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[1THING] Blog: Archive for the ‘1THING Portland’ Category

[ Mercury Guidelines For Pregnant Women Don’t Go Far Enough ]

(from The Oregonian)

If you’re expecting or breastfeeding, might want to lay off the tuna.

A new study found that almost 30 percent of pregnant women who eat a lot of fish had more mercury in their bodies than the level recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency. About 60 percent had more than even the most conservative recommended levels. 

The Food and Drug Administration guidelines recommend that pregnant or breastfeeding women or those planning to conceive avoid high mercury level seafood like tilefish, shark, swordfish and king mackerel; however they do say that women should eat plenty of low mercury species like salmon, shrimp, pollock, tilapia, catfish, and cod. That list also includes canned light tuna, which the new study says is a significant source of mercury in women’s diets.  

Click here to read more.


[ State of Oregon fined due to coastal pollution ]

(from The Oregonian)

Federal environmental regulators have fined the state $1.2 million for failure to come up with what they feel is an adequate plan for controlling runoff from logging, agriculture and other sources.

The standards were parts of Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Program, established in 1990. At that time, coastal states were given six years to draft plans for reaching compliance. Oregon is one of 10 states that have yet to gain approval from the federal government, but the first to be fined.

Richard Whitman, Gov. Kate Brown’s natural resources adviser, says that the state plans to address remaining concerns through voluntary measures. Federal administrators told Whitman those measures are “not sufficiently definite or advanced” to avoid sanctions.

Federal officials had delayed final inspection of Oregon’s plan for nearly two decades. Then the environmental group Northwest Environmental Advocates sued to force them to either approve or reject the plan.


[ Portland aims to recycle 90% of all waste ]

(from KATU-2 News)

The City of Portland says it’s aiming for a 90% recycle rate by the year 2030.

But first, we need to figure out what goes where.

Bags of garbage that don’t belong there end up in recycling bins, and too many residents are still not separating out glass bottles. And cheese-baked pizza boxes? They go in the compost bin.

Regardless, officials think we can achieve the 90% goal with more thoughtful consumption and education about available programs.

Click here for more information about what goes where and how to recycle more of your household waste. 



(from Oregon Live)

There’s good news for one of nature’s showiest creatures.

A new report from the Department of Fish & Wildlife says that Monarch butterflies are on the rebound after years of population decline. The latest population counts show a 255% increase over last year in the butterflies’ wintering grounds in Mexico.

U.S. officials say that while the Monarchs are still struggling, years of habitat restoration work with our neighbors in Canada and Mexico are starting to show results.

Click here to read more.



[ Electric cars: the cheaper option in just 6 years ]

By 2022, electric vehicles (EVs) will be the less-expensive option for people buying new cars—so say the analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

While the low price of gas and the lack of style options currently hold EV sales at just about 1% of new cars sold, that’s predicted to change rapidly in the next decade. Rising environmental consciousness and more variety will likely drive demand, but experts say the tipping point will be when fuel prices start rising again in the next decade.  

Click here to read more about the future of electric vehicles.


[ Help Future Amphibians! ]

Photo: Oregon Metro

Photo: Oregon Metro

Coming up on Saturday, January 30th, you can train to monitor amphibian egg masses in our local waterways–which helps officials plan future restoration projects.

Click here to get more information on attending an upcoming training session to be a volunteer egg mass monitor with Metro Parks and Nature. Metro’s amphibian egg mass monitoring program tracks four native pond-breeding amphibians: the Pacific chorus frog, Northwest salamander, long-toed salamander and Northern red-legged frog, which is listed by the state as under threat. 

Volunteers will have their choice of three programs in which to participate, but spaces are filling up fast!


[ McDonald’s Moves To Eco-Friendly Packaging ]

Photo: McDonalds

Photo: McDonalds

(Courtesy of Mashable)

If you love McDonald’s and you love the earth, you’re in luck: Starting this month, MacDonald’s U.S. locations will be rolling out new environmentally-friendly carry-out bags, drink cups, and sandwich boxes.

The company has committed to sourcing all of its fiber-based packaging from recycled or certified sources by 2020.

Click here if you’d like to read more about the new packaging.


[ Easy Ways To Cut Kitchen Food Waste ]

fruits and vegetables

(From Rodale’s Organic Life)

OK, so you know the best thing to do with your household waste is compost it. But that’s not always possible, so the next best thing? Cut down on waste as much as you can, which can be accomplished with simple changes such as:

  1. Use banana peels to make a great polish for silver and leather – simply blend them with enough water to make a paste.
  2. Use old, dried-out citrus to clean and sanitize cutting boards and sinks. Cut in quarter, dip in salt andstart scrubbing!
  3. Ditch paper towels for washable microfiber squares.
  4. Leftover milk that’s about to go? Freeze it in ice trays for individual use in coffee and smoothies.
  5. Put down the peeler. Many fruits and veggies don’t need peeling, just a good washing. You’ll preserve nutrients, too.

Click here for more “waste not” kitchen tips.


[ Portland Becomes “Bike Town” Thanks to Nike ]

Photo courtesy of Peter D'Auria - Willamette Week

Photo courtesy of Peter D’Auria – Willamette Week

(from Willamette Week)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation and Nike have unveiled their deal for a sponsored bike-share program called “BikeTown.” The $10 million, five-year partnership will feature 1,000 “Nike orange” bicycles. 

Portland’s bike-share will be among the largest and the most affordable in the country. An annual membership will cost $10-15 per month, and a single ride will cost $2.50 for the first half hour. The program will also include 500 reduced-income memberships.

Click here to read more about “Bike Town”.



[ 5 Ways To Stop Using So Much Plastic ]

plastic-bottles-115082_1920(from Rodale’s Organic Life)

You want to use less plastic because you know what it does to the planet, not to mention effects it can have on your long term health. But cutting back can be harder than you think. Here’s some tips to help you get started backing off on the plastic stuff:

1) Expect some failure – You’re not going to be able to go entirely plastic-free in our society. Accept it and keep going.

2) Prioritize – ID the biggest plastic uses you have and start there, then move to the next. No straws. Then no plastic forks. Then no plastic bags for small purchases. See how easy?

3) Make It Yourself – Next time you pick up something that comes in plastic, think: “Could I make this?” It’s easier than you think to whip up body lotions, hair care products, and cleaning solutions.

4) Slow Down – Plastic supports a convenience lifestyle, and a wasteful one. Get up earlier and eat breakfast at home. Bring your lunch to work with (gasp!) real silverware.

5) Don’t Be A Jerk About It – Be non-judgemental about your choices and just enjoy it internally when you tell the clerk at the store you don’t need a bag for that greeting card.

Click here to find out more.