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» New plastic bag ban receives mixed reactions from customers, storeowners in Oakland

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On January 1, Alameda County’s Reusable Bag Ordinance went into effect, banning businesses within the county from distributing single-use bags to customers and requiring store owners to offer reusable or recycled paper bags for a 10 cent fee.

The regulatory agencies involved in StopWaste.org passed the ordinance last January as a means of reducing the amount of pollution produced by plastic bags. Businesses affected by the new law include liquor stores, pharmacies, grocery stores and other establishments that sell packaged foods, alcohol or both; restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops are the only exceptions.

oaklandnorth, 03.01.13.

comment on fb:

San Jose just saw a 50% decrease in the amount of plastic bags in their local creeks 1 year after their ban went into effect. Let’s hope we can get similar results here.

yay SF and East Bay~

» Greenpeace works to detoxify fashion

Greenpeace activists protest outside Levi’s headquarters in San Francisco create a ‘river’ out of non-toxic foam, as part of a series of Greenpeace activities held in over 80 cities worldwide, demanding that Levi’s commits to eliminating the use of all hazardous chemicals throughout its supply chain. The foam simulates the toxic water pollution caused by the Mexican textile factories that have been found to have links to brands including Levi’s. Photo: George Nikitin, Greenpeace / SF

According to the Greenpeace release, “Levi’s will begin requiring 15 of its largest suppliers, each with multiple factories in China, Mexico and elsewhere, to disclose pollution data as early as the end of June 2013” — an important development in nations without strict reporting requirements.

…Other substances Greenpeace found included benzotriazoles, tributyl phosphate and trichloroaniline, all toxic to aquatic life. At the Kaltex plant, Greenpeace said it found hexa (methoxymethyl) melamine (HMMM), which is moderately toxic to aquatic life, and two trichlorinated benzenes. The environmental group said that while these two persistent toxic chemicals are used as solvents and dye carriers, they are not exclusive to textile manufacturing and may have come from other sources.

"In studies of the textile industry in Mexico, Greenpeace found that Levi’s suppliers have the worst water pollution," said Pierre Terras, a Greenpeace toxics campaigner in Mexico quoted in the report. According to Greenpeace, Mexico is the fourth-largest supplier of textiles and apparel to the U.S. market..

sfgate, 30.12.12.

Mercury in seafood: Where does it come from?

..according to a giant new report called “Sources to Seafood: Mercury Pollution in the Marine Environment,” mercury pollution near the ocean’s surface has more than doubled as a result of human activities over the last century.

grist, 14.12.12.
Zara commits to go toxic-free!

Zara, the world’s largest clothing retailer, today announced a commitment to go toxic-free following nine days of intense public pressure. This win belongs to the fashion-lovers, activists, bloggers and denizens of social media. This is people power in action.

read more: greenpeace, 29.11.12.
i didn’t see any of this mannequin-protesting when i walked past the zara in SF on black friday, but yay at least the the rest of the world cares?
and check out this “detox fashion” anime video. it’s actually pretty good.and the mannequin video. man, greenpeace is cool. and awesome. 
We want fashion without pollution in Copenhagen too! 
—greenpeace.
sign petition to get ZARA to detox its fashion and eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals.
good:

Urban Air: Los Angeles Artist Transforms Billboards Into Floating Gardens - Liz Dwyer
Imagine sitting in traffic during your daily commute and instead of seeing the clutter of countless billboard advertisements you see gardens floating in the sky. That’s the kind of green experience Los Angeles-based artist Stephen Glassman wants us to have as we travel through our urban landscape. His Urban Air project hopes to transform the steel and wood frames that hold billboard advertising into suspended bamboo gardens.
Glassman’s been creating large-scale bamboo installations across Los Angeles since the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. He came up with Urban Air because—like many of us who live in congested cities—he saw a need for more fresh, green space, and a greater connection to humanity. The idea won the 2011 London International Creativity Award and proved so inspiring that Summit Media, a billboard company based in Los Angeles actually offered to donate billboards along major streets and freeways.
As you can see in the video above, to create the garden billboards, Glassman and his team simply remove the commercial facade and modify the existing structure by installing planters, filling them with live bamboo, hooking up a water misting system and connecting them to a wifi network that monitors the environment. Then, says Glassman, “when people are stuck in traffic” on the 10 Freeway instead of seeing advertisements, they “look up and they see an open space of fresh air.”
The project’s hoping to raise $100,000 through Kickstarter to structurally retrofit the first prototype billboard, secure licenses, permits, and insurance, and pay for cranes to help install everything. They hope to spread the idea across the globe so they’re also producing “a system ‘kit’ that enables any standard billboard to be easily transformed to a green, linked, urban forest.” While it can be argued that that’s a hefty sum for just one billboard and a toolkit, seeing a beautiful garden suspended in air sure beats having to look at another advertisement, right?
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