Pesticide industry spending ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ to slow U.S. bee protection

June 17, 2016 by  
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Would it surprise you to hear that the pesticide industry is actively working to halt measures that would protect bees from dying in record numbers across the continent? A new report published by Friends of the Earth (FOE) this week lists the tactics the industry is using to get in the way of much needed federal and state legislation and, spoiler alert, there are a lot of them. Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 44 percent of honeybee colonies nationwide died off last year, marking a sharp increase in the destruction that has a devastating trickle-down effect on American food crops. Yet, the pesticide industry still works to block protective legislation and it’s all because they stand to make a profit on the death of our important pollinators. For years, chemical researchers and entomologists have been building a case against pesticides, composed of overwhelming evidence that widespread use of the chemicals—primarily in agriculture but also in public parks and residential areas— threatens bee populations in a very real way. Without wild honeybees, the nation’s crops and food supplies are in danger , so many agencies at the federal and state level have considered programs to protect bees, ranging from pesticide bans to protected “honeybee corridors” to “pro-bee-iotics” that may protect the buzzing beauties from dangerous chemicals. Related: 44 percent of U.S. honeybee colonies died off last year FOE’s 29-page report ( PDF ) comes with an ominous title: “Buzz Kill: How the Pesticide Industry is Clipping the Wings of Bee Protection Efforts Across the U.S.” But, the severity of the language seems appropriate, given the report’s findings. Following an in-depth evaluation of continued efforts by the pesticide industry to interfere with or block protective programs for bee populations. The report says the industry is spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars” at the federal and state level to lobby against measures that would reduce or ban pesticide use, leading to weak legislation that does more to protect pesticide companies than bees. The FOE report also claims the pesticide industry has “infiltrated federal regulatory agencies” through employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency who previously worked for different regulatory agencies and companies including Bayer, Syngenta, and Monsanto , which all profit from pesticide use. FOE also charges the pesticide industry with creating misinformation campaigns against bee-protecting legislation, by “directly funded or influenced science by donating to education initiatives and building strategic alliances with academics.” Despite the industry’s efforts, some states are making forward progress to protect bees. Earlier this spring, Maryland became the first state in the country to ban neonicotinoids, the class of pesticides with strong links to the decline in bee populations. Other types of pesticides harm bees , too, which means reducing pesticide use or restricting certain varieties is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to protecting bee populations. Federal and state lawmakers must be free to evaluate their options without the tainted influence of the industry that seeks only to profit from the destruction of our delicate ecosystem. + Friends of the Earth Images via Shutterstock ( 1 , 2 ) and Friends of the Earth

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Pesticide industry spending ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ to slow U.S. bee protection

Beautiful zero-waste bowls are made entirely from leaves

June 17, 2016 by  
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Nicknamed the “one-way dishes,” these leaf bowls are made with zero plastics, additives, oils, glues, or chemicals. All bowls are made in a German factory near Munich using CNC mills and pressing machines. Each biodegradable bowl is made from three layers: a waterproof leaf-made paper layer sandwiched between two layers of pressed and stitched leaves. The bowls also come with an optional lid made from bioplastic or recycled plastic . Related: Award-winning biodegradable agar packaging could replace plastic “This is not only about outdoor tableware,” writes Leaf Republic. “It is about food packaging. It is about preventing plastic waste. It is about preventing trees from being cut for paper production. It is about the next generations.” Leaf Republic is currently raising funds to take their biodegradable tableware off the ground and into a fully automated production line. You can help the company and buy a set of Leaf Republic plates by pledging support on their Kickstarter . + Leaf Republic Kickstarter Images via Leaf Republic

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Beautiful zero-waste bowls are made entirely from leaves

3 Easy, last-minute DIY gifts for nature lovers

December 16, 2015 by  
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There are only a few short weeks standing between now and the New Year, which means it’s crunch time for holiday gift giving . And if you’re anything like us, you probably have a few people on your shopping list who share your appreciation for all things natural. So why not consider making them a special gift this year? Hit the jump to see three easy projects you can do yourself that are bound to make your friends or family members feel extra special this year. Read the rest of 3 Easy, last-minute DIY gifts for nature lovers

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14 affordable green gifts under $50

November 27, 2015 by  
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Want to get your friends and family great green gifts but don’t have a lot to spend? Our 2015 Gifts Under $50 Guide is chock full of interesting, eco-friendly and off-the-beaten path presents everyone will love. From this cool cutter that turns old bottles into glasses to a handmade scarf that doubles as a purse to a handy kit that lets you can your own food at home , check out all of the affordable gift ideas in our guide here. GIFTS UNDER $50 >

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VIDEO: How To Make Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Cupcakes

October 9, 2015 by  
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Pumpkin pie might be tried and true, but if you want to make a unique fall treat that will have your friends and family begging for the recipe, check out our scrumptious vegan pumpkin chocolate chip muffin cupcakes ! Our resident pâtissier, the incredibly adorable Petey Rojas, takes you through the steps, which are so easy that a 3 year old could master them (and we have the video to prove it). So what are you waiting for? Make these delicious vegan treats today! SEE THE FULL RECIPE ON INHABITOTS >

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VIDEO: How To Make Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin Cupcakes

6 Delicious Pumpkin Recipes to help you celebrate fall!

October 9, 2015 by  
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James Corner Field Operations unveil plans for new Underline rail park in Miami

August 12, 2015 by  
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Could England be getting a life-size version of this Lord of the Rings city?

August 12, 2015 by  
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If you’ve always pictured yourself as a hero of Tolkien-esque proportions, here’s your chance to live like one. A group of architects and structural engineers are running an Indiegogo campaign to lift Tolkein’s fantastical city of Minas Tirith out of Middle Earth and plop it right into middle England. With the less-than-modest goal of raising more than $3 billion in 60 days, they need your help, especially if you have a few billion dollars earmarked for odd urban development projects. Read the rest of Could England be getting a life-size version of this Lord of the Rings city?

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Could England be getting a life-size version of this Lord of the Rings city?

Why we should worry about the cocaine problem facing Italian eels

June 11, 2015 by  
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There are vast quantities of man-made waste polluting our oceans and waterways—studies have found that fish are being poisoned by plastic microbeads and around 50 percent of sea turtles are ingesting our plastic waste . But the eels of Italy’s Sarno River have an additional concern; around 15 grams of cocaine flow down the highly polluted waterway every day—that’s around $1300-1800 worth. Scientists have been exposing European eels to low doses of the drug to see what the long term effects are, and while there’s no word on whether or not the slippery creatures become outrageously tedious to their friends, it’s clear the drug has some highly troublesome effects on the eels. Read the rest of Why we should worry about the cocaine problem facing Italian eels Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: cocaine river , eels cocaine , eels pollution , environmental health , italy eels , polluted waterways , sarno river , water issues , water pollution

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Why we should worry about the cocaine problem facing Italian eels

10 enchanting gardens around the world will inspire and amaze you

May 19, 2015 by  
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It’s no secret around here at Inhabitat that we love gardens. We love them all: big ones, tiny ones , urban ones, vertical ones , and especially the ones that make you go, “Wow!” We also love how the interpretation of a garden can be vastly different from one spot on the globe to another. Since inspiration can be found in so many forms, we’ve scoured the globe and rounded up 10 of the most enchanting gardens around the world for you to pay a virtual visit to. Bring your friends and children along, because there truly is something for everyone in this list. READ MORE > Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beautiful gardens of the world , destination gardens , garden tourism , gardens of the world , green spaces , inspiring gardens , inspiring green spaces , most enchanting gardens

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