DiNP chemical found in plastics hampers development of boys’ naughty bits

dinp-chemicalResearch published in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, in October 2014 showed that boys’ naughty bits were slightly different if, during pregnancy, their mothers had been exposed to greater amounts of a chemical that occurs in vinyl products. 196 Swedish babies were studied in this, the first study to connect the chemical, di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP), with changes in foetus development.

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Social Entrepreneurs making a difference in UK textile recycling

social-entrepreneurs-ukIn 2008, at the height of the global financial recession a husband and wife team, Michael and Ann Reaney, decided that something needed to be done to improve the job prospects of young people in their local area. After careful thought the couple decided to open a charity shop with a difference in heart of Birmingham. They christened their altruistic project “Grow-A-Job”.

6 years on the “Grow-A-Job” programme has been hugely successful and resulted in scores of unemployed young people finding work.

Their philosophy is simple but effective. Give an unemployed young person a six month placement offering real work experience, training and a reference.

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Loom bands threaten the world

loom-bands-environmental-impactLoom bands are thingies comprised of interlocking elastic bands. The interlocking bit is accomplished by means of a Rainbow Loom kit or fingers. Over three million Rainbow Looms have been sold worldwide and now Amazon’s top 30 best-selling toys are loom-related. Celebrities seen wearing loom bands include the Duchess of Cambridge, David Beckham and Miley Cyrus, even though loom bands threaten the world.

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Angelenos take the Dirty Car Pledge

dirty-car-pledgeNine months after Governor Brown declared a state of emergency in response to California’s worst drought on record, thousands of residents have taken the Dirty Car Pledge and will not wash their cars for 60 days. The campaign, initiated by Los Angeles Waterkeeper, seeks to increase awareness of the badness of the drought and empower people to relieve the situation themselves.

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They can be shy, they can be sociable – sharks have feelings, too: sharks’ personality

shark-personalityA study led by the University of Exeter and the Marine Biology Association of the United Kingdom and published in the journal, Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, on 2 October 2014 has found that those legendary predators, sharks, have personalities which are evident from the manner in which they interact with other sharks. Personalities have been discerned in almost every kind of animal, be it an insect or a massive carnivore, however this is the first time that sharks’ personality has been noted.

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Students asked to pee in the shower to save water

pee-in-the-shower-save-waterStudents at the University of East Anglia in Norwich have been implored to pee in the shower to save water. A campaign with this aim named #gowiththeflow (1) was devised by students Chris Dobson and Debs Torr.

The idea reached the final stage of the Npower Future Leaders Challenge, a competition where students conceive projects that would cause other students to live more sustainably. There are 28 other competitors. Students are invited to enact the eight best ideas. Members of the winning team will go to the Amazonian rainforest and work with the Kaxinawá tribe.

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TEDxWWF: One Planet Living – sharing stories meant to be shared

one-planet-livingDo we need to solve our planet Earth? Our planet won’t need us. It’s actually time to solve our species, humankind, whose existence on planet Earth is seriously threatened. Threatened by whom? By humankind. Our enemy is within. We are simply disconnected from reality.

The WWF European Office celebrated its 25 anniversary on 13 October 2014 in Brussels (Happy Birthday!), and the EU representation of the German state of Bavaria hosted the amazing TEDxWWF event “One Planet Living” on this occasion (1). It was her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien from the Netherlands in person who welcomed and introduced the inspiring speakers of this evening, speakers who shared their personal insights and ideas with an enthusiastic audience.

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The new Living Planet Report 2014 is out, and it’s not good news

living-planet-report-2014Every year the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and their partners publish their Living Planet Report, an assessment of the status of our planet’s natural capital. The new edition was published this week and, in the words of WWF International Director General Marco Lambertini, it’s “not for the faint-hearted”. The Report measures three different key indicators – the Living Planet Index (LPI), the ecological footprint, and the water footprint.

Neither of these is good news. Here are the main findings from the Living Planet Report 2014

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