Environmental Groups Need More Diversity

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egcdThe lack of representation of people of color in recognized student environmental groups (which most people will associate with predominantly white campuses) can be attributed to many factors, including recruitment and publicity. Who does the campus environmental group reach out to or work with in coalition? Like often attracts like, and so if the group begins as predominantly of a specific race, the tendency to remain racially homogeneous is great.

As an individual, woman and a person of color, my experience in working with a predominantly white local campus group was one of discomfort. My frustration was not only due …

Sometimes, You’ve Got To Stand Up

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eaBelleville Township High School East in suburban St. Louis is not exactly a bastion of environmental awareness. We had an “ecology club” but my when my parents could not afford the 75 bucks they required for a wilderness weekend in Canada, I gave up on the environment for the time being. Instead, I decided I would either be the next Emily Dickinson or the first woman major league baseball player.

But when I got to college I got mad. There were so many problems with this country and the world, and I felt powerless to change …

The Plastics Industry – Hurting America For Decades

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piThree days shy of Easter 1991, the high priests of plastics packaging gathered to present their own version of the resurrection story. Stung by environmental criticisms of their industry, they proclaimed that milk jugs, foam cups and egg cartons would no longer remain entombed in landfills for centuries to come. Instead, plastic packaging would rise again through the modern-day miracle of recycling.

“Nationwide plastics recycling will be second nature to a majority of Americans in only a few short years,” said John Pepper, president of Procter & Gamble (P&G), as he unveiled a “Blueprint for Plastics Recycling” at …

Worrying Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Neurotic

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wdnI’m a worrier, from a long line of Women Worriers. Around my neck, I wear the mascot of my ancestry: a clawshaped charm said to ward off the evil eye. A gift from Mom, of course. She worries most about freak disasters, like a hurricane blowing away her house. “If we’re still here next year” is a favorite conversational opener. My ruminations are usually more grounded: We’re not saving enough for college. Why do the kids prefer Happy Meals to mine? But when I really get going, I can embroider fantastic tapestries of worry. Like last summer, when I convinced …

Handguns – The Debate Rages Forever

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handgunsA shocking number of violent crimes–more than a million a year–are committed by people carrying handguns. Now a new hid before Congress promises a way to keep us ad safer. Can it work?

Go ahead: Guess how many hand guns are In circulation in the United States right now.

Seven million? Seventeen million? Try 77 million. But that’s not all. Close to two million new ones are manufactured and added to the marketplace each year.

Why? Guns are in demand. Guns make money–it’s a nine-billion-dollar-year industry.

And guns kill people. Of course, the tenet of the National Rifle Association (NRA)

Can Love Conquer All? Yes, It Can

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clcaIt’s almost bedtime in the Sugarman home, and pandemonium has broken out. The 2-year-old twins, Kyle and Erin, are clamoring to be chased, their baby shoes thumping as they race, pink-checked and shrieking, from room to room. Soon Randy and Hone Sugarman will round up their son and daughter in preparation for a favorite nighttime ritual: The whole family makes a train as the toddlers chug off to bed, chanting, “Na-na-na-na, choo! choo!”

It is a scene that is remarkable only for its ordinariness. And yet for the Sugarmans, both 39, the ordinary is remarkable indeed. “It’s been an amazing …

In Retirement, Benefits Aren’t An Option

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There you are, happy as a clam, handling the bills and letting your husband take care of the big financial decisions. Then he dies, or leaves you for a cutie pie half his age. What happens to the financial safety net you thought you had?

That depends. Here’s what every woman needs to know about getting her fair share in case she’s widowed or divorced.


If you’re covered under your husband’s employee plan:

hi1. You can usually stay in the plan for up to three years, at your expense, if his company employs 20 or more people. You’re …

Getting To Know Sunblock

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gtksbThere’s a lot you may not know about sunscreen. Here are ten ways to ensure it works right.

1. Sunscreens and sunblocks aren’t the same. Sunscreens contain chemical ingredients that absorb harmful ultraviolet light; sunblocks are formulated with micronized minerals like titanium dioxide that reflect rays. Both offer what’s called broad-spectrum protection from ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, those responsible for speeding up the aging process. But blocks generally provide more coverage, especially for those with sensitive or fair skin, because they act as a physical barrier against damaging light. To be sure a product is a …

Buses Cause Issues With Child Health

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bciwchWest Harlem’s Roberto Clemente Elementary School has a problem with busing – or, more accurately, with buses.

The school sits directly across the street from an entrance to the Manhattanville Bus Depot. Every day, 380 city buses cruise in and out of the station. They are joined in an almost constant parade by hundreds of garbage trucks, which rumble up and down the same street on their way to dump their cargo at the River Front Marine Transfer Station that sits adjacent to the depot.

West Harlem has become a dumping ground not only for New York’s garbage, but for …