April 11th, 2007 - Barbara Feiner
If you’re dedicated to organic living and conservation, look for the WaterSense logo when purchasing or replacing a toilet. NSF International, a nonprofit certification agency, is working with the Environmental Protection Agency to verify toilets’ water efficiency and performance.
The EPA launched the WaterSense program last year to highlight high-efficiency products and services designed to conserve water, one of our most precious natural resources. This voluntary labeling program is available to all companies that partner with the EPA and manufacture, sell or distribute household plumbing fixtures.
The certification process consists of product testing, which ensures high-efficiency toilets consume no more than 1.28 gallons per flush, while successfully meeting all required performance testing. According to the EPA, the average household could save enough water to supply a year’s worth of drinking water to 150 of its neighbors.
Certified products will be included on an EPA product registry and will bear the WaterSense label. Ongoing annual inspections will ensure continued compliance. A more detailed list of requirements can be found here (PDF file).
The WaterSense program is expected to extend to high-efficiency bathroom sink faucets in the future, with possible expansion to showerheads, irrigation control equipment and other commercial equipment.
Additional water conservation tips for consumers can be found on NSF’s website.
Book Pick of the Day: Let’s Save Water
Read More:Look for the WaterSense Label
July 26th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Did you know that children lose proportionally more fluids through sweat than adults do?
As a parent who embraces organic living, one of your top health priorities this summer is proper hydration, which affects children both physically and mentally.
The following hydration tips have been provided by Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg, a board-certified pediatrician in New York City and clinical instructor of pediatrics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine:
- Encourage your children to drink water at the age of 6 months.
- Hold off on juices until after age 1 to help encourage the taste for water as a thirst quencher.
- Try giving your children water with or after meals, as they will be thirstier after eating. Today, bottled water comes in many convenient shapes and sizes for easy portability for families on the go.
- Serve as a role model for your children by drinking water in front of them. Try to change your habits when it comes to drinking sugary or caffeinated beverages.
- Depending on their age, children need approximately 18 to 32 oz. of fluid daily, including water, 2–3 cups of low-fat milk and 4–6 oz. of 100% juice.
Photo courtesy of Nestlé Waters North America
Read More:Keeping Kids Cool
June 8th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
A few thoughts about the environment today, which happens to be World Ocean Day. If you plan to spend any hot afternoons at the beach this summer, take a few minutes to reflect on the wondrous oceans that cover two-thirds of our planet. Even if your schedule is crazy-busy, be sure to sign The Ocean Project’s petition to urge the United Nations to officially recognize June 8 as World Ocean Day. More information is available in Tuesday’s blog entry.
“Every year, the ocean just seems a little bit smaller,” says Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Sealey, an associate professor of biology at the University of Miami and principal investigator of the Earthwatch Institute’s Coastal Ecology of the Bahamas project. “There is more trash washed up on the beach with every tide in all shapes, materials and languages. There are fewer fish and conch around for local consumption and greater fears as new information is circulated about health threats in contaminated coastal waters.”
The Earthwatch Institute recruits global volunteers to support scientific field research. You can work alongside leading scientists, conducting research and learning about what it takes to protect a sustainable environment. Earthwatch is now celebrating its 35th anniversary, and more than 4,000 volunteers from all 50 states and 79 countries participated in field research last year. Can you think of a better way for those of us who support organic living to spend some vacation time? Click here to find out about upcoming volunteer projects—from exploring wildlife habitats in Kenya to conducting field experiments in Costa Rica to improve the ecological sustainability of shade-grown coffee.
“We need to act like our actions matter, because they do matter,” says Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, president-elect of the International Sea Turtle Society and a former principal investigator of an Earthwatch sea turtle project in Baja California, Mexico. “We must act like our actions affect others, because they do affect others. We need to evolve our ways as if our life depended on it, because our life does depend on it. To take on the pressing issues facing our ocean planet, we need more creative, innovative and progressive-minded people who understand that it’s one ocean, indivisible, after all.”
Read More:Our Endangered Oceans