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The latest news, food for thought, recipes you’ll love, great advice on everything from raising kids to nurturing bees, plus videos designed to entertain, educate and enlighten. If you’d like to find out what’s on our mind – or let us know what’s on yours -- this is place to be.

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Joe Laur on being Audacious

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Joe Laur from SoL, the Society for Organizational Learning, friend and systems thinker was recently at 7th Generation with the

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Making Ourselves Sick

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Over the weekend, the Times of London reported on a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine by the American Thoracic Society. The results are not surprising and speak for themselves.

“The relative risk rates of developing adult asthma in relation to exposure to cleaning products could account for as much as 15 per cent, or one in seven, of adult asthma cases.”

In fact, the study found that subjects who used household spray cleaners at least once a week increased their risk of developing asthma symptoms by an incredible 30 to 50 percent.

Singled out as particularly likely to trigger asthma were conventional glass cleaners, furniture sprays, and air fresheners, which typically contain chemicals like ammonia, chlorine-releasing agents and sodium hydroxide. Researchers suggested that it's significantly easier to get exposed to these and other chemicals when they're released into the air in spray form. This, of course, is something we've been concerned about for years. When we spray a cleaning product, a certain amount never makes it to the surface we're cleaning. Instead, it goes out into the air in the form of something called aerosols, super-tiny microscopic particles that are so lightweight they can stay suspended in the air for hours--the same air we then breathe.

Let's wake up before too many more people smell the spray cleaners.

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Troubled Waters

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Author: the Inkslinger

Who owns the water? It’s a good question, and once we get past the whole planet-melting-into-a big-squishy-puddle thing, it could end up being be the key query of our time. Indeed, a lot of experts think that water is likely to become the main wellspring at the center of future international conflicts. Here on the home front, the situation is not that extreme, but we’ve got our own issues, one of which is that corporations are slowly assuming control of this necessary resource and reselling it in bottles for big profitable bucks.

From the resources water bottles require and the waste they create to the trust in public water supplies that’s undermined by bottled water marketing, it’s just no good. Late yesterday a new call to do something it came over the wires, and it’s worth sharing. The Think Outside the Bottle campaign is asking everyone to pledge to opt for tap water (which is quite often the source of bottled water—how Bizarro World is that?) instead of bottled water and to support efforts to make sure corporations don’t run roughshod over communities and hijack this vital resource of the commons for profit. Makes buckets of sense. Lots of good info at their web site. Read it, sign up, and drink down.

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Keeping the Heat On High

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Author: the Inkslinger

I would now to pause to throw some serious love Step It Up’s way. I’m crazy for this group. They’re taking it to the streets and making some good solid noise about the climate crisis. Demanding attention in ways than cannot be ignored by even the highest and the mightiest no matter where it is they’re sitting on their hands. That’s what I’m talking about, Willis. Getting in their faces. Refusing to back down. And not taking no for an answer.

The Step It Up event last spring was pure genius and highly effective. It got a lot of people involved and thinking. And it got noticed. Now comes Act II: a National Day of Climate Action on November 3rd. Just like last spring’s event, anyone can organize an event in their community. (It’s easy to do.)

The idea this time is to have events be held at places named for great leaders of the past, whether local or national, to invite your local and national politicians and candidates to attend, and to demand that they support three key priorities:

  1. Five million green jobs conserving 20% of our energy by 2015.
  2. Freeze climate pollution levels now and cut them 30% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
  3. And place a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants.

Let me hear you say hallelulah, children. Count me in. I love the inviting politicians part. They can’t hide from this one. Step It Up also has
a very inspiring video that demands to be viewed. It’s a trailer for a new climate crisis film called Everything’s Cool. And Step It Up has teamed up with 1 Sky, a great new group working on the issue as well. One climate. One Future. One Chance. The change is coming. Be a part of it. Our kids are counting on us.

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Last Call for the Blogger’s Choice

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Author: the Inkslinger

Though it might seem to be the Contest That Never Ends (we did, after all, first post about this back in early May), voting in the Blogger’s Choice Awards is at last coming to a close.

Winners are to be announced November 10th. We’ve been nominated for Best Corporate Blog, and after all these many months we’re holding our own in fourth place, which is great but not quite enough to crack the Top Three where all the action is.

So, to indulge in a small amount of shameless self-promotion, if you’ve got a spare moment or two and want to help your favorite blog to a seat a limelight head over here and cast your vote for inspiration. It’s a stress-free process. Just click the little gold “vote” button under our current “total votes” tally. A quick registration and an e-mail later and you’re a voter. Don’t know if we can beat giants like Southwest Airlines and Google, who probably gave their respective staffs of thousands the day off to vote repeatedly, but it’s worth a try.

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Getting Trashed

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Author: the Inkslinger

As White Rhino said upon it's forwarding, this guest post is almost poetry of a sort. Eco-haiku, anyone?

I have on my bedroom wall an old print from my Mother's 1925 house showing Hercules trying to hold up the world. Sometimes that is how I feel after my walk in the woods and down our dirt road. I pick up bottles and cans as I go and pile them every so often. A neighbor told me since I go to that bother he will take them to the dump.

My angst is over the trash, old metal beds, ,jugs used for target practice that I find deep in the woods.

When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn??

Kim in NH

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Can’t Get No Satisfaction

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Author: the Inkslinger

Sometimes a guest post arrives which needs nothing extra added from anyone here. This is one, and here it is…

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7th Generation's 2006 Corporate Responsibility Report is Out

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Our 2006 Corporate Responsibility Report was released yesterday at 9:30am. It is a web-based report ready for your perusing and feedback. If you have some time please read it and please send us feedback.

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