Michigan State U. health physicist Joseph Hattey arrested for dog rape

Oceans Are Heating Up #ClimateChange #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani

jpratt27

By Climate Central

June 8th is World Oceans Day, a day to raise awareness of the ocean’s importance to the planet. 93 percent of the excess heat absorbed by the climate system goes into our oceans, creating major consequences.

While more extreme storms and rising sea levels are some of the impacts of warmer oceans, rising CO2 levels and the resulting warmer oceans are impacting ocean health itself.

The most well­known effects are coral bleaching and ocean acidification, but an emerging issue is the decreasing oxygen levels in the warming waters.

Oxygen enters the ocean through two ways: interactions between its surface and the atmosphere, and as a photosynthesis byproduct from phytoplankton in upper layers of the ocean, much in the same way plants on land produce oxygen.

As the ocean waters warm, they aren’t able to hold as much oxygen (decreased solubility).

Normally, oxygen­rich water mixes with deeper layers…

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Yellowstone boss says Trump administration forcing him out

Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting Blog

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2016, file photo, a large bison blocks traffic as crowds of tourists take photos in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. The parks superintendent says hes being forced out for what appear to be punitive reasonsThe Associated Press
FILE – In this Aug. 3, 2016, file photo, a large bison blocks traffic as crowds of tourists take photos in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. The park’s superintendent says he’s being forced out for what appear to be punitive reasons following disagreements with the Trump administration over how many bison the park can sustain. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

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Antarctica’s Largest Iceberg Is About to Die … Near the Equator

Exposing the Big Game

Antarctica's Largest Iceberg Is About to Die ... Near the Equator
After 18 years of drifting, Antarctica’s largest iceberg is about to melt away near South America.

Credit: NASA/ International Space Station

If being far from home ever gets you down, just be glad you aren’t also melting.

NASA scientists reported that, after drifting for nearly 20 years, the largest iceberg ever to break away from Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf is about to disappear forever.

Now floating northwest of the South Georgia islands near the tail of South America, the iceberg — named B-15 — has traveled more than 6,600 miles (10,000 kilometers) from the ice shelf and is veering dangerously close to the equator. [Photos: Diving Beneath Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf

Satellite images taken from the International Space Station (ISS) on May 22 confirm that the remains of the iceberg are on a crash course with warm tropical waters, where growing pools of…

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More Western Public Lands Are Leased to The Oil and Gas Industry Than Are in National Parks

ClimateWest

Screen Shot 2018-06-06 at 2.15.24 PM

We just put together a new online interactive map showing where public lands oil and gas leases are located in the states of Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, click on the image above or here to access it.

This map is based on data gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and graciously made available by Rocky Mountain Wild, you can download it yourself here if you’d like >>

These interior western states are where the vast majority of our public lands have been leased for fracking in the lower 48.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, 20.7 million acres of our public lands have been leased to the oil and gas industry in these states, representing more than 80% of all leased federal minerals outside of Alaska (and to be clear this represents “onshore” oil and gas, not offshore).

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To put…

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Environmentally-Friendly Alternatives – Balloons Blow

balloonsblow.org
Environmentally-Friendly Alternatives – Balloons Blow

There are many alternatives to balloon releases. To avoid unintentionally littering with balloons, you can instead have fun, celebrate, and remember with environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Let your imagination soar and who knows what creative, one-of-a-kind idea you might come up with!Unsustainable alternatives
Sky lanterns: (Chinese paper lanterns) are not an environmentally-friendly alternative. Leaving a fire unattended is against fire code. Sky lanterns have started huge fires, caused serious burns, and have killed animals.
Butterfly gardens – not butterfly releases

Butterfly releases: Lepidopterologists warn butterfly releases are not good for the environment. They also promote the breeding and exploitation of animals. Click here or here for more information.

Dove releases: Wildlife rehabilitators advise against the release of all domestic birds. Casualties are still common even when a professional is used. They also promote the breeding and exploitation of animals. http://balloonsblow.org/environmentally-friendly-alternatives/ here for more information.
Here are some ideas to get you started…

Honoring with Living Memorials

Plant in remembrance – A great way to honor and remember a loved one or an important issue is to bring more life to our planet. By planting a native tree, flower garden or butterfly garden you are not only giving life to that plant you are also providing shelter, resources, and clean air to all kinds of wildlife and people. This remembrance will last a very long time and you can visit your tree or flower bed as much as you want and create more life by doing so!

Flowers and trees can also be used at fundraising events as incentives to donate. They could then be planted in a public area, perhaps taking on different shapes or words, or can be taken home by participants to be planted elsewhere as a living memory. Here’s a great place to find trees: GiveTreeGifts.com. There are urns to plant as well. You can also help reforestation with memorial, celebration, or pet loss trees by visiting The Trees Remember.

Flags, banners, streamers and dancing inflatables – Many businesses are realizing the benefits of using reusable eye-catching signage. Colorful streamers, flags and banners save money and time over balloons, ribbons and helium. They are also weather resistant, save Helium, and can be reused again and again! Here are some great companies: Ribbon Streamers, Custom Made Flags, Fort Myers Banners.

Ribbon dancers – Instead of giving kids and guests balloons at parties or events, why not give them something a little more engaging? Balloons will simply sit tied up or be gone in a flash if released (not to mention harm wildlife and deplete helium resources). Ribbon dancers are beautiful and require people to move around and have fun!

A group of people spinning and twirling with a colorful long ribbon following their every move is surely a sight to see. You can even have guests make their own ribbon dancer, decorations and all!

Kites & garden spinners – Vibrant fabric that dance in the high winds or eye-catching colors spinning in the garden. Unlike balloons, kites and spinners can be enjoyed for years. Here’s a couple awesome places to find both, and more: Zephyr Kites, Lainie’s Way, Fun with Wind. Kites can be a great prize to give people who donate and can then be flown to draw attention. Here is an example of a successful group that uses kites for fundraising.

Bunting – A great way to decorate for parties and celebrations is bunting! These beautiful waves of fabric can be made at home and uniquely designed with different patterns, shapes, and colors. They are also reusable, fun to make, and are sure to light up the party! Here is a link to learn how to make your own bunting.

Pinwheels – With flashy colors fluttering in the wind, pinwheels are sure to catch many eyes. They are great for attracting attention to businesses, awareness projects, birthday parties and more! Kids can have fun making their own, find easy instructions here. Click here for printable patriotic pinwheel. Here are examples of pinwheels making a point: Pinwheels for Prevention, Pinwheels for Peace.

Tissue Paper Pompoms – For some color burst at parties or celebrations, tissue paper pompoms are spectacular! These pretty, colorful poof balls can be easily made at home and are reusable. They are also fun activities for kids to make too! Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to make your own pompoms.

Drumming – The drum has been called the heartbeat of Mother Earth. Using drums to celebrate does not create waste or cause danger to wildlife. The beat brings people together and can be used for any occasion. Here is a great example of how drumming can replace harmful celebrations.

Get flocked – A flock of pink flamingos brightens everyone’s day. Fake flamingos can be placed on the lawn of one’s choice for a donation, where they will stay for a few days before moving to the next scheduled location. They can be reused for years of flocking fun. Here is a great example.

Floating flowers – For some, the upward drifting of balloons gives them a sense of letting go, and at the same time thinking the balloon will eventually reach their loved one. Because remembering a loved one by potentially killing another life isn’t exactly the best feeling, there are many alternatives. Floating flowers or flower petals down a calm stream can give you the same sense of letting go. You will be able to be in nature and feel the energy of your loved one and all the life that surrounds you! Be sure to use native flowers and not let go an excessive amount.

Wildflower seed bombs – A great way to give a gift that grows is by making your own flower seed bombs! It’s important to only use native seeds. These little pounces will spread life-giving, beautiful flowers. Learn how to make your own seed bombs here.

Jump rope for a cause – Jump roping is fun, good for your body, and a great way to get people together! Using jump ropes to bring awareness to a cause engages participants and will bring attention from others who see. Here is a cause that has been very successful using jump ropes to bring awareness and funds to a growing issue.

Environmental Fundraising – Fundraising with Earth-themed and eco-conscious products. Raise funds and keep the environment clean of wasteful plastic straws. Fundraising with glass straws or here.

Ten eco-friendly fundraising ideas – Green Child Magazine has a great post.

Birthday parties without balloons – Birthday parties can be festive & exciting without boring, wasteful balloons. Here are some great examples.

Painted rocks – A stone can be used to paint memorials or celebrations! These beautiful stones can be placed in favorite spots, under trees, in gardens, along walkways, or inside. This is great for families or anyone that wants to leave a mark by using your imagination. Please be mindful when finding rocks to paint.

Lighting candles & Luminaries – A great way to remember a loved one or welcome new life is by lighting candles. On the anniversary of the passing or the birthday of new life, everyone can light a candle and remember their loved one or wish and be filled by the light of the candle. This can be a lasting, and comforting connection between you and another life! Luminaries are beautiful at night and can be used to line sidewalks or placed in a group. Learn how to make a frosted Mason jar luminary. You can also find luminaries with designs on them here.

Blowing bubbles – Blowing bubbles is always fun; watching them bounce around towards the sky and twist with the wind. It also requires you to exhale and breathe. This is a great way to release your feelings as well and just let go. Imagine the spectacular sight of a countless number of bubbles floating away into the sky with a piece of every person that have gathered together! Here is a quick homemade recipe.

Giant bubbles – We love bubbles! And the good people at Dr. Zigs can get you started on creating your own giant bubbles. They ‘strive to be a sustainable company and are driven by strong ethical and environmental principles’. These bubbles are a sight to behold and fun for everyone. Easy-to-use wands allow anyone to blow their own. Let the breeze carry them away!

The Bubble Bus is also exciting for events, celebrations, fundraisers or parties. Millions of bubbles big and small will surround everyone with joy! Make homemade bubble wands to create your own big bubbles here.

Mass Gathering – Having people come together to create a shape, word, or image can be very unifying and beautiful! This has been done to bring awareness to an issue/cause, for memorials, and celebrations. Everyone gets to participate to be a part of something bigger than themselves!

Memorials for beloved pets – Turn your pets cremations into nurturing memorials that will encourage more life. Planting native trees or wild flowers is a beautiful way to perpetuate your pets memory. You can find great alternatives here and here.

Origami Whales – Make your own pod of whales with origami whale instructions. Bring awareness to these gentle giants instead of harming them with balloons. Here is an example of how children can come together and make a difference.

Colored lights – Colored lights catch attentions during parties, holidays, and even on certain issues! It can replace a normal white light year-round at a business or be used temporarily on special days. Here is a great example of how colored lights can be used to bring awareness to an issue.

Races, walks and organized games – Engaging your audience is a key to a successful event. Fundraisers and awareness events can have racers, walkers or players donate to participate, all while attracting positive attention to the issue and having fun!

Marches – It is hard to pass by a large organized group of people and not wonder what brought them together that day. Marches are a great way to bring attention to a pressing issue or honorable individual from local people to large media networks!

Book and food drives – There are many items that can be collected by holding a drive like books, nonperishable food, art supplies, shoes, clothes, etc. All of the items gathered can be used to directly help provide to others in need and spread awareness at the same time.

Flying Wish Paper – Write your wishes on these thin pieces of paper, roll them up, light them, and watch them rise. There is very little ash left and way to get the floating effect without harming the environment. Check them out on Flying Wish Paper.

Shaved heads – This look can bring a lot of attention when a group of people are willing to shave their heads for a cause or person. This alternative is used at outreach events and memorials and can catch on fast with participants. The press is sure to pick up on the unusual look that so many people choose to wear.

http://balloonsblow.org/environmentally-friendly-alternatives/

Breaking! The South Korean Ministry Establishes First-Ever Pet-Related Animal Welfare Policy Division As Nearly 6 Million Homes Have Pets – World Animal News

Breaking! The South Korean Ministry Establishes First-Ever Pet-Related Animal Welfare Policy Division As Nearly 6 Million Homes Have Pets
By WAN –
June 7, 2018

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in South Korea announced yesterday that it is establishing an animal welfare policy division for pets, under its livestock policy bureau. Issues such as these were previously assigned to a team under the livestock environment and welfare division.
The new division, formed to accommodate the growing number of homes in Korea with pets, will serve as a much-needed separate department that is tasked with taking charge of pet-related affairs and policies.
“The animal welfare policy division will tackle major assignments such as: preventing animal-related accidents and protecting animals from being abandoned or mistreated, as well as enhancing the ethical guidelines for animal testing, an official from the Agriculture Ministry noted in a statement. “We think this new division will be one of the busiest departments in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.”
As per the Korea Joongang Daily, the ministry issued the news along with some staggering statistics.
According to the government, the number of households in the country that own a pet has increased by more than 20% in just two years from 4.57 million in 2015 to 5.93 million in 2017.
The number of laboratory animals sadly also increased 18% from 2.51 million, to 3.08 million, while the number of farm animals grew by approximately 1,000 during the same time period.
While the establishment of a department solely dedicated to pet-related issues and policies in Korea is a positive step, the complicated country still has a long way to go when it comes to protecting its dogs.
Horrifically, dogs are still being slaughtered for their meat. There are more than 17,000 dog meat farms across the country.
In South Korea, Soi Dog is working with senior government officials to enact stronger animal welfare laws with the ultimate aim of banning the dog meat industry.
As per its website, this has already led to a ban on the slaughter of dogs at Moran Market, the biggest dog meat market in the capital, Seoul.
Thailand-based Soi Dog, and numerous other animal welfare organizations from around the world, such as, Southern California-based Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, continue to challenge Asia’s understanding of the barbaric dog meat industry, while making people aware about the massive and unnecessary cruelty involved.

WAN prays that Korea, and many other countries worldwide continue to take monumental steps to protect our precious species!

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-the-korean-ministry-establishes-first-ever-pet-related-animal-welfare-policy-division-as-nearly-6-million-homes-have-pets/

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Breaking! The Big Cat Public Safety Act Is Re-Introduced To U.S. Senate; Bill Prohibits Private Individuals, Breeders & Questionable Exhibitors From Possessing Big Cats – World Animal News

Breaking! The Big Cat Public Safety Act Is Re-Introduced To U.S. Senate; Bill Prohibits Private Individuals, Breeders & Questionable Exhibitors From Possessing Big Cats
By Lauren Lewis –
June 7, 2018

A federal bill that aims to end the private possession of big cats such as tigers, lions, leopards, and pumas as pets, as well as to stop cub petting and limit exhibitors to those who do not repeatedly violate the law, has been re-introduced in the United States Senate.
Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut supported the re-introduction of the latest version of the Big Cat Public Safety Act HR1818, which was originally introduced to the House in March 2017 by Rep. Jeff Denham.
Recent national headlines have documented public outrage at the inhumane display of a tiger at a high school prom in Miami, Florida, alarm as federal agents discovered a tiger cub in a duffel bag at the U.S. Mexico border, and confusion when a young tiger was spotted roaming a Texas neighborhood.
Such examples underscore the public’s growing concern about the treatment of big cats­­ and the sponsors of the Big Cat Public Safety Act have made it clear that they are listening.
By reintroducing the BCPSA, senators from six states across the nation are joining more than 130 bipartisan members of the House of Representatives in calling for an end to the unregulated trade and nationwide abuse of captive big cats.
“This common-sense bill is an urgently needed answer to the problem of big cats kept in unsafe and abusive situations around the country,” Prashant Khetan, CEO and general counsel of Born Free USA, one of the numerous animal welfare organizations that are supporting this bill, said in a statement. “Thousands of big cats are currently owned as pets or maintained in ill-equipped roadside zoos and menageries, which pose a severe risk to the safety of people in surrounding communities, as well as the welfare of the cats themselves. It’s about time that we had a federal law that can serve to stop this inhumane practice around the country.”
The bill, if enacted, would keep dangerous big cats out of the hands of private individuals, breeders and exhibitors with egregious, ongoing Animal Welfare Act citations, and unscrupulous menageries that have historically taken advantage of loopholes to circumvent existing restrictions. The BCPSA would close these loopholes while providing exemptions for qualified wildlife sanctuaries and exhibitors licensed by the US Department of Agriculture that meet basic standards intended to protect the public and animals.
“Relying on accredited sanctuaries to take in unwanted and usually neglected big cats is not a viable solution to the big cat crisis in this country,” said Carole Baskin, founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue. “When big cats are wrongly kept as pets or cruelly exploited in entertainment businesses, they often endure tremendous suffering for years in deplorable conditions with inadequate nutrition, and little, if any, veterinary care. Then, when the owners no longer want the cats or they are seized by the authorities, the substantial financial burden to house, feed, and provide long-term vet care for these big cats falls upon sanctuaries. The Big Cat Public Safety Act will finally address the inhumane treatment of the vast majority of big cats in America.”
Baskin noted that it costs Big Cat Rescue $10,000.00 per year for food and vet care for one tiger.

https://worldanimalnews.com/breaking-the-big-cat-public-safety-act-is-re-introduced-to-u-s-senate-bill-prohibits-private-individuals-breeders-questionable-exhibitors-from-possessing-big-cats/

© Copyright 2018 – WorldAnimalNews.com

Microplastics and Harmful Chemicals Discovered in Antarctic Ice … and Even Freshly Fallen Snow

onegreenplanet.org
Microplastics and Harmful Chemicals Discovered in Antarctic Ice … and Even Freshly Fallen Snow
Aleksandra Pajda
3-4 minutes

New research conducted by Greenpeace during its expedition to the Antarctic found plastics and dangerous chemicals in the most remote and seemingly pristine areas of the continent. Scientific analysis of water and snow samples revealed that the Antarctic is contaminated with microplastics, microscopic materials that no place on Earth seems to be free from anymore.

The majority of samples tested as part of the study contained plastic or persistent and potentially dangerous chemicals. Researchers found that seven of the eight tested seawater samples contained microplastics, with at least one microplastic fiber per liter. Additionally, microplastics were detected in two of the nine samples that had been taken using a manta trawl.

When it comes to chemicals, researchers reported that detectable concentrations of polyfluorinated alkylated substances, PFASs, were found in freshly fallen snow for almost all of the sites where samples were taken. PFASs are chemicals widely used in industrial processes and consumer products. The substances have been linked to reproductive and developmental issues in wildlife, and they degrade very slowly in the environment. The fact that these were found in freshly fallen snow suggests that some hazardous chemicals are atmospheric, not from a local source.

“We may think of the Antarctic as a remote and pristine wilderness, but from pollution and climate change to industrial krill fishing, humanity’s footprint is clear,” said Frida Bengtsson of Greenpeace’s Protect the Antarctic campaign. “These results show that even the most remote habitats of the Antarctic are contaminated with microplastic waste and persistent hazardous chemicals.”

In 2017, scientists found ice floes in the middle of the Arctic Ocean to be contaminated with plastic – unwelcomed proof that virtually no place is now safe from human-generated plastic pollution. The findings in the Antarctic are unfortunately more proof of this reality. Due to limited existing data on the presence of microplastics in the continent’s waters, the new findings are a significant addition to the knowledge on plastic pollution in the environment.

Microplastics accumulate in the environment and make their way up the food chain with ease. Mistaken for food or ingested accidentally, tiny pieces of plastic add up in animals’ stomachs and can cause health problems and even death. As humans, we are not safe from microplastics either – they have already been found not only to get into people’s diets through seafood but to also contaminate most of the world’s tap water and bottled water.

You can find the full “Microplastics and Persistent Fluorinated Chemicals in the Antarctic” report here.

Every year, we produce around 300 million tons of plastic, so it is up to all of us to put an end to this environmental scourge. To find out how you can help fight plastic pollution by ditching disposable plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/microplastics-harmful-chemicals-discovered-antarctic-ice/?utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=642fbf4340-NEWSLETTER_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-642fbf4340-106049477

Image source: Free-Photos/Pixabay

University Dairy Plant to Close After 111 Years Because Sales Are So Low Thanks to Popularity of Vegan Milks!

onegreenplanet.org
University Dairy Plant to Close After 111 Years Because Sales Are So Low Thanks to Popularity of Vegan Milks!
Natasha Brooks
3-4 minutes

There is absolutely no denying that the future of food is headed in the plant-based direction. Meat and dairy alternatives have proven to be so popular with consumers that demand for plant-based food products has risen by 140 percent in just a few years. Meat alternatives, including lab-cultured meats, are quickly soaring in popularity, and plant-based milk alternatives made from everything including almonds, coconut, cashews, flax, hemp, hazelnut, rice, peas, oats, and of course, soy are so popular that the plant-based milk industry is set to hit a value of $34 billion by 2024. Additionally, considering humans do not naturally consume milk after childhood, let alone another animal’s milk, lactose intolerance has led many people to switch to plant-based milks. This major shift in consumer habits has caused dairy prices to drop significantly, leading many long-standing dairy plants to shut down, with some making the wise decision to switch to producing plant-based milks. And now there is yet another dairy plant that is shutting down thanks to the rise of plant-based milk alternatives…

After being in operation for 111 years, Andrews University dairy farm announced their plan to close by summer of 2019.

The dairy farm holds 1,200 cows and is run by student workers. Stephen Payne, VP of Integrated Marketing and Communication, expressed that with demand for dairy being at an all-time low, sales from the dairy farm have suffered greatly. He stated, “In the last two to three years, we have lost between $750,000 and $900,000 a year.”

As for the cows, no word yet on what will happen to them, but the university says they will work on finding new on-campus jobs for the student workers at the dairy farm. The rest of the university farm will still remain under operation.

Industrialized dairy is laden with animal cruelty, separating newborn calves from their mothers who cry out in protest. Many of these calves go on to become victims of the veal industry, while others are raised to become dairy cows and meet the same sad life as those before them. Additionally, industrialized dairy is responsible for gross air and water pollution and contributes greatly to greenhouse gases and climate change.

Andrews University is a place of higher learning and education, so we only hope that this serves as a lesson to countless other institutions that profit from the exploitation of animals and the environment – time’s up, people are demanding change.

Want to learn how you can make a positive change in the world with your food choices? Check out the Eat for the Planet book!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/university-dairy-plant-close/

Image Source: Pixabay

Ikea to Phase Out Single-Use Plastic Products by 2020!

onegreenplanet.org
Ikea to Phase Out Single-Use Plastic Products by 2020!
Aleksandra Pajda
3-4 minutes

IKEA has just joined the global fight against plastic pollution by committing to phase out single-use plastic products from its stores and restaurants by 2020. The Scandinavian chain decided to go for this anti-plastic move in order to help its customers live more sustainably in response to the growing concern about plastic pollution and its impact on the oceans.

The retailer announced that it will eliminate plastic straws, plates, cups, freezer bags, bin bags, and plastic-coated paper plates and cups, replacing the items with alternatives where possible, the Guardian reports. While all the details of the phase-out are not yet settled, the company is clearly moving forward and finding new solutions.

“We don’t have all the answers yet but we are working together with our suppliers to find solutions that are good for both people and the planet,” said an IKEA spokesperson.

The retailer says it wants to help customers live more sustainably by offering products such as a tap nozzle that could save over 90 percent of water used. The chain will also start offering solar panels in 29 markets by 2025 – up from the five that offer them now. IKEA also plans to introduce more vegetarian and vegan food options into the stores’ cafes.

“Through our size and reach we have the opportunity to inspire and enable more than 1 billion people to live better lives, within the limits of the planet,” said Torbjörn Lööf, the Chief Executive of the retailer’s parent Inter IKEA group. “Change will only be possible if we collaborate with others and nurture entrepreneurship. We are committed to taking the lead working together with everyone – from raw material suppliers all the way to our customers and partners.”

IKEA has already pledged to phase out oil-based plastics and is seeking to ensure that all its plastic products are made using recycled materials by August 2020. To make that vision a reality, the company has invested in a plastics recycling plant. It has also invested in wind farms and put solar panels on its stores in order to meet the goal of relying on renewable electricity and heat in its stores by 2020.

Being one of the most popular and recognizable furniture retailers with more than 363 stores worldwide, IKEA has the opportunity to influence the habits and choices of hundreds of millions of its customers, have a serious impact on other retailers and businesses, and significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste it generates – and it is incredible to see the company take that chance!

Each of us can play a small part in making a change and reducing plastic pollution for the benefit of our planet. To find out how you can help by ditching disposable plastics, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/ikea-phase-single-use-plastic-products/?utm_source=Green+Monster+Mailing+List&utm_campaign=642fbf4340-NEWSLETTER_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bbf62ddf34-642fbf4340-106049477

Image source: William Murphy/Flickr

Why Breeding Dogs is a Problem, Even if the Breeder is ‘Reputable’

onegreenplanet.org
Why Breeding Dogs is a Problem, Even if the Breeder is ‘Reputable’
Corrine Henn
5-7 minutes

Despite the fact that nearly 62 percent of Americans have a pet, there are still more than 70 million homeless dogs and cats living in the U.S. Of these 70 million needy animals, only around six to eight million enter shelters each year. Although they only take in a fraction of America’s homeless animals, these shelters are mostly packed to capacity and strapped trying to function with limited funds. Yet, regardless of this wealth of pets looking for loving homes, only around 20 percent of Americans adopt their dogs from shelters.

So where are the other 74 percent coming from? Well, breeders.

You can find virtually any breed of animal in your local shelter – purebred or mixed – but consumers continue to pay hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars for dogs from breeders.

Some believe that by purchasing their dogs from a special breeder they will somehow be getting a “superior” pet, however, not only is this false but there are a number of other reasons that breeding dogs is irresponsible and harmful no matter how good their reputation may be.
The Myth of Purebred Superiority

Consumers looking for a new family pet are willing to pay exorbitant amounts for a purebred dog because they’re told that the puppy has been raised in a loving environment and will grow up to have a friendly disposition with minimal health problems.

However, there is no way to really tell because in many cases, it’s dependent on the individual dog. While there may be breeders that take precaution to avoid inbreeding (which often leads to significant health issues), and are selective with the dogs they do breed, making sure to raise them in loving environments, there is no definitive “rule” that guarantees these animals won’t suffer from health or behavioral problems early or later on.

You can never forget that breeders are still trying to run a business at the end of the day, so it is only in their best interest to advertise the benefits to owning a purebred, and even perpetuating the myth that certain positive attributes cannot be found in shelter dogs. Ironically, the Humane Society estimates that 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred.
What Distinguishes a “Reputable” Breeder

Now, when we refer to “reputable” breeders, it’s merely to differentiate between those that breed their animals “responsibly,” and those that don’t. A lot of consumers don’t do research prior to purchasing their new four-legged family member, and as a result, end up buying their new best friend from cruel puppy mills. Others rely on the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) inspection certification to ensure that the dogs they purchase are both purebred and don’t come from an abusive background. However, an exposé into the AKC’s inspection program revealed that many of these certified breeders subject their dogs to puppy mill-like conditions as well.

Although the AKC is considered the highest authority on purebred dog standards, Ed Sayer’s, the President of the ASPCA, stated in the New York Times that a number of the raids his organization has carried out involved commercial breeding facilities that were registered with the AKC.

Many puppies who come from puppy mills suffer from serious health problems as a result of reckless breeding. For example, the New York Times highlighted the story of one woman who purchased a puppy from an AKC breeder only to find out the puppy suffered from a number of abnormalities as a result of reckless breeding practices; the breeder had passed AKC’s inspection only two weeks prior. Two months later the facility was raided and all of the dogs were removed from the breeding facility.

When a representative from the AKC was questioned as to just how many breeders have AKC registered dogs in the country, they admitted that they did not have those figures. While the AKC may not believe they’re responsible for all breeders, their approval of these substandard facilities is deceiving to consumers and frankly, they should be held accountable for the breeders they certify.
The Question of Overpopulation

Reputable breeders have a passion for breeding dogs and many do genuinely love the animals they care for, but that does not address the very real problem of what breeding pets does to the existing pet overpopulation problem.

According to the ASPCA, 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in shelters every year because of lack of space, resources, and people who are willing to adopt these animals. No matter how you look at the issue, the idea of producing more dogs to meet the “demands” of people who are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a purebred pup while there are hundreds of thousands of purebred dogs waiting in overcrowded shelters is incredibly irresponsible.

The fact is, all dogs deserve a loving home, but when these dogs become commodities who are bred for profit, it doesn’t matter how well-meaning or qualified the breeders are. If we wish to put an end to the gross pet overpopulation problem and provide loving forever homes for dogs who truly need it, there is no real justification for the perpetuation of dog breeding.

So please, be a Green Monster and always adopt, don’t shop!

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/why-breeding-dogs-is-a-problem-even-if-the-breeder-is-reputable/

Balloon Releases Are Killing Wildlife and Marine Animals – Here’s What You Can Do Instead

onegreenplanet.org
Balloon Releases Are Killing Wildlife and Marine Animals – Here’s What You Can Do Instead
Arianna Pittman

For years, balloon releases have been used to celebrate events or honor the memory of someone lost. Schools release them during football games, they’re sent floating into the air at running events, and released by crowds of people at weddings, funerals, and memorials. And while those who organize and participate in balloon releases have the best of intentions, what they fail to consider is what happens when those balloons eventually land – and when they do the results are detrimental to wildlife and marine animals.

The Long-Lasting Impact of Balloons

Balloons negatively impact our environment by littering streams, lakes, and beaches. It’s basically the same as intentionally throwing trash on the ground or into the ocean. Even balloons marketed as biodegradable or “eco-friendly” can still take years to disintegrate, meaning they’re not any better for the environment than standard balloons.

The Devastating Effects Balloon Releases Have on Wildlife and Marine Animals and What You Can Do About ItBalloonsBlow.Org/Facebook

When balloons make their way into the water, their tattered ends and floating pieces can resemble jellyfish or other sea life consumed by marine animals such as sea turtles, fish, and dolphins. When the pieces of latex or Mylar are mistaken for food and ingested, they can get lodged in the digestive tract, inhibiting animal’s ability to eat and causing a slow and painful death by starvation.

Wildlife can also fall victim to balloons and balloon strings when the pieces fall to the ground or onto trees and bushes. Birds have been found injured with ribbons wrapped around their beaks or wings, and have strangled themselves when they become entangled in strings attached to trees or power lines. And just like marine animals, they can succumb to a painful death after ingesting balloons.

The negative impact on animals and the environment prompted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local chapters of the National Audubon Society to urge people to stop releasing balloons and instead find more humane alternatives that are safer for animals and our planet. Several states and cities in the U.S. and abroad have also passed laws regarding mass balloon releases after years of witnessing their detrimental effects.

The Devastating Effects Balloon Releases Have on Wildlife and Marine Animals and What You Can Do About It

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

What You Can Do

If you know of someone planning a balloon release, please urge them to consider one of these earth- and animal-friendly options instead. There are so many other symbolic acts that don’t involve the use of balloons. We’ve listed a few options for you below, and you can find more by that offers not only fun alternatives but educational materials to help you spread awareness about the dangers of balloons and balloon releases.

Bubbles

Bubblesare not only fun but can create stunning photo ops. Watching hundreds of bubbles float up into the sky can be mesmerizing and just as symbolic as seeing a balloon float away, but without the resulting of litter and endangerment to wildlife and marine animals.

Luminaries

Luminaries are a beautiful way to honor and memorialize loved ones. Instead of writing messages on balloons and releasing them, you can write messages on recycled paper bags or reusable glass jars with candles placed inside to create a lighted path, or spell out a word or name. Each person can bring their bag or jar home afterward as a personal keepsake to remember the event.
Plant a Tree

Planting native trees and wildflowers is a beautiful way to create a memory that lasts for years to come – and give a little something back to nature. Another fun idea is to have people release milkweed seeds, which helps populations of monarch butterflies thrive by replenishing depleted supplies of the milkweed plant that is essential to their survival. Just remember: If you choose to plant trees or flowers somewhere other than your own yard, make sure you have prior permission if it’s a public park or nature area, as they often have restrictions about potentially invasive species of plants.

Celebrations and commemorative events are meant to allow us to reflect on important times in our lives, there is no reason these should come at the expense of wild animals.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/balloon-releases-are-killing-animals/

Lead image source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/Flickr

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