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October 17th, 2018

European Parliament: fix the plastic litter law!

by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Plastic packaging waste is a huge problem around the world. Despite efforts in some European countries, such as plastic bottle deposit schemes or having to pay for plastic bags in the supermarket, the average EU citizen creates 31kg of plastic waste per year. The situation is most severe in Ireland, where 61kg of packaging is thrown away by the average Irish person, which is 9kg more than in the second most ‚prolific‘ country, Luxembourg. The least waste is produced in Bulgaria, where a more managable 14kg is disposed of over the year.

The EU Parliament Environment Committee just voted in favor of adopting a series of great steps to strengthen a law reducing plastic pollution – but in the same breath installed a dangerous loophole: a legal definition of “single-use plastic” that could allow polluters to simply market their throwaway polluting plastic products as „reusable“.

MEPs can propose additional changes before they all vote on the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive on October 23. They must fix this massive mistake, and resist industry pressure to weaken the law.

Tell the European Parliament to fix the proposed plastics law, so corporations radically reduce their single-use plastic pollution, and sea life can breathe again!

Credits:, sumofus
October 17th, 2018
type:Campaign, Petition
by:Murat Suner

Regardless of how one voted in the Brexit referendum, people deserve a say on the final deal.

British people know today that they did not know about the consequences for them and effects that reach far beyond the UK itself.

"A final say by the people, for the people, is perhaps the most democratic move this entire fiasco will exhibit to date."

Join the petition here.
October 17th, 2018
type:Campaign, Project
by:Yair Oded

Until January of this year, dozens of cities across the U.S. shipped many of their recyclable waste for processing centers in China. Alas, a rule change in China made it impossible for Americans to ship various types of plastics and paper, and the latter end up being dumped by municipalities into landfills.

Just to clarify: this means that the majority of material we toss in the recycling bin is actually getting recycled.

As American cities grapple to construct truly self-sufficient and effective recycling systems, various local municipalities took steps to encourage its population to reduce its footprint and handle waste in a responsible manner.

One such effort was taken by the New York City Sanitation Department (SDNY), which launched an initiative called the NYC Compost Project. The SDNY provides extensive information on the importance and benefits of composting organics, food scraps, and yard waste, as well as a user-friendly guide on how to create compost at home (either in the backyard or in small bins for those without outdoor access). The agency also holds composting information sessions and events throughout the five boroughs, and educates the public on how to use compose to improve the health of the city’s soil and increase local greening.

It also provides information on how to get compost, how to order bins, as well as a list of over 100 food scraps drop off sites across New York City.

In addition to becoming a grade-A composter, please consider reviewing this short guideline compiled by the New York Times’ Livia Albeck-Ripka, to learn about common recycling mistakes and how to increase the chances of getting your recyclable waste recycled.

Image: Wikimedia
October 15th, 2018
type:Campaign, NGO, Volunteering
by:Yair Oded

Founded in 2002, CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization dedicated to ending U.S. wars and militarism, promote peace and human rights initiatives, and funnel federal and state money into “life affirming programs” and targets, such as healthcare, education, and green jobs.

While the organization isn’t restricted to women members, and warmly welcomes all types of supporters (whatever their gender identity or affiliation is), they set it as their primary goal to encourage women of all ages, professions, and backgrounds to rally together, promote peaceful and humane agenda, and oppose war.

Donning pink outfits (the group’s trademark), CODEPINK members operate across the U.S. and engage in satire, street theatre, and organized civil resistance demonstrations. They hold workshops and various types of events, and launch petitions to promote their different causes and directly impact government leaders and heads of corporations.   

The organization operates through a network of dedicated local organizers (they currently have 250 groups of local supporters across the United States), online supporters, and donors. They have sent expeditions to various conflict zones around the world and collaborate with 12 different international partners.

To learn more about their mission and work- visit CODEPINK’s website.

Consult their Action Calendar and Action Toolkit to learn about upcoming programs and events and learn about how you could support the group or get involved!

Image: CODEPINK website
October 12th, 2018
type:Campaign, Project
by:Yair Oded

Following the historic decision of a California Superior Court jury ordering Monsanto to pay $289 million to Dewayne Lee Johnson for their weed killer’s role in causing his cancer, thousands of others have filed lawsuits against the corporation.

Monsanto’s popular weed killer, which has been scientifically proven to contain the chemical glyphosate, and has been marketed to the public as the brand Roundup, has been linked by a growing number of researchers to various types of cancer, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia., an organization committed to informing the public about potentially dangerous or problematic products (including drugs, medical devices, home repair products, and more), has launched a page dedicated to assisting people who were diagnosed with cancer after using Roundup.

The page offers extensive information regarding the history of the Monsanto cases, an overview of the science and research linking Roundup to cancer, and a guide that explains who may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

According to Consumer Safety, “Anyone who has used Monsanto’s Roundup and later been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or another form of cancer may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Surviving family members may also be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Monsanto, should their loved one have passed away as a result of their cancer.”

Finally, Consumer Safety links visitors with attorneys who may conduct a free-of-charge assessment of their case and determine their eligibility and options.

If you or your loved ones were adversely affected by Roundup, please consider visiting their page for more information and guidance.

Image: Taken from video interview by Democracy Now!
October 10th, 2018
type:Donation, Education, NGO, Project
by:Yair Oded

As the global community faces the dire consequences of climate change, residents of urban areas grapple with a particular set of challenges. Cities currently grow at a dazzling pace. It has been reported that by 2050, two thirds of the world’s population will reside in urban centers. As cities rapidly increase in size, so does their footprint, which puts millions of urban residents across the globe at risk of deteriorating human health and safety due to the contamination of air, water, and land.

The Nature Conservancy, an organization committed to tackling climate change by spreading knowledge, promoting education, and facilitating practical actions on the issue, has launched an initiative aimed at building healthy cities.  The organization provides valuable information and key strategies on how to develop an environmentally conscious and responsible urban community. For instance, their Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities Tree Health Initiative organizes local communities and guides them on how to increase greenery and plant healthy trees around their city. By circulating information on the importance and benefits of trees as tools to clean our air, water, and ultimately food supplies, and providing extensive training for local community leaders and members on how to plant and maintain the health of trees in their neighborhoods, The Nature Conservancy encourages city residents to take matters into their hands and actively work to achieve a greener future.

The Nature Conservancy’s Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities program is part of a large scale initiative launched by them called Plant a Billion Trees, which takes action to restore the health of forests across the United States, China, and Brazil.

The organization’s virtual Carbon Calculator, assesses one’s annual carbon footprint based on their lifestyle, level of income, and consumption habits, well as provides a personalised guide on how to take action to reduce their footprint.

In addition to providing practical tools and information to local community members and city residents, the Nature Conservancy advocate for environmental agendas to be translated into national policy, and urge their supporters to apply pressure on their local representatives to take an active stance in the fight against climate change.   

Visit their website to learn more about the organization’s work in both urban centers and on the global stage, make a donation, or get involved.
October 08th, 2018
type:Donation, NGO, Petition, Volunteering
by:Yair Oded

Ravaged by years of brutal civil war, South Sudan currently faces an acute humanitarian crisis. Out of the country’s nearly 13 million citizens, 7.1 of them are at risk of severe food insecurity. The widespread destruction and utter collapse of the local economy as a result of the war left million of South Sudanese unable to produce crop and obtain sufficient food, rendering them dependent on imports and exacerbating the rampant famine in the country.

As of 2018, 1.7 million South Sudanese are internally displaced and roughly 2.5 million of them are refugees in neighboring countries.

As chaos rages in the African nation, numerous organizations engage in hands on efforts to tackle the crisis, provide humanitarian aid, and help local communities heal and become self-sufficient.

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) is a South Sudanese NGO which promotes peace and conflict mitigation, human rights, rule of law, livelihood, governance, and democratic transformation. The organization trains South Sudanese university students and graduates to facilitate significant and practical change in their home communities. They provide training to local state and county institutions, facilitate and organize dialogues between different communities to foster solidarity and cooperation, and provide training and workshops aimed at understanding the causes of poverty, the challenges faced by local communities, and instructing them to develop more sustainable livelihoods. The organization also raises awareness of the importance of the rule of law and principles of democracy, educates communities regarding existing laws, expands paralegal services, and advocates for implementation and enactment of legislation and democratic policies (such as elections culture).

Visit their website to make a donation, learn about volunteer opportunities, or report issues across South Sudan.

For those tuning in from the United States, CARE (a U.S. based humanitarian aid organization), has launched a petition urging congress members to increase humanitarian aid in South Sudan and support conflict resolution efforts in the region.Sign their petition and call on your local representatives to get involved and do all in their power to help end the catastrophe in South Sudan!
Protest against Planned Logging in Hambach ForestProtest gegen Rodung des Hambacher Walds durch RWE
October 06th, 2018
type:Campaign, Donation, NGO, Protest
by:Deniz Zehra Tavli

Protestors and activists defending the Hambach forest near Cologne/ Germany reached a mile-stone in climate history after weeks of resistance: Following a halt of the clearing of the ancient woodland ordered by the senior administrative court in the city of Münster on Friday, the administrative court in Aachen overruled a police ban on an anti-coal rally near the forest due Saturday, referring to the right of peaceful assembly, anchored in Article 8 of the German Basic Law.

Thus the planned anti-coal march "Save the Forest- Stop Coal!" will take place:

MARCH 06.10.
12 o’clock
Hambach Forest
Buir Train Station

Further informations about the march, materials and the possibility for donation are available on the campaigns webpage. Feel encouraged to take part in a movement which aims at conserving a thousands of years old forest, endangered native wild life and set a clear sign against fossil-based energy politics!
October 05th, 2018
type:Donation, Education, NGO
by:Yair Oded

Across Africa, girls often lack access to education. This is particularly true of girls who are pregnant, sick, or live in remote and deprived areas that have poor access to government services. Some governments, such as in Tanzania and Burundi, went as far as to forbid pregnant girls from taking classes, so as not to encourage pregnancy at a young age.

Many have openly objected the restrictions imposed on girls’ access to education across Africa. Campaign For Female Education (CAMFED) is a nonprofit organization which works to increase the access of African girls to secondary education. By forming connections with thousands of partner schools across thousands of rural and poor regions in various African countries, CAMFED have thus far facilitated the education of over a million African girls in Tanzania, Malawi, Ghana, and Zambia. Their work is funded, supported, and executed by donors from across the globe, well maintained communities of allies and volunteers, as well as a robust network of CAMFED alumnae.

CAMFED provide elaborate statistics, testimonies, and information regarding the long-term positive impact on the economy and society of increasing girls’ access to secondary education. Their method and work are constantly being reviewed and studied by research and interviews.Visit CAMFED’s website to learn more about their mission and work, make a donation, support their fundraising efforts, and get information about one of their events.
October 03rd, 2018
by:Yair Oded

As consumers, we hold great power in shaping the culture and environment of businesses of all kinds. By choosing to support (or not) a business, we inevitably grant them our stamp of approval regarding the manner in which they conduct their business and treat their workers.

Particular groups, such as racial, sexual, and gender minorities, are particularly vulnerable to discrimination in employment and are often subject to poor treatment at the workplace. Seeing as there is no nation-wide law that protects LGBTQ people from employment discrimination in the public or private sector, many of them still suffer from blunt discrimination in employment. In many states, business owners suffer no consequences for firing LGBTQ employees for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), an LGBTQ advocacy organization, have put together a buyers guide which reports on the treatment afforded to LGBTQ workers by numerous businesses across the country. In a virtual and downloadable index, the HRC rate businesses according to how inclusive and respectful they are of their LGBTQ employees.

The guide is now available in an app (for both Android and Apple), so that buyers could access such information in real time as they shop.

Please consider consulting the app or index as you shop and express your solidarity with the LGBTQ community and its fight for equal and fair access to employment.

Image: Human Rights Campaign