Saturday, February 24, 2007

From Silent Spring to Silent NightDr. Tyrone Hayes speaks in NC, March 7th & 8th!

I've only ever seen Dr. Tyrone Hayes speak once, but it left an impression. What a smart, well spoken, impassioned, and all around cool guy! What important work he's doing, and what a horrible and fantastic story he has to tell about corporate influence over science!

I'm thrilled to be heading up the team that's bring Dr. Hayes to speak in North Carolina week after next. He'll be giving a presentation titled From Silent Spring to Silent Night: Pesticides, the link between amphibian declines and cancer, and what you should know on the campus of NC Central University on Thursday, March 8th at 7 PM. That morning, he will also be speaking to an audience of Durham middle and high school students at NCCU. It's not too late to register to attend either presentation, so get on it! It's also not to late to register for the webcast: both the morning and the evening presentations will be available by webcast free for about a week after they go up live. This is a great opportunity for classes, church groups, organizations, or anyone concerned about public health and the environment in North Carolina to see Dr. Hayes speak, even if you're too far away to make the trip to Durham!

Please plan to join us, in person or over the Internet, for what promises to be a wonderful and inspiring presentation! Register today at Thank you!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Residues for the sweet

Yet another reason to hate on Valentine's Day, scourge of the single, boon to the greeting-card companies:

Unless you have been living under a rock for a while, you have probably already read the news stories about the frightening amounts of nasty pesticides used by the cut-flower industry, especially in Colombia, which produces the majority of the world's cut flowers.

So what can you do about it? You could get your sweetie some fair-trade certified organic chocolates instead. Or take her/him to dinner at a swanky local restaurant that specializes in locally-grown foods. Massages and days at the spa tend to be good for the environment and workers, as well.

But if it just isn't Valentine's Day without some long-stemmed roses, check your local grocer for organic flowers certified by Veri-Flora, an international organization that certifies organic flower growers. Personally, I like to buy my bouquets in season at the local farmer's market - which means skipping the flowers on Valentine's Day. As long as I still get the chocolates...

Thursday, February 8, 2007

More for the harvesters

One of my favorite kinds of environmental projects is a community garden. Done well, a community garden provides a classic example of a project that address the triple-bottom-line of social justice, environmental and economic sustainability.

Farmworker groups in Sampson county have organized a community garden to address hunger among farmworkers there. Amazingly, the people who harvest our food often go without food themselves. Working together on a community garden ensures that these very low-income workers get to eat high-quality foods, builds solidarity among the workers and even provides some extra income, since the workers have developed the project into a market garden.

Student Action with Farmworkers is hosting a “Solidarity Day” and Gardening Tool Drive on February 20th to support this project and benefit farmworkers in NC. You can help by donating gardening tool items, and by organizing your school, church, or workplace to donate items like garden gloves, hand tools, shovels, rakes, sun hats or baseball caps, and white cotton socks.

There are drop-off locations at DesignCorps in Raleigh and at SAF in Durham, but items can be mailed to SAF from anywhere, as long as they arrive by February 20th. Here's a flyer (pdf) about the project, or check out SAF's web page to learn more (scroll to the bottom).