Ecotourism May Benefit India’s Environment, Economy
October 3, 2007 07:21 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute
INDIA - Recent assessments of the state of the environment in 32 states across India indicate that the country’s rising economic prosperity is putting the environment under stress, the Hindustan Times reports. Experts cite tourism as a leading cause of the environmental degradation in some areas. But “ecotourism,” if properly implemented, has the potential to benefit both the economy and the environment.
Los Angeles School Gardens Take Root, Get Funding
October 2, 2007 09:46 PM -
LOS ANGELES - Some California schoolkids are going to have the opportunity to grow their lunch, and many more plants.
California Secretary of Agriculture, A.G. Kawamura, is scheduled to address the teachers and principals this week on the important role school gardens play on campus as "learning laboratories." LA schools will be receiving more than $1.7 million in CISGP grant funds to be used for supplies, professional development and technical assistance for school gardens at more than 500 sites this school year. More than 30,000 seedlings will be available for teachers who are interested in launching or enhancing their own school garden.
Movie Smoking Linked To Teen Smoking
October 2, 2007 09:19 PM - UC San Francisco, News
San Francisco, California - New study findings show that exposure to on-screen smoking in movies has a strong correlation with beginning to smoke or becoming established smokers among young adults 18-25, a critical age group for lifelong smoking behavior.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of California, San Francisco. Previous studies from around the world found that viewing on-screen smoking was linked to recruitment of adolescent smokers, but this is the first time that smoking among young adults has been associated with their exposure to smoking scenes on screen, said senior author Stanton Glantz, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.
"Ages 18 to 25 are critical years, when one-third of smokers start and others who began smoking as adolescents either stop smoking or become regular smokers," he said.
Going Beyond Formaldehyde Binders in Manufactured Wood Products
October 2, 2007 01:20 PM - , BuildingGreen
Manufactured wood products—including plywood, oriented-strand board (OSB), laminated-strand lumber, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard (MDF)—have the environmental advantage of being made from small-diameter or other low-quality trees or waste from wood-processing operations, conserving higher-quality timber.
With these products, the wood is peeled into thin veneers, chipped into small strands or flakes, or ground into wood flour; in each case, the pieces are then glued to produce a durable and stable panel or lumber product. Two glues, or binders as they are called in the industry, dominate the manufactured wood products industry: urea formaldehyde (UF) and phenol formaldehyde (PF).
Obesity may push U.S. health costs above Europe: study
October 2, 2007 12:31 PM - Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly twice as many U.S. adults are obese compared to European, a key factor leading Americans to suffer more often from cancer, diabetes and other chronic ailments, a study released on Tuesday found.
Treatment of these and other chronic diseases adds between $100 billion and $150 billion to the annual health care tab in the United States, according to the report comparing U.S. and European health published online in the journal Health Affairs.
The United States spends significantly more per capita than any European country on health care, about $2 trillion annually, or 16 percent of the gross domestic product. While the big discrepancy has been linked to higher U.S. prices for medical treatment, the report said a sicker population may also be a factor.
Climate change will alter world travel patterns
October 2, 2007 12:05 PM - Laura MacInnis, Reuters
DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Global warming will produce stay-at-home tourists over the next few decades, radically altering travel patterns and threatening jobs and businesses in tourism-dependent countries, according to a stark assessment by U.N experts.
The U.N. Environment Program, the World Meteorological Organization and the World Tourism Organization said concerns about weather extremes and calls to reduce emissions-heavy air travel would make long-haul flights less attractive.
Holiday-makers from Europe, Canada, the United States and Japan were likely to spend more vacations in or near their home countries to take advantage of longer summers, they said.
Vandana Shiva: How to Address Humanity's Global Crises?
October 2, 2007 07:47 AM - , Organic Consumers Association
Vandana Shiva is a leading activist in India, and a member of the Policy Advisory Board of the Organic Consumers Association.
" Before I came here I was very fortunate to join the group of scientists and religious leaders who made a trip to the Arctic to witness the melting of the icecaps. An entire way of life is being destroyed. You've seen the polar bears losing their ecological space, but the highest mobility in that part of the world is the dog sledge. And they can't use it. They're locked into their villages because the ice is now too thin to travel on it. But it's still there and therefore not good enough for them to use boats."
Researchers surprised so few kids take vitamins
October 1, 2007 06:23 PM - Will Dunham, Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Less than a third of U.S. children are taking vitamin and mineral dietary supplements, according to a study published on Monday by researchers who were surprised the number was so low.
All told, 32 percent of U.S. children used a dietary supplement in the past month, based on a nationally representative survey from 1999 to 2002 that included 10,136 children age 18 or younger, the researchers said.
The most commonly used supplements were multivitamins and multiminerals, taken by 18 percent of the children. Another 4 percent used single-vitamin supplements and 2 percent used single-mineral supplements, and just under 1 percent used botanical supplements, the researchers said.
Air Fresheners Unregulated, Potentially Dangerous, Group Says
October 1, 2007 10:45 AM - Alana Herro, Worldwatch Institute
A study of 14 common household air fresheners has found that most of the surveyed products contain chemicals that can aggravate asthma and affect reproductive development, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “There are too many products on the shelves that we assume are safe, but have never even been tested,” said Dr. Gina Solomon, NRDC senior scientist. “The government should be keeping a watchful eye on these household items and the manufacturers who produce them.”
Turning Your Office Wasteland Into A Recycling Haven
October 1, 2007 10:29 AM - , Environmental Graffiti
For several years, colleagues within our office looked around at the mountains of used printer paper, newspapers and other waste that surrounded them and made mild mutterings about how awful it was that it all just went into the main waste skip and wasn’t recycled. Yet while many were keen to see the waste dealt with in a better way, no-one was particularly keen to take on the recycling role themselve Yet, when we finally got the bit between our teeth at the start of the year and decided once and for all that the waste must stop, it turned out to be much easier than anticipated.