Posts filed under ‘Pollution’
Neil Ward is outraged—and you should be, too.
Ward lives along the Androscoggin River in Maine, which inspired the Clean Water Act of 1972 (CWA). The Environmental Protection Agency claims that the CWA has “implemented pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry and set water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters.” But Neil Ward and the Androscoggin River tell a different story:
“My family has lived along the Androscoggin River for four generations. As a boy, I was taught to stay away from the river because of its polluted state. It was covered with foam and dead fish floating on top of the foam. The river was never safe to be near.”
Despite the passing of the CWA, Ward says that the Androscoggin is still heavily polluted. It is for this reason that the Androscoggin River Alliance was founded in 2004.
Androscoggin River Alliance
The mission of the Androscoggin River Alliance is “to work together for a healthy river, good jobs, strong communities and to give the citizens of the Androscoggin River Valley a collective voice in the future of the river’s policy, planning and management.”
Neil Ward is the Alliance’s passionate program director. I had the pleasure of hearing his story at the Washington, D.C., Green Festival on Oct. 24.
Who is to blame for the Androscoggin pollution?
The Verso Paper Mill located in Jay, Maine, says that its sustainability philosophy is all about “making the products our customers want and need while leaving the smallest footprint possible.” In spite of its philosophy, Ward says Verso continues to dump 40 million gallons of polluted wastewater per day into the river.
To offset the pollution, Verso is required to pump thousands of pounds of oxygen per day into the river.
However, Ward says that the oxygen injections still don’t bring the Androscoggin up to even the lowest standards of the CWA.
And the largest customer of Verso goes to…
…National Geographic! The very magazine that promotes a “Green Guide” section purchases about 10 percent of all the paper produced at Verso. It continues to be one of the few magazines that still refuses to print on 100 percent recycled paper. The only recycled content National Geographic contains is on the front cover.
The Androscoggin River Alliance isn’t the only environmental group fighting back
It has teamed up with Maine’s largest environmental organization, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and Green America’s Better Paper Project to increase the power of its message to Verso. Ward says that Green America has tried for nearly a decade to get National Geographic to incorporate recycled content into its magazine production with no success.
National Geographic—“Practice What You Print!”
How can a magazine that tells its readers how to reduce their Water Footprints do nothing to reduce its own?
Help stop the Androscoggin pollution and tell National Geographic to “Practice What It Prints:”
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GoGreenNatGeo
- Twitter: @GoGreenNatGeo
- Organize your campus: If you are a high school or college student, get your friends involved with the Practice What You Print campaign. Contact Sophie Glass for more information.
- Join the Androscoggin River Alliance. Sign up here to join the mailing list and receive the latest news and updates.
- Voice your opinion. Write a letter to the editor of National Geographic urging him to Practice What He Prints.
Every little bit of pressure we can put on National Geographic to use environmentally friendly printing practices helps!
Mother Earth needs us now more than ever.
The Gulf of Mexico was nearly destroyed by gushing oil in April. Pakistan recorded record-setting temperatures of 128.3°F in May. And now researchers are saying that Arctic ice is younger, thinner and disappearing more than ever.
Global warming is REAL and we must do something to stop it.
It’s not too late for your company or organization to start saving the planet with a 10-10-10 Global Work Party event!
What is 10-10-10?
The idea behind the 10-10-10 Global Work Party is simple: On Oct. 10, 2010, people from all over the globe will join forces to work on a project that helps reduce carbon emissions to fight global warming.
You can get involved by doing something as simple as replacing old bulbs with new energy efficient ones at your company or organization. Or, you could ride your bike to work with a co-worker or two instead of driving there.
Check out more work party ideas here!
Why Should You Care?
Global warming is a harsh reality that we all must face. By convincing ourselves that global warming doesn’t exist, we are only hurting ourselves and our planet in the end.
If you don’t believe me, then check out what Al Gore has to say:
What is 350?
The sponsor of the Global Work Party, 350.org, claims that 350 is “the most important number in the world.”
What makes 350 so important? Well, scientists say that 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is the safe limit for humans. The planet is currently at 390 ppm of CO2. It is important for humans to lower their carbon emissions or else the planet will be at constant risk for human and natural disasters.
How to Plan Your Party Fast!
350.org offers 10 easy steps to quickly organize your very own work party:
1. Choose a work party project and register. (It’s a good idea to register your party so that it is easier for people in your community to get involved.)
2. Gather your friends, neighbors and co-workers.
3. Plan the work.
4. Plan the party.
5. Spread the word about what you’re doing to save the planet.
6. Invite elected officials.
7. Invite the media.
8. Make your work party visual by hanging a sign or banner. (Don’t forget to take a group photo!)
9. Work hard, then party hard.
10. Follow up and share what you did with others.
You would be doing your community and your planet good to plan your own work party. So get up and get going because you only have three days left!