A Road Trip To Remember

Published 09 07, 2012 – 12:00 AM Posted by: the bananapaper guy

Recently I took a road trip up to Oregon with my family to enjoy the outdoors and visit some of the oldest and biggest tree’s of the western coast. I enjoyed visiting with my family and sharing knowledge about the trees such as the type of tree it’s age and the breathtaking feelings that come to me when I am amongst these giant ancient forests.

Many of which are over a thousand years old and have managed to survive thoughtless deforestation! Along with all of the spectacular rivers, mountains, wildlife and scenery I did sight a few tell tale signs of man’s greed impacting our Earth.

One thing I noticed from my recent trip was a decreased amount of lumber mills from similar trips that started in 1990.   We are lead to believe that lumber mills are closing down due to environmental concerns. Which would lead us to think that we are not continuing the destruction of forests in our country and managing our natural resources better.

However this is not the case! What I did see and have photographed large ocean freighters being loaded with our lumber and shipped off to China, which then is shipped back to us.   The disturbing part is that we have increased logging and are doing less manufacturing of wood products here in the USA. Which means that fewer jobs domestically and more waste, increased carbons and natural resources being used inefficiently.

There is no logical reason why paper should come from trees for any use at all. I understand industry although I wish that it was more responsible and practiced more methods of being sustainable. If I could have it my way we would not cut trees at all but I have to be realistic about using wood. If we are going to cut trees at all it should be used for beautiful and comfortable furniture and cozy homes.

Upon my return home I was channel surfing and saw a commercial for a show called “American Loggers” as well as “Ax Men”.   Where the entire premise of the reality show was to follow around loggers while they cut and transport our forests to ports where the clear-cut trees are then shipped out to China and back to us, which you do not see in the TV series.

It’s no surprise that a good amount of what’s on television is garbage trying to sell something truly unsustainable, polluting our minds with subliminal messages about inconsequential consumerism. Just like violence has been integrated into entertainment and desensitized viewers, these shows are creating a detachment from our emotions and natural connections to our earth by putting a personality behind a chainsaw and not unique trees which should be recognized as hero’s.

The point is that we should be re-enforcing positive ideas and beliefs about taking care of our planet, not destroying it to make profit.
Yes people have to work to survive there are jobs and careers that don’t involve harming Earths natural resource’s and even possibly helping the environment.

Honestly think about the message that these types of shows are sending to not only our youth and also the rest of the world? In some places Trees are sacred and are celebrated as unique living beings that only enhance human interaction with the natural world.

As I finished this letter I thought of this quote which is my favorite poster in my office that reads: 
”When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, We Will Realize That Money Cannot be Eaten”
- Saying of the Cree Indians



Have Fun,

Greg

Eliminate toxic BPA in baby products

Eliminate toxic BPA in baby products Published September 21, 2010 -

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a widely used toxic chemical that acts in our bodies like the hormone estrogen. Hundreds of independent studies have linked BPA to a range of health problems, including increased susceptibility to breast and prostate cancer, early puberty and abnormalities in brain development and fat metabolism. More than 90 percent of people in the United States carry BPA residues in their bodies, and BPA has been found in urine, breast milk, amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood and other body fluids. Humans break down and excrete BPA within a few days, so the fact that the chemical is consistently measured in our bodies means that we are constantly being exposed. For most people, the biggest source of exposure is presumed to be contaminated food, as BPA has been detected in infant formula, canned food and beverages.

BPA was approved as a food additive by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1950s. During the Bush administration the FDA concluded that BPA exposure levels were “safe,” but the finding relied solely on two studies funded by the chemical industry, and was sharply criticized by the FDA’s own scientific board of advisors for being inconsistent with the available evidence. Today BPA remains unregulated. In the coming days the Senate is set to consider the Food Safety Modernization Act, which would address many of the threats to our food supply, including E coli. and salmonella contamination. But the bill currently does not include any provision to address contamination of our food supply with BPA. Senator Feinstein (D-CA) wants to offer an amendment that would at least eliminate the use of BPA in infant formula, baby food packaging, baby bottles and sippy cups. The chemical industry, however, is trying to prevent the food safety bills from coming to a vote. What to do
?  Send a message by voting with your dollars, purchase only sustainable and organic items that are obviously not plastic or toxic. By raising awareness and voting with our purchases we can eliminate the use of BPA in infant formula, baby food packaging, baby bottles and yes sippy cups.

 

Organic Eggs vs Regular Eggs – What’s Better?

Published June 21, 2010 – 2:32pm

Posted by: aaroneggs
Here’s a simple question “What is the difference between Organic Eggs and Regular Eggs”?

Wait a second, not so simple. As an avid egg eater, I buy a lot of groceries.   I get the Ralph eggs for anywhere between 17 to 25 cents an egg.   If I want to go the organic route, that number doubles or triples. Naturally, if I’m going to be paying double, I’d like to know the advantages. Hence, the catalyst of my quest to answer the question, “what is an organic egg”?
But wait there’s more. First lets go over the variety of eggs and then we’ll learn about the color of yolks.

• Brown eggs Eggshell color can vary but it has nothing to do with the quality, flavor, nutritive value, cooking characteristics or shell thickness of an egg. The eggshell color only depends upon the breed of the hen.

• Omega 3 enhanced eggs are from hens fed a diet flax seed or fish oils. Omega 3 enhanced eggs contain more omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin E than the regular eggs. An independent test conducted by the CBC’s TV show Marketplace found that omega-3 enhanced eggs contain approximately 7 times more omega 3 fatty acids than regular white eggs.

• Free-Run or Cage-free eggs are produced by hens that are able to move about the floor of the barn and have access to nesting boxes and perches. The nutrient content of these eggs is the same as that of regular eggs.

• Free-Range eggs are produced in a similar environment as cage-free eggs but hens have access to outdoor runs as well. The nutrient content of these eggs is the same as that of regular eggs.

• Processed eggs such as liquid egg whites or dried egg whites are shell eggs broken by special machines then pasteurized before being further processed and packaged in liquid, frozen or dried form. Process egg products may also contain preservatives and flavor or color additives.

  What does the color of the yolk mean?
Egg yolk color is determined by the type of feed a hen eats. A wheat-based diet will produce a pale yellow yolk, while a corn- or alfalfa-based diet yields a darker yellow yolk. The color of the yolk does not indicate egg quality, freshness, or nutritional value.

   Well OK, what about Organic?
According to Joel Salatin, farmer and author of You Can Farm “a broiler [meat chicken] can be fed certified organic feed in a confinement house, without fresh air and sunshine, without green salads, trucked for hours to a processing plant that electrocutes the bird and spills feces all over the carcass during evisceration, and be labeled ‘certified organic.’ In animal production, organic describes primarily diet, and everything else is either not mentioned at all or is secondary.” But according to other sources, if it says it’s organic, then it’s free range. I’m going to believe Joel on this one.

   Some more resources
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/13/organic-vs-conventional-h_n_201609.html
http://www.organicvalley.coop/faq/eggs/egg-whites/ 
http://www.aeb.org/LearnMore/EggFacts.htm
Tags: organic

535 million trees

Published February 3, 2009 – 2:42pm Posted by: The Banana Paper Guy

Americans use approximately 31.5 million tons of printing and writing paper each year, an amount requiring over 535 million trees and countless gallons of oil to produce (the figure of oil usage, you’d be embarrassed to know).

More paper products are now recovered than sent to landfills in the US, yet 65 percent of used printing and writing paper still ends up in the waste stream.  The pulp and paper industry ranks first in use of industrial process water, third in toxic chemical releases, and fourth in emissions of the air pollutants known to impair respiratory health.   Simple changes in our paper use and purchasing practices can help limit the depletion of forests and loss of habitat, reduce pollution and decrease the stress on our landfills.Purchasing products that are chlorine-free and include post-consumer fibers will reduce the strain on natural resources, promote resource conservation and waste reduction, and minimize toxic emissions.

Please choose environmentally-friendly papers for your school and office needs, carefully read the labels know the sourcing!