Morgan County Herald: Green Living

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Offshore Wind Power Prepares to Set Sail

(NewsUSA) - Wind power can be a breath of fresh air for many communities in the form of creating jobs and lowering energy costs.

  • icon Posted: July 22

Pet Central

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Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

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Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

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Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

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Recent Headlines

Monday 07/20/2020
The bottled water industry is transforming using sustainable practices and rPET materials
Updated: August 08, 2020 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - There's nothing better than grabbing a bottle of cold, refreshing water to quench your thirst. While its convenience can't be argued, bottled water isn't often considered a sustainable choice. But the industry is changing and one company is spearheading multiple initiatives to ensure bottled water is an eco-friendly option that's as good for the earth as it is for your body.

Wednesday 07/08/2020
How to Save Money and Put Your Home to Work [Infographic]
Posted: July 08, 2020

(BPT) - Did you know that clean energy benefits the environment and your wallet? Learn more about the seven steps of solar power and how to save real money with solar.

Tuesday 06/30/2020
7 ways to save the 7 seas
Updated: August 08, 2020 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - Beachgoers are heading to the ocean after months of being cooped up due to the health crisis. However, the climate crisis could forever alter future beach treks.

Thursday 06/18/2020
Demystifying the martini: 4 steps for perfecting the classic cocktail
Updated: August 08, 2020 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - With all its many styles, variations and forms, the martini continues to be a mainstay among Americans. In fact, the wildly popular martini is the second best-selling cocktail nationwide, according to Nielsen.

Monday 06/15/2020
Get Ready: 10 Tips To Help Home And Business Owners Prepare Ahead Of Storms, Hurricanes And Floods
Updated: June 17, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—The preparations you make now, ahead of storms, floods or hurricanes, can help you recover faster and stay safe during cleanup. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of power equipment, small engines and battery power, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars, reminds home and business owners to get ready before a storm strikes and make preparations now.

“Weather can be unpredictable, so itís important to always keep your equipment in working order, to have the right fuel on hand and to know where your safety gear is. This is doubly true during storm season, as the weather can change quickly,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “You also want to know how to use your equipment safely and use caution when cleaning up.”

These tips can help homeowners and businesses plan ahead for storm cleanup:

•Take stock of your outdoor power equipment. Make sure it’s in good working order. If needed, take the equipment to an authorized service center for maintenance or repair. If you need to buy a new piece of equipment, get it before the storm and learn how to use it.

•Find your safety gear. Avoid the scramble for sturdy shoes, safety goggles, hard hats, reflective clothing and work gloves, which should be stored in an accessible area with your equipment. 

•Review the owner’s manuals. Read product manuals to ensure you know how to operate your equipment safely. 

•Have the right fuel on hand. Fuel stations may be closed after a storm. Store your fuel in an approved container. Use the type of fuel recommended by the equipment manufacturer. It’s illegal to use any fuel with more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment (for more information on proper fueling visit www.LookBeforeYouPump.com).

•Charge batteries. Collect the batteries for your outdoor power equipment and fully charge them ahead of the storm.

•Use safety precautions. Be aware of fundamental dangers that can occur. For instance, chainsaw kickback may happen when the moving chain at the tip of the guide bar touches an object or when the wood closes in and pinches the saw chain in the cut. Always stand with your weight on both feet, and adjust your stance so you’re angled away from the blade. Hold the chainsaw with both hands. Never over-reach or cut anything above your shoulder height. Have a planned retreat path if something falls. 

•Ensure portable generators have plenty of ventilation. Generators should never be used in an enclosed area or inside a home or garage, even if the windows or doors are open. Place the generator outside and away from windows, doors and vents that could allow carbon monoxide inside. Keep the generator dry. Do not use it in rainy or wet conditions. Before refueling, turn the generator off and let it cool down.

•Drive Utility Type Vehicles (UTVs) with caution. Keep the vehicle stable and drive slowly. Do not turn the vehicle mid-slope or while on a hill.

•Be aware of others. Keep bystanders, children and animals out of your work area. Don’t let other people near outdoor power equipment when starting or using it.

•Pay attention to your health. Storm cleanup can be taxing on the body and the spirit. Don’t operate power equipment when you’re fatigued. Drink plenty of water and take regular breaks.

Keep this advice in mind and you may be better prepared to weather any storm.

 

Wednesday 06/10/2020
Work At Home In Comfort And Safety
Updated: June 12, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)—According to Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association, window film makes a lot of sense for homeowners eager to save money on their energy bills. 

“Solar-control films can block as much as 80 percent of the solar heat coming through glass into a building, decrease the heat load on the air-conditioning system and reduce energy costs,” Smith says.  

With more people working and studying from home, window film allows in abundant natural sunlight while blocking 99 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays to better protect the skin (from possible cancer) and eyes (from cataract development), while reducing the fading of floors and furnishings. Smith estimates that 40 to 60 percent of color fading is caused by UV exposure. Windows may also be upgraded for safety, as window film helps to hold glass pieces together if the window is impacted and broken. 

For even a 3,000 square foot home, window film may be installed in a day or less with minimal disruption. Window film installers clean the glass before installation, keep the work space clean and practice safe contact as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. Find a local dealer/installer at www.iwfa.com.

 

Monday 06/08/2020
Be Cool And Save Money
Updated: June 10, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—Many Americans may be surprised to learn that almost half their utility bill goes toward heating and cooling their home. Fortunately, the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR Program offers resources to help you beat the heat—all while saving a, saving money and protecting the climate. Here’s how:

Maintain or Upgrade Your HVAC System 

Check your system’s air filters. A dirty air filter will make the system work harder to keep you cool, wasting energy. Filters should be inspected once a month during heavy use. 

If your heating and cooling equipment is more than 10 years old or it needs frequent repairs, it may be time to consider a replacement. The ENERGY STAR Heating and Cooling Guide helps you navigate an HVAC equipment upgrade that will keep you comfortable and help you save money, year round. Visit www.energystar.gov/HVACguide.

Get a Smart Thermostat 

 A WiFi-enabled smart thermostat automatically adjusts your home’s temperature settings for optimal performance. ENERGY STAR certified smart thermostats are independently certified, based on actual field data, to deliver energy savings.  

Need a New Room AC? 

On average, ENERGY STAR certified room air conditioners use 10 percent less energy and cost less than $70 per year to run. 

Learn More

You can find other savings tips at www.energystar.gov/cooling

 

Wednesday 06/03/2020
New Energy Storage Technologies to Support Renewables Post COVID-19
Updated: June 06, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—Cleaner air can improve public health, maybe even save lives. Fortunately, renewable energy resources—wind, sun, hydropower and the like—are now producing more electricity than coal. That’s where innovative energy storage solutions come in. They help create a cleaner world, encouraging investment into clean, green, renewable energy. To help, engineers and policymakers are increasingly turning their attention to energy storage solutions. New bi-partisan efforts in states such as New York and the Trump administration are in alignment to support new energy storage technologies that drastically improve the economics of wind and solar projects.

The global rise in electricity generation from renewable sources has led to increased demand for advanced batteries that can be used to firm up this intermittent supply. This requirement is particularly important in areas where grid connections may be tenuous, unreliable or even non-existent. Additional demand for advanced batteries is presented by grid applications such as peak-shifting and Transmission and Distribution (T&D) capital deferral. 

Energy storage systems provide many ways to manage the power supply for a more resilient energy infrastructure, and bring cost savings to utilities and consumers. Batteries allow the use of electricity whenever it’s needed, not only when it’s generated. However, traditional battery economics and performance have not proved helpful as utilities look to increase renewable penetration through long-duration energy storage.

The Problem

One of the challenges to growing a North American energy storage industry, however, has been a dependency on a supply chain of hardware components, metals and chemicals, many of which come from outside North America. As well, metals such as lithium and vanadium used in some batteries are impacted by price volatility and security of supply. 

An Answer

Those same risks do not apply to zinc-air batteries. Zinc is abundant and inexpensive, with a significant North American supply. Its chemistry is robust and safe. A zinc-air battery has decoupled energy and power, making it one of the lowest-cost long-duration battery storage solutions available. 

A safer, cleaner future requires less polluted air which means replacement of carbon-based power generation with renewable, sustainable sources of electricity. Long-duration, low-cost energy storage systems such as zinc-air will be a key driver to a quicker path towards a greener future. A “bet” on energy storage is a wager that will deliver a cleaner planet that will thrive for current and future generations, suggests Ron MacDonald, president and CEO of Zinc8 Energy Solutions, the leader in zinc-air battery technology, a unique flow battery technology using zinc and air as fuel.

Learn more 

You can find further facts and stats on energy storage at www.zinc8energy.com.

 

Keep Calm And Don’t Bug Out About The Asian Giant Hornet
Updated: June 06, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—Scientific information can ease the fears of many people concerned about the arrival of the Asian giant hornet in the United States. 

What do we know?

 

Hornets are found in many parts of the world and play a vital role in the balance of natural ecosystems through pollination, biodiversity and natural pest control. Unfortunately dubbed the “murder hornet,” the Asian giant hornet (AGH), the world’s largest, was sighted for the first time in the United States in December 2019.

Who (or what) is at risk?

While the AGH is large in size and has a big sting compared to other ­hornets, it is typically not aggressive with humans (Whew! That’s a relief). As always, those allergic to bee or wasp stings should practice caution and avoid contact with hornets in general. 

However, the AGH can pose a risk to honey bee colonies because it feeds on large insects, including wasps and bees. So far, they’ve only appeared in the northwest part of the United States, and monitoring efforts by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) are underway to better understand these hornets and help educate beekeepers on how to protect their colonies. 

On top of this, our team at Bayer is taking action by organizing a first detection trapping program in North Carolina and Missouri, which will be deployed in early July. We will then share our results with the WSDA at the end of the season. While we do not expect to catch any AGH this year, early detection is key to an effective eradication effort if needed.

You can be confident that the early introduction of the AGH in the United States and Canada is being closely monitored by professionals who have management plans in place should there be any future sightings. There’s no need to worry about catching a glimpse of these hornets in your yards or gardens, as they are not yet established in the United States. In fact, the only hornet that is established in our country, the European hornet, has been around since the late 1800s.

How can we help protect the bees?

It’s not only researchers and entomologists who can help protect honeybees. Everyone can support bees by getting outside to plant pollinator-friendly gardens or flowers. 

As pollinators play a vital role in our ecosystem, crop production and biodiversity, I recommend you stay calm and keep gardening to provide your fuzzy friends with the flowers and habitat they need to thrive.

Learn more about how to plant pollinator-friendly gardens that help bees, monarchs and other important pollinators by visiting https://beehealth.bayer.us/home.

Dick Rogers has been a professional entomologist for more than four decades and has been keeping and studying bees for over 40 years. He joined the Bayer Bee Care Program in 2009.

 

Wednesday 05/13/2020
Early Treatment Key To Managing Seasonal Diseases In Cattle
Updated: May 15, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—Two of the more common production-impacting health issues cattlemen see in their herds this time of year are foot rot and pinkeye. Left untreated, each can lead to more serious, chronic health problems. 

Foot rot, pinkeye and other common cattle ailments are highly dependent on pasture, weather and other conditions. Foot rot is more problematic when cattle are kept in wet, muddy and manure-heavy lots. Caused by the Fusobacterium Necrophorum bacteria, symptoms include swelling and inflammation between the toes, resulting in lameness and reluctance to walk. 

Pinkeye is a highly infectious eye condition that can affect cattle of all ages, often on tall-grass pastures and in environmental situations that can irritate the eye. Flies are a major irritant and vector for the disease, so controlling them and other sources of irritant is critical. Delayed treatment of pinkeye can result in loss of the eye, reduced performance and a less marketable animal.  

Fortunately, with timely surveillance and treatment, these infections, along with other diseases, can be easily and cost-effectively managed by producers with a non-prescription injectable product such as Noromycin 300 LA, a highly concentrated, low-dose, fast-acting formulation of oxytetracycline. Effectively used by cattlemen for many years, it is widely available through most farm and veterinary supply companies. 

Learn more at www.norbrook.com.

 

Monday 05/04/2020
What Others Are Doing, How You Can Help
Updated: May 06, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)—The global pandemic brought home to many people just how interconnected the world has become. This is true about the need to protect the environment, as well.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the way to preserve human health is by maintaining the environment because polluted air, water and land encourages such sicknesses as asthma and lead poisoning, while global warming fosters the spread of disease.

Fortunately, throughout the country, efforts large and small are helping to resolve this.

What’s Being Done

For example, one major American corporation with a long, proud history of environmental sustainability and a strong track record of action and success has raised the bar on its environmental commitments and accelerated the progress of short- and long-term goals that meet or exceed environmental regulations. As Marc Bitzer, Chairman and CEO of Whirlpool Corporation put it. “As we continue to navigate the impact of COVID-19, the health and safety of our employees and communities remain our priority. We strongly believe that our sustainability efforts are as important now as ever. These efforts are guided by a clear mission to earn trust and create demand while in constant pursuit of improving life at home.” To that end, the company has:

•Reduced its absolute plant emissions by 18% by investing in efficiency and renewable energy;

•Achieved zero waste to landfill in eight plants across three regions;

•Accomplished a global waste-to-recycling rate of 96%; and

•Developed an innovative solution to reuse water from an existing chiller that saves 31 million gallons of water each year.

What You Can Do

For your part, you can help the environment these four ways:

1.Get your car a tune-up. Properly maintained vehicles get better gas mileage and emit fewer pollutants.

2.Plant a tree. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

3.Run the dishwasher and clothes washer only when you have full loads.

4.Don’t let the water run while you shave or brush your teeth.

Learn More

For further facts, visit www.whirlpoolcorp.com and www.epa.gov.

 

Make Your Garden Count For Butterflies
Updated: May 06, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)­—In this season of social distancing, many Americans are turning to gardening, finding joy and peace in an outdoor activity that can be safely enjoyed from home. “What all gardeners know, and the rest of you may discover, is that if you have even the smallest space, a pot on a window ledge, a front step, a wee yard, there is no balm to the soul greater than planting seeds,” recently wrote Charlotte Mendelsen for The New Yorker. If you haven’t gotten your hands a little dirty yet, now could be the time.

More Milkweed for Monarchs

This spring, you can help feed both your soul and butterflies across the country by planting monarch habitat, including milkweed and other flowers that provide nectar. Milkweed in particular provides an essential source of food and is the only place monarch butterflies will lay their eggs.

Supporting monarchs is critical, as they face many health challenges including climate change, drought and habitat loss. However, anyone can help by planting milkweed and other brightly colored, pollinator-attractant flowers in the garden or even on the balcony.

There are 12 states that monarchs tend to visit during their annual migration. Those who live there can do their part by planting milkweed and recording their efforts in the HabiTally app. These states are:

• Illinois

• Indiana 

• Iowa

• Kansas

• Michigan

• Minnesota

• Missouri 

• Nebraska 

• Oklahoma 

• Ohio

• Texas

• Wisconsin

Until May 31, any monarch habitat planted in these states and recorded in the app will be taken into consideration by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as it evaluates recommending that monarchs join the list of animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. With the help of your conservation efforts, monarch health may become secure enough to not need this designation.

Other Flowers That Butterflies Love 

For people who don’t live in one of those 12 states, there are many other flowers they can plant to support butterflies, bees and other pollinators’ health while adding beauty to the garden with bright, happy blooms. These 10 plants attract butterflies and make vibrant, fragrant additions to any garden:

• Sunflowers

• Lavender

• Asters

• Coneflowers

• Black-eyed Susans

• Verbena

• Catnip

• Rosemary

• Sage

• Salvia

Whether you already find solace in gardening or are looking for a new hobby, you can help make a difference. So, plant a few flowers to see what gardening can do for you—and for butterflies—this spring. 

Learn More 

Because monarch butterflies are an important pollinating insect that contribute to both agriculture and biodiversity, the Bayer Bee Care Program is committed to supporting their health, as well the health of other pollinators. You can download the free HabiTally app and get started by visiting the Apple App Store. To be sure you’re planting flowers that are best adapted to your region, visit www.Pollinator.org.

 

Thursday 04/16/2020
Celebrate Earth Day
Updated: April 18, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—Today, as the world struggles with a new health crisis, it is more important than ever to protect the air, land and water that sustain humanity.

One way is to celebrate Earth Day, now 50 years old. In 1970, millions of Americans joined together and created a movement to address pollution that posed a threat to human health and the environment. April 22nd—Earth Day—was a springboard for decades of global action that has made a positive change for the planet, communities and lives. 

Looking to the future, companies, families and individuals are making their energy choices count—reducing their impact on the climate through energy efficiency and support for green power. Now, in honor of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program highlights actions Americans can take to make a difference for years to come. 

1)Choose ENERGY STAR certified products for your home. They’re independently certified to save energy, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.

2)Support renewable energy sources. Wind and solar power are widely available, with an increasing number of options for electricity customers across America.

3)Charge your electric vehicle with an ENERGY STAR certified charger. As electric vehicles become more prevalent, smart purchasers can enhance their environmental impact by charging more efficiently.

Learn More

For further facts and tips, visit www.energystar.gov/EarthDay.

 

Monday 04/13/2020
Arousing Admiration: The Charm of Hummingbirds
Updated: May 19, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NewsUSA) - Well, actually, it's both … the charm of hummingbirds is most certainly apropos and "a charm" of hummingbirds is actually factual! Yep, that's right, the collective noun for these unique creatures - just like a gaggle of geese or a flock of birds, is a charm of hummingbirds. Since the definition of the noun 'charm' is "the power of giving delight or arousing admiration," one doesn't need to be a wordsmith to see how right that is. 

Friday 04/10/2020
5 Great Ways to Celebrate Earth Month
Posted: April 10, 2020

(StatePoint) Want to go green while practicing social distancing? Here are a few ideas to consider:

Thursday 04/09/2020
Your Backyard Isn’t Cancelled: Six Tips To Celebrate Earth Day Right At Home
Updated: April 11, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—The 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22 can be a good time for everyone to take some time to get outside, even if current conditions mean a community event to celebrate isn’t available. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to honor the Earth in your own backyard. 

“You don’t need to leave home to celebrate Earth Day. Remember, nature starts at your back door,” explains Kris Kiser, President of the TurfMutt Foundation, an organization that encourages outdoor learning experiences, stewardship of green spaces, and care for living landscapes for the benefit of all.

“Get outside, mow your lawn, trim bushes, plant a butterfly bush. By becoming a steward of your yard, you are helping the planet. At the same time, you’re supporting your health and well-being, which is increasingly important as families spend more time at home.”

What You Can Do

 Here are six tips to celebrate Earth Day without ever leaving home:

1.Get outside. Your backyard is an outdoor living room and safe place for pets and kids to play. Science proves spending time in your family’s yard is good for your health and well-being, and so important today as everyone looks for creative ways to stay well while being confined to the home. Researchers have found that people living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress.

2.Make the outdoors a family project. Take your loved ones outside to assess your space. What’s working well? What could be improved? What can you plan to do together in your backyard? Anything needing to be cleaned up? Make a plan to expand or spruce up your yard.

3.Connect kids to nature. Free, online, do-at-home lesson plans are available from the TurfMutt.com. The environmental education program resources and activities, based on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) principles, give kids the prompts they need to have fun learning about and exploring the nature and science in their own backyards.

4.Know your climate zone. Learn about climate-zone-appropriate plants, the importance of pollinators, and how backyards can support local wildlife. Conduct a plant inventory to determine what’s currently thriving in your backyard. Match that up against the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map to determine the best types of turf, trees, shrubs, and plants for the climate zone. 

5.Keep pollinators in mind. Your yard is an important part of the connected ecosystem providing much- needed food and shelter for pollinators, such as birds, bees, butterflies, bats, and other creatures. Select a variety of plants that will bloom all year long. The Audubon Society’s database can help determine which birds will be attracted to which plants for unique regions so you can make good choices about what to plant. 

6.Plant, prune or mow. Staying confined to home base doesn’t mean gardening and yard work have to stop. Order garden supplies online or have them delivered from a nearby nursery. Mow the lawn and trim bushes. 

Research shows people who gardened for at least 30 minutes a week had lower body mass indexes (BMIs)—a measure of body fat—as well as higher levels of self-esteem and better moods overall. They also reported lower levels of tension and stress.

Learn More

For further facts and tips on saving the planet one yard at a time, go to www.turfmutt.com.

 

Save Money And Power
Updated: April 11, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—The U.S. Department of Energy estimates 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder, and shorten its life. Even with filters, the HVAC system still gets dirty through normal use.

A clean system doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature you prefer, it uses less energy and you save money while breathing clean.

So it pays to get your heating and cooling system cleaned regularly. More than just duct cleaning, this involves all the components the air stream touches throughout the system. 

According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), proper cleaning of an entire system takes technical skill and attention to detail. That’s why it’s important to find a contractor specifically trained and experienced in this type of cleaning. NADCA members possess general liability insurance, are trained and tested regularly, sign on to a code of ethics, and must clean and restore your heating and cooling system in accordance with NADCA standards.

To learn more, visit www.BreathingClean.com. To find a NADCA member nearby, go to http://nadca.com/en/prosearch/all. To see more money-saving ideas, watch the video at https://youtu.be/hImvxVyZvQE.

Wednesday 03/18/2020
Don't Sweat The EPA's 2020 Freon Phaseout This Summer
Updated: April 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NewsUSA) - As temperatures rise and air conditioners begin to blast, educated homeowners have no need to fear the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2020 Freon Phaseout.

Wednesday 02/26/2020
Are Your ‘Recyclable’ Products Actually Recyclable?
Posted: February 26, 2020

(StatePoint) If you’re like many people, you feel good when you are able to toss items into the recycling bin instead of the trash. But a new report suggests that many of those “recyclable” labels on your products may be misleading, and that much of what you believe will be processed and used again is actually sent to a landfill or incinerator.

Monday 12/02/2019
Resolve to Green Your Grocery Shopping in 2020
Posted: December 02, 2019

(StatePoint) In our grab-and-go culture, plastic is pervasive at the grocery store. But as more supermarkets worldwide adopt smart strategies for reducing single-use plastic packaging, experts say that these same changes are possible here in the U.S., so long as retailers, companies and individuals commit to making them a reality.

Thursday 11/07/2019
3 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season
Posted: November 07, 2019

(StatePoint) On average, there has been an astonishing 60 percent decline in the size of populations of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians in just over 40 years, according to the most recent World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Living Planet Report, and the top threat to species is human activity.

Are Those Eco-Friendly Product Labels Telling the Truth?
Posted: October 07, 2019

(StatePoint) When you see a product labeled “eco-friendly,” or “environmentally sustainable,” it can be tempting to take this at face-value and feel good about your purchase. However, a new report shows that while many major companies are making claims that they are tackling the plastic pollution crisis, there are reasons to be skeptical.

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