Is the melamine contamination found in pet food an isolated event or evidence of a larger problem? (See our story on page 48.) Are organic fertilizers really less toxic than synthetic fertilizers? Are heavy metals accumulating in your garden soil? Safe Food and Fertilizer is cooperating with the Ohio Network for the Chemically Injured as they explore the link between toxins in the environment and your health. For $20 per sample, the University of North Carolina will test for 26 heavy metals using X-Ray fluorescence. Participate in the “Detect and Protect” project by testing your fertilizer (organic and non-organic), pet food, garden soil, and potting soils. Liquid samples are not accepted. Download an application at www.safefoodandfertilizer.org.
Welcome one of our newest projects, Women’s Earth Alliance. WEA is an international organization that works to equip women around the world with the communication tools, training opportunities, information-sharing, and connections they need to meaningfully influence environmental and social change.
WEA grew out of a previous EII project launched in 2005, Women’s Global Green Action Network – where activists, mothers, entrepreneurs, educators, and health workers from around the world joined forces to define their needs as women environmental leaders.
WEA is built upon the needs of these women and the hundreds of thousands like them. It is a forum for their vision to bear fruit, and their stories to be told. The organization will provide both face-to-face and virtual mechanisms for women to exchange best practices, share resources, model leadership, and define a shared agenda.
Contact information is found on page 16 of this magazine.
Earth Island also welcomes WildeBeat. This new project is an audio journal – like a radio news magazine – presenting news and features to help listeners explore the Earth’s remaining wild places. The programs are available through the Internet to well over 100 million iPod and other portable digital audio player users, and for broadcast on public, college, and community radio stations.
WildeBeat’s mission is “to present news and information to promote safe and environmentally responsible wilderness recreation, enabling people to discover the value of wild public lands.”
In February SAVE International co-sponsored a forum at University of California, Berkeley focused on how to remodel “design activism” – that is, using the disciplines of architecture, landscape construction, and urban planning to help make positive changes in the world.
One of the issues that drew the most attention was a Taiwanese campaign to protect Chi-ku Lagoon, a tidal wetland that had been slated to become an oil refinery until local residents successfully had the area designated as a National Scenic Area. Designers at the forum brainstormed ways to encourage tourism at the site without attracting giant, pollution-spewing buses.
SAVE, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, plans to work with designers to create a low-impact tourism center for the marsh.
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