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Pollution

Oceans

Ocean Heat Waves Threaten Marine Wildlife

April 8, 2019
ocean heat waves

You usually hear on the news about large heat waves that occur over land, but we rarely hear about them happening in the ocean. They do take place, and according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change, they’re becoming more frequent.

The paper, titled Marine Heatwaves Threaten Global Biodiversity and the Provision of Ecosystem Services, says marine heat wave days have increased by more than 54 percent over the last 30 years. These periods of abnormally high water temperatures for a given region not only became more frequent but also began lasting longer over the study period.

These trends, the study’s authors wrote, is consistent with decreasing amounts of marine life. Marine heat waves are another stress on seas that are already facing pollution, overfishing, declining oxygen levels, increasing acidity and other challenges.

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Oceans

How to Find Eco-Friendly Sunscreen in 2019

February 4, 2019
eco-friendly sunscreen

When you’re spending time outside, sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from the dangerous UV rays that the sun emits. But with recent studies and controversies, you might not be able to tell which protective methods are effective and safe for the environment.

From deciphering the labels and ingredients to keeping up with scientific developments, it’s more difficult than ever to know what products won’t wreak havoc on the oceans while keeping your skin healthy. Check out the following ways to pick an eco-friendly sunscreen in 2019 — but first, let’s look at the effects of chemical sunscreens.

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Oceans

How Coral Bleaching Is Changing Marine Life Behavior

January 10, 2019
marine life

An aquatic ecosystem is like a scale, delicately balanced, and even a small addition or subtraction can make it tip. There are many examples of these disturbances, like invasive species, natural disasters and resource exploitation, but of all the threats to marine life, coral bleaching is one of the most disruptive.

Bleaching is the stress response of corals under environmental pressure, caused by freshwater inflows, tropical cyclones and anthropogenic pollution. The most significant contributor to bleaching, however, is climate change, and the consequences of global warming on the ocean’s pH levels and temperature.

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Environment

The Top Sustainable Beauty Brands

December 27, 2018
sustainable beauty brands

This is the fifth and final part of our series looking into environmental issues with the beauty industry, areas it’s excelling in sustainability and where we can expect to see sustainability efforts improve in the future. You can find the previous post here. Hope you have enjoyed reading!

 

You’ve decided to switch to sustainable beauty to benefit your health and the planet we all share. Good for you, eco-warrior!

Followers of this series already know some handy tips and tricks for making your daily beauty routine greener. Still, companies that have already gone the extra mile in implementing sustainable practices deserve some major props and increased patronage (although I’m not an affiliate with any of these brands — just a fan of sustainable companies). Read up on some top sustainable beauty brands that can make your grooming more Earth-friendly.

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Environment

Sustainable Cosmetic Packaging Revolutionizing the Beauty Industry

December 24, 2018
sustainable cosmetic packaging

This is the fourth of a five-post series looking into environmental issues with the beauty industry, areas it’s excelling in sustainability and where we can expect to see sustainability efforts improve in the future. You can find the previous post here.

 

While environmentally friendly personal care companies originally marketed primarily to those with a hippie or new age mindset, today, beauty product manufacturers who ignore trends toward sustainability risk becoming obsolete. Conscientious consumers, especially millennials and Gen Zers increasingly demand products that treat the planet kindly. As science develops ever more eco-friendly packaging materials, cosmetic manufacturers benefit both the Earth and their bottom line by utilizing these innovations to decrease their carbon footprint.

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Environment

How to Identify Sustainable Beauty Products by Their Ingredients

December 20, 2018
sustainable beauty products

This is the third of a five-post series looking into environmental issues with the beauty industry, areas it’s excelling in sustainability and where we can expect to see sustainability efforts improve in the future. You can find the previous post here.

 

Many people know that switching to sustainable beauty products helps the environment, but did you know it may improve your health as well?

As many of the chemicals typically used in cosmetic production have yet to undergo rigorous testing, no one truly knows the impact these synthetic substances may have on health. But we do know that the skin absorbs chemical additives like a sponge. So avoiding personal hygiene products laden with chemical additives and preservatives just makes sense.

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Environment

How Did Sustainable Beauty Begin, and What Are the Current Trends?

December 17, 2018
sustainable beauty

This is the second post in a five-part series environmental issues with the beauty industry, areas it’s excelling in sustainability and where we can expect to see sustainability efforts improve in the future. You can find the previous post here.

 

In today’s electronically connected world, consumers have greater access to information about the products they use than ever before. As a result, manufacturers face increasing public pressure to abandon wasteful production practices and embrace cleaner, greener alternatives.

The beauty industry stands at the forefront of the sustainability movement. Consumers criticize non-essential items most harshly. While few people encounter public scorn for activities such as driving — which pollutes heavily but remains a necessity — choosing to patronize beauty brands accused of unsustainable practices has long raised eyebrows. Cosmetics manufacturers continue to experiment with new techniques to create products that enhance beauty without destroying the planet.

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Environment

Common Beauty Industry Environmental Issues

December 13, 2018
beauty industry environmental issues

This is the first of a five-post series looking into environmental issues with the beauty industry, areas it’s excelling in sustainability and where we can expect to see sustainability efforts improve in the future.

 

More people than ever before recognize the importance of going green to humankind’s continued existence on this planet and with good reason. The most recent National Climate Assessment strongly suggests that failing to take immediate action to address climate change will cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars.

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Green Technology

Waste Companies Turning Food Waste to Energy

November 26, 2018
food waste to energy

About one-third of the food the world produces each year for consumption by humans gets wasted or lost. In fact, they throw away up to $2,200 in food per year. This creates a financial burden for families as well as waste companies and municipalities that must determine what to do with all this waste. New York City, for example, spends about $400 million each year shipping the waste it collects to landfills and incinerators across the country.

This wasted food also has a significant environmental impact. It represents a lot of wasted resources — not just the food itself, but also the land, water and energy it took to produce it. Food decomposing in landfills also releases a gas composed of approximately 50 percent methane and 50 percent carbon dioxide, both of which contribute to the greenhouse effect. Landfills are responsible for about 14 percent of human-related methane emissions in the U.S.

There are various efforts underway to prevent this food waste and its negative impacts. In 2015, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set the nation’s food waste reduction goals, which aimed to cut waste by 50 percent by 2030.

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Oceans

Common Chemicals in Our Water Supply and How to Avoid Them

November 15, 2018
chemicals in water supply

People rely on tap water almost every day of their lives, at least in the United States, where we are lucky enough to have running water available in our homes. Most of the time, people don’t question the safety of their water. However, when a water crisis such as the one in Flint, Michigan captures public attention, people grow more concerned about the chemicals that may exist in their water.

The human instinct to guard the water supply exists for a reason. Water contaminated by undesirable bacteria and chemicals can make people sick, sometimes severely so. For this reason, it’s smart to remain cautious about water safety even when no obvious problems present themselves.

Let’s consider which chemicals enter the water supply and how you can avoid them.

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