TAKE ACTION: Monsanto Protection Act Passes Congress

It’s time to call your members of Congress! Today, Congress took a giant step backward on the genetically modified organism (GMO) front by passing the Continuing Resolution spending bill, which included the “farmer assurance provision,” a rider perhaps more accurately known by anti-GMO activists as “the Monsanto Protection Act.” The provision makes it easier for biotech companies like Monsanto to push their GM seeds into farmers’ hands without proper safety reviews. Under the provision, even if a court of law finds that a given type of GM seeds was approved illegally and may not be safe for human health or the environment, it would not be able to halt the seeds’ sale or planting. The Monsanto Protection Act also forces the USDA to immediately approve any permits for continued planting of GM seeds at the biotech industry’s request. “The US judicial review process serves as a vital check on any federal agency decision that may negatively impact human health, the environment, or the livelihood of farmers,” write our allies at Food Democracy Now. “This provision gives Monsanto and its biotech cohorts a way around the law so it can continue to sell its biotech seeds regardless of the cost to people and the planet. This provision creates a precedent-setting limitation on judicial review and a dangerous assault on fundamental judicial safeguards.” The current version of the CR bill is only good through September, at which point a new spending bill will […]

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Green Your Golf Game: An Interview with Aubrey McCormick

Aubrey McCormick

Our own Aubrey McCormick, Green America’s member services coordinator, rediscovered her passion for professional golf this spring as a contestant on the Golf Channel’s Big Break: Atlantis, where she was very outspoken about bringing her green values to her favorite sport. This reality competition pitted female professional golfers against each other in innovative golf challenges, as each competed for cash […]

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Celebrate a Plastic-Free Earth Day: Watch “Bag It” with Green America and Beth Terry

2012BagItPoster175w

The Green America editors proclaimed our love for the documentary film Bag It in the recent “Take the Plastic Challenge” issue of the Green American magazine, and now, those of you who haven’t seen it yet can find out what all of our fuss was about. In fact, we’ll be watching it with you—along with other Green Americans from across the country! On Earth […]

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Financial Fast: All Good Things Must End … or Must They?

Well, here we are—the last day of the 21-Day Financial Fast. I remember writing in my original post that it probably wasn’t going to be “fun,” but I have to admit, I was wrong. I truly enjoyed the Fast and felt all throughout that the benefits far outweighed the challenges. Of course, you might not feel as perky about the Fast at first, if impulse spending is one of your personal hurdles. But I really believe that, as is the case with working out, you’ll feel great after you get it done! Here’s what I see as the upside of doing the 21-Day Financial Fast, now speaking from experience: It’s an exercise in gratitude. As I mentioned last week, my main tactic for avoiding an impulse purchase—like an on-the-go bottle of Fair Trade tea or a take-out meal—was to focus on how lucky I am to have what I do. You can’t help but fully embrace your family, your health, your home, and your life when each day includes a meditation on what you’re grateful for. And, I found, once I count my own blessings, it’s much easier to turn my focus away from any unneeded purchases I was tempted to make. The daily gratitude meditation is a practice I’ll continue, even when I’m not about to buy something. It really does change habits. One of the reasons that I wanted to get Michelle Singletary’s 21-Day Financial Fast into the […]

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Financial Fast: Budgets and Journal Questions

“A budget is your roadmap to prosperity,” says Michelle Singletary in her book, The Power to Prosper: 21 Days to Financial Freedom. Why would that be the case? Budgets can keep us from spending more than we need, of course, since they set strict limits on unnecessary purchases. They can also help us save more, since the time we spend creating or revamping a budget is also a great time to deeply consider whether we can increase our savings and investments, and decrease the amount we allocate to unnecessary purchases. Here’s a “quick and dirty” rundown on how to create a budget, without purchasing a new computer program or app. Figure out your net worth (or the difference between your assets and liabilities): List all of your assets, including cash on hand; banking, retirement, and investment accounts; and the market value of your possessions, including your house, automobile, and furniture. List all of your liabilities, or what you owe on your mortgage, student loans, credit card debt, and any other outstanding debt. Subtract your liabilities from your assets, and you have your net worth! Is your net worth low or negative? Don’t despair—taking the Financial Fast is a great first step. It’s time to figure out how to pare down that debt and pick up your savings and investments. Now, let’s look at your cash flow, or the money flowing in and out of your wallet. Track your expenses for […]

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Financial Fast Monday: On Self-Improvement and Gratitude

One thing I’ve noticed as we’ve rolled out the idea of the 21-Day Financial Fast to our readers is that we have a lot of our more seasoned sustainability champions responding (often offline) with something like, “Well, I live my life like that every day.” On the surface, it’s a lovely pick-me-up to think about all of those committed Green Americans out there, taking action together for a robust green economy and world. When it comes to the Financial Fast, though, is that the healthiest response? Or do all of us have an area of our lives where we could do better? And shouldn’t we be acknowledging and encouraging those readers who aren’t as far along on their journeys to sustainability, by letting them know they’re not alone? That’s why I confessed my Bad Book Habit last week. I have a lot of good habits—you don’t work at a place like Green America without constantly picking up new green steps nearly every week to bring into your life. But the Fast is a time to figure out where you might not be so perfectly green. Maybe the little we do buy has too much packaging. Maybe we’re not saving enough for the future, if we have income coming in. Maybe we aren’t generous enough with our money. Maybe our savings is still sitting in a mega-bank, where it’s being used to fund endeavors that don’t support our values.  Maybe our investments aren’t socially […]

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