Ozville in Action

What can you do? Come here and find out! Learn ways you can help others, save the planet, and have a healthier existence.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Always Coca-Cola

Wow. OK, no product to push today, just an interesting article about everyone's favourite poison. Excerpt below, from

India Resource

Coca-Cola Crisis in India

Communities across India are under assault from Coca-Cola practices in the country. A pattern has emerged as a result of Coca-Cola's bottling operations in India.
  • Communities across India living around Coca-Cola's bottling plants are experiencing severe water shortages, directly as a result of Coca-Cola's massive extraction of water from the common groundwater resource. The wells have run dry and the hand water pumps do not work any more. Studies, including one by the Central Ground Water Board in India, have confirmed the significant depletion of the water table.
  • When the water is extracted from the common groundwater resource by digging deeper, the water smells and tastes strange. Coca-Cola has been indiscriminately discharging its waste water into the fields around its plant and sometimes into rivers, including the Ganges, in the area. The result has been that the groundwater has been polluted as well as the soil. Public health authorities have posted signs around wells and hand pumps advising the community that the water is unfit for human consumption.
  • In two communities, Plachimada and Mehdiganj, Coca-Cola was distributing its solid waste to farmers in the area as "fertilizer". Tests conducted by the BBC found cadmium and lead in the waste, effectively making the waste toxic waste. Coca-Cola stopped the practice of distributing its toxic waste only when ordered to do so by the state government.
  • Tests conducted by a variety of agencies, including the government of India, confirmed that Coca-Cola products contained high levels of pesticides, and as a result, the Parliament of India has banned the sale of Coca-Cola in its cafeteria. However, Coca-Cola not only continues to sell drinks laced with poisons in India (that could never be sold in the US and EU), it is also introducing new products in the Indian market. And as if selling drinks with DDT and other pesticides to Indians was not enough, one of Coca-Cola's latest bottling facilities to open in India, in Ballia, is located in an area with a severe contamination of arsenic in its groundwater.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Destiny Maker

I received this in my email today, and just wanted to share it. A man by the name of Glen Fenster is raising awareness for epilepsy by biking across the US. I'd love to do something like that. Any suggestions for a skinny, unemployed girl? :-D

From Denver to Miami (The Long Way) - One Man’s 8100 Mile Bicycle Journey for Epilepsy

On April 28thth, 2008 Glenn Fenster will embark on a 8100 mile bicycle journey from Denver, Colorado to Miami, Florida (the Long Way).


His inspiration and reason for this ambitious undertaking is his 14 year-old son, Nyle, who has suffered from acute epilepsy since he was just two years old. Glenn is riding to show his son that no matter what the disability, everyone has the capacity to reach for their dreams. He does not ride just for his son, but for other kids and adults living with epilepsy.

In 2006 Glenn biked 4036 miles from Seattle Washington to Miami Florida, to promote epilepsy awareness, with the support of the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida. Last year’s ride from Alaska added another 2500 miles to his journey, along with the challenges of the ‘northern climate’, which can be unpredictable and definitely much colder then what he experienced previously. According to Mr. Fenster, “This trip pales in comparison to the courage my son and others exhibit each day”.


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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bottle or Tap?

Today I will give you two reasons why you should give up drinking out of plastic water bottles. Yep, I'm going to jump right into this! Plastic bottles are a big problem, did you know that? Well, just read....

1. Bottled water is no better than tap water. In fact, it can be worse.

From Whole Life Times:

“There is no assurance that just because water comes out of a bottle it is any cleaner or safer than water from the tap,” concluded a study of 1,000 samples of 103 brands of bottled water, conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in 1999. Nearly one fourth of the brands tested by the NRDC were found to have contamination on some level.

And then there’s the question of water quality monitoring, far more rigorous and regular for municipal tap water supplies than for bottled. While tap water is regulated by the EPA, bottled water is mandated by the FDA. The EPA tests tap water more often and for more contaminants than the FDA does for bottled water, including tests for coliform bacteria, E. coli and pathogens such as cryptosporidium and giardia.

And get this:

At least a quarter of all bottled water is taken directly from municipal sources. That’s right: the source of at least 25 percent (and some believe up to 40 percent) of bottled water is not the fairytale mountain streams depicted on the bottle, but rather your own municipal tap.
Whole Life Times

I have to admit, I am absolutely guilty of doing the following – I thought I was doing a good thing by re-using plastic bottles. But it turns out… not so much.

From The Green Guide:
Water aside, the plastic used in both single-use and reusable bottles can pose more of a contamination threat than the water. A safe plastic if used only once, #1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) is the most common resin used in disposable bottles. However, as #1 bottles are reused, which they commonly are, they can leach chemicals such as DEHA, a known carcinogen, and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), a potential hormone disrupter. According to the January 2006 Journal of Environmental Monitoring, some PET bottled-water containers were found to leach antimony, an elemental metal that is an eye, skin, and lung irritant at high doses. Also, because the plastic is porous you'll likely get a swill of harmful bacteria with each gulp if you reuse #1 plastic bottles.

OK, that’s all I’m going to say (or, share) about the water you’re drinking, but now on to #2

2. Plastic bottles create tons of waste (literally)

According to the report (by the California Department of Conservation), more than 1 billion water bottles are winding up in the trash in California each year. That translates into nearly 3 million empty water bottles going to the trash EVERY day and an estimated $26 million in unclaimed California Refund Value (CRV) deposits annually. If recycled, the raw materials from those bottles could be used to make 74 million square feet of carpet, 74 million extra large T-shirts or 16 million sweaters, among other things.

By the way, there’s an interesting exhibit by a guy named Chris Jordan which includes a large (60 X 120 feet) piece depicting 2 million water bottles. Why 2 million? That’s how many water bottles are used in the US every 5 minutes.

According to Greenpeace (and Wikipedia), there are several large trash vortexes floating around in the sea…. The North Pacific sub-tropical gyre covers a large area of the Pacific in which the water circulates clockwise in a slow spiral. Winds are light. The currents tend to force any floating material into the low energy central area of the gyre. There are few islands on which the floating material can beach. So it stays there in the gyre, in astounding quantities estimated at six kilos of plastic for every kilo of naturally occurring plankton. The equivalent of an area the size of Texas swirling slowly around like a clock. This gyre has also been dubbed "the Asian Trash Trail" the "Trash Vortex" or the "Eastern Garbage Patch".

Check this out: Gyre Animation

How many plastic bottles do you think there are there? Have I turned you off to plastic bottles yet? Good! So now what will you drink out of? Here’s the solution – get something like Sigg’s aluminum re-usable water bottle (there are several other brands out there, but this one is available at Whole Foods, and that’s where I go) and fill it up with tap water! Siggs uses a taste-inert, water-based epoxy lining which leaches no detectable quantities of BPA (while other unlined aluminum and polycarbonate bottles do). So good for the earth, good for you! And not that you have to, but I encourage you to sign the Take Back The Tap Pledge! I did. :-D

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy (belated. Don't tell me you didn't need a day to recover) New Year! Today I’d just like to challenge you to make 2008 the greenest year ever. I’ve already challenged myself to this – to purchase the greener choice whenever it’s available. Not only the greener choice, but I guess you could call it the most socially conscious choice. You know, try to avoid buying clothing made in sweatshops, or meat that wasn’t raised or killed humanely. Or give up meat all together. I’m going to try to eat more produce that is grown locally (by buying at the farmer’s markets) and look into more natural cures for ailments, rather than popping a pill. I wish I could give up driving, but I don’t see that happening in L.A.! Maybe I'll get a hybrid car, or a SmartCar (SmartCarOfAmerica or SmartUSA). Anyway, I invite you to join me in making healthier choices this year. Subscribe to this blog for occasional tips to help you along. For today's tip, I'm going to share a fantastic website that you should all check out:

Carbon Conscious Consumer Logo