Lifestyle

Consumers worried about plastic bags' impact on the environment
September 30, 2007 09:11 AM - Associated Press

They're initially used for mere minutes, they cost only pennies to make and are rarely given much afterthought.

But more and more consumers and communities are thinking twice about the everlasting life of plastic bags.

They offer a convenient carry-all for everything from cereal to CDs to cosmetics.

But then what?

FDA staff urge warnings on kids' cold medicines
September 29, 2007 03:50 PM -

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Over-the-counter cough and cold medicines that contain decongestants and antihistamines should come with new instructions saying they are not recommended for very young children, U.S. Food and Drug Administration reviewers have recommended.

The FDA has not made a final decision on whether to change the warnings or instructions for use on the widely used drugs, officials said in documents released late on Thursday. The agency will seek input from a panel of outside advisers next month.

Officials said in March they were reviewing use of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines in children. A group of doctors and public health officials had filed a petition voicing concerns that the drugs were risky and not effective for children.

Little-known Indian tribe spotted in Peru's Amazon
September 29, 2007 03:45 PM - Terry Wade and Marco Aquino

LIMA (Reuters) - Ecologists have photographed a little-known nomadic tribe deep in Peru's Amazon, a sighting that could intensify debate about the presence of isolated Indians as oil firms line up to explore the jungle.

Carrying arrows and living in palm-leaf huts on the banks of the Las Piedras river, the tribe was glimpsed last week by researchers flying over the Alto Purus national park near the Brazilian border to look for illegal loggers.

"We saw them by chance. There were three huts and about 21 Indians -- children, women and young people," said Ricardo Hon, a forest scientist at the National Institute of Natural Resources.

UK To Airlines: Green Up Or Else
September 28, 2007 07:29 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

London, -- The United Kingdom told airlines to green up, or else, and soon. The government acted decisively today to safeguard the proposed European aviation emissions trading scheme and urged the international aviation community to take greater action to address aviation emissions. Secretary of State for Transport Ruth Kelly, said: "We want to work with our international partners to achieve a global solution to this global problem.  If international negotiations deliver an effective solution then we will have achieved our goal through co-operation.  But I am also clear that the UK, and the environment, cannot wait for ever. That is why we are reserving the right - if an international solution is not found - to act in the wider global interest by extending the EU emissions trading scheme to all flights arriving and departing from the European Union.

Study: Replace Older Woodstoves For Indoor Air Quality
September 28, 2007 07:05 PM - , BuildingGreen

Air-quality test results confirm that it’s possible to reduce the concentration of fine particulate matter, which is harmful indoors even at extremely low concentrations, by using cleaner-burning woodstoves certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Awards Honor Six Animal Heroes
September 28, 2007 06:57 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN


YARMOUTH PORT, Mass. - The International Fund for Animal Welfare today announced the six U.S. recipients of its international Animal Action Awards, paying tribute to an extraordinary group of animal advocates for outstanding efforts to protect animals and their habitats. The winners will be recognized at an exclusive reception in Santa Monica, California, on October 4th, World Animal Day -- the first time the honor has been awarded in the United States.

Additionally, the IFAW Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to the Honorable John Garamendi, Lieutenant Governor of California, for his steadfast commitment to the environment, conservation, and animal welfare throughout his service in the California legislature and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Drinking may dampen hearing in the short term
September 28, 2007 05:50 PM -

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - If you have a hard time hearing conversation at a bar, it may not be because of the noise, a study suggests.

Alcohol, UK researchers found, seems to temporarily drain a person's hearing -- particularly when it comes to discerning the sounds of conversation.

In a study of 30 healthy volunteers, they found that as participants drank, their hearing became less acute. Lower-frequency hearing, which is necessary for discerning speech, suffered the most, the researchers report in the online journal BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders.

Agrilandia Farm: Italy’s Slow Food Culture Comes to Beijing
September 28, 2007 10:10 AM - Lila Buckley, Worldwatch Institute

Nestled in the dusty northern suburbs of Beijing, the village of Baige Zhuang seems like an unlikely birthplace for fine Italian wines and cheeses. But since 1999, Agrilandia Italian Farm has been producing handcrafted organic red wines, fruit wines, cheeses, and conserves in Beijing’s remote suburbs, in an attempt to bring the philosophy of Italian ecological agriculture to the Chinese capital.

Corn-based Plastic Packaging Hits The Marketplace
September 27, 2007 07:56 PM - Paul Schaefer, ENN

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.- A Florida body care company has launched an innovative and earth friendly way to package their products. Their new case, which contains five travel size products, is made entirely from 100% U.S. grown corn, not foreign petroleum. This material is produced from plastic that consists of polylactide, a corn-based versatile polymer.

Britain to start phasing out high energy lightbulbs
September 27, 2007 07:10 PM - Jeremy Lovell, Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain will begin phasing out energy-guzzling incandescent lightbulbs early next year in favor of low energy varieties as part of its battle against climate change, the environment ministry said on Thursday.

The aim of the as yet voluntary deal with the major makers, retailers and energy utilities is to cut up to five million tonnes of climate warming carbon dioxide emissions a year by 2012 by cutting electricity demand.

"I am delighted that major companies have said they are prepared to help deliver this ambitious timetable and offer products which will help their own customers play their part in combating climate change," Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said.

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