Quick Green Reads For The Weekend Volume 219

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URGENT – Please read. The federal Food and Drug Administration’ new sunscreen rules seem likely to do away with the worst hype in ads and on labels. But the rules issued June 14, to take effect in the summer of 2012, address what’s on the outside of the bottle, not what’s in it. A particularly troublesome regulatory gap involves a vitamin A derivative called retinyl palmitate, often found in sunscreens and other products used on the skin. For some years, government and independent scientists have been investigating this chemical as a possible photocarcinogen – meaning that it may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions on sun-exposed skin.

Have you heard about this grocery store opening in Austin, Texas? It’s like your bulk food dream come true: a grocery store without packaging. in.gredients will offer an array of foods including the usual bulk offerings, but also dairy, oils, fresh produce, cleaning supplies and toiletries, beer (in growlers) and wine.

Going to the grocery store is something that almost everyone does, which means that small changes here can have a huge impact on the environment. Follow these five low-cost tips to make your next grocery shopping trip environmentally friendly.

Fields are now planted with genetically modified corn and soybeans resistant to the herbicide Roundup, allowing farmers to spray the chemical to eradicate weeds, including milkweed. While the evidence is still preliminary and disputed, experts like Chip Taylor say the growing use of genetically modified crops is threatening the orange-and-black butterfly by depriving it of habitat.

Bath & Body Works is offering its customers, many of whom are teenage girls, antibacterial soaps with summertime scents – and triclosan, a toxic antimicrobial chemical that accumulates in our bodies and in lakes, rivers and wildlife. This commonly used pesticide is also linked to the rise of “superbugs” – antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Umm, gross. Tell Bath & Body Works’ CEO: “Stop using toxic triclosan in your products.”

Agent Orange is one of the most devastating weapons of modern warfare, a chemical which killed or injured an estimated 400,000 people during the Vietnam War — and now it’s being used against the Amazon rainforest. Thank you for this, Monsanto.

Many crafters have discovered greener ways to create their wares: reused and/or upcycled materials, for instance, have become very popular among the crafty set. A craft incubator program in North Carolina, the EnergyXchange, has figured out a way to lower the footprint of these artistic endeavors: landfill gas.

Have a good weekend everyone…

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