San Francisco Bans Plastic Water Bottle Sales on Public Property
It took nearly a decade of grassroots organizing to ban the sale of plastic water bottles on public property in San Francisco, according to Nick Guroff of the nonprofit Corporate Accountability International. Finally, in early March 2014, the city's Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to pass a bottle-banning ordinance introduced a year earlier; Mayor Edwin M. Lee signed it into law shortly thereafter.
The ban is set to go into effect in October 2014, and will be the first of its kind in the nation. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock
As Eve Andrews wrote in an article at Grist.org, "San Francisco might have done it just a little bit to make every other American city look even worse. (Oh, come on! You were thinking it too!)"
Still, we're cheering for this ecological victory in "Frisco."
Set to take effect in October 2014, it's the first law of its kind to be adopted by a major U.S. city.
"Where we have public spaces, either in buildings or in parks and other open space—these are places that we don't want the sale or distribution of plastic water bottles," said David Chiu, the city official who introduced the ordinance last year.
Instead, the city is encouraging residents to use metal or other reusable bottles, Chiu said. As with bans on plastic grocery bags in many cities, the goal is to promote sustainability by cutting down on needless and ecologically harmful waste.
In the video below, created by Center for a New American Dream, San Franciscans talk about how they got the new law passed and how it will be implemented.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris before deciding to reverse an earlier EPA decision to ban the company's toxic and widely used pesticide, chlorpyrifos.
According to records obtained by the Associated Press, the EPA boss met with Liveris for about 30 minutes at a Houston hotel on March 9. Later that month, Pruitt announced that he would no longer pursue a ban on chlorpyrifos from being used on food, ignoring his agency's own review that even small amounts of the pesticide could impact fetus and infant brain development.
Native communities and environmental justice advocates in Louisiana opened a new resistance camp Saturday to oppose the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline project. Called L'eau Est La Vie, or Water is Life, the camp will consist of floating indigenous art structures on rafts and constant prayer ceremonies during its first two weeks.
Continuing its march toward elimination of key Clean Water Act protections, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Tuesday issued a formal notice of withdrawal of the Obama administration's rule defining which waters can be protected against pollution and destruction under federal law.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not doing enough to prevent weed resistance to the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) says a new report from the EPA's Inspector General's Office, which draws in part on a report from the agbiotech company, Pioneer: Weed Management in the Era of Glyphosate Resistance.
When it comes to the latest wind turbine technologies, size matters. A group of six institutions and universities is designing an offshore wind turbine that will stand 500 meters in height. That's taller than the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building.
The research team, led by researchers at the University of Virginia, believes that its wind turbine concept will produce 50 megawatts of peak power, or about 10 times more powerful than conventional wind turbines.
Natural gas is often considered the cleanest fossil fuel, but could it actually be dirtier than coal?
Watch as New York Times reporter Mark Bittman, in the above Year's of Living Dangerously video, investigates how much methane is leaking at fracking wells. Find out how the natural gas industry's claims compare to what scientists are reporting.
See what happens when Gaby Petron, an atmospheric scientist with NOAA, converts her van into a mobile methane detector and sets out across northeastern Colorado for two years, taking thousands of readings to uncover the truth.
Adrian Grenier: 'We Must Usher in a New Era of Compassion Through Forward Thinking Environmental Programs'
Adrian Grenier was named UN Goodwill Ambassador earlier this month. The Hollywood actor, best known for his iconic role of A-list movie star Vincent Chase in the HBO smash hit and film Entourage, will advocate for drastically reducing single-use plastic and protection of marine species, and encourage his followers to make conscious consumer choices to reduce their environmental footprint, according to the UN Environment announcement.
"Together we must usher in a new era of compassion and carefulness through forward thinking environmental programs to drive measurable change," Grenier said. "I am personally committed to creating ways in which the global community can come together to help solve our most critical climate crises through routine, collective action.
"The more we connect to nature in our daily lives, the more dedicated we will become to our individual commitments. Together, I believe we can go further, faster in our race to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030."
Watch the video above to learn more.