Quick Green Reads For The Weekend Volume Ninety Nine.

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I forgot what real snow was like! After 24 hours of straight snowfall a few days ago and three trips outside to shovel, we were left with over 2 feet of the stuff. Living at this altitude does have some benefits though – even though there was a ton of snow and it was 22 degrees outside, I was enjoying my porch in just a sweatshirt and jeans. The sun is so strong that even though you can see your breath, it’s quite nice outside. Anyway, while I watch the snow melt into mud, check out some articles I found interesting from this past week…

First, it took the animals. Goats fell silent and refused to stand up. Chickens died in handfuls, then en masse. Street dogs disappeared…Then it took the children. Toddlers stopped talking and their legs gave out. The dirt here is laced with lead left over from years of extracting it from old car batteries. So when the price of lead quadrupled over five years, residents started digging up the earth to get at it. The World Health Organization says the area is still severely contaminated, 10 months after a government cleanup.

Got pets? Looking for new “good stuff” to give to them? Check out Allie’s list of her favorite pet products of 2008. Number 1? Newman’s Own Organics Salmon and Sweet Potato Dog Treats!

The WSJ recently profiled Daniel Sherwood and Paul Guzyk of Berkeley’s 3Prong Power Inc., which will upgrade your Prius for about $7,000. That seven grand will get you an extra 5 kwh of power from 360 lbs of lead acid batteries (originally designed for electric wheelchairs), enough to go about 10 miles in electric-only mode.

Now that gas prices have retreated back from the stratosphere back to a very comfortable (sigh of relief) average of $1.60 nationwide — is it time for policy makers to initiate a gas tax hike? Absolutely! I think it could be one of the best things we could do to change habits and minds.

There’s endless buzz on the internet about the unintended fall-out of the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act that bans lead and several phthalates from children’s products. Namely, small manufacturers, handmade toy makers, and thrift stores (the types of places we generally recommend for finding safer toys) may fold under the costs of testing all of their products. What does it all mean? What can we do?

The first Carnival of the Green of 2009 went up this week over at The Tao of Change. My post “I Am Perfect, You Are Not – A Failure Of The Green Movement” was included, so go check it out.

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