Luv My Planet


GINKs of the World, Unite!

Posted in Activism,Lifestyle by luvmyplanet on 19/02/2011

Last week, as I was listening to a broadcast of “Radio Ecoshock,” I discovered that I am a GINK (Green Inclinations, No Kids), a term coined by Lisa Hymas of Grist. We are people who, out of concern and respect for our planet, have chosen to abstain from having children. (For the full section dedicated to the childfree lifestyle, here.

At this point, I would like to echo and reiterate Hymas’ statement that we are not “anti-child,” nor do we bear any ill will toward parents. We simply do not want to add to the population crisis, nor do we want to bring children into a world rife with instability. However, despite our good intentions, we are often marginalized, passed over for basic needs like healthcare, and treated as immature or irresponsible for our lifestyle choice. As such, we tend to keep this aspect of our lives private in polite company.

But I stand with Hymas in saying no more hiding in the shadows! We are who we are. We have made this choice for the good of Mother Earth, and there is no reason that we should be ashamed. So, come on, everybody — Let your GINK flag fly!

Is it REALY Organic?

Posted in Activism,Food, Gardening, & Agriculture by luvmyplanet on 12/02/2011

Yesterday, as I was browsing the produce aisle in my local Kroger, a sign advertising organic domestic beets caught my eye. Not having enjoyed roasted beets and beet greens since farmers market season, I felt my stomach rumble. As I was lifting a bunch to place in my shopping cart, a number on the twist tie caught my eye. It was a four-digit PLU code beginning with the number 4. Immediately, I put the bunch of beets back on the shelf.

What was the red flag with the PLU code? True organic produce is labeled with a five-digit PLU beginning with the number 9. This ensures that the produce is free of chemicals and — at least for the time being — genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The following list breaks everything down into a user-friendly format:

  • five-digit starting with 9 = certified organic
  • five-digit starting with 8 = genetically modified
  • four-digit starting with 3 or 4 = conventionally-grown

One word of warning — producers are not using the proper GMO PLU, due to lack of truth-in-advertising laws regarding GMOs. This means that produce bearing a four-digit code should be considered suspect. (To make your voice heard in favor of truth-in-advertising, visit the Organic Consumers Association.)

My rule of thumb is “better safe than sorry.” Even if the sign says “organic,” always check the PLU code. If there is a discrepancy, file a complaint, either in person or via the grocery store’s website. You don’t need a law degree to know what false advertising looks like.

Addendum: On a related note, check out this informative post on Sustainablog regarding greenwashing.

Fight Back Against GM Alfalfa

Posted in Activism,Food, Gardening, & Agriculture by luvmyplanet on 29/01/2011

As you may be aware, the USDA has approved Monsanto’s genetically modified alfalfa, despite the potential side effects that it could have on the people and animals who consume it. Almost as soon as the decision was publicized, Food and Water Watch responded with an action alert, calling upon President Obama to reverse the decision.

Now, I know you may ask what the point is, with the president having some of the pro-GMO crowd in his advisory circle. However, we can do this. Remember earlier this week, when Social Security cuts did not make the State of the Union address? That was due to public pressure. If we can convince him to preserve our post-retirement safety net (for now, anyway), we can convince him to keep this garbage out of our food supply.

And after you have taken action at Food and Water Watch, check out this article at Organic Consumers’ Association. It explains how Whole Foods, Stonyfield, and Organic Valley have caved and are now calling for coexistence with Monsanto. Be sure to read the entire article. At the end of it, you should be fired up enough to sign the petition calling for truth in labeling.

Support the FRAC Act

Posted in Activism by luvmyplanet on 15/01/2011

Currently, hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a “fracking”) is exempt from the provisions in the Safe Water Drinking Act. Last summer, both houses of Congress introduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act to repeal that exemption.

Although the current makeup of Congress spells little to no progress in environmental protection legislation for the next two years, it is still important that we make our voices heard. Josh Fox, the documentarian behind Gasland, has added an action alert to the film’s website to provide us with an easy way to do just that — tell Congress where we stand. Click here to show your support for the FRAC Act.
[If you do not know what fracking is, click here for an informative introduction.]

Action Alert: Internet Reclassification

Posted in Activism by luvmyplanet on 05/12/2010

This week, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski released a very weak net neutrality plan that allows too many loopholes for corporate giants like Comcast and AT&T to seriously impede our access to information online.

First of all, if you do not know about net neutrality, please go to SaveTheInternet.com. It contains everything you want to know but were afraid to ask about the topic. There are also several actions to take on net neutrality at this location.

If you are already educated on the topic, you may or may not know that the Federal Court of Appeals ruled in April that, under the Internet’s current classification as a Title I telecommunications service, the FCC cannot enforce framework protecting an open Internet. This is why at least two FCC commissioners (Copps and Clyburn) are supporting reclassification to Title II.

So, what’s a freedom-of-information-loving user of the Internet–any user–to do?

    The easiest thing to do is sign the petition at SaveTheInternet, calling on Chairman Genachowski to enact a REAL net neutrality framework.
    The next thing is to send a personal email to all five FCC commissioners to reclassify the Internet under Title II. Make Chairman Genachowski the primary recipient, and CC the rest. As always, write your message with respectful language.

It is highly critical that you contact the FCC, calling for real net neutrality. You can be guaranteed that the telecom lobbyists are swarming like maggots on rotting flesh. Our voices must drown them out. We were up against similar odds with the corporate media in 2003 and 2004, and we won. We can do this again!

America Recycles Day

Posted in Activism,Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by luvmyplanet on 14/11/2010


Just as I believe that Earth Day should be everyday, I believe that America Recycles Day should be everyday. That said, I did sign the pledge stating that I would honor the day tomorrow, November 15. Although I do not have enough cardboard and plastic to take to a community recycling bin yet, I do plan to take a large bag of shredded paper to the office bin in the morning.

However, regarding plastic, I believe that Van Jones has an even better idea: REFUSE! Just say no to single-use plastics. Bring your own cloth bags to the grocery store. Buy in bulk (using your own containers) to avoid excess packaging. Why should we refuse plastic? Well, for starters, the stuff is made of petrochemicals (i.e., oil-based). Even if you do not drive or use gas-powered tools, your use of plastic makes you dependent on oil. Second, until better technology is developed, plastic can only be recycled once. Then what? Back into the landfill or ocean? Third, the recycling process of plastic is carbon-intensive and releases pollutants into the atmosphere. If we worry about BPA in our food containers and avoid microwaving certain plastics, we should also be concerned about breathing the garbage in our day-to-day lives.

But still, America Recycles Day is a baby step. Alone, it will not save the world, but it should be honored. Even if you have to walk a few extra blocks to find a recycling bin, think twice before you throw that recyclable material in the regular trash. Take the time to ponder exactly where “away” is.

Excuse me? Did you say SIX miles per gallon?

Posted in Activism by luvmyplanet on 06/11/2010

Before I received this action alert from the Sierra Club, I thought Hummers were the worst offenders. Read on…

We rely on large trucks and buses every day for the transportation and the delivery of goods across the country. Some heavy-duty vehicles – including 18-wheelers, city buses, delivery trucks, and Class 8 tractor trailers – can cover as much 150,000 miles each year.

Unlike passenger vehicles, these vehicles – from large pickups to freight trucks and garbage trucks – have never been subject to federal fuel efficiency or global warming tailpipe pollution standards. Right now, the biggest trucks get only about six miles to the gallon!

Tell the EPA along with Department of Transportation to make sure the biggest trucks on the road emit less global warming pollution and cut our dependence on oil.

If you have not done so already, please take action.

Shut Down Conklin Dairy

Posted in Activism,Food, Gardening, & Agriculture by luvmyplanet on 05/11/2010

If you don’t think cruelty is involved in the dairy industry, watch this video exposé of some disturbing abuse at the Conklin Dairy.

If you are already aware and are disgusted by what happens behind the scenes, please sign the petition at the above link (a TinyUrl to Change.org), urging the Ohio government to shut down the Conklin Dairy.

With this state about to change hands to a governor and state legislature that are hostile to animal welfare issues, time is of the essence. Please make your voice heard!

Monsanto-Funded Candidates Win Races

Posted in Activism by luvmyplanet on 04/11/2010

“Monsanto spent $470,631 on the 2010 mid-term elections. Five of the candidates they supported lost their races, while ten won.”

Click here to see the list.

Then, take action!

Pledge to Defend Clean Energy

Posted in Activism by luvmyplanet on 03/11/2010

The election has helped climate deniers gain power, but I’m not going to be silent. Sign this pledge and join me in defending clean energy jobs and strong protections for our air and water: http://nrdcactionfund.org/pledge/cev.

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