Eco-Conscious

How To Drive Less and Still Have a Life

It’s not just high gas prices. We all know that it’s time to put the planet first and conserve its resources by driving less. As a WAHM, I’ve pretty much figured out how to do all my errands in one day, including shopping, two libraries, the natural foods store, the post office and thrift stores. True, it means packing a lot into one day, but it’s worth it.

If you’ve managed to pare your trips down to one or two a week, you may be wondering how to fill the other five or six days. What do you do with the kids? How do you get together with friends? What happens when all this togetherness drives you batty and your brain atrophies from lack of contact with other grownups?

Never fear, humans lived without cars for millions of years and managed to survive. One way to stay in contact with friends is to initiate Friday night pizza parties or cookouts or card games and alternate hosting. One week, you go there. The next week, they come to your house. It saves on gas and food costs and sitters.

Here are some other ideas for ways to keep life interesting and full while not emptying your gas tank. First of all, don’t think of it as being forced to stay home. Think of it as being allowed to be on permanent vacation. If you’re not running the roads everyday, you have lots of time to do the things you always said you wanted to do but couldn’t do because you were too busy.

Have a chair you’d like to refinish? A book you’d like to read? A hobby that you’ve neglected? A season of a popular show on video that you’d like to watch? Well, now you have time to do all those things. But first you have to find something for the kids to do, now that you’re not hauling them to friends’ houses, lessons and games.

Do they have friends close by? Close enough so that they can walk or bike to each other’s houses if they’re old enough? That’s how kids used to meet up, before parents started taking them everywhere by car. Do you have a yard they can play in?

Send them outside with an unbreakable jar, a small net and a bug identification book. Get them some sidewalk chalk and let them draw on the driveway or sidewalk. (Just move your car to the end of the driveway, so that no one can pull in while they’re doing it.)

Teach them how to play hopscotch or play jump rope games or put some water in a small wading pool and let them sit in it and cool off with small buckets, bowls and bathtub toys. If they’re too young to be left alone, sit near them and read your book or cross stitch your pillowcase or just relax with a cool drink and daydream.

It’s ironic that we spend so much money on making our homes into cozy nests, then drive away from them to “have fun” in other places. Why not enjoy them instead? Here are some alternatives to going out for a good time. All of them are online and most of them are free:

I’m going there right now, to learn how to make a garden in a bottle – as soon as I finish this game of Bookworm and bookmark a book on organic gardening at Gutenburg.org.

Author bio: My name’s Stanley from WorldCarsNews.com, WorldCarsNews is a great information resource for the car industry and most of all, the fruit of our passion for cars. This website is part of the PowrMedia Network and our copywriters and research teams are dedicated towards digging out the most interesting information, news, pictures and videos of our favorite car brands.

Eco-Conscious

Think Pink? I Don’t Think So. Here’s Why

Do you feel as if you’re drowning in a sea of pink? I do. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, as I’m sure you’re aware. There’s the irony. Everyone is aware of breast cancer, because almost everyone has been affected by it. Who doesn’t know someone who has either died from or survived breast cancer? Who hasn’t seen the ads on TV and all over the Net? You can’t open a Facebook page without someone asking you to “help cure breast cancer” with sales copy that’s festooned with pink ribbons. Who can resist? Buy some wine and cure cancer. What’s not to like?

Everything. I don’t like anything about this stupid “Think Pink” campaign. In the first place, it’s just one more gimmick to sell things to women. I think we have enough of those, but that’s a whole ‘nother subject. In the second place, why is it that none of these folks are talking about preventing breast cancer?  That is truly the “cure” for breast cancer: preventing it in the first place. Why do so many ads tout mammograms to prevent cancer? They don’t prevent anything and may actually cause cancer as you can read in this report. Well, I shouldn’t say that no one is talking about prevention because Breast Cancer Action is. They’re based in SF and if you want real, worthwhile information about ways to prevent breast cancer and what you can do to help convince our legislators to do what needs to be done to prevent breast cancer, go to their web site as soon as you’re done reading this.

Also, you might want to read about this study that talks about a common food that can actually shut down the process that cancer cells use to proliferate. It’s not woo-woo pseudoscience either. It’s from the NIH and after reading it, you may want to add something to your salad or sandwich. It’s not the only food that has an effect on cancer cells either. Things like turmeric, broccoli, ginger, mushrooms and many other foods have been studied and shown to have anti-cancer properties either preventive or after diagnosis. Why is it that none of these stinkin’ Pinkers talk about that? To me, it looks as though they’re portraying women (and the small group of men who get breast cancer) as helpless victims who have no control over whether they get breast cancer or not. Hogwash!

True, there are some factors, genetic and acquired, that make it more likely that you’ll develop breast cancer. I have one of them. I’m the daughter of a woman who took DES (diethylstilbestrol), which makes it more likely that I’ll develop breast cancer. However, I’m also a woman who researches and writes for a living, so I’m aware of other risk factors and also of things I can do to improve my odds. For one thing, I eat organic food whenever possible. I take extra Vitamin D, which has been shown to reduce cancer rates in populations that have a higher intake. I do drink in moderation, but I’ve switched from wine to very low alcohol beer except on rare occasions.

I will not be buying anything pink, because I hate the whole mentality that says that breast cancer is just one of those things that you have to accept if you’re a woman, and then someone will give you chemo and remove your breast and you’ll be “cured”, if you’re lucky. Or, more likely, like my late sister in law, you’ll get brain damage along with the chemo, live a lousy, pain-filled life for a few months or years and then die from a stroke, a heart attack or a recurrence of the cancer somewhere else in your body.

If I do develop cancer, breast cancer or any other type, I’ll carefully review my options with my health care providers, research the heck out of it and then get the best holistic treatment I can find. If that includes allopathic treatment, fine. But I won’t be opting for chemotherapy and I won’t be expecting any of the Pink people to cure me. It’s not in their best interest, because they’re all making a bundle on selling a cure for cancer with the fearmonger approach.

Call me a skeptic, but I can’t help but wonder whether it’s really a coincidence that the same companies that make the big anti-cancer drugs also make some of the pesticides that cause cancer. Then there’s  Monsanto which makes the hormone rGBH that farmers give their cows to increase milk production. RGBH is a known carcinogen and it’s in almost all the cheese produced in America, although it’s banned in Europe and Canada. I haven’t checked, but I’m sure there’s cheese with a pink ribbon on it and rGBH in it selling somewhere at a supermarket near you. You know, it’d be a lot better if they just stopped after the first word in their slogan: Think.

Eco-Conscious

Politics and the Environment:What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Ronald Reagan?

Note: I usually save the opinion posts for my other blog “News From Hawkhill Acres“, but with a a very important election coming up in less than a month, I think this post deserves to go here too.

I know I’m supposed to blog about the financial crisis because that’s the most important thing in the world at the moment, and I’ll get to it. First, though, I’d like to say a word about peace, or the lack of it, in the world. I’m sure someone will comment and say that I’m overreacting but I’m going to say it anyhow. Peace doesn’t have a chance in our culture.

Oh, sure, I’m still rooting for it and fighting for it and promoting it in the community I inhabit. I’m still trying to model it for my kids and create those famous ripples that will spread out from me and other peacemongers throughout the rest of the world until it replaces war, unrest and meanness.

Unfortunately, I’m outnumbered and outgunned by corporations and power brokers who realize that peace doesn’t sell. Even if you count the Nobel Peace Prize, there are many more medals for war heroes than peace heroes. Little boys don’t say that they want to grow up to be peacekeepers; they want to grow up to be soldiers.

Our TV shows, movies and books aren’t about peace and love; they’re about torture, sophomoric mean-spirited jokes and heroes who are good guys because they kill bad guys. Think of the shows that have everyones’ eyeballs glued to the screen every night. Is “Survivor” a show about how the human race has survived by cooperating? I don’t think so.

I think I really started to be worried about the world around the time that “Silence of the Lambs” became such a big hit. Hannibal Lecter is not a peacemonger. He’s a totally screwed up psychopath, but millions of people found him fascinating. They still do. I don’t. I can’t get past the horror his victims experienced. Whether in fiction or the real world, people who treat other people like objects or possessions aren’t people I want in my life.

But everyday on talk shows, on adult soap operas and “reality shows”, in sports and the entertainment industry, it’s not the peaceful, cooperative, decent people who are glorified, is it? Nope, it’s the loudmouthed, pushy, greedy, aggressive, mean, unethical egoists who get the publicity and the brand sponsorship, which makes them role models for millions of people, especially kids.

I’ve come to the conclusion that one reason peace is such a hard sell is because you just can’t make much money from it. True peace involves love for our fellow humans, the planet and the animal life on it. It means not consuming just for the sake of consuming. It means caring enough for others to pay them a decent wage, respect their inalienable right to do what they want with their own bodies and lives, and take care of them when they can’t care for themselves. Ain’t much return on that for someone who wants to be a millionaire, is there?

And that brings me to the current financial crisis and Ronald Reagan, who – if he were still alive – would be turning over in his grave. Well, you know what I mean. Ronald Reagan is still touted as the “father of the conservative revolution”, the man who got rid of those pesky regulations that hampered the free flow of money into the pockets of his rich cronies from trickling down from the rich to the poor.

Note to poor: If you’re still standing there with your bucket to catch the trickle, you can go back to the homeless shelter. Very rich people don’t let even a trickle of money get away once they have it in their hands. That’s how they get rich.

How anyone could believe that the party that gave us Ronald Reagan is the change this country needs, is beyond me, but many do. Oh, wait, I get it. They mean “change” as in nickels and dimes, which is what the Republican party has been giving us for two administrations now, along with an unjust war, repressive homeland security laws (just the term makes me squirm) and such things as “signing statements” which are nothing more than a violation of the constitution.

We need Change with a capital C and that’s what I’m voting for. I’m not naiive. I don’t think that electing Barack Obama will immediately right all the wrongs in this country. I don’t agree with him on a lot of things and I’m just as cynical about politicians as the next person. However, I still insist that peace is the goal, not war. Love, not hate.

If you feel that way too, please think about which candidate is more likely to work for the same goals. Put Mimi’s Peace Globe on your site and blog about peace on November 7th. Let’s give peace another chance. It’s the least we can do.

Eco-Conscious

Vaccinations: Shots, Or Not

I have a round scar on my upper left arm. It’s about the size of a dime, but it was the size of a quarter when I got it back in first grade. Although it’s faded over the years, I’ll have it when I die, like most people my age. It’s a smallpox vaccination and back in the fifties, all kids got one by the time they started school or shortly thereafter from the school nurse.

No one asked us if we wanted one, because our parents and teachers knew that we didn’t want smallpox, which was still a threat even in the US. We also got polio shots, which hurt like heck. I remember thinking at the time though, that the shot was better than being in a wheelchair like my friend, Gerry or in an iron lung like my great aunt.

Polio was a scourge that scared the bejesus out of us and out of our parents. It closed public pools, theaters and even schools. There was no cure, only supportive care while doctors and parents hoped and prayed that their child or family member would recover enough to breathe on their own.

Maybe that’s why I’m not completely against immunizations for kids, like many of my Green friends are. I believe in using alternative medicine whenever possible, but I also think it’s silly to shun all allopathic medicine. After all, even the Greenest Mama doesn’t chisel her messages into stone or write them and mail them. She uses a computer because it’s faster and more effective and just makes a lot more sense.

That’s the way I feel about immunizations – with several qualifications. If I had it all to do over, I wouldn’t have allowed my kids to be immunized with more than one vaccine at a time, and I would have been very selective about the immunizations they got.

There are some immunizations whose risks outweigh their benefit – the Gardasil shot comes to mind. No way will my kids be getting that. Instead they’ll get good solid information about how to prevent cervical cancer and the importance of regular checkups for that and other cancers.

Other immunizations, like diptheria and TB make sense in a society where we’re all exposed to many more people from other countries, where these diseases are more prevalent. We live in a very rural area, yet we’re only 25 miles from an international airport where passengers spend a couple hours at local restaurants and stores between flights.

Rubella or German Measles immunizations make sense because your child’s case of Rubella can affect your friend’s unborn baby. My cousin is deaf because her mother babysat the little girl next door, who had German Measles, before it was evident that she had it.

In the end, we all have to make our own decisions about whether and how many immunizations we want our children to have. Most states, while they have mandatory immunization laws, make exceptions for religious or philosophical beliefs that disagree with immunizing.

If you’re trying to decide, there are several web sites that provide good information. One is Dr. Ryland’s KidsWellness site. It’s where I go not only for information, but for supportive alternative medicines for my kids and myself. I’ve found that immunizations are much less stressful if my kids are prepared physically with immune system support.

Like most controversial subjects, whether or not to immunize your child is a decision that can have far-reaching consequences. It’s not something that should be decided on the basis of what someone on a popular talk show says or even what your Green friends say. It’s a very individual decision that has to be made based on scientific evidence, common sense and your own sense of what’s best for your child.

Eco-Conscious

Money Is The New Green

As I write this, Wall St is melting down in spite of government bailouts from borrowed money that will have the taxpayers in hock to foreign countries until the end of time or the end of the US empire – whichever comes first. Maybe with global warming being denied by the current administration and so many corporations, the end of time will come first.

If I sound cynical, depressed, discouraged or all of the above, it’s because it’s so obvious to any sentient being that ecology and economy are so intertwined that we can’t separate them. Consumerist culture, which was practically invented by the government to boost the US economy, is a major factor in global warming and the destruction of the earth.

It’s also the reason why so many of us have piles of stuff that we don’t really own. Houses with mortgages, cars with loans, clothes and toys and lawnmowers and furniture and even pets we still owe credit card debt on. Many of us are still paying 19% interest on restaurant meals we ate last spring. That’s insane.

It is my humble opinion that we’ll never get a handle on climate change or habitat loss or peace or justice or social equity until we get a handle on our spending – both personal and institutional. I think it would be a wonderful idea if the fat cats who got million – and in some cases, billion – dollar golden parachutes had to give the money back to the people whose pension funds have disappeared because of the CEOs’ mishandling of funds and companies.

That would be a start toward fixing a system that rewards people who lose other peoples’ money and has taxpayers foot the bill for it. Then, because it’s almost impossible to pay down debt that has the high interest rate that most credit cards have, we should put into place regulations that ban usury i.e. credit card interest rates over 10%.

That would allow many people to pay down their credit card debt and get out of the financial traps they’re in. Of course, that would only apply to those who still have jobs, so we’d need an extension on unemployment benefits and food stamps and a better support system for unemployed people, especially those with families to feed.

I don’t think that Barack Obama reads my blog and I know John McCain doesn’t, so none of this is likely to happen. That is, unless everyone in America suddenly comes to their collective senses and decides that saving the US and the planet is a really good idea, votes Democrat, and lobbies for change from the grassroots level to the halls of Congress and the auditorium of the UN.

That could happen. Now, you tell one.

Eco-Conscious

Are Hurricanes Linked To Global Warming?

A recent study claims that there is evidence to support the link. Published in the September 4th issue of the journal, Nature, the Florida State University report asserts that there is a connection between warming oceans and increased hurricane and tropical storm activity. Earlier reports have returned mixed results with some agreeing with this one and some denying that there is any link.

One thing that this report points out is the folly of building and rebuilding in areas likely to be affected by hurricanes. The Gulf and East Coasts of the US and the low-lying areas of Asia, Africa and other countries, and the islands that dot the earth’s oceans are heavily populated. Many of these areas have poor populations without the resources to relocate or rebuild should disaster strike.

The governments of these areas are often not in a position to give the kind of aid that these populations need to get back to normalcy after a storm hits. This is why, months and even years later in some cases, families are still living in temporary housing under unsanitary conditions.

In the US, there is everything from luxury hotels to small shacks scattered along the coasts. Much of the real estate is insured, but some insurers are starting to rethink the financial wisdom of allowing people to insure property that might be under water again a few months or years later. This is a good thing.

If global warming is causing an increase in the strength and frequency of hurricanes and storms, it’s folly to build in their paths. Human nature being what it is, it’s unlikely that people will stop building on flood plains and coasts unless they’re unable to be assured that they will be reimbursed if their property is lost to floods or storms. If the insurance business and the federal government stop supporting this behavior, maybe we can stop the construction of housing and businesses in harm’s way.

Author bio: Tamara Rice from Hopefullyknown.com, she is a lover of words and Jesus and family, though perhaps not in that order. She is the editor of over forty books, contributing writer to two books and two Bibles, author of three film-based discussion guides, and a former magazine editor and book reviewer who sometimes blogs. She’s also known to speak loudly about breast cancer, sexual abuse and mental health issues—having lived with and through all of the above.

Eco-Conscious, Green Consumer, natural foods

Why Organic Food Is Becoming An Even Better Choice

For years, I’ve compromised. I prefer organic coffee, but it’s always been so pricey that I’ve mixed it half and half with cheaper Fair Trade but not organic coffee. Every once in awhile, I’d check the prices of organic coffee, but every time, even the store brand was much more expensive than the generic non-organic.

That’s why I was stunned when I checked it a few days ago and found that the store brand organic was actually cheaper per-pound than the generic non-organic coffee I usually buy. What’s going on here, I wondered. Well, whatever is going on, it’s going on with other foods too. The organic cereal that Daughter loves is cheaper than the giant cereal conglomerate’s non-organic and so were dozens of other items.

I have no actual proof for why this is happening, at least here in the Northeast, but I have a theory. Organic food production doesn’t use chemical fertilizers. Most organic producers didn’t have to adapt their growing practices when prices started rising, because they’d started out with a business model that uses less energy than big agro-businesses.

I suspect that their delivery fleets are more fuel-efficient also, because the kind of business owner who believes that organically grown produce is better is generally more eco-conscious. So as fuel prices rise and chemical fertilizers and pesticides add to the cost of the corn in your frozen dinner, Annie’s macaroni and cheese dinners are priced to compete with that orange-colored competitor from the Big K.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.

Authors: Rachel M. Gonzales from Rentbestcars.com

activism, Eco-Conscious

The Buzz From Europe Could Save Our Food Crops

Germany and France have banned a class of pesticides linked to Colony Collapse Disorder, even though scientists don’t believe it’s the whole reason for the problem. On the other hand, when heaps of dead bees coated in clothianidin were found beside corn fields, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the pesticide wasn’t a bee’s best friend. Ditto for imidacloprid another pesticide which causes bees to become disoriented.

So when will the EPA realize that these pesticides are killing bees? And why aren’t more people concerned about the bees’ disappearing? It might be because so many people regard bees as a nuisance – just another bug that stings you or buzzes you when you’re out trying to enjoy your yard. There are traps for bees at my local hardware store and I know plenty of people who’d just as soon swat bees as attract them to their gardens.

I wonder how long it will be before people realize how closely our survival is tied to the survival of bees? It’s estimated that bees are responsible for one out of three bites of our food. Some of the many crops that they pollinate are corn, berries, peaches, soybeans, cucumbers, cherries, pears and pumpkins. Bees are entirely responsible for the pollination of apples, so if they disappear pollination will have to be done by hand – a very labor intensive and maybe impossible process.

Bees contribute billions of dollars to agriculture and also pollinate animal-feed crops, which would deeply affect the beef, pork, and poultry industry. Actually, no one knows what would happen if bees disappeared completely, although Einstein said that – if bees disappeared –  all life on earth would disappear in four years – and who am I to disagree with Einstein?

I don’t want to find out what the loss of the world’s bees would do to our planet. As I type this, swarms of bees are humming in the giant comfrey plants outside my window and I want to hear that sound throughout the summers that I have left on earth. I want to know that my children and their children will see and hear bees in their gardens and yards after I’m gone.

I’m going to do everything I can to support bees and get pesticides that harm them – and us – out of our food chain. I’m going to support research that is investigating other possible causes of Colony Collapse such as cell phone and wi-fi. Some researchers say that bees refuse to go near a beehive that has a cell phone near it and that cell phone and wireless signals are confusing their navigation system. While this needs more research, it’s definitely not going to be a popular finding if it proves to be true. Who wants to give up the convenience of our wireless techie toys, eh?

But while we wait for other solutions and research to point to all the reasons for CCD, it’s reasonable to support a ban on the pesticides that have obviously killed bees, like Europe is doing. After all, my theory is that anything that isn’t good for bees, isn’t good for us. Here are some links to organizations that are working to curb pesticide use:

And for more information on Colony Collapse and how to help save bees you can buzz on over to the National Resources Defense Council’s site. Save the bees and the sweet life they provide for us.

Author: Nelle J. Hussey from Troy-moore.com.

Eco-Conscious, Green Consumer, Plants and Gardening

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make a Safe Weedkiller

That’s what the folks at Nature’s Avenger Organic Herbicide did. I know, because Stephanie sent me a bottle to try and I have to say that I’m impressed. Not that I hate weeds or use a lot of herbicide, but there are some places – like in front of our garage door – where the dandelions and sow thistles are starting to take over. Even better, Geekdaddy got a chance to use something with a name that sounds like it belongs to a superhero without me yelling at him for destroying the environment. (He belongs to the school that thinks that if a product isn’t toxic, dangerous, flammable, glowing in the dark and able to render you unconscious when used in enclosed spaces, it won’t work.)

Nature’s Avenger’s most active ingredient is d-Limonene which is citrus oil from lemons and other citrus fruit. You may have noticed it in your shampoo (Aubrey makes a great one with Shea Butter) where it leaves your hair squeaky clean without drying it out. It’s also in pet shampoos to help with fleas and odor, and in cleaning products and detergents as a degreasing agent. It works on weeds by stripping away their waxy cuticle and dehydrating them.

What I find amazing about Nature’s Avenger Herbicide is how fast it works and how easy it is to use. Stephanie and the instruction booklet emphasized that it has to be shaken just before use, so Geekdaddy shook it up well. He reports that the spray nozzle on the bottle is very well made, unlike a lot of sprayers that practically sprain your wrist after a few sprays. You just spray it until the plant is covered, which is easy to tell because Nature’s Avenger forms a white emulsion.

The product brochure says that it takes an hour or two for most plants, although some large stubborn weeds may need a second application. The geek said it worked even faster than that on narrow-leaved weeds and, yes, the huge, mutant dandelions that tower over our walkway took two applications, but they ARE the weeds that laugh at weed whackers and the kids have reported hearing “Fee-fi-fo-fum” in that area.

The brochure also says that you can plant where you’ve used Nature’s Avenger in four hours or so, which I find remarkable. I’m a skeptic though, so I waited four and a half hours and planted some pansies. That was two days ago and they’re still looking very healthy. Grass is starting to come up where the dandelions were and the dandelions haven’t come back, so the taproot must have been killed.

I think this is an excellent product, because it could knock other toxic herbicides out of the market. It’s gotten lots of press and was even used when the EPA and National Park Service de-weeded and then replanted the National Mall in Washington, DC. The Discovery Channel’s News featured it in an interview with Paul Tukey of SafeLawns.org, as I mentioned in a previous article, which is where Stephanie noticed it and offered to let me try a sample.

So, if you think that the only effective way to kill weeds is with Roundup or other chemical herbicides made from synthetic chemicals such as glyphosate, you might want to read about glyphosate’s alarming effects on humans here and turn to the only natural organic herbicide that works in two hours or less and is completely non-toxic to humans.

One last note: My favorite weedkiller, up until now, has been vinegar or boiling water poured full strength on them. However, the vinegar didn’t work very well, even with several applications and the boiling water splashed my foot and gave me a nasty burn. I was thinking of getting some so-called “natural vinegar” herbicide, but I’m glad I didn’t.

The stuff is 20% Food Grade Vinegar (Acetic Acid), so wouldn’t you think it’d be safe? Turns out that any concentration of acetic acid over 11% can cause serious burns and even blindness if you splash yourself with it, as I am so prone to do when I pour anything from coffee to wine. Worse, Acetic Acid at high concentrations is extremely flammable, so storing it in the garage may not be such a hot idea, no pun intended.

Then there are the “soapy” herbicides, which are fatty acids and don’t work well unless the fatty acid is synthetic, expensive and not-organic. Corn gluten works so-so if you spread it before the weeds show up, but it attracted mold and our Black Lab, Jetta, who ate enough of it to have digestive problems.

That’s why I’ll be sneaking up on a dandelion this afternoon with the spray bottle of Nature’s Avenger in hand. I love the bright little yellow flowers and will let them have our four acres of fields around the house, as long as they share it with the other wildflowers. But when they get to the point where the car can’t get into the garage for weeds, it’s time for them to go. Thanks, Stephanie.

activism, Eco-Conscious, Green Living, In the News

Fishy, Froggy and Frightening

I just read a brochure outlining Safe Eating Guidelines for Fish and Shellfish in Maine. It’s put out by the state of Maine, where sport fishing is a big part of the economy. In it, Maine environmental officials urge that pregnant women and children under 8 limit their intake of some fish to two meals a month.

I don’t know about you, but when I see a warning like that, it doesn’t make me run right over to the calendar and circle the two days I’m going to put PCB‘s, Dioxin, Mercury and DDT on the dinner table.

Nope, freshwater fish caught in Maine have been off our menu for years. Ditto for fish caught offshore near the estuaries where toxins accumulate in shellfish, lobsters and fish.  We do eat wild-caught salmon, chunk light tuna on occasion and shellfish from unpolluted waters.

You might want to check your state’s advisories on fish and anything else you might eat that comes from fresh or saltwater. Also, none of these advisories take into account any of the other toxins our bodies imbibe from water, air and food. This stuff is cumulative and also most likely has a synergistic effect when combined.

And while we’re floundering around in murky waters, let’s not forget to help out our froggy little friends who are sinking fast. Fish and shellfish aren’t the only species that are facing extinction. Take a minute and hop over to Save the Frogs where you can learn more about why we can’t wait to do something about the threat that hangs over the future of whole species of frogs and toads.

Kids will like Cool Facts About Frogs and you can print out posters, donate to the non-profit organization or surf the links to other amphibian resources. Or just revel in the many beautiful pictures of these amazing little creatures and find out what a Caecilian is when it’s at home. Hey, my spell-check dictionary didn’t know what it was, do you?

Authors Bio: Patricia from Stephaniereinhardt.com. Bornand raised in the Saginaw Bay Region of Michigan, I have always been the generally curious sort (sometimes too curious – sorry Mom and Dad!). When applying for jobs in high school, I begged my parents not to make me turn in any more applications until I’d heard back from the public library about a page position. Fortunately they called me back, and it set me upon the path toward librarianship…