Sustainable Fishing, Tish, the world’s oldest goldfish, and other fish tales are touched on in the latest episode of 50 Shades of Green Divas. We chat with Noah Bressman, a marine biologist about fisheries, the fishing industry, how to tell if the fish you buy is safe to consume, and other fish stories.
go to thegreendivas.com and themanyshadesofgreen.com for more
Microbeads are not part of a kids craft project, they are tiny plastic particles which are entering the wildlife and human populations. My guest this week, Jordan Christensen, is the Program Coordinator for the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and she is working to put pressure on our elected officials to ban the use of microbeads. She is also working on projects to limit raw sewage and toxins from entering the waterways, as well as reducing use of chemicals in schools. We have to write letters to our local and national representatives to let them know that Earth comes first. Go to www.citizenscampaign.org for more information.
Scrub some natural face cleanser on at the end of the day. Feels wonderful. A shea butter body cream can only be good, right? Read the ingredients. Many of the cosmetics on the shelf today contain microbeads. What’s a microbead? I hadn’t heard of them either. Yet, they are now so proliferate in many of the products we use, approximately 69 NGOs from 33 countries are supporting the campaign to end the use of the microbead, according to beatthemicrobead.org.
What exactly is a microbead? Imagine a teeny, tiny bead of plastic. Now, image something smaller. Microbeads replace more natural ingredients, especially in health and body care products like scrubs, creams, and toothpaste. The tiny beads, less then 1mm, are composed of polyethylene, polypropylene, polymethyl methacrylate, or nylon, in short, plastic. Use a microbead for seconds, rinse, and it goes down the drain to stay in the environment forever. The cycle of water pulls the plastic fibers all the way to the oceans. They don’t break down. Instead, they mush into plastic-like goo; floating, unnoticed by a fish that eats a smaller fish – tasty, yet environmentally deadly. Catch the bigger fish and the contaminant ends up back on our table, in our mouths. See anyone pick up a tiny piece of plastic on the ground and eat it? That’s exactly what’s happening.
How did this happen? And, right under our nose? All of these ingredients are approved and “safe” to use. Safe bet companies are making money on the short-term benefit of making a product cheaper, getting it on the shelf quicker, and selling more than we really need. Natural ingredients take more time, most likely more investment – in the short run. (And, I’m not even talking about organic ingredients yet, just “natural” like putting in more real shea butter instead of cutting the real product with these tiny plastic beads.)
Step in a movement to end those tiny, terrible microbeads. Like so many other products we discover for the quick, availability and cheaper price, we buy it: plastic bags, the k-cup, or processed food. The ramifications of our choices always, not sometimes, but always come back to bite us in the bags and beads. Without seeing the long-term effect before we eat too much sugar or throw all or allow GMO modification of our food, we suffer the consequences of our choices and have to work to not only end the use of the danger, but also find ways to reinvent how to educate, make healthy choices, and show our children things like tiny microbeads just are a bad decision.
A movement has started to ban the microbead. Annie Leonard, founder of The Story of Stuff, began an idea to look at our prolific use of stuff. Her animated movies are short, great for anyone – I’ve showed them to my kids – and poignant. She’s always working on a solution. Pointing out the problem is one thing, doing something about yet another. Learn what products carry microbeads and stop using them. Check out sites that offer more information on microbeads and how to join a campaign to ban the bead.
So, let’s get started, below is a list of companies and products as posted from beatthemicrobead.org that contain microbeads. You can get the full list, for many countries, on their site.
Note the brands; be familiar with the all the chemical names of the microbead. Changing brands, really going natural or organic is a choice not just for better skin or whiter teeth, but a choice that makes a difference for our children and our planet.
“We are keepers of the planet, we are protectors of the water, the land, the air.” Join me and my guest Don Raskopf, a member of the Board of Directors for Clearwater, and co-founder of Ban Fracking Now, as we delve into topics of fracking, train transportation of bakken crude oil, green building and the musical connection to Clearwater via one its founders, Pete Seeger. Music continues to be the message, as it is the force behind social movement and activism. For more information about Clearwater and the upcoming Clearwater Festival go to clearwater.org.
Scott Seydel is the Chairperson of Global Green, an organization that advocates for smart solutions to global warming. We discuss waste stream diversion, and what companies are participating to help reduce and recycle waste. Global Green is an affiliate of Green Cross International, an organization that works to foster a global value shift to a sustainable and secure future. Scott is a leader in building communities affected by natural disasters, as he moves to green affordable housing via use of alternative energy and building materials that are less toxic. He is a true environmental ambassador. For more info go to www.globalgreen.org
Saving Oysters to Save Ourselves is the message of Rand Weeks. We must protect the oyster beds and coral reefs to keep the planet healthy for all species. This can be done through the process of Bio Rock, no it’s not a new heavy metal band, so tune in to find out how important it is. Go to global coral.org for more information. Also check out Shell Shocked the documentary film that delves into the importance of oyster reefs and why we need to save them.
PortSide NewYork Founder and Director Carolina Salguero discusses how this unique organization is bringing New York City’s “blue space” to life aboard the re-purposed oil tanker. The tanker is currently based in Red Hook, Brooklyn.