted the attention of political leaders, including U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, former Gov. Pat Quinn and Mayor Rahm Emanuel — all of whom have made appearances in the neighborhood to address the issue. Legislation has also followed at the federal, state, and city level. However, only the city’s efforts — Emanuel reportedly told KCBX to “clean up or shut down” — have gained traction to date.

Petcoke also became the leading campaign issue in the ward’s aldermanic election Tuesday. Alderman John Pope, the neighborhood’s City Council representative and an Emanuel loyalist, faced criticism from a crowded field of challengers that he was too slow to address the issue. (Pope will be heading to a runoff election against Susan Sadlowski Garza on April 7.) In a non-binding referendum, 85 percent of voters in the ward voted to support banning petcoke from the district altogether.

But Olga Bautista, an activist with the Southeast Side Coalition to Ban Petcoke, believes there is good reason for the neighborhood to remain skeptical despite the recent progress.

Of particular concern is the possibility that transferring petcoke at the KCBX site will simply pose a different environmental issue.

She says she and other activists will continue to collect data on the sites using a balloon mapping technique they learned through a partnership with Public Lab, an organization that works to democratize environmental monitoring and assessments. Using a 5-foot weather balloon with a camera attached to it, as well as an open-source software program called MapKnitter, they can document what is happening at the sites and ensure the company is obeying regulations concerning the height of the petcoke piles (nothing higher than 30 feet is now allowed).

Bautista’s group is also working to develop curriculum to teach students at schools in the area how petcoke connects to larger climate change issues.

She remains focused on getting the city to give KCBX the boot, despite company officials saying last week they “remain committed to Chicago” and plan to work within the city’s regulations.

“We don’t know of any community who’s been able to successfully kick out the Koch brothers and that’s what we’re calling for,” Bautista said. “We’re not going to back down from our original demand to ban the stuff. It’s going to be us, moms and dads like me, who hold them accountable. We’re not going to stand by and watch these companies make millions and billions of dollars and at the same time they make us sick.”

Another lingering question is where BP will send its petcoke now that it’s no longer shipping it to Chicago.

“A final decision has not yet been made on where this material will be stored in the future,” BP spokesman Scott Dean told HuffPost in a statement.

That answer is not a comfort to activists, like Josh Mogerman, who fear the dangerous material could be heading just across the border to Indiana.

“Just shifting this blight to another community or down the river is good for folks on the Southeast Side, but not a win,” Mogerman, spokesman for the NRDC, said. “They produce a lot of this stuff, and it has to go somewhere.”


Filed under: Cities, Climate & Energy, Living
Categories: Environment

Announcing a New Transition Pack from Pixel Film Studios,...

PR Web - Sun, 03/01/2015 - 09:46

A new plugin was announced today from Pixel Film Studios the Transccordion Plugin, which includes endless accordion style transitions for Final Cut Pro X

(PRWeb March 01, 2015)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/final-cut-pro-x-plugin/2015-02/prweb12506609.htm

Categories: Environment

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