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Planet 100: Oil Minefield in the Gulf of Mexico

There are 27,000 abandoned oil & gas wells in the Gulf of Mexico and according to an Associated Press investigation nobody, and that includes government and industry is checking to see if any of those wells are leaking.

Furthermore, a 2001 study commissioned by the now infamous MMS agency clearly stated that they were... "concerned that some abandoned oil wells in the Gulf may be leaking crude oil." Despite that warning, nothing was done to follow up on that concern.

To learn more about this issue watch the latest episode of Planet 100:



Watch the full size video on Planet Green

via Gulf awash in 27,000 abandoned wells

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Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics

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Over the past 3 years Greenpeace has been releasing a public list detailing how well electronics manufacturer's are behaving in terms of green policies and practices. Now in it's 13th iteration

Nokia has retained the list's #1 spot, with a sparkling 7.5 rating. With their voluntary take-back program collecting end-of-life mobile phones and good information to consumers on how to properly discard electronics, Nokia leads the list and offers up a shining example of how to educate consumers and take responsibility for the waste their products create.

Nintendo, stuck in last place since being introduced to the list in v.6, has seen a slight increase in it's score. The house of Mario now sports a 1.4 rating thanks to the low power AC adaptor for the Nintendo DSi meeting the requirements of the Energy Star Program.

From a consumer standpoint it might seem odd to think of Nintendo as a less than environmentally-friendly company. After all -- of all 3 major home consoles, the Nintendo Wii consumes far less power during operation. But home user power usage does very little to offset Nintendo's ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions. It just goes to show how much impact a company can have despite our own experiences with their products.

The guide details the green ratings of 18 electronics giants. If you'd like to get a little more knowledge of how your next cell phone or printer purchase might impact the environment, there's no better place to start.

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Fake plastic cups make a great conversation starter

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Are your friends and co-workers the sort of anti-green naysayers that are always looking to catch you slipping up? What better way to put them in their place than with these ceramic cups that look just like crumpled up disposable plastic cups?

Retailing for $10 and $12 for small and large respectfully, these faux-trash drinking ceramics were designed in 1975 by Dutch ceramicist Rob Brandt. More than 30 years later, they still serve as a fantastic commentary on our disposable society. Brandt was years ahead of his time in recognizing the negative effects of single-use items.

Rob Brandt's Ceramic Crinkle Cups are available from online retailer A+R Store.

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AAAS: Dire Warnings Have Not Been Dire Enough

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The American Association for the Advancement of Science is currently holding its annual meeting and the news leaking out to the media of the discussions and data is not good.

"We are basically looking now at a future climate that's beyond anything we've considered seriously in climate model simulations," Christopher Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
At the crux of the increased pessimism is something called a 'carbon feedback loop'. The feedback loop occurs when the warming climate causes other natural processes to occur which speed up and actually release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There are numerous feedback loops that occur, for example global warming and water deficits are causing tree mortality rates to rise. As trees die, they release carbon dioxide into the atmostphere, thus creating a carbon dioxide feedback loop.

However, the feedback loop that is gaining the most attention and concern involves the arctic permafrost. The arctic permafrost contains 1 trillion tons of carbon and with the rapid melting that is now underway, there is growing concern that as much of 10% of that could be released into the atmosphere this century!

"It's a vicious cycle of feedback where warming causes the release of carbon from permafrost, which causes more warming, which causes more release from permafrost"
Related News:
Climate change is coming much harder, much faster than predicted
Scientists: Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates
Climate change even worse than predicted: expert

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Warmer Climate Makes Life Easier For Nasty Pine Beetle

pine beetleAs our climate continues its warming trend, there continues to be hard-felt consequences on our environment and industries.

One such consequence is the growing problem presented by the mountain pine beetle. In decades prior, cold winters would kill off this seasonal pest and ensure that each new Spring season would mean a fresh start for this forest-eating menace. However, as the winters have warmed, the pine beetle's population has exploded, as the winter is no longer the death sentence it used to be for this devastating beetle.

The result of a year-long pine beetle season has translated into millions of lost trees, and the environmental and economic damage continues to intensify.

State and federal lawmakers returning to work next month will face urgent requests for help dealing with a tiny bug that has chewed an enormous swath of destruction across the West.

The mountain pine beetle has killed tens of millions of trees in Colorado alone and has destroyed forests from New Mexico to Canada. Across the Rocky Mountain West, iconic postcard vistas are vanishing as entire mountainsides turn first a sickly shade of rust, then a ghostly gray.

Female beetles, about the size of a fingertip, bore into a tree and deposit their eggs in the layer of tissue under the bark. When the larvae hatch, they begin eating the tree from the inside, cutting off the flow of nutrients to branches and needles. It is impossible to get ahead of the beetle; all scientists can do is let the infestation run its course.

The beetle is expected to kill virtually every mature lodgepole pine in Colorado, or five million of the state's 22 million forested acres.

To learn more about the pine beetle and how it is adversely effecting Canadian forests, especially in British Columbia, watch this video:

Related News:
Tiny Beetle Chews Way Through Millions of Trees

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Canadian Company Element Four Invents 'Water Mill' Green Appliance

watermill element fourA Canadian company called Element Four based out of Kelowna, British Columbia has invented an intriguing household appliance that could revolutionize how we collect and drink water in our home. The device is called the WaterMill and it uses very similar technology as your garden-variety dehumidifier. It pulls moisture from the air and then filters that moisture to produce drinking water, currently up to 12 litres per day.

The home version draws moisture from the outdoors and then pipes that water inside your house after it has passed through a carbon filtration process as well as an ultraviolet light filter. Element Four has also made an agriculture version to assist farmers in the irrigation of their crops.

Taking control of your own daily water supply is a pretty big green step in the right direction. With the WaterMill by Element Four, the goal of water independence may not be so far-fetched after all.

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Green Christmas gifts for the Eco Man

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Do you have an Eco Man in your life? There are countless green Christmas gift ideas for him. Grassroots Environmental Products recommends these:

Top 5 Gift Ideas for the Eco Man

Simply Shaving Kit
"For a satisfying, natural shaving experience, lather with organic peppermint soap, which is a natural astringent that cools the skin and reduces razor burn. This kit also includes a shaving brush made from natural wood and bristles."

Earth-friendly Shoes
"These men's shoes are made with hemp or cotton uppers, bamboo linings, removable natural latex insoles, recycled car tire outsoles, recycled pop bottle elastics, water-based glues and 100% post-consumer paper pulp foot forms."

Organic Cotton Underwear
"These undies are incredibly soft and well constructed with a short fly and covered elastic. Men love that the "tag" is screen printed onto the fabric, so no itchy tag feeling!"

Hemp Fedora Hat
"The ultimate accessory of cool, this fedora hat is made from hemp and recycled poly twill. Perfect for fall and winter, this Italian-paneled hat is lined with hemp fur to keep things cosy."

Eco Wallet.
"Say goodbye to the stodgy outdated leather wallet..and hello to this eco wallet made from 100% recycled/recyclable materials."

For more green Christmas gift ideas, check out Grassroots online.

Image courtesy of Grassroots Environmental Products

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Organic Meadow Egg Nog

Have you thought about drinking Organic Meadow Egg Nog this holiday season? Organic foods aren't only healthier for you, I find organic food tastes better, cleaner and fresher.

One of my faves is Organic Meadow dairy products. "For almost 20 years, Organic Meadow has thrived on the premise that healthy soil leads to healthy plants and animals that provide products resulting in healthy people who build healthy communities," says Organic Meadows.

The milk is minimally processed, pasteurized, fortified with vitamins and homogenized. Adds Organic Meadow: "Additional filtering or other mechanical processes that alter milk simply aren't part of our philosophy."

Organic Meadow has 50+ products available across Canada at local grocery and health food stores.

Check out Organic Meadow online.

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Ecodrain Ecological Drain Cleaner

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The other day, the bathroom sink was backing up badly. So I tried the eco-friendly Ecodrain Ecological Drain Cleaner. This environmentally safe drain cleaner actually works well with natural microbes that digest build-up and maintain drainage.

"Ecodrain Ecological Drain Cleaner is a seven-strain bacteria formulation that uses the natural process of biological decomposition in which nature has kept our environment in perfect equilibrium since the beginning of time," says Ecoideas. "It's nature's way of recycling and self-renewal through a natural, steady process of decomposition of organic waste process."

Check out Ecodrain here.

Image courtesy of www.freepixels.com.

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Have you taken David Suzuki's NatureChallenge?

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Have you taken David Suzuki's NatureChallenge? If you're interested in learning about green living, it's a brilliant way to find out more.

Check out the David Suzuki's NatureChallenge here.

Image courtesy of www.freepixels.com

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