Thanks to Sustainable America for sending this video clip along to us!
The latest research on toxic chemicals in children's car seats was released last week by the non profit Ecology Center, www.healthystuff.org.
Hold on to your hats . . . Nearly three-quarters (73%) of seats tested contained hazardous halogenated flame retardants and over half contained non-halogenated organophosphate flame retardants, some of which are hazardous as well. The study finds the hazardous flame retardant chemicals and alternatives used by companies are poorly regulated, putting consumers at risk, and questions the fire safety benefit of using these chemicals. “This is one more example of a consumer product containing extremely toxic chemicals that expose children. It is a huge concern,” stated Anne Hulick, RN, MS, JD, Coordinator of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut.
Best 2014-15 Car Seats:
Worst 2014-15 Car Seats:
Other brands with products tested include: Chicco, Cybex, Dorel Juvenile Group (Eddie Bauer, Safety First), Evenflo, Harmony Juvenile, Orbit Baby, Peg Perego.
HealthyStuff.org is now asking the one of the largest manufacturers of car seats, Graco, to take leadership to disclose and phase out hazardous chemical flame retardant additives. Consumers are encouraged to sign our petition to Graco at HealthyStuff.org.
Since 1996, researchers at the Ecology Center have tested over 17,000 consumer products, including over 370 children’s car seats, for chemical hazards. Research is conducted both through the Ecology Center’s HealthyStuff.org in-house lab and collaborating laboratories.
The Ecology Center is a Michigan-based, nonprofit environmental organization working at the local, regional and national levels for a safe and healthy environment where people live, work, and play. Our HealthyStuff.org program is a national leader in testing products and disclosing information on hazardous chemicals in consumer products.
It all started with a massive clean out of toys from the basement. “We’d heard on the news that lead paint had been detected in all Thomas the Tank Engine toys,” says Jim Barber, co-founder of Luke’s Toy Factory. “My son, Luke, was a huge fan of Thomas so he had a hard time letting them go.” Barber also noticed that every toy he picked up was made in China, “That day, I knew there had to be a better way to make healthy toys that are made in America,” Barber says.
Today, Sandy Hook residents Jim Barber and his son Luke are gearing up to launch their own line of non-toxic toys made from a mixture of plastic composite and saw dust from furniture manufacturing, eliminating the need for paint and making them a more sustainable option.
A corporate photographer by trade, Barber says, “It was tough to find injection molding companies that would take us seriously enough to work with us.” “We had to search high and low for American based companies that were innovative enough to give a new material a try.”
But they succeeded – and have been instrumental in bringing consciousness to companies who previously hadn’t considered sustainability. “The companies we are working with value innovation and understand that sustainability is where business must go,” Barber says. Along the way, Luke’s Toy Factory is creating a sustainable manufacturing eco-system that will keep jobs local and money flowing back into the community. “There’s a perception out there that large corporations are only in it for the money and they don’t care about the environment, but there are people working in these companies who do,” Barber says. And we’ve been lucky enough to find them.
Following a successful KickStarter campaign, Luke’s Toy Factory will begin production of its first line of toys this summer. You can pre-order a fire truck on their website.
Join Slow Food Shoreline for an afternoon discussion to help plan your 2014 garden, Sunday May 4th from 1-4PM at the Luck & Levity Brewshop, 118 Court St in New Haven.
Come to learn some basics, discuss common issues, and receive tips on planning ahead for preservation. Seasoned experts, weekend garden warriors, and beginning gardeners are all welcome. Bring your extra seeds and seedlings, and swap for new favorites with other gardeners. The event is free to all. Click here to register.
By Anne Staley
Recycling is a state law in Connecticut. Everyone – from individuals to institutions – is required by law to separate their recyclables from regular trash. But instead of looking on the state as the enforcer, we need to consider it our partner helping us achieve our recycling goals and stay on the right side of the law.
We all must think of ourselves as model citizens of our country and our state. We pay our taxes, we follow rules, we help the community, we show up for jury duty, we never break the law…wait a minute….never break the law? Is that correct now? Before you say, “of course,” consider this: every time you fail to separate your recyclable trash from your solid municipal waste in Connecticut, you’re breaking the law!
Connecticut may be one of the least extensive states in the country, but within its small borders rural areas and tiny towns co-exist in complete harmony with large industrial cities. It’s a state where architectural masterpieces steeped in history make a sharp contrast to modern-day urban skyscrapers. It’s a state where rolling hills, thick forests, horse farms, and white sandy beaches dot the landscape.
Recycling in Connecticut
The way solid trash is disposed in the state of Connecticut has gone an overhaul of sorts over the last couple of decades. A lot of it had to do with the closing of landfills in the late 1980s and early 1990s, many of which failed to meet the modern sanitary regulations and posed humongous health hazards.
In an effort to better manage its solid waste, the state adopted a solid waste management hierarchy that laid out first source reduction followed by recycling, composting, waste-to-energy, and finally land filling as the preferred methods to handle trash.
by Heather Burns
I first met Peter Fusaro, owner, Preferred Builders at a Fairfield County GreenDrinks event that I organized. As we chatted, I remember thinking that Peter wasn't your typical building guy. Unlike many, he was interested in and committed to figuring out how the built environment relates to creating sustainable and resilient communities.
Like most eco-entrepreneurs, Peter is wired to persist until he is successful. And as a winner of the CT Zero Energy Challenge, he's well on his way. The Zero Energy Challenge is Connecticut's premier competition to build homes that consume almost no energy. Homes that produce energy on-site. Homes with cleaner air. Advanced designs and integrated systems that are changing the way we think about residential construction.
Friday and Saturday, June 14th and 15th
$35.00 to Register
21 and Up
This is an exciting opportunity to celebrate beverage producers who pull together local ingredients to make ciders, mead, artisan beverages, and brews. This event is a huge fundraiser for the Sustainable Business Network and all of New England is encouraged to join in the fun. In addition to unlimited 2 ounce tastes tests of the locally brewed and cultivated beverages, people are welcome to taste tests of locally produced food from local companies such as Taza Chocolates and Valicenti Organico. Local ingredients from cranberries to hops will be presented by experts in the beverage industry. Moreover, for the first time ever, there will be a presentation of a hyper-local home brew showcase that will celebrate home brewing and brewing with locally grown ingredients, an experience that will encourage local brewers in the New England region by showing them the resources that are available to them. This event runs in three different sessions that can be mixed and matched at will during registration. Any over the age of 21 is encouraged to register for what is sure to be an exciting and enlightening experience.
An Overview of the Sessions
Session I: Hyper-Local Home Brew Showcase Night & Brewfest
Friday, June 14, 2013, 6:30 - 9:30pm
Session II: Hyper-Local Brewfest
Saturday, June 15, 2013, 3:00 - 6:00pm
Session III: Hyper-Local Brewfest
Saturday, June 15, 2013, 7:00 - 10:00pm
To register for the event and learn more information on the different sessions: http://hyperlocalbrew.eventbrite.com/
Tags: Localvores, MA, New England Beverage Producers, Somerville, Sustainable Business Network, Sustainable Events
10:00 AM-4:00 PM
West Hartford, CT
Free And Open to the Public!
The CT Holistic Chamber of Commerce presents Re:Create CT; an up-cycle, and green living event that will take place on Saturday May 4th, from 10am-4pm in Elizabeth Park, West Hartford. It will be the destination event of the year for like-minded people, both business and consumers whose commitment and purpose is to foster a healthier community. Free to the public. It’s evident that this “going green” trend is on the rise and Connecticut seems to be taking notice. But with so many businesses and practitioners are offering alternative methods to health and wellness, they still struggle with accessibility to the masses. The CT Holistic Chamber of Commerce has created this event with a mission to change all that. Re:Create CT will have three distinct elements, all tied together by the “green” theme. An artisan marketplace will provide a fun and unique shopping experience with artists who specialize in up-cycling, re-purposing, and using eco-friendly materials. Think about those old vinyl records you have in the basement… ever think about turning them into party bowls? ........ The Opportunities are endless!!
13 April 2013
$15.00 per Person
People's Action for Clean Energy (PACE) is sponsoring a tour that will introduce the public to the latest trends in solar power. This tour will feature two seminars, where experts in the field will talk about how implementing solar panels can help everyone to live cleaner, healthier lives. There will be a presentation on how the solar panels will be able to charge electric vehicles enough that they will be able to handle an 18 mile commute before the fuel from the gas tank even needs to take over. Owners of these electric vehicles will also be available to share their real experiences with these cars. Later, guests will be able to see how entire houses can be customized to reduce energy costs both to the environment and to the family budget. Also, guests will see the incredible opportunity for cost shaving that can be captured by encouraging their entire community to go green. Registration for this tour is required and is non-refundable and it costs a mere $15.
Register Here: http://www.pace-cleanenergy.org/site/webtickets/tour20130413
2 April 2013
Registration Fee Depends on Status
Nathan Hale Inn & Conference Center
The Northeast Recylcing Council is hosting Collecting Textiles: Make it Work for Your Community at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. This event will offer municipalities, recycling coordinators, schools, colleges, universities, and civic groups an opportunity to learn key information about key players in the textile reuse and recycling industry. The even will also include practical information on how community leaders can set up textile reuse/recycling programs that can work for them. For a full schedule of the day, feel free to check out the agenda here.
*Registration Ends March 19, 2013: So Register Now
NERC Member (Board or Advisory Member): $285
Students, Nonprofits, Municipal Employees: $100
For More Information: http://www.nerc.org/
To Register: http://www.nerc.org/registration/indexSpg13.php
Tags: Civic Groups, Connecticut, Municipalities, Nathan Hale Inn and Conference Center, NERC, Recycling, Reuse, Storrs, Textiles, UCONN, Universities, University of Connecticut
2 March 2013
Registration Fee Depends on Status
Wilton High School
Join the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association as they celebrate 31 years of growing better together! There will be over fifty vendors providing fresh local food, crafts, and books as well as a raffle that includes offerings such as a basket of gardening supplies. Lunch will be Included for an extra fee, but it is worth the price. During the lunch break, attendees have the opportunity to taste delicious local flavors concocted by chefs involved in Fairfield County's farm-to-restaurant program. The New Connecticut Farming alliance will also meet during this time to discuss news and share information.
Guests may select from a wide variety of workshops to attend. There is no need to register for your desired workshop, you may simply show up at the allotted classroom. A program will be handed out to you upon registration that looks exactly like the link provided above. Parents and families are welcome to participate in children's workshops as well. There will also be a screenings of the GMO documentary "Genetic Roulette" throughout the afternoon, where Elaine Titus of GMO Free CT and GMO Free Moms will be available to answer any questions.
Schedule for the Day Registration Fees
8:30-9:30 : Registration (pre-register at this link) Non-Member: $60
9:30-10:45: Workshop I Member: $50
11:00-12:30: Opening announcements and Keynote Student/Senior: $35
12:30-2:00: Lunch Children: FREE
2:15: 3:30: Workshop II *Lunch is optional: an extra $15 for adults
3:45 to 5:00 ~ Workshop II and $8 for children
2013 Conference Program: http://www.ctnofa.org/winterconference/2013%20WC%20programOPT.pdf
Register at: http://www.ctnofa.org/winterconference/2013WC_registration.html
If you forget to register for lunch: http://www.ctnofa.org/winterconference/winterconference_lunch_registration.html
For more Information: http://www.ctnofa.org/winterconference/index.html
Posted at 05:56 PM in Agriculture, Arts, At Home, At Work, Citizen Action, Education, Environmental Issues, Events, Family & Parenting, Film, Food , Garden, Healthcare, Kids, Organic, Organizations, People | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Connecticut, CT, CT NOFA, Fairfield County, Farm-to-restaurant, Green Agriculture, Green Events CT, Local Flavor, NCFA, NOFA, Wilton, Winter Conference
April 4th, 2013
FREE, Registration Required
Central Connecticut State University
New Britain, Connecticut
The CCSU Global Environmental Sustainability Action Coalition invites the public to learn and to teach one another about the actions that we, as human beings, must take to ensure that we live in such a way that we are able to satisfy our needs while ensuring that our children and grandchildren will be able to satisfy their own. The symposium will offer 3 classes, two performances, a panel discussion, a tour, and an optional attendance at the town meeting, as well as opening and closing notes from distinguished professionals in sustainability. This event is FREE: anyone can register online to show up. *Exhibitor tables are still open.
9:45-10:00 AM: Symposium opening and welcome with Dr. Charles Button and Dr. Jack Miller (tentative) at Alumni Hall
10:00-10:45: Transportation, Migration, and Sustainability in Four Worlds Alumni Hall
Dr. John Kelmelis expands upon a possibility raised by the United States National Intelligence Council when they published Global Trends 2030: Alternative World. This work explores four very possible future worlds. Dr. Kelmelis will explain what each of these worlds might mean for our future as well as what strategies we might use to make the most of each circumstance at the local, regional, national, and global levels.
11:00-11:45: Panel Discussion: Electric Cars and Alternative Vehicles Alumni Hall
The president of the New England Electric Auto Association (Dave Oliveria), an environmental writer and speaker (Jim Motavalli), the Senior Associates Autos Editor for Consumer Reports (Eric Evarts), and a natural gas car owner (Joe Booth) all come together in one place to talk about the real value that hybrid, extended hybrid, and electric vehicles hold. This is a special opportunity to discover what users and reviewers genuinely think about these alternative vehicles.
12:00-1:45 (*with second free registration): Water Wars Performance and Lunch Alumni Hall
While you enjoy your lunch, the Sonia Plumb Dance Company will be performing Water Wars. This is an emotionally charged piece of art that exposes the very important and very tenuous relationship that human beings have with one of our primary sources of life: water.
Posted at 03:46 PM in Air Quality, Architecture, Arts, At Home, At Work, Automobiles, Citizen Action, Corporate Social Responsibility, Education, Energy , Environmental Issues, Events, Government, Green Building , Healthcare, Organizations, People, Renewable Energy, Resources, Schools, Transportation | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Central Connecticut State University, Connecticut, Connecticut State Universities, Exhibits, Free, Free Green Events, Green Connecticut, Green Events, New Britain CT, Sustainability, Sustainability Events, Town Hall
NEW YORK (August 21, 2012) – Americans are throwing away 40 percent of food in the U.S., the equivalent of $165 billion in uneaten food each year, according to a new analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council. In a time of drought and skyrocketing food prices, NRDC outlines opportunities to reduce wasted food and money on the farm, in the grocery store and at home.
“As a country, we’re essentially tossing every other piece of food that crosses our path – that’s money and precious resources down the drain,” said Dana Gunders, NRDC project scientist with the food and agriculture program. “With the price of food continuing to grow, and drought jeopardizing farmers nationwide, now is the time to embrace all the tremendous untapped opportunities to get more out of our food system. We can do better.”
NRDC’s issue brief – Wasted: How America is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm To Fork to Landfill – analyzes the latest case studies and government data on the causes and extent of food losses at every level of the U.S. food supply chain. It also provides examples and recommendations for reducing this waste. Key findings include:
By Eileen Weber
Trudy Dujardin was green long before the color described more than just your front lawn. She built her design business in 1982. By 1987, she saw the need for an environmentally friendly approach. She now refers to her designs as “eco-elegance.”
Dujardin, President and Founder of Dujardin Design Associates with offices in Westport and Nantucket, has been quoted as saying that a healthy home is the ultimate luxury. But when asked why she feels that way, she was almost a little stumped. She has been living and breathing the green industry for so long that, for her, it would be one “big goof” to have a home that wasn’t healthy.
“Why would you want anything toxic near your family?” she countered. “A home can be beautiful and it can be healthy. How luxurious is it if you’re smelling off-gasses?”
Looking for a stress-free way to shovel the snow this winter? Why not try the Sno Wovel? This contraption made by New Canaan-based Structure Solutions II, LLC, clears snow away three times faster than snow blowers and does it without the fumes. See an excerpt below from a press release posted on the Environmental News Network.
"Structured Solutions II announced the launch of their newly-designed wheeled snow shovel this fall. The all new Folding Frame Sno Wovel® debuts in a new category of hybrid tools, combining safety for the user, protection of the environment and high-performance. The Sno Wovel is the only human-powered snow removal device performing equal to or better than a snow blower. No fuel, fumes and deafening noise to harm the environment or the operator. The Sno Wovel's zero-carbon footprint and maintenance-free design makes it a formidable competitor to noisy combustion engine snow blowers."
To read more of the press release, click here. For more information about the Sno Wovel, visit their web site or call their customer service at 877.699.6835.
Long time Connecticut resident, (and occasional CT Green Scene contributor) Barry Katz, has just published an informative new book: PRACTICAL GREEN REMODELING: Down-to-Earth Solutions for Everyday Homes.
Published by Taunton Press, the book offers a compelling argument for remodeling green, guiding readers through process with over 200 color photographs of green remodeling projects from across the country.
What sets this book apart from the many how-to books on the subject is the author's emphasis on the "what to" and the "why to" of going green at home.
Asked what inspired him to write this book, Katz said, "I wanted not only to show readers what is possible, and often easy, to achieve in terms of creating energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and healthy living environments, but to provide a clear explanation of the complex and interconnected issues that make going green such a compelling choice for a growing number of people around the world."
Tags: Barry Katz eco-friendly homes, energy efficiency, green building, green building ct, green homes, Green remodeling, indoor air quality, indoor environmental quality
from our sponsor Green Star Energy Solutions
Did we even need to drill the Deepwater Horizon oil well to begin with? Actually, no. There are over 100 million homes in the U.S. Most of them use energy inefficiently because they’re not well insulated or sealed. in fact, the energy contained in the biggest oil spill in U.S. history is equal to the energy that just 75,000 homes waste in a single year.
Seventy-five thousand homes represent less than 0.1 percent of all single-family homes in the U.S. or the number of homes in a single mid-sized U.S. city, like Providence, R.I., or Chattanooga, Tenn. So basically, doing energy retrofits to make those homes efficient would save the equivalent of the entire Gulf Oil Spill every year.
It's everyone's guess how much it’ll end up costing to clean up the disaster created by the Gulf Oil Spill. And when a final number is calculated, years from now, there’s no way that it’ll take into account the true extent of the environmental damage that the oil spill has created. But even in the preliminary estimates made before the oil has finished flowing, the cost is expected to exceed $40 billion.
How much does completing 75,000 home energy retrofits cost - less than $1 billion. And those retrofits – using low-tech and low-cost techniques like better insulation, air sealing, replacing furnaces with more efficient versions – are permanent. And those 75,000 retrofits save energy year after year. Every year that goes by, those 75,000 homes will save the equivalent energy of the entire Gulf Oil Spill.
Last week I
wrote about a pizza place in Avon and no one said a word. Over the holidays I
penned two articles expressing my displeasure about shopping at Discount Food
Outlet in Canton; and readers are still writing in droves to expressing their
displeasure about my perspective, even attacking me personally. More than one
comment suggested that I leave town since I didn’t like it. I was both
confronted and amused by such responses.
confrontation part is obvious, I hope—no one likes being openly despised, especially
by people they are unacquainted with. Unfortunately, humans seem all too
willing to express malice towards those people with opinions that do not match
their own (see our current political climate). In my mind, this is akin to
hating the guy next to you because you don’t like the color of his tie. Ties,
like opinions can, and do, get changed. The life that wears that tie or has
that opinion, however, is no less precious, and we are all hard-wired to
preserve it. Fortunately that is not all us humans are born with. Laughter,
they say, is the best medicine.
In another sense, I was very much amused by all the uproar realizing people’s anger was not
because of an unpopular stance on abortion or gay marriage, but a grocery store.
Now that is funny!!! I had no
idea that people were so attached to where they bought their food. Shame on me,
though, as food is always chock-full of intimate meaning for people. Lesson
In the wake of the fallout from the DFO articles, this week allow me to
offer a more personal piece that I hope will establish a context for what I
write, and why I write it; a kind of road map to my inner gastronome.
The first item on the colloquial menu is the term “connoisseur”; this is what I consider myself in the food arena. Think of it as the “who does this guy think he is?” part of my writing. The second proffering is the usefulness of critique and analysis. While criticism nearly always gets a bad rap, I think we need critics and critical understandings of any subject, food included. As subjectivity is common to all of us, being critical can actually help us appreciate even our least favorite ideas by allowing us to see there is always another side to any story. But first, the connoisseur…
Via Debra Caviness
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced the state is dedicating $4 million in federal stimulus funds to help homeowners and businesses pay for the installation of solar-powered hot water heating systems, an investment that will lower utility bills and promote the use of alternative fuels.
“I am proud of Connecticut’s leadership in promoting and using greener, cleaner technology,” Governor Rell said. “This incentive will help hundreds of families and businesses make the switch to renewable energy by saving them money on installation costs and ultimately their hot water bills. It would also be a much-needed boost in business for those who sell and install these systems.”The new Solar Thermal Incentive Program is part of the comprehensive State Energy Plan that has qualified for $38 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The broad-based plan includes programs that:
Tags: CCEF, clean energy ct, Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, ct green business, ct green living, federal stimulus ct, governor jodi rell, Lisa Dondy, renewable energy ct, solar hot water incentives, Solar Thermal Incentive Program
by Heather Burns-DeMelo
The cleaning products we use in our homes contain pesticides, neurotoxins and other poisons that are giving us cancer, respiratory illness, ADHD and more. Pets and children are particularly sensitive, as their systems are still developing. And after they're finished wreaking havoc on us in our homes, they make their way to our water supply. Did you know that you can't just throw away your laundry detergent because it's considered HAZARDOUS WASTE?!
This news segment had my mouth gaping open.
by Eileen Weber
I have a confession to make. I went to a sex shop. Now, I know what you’re thinking. No, it wasn’t one of those seedy little holes-in-the-wall with darkened windows displaying triple neon X's. It was more of a boudoir novelty store that was actually quite tasteful and fun.
The host was Margaret Wagner, CEO and Creative Director of Bedroom Matters in Westport. I went with a dozen other women like me, married with kids looking for a little “sexploration” to spice things up.
“People come into the store looking for permission to feel good and comfortable about themselves,” said Wagner. “They’re looking for something like that in a safe environment.”
The store’s biggest sellers are lingerie, candles, books, and toys. While only some of the products she sells can be considered eco-friendly, she said she is aware there’s a growing market for it. Of the adult toys she sells, she prefers those with rechargeable batteries. “I’m always looking for high quality toys that last a long time.”
With this recent visit to Wagner’s store, it got me thinking: has the sex industry gone green, too? Why yes, indeed. A quick Google search turned up tons of sites completely devoted to the green experience between the sheets.
So I live in Stratford, a smallish town of 50,000, here in our fair state, New England. Since I am not from this part of the country, I have discovered a curious quirk of the New English people -- they take political landscaping to an entirely different level than anywhere else I have ever lived.
In Connecticut there is no real county government, and the State government is mostly ignored. Instead, there are 169 “municipalities” that all have their own way of doing things. Actually, that is putting it lightly. Town governments in Connecticut are more like rivals on "Survivor", where the shared dialect across townline is usually "F--- you! We're the REAL Daughters of the Revolution and we're preserving our individual, municipal rights, even if we have to use canning jars and vinegar!"
For example, in the case of road maintenance, for example, the municipalities, in total, have 17,115 road miles that they are required to maintain… 4.5 times the number that the State maintains. As a result, the sheer cost of road maintenance (hmmm, every town has their own rules, storage sheds, equipment, crews, etc.) is enormous.
As far as I can see, the only thing consistent across the municipalities is enforced by the State law requiring that a very bored looking police officer be on every roadwork site, either sitting in his squad car reading a Harlequin Romance, or chatting with one or more of the otherwise-idle workers about the imminent threat of terrorism in Haddam Neck.
So, fast forward to this week, when I started to research the RECYCLING PROGRAM in Stratford...