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14

A River Runs Through It: Hungary’s Toxic Sludge Trail

Brianne

Last week, several towns in western Hungary were flooded with a red toxic sludge from an aluminum plant after a reservoir brimming with the toxic sludge, a byproduct from aluminum processing, overtook the levee designed to contain it, flooding two villages 100 miles southwest of Budapest. So far it’s killed four people, injured 120 (manly causing burns to the skin and eyes), and seven people are missing. The red sludge has high levels of caustic material and the sludge contains heavy metals, including lead, is slightly radioactive, and toxic if ingested; inhaling the dust can cause lung cancer. People exposed to it suffered burns as it soaked their clothing, with one report of a man being burned to the bone. In addition cars were swept from the roads, with bridges and houses damaged. Emergency workers have poured 1,000 tons of plaster into the Marcal river to try to bind the sludge that burst from a waste reservoir to keep it from flowing to the Danube, some 45 miles away. Hungary’s environment minister, Zoltan Illes, said that the cleanup could cost tens of millions of pounds and take at least a year. The environmental disaster scale is yet to be fully realized.

Written by Greenista Girl Brianne

Photo by APBela Szandelszky

When you toss batteries into a landfill, its chemicals can leach into ground water and contaminate it. Make sure you recycle all your batteries.
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Become a green leader in your community and volunteer for a non-profit environmental organization.
Sep
09

Girl Power: Eco-Savvy Politicos

Brianne

Celebs are not the only ones in the lime green light these days. Politicians are making an impact and using their influence to make a difference in the green world. A member of the Kenyan Parliament and one-time presidential candidate, Wangari Maathai, is best known for her Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, for “her contribution to sustainable development, democracy, and peace.” Maathai is also founder of the Green Belt Movement. Next up is the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark. She has pledged to make Kiwiland the first carbon-neutral country by reducing emissions. Last but not least is Marina Silva, founder of the independent trade-union movement. She won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her activism on behalf of the rainforest and the rubber tappers who make a sustainable living from it. Today, she is Brazil’s environment minister and a devoted protector of the Amazon. These powerful female politicians are green royalty in our book!

Written by Greenista Girl Brianne

Photos by Green Belt Movement

The Green Belt Movement provides income and sustenance to millions of people in Kenya through the planting of trees. It also conducts educational campaigns to raise awareness about women's rights, civic empowerment, and the environment throughout Kenya and Africa.
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Look for local Organic Harvest month celebrations taking place at your local farmers market, grocery stores, restaurants, and parks.
Sep
02

Celebrate National Organic Harvest Month

Brianne

As August slowly slips through the cracks, September brings a yummier month. It kicks off National Organic Harvest month. The Organic Trade Association started Organic Harvest month to celebrate all the plentiful fruits and veggies that fall brings. Experiment with fresh fruit recipes and feel free to veg out the all-natural way. If you don’t eat organic already, this month can be your fresh start – take this as your cue to experiment away. Check out this yummy list of bountiful fruits and veggies that are ripe in September.

  • String beans
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  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Collard greens
  • Eggplant
  • Herbs
  • Kale
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  • Leeks
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  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Radishes
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Squash
  • Swiss chard
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapes
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raspberry
  • Watermelon

Written by Greenista Girl Brianne

Photos by Kiwi

Organic produces tends to contain higher vitamin C content than non organics … really!
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Aug
26

Clueless No More: Alicia Silverstone Promotes Veganism

Brianne

A far cry from her vapid, materialistic character she played in Clueless, Alicia Silverstone is now using her popularity to advocate for eco-friendly living. Silverstone, who was also the “Sexiest Female Vegetarian” title holder by PETA, says “Everything you do in the name of the environment not only saves your health, it saves your soul.” Silverstone doesn’t claim to be extra crunchy when it comes to the green spectrum, but she does what she can. The green-conscious actress is always looking for ways to improve her home, diet, and even her ride … she switch to a hybrid. The real-life vegan blonde beauty also just launched her website The Kind Life in combination with her vegan nutrition guide, The Kind Diet. The site covers a wide variety of eco-centric topics such as style, health, environment, and home. The site also features yummy organic recipes, a forum, and a welcome video from the self-professed technologically-impaired but eco-friendly actress. It’s safe to say, Alicia Silverstone is anything but clueless when it comes to living eco-friendly.

Written by Greenista Girl Brianne

Photos by The PETA Files

Being vegan is super easy on the environment. First of all, you’ll take a stand against hurting or even using animal-produced products (milk, butter, and cheese are a no, no) and won’t contribute to all those greenhouse gases that livestock emits.
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Jul
08

Cool Runnings: 10 Green Ways to Stay Cool

Brianne

Can’t stand the heat? Neither can we. Most of the country is in the midst of a sticky heat wave. Check out Greenista’s top 10 ways to stay cool the eco-friendly way.

  1. If AC is a must, you can still save energy. Try a window unit instead of cooling the whole house with central air. Also, put your AC on a timer or the energy saver setting so it goes on and off throughout the day and night.  And make sure the filters are clean.
  2. Turn off extra lights and close your curtains to block out sun.
  3. Try a window fan on the rotating setting.
  4. Wear lightweight, loose clothing.
  5. Cool your pulse points with a wet, chilled cloth or bandana around your neck.
  6. Avoid big meals. Instead try a few small ones throughout the day.
  7. Eat spicy food. It makes you sweat without raising your body temperature.
  8. Stay cool under the covers by filling water bottles with ice water or wrap your sheets in a bag and toss them in the freezer for an hour or so.
  9. Take a cold shower right before bed and go to sleep with wet hair.
  10. Finally, drink lots of cold water. It’ll make your core temperature drop.

Written by Greenista Girl Brianne
Photo by Getty Images

If you’re in the market for a new air conditioner, try energy star. Not only is it better for the environment but cut costs by 30%.
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