First ENR of 2014!

Hi everyone! I hope the new year finds you in good health! Here is the year’s first environmental News Roundup, enjoy!

Facial Scrubs Polluting Great Lakes With Plastic

Here at Clean Fairfax, we are starting the new year with a new focus on plastics and the harm they do to the planet. In 2013, I found out that chewing gum (which I chew at least twice a day) hasn’t been made from natural chicle in decades and that I was chewing on plastic! Now imagine all the gum people spit out onto the ground and all the poor animals that eat it, thinking it is food. There are plastics everywhere, even in your facial scrubs. I’ve started to feel a little trapped, and a little hopeless when I go to the store. I hope after you read this article, you will at least make your purchases with eyes wide open to the damages plastics are doing to the environment and our own health. Clean Fairfax’s new year’s resolution is to USE LESS PLASTIC, and we encourage our friends to do the same!

I didn’t mean to start out the ENR with bad news, so to make up for it, here is some absolutely excellent news for the environment!

40 Years of Endangered Species Act Success

“Marking the anniversary, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe said, “The Endangered Species Act has played an integral role in wildlife conservation for four decades, giving us the ability to work with partners across the nation to prevent the extinction of hundreds of species, recover many others, and protect fragile habitat that supports both species and people.”

13 Big Wins for Animals in 2013

“This year, 2013, has been quite a year for animals. Yes, we do have a long way to go as many injustices and cruelties still exist, but we are slowly stamping out others, and we should have no shame in celebrating these victories, no matter how small.”

Solar Ascendancy: Minnesota Court Ruling for Solar over Gas a Harbinger of Things to Come

“A Minnesota Judge found that solar is a better deal than natural gas for Xcel Energy, permitting Geronimo Energy to construct 20 huge solar facilities worth $250 million in Xcel’s service area in that state. The amount of solar power in the state would increase by a factor of 7. The ruling still has to be approved by the Public Utilities Commission.

Here’s the kicker: Geronimo’s Aurora solar project will get no state subsidy (it is eligible for a Federal tax break, as are most solar projects including individual rooftop solar panel installations– these have not been affected by the budget uncertainties on Federal wind farm subsidies). This ruling marks the first time that unsubsidized solar has gone toe to toe with natural gas and won (natural gas also receives Federal subsidies). As such, it may mark a turning point. The ruling itself is the harbinger, whether the plan goes through or not.”

Free Online Courses: Environment and Sustainability

If you’re like me and you find yourself watching the same episodes of a show more than once simply because “there’s nothing on” try watching one of these instead. Many universities offer free online lectures, and if lectures sound too boring to you, try this site for documentaries!

3 Responses to First ENR of 2014!

  1. George Mitchell January 3, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    Helpful article. What does ENR mean?

  2. George MItchell January 3, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    My bad, I see it now. Environmental News Roundup

  3. Beth Terry January 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

    Guess what! I’m going to be reviewing a new plastic-free chewing gum, made in the United States, with plastic-free packaging too. Stay tuned to the blog this week. Not sure what day I’ll post it. Cheers!

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