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Green New Year’s Resolutions From the EcoWatch Team

2018 was a year in which the threats facing our planet—from plastic pollution to climate change―became impossible to ignore. As scientists and journalists continued to sound the alarm, ordinary people stepped up to do something about it. Sometimes it can be hard to believe that one person's action can make a difference in the face of such enormous challenges, but big changes are made up of little actions. So if you are looking for a New Year's resolution for 2019, why not add saving the earth to the list? To get you inspired, the EcoWatch staff is sharing successful green changes we made to our lives last year, as well as the improvements we plan to make in the year to come.

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Trump Plan to Protect Kids From Lead Falls Far Short

The long-awaited plan by the Trump administration to "wage a war against lead" and protect children from exposure to the potent neurotoxin is a woefully unacceptable response to this public health crisis, said Environmental Working Group.

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The Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia on Oct. 8, 2016. Alex Ostrovski / CC BY-SA 4.0

What Lies Beneath: To Manage Toxic Contamination in Cities, Study Their Industrial Histories

By James R. Elliott and Scott Frickel

Philadelphia's hip Northern Liberties community is an old working-class neighborhood that has become a model of trendy urban-chic redevelopment. Crowded with renovated row houses, bistros and boutique shops, the area is knit together by a pedestrian mall and a 2-acre community garden, park and playground space called Liberty Lands.

First-time visitors are unlikely to realize they're standing atop a reclaimed Superfund site once occupied by Burk Brothers Tannery, a large plant that employed hundreds of workers between 1855 and 1962. And even longtime residents may not know that the 1.5 square miles of densely settled land around the park contains the highest density of former manufacturing sites in Philadelphia.

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What Is ‘Green’ Dry Cleaning? A Toxics Expert Explains

By Joy Onasch

The winter holidays are a busy time for many businesses, including retail stores, grocers, liquor stores—and dry cleaners. People pull out special-occasion clothes made of silk, satin or other fabrics that don't launder well in soap and water. Then there are all those specialty items, from stained tablecloths to ugly holiday sweaters.

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Holiday Shopping: Best Retailers for Toxic-Free Gifts

By Tom Hucker

The holiday shopping season is upon us, and Americans are expected to spend a whopping $1.1 trillion in holiday purchases this year.

Across the nation, discerning shoppers will seek out information to help them choose safe and healthy products for their families and friends. They will read warning labels to help them decide which toys might pose choking hazards, and which video games and movies are age-appropriate.

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Three years after a massive leak at the Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility in Southern California, residents of nearby Porter Ranch, shown here, continue to experience severe health conditions. Edward Clynes / Earthjustice

The Lessons We Didn’t Learn From the Largest Gas Leak in U.S. History

By Byron Chan

Almost 15,000 residents of Los Angeles' Porter Ranch neighborhood evacuated their homes in the fall of 2015, many of them suffering from headaches, breathing problems and nosebleeds. The culprit: a massive leak of carcinogenic chemicals at SoCalGas's nearby Aliso Canyon underground gas storage facility. From October 2015 until February 2016, the facility expelled more than 100,000 metric tons of methane into the atmosphere.

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Trump White House Pushes to Let Minors Spray Brain-Damaging Pesticides on Farms

The White House's just-released list of planned environmental and public health rollbacks includes letting high-school-age kids spray brain-damaging pesticides on commercial farms.

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EPA Considers 300,000-Acre Expansion for Bee-Toxic Pesticide

The Center for Biological Diversity Thursday urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to deny Bayer CropScience's request to allow the highly bee-toxic pesticide flupyradifurone to be sprayed on tobacco in states like Kentucky and North Carolina.

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Trump Admin ‘Waging a War on Children’ Through EPA Rollbacks

The White House removed references to climate change and its impacts on children from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal rolling back Obama-era regulations on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), E&E reported Wednesday.

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