Apr 03,2015: Barley Legal and Bonfire

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Earth Talk: Helping Prevent Amazon Deforestation

Dear EarthTalk: What can I do to help prevent deforestation in the Amazon even if I don’t live in the region?  – J.G.

 

The fact that our climate, our air and our water know no national borders means that the forests are our mutual responsibility. We all depend on their services and we all play a part in causing deforestation even if we live far away geographically. Also, deforestation is occurring everywhere on the planet, not just the in the Amazon rainforest, so doing your part locally could help retain tree cover and improve air quality in your region.

 

 

Most if not all deforestation is ultimately driven by our consumption, so avoiding products and companies responsible for deforestation is the logical first step. While it may seem obvious, asking about the source of the wood you are using on your next home repair project—and rejecting it if it comes from the tropical rainforest—will help efforts to prevent deforestation. Mahogany, ipê and other tropical hardwoods should be avoided unless they are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit which vets sustainably harvested timber operations around the world.

 

Another way to do your part to fight deforestation is to cut back on or eliminate meat from your diet. Cattle from the Amazon basin are most likely raised on ranches that used to be part of the rainforest. Likewise, expanding soybean farms in Brazil to feed cattle is a huge reason for Amazon deforestation. If you can’t give up meat entirely, at least eat less and get it from local producers practicing organic techniques. Meatless Monday, a project of the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, provides many resources and ideas to try to get Americans to cut their meat consumption by at least 15 percent.

 

The expansion of palm oil plantations in tropical regions is the latest insult to tropical rainforests. Making your own homemade food and health/beauty products is one way to be sure you are avoiding palm oil, but you could also start by researching what you want online to find the best ready-made choices free of palm oil. Ethical Consumer’s Palm Oil Free Product List, which includes dozens of rainforest-friendly baby foods, cereal bars, chocolate bars, pet foods, shampoos and soaps, is a good place to start.

 

And who knew that resisting the urge to upgrade your perfectly good cell phone or computer could help prevent deforestation? Mining throughout tropical regions in Central Africa and beyond for metals and minerals that go into our electronics leads to wide swaths of rainforest destruction as well. Buying electronics made from recycled materials when possible and avoiding products with built-in “planned obsolescence”—your old phone will probably work well for a few more years—are more ways to be part of the solution.

 

And of course, there’s no better way to fight deforestation than by planting trees. The Arbor Day Foundation provides lots of tips for starting or joining a tree planting campaign in your neck of the woods.

 

CONTACTS: Forest Stewardship Council, us.fsc.org; Meatless Monday, www.meatlessmonday.com; Ethical Consumer’s Palm Oil Free List, www.ethicalconsumer.org/shoppingethically/palmoilfreelist.aspx; Arbor Day Foundation, www.arborday.org.

 

 

EarthTalk® is produced by Doug Moss Roddy Scheer and is a registered trademark of Earth Action Network Inc. View past columns at: www.earthtalk.org. Or e-mail us your question: earthtalk@emagazine.com. 

 



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Apr 02,2015: The Alarm

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Apr 01,2015: Sessions

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Mar 28,2015: Hermosa Beach Farmers Market

Market Hours:
Year Round
Friday  12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: 11th Street, 1035 Valley Dr., Hermosa Beach, 90254



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Mar 27,2015: Barley Legal

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AmericanTown’s Heroes: Food Banks Help Ease Hunger

March is National Nutrition Month, which is an effort sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics “designed to focus attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.”

Eating “right” and getting regular exercise are two things we can do to help maintain health and wellness, but not everyone knows what makes for a healthy diet and some people can’t always afford to make healthy eating choices, which is where food banks come in.

Read more Food Banks Help Ease Hunger.



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The Award-Winning Tour de Pier Outdoor Cycling Charity Event Returns to Manhattan Beach Pier on Sunday, May 17

The award-winning 3rd Annual Tour de Pier pedals its way back to Southern California’s beautiful South Bay shores on Sunday, May 17 at the Manhattan Beach Pier from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  The stationary cycling event benefits three cancer charities: the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research; the Cancer Support Community and the Uncle Kory Foundation.

 

The Tour de Pier brings one of the hottest indoor fitness activities – stationary cycling – to the gorgeous outdoors. More than 1,000 cyclists will be overlooking the Manhattan Beach Pier and riding in place while taking in a Southern California iconic ocean view. The South Bay’s best instructors and celebrity guests will spin riders through a four-hour session with energizing music and loads of excitement.  The Tour de Pier will also host more than 50 vendors showcasing the latest products and offering tasty food and drinks.

 

“From early indication, we expect more success at this year’s Tour de Pier,” said Heath Gregory, co-founder, Tour de Pier. “Although the first two years exceeded our wildest expectations, we are confident that this year’s event will surpass the fundraising efforts of previous years.” In 2014, the award-winning Tour de Pier raised more than $500,000.  This year, the cycling charity event anticipates raising $750,000 for cancer charities.

 

In addition to cycling, the Tour de Pier will feature a Health Fitness Expo, Spectrum’s Cardio Kid Zone with games and activities as well as entertainment.  

 

HOW IT WORKS: Participants register to ride a bike for a four-hour session. They can either share the bike with team members or ride individually. Registration fee per rider is $125. Each bike team must raise a minimum of $500. Registration fees will count towards the $500. Online registration closes on Sunday, May 3 at midnight or as space permits.  For more information and to register, please visit www.tourdepier.com.

 

ABOUT THE CHARITIES:

Founded in 1997, the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing pancreatic cancer research, and providing information, resources, and support to pancreatic cancer patients and their families. In February 2015, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA introduced the UCLA Agi Hirshberg Center for Pancreatic Cancer Diseases made possible by the generous $10 million in gifts to UCLA from Hirshberg. For more information, visit www.pancreatic.org.

 

For nearly 26 years, the Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach has been offering a free program for cancer patients, their families and loved-ones. Their goal is to help as many cancer patients as possible recover from the physical and emotional effects of cancer to the greatest extent possible. Their psychological support and educational programs are designed to address the loss of control, hopelessness and social isolation that cancer patients and their families often experience. For more information, visit www.cancersupportredondobeach.org.

 

The Uncle Kory Foundation is a nonprofit organization inspired by the life of Kory Lewis Hunter. Their mission is to advance innovative and collaborative brain cancer research. For more information, visit www.unclekory.org.

 

 

ABOUT THE TOUR DE PIER:  

Jon Hirshberg, who started the first LA Cancer Challenge after the loss of his father Ron in 1997, came across the idea of doing a spin bike fundraiser after learning about an event that raised over $3 million in one day at cycling studios across the country. He approached his friend and long-time cycling enthusiast, Heath Gregory, about the idea of putting on a one-day event in their hometown of Manhattan Beach, CA. Coincidentally, Gregory had participated in a similar event produced by Livestrong in Barcelona during the 2009 Tour de France and vividly remembered hundreds of riders moving in unison all for a common cause. With the Hirshberg Foundation on board to produce the event and a team of board members eager to participate, planning for the Tour de Pier began. 

After months of preparation, the inaugural Tour de Pier was held in May 2013 at the iconic Manhattan Beach Pier and raised more than $339,000 for local charities. With the unprecedented projected success of the Tour de Pier, the City of Manhattan Beach granted approval for the following year within three days of the event.

 

In March 2014, the City of Manhattan Beach Parks Recreation Department won a prestigious award for Outstanding Special Event for the Tour De Pier, presented by the State of California Association of Parks and Recreation Commissioners. Competing against other cities throughout California, Tour de Pier was recognized as an event that significantly contributes to the overall betterment of the community. For more information, please visit www.tourdepier.com.



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Mar 27,2015: Alibi

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Mar 25,2015: New Beat Fund and Small Leaks Sink Ships

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