Posts tagged: green consumerism

unEARTHED. The Earthjustice Blog

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Everyone has The Right To Breathe clean air. Watch a video featuring Earthjustice Attorney Jim Pew and two Pennsylvanians—Marti Blake and Martin Garrigan—who know firsthand what it means to live in the shadow of a coal plant's smokestack, breathing in daily lungfuls of toxic air for more than two decades.

Coal Ash Contaminates Our Lives. Coal ash is the hazardous waste that remains after coal is burned. Dumped into unlined ponds or mines, the toxins readily leach into drinking water supplies. Watch the video above and take action to support federally enforceable safeguards for coal ash disposal.

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE'S BLOG

unEARTHED is a forum for the voices and stories of the people behind Earthjustice's work. The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent the opinion or position of Earthjustice or its board, clients, or funders.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
07 July 2010, 1:03 PM
Some industry groups wage war against reasonable efficiency progress in WA
Photo: NREL

Late yesterday Earthjustice attorneys stepped in to defend a set of critical energy efficiency standards in the state of Washington.

These efficiency gains—which will save consumers millions of dollars, reduce harmful global warming pollution, and set a strong example for other states to follow—face an industry-group lawsuit aiming to dismantle them.

The baseless industry challenge to these energy efficiency standards would cost Washington residents money, and threatens to stand in the way of significant pollution cuts in Washington.

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View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
03 June 2010, 1:57 PM
Toxic America series continues tonight at 8 pm ET/PT

Did you tune into CNN's special series "Toxic Towns USA" last night? I sure did. I wanted to root on our friends and allies in the town of Mossville, LA who were featured in the special one-hour program hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Among the local heroes profiled in the piece was Dorothy Felix, who has spent much of the past decade fighting to protect her community from the cancer-causing chemicals raining down upon her hometown of Mossville, a historically African-American community in southwestern Louisiana ringed by chemical plants.

This is a community where University of Texas researchers found that 99 percent of residents suffered from at least one disease or illness related to toxic chemical exposure. Further studies found blood levels of dioxin in Mossville residents rivaling those seen in workers involved in industrial accidents. The toxicologists studying these results called them some of the highest levels ever reported in the United States from an environmental exposure.

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View Jared Saylor's blog posts
24 May 2010, 1:14 PM
Groups work to push power company shareholders on coal ash resolutions
Massive coal ash-spill in Tennessee

Power companies generate millions of tons of coal ash every year, enough to fill train cars that stretch from the North Pole all the way to the South Pole. EPA recently introduced a mish-mash plan for coal ash, one that was heavily influenced by lobbyists from coal and power companies who forced a plan that includes no preference from the EPA. Earthjustice and dozens of other groups have been pushing on the EPA to establish federally enforceable safeguards that truly protect public health and the environment.

And while we take on the EPA and the coal and power industry lobbyists, some other groups have been quietly and effectively working on the inside of these companies to push for recognition of the collosal problems of coal ash dumping and contamination.

Boston-based Green Century Capital Management proposed a resolution to be voted on this Wednesday at the annual meeting of Southern Company, one of the biggest power companies in the South. The resolution asks Southern to report on efforts and information about the company's coal ash dumps and waste ponds by August, which should run right during the EPA's public comment period on their proposed regulation.

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View Liz Judge's blog posts
22 April 2010, 9:41 AM
Thanks for all you've done

“The battle to restore a proper relationship between man and his environment, and between man and other living creatures, will require a long sustained political, moral, ethical, and financial commitment far beyond any commitment ever made by any society in the history of man. Are we able? Yes. Are we willing? That’s the unanswered question.” – Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day.

When Earth Day was born 40 years ago, there were “spumes of pollution pouring out of smokestacks, people spraying children in parking lots and at picnics with DDT, air pollution in major cities that was basically unbreathable, rivers catching on fire, lakes dying,” says one of Earth Day’s original organizers, Denis Hayes, in this Washington Post video. “It was just deteriorating very rapidly, but what addressed those problems was a wave of legislation immediately after Earth Day.” (For more on Earth Day’s storied history, read this.)

As we celebrate 40 years of Earth Day, we’re also celebrating 40 years of Earthjustice victories – check out 40 of our favorite victories along with stunning photos in this new slideshow made for Earth Day 2010.

We're also celebrating our army of supporters, activist members, and concerned citizens. We have you to thank for each of these major victories, and the many victories and wins in between.

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View Raviya Ismail's blog posts
01 April 2010, 9:40 AM
DOE chooses strong water heater standard

And we couldn't have done it without you. When we called on our supporters to urge DOE to adopt strong standards for water heaters, nearly 14,000 of you responded with public comments. Let's continue the momentum: in the coming months the Obama administration will consider new efficiency standards for several appliances and in December will finalize a new standard for residential refrigerators. According to DOE, the potential energy savings from strong energy efficiency standards for refrigerators could be worth more than $50 billion in reduced electric bills for American families.

DOE is also developing new standards for furnaces, air conditioning window units, heat pumps, and clothes dryers.

Let's continue to encourage the Obama administration to choose standards that will save our planet, bolster our economy, and put money back into the pockets of American families.

View Brian Smith's blog posts
04 February 2010, 5:48 PM
Tips for green living from our elders

Just south of Burlington, Vermont, the residents of the Wake Robin retirement community came together recently to share memories of living in leaner times. Driven more by survival instincts than environmental concern, the experiences of our elders provide valuable lessons in green living.

Luckily, Burlington Free Press reporter Matt Sutkoski was there to record the proceedings.

As a youth, Carmer Van Buren, now 81, moved to Vermont from suburban New Jersey after his father lost his job during the Great Depression. Despite lacking experience farming, the family settled on a small farm in Bradford and learned to grow their own food, manage animals and perform all the tasks necessary to support a farm.

He said a farmer across the road helped the family get started. "We had a lot of trial and error. We really learned self-sufficiency," Van Buren said.

Van Buren said learning how to live sustainably gave him a sense of pride.

View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
04 February 2010, 11:53 AM
Household cleaner giants want to keep chemical ingredients secret

For more than a year, Procter & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive and other household cleaner giants have been refusing to follow a New York law requiring them to disclose the chemical ingredients in their products and the health risks they pose.

When we asked them nicely, they ignored us or refused. When thousands of people across the country put the pressure on them, they responded with platitudes and still did nothing. And for almost a year, they've been fighting a lawsuit against them, slowing down the process whenever possible.

But today, both sides got their day in court, arguing the case before a Manhattan judge. Earthjustice attorney Keri Powell reminded the court that studies have linked chemicals commonly found in household cleaners to health problems like asthma and reproductive abnormalities. And that people deserve to know whether the products they use to wash their dishes, launder their clothes, and clean their homes could be harmful.

Industry's response: we'd rather wait until the authorities force us to provide the information.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
15 October 2009, 12:00 PM
EPA chief asks Congress for new law to protect public from toxic threats

Suppose I asked you to drive a nail into the wall and then handed you a banana to do it. At best you'd make a mess of it—the same mess faced by the Environmental Protection Agency when it comes to keeping the public safe from toxic chemicals. Right job, wrong tool.

Congress handed the EPA a banana in 1976 called the Toxic Substances Control Act, a law that EPA chief Lisa Jackson herself recently described as "an inadequate tool for providing the protection against chemical risks that the public rightfully expects." The numbers bear her out: EPA has required safety testing of only 200 of the roughly 82,000 chemicals registered for use under TSCA. These are chemicals in products that we all encounter every day, from household cleaners to cell phones, toys, carpets and food containers. The result is more potentially hazardous chemicals in our bodies than ever before.

Recognizing this tremendous failure to protect the public, Jackson is asking Congress for a hammer.

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View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
14 October 2009, 2:05 PM
Earthjustice going to court over cleaning products

You spray them in the air, mop your floors with them and wash your clothes in them—but do you have any idea what chemicals are in the cleaners you use?

Probably not. And Procter & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive and other household cleaner giants want to keep it that way.The companies are fighting Earthjustice's lawsuit under a right-to-know law requiring them to disclose the chemical ingredients in their products (Mr. Clean, Lysol, Brillo, Ajax and others) and the health risks they pose.

Keri Powell in the Northeast office will soon face off against the companies' lawyers in court. She'll be outflanked 5 to 1. But she's got spirited colleagues to cheer her on. That—and the fact that the law is on her side!

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View Kathleen Sutcliffe's blog posts
30 September 2009, 11:40 AM
Fans of the precautionary principle, read on

Imagine a day when expectant parents can paint their nurseries, stock them with playthings and baby supplies, and do it all with the security of knowing that each and every chemical in those products has been tested for health effects and found safe for their newborn.

Last night, the Obama administration got us one step closer to that shimmery non-toxic future.

At a speech in San Francisco, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson said what none of her predecessors dared say before: our current system of regulating toxic chemicals—which doesn't even allow the government to restrict the use of asbestos—is badly broken.