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Washington States Creates A Bill To Stop Companies From Bottling Their Water

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Washington States Creates A Bill To Stop Companies From Bottling Their Water
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

There was a time, not that long ago, when the thought of bottling water was just as comical as the idea of bottling air is to us today–even though that’s becoming more of a thing. Over the course of just a few decades, the bottled water industry has blown up and total worldwide sales are expected to reach $344 Billion by 2023. Clearly, consumers are creating that number as they have the purchasing power, but at what cost to our planet? As a concern for environmental sustainability continues to grow, it becomes more untenable to allow such practices. Recently, the state of Washington, known for its beautiful mountains and abundant fresh water sources, has passed a new bill through the senate that will ban new water permits.

Washington State is abundant with glacier-fed springs and lush rainforests and will become the first state in the country to put a total ban on any new water-bottling operations that are seeking to rape the state’s natural resources. This proposal is one of a few that are currently in progress in Washington aiming to protect the local groundwater and to fend off the rapidly growing bottled water industry.

The Bill

Once signed into law this bill will retroactively go into effect and apply to any new permits filed after Jan. 1, 2019. The Guardian reports,

“Washington State is carving the path towards a ground-breaking solution,” said Mary Grant, the director of Food & Water Action’s public water for all campaign, in a statement, as The Guardian reported. “This legislation … would ban one of the worst corporate water abuses – the extraction of local water supplies in plastic bottles shipped out of watersheds and around the country.”

Activists have been trying to raise awareness about the consequences of these massive water-bottling companies effectively stealing water from natural sources nationwide, bottling it, and then shipping it elsewhere leaving local aquifers depleted. This is so backwards on so many levels. Consider the resources to obtain the water, to transport it, to store it, then to produce the plastic water bottles, bottle it then ship it out across the country. If our actions were harmonious with our planet, we would all get our water from the sources that are closest to us.

Shouldn’t There Already Be Laws Banning This?

Washington State Senator Reuven Carlyle, who supported this bill, explained this outrageous situation well by saying,

“I was jolted to the core to realize the depth and breadth and magnitude of how they have lawyered up in these small towns to take advantage of water rights. The fact that we have incredibly loose, if virtually non-existent, policy guidelines around this is shocking and a categorical failure.”

Leaked emails revealed some seriously shocking intentions by bottling company Crystal Geyser, who had planned to open up a bottling plant near Mount Rainier. Locals of this area were concerned that pumping 400 gallons per minute could lead to dry wells. The emails revealed that Crystal Geyser had begun a legal campaign attempting to sue the local subdivision that was opposing the bottling facility. They were also planning on starting an underground public relations campaign in order to garner support for their proposal. According to Tribune News Service,

“Pumping water out of the ground, putting it in plastic bottles and exporting it out of the state of Washington is not in the public interest,” said Craig Jasmer, a leader of the Lewis County Water Alliance, the group that sprung up to oppose the Randle plant and has pushed for the state-wide ban.

This company in particular doesn’t have the best track record in regards to concern for environmental welfare. In January of this year, the company pleaded guilty to storing wastewater laden with arsenic in Eastern California and then delivering it to water treatment plants without informing authorities of its toxicity. The Center for Environmental Law & Policy had this to say:

“Washington’s waters belong to the people of Washington. There have been an increasing number of proposals to locate commercial water bottling plants in Washington. These plants would allow Washington’s water to be taken for the benefit of corporations and users outside of the local area, perhaps out-of-state.”

What Can You Do?

The answer is so simple, and yet if adopted on a global level could completely eradicate this problem… STOP BUYING BOTTLED WATER! Water is a natural resource that is free for every other species on this planet, and contrary to popular belief, we do not HAVE to pay for it. As rumour has it, the first bottled water company, Evian, hides a telling message about those who choose to purchase bottled water in its name. Evian is “Naïve” spelled backwards, indicating the nature of consumers who fall for this marketing gimmick.

Sure, there are several reasons to validate buying bottled water:

  • to avoid contaminants in the municipal water supply such as fluoride and chlorine (Be advised however, that these chemicals are often still contained in water that is bottled)
  • for added vitamins and minerals
  • if you are on the go and want to stay hydrated
  • you like the taste
  • you are traveling in a foreign country and are concerned of any pathogens in the water
Solutions

There are solutions to all of these above issues, however, that could ensure you never have to buy another plastic bottle of water again:

  • If you don’t like your tap water or want to avoid the added chemicals, you can install a good filtration system at home if you can afford it. Or you can purchase Reverse Osmosis water from many grocery stores and you simply bring a big 5 gallon jug to refill every time. There is also the option of finding a local spring, you can do so here at findaspring.com and bottle your own.
  • In regards to vitamins and minerals, just add your own vitamin drops to your own water source.
  • Reusable water bottles, ideally good quality ones that are durable and made to last, are a great option and over a short time they will save you money as well. I don’t leave my house without filling up my water bottle to take with me.
  • If you prefer the taste of bottled water, I would again recommend purchasing 5 gallon Reverse Osmosis water.
  • If you are traveling, this is the only instance in my opinion that justifies the purchase of bottled water. However, there are still many options you can take with you to sterilize the water. I’ve used a portable UV light before that works very well. If you have the means you can also boil the water before drinking it.

We don’t have to be perfect, but if everyone just put in a little bit of effort, we could drastically reduce one of our extremely unnecessary environmental footprints, save money, and save our natural resources. And as an added perk, we would keep our hard-earned dollars out of the hands of massive corporations that don’t have the best interest of the planet or its inhabitants at heart.

Can you do it for the planet?

This article (Washington States Creates A Bill To Stop Companies From Bottling Their Water) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Animal World

Photographer Captures One In A Million Photo, But Doesn’t Realize It Until He Gets Home

Daniel Biber, a wildlife photographer from Germany, happened to be in the right place at the right time.

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Photographer Captures One In A Million Photo, But Doesn’t Realize It Until He Gets Home
Photo Credit: Daniel Biber

Jade Small, The Mind Unleashed

Just taking a walk in nature can be enough to wash away stress. Nature is never stagnant and those with a keen eye may discover something delightful or observe something awesome that will bring back the sparkle in their eyes.

While we often marvel at the amazing photographs and videos taken by professional wildlife photographers in particular, in addition to having cool equipment and a good eye, they are usually extremely patient and prepared to travel to remote locations and wait, and wait some more for what could truly be that “once in a lifetime” shot.

Daniel Biber, a professional wildlife photographer from Hilzingen in Germany, happened to be in the right place at the right time all thanks to his patience and commitment to returning day after day to the scene where he had witnessed a natural phenomenon but had failed to capture that special shot he was aiming for every time.

The place was Spain’s Costa Brava in the north-eastern part of the country and the phenomenon was the gathering of an unbelievably large flock of starlings. Just before sunset they would start shape-shifting as they flew. Murmuration, as it is called, is in itself not an unusual occurrence but the exceptionally large number of birds over the Costa Brava at that time, moving and twisting in what seemed like a coordinated, single organism, morphing from one shape into another in a matter of seconds, was indeed extraordinary.

…if you look closely at this photo… underneath the bird’s head there is a woman’s head !! What an amazing photo!…

Clare Ennew paylaştı: 21 Mart 2020 Cumartesi

The startling’s shape-shifting swirling and twisting are most likely a natural tactic to confuse predators such as falcons and hawks looking for an easy meal before nightfall. Biber described the event as almost supernatural as the birds turned themselves into shapes resembling a giant bird—apparently thumbing their beaks at the predator as if indicating ‘’we are bigger than you.’’

Biber’s patience had indeed paid off on this day. He had tried for several days and failed to capture the starlings in full flow.

“I’ve tried to photograph the starlings but it never worked out as well as I hoped for,” he said. “I eventually drove to the spot every day for four days in a row in order to capture them. I picked a spot where I thought they would turn up and picked a matching foreground and backdrop in order to put them in a scene.”

Photo Credit: Daniel Biber

Mind Bending Nature paylaştı: 21 Şubat 2020 Cuma

The unique photo earned Biber a prize in an international photography competition. Although at the time, he had no idea that just how unique the shots he captured were. “Only when I checked the pictures on the computer later, I realized what formation the starlings had created,” he told the Daily Mail“I was so concentrated on taking pictures at the time that I hadn’t realized that the starling murmuration had created a giant bird in the sky.”

It is definitely worth the wait to experience the surprising and amazing sights nature reveals, often when we least expect them. Whether your adventures into nature are short of more leisurely, enjoy every minute and remember, keep an eye open for those delightful surprises.

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Animal World

With India On Lockdown, Endangered Sea Turtles On Course To Lay SIXTY MILLION Eggs This Year

The global pandemic has had some positive effects on the environment.

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Mummified Woman Found Buried In Siberia Wearing Foal-Skin Stockings And Copper Cross
Photo Credit: Mint Press News

Elias Marat, The Mind Unleashed

While the coronavirus may have sparked one of the biggest crises seen by the planet in modern times, the global pandemic has had some positive effects on the environment.

In India, along the coast of the eastern state Odisha, over 475,000 endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles have come ashore to a roughly 3.75-mile (6-km.) Rushikulya beach to dig their nests and lay eggs.

However, restrictions in place due to the CoViD-19 threat has allowed for hundreds of thousands of endangered turtles to be protected from any human presence—especially the presence of tourists—resulting in what may be their most successful mass nesting in years.

According to the forest service, well over 250,000 mother turtles have taken part in the daytime nesting activity within the past week alone, reports Down to Earth.

Typically, the event would attract hordes of tourists eager to see the miraculous event, straining members of the Forest Department who struggled to keep the crowds at bay. Crows and jackals would also attack the turtles, while local poachers would come afterward to rob turtle eggs and sell them at local village markets.

However, the coronavirus lockdown has prevented any such disturbance of this year’s mass nesting, reports the Hindu, allowing the 25 forest guards and researchers to focus on guarding the turtles.

With another successful mass nesting having taken place at Gahirmatha Beach, which also lies along the Bay of Bengal in Odisha, authorities estimate that roughly 60,000,000 eggs will be laid this year in total.

While thousands of the eggs were destroyed by the mass of mother turtles laying eggs atop nests, such is the norm in the mass nesting’s where each mother lays an average of 80 to 100 eggs each. The eggs should take 45 days to hatch, after which the little hatchlings emerge to make their way out to sea.

It’s a stunning reversal of fortune for the Olive Ridleys who had skipped the beach last year, baffling researchers.

The Forest Department claimed that this year saw the highest number of turtles taking part in the event. They explained:

“Every alternate year is either a bad year or a good year. However, in the last two years we have seen a phenomenal increase in nesting numbers. This year we have estimated that at least 4.75 lakh [475,000] turtles came on to nest on Rushikulya beach.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Environment

Court Ruling In Favour Of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Could Stop Dakota Access Pipeline

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Court Ruling In Favour Of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Could Stop Dakota Access Pipeline
Photo Credit: Truth Theory

John Vibes, Truth Theory

After a lengthy legal battle that stretched on for years, a federal court has finally sided with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and ordered a full environmental review for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The court ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it granted the permits in 2016. The ruling also stated that there were concerns about oil spills and the potential damage that could be caused to the environment, which were overlooked in the initial assessment.

This current ruling is not the end of the tribe’s struggle against this pipeline. In fact, oil is still flowing through the pipeline. This merely requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a full environmental review, something that should have happened before construction began anyway. For some reason, the agency rushed to approve permits for Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of DAPL, without a proper review of the land.

In the meantime, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg will hold a hearing next month, where each side will argue their case on whether or not oil should be able to flow through the pipeline while the review is being conducted.

In his ruling, Judge Boasberg stated that, “The many commenters in this case pointed to serious gaps in crucial parts of the Corps’ analysis – to name a few, that the pipeline’s leak-detection system was unlikely to work, that it was not designed to catch slow spills, that the operator’s serious history of incidents had not been taken into account, that the worst-case scenario used by the Corps was potentially only a fraction of what a realistic figure would be – and the Corps was not able to fill any of [the gaps in the analysis].” 

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Mike Faith called the verdict a “significant legal win” for the tribe.

“After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win. It’s humbling to see how actions we took four years ago to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet. Perhaps in the wake of this court ruling the federal government will begin to catch on, too, starting by actually listening to us when we voice our concerns,” Faith said.

According to a previous report from Greenpeace, ETP was involved with numerous oil spills that went unnoticed by the Army Corps of Engineers. The report indicated that the company and its subsidiaries were responsible for 527 spills from 2002-2017, at least 67 of which contaminated water resources. Testimony from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe described how workers with ETP destroyed at least 380 sacred and cultural sites along the DAPL route. The company also hired private security firms like TigerSwan, who used excessive force and military tactics against protestors, all while operating without a license to operate in the state of North Dakota.

Read the court’s decision.

About the Author

John Vibes is an author and journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture, and focuses solutions-oriented approaches to social problems. He is also a host of The Free Your Mind Conference and The Free Thought Project Podcast.

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Environment

There’s A Mystical Forest In Belgium Carpeted With Bluebell Flowers

The ancient forest is open to visitors year-round.

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Photo Credit: Pexels

Jade Small, The Mind Unleashed

Every year around April to May and depending on Spring temperatures, bluebells come into bloom in ancient forests, forming a magical carpet of purple beneath the trees.

The Hallerbos forest in Belgium, also known as The Blue Forest, is one of those magical and ancient forests famous for her yearly purple carpet of bluebells.

Hallerbos is open to visitors year-round, but if you want to experience the bluebells you will need to plan your visit according to Mother Nature’s clock. Although the bluebells always bloom in Spring, usually around mid-April at Hellerbos, the timing depends on how cold or warm it is at the end of Winter and the start of Spring.

It is best to check the Hallerbos website for updates on the status of the bluebell bloom to avoid being disappointed as the flowers will be sparse if you get there too early and once the beech trees are covered in leaves and blocking the light to the forest floor, they’ll be fading fast.

Hallerbos is large, covering 2.25 square miles (5.82 square km). The bluebells in spring are just a fraction of the forest’s magic to discover through each season’s beautiful offerings.

Over and above the Bluebell Walk, there are three other marked walking trails.

The Achtdreven Walk is the shortest at 1.12 miles (1,8km) and is suitable for visitors with limited mobility and wheelchairs and has benches and picnic tables at regular intervals along the walk. The Sequoia Walk 2.48 miles (4km) through the giant Sequoia trees. And the Roebuck Walk, the most adventurous of the three, will take you along three of Hallerbos’ four valleys for a 4.35 mile (7km) long adventure.

The soil and vegetation at Hellerbos are fragile and sensitive to tramping, and visitors must stay on the paths provided. Permission is required for commercial or professional photo shoots and film recordings and must be requested via the box office. Drones are not allowed.

There are also special events and activities for children during the week, a forest museum, and guided walks available. Check the website for details and bookings.

Belgium borders France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany. To get to the Hallerbos you can travel by car or to the town of Halle by train, if you travel by train, you can rent a bike at the station and cycle to the forest.

A train journey from Brussels takes about 10 minutes to the Halle station and by car, 35 minutes from Brussels, 55 minutes from Antwerp or Ghent, and about 2.5 hours from Amsterdam. There are no shops at the forest itself so be sure to go prepared with food and drink because you will surely want to linger and without doubt will find an ideal spot to enjoy your meal.

The good news is that bluebells are found not only Hallerbos but across Western Europe and in the UK, where about half of the world’s population of bluebells thrive. You’ll find them in the north, southwest, southeast, east, the Midlands, Wales, Northern Ireland, and in Scotland.

Check locations on the National Trust website.

Hallerbos Forest, Belgium

Hallerbos Forest is a fantastic looking forest residing under the municipal of Halle.☘☘❤

Happy world paylaştı: 13 Haziran 2019 Perşembe

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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