Sustainability Reads: April 21- April 27

Texas Family Awarded $3 Million in Nation’s First Fracking Trial
Good environmental news this week! Family in Texas won case against Aruba Petroleum for health effects experienced due to fracking in the area surrounding their home. They can no longer drink their water and health effects reported by family members range from breathing difficulties, nausea, headaches, three nosebleeds per week, and the development of asthma by daughter. This is the first fracking trial in the U.S. and with positive outcomes. Ruling will provide encouragement to communities to hold out for a trial instead of being bought out by fracking companies to keep quiet. This jury has spoken. Brandon Baker on Ecowatch.

New Study Shows Lack of Bins is Biggest Barrier to Home Recycling
Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of consumers in the study consistently recycle in the home, but despite a genuine concern for the environment, only about half do so in rooms beyond the kitchen; lack of bins in other rooms cited as the main reason. Thus, to encourage recycling in your household put recycling bins in other rooms that have been overlooked such as laundry, home office, bathroom, and/or bedroom. Other factors that limit recycling include not knowing what is recyclable or not and also the space requirement. Commentary recognizes the need for a collective approach to address these issues- not just consumers and companies. Article by Jennifer Elks on Sustainable Brands, study is the 2014 Cone Communications Recycling in the Home Survey, in partnership with the Johnson & Johnson Family of Consumer Companies.

 Earth Day Pictures: Ten Most Threatened Forests
Here are the forests in danger and the biggest concerns that threaten them (not in any ranking order):

  • Coastal East African Forests: converted to farmland to help feed region’s growing population
  • Himalaya Moist Forests: cut to meet local needs and exploding middle classes in China & India
  • Savanna Forests, South America: agriculture, charcoal production, water projects, and cattle ranching
  • Atlantic Dry Forests, Brazil: agriculture conversion and development 
  • Congo Rain Forest: intense logging activity and farming for crops such as cassava and oil palm
  • Amazon Rain Forest: cattle ranches and cash crops such as soy and now palm oil. Also, increasing roads through are aiding loggers and serving as entry points for farmers/ developers/oil & mineral prospectors
  • Madagascar Rain Forest: poverty which drives people into logging for hardwoods- ebony and rosewood
  • Islans Forests, The Philippines: tourism, invasive species, and sea level rise due to climate change
  • Mesoamerican Forests, Mexico down to Costa Rica: agriculture, cattle ranching, and tourism resorts
  • Sunderland Forest, Malaysia, Indonesia, and parts of Papua New Guinea: agriculture.

From National Geographic. Check link for beautiful pics and explanation as to why these forests are so amazing and deserve to be protected.

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