Ban the Beads / Plastic Polyethylene PE – Ecofacts V.10 n.27

face washing

hat a good idea, to load a bunch o’ bits of plastic into skin washes and toothpaste to make us cleaner, eh?  Maybe not. The problem is lots of us enjoy scrubbing away the dead stuff to leave our skin glowing and radiant!  So thousands of personal care products contain polyethylene (PE) or other forms of plastic, to better exfoliate. And as usual, economics has won out and plastic is a lot cheaper … [Read more...]

Sunscreens and Skin – Ecofacts V.10 n. 26


Although the Vitamin D given to us by the sun is necessary, our sun exposure has caused skin cancer rates to triple in the last few decades. UVA rays, always present during daylight hours and penetrating clouds and glass, cause much of the aging changes in the skin.  UVB rays, much more present in summer and midday, cause sunburn, which is directly linked to cancer. Both can be damaging. Broad … [Read more...]

The Sun and Us Ecofacts V.10 n.25

The sun marks our days, it brings us joy and beauty, gives us vitamin D, and in the last few decades, worry. Although it is a primary source of all life, some of its radiation - UV, ultraviolet - can be harmful at high levels to many life forms. In the 70s it became understood that certain common chemicals (CFCs) were destroying the ozone layer, which absorbed some of this UV radiation. … [Read more...]

Globe Moral Grounds – Ecofacts V.10 n.24


Discussions around the globe have been sparked by the Pope's much anticipated book length document on climate change: On Care for our Common Home".   Other spiritual leaders are responding:     "The ecological crisis is essentially a spiritual problem… The proper relationship between humanity and the earth or its natural environment has broken with a fall, both outwardly and within us…" (John … [Read more...]

The Flow of Oil – Ecofacts V.10 n.23

winter solstice

When the inevitable oil spills occur, it is the thick black stuff flowing onto the ground and waters that gets our attention, and those heart wrenching images of beaches lined with the stuff, of the dead and dying sea mammals and birds.   We hear little about the associated substances in that oil flowing through the pipelines that are dangerous and harmful.  In the last weeks here in Santa … [Read more...]

Local Governments and Local Living Environment – Ecofacts v.10 n. 22

healthy house

From my friend Ben Werner, whose work I admire: Is our only hope for survival on this planet to reduce our footprint? This notion presupposes that human impact on our environment is mostly negative, and though this has certainly been the case for much of modern human history, the fact that any species in a sustainable ecosystem is an integral part of that ecosystem begs the question, “What would … [Read more...]

Drinking Water – Ecofacts V.0 n.22

contaminants in the water supply

My journey to find drinking water that I can really enjoy:   If it isn't obvious, I cannot buy water in plastic bottles unless forced to, not liking plastic or BPA or the business of it. I do not like the taste of SB tap water, nor do I like its chlorine. I admit to buying water from the corner market water dispensers in my 3 gallon glass bottles. But I live in droughtland and have learned a few … [Read more...]

Energy woes,Oil, wake ups & wins – Ecofacts V.10 n.21

winter solstice

Another oil spill, noticed especially because of our very well known local history. Clearly, accidents and their resulting environmental harm are inevitable from drilling and transporting fossil fuels. Plains Pipeline, who owns this one, has had 175 infractions in the last 8 years. Each year, NOAA responds to 100+ oil and chemical spills, and just reported the proven link between the alarming … [Read more...]

The Pope and environmental action – Ecofacts V.10 n.20


"Pope Francis’ closest adviser castigated conservative climate change skeptics in the United States Tuesday, blaming capitalism for their views. Speaking with journalists, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga criticized certain “movements” in the United States that have preemptively come out in opposition to Francis’s planned encyclical on climate change.  “The ideology surrounding environmental … [Read more...]

GOODS not BADS Ecofacts V.10 n.19


I saw a Whole Foods bag that said "Buy Goods, Not Bads" and was struck by this truly great marketing slogan. In a few words, it wants people to see how their market is different from regular supermarkets. But it could also have a greater impact. If focused upon, it might actually cause a pause... in the normal flow of buying, while walking down the aisle of a store, a questioning.   Most … [Read more...]