MedWish International and Groupon Divert Waste and Save Lives
The Cleveland-based non-profit, MedWish International and G-Team, the philanthropic arm of Groupon, announced on Jan. 10 the launch of a fundraising campaign that will allow Northeast Ohio to save lives and improve the health of those in desperate need of medical care in Honduras. MedWish International is committed to repurposing medical supplies and equipment discarded by the healthcare industry to provide humanitarian aid in developing countries and reduce solid waste. The purpose of the new fundraising campaign is to send their largest shipment ever to support three clinics in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. All donations to fund this shipment will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Sherwin-Williams Children's Health Fund, established through a generous grant by The Sherwin-Williams Company.
“This shipment will improve health and save lives for thousands of people in Honduras,” said Brian Smith, who arranged the shipment through the nonprofit Helping Hands for Honduras and works as director of strategic project development at the Cleveland Clinic. “The ultrasound machine will help improve maternal health, the mammography machine will allow faster detection and treatment of cancer and the 24 beds will make a huge difference in ensuring every patient is comfortable.”
The online fundraising campaign will be available on Groupon Cleveland, Groupon Akron-Canton, and Groupon Youngstown’s G-Team pages from Jan. 10 - Jan. 12. Utilizing G-Team’s collective action model, Groupon followers can pledge support for the Honduras shipment in increments of $10 or more. Each $10 donation will provide approximately 150 pounds of donated medical supplies and equipment to Del Torax Hospital, a charitable hospital serving the poor in Tegucigalpa, as well as Santa Rosa Lima Clinic and The Cedros Clinic.
Moreover, because these supplies have been discarded by local hospitals, medical device companies and individuals, MedWish is conserving the environment by preventing them from ending up in Northeast Ohio landfills. Because of FDA regulations, insurance liability and the rapid advance of technology, American hospitals must discard still-useful supplies on a daily basis. Cleveland is one of just a handful of cities in the entire country that has an organization like MedWish to recycle and redistribute these supplies to countries in need. The MedWish warehouse consists of 40,000 square feet—almost an entire football field—of such supplies waiting to be sent overseas.
While MedWish sends over 200 shipments annually to over 60 countries around the world, this shipment is unique for two reasons. First, through the Denton Program, the United States military offers unused space aboard its cargo planes for free to humanitarian relief organizations. Through this program, the MedWish supplies will be sent from Youngstown Air Reserve Station to Honduras aboard a C-5 cargo plane on Jan. 20. Second, because of the free shipping and size of airplane, this will be the largest load in MedWish International’s 19-year history. The shipment includes 144 items total, including 24 beds, 24 night stands, an ultrasound, three mobile x-ray machines, 4 exam tables, 24 Infusion Pumps, a Mammography Machine and 2 OR tables, among other items.
Honduras is one of the neediest countries in the Americas, with more than 35 percent of the population living on less than $2 a day, and roughly 80 percent of the population without access to quality healthcare. Hospital Del Torax is the only advanced-care facility of its kind in Honduras. Together with MedWish, Hospital Del Torax has continuously increased its effectiveness while lowering patient mortality.
100 percent of the G-Team campaign proceeds will be used to support the shipment of more than 20,000 pounds of life-saving medical supplies and equipment to Honduras through MedWish International.
For more information, click here.
About MedWish International
Founded by Dr. Lee Ponsky, M.D., MedWish International is committed to repurposing medical supplies and equipment discarded by the healthcare industry with the objectives of providing humanitarian aid in developing countries to save lives and reducing solid waste to save our environment. MedWish has recovered 2.2 million pounds of medical surplus from over 50 hospitals in the United States over the past five years, and has shipped aid overseas to 90 countries since its inception in 1993. For more information, or to make a difference, visit www.medwish.org.
G-Team, launched in July 2010 in Chicago, features a weekly local campaign in more than 65 markets nationwide, enabling Groupon followers to do good, have fun and make a real impact in their communities. G-Team uses collective action to gather support for worthwhile causes and produce tangible results for local organizations. To learn more about G-Team and how to become a featured organization, visit http://www.groupon.com/g-team. To subscribe to Groupon, visit http://www.groupon.com.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The environmental disaster that Mauritius is facing is starting to appear as its pristine waters turn black, its fish wash up dead, and its sea birds are unable to take flight, as they are limp under the weight of the fuel covering them. For all the damage to the centuries-old coral that surrounds the tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, scientists are realizing that the damage could have been much worse and there are broad lessons for the shipping industry, according to Al Jazeera.
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Transitioning to renewable energy can help reduce global warming, and Jennie Stephens of Northeastern University says it can also drive social change.
For example, she says that locally owned businesses can lead the local clean energy economy and create new jobs in underserved communities.
"We really need to think about … connecting climate and energy with other issues that people wake up every day really worried about," she says, "whether it be jobs, housing, transportation, health and well-being."
To maximize that potential, she says the energy sector must have more women and people of color in positions of influence. Research shows that leadership in the solar industry, for example, is currently dominated by white men.
"I think that a more inclusive, diverse leadership is essential to be able to effectively make these connections," Stephens says. "Diversity is not just about who people are and their identity, but the ideas and the priorities and the approaches and the lens that they bring to the world."
So she says by elevating diverse voices, organizations can better connect the climate benefits of clean energy with social and economic transformation.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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If weather is your mood, climate is your personality. That's an analogy some scientists use to help explain the difference between two words people often get mixed up.
Size Matters<p>Climates are a bit like woven tapestries. The big picture is important, no question. But so are all the seemingly minor details found inside the larger whole.</p><p><a href="https://research-information.bris.ac.uk/en/persons/tommaso-jucker" target="_blank">Tommaso Jucker</a> is an environmental scientist at the University of Bristol. In an email, Jucker says he'd define the term microclimate as "the suite of climatic conditions (temperature, rainfall, humidity, solar radiation) measured in localized areas, typically near the ground and at spatial scales that are directly relevant to ecological processes."</p><p>We'll talk about that last bit in a minute. But first, there's another criteria to discuss. According to some researchers, a microclimate — by definition — must differ from the larger area that surrounds it.</p><p><a href="https://www.cfc.umt.edu/research/paleoecologylab/publications/Davis_et_al_2019_Ecography.pdf" target="_blank">Forests</a> provide us with some great examples. "The climate near the ground in a tropical rainforest is dramatically different from the climate in the canopy 50 meters [164 feet] above," says University of Montana ecologist <a href="https://www.cfc.umt.edu/personnel/details.php?ID=1110" target="_blank">Solomon Dobrowski</a> in an email. "This vertical gradient among other factors allows for the staggering biodiversity we see in the tropics."</p><p>Likewise, scientists observed that a 2015 partial <a href="https://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/bees-stopped-buzzing-during-2017-solar-eclipse.htm" target="_blank">solar eclipse</a> caused the air temperature of an Eastern European meadow to <a href="https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/wea.2802" target="_blank">change more dramatically</a> than it did in a nearby forest. That's because trees provide not only shade, but their leaves also reflect solar radiation. At the same time, forests tend to reduce wind speeds.</p><p>All those factors add up. A 2019 review of 98 wooded places — spread out across five continents — found that forests are 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) <a href="https://natureecoevocommunity.nature.com/posts/47363-forests-protect-animals-and-plants-against-warming" target="_blank">cooler on average</a> than the areas outside them.</p><p>Now if you hate the cold, don't worry; there's a cozy exception to the rule. According to that same study, forests are usually 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) warmer than the external environment during the wintertime. Pretty cool.</p>
A Bug's Life<p>When does a microclimate stop being, well, micro? In other words, is there a maximum size we should be aware of when discussing them?</p><p>Depends on who you ask. "In terms of horizontal scale, some have defined 'microclimate' as anything that is less than 100 meters [328 feet] in range," Jucker says. "I'm personally less prescriptive about this."</p><p>Instead, he says the "scale at which we want to measure [a particular] microclimate" ought to be "dictated" by the questions we're trying to answer.</p><p>"If I want to know how temperature affects the photosynthesis of a leaf, I should be measuring temperature at centimeter scale," Jucker explains. "If I want to know if and how temperature affects the habitat preference of a large, mobile mammal, it's probably more relevant to capture temperature variation across [tens to hundreds] of meters."</p><p>For instance, solitary plants have the power to generate itty-bitty microclimates. Just ask <a href="https://www.colorado.edu/geography/peter-blanken-0" target="_blank">Peter Blanken</a>, a geography professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the co-author of the 2016 book, "<a href="https://amzn.to/2XN6FT8" target="_blank">Microclimate and Local Climate</a>."</p>
The urban heat island effect is a good example of how microclimates work. NOAA
Microclimates on a Grand Scale<p>It's no secret that our planet is going through some rough times at the macro level. The global temperature is <a href="https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/" target="_blank">climbing</a>; nine out of the <a href="https://www.noaa.gov/news/2019-was-2nd-hottest-year-on-record-for-earth-say-noaa-nasa" target="_blank">10 hottest years on record</a> have occurred since 2005. And by one recent estimate, roughly 1 million species around the world are <a href="https://ipbes.net/sites/default/files/2020-02/ipbes_global_assessment_report_summary_for_policymakers_en.pdf" target="_blank">facing extinction</a> due to human activities.</p><p>"One of the big questions that ecologists and environmental scientists are trying to answer right now is how will individual species and whole ecosystems respond to rapid climate change and habitat loss," says Jucker. "...To me, [microclimates are] a key component of this research — if we don't measure and understand climate at the appropriate scale, then predicting how things will change in the future becomes a lot harder."</p><p>Developers have long understood the impact small-scale climates have on our daily lives. <a href="https://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/urban-heat-island.htm#pt0" target="_blank">Urban heat islands</a> are cities that have higher temperatures than neighboring rural areas.</p><p>Plants release vapors that can moderate local climates. But in cities, natural greenery is often scarce. To make matters worse, plenty of our roads and buildings have a bad habit of absorbing or re-emitting heat from the sun. <a href="https://www.google.com/books/edition/Microclimate_and_Local_Climate/LHUZDAAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=urban%20heat%20island" target="_blank">Vehicle emissions</a> don't exactly help the situation.</p><p>Still, it's not like Boston or Beijing are thermal monoliths. Sometimes, the documented temperatures <a href="https://e360.yale.edu/features/can-we-turn-down-the-temperature-on-urban-heat-islands" target="_blank">within a single city</a> vary by 15 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (8.3 to 11.1 degrees Celsius).</p><p>That's where metro parks and city trees come in. They have nice cooling effects on nearby neighborhoods. "Several cities around the world have developed programs to increase urban green spaces," says Blanken. "Tree planting programs and green roof programs, have been shown to lower surface temperatures, decrease air pollution and decrease surface water runoff (urban flash-flooding) in urban areas."</p>
An "explosive" wildfire ignited in Los Angeles county Wednesday, growing to 10,000 acres in a little less than three hours.
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By Jeff Berardelli
Note: This story was originally published on August 6, 2020
If asked to recall a hurricane, odds are you'd immediately invoke memorable names like Sandy, Katrina or Harvey. You'd probably even remember something specific about the impact of the storm. But if asked to recall a heat wave, a vague recollection that it was hot during your last summer vacation may be about as specific as you can get.
<div id="ecf36" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c2dcc9d48a6cd61f247df1544539a783"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1290959314132361216" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Naming heatwaves is a good idea—making the abstract concrete, the invisible visible. Why should hurricanes and wild… https://t.co/hDWgYb79Ob</div> — Ed Maibach (@Ed Maibach)<a href="https://twitter.com/MaibachEd/statuses/1290959314132361216">1596623660.0</a></blockquote></div>
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Thailand has a total population of 5,000 elephants. But of that number, 3,000 live in captivity, carrying tourists on their backs and offering photo opportunities made for social media.
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