Insight News

Friday
Nov 28th

Health

One of five deaths caused by cigarette smoking

One of five deaths caused by cigarette smokingWhether you smoke or not, you may already know that tobacco use is the single largest cause of preventable death in the United States, exceeding the death toll from HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, motor vehicle accidents, suicide, and homicide combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, an estimated one out of five deaths in this country are caused by cigarette smoking alone.

As the curtain starts to come down on the year, it is the time of year when we focus on Lung Cancer Awareness, and many people use this period to smoke less or to quit smoking for good on a specially designated day called the Great American Smokeout, which this year was November 18. But, whether it is during the Lung Cancer Awareness period or any other time of year, it is never a bad time to take the pledge to stop smoking. If you don’t smoke, pledge to help a family member or a friend quit.
Read more...
 

Amphibians still declining

Amphibians still decliningDear EarthTalk: Are the world’s amphibians still in decline and what’s being done to help them? -- Chris W., Stamford, CT

Unfortunately yes, amphibians are still in serious trouble around the world. A recently updated worldwide population assessment by the non-profit International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that 32 percent of the 6,000-plus amphibian species left on the planet have declined to dangerously low levels—and qualify for vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered status on the group’s “Red List” of at-risk wildlife.

Perhaps even more disturbing is that upwards of 160 amphibian species—some of which have been around for hundreds of millions of years—have gone extinct just in the last 25 years. Since amphibian species are particularly sensitive to environmental change, they are often the first animals to decline in areas just beginning to experience environmental degradation, and as such are considered to be important indicators of the health of the wider ecosystems surrounding them.
Read more...

China's carbon emissions

China's carbon emissionsDear EarthTalk: I understand that China is about to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest global warming polluter. What is China doing to address this issue as well as its other environmental impacts as such a populous nation? -- Sophie N., Andover, MA

Actually, China passed the U.S. as the world’s leading greenhouse gas emitter back in 2006 and today produces some 17 percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide output. According to the China Daily news service, air and water pollution, combined with widespread use of food additives and pesticides, make cancer the top killer in China. Meanwhile, World Bank data show that, based on the European Union’s air quality standards, only one percent of the country’s 560 million urban inhabitants breathe air deemed safe. But many Chinese insist that all this environmental trouble is part of the cost of developing into a world superpower, and government leaders there are hesitant to impose restrictions on economic development.
Read more...

Organic beers

Organic beersDear EarthTalk: I see more and more organic wines on store shelves these days, but what options are out there today for organic beer? -- Ken Strong, Wichita, KS

Some 80 million Americans drink beer, yet organic beer represents still only a sliver of the $7 billion U.S. craft beer market. But this sliver is quickly turning into a slice: Between 2003 and 2009, according to the Organic Trade Association, U.S. organic beer sales more than quadrupled from $9 million to $41 million.

According to Seven Bridges Cooperative, which has been selling organic brewing ingredients for a decade already, organic beers tend to feature exceptional clarity and a clean, flavorful taste. “On a more technical side, organic malts on average have a lower protein content which produces a clear mash and less haze problems in the finished beer,” reports Seven Bridges. “Organic malts and hops have no chemical residues to interfere with fermentation to give the organic brewer a clean, unadulterated beer.”
Read more...

Clock is ticking for Medicare sign-up

Minnesota seniors sifting through their options for the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans have until the end of the month to make their choices. Open enrollment ends December 31, and free counseling and resources are available to help with these decisions.

Jean Wood, executive director of the Minnesota Board on Aging, says it’s important to carefully weigh the options, because different plans offer different coverage. The first question to ask is whether your physician or clinic is covered, she says.

“The other thing to know is what prescription drugs you’re taking, because they will only cover drugs that are part of a formulary. And then, if you have a special, chronic disease—and I’ll use Alzheimer’s as an example—there are some specialized plans that will help you cover that.”
Read more...

"Trayless Tuesdays" in the school cafeteria

Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard that New York City schools are trying out “Trayless Tuesdays” in their cafeterias in order to reduce waste. Why are trays such a big issue? And how can cutting them out on one day a week really make a difference? -- Mark, Brooklyn, NY

Unlike the old days when many school cafeterias offered reusable trays that could go into big industrial dishwashers after lunchtime, the trend since the early 1990s in New York City and elsewhere across the country has been to provide students with disposable polystyrene (tradename: Styrofoam) trays that are used once—typically for less than 30 minutes—and then thrown out. From there, most of the trays end up clogging already overburdened landfills or posing a litter problem. Polystyrene, impossible to compost and difficult to recycle, is one of the predominant features of litter-filled beaches, not to mention trash-based ocean gyres hundreds of miles from shore.
Read more...

Greener electronics

Greener electronicsDear EarthTalk: Where can I find information on which electronics and their manufacturers are greener than others, with regard to components, manufacturing processes and end use efficiency? -- John Franken, New York, NY

Now that many consumers are beginning to care about their own environmental footprints, manufacturers are responding with loads of greener offerings. One good place to find them is the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics, which ranks the 18 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, televisions and game consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change. Greenpeace hopes that by publishing and regularly updating the guide they can both educate consumers about their choices and influence manufacturers to eliminate hazardous substances, take back and recycle their products responsibly, and reduce the climate impacts of their operations and products.
Read more...
Page 72 of 114

Recent Comments

Powered by Disqus



Facebook Twitter RSS Image Map

Latest show

  • November 18, 2014
    Remembering Ackeesa Ta Harms-McFarlane. Scott McLain on Vivian Carter and Vee-Jay records.

Business & Community Service Network