April 30, 2014

Food for thought on cosmetics

Really???? The cosmetics industry is hiring lobbyists to convince elected officials to continue to allow formaldehyde in many personal care products and plastic "micro beads" in facial and body scrubs.

I'd like to preserve the look of 35-year old skin, even 45, but with formaldehyde? I think not.

And those plastic microbeads are showing up in ocean and river water samples around the world. The still missing Malaysian Airlines flight brought the amounts of plastic floating in our oceans into the consciousness of a lot of folks who never knew about it. But so far, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics group is a lone voice in the wilderness bemoaning these cosmetic industry ingredients.

Since adopting the Whole30 foods program, I am reading food labels much more diligently. Looks like I'll need to alot more time for all my shopping.

April 26, 2014

Kudos to the Chesapeake eelgrass

Let's hear it for the eelgrass in the Chesapeake Bay. Up 24 percent from the last survey, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program folks. Or almost 60,000 acres of it, compared to 48,000. That is still only a third of the ultimate goal of 185,000 acres, but it is good progress. And NOT a retreat.

Grass beds give hidey holes for crabs, so the crab population should be growing too. Too soon to tell if that will be the case. Eelgrass does not prosper during hot summers. It took a big hit in 2005.

April 23, 2014

Get rid of unwanted medications the safe way

It's National "Get rid of your drugs safely" Day on Saturday, April 26. Do NOT flush these meds down the toilet. Our drinking water and local fish do not need hormones or anti-depressants.

Click here for the info and your closest drop-off location.

April 20, 2014

Yes, we have no bananas

Is it not enough that the price of avocados has jumped big time due to the drought in California? Chipotle has been in the news for raising their prices to counterbalance this.

A dire warning has been issued to Caribbean islands that produce bananas, many of them exported to the United States. The fusarium wilt disease that is very destructive to the banana industry has spread from Asia to Africa and the Middle East and is now menacing the islands and Central America.

April 16, 2014

Crude oil is coming through Virginia

When we read about all those recent crude oil spills (in North Dakota, Alabama and Quebec among others) from trains carrying this toxic stuff to refineries, we don't realize how close to home these trains might be.

Since last December, the Yorktown Terminal on the York River (closed as a refinery since 2010) has been the destination for quite a few of these trains. The terminal can handle 140,000 barrels per DAY and can store up to 6 million barrels. That potential for disaster gets my attention, especially since those trains come through the Williamsburg area. Mighty close to MY James River. Human error and train derailments do not coexist with a healthy Chesapeake Bay watershed. Sure hope that the Department of Transportation is overseeing the transport of crude oil with eagle eyes after these recent spills. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation folks worry that the bay is on borrowed time.

Environmentalists worrying about leaks in the proposed Keystone Pipeline point to these train derailments as inadequate incentive for pipeline approval. 

Renewable energy goals in Virginia

Today's article in the Daily Press on solar power included a US map showing states with MANDATES to generate ten percent of their energy from renewables. It included Virginia but that is inaccurate. Virginia has VOLUNTARY goals: 7% by 2016, 12% by 2022 and 15% by 2025. And we are not headed to those figures by any stretch of the imagination unless those offshore wind farms are up and operating. Voluntary anything is almost impossible to achieve.

April 1, 2014

Climate change no longer denied?

The United Nations panel on Climate Change issues another grim warning about the alarming consequences of a warming climate. Rising waters and threatened shorelines always get my attention since our home is so near the encroaching James River and I enjoy Caribbean islands for vacations.

But I fear that the New York Times' editorial is not yet true:

"Perhaps now the deniers will cease their attacks on the science of climate change, and the American public will, at last, fully accept that global warming is a danger now and an even graver threat to future generations. "