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MiEarth.org


MiEarth.org is a website containing videos "designed to celebrate great environmental work in Michigan, educate people about what they can do, and inspire them to take action." You can view videos about a variety of environmental topics and projects in Michigan. If you log in and create an account, you can even post one yourself. There are several different categories of videos on the site including "Green Communities", "My View" and "Green Inc" where you can learn about the sustainable practices of posted local companies and organizations. The website also has an environmentally-themed blog.

Convention on Biological Diversity Report

The bad news is that about one-fifth of animal species are at risk of extinction, according to a report released by governments and conservation groups that met in October for the Convention of Biological Diversity in Nagoya, Japan. The good news, according to an article summary of the report, is that the number of threatened species would be even higher if not for the success of conservation efforts. Unfortunately, given the recent global economic crisis conservation efforts have lately taken a back seat.

Law Resources

One of the results of the downturned economy is that more people than ever are representing themselves in law matters. These "self-represented litigants" often feel lost in a sea of information and are not sure where to begin. The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) and the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN) teamed to host "Public Libraries and Access to Justice" which provided lists of helpful resources which we have compiled into Law Resources. The resources include: where to find legal assistance, common legal citations and where to find them, information on different types of law including family, bankruptcy, landlord tenant, debtor and creditor, elder, immigration, foreclosure, social security, veterans, and wills and estate planning laws.

Does Your Scented Candle Emit Toxic Chemicals?

According to an article in USA Today, a recent study indicates that it is likely. The study, which did not disclose brand names, analyzed top-selling air fresheners, laundry products including detergents, personal care products such as soaps and cleaning products. They found that all of the products tested emitted at least one chemical classified as toxic. The study did not find any difference in the so-called green products. To learn more about toxins in the environment you may want to check out Dodging the Toxic Bullet: How to Protect Yourself from Everyday Environmental Health Hazards by David R. Boyd. [Photo courtesy of AP Images]

30 Entertaining Ways to Go Green

I just read Sleeping Naked is Green by Vanessa Farquharson — one woman's attempt to incorporate one new green activity a day into her life for one year. If you are trying to lead a greener life, but sick of feeling guilty about that one cup of coffee you had in a Styrofoam cup last week, this might be the book for you. It is told with a sense of humor and interesting Canadian view-point, but yet has some good ideas as to how to lead a greener life. In celebration of CPL's thirtieth anniversary, here are thirty of the more entertaining (and sometimes downright gross) ideas that Vanessa attempted to incorporate into her life during her one year adventure:
  1. Forgo electronic gym equipment
  2. Switch to recycled toilet paper
  3. Use handkerchiefs instead of tissues
  4. Switch to vegan-friendly dental floss
  5. Invest in permanent laser hair removal rather than shaving and waxing
  6. Pick up litter when you see it
  7. Switch to recycled, recyclable razors

Could there be an upside to Detroit's downsizing?

John Gallagher thinks there is, and discusses it in his new book Reimagining Detroit: Opportunities for Redefining an American City. In a Detroit Free Press article, Gallagher writes that trying to rebuild Detroit into its former glory by repopulating the city's empty spaces and returning downtown to the shopping area it once was is not the answer. He argues that we must envision a different future for Detroit — perhaps with less people, but room for more community gardens, bike lanes and transit lines.

Missed the Meteor Shower?

Did you miss the Perseid meteor shower due to the overcast evening? Or, perhaps, you decided sleep was more important? Or did you just forget? If you missed it, you may want to read this man's account of the meteor shower from a kayak on Lake Michigan. You might also want to check out theskyscrapers.org and mark your calendar for future meteor events. Be sure to have Falling Stars: A Guide to Meteors and Meteorites by Mike D. Reynolds by your side.

Team Canton Resource Guide

Canton community leaders, including local business professionals, health care professionals, school representatives, judges and attorneys, have united to form Team Canton with the purpose of bringing local resources together in order to help those in need. Team Canton's Community Assistance Resource Guide contains local information on "food pantries, clothing banks, financial assistance, job placement assistance, and education and training programs" and more. You may also want to check out this relevant blog posting on recession resources.

How Safe is Your Favorite Beach?

You may have heard about the recent Lunar Pier beach closure on Lake Erie over the July Fourth weekend due to dangerously high levels of E. coli. And you, like me, might have wondered how clean the water is at your favorite beach. Has it had any recent closures or health advisories? One way that you can check is to search the Michigan BeachGuard System. You can select a county from the map to see beach information for that county or use the search box in the navigation bar to find by beach or waterbody name.

Beekeeping - Is it for you?

So you've heard about the declining bee populations as well as how important these pollinators are to the environment. One-third of our food supply relies upon them for pollination which is essential for the reproduction of the plants the bees service. If these are not reasons enough to keep bees there is also the delectable honey. If you have been entertaining the idea of keeping bees you probably already know this, but you might not know the next step. First, you should consider the negative aspects of keeping bees.

How You Can Help Wildlife Impacted by the BP Oil Spill

The catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused by the April explosion of a BP offshore oil rig has put local economies, wildlife and the Gulf's ecosystem at risk. It has been described as the "worst environmental disaster in our nation's history." The affected area is home to more than 400 species of wildlife including whales, egrets, herons, otters, dolphins and millions of migratory birds. Check the NWF's website to see how you can help the wildlife recover. For more information on how our dependence on fossil fuels affect the environment check out Crude: The Real Price of Oil or Crude Impact.

2010 Green Street Fair

The Third Annual Green Street Fair will return to the streets of Downtown Plymouth from April 30 to May 2. To promote global interest and personal well-being, the Green Street Fair "blends companies, artisans, entertainers, workshops and speakers together in a friendly and family-oriented outdoor environment." Admission is free.
Event Hours
DayHours
Friday, April 30Noon-7:00PM
Saturday, May 110:00AM-7:00PM
Sunday, May 210:00AM-5:00PM

Take the Commuter Challenge in May!

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is challenging you to take the Commuter Challenge in May. The Commuter Challenge is simply "a fun and exciting way to encourage you to carpool, vanpool, ride public transportation, bike, walk or use telework or flextime benefits". You can actually win prizes while you help the environment! If you are considering the biking option you may also want to check out Google Maps which has added a bicycle directions option to its service.

Earth Day Programs at CPL

We're celebrating Earth Day all week (April 18 - 23) and want you to join us! There will be events for adults, teens, tweens and children, including: Also, be sure to share your green tips and tricks with the community by posting on the Electronic Green Board.