avatar Steve

The Birthday Boy – What’s Wrong with this Picture?

This is my son Jasiah. Today is his second birthday. He is smart, beautiful, creative, and happy. He is a joy to be around. Like all parents, I want to encourage him to explore the world and make his own mistakes, while protecting him from harm.

Photo of Jasiah with his Mini Shop Vac

Jasiah loves hoses of all kinds more than anything else in the world. Garden hoses, aquarium hoses, vacuum cleaner hoses, you name it – he loves it. He especially loves our little shop vac, which is the first thing he gets out to play with in the morning and that last thing he plays with at night before he goes to bed.

So his big birthday present today was his very own Mini Shop Vac. As you can see – he loves it.

Unfortunately, a bill just introduced in the Maine Legislature (LD 1129) would exempt products like this shop vac and the carpet he is sitting on (which he plays with or on for several hours EVERY DAY) from Maine’s Kid-Safe Products law, which lets Maine remove the most dangerous chemicals that harm our children from everyday products.

If you live in Maine, you can celebrate Jasiah’s birthday by taking a moment to help stop this attack on our children’s health: http://ehsc.e-actionmax.com/takeaction.asp?aaid=810

avatar Lauralee

Pepsi, the Choice of a New Generation…of plastic bottles!

On my drive to our Bangor office yesterday morning, I heard a brief NPR story about the newest Cola War between Pepsi and Coke – ‘Green bottles.’

This week, Pepsi unveiled a new bottle made entirely of plant material – switch grass, pine bark and corn husks. Coke fired back with a statement saying (in so many words), “Oh yeah, we have a bottle that will be 100% green too!” That’s right, two of the largest soda companies are fighting over who is reducing their carbon footprint more. Awesome!

I started getting super excited about the possibilities right here in Maine for providing companies with the materials for bio-based products that create good jobs and products that are safe for our families.

We have ideas – what we need is capital. Without funds for research and development, Maine could miss out on a golden opportunity for new industries and the jobs they would create. That’s why we’re working to support and pass three bond initiatives at the State House that would fund Research and Development on using Maine’s Natural Resources sustainably. I want Maine to be on the cutting edge of green technology. Just think of the possibilities!

avatar Lauralee

Fostering Cutting Edge Technology…except in Congress.

It’s been a really exciting first week at the Environmental Health Strategy Center! I started last Monday as the organization’s new Sustainable Economy Program Manager.

What exactly will I be doing? Helping to foster cutting edge technology that’s environmentally responsible, makes people happy and HEALTHY, and creates jobs in our local economies. More specifically, I will be working with businesses and leaders all over Maine to manufacture products, materials and chemicals that are cleaner, safer and more environmentally sustainable.

With rising evidence of harm from existing products, these goals couldn’t be more important… which is why I am perplexed after reading the latest headline out of Washington, DC. John Boehner, new House Speaker in Washington, is reversing the capitol building cafeteria policy of using a safer alternative to regular plastic. His office was so excited about it, in fact, that one of his staffers tweeted: “The new majority-plasticware is back.”

You read that right. Petroleum based plastics are making a comeback in Congress after former House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, took steps to reduce our carbon footprint by initiating green alternatives like biodegradable corn starch.

I hope we don’t continue to take or celebrate any more steps backward like this. EHSC does both safer chemicals and sustainable economy work because we know we need to phase out the worst chemicals to protect health and create safer products as alternatives. We believe in a future where our health is protected in a sustainable economy. There is obviously much work to be done! Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more about what’s on tap with our Sustainable Economy program (lraymond@preventharm.org).