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Go Green or Go Home

Shark Finning- The Cruel Industry August 19, 2013

Shark finning is a disgusting way of gathering food, and sadly, it is on the rise. Fishermen will catch a shark, remove all fins for consumption and trading, and throw the shark back into the ocean, dismembered and traumatized. The shark, without its fins, can hardly swim and will sink to the bottom, starve to death, or be attacked by another animal. This is not the natural cycle. It is not the way sharks were meant to live, and most certainly not the way sharks were meant to die. Many people enjoying their shark fin soup are not even aware of the inhumane practices that go into it. According to the Endangered Shark Database, more than 1/4 of all sharks are being commercially exploited, and their survival in the long-term is doubtful. 

English: NOAA agent counting confiscated shark...

 

 

You can help. We here at Bonsai never underestimate the power of a good petition, and in this case, we’ve got plenty for you. You too can add your virtual signature and join the movement to stop shark finning. A large masterlist of petitions can be found at http://www.stopsharkfinning.net/stop-shark-finning-petitions/, and the rest of the website is helpful and fascinating as well. Shark finning is an abusive practice that harms many sharks, including endangered ones, the species of whom are already in danger. You can help spread awareness about shark finning in your community, there are many ways. First of all, you can immediately strike interest in people who have been blind to the practices before whenever you are confronted with shark fin soup. Refusing to eat it and asking others to is a small, but effective way to help. stopsharkfinning.net says, “If local communities realise that they can make more money by conserving sharks than by killing them, then we will ensure the survival of sharks. If you are considering a holiday in a location where there are sharks, you might want to go shark diving. This is a source of income for communities that encourages shark conservation.”

 

 

 

Ocean activities are a large tourist attraction that won’t harm the wildlife. Speak to restaurants offering shark fin soup or marketplaces allowing it to be sold and tell them how it is harming the ecosystem and our oceans. Check out the rest of the Stop Shark Finning webpage for other ideas, if you’re wondering what to do. Together, we can get ban shark finning in as many places as possible, and save the sharks.

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Ceej

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How To Help the Environment Without a Drivers Liscense July 9, 2013

The title is basically a clever way of me telling you that even if you are not an adult and can not give out personal information, drive cars, travel, or handle the electricity bill, you can still help to save the environment and have an impact on our small, small world. (That is actually quite large but small in the grand scheme of things.) The following may seem like small things, but they do great things. (This is kind of similar to the lazy environmentalist post from about a month ago, but many of our followers are teens/tweens and there are other things they can do.)

  1. Donate money to an organization that helps a cause you care about. Not everyone has the time to start organizations about important things, but even if you go on earning your usual amount of money doing chores, babysitting, or, if you’re old enough, doing a job, but setting aside some of your money to give to foundations like The Humane Society or the rainforest or adopting a dolphin or gorilla (not literally; there are programs where you send money that will help a gorilla or dolphin or what have you survive).
  2. Consider doing the simple things that your parents always nag you about. Whether it’s turning the lights off when you leave the room, not littering, using less water, taking shorter showers, or even playing outside (since you aren’t using electricity outside, you are helping the environment), it helps a great deal. You may think that just you doing these things will do nothing at all, but that isn’t true. If everyone who sees this does this little bit, it will help lots of things — fewer electricity will be used, less coal will be burned, fresh water will be saved, animals lives will last a little bit longer. You can do a lot in a little bit of time.
  3. Start getting crafty! By this I mean to start reusing things rather than throwing them away quickly, before all their use is gone. This may seem old-fashioned and annoying, and it kind of is. I myself have a grandmother who never throws anything away, even meat juice. Seriously. Sometimes when she stays with us for a weekend or whatever, I open the fridge and find a container of meat juice. But when you reuse things, it doesn’t have to have anything to do with meat juice, I assure you. Whether it’s using scraps of fabric, plastic, and used bottle caps in crafts or decorations, using bread-bags to carry things instead of just throwing them away, or even reusing your plastic water bottles by refilling them with water because hey! They can still hold water. You can even use candy wrappers as decorations if you’re working on a big project — that’s what my friends and I did when we were building a house out of foam and furnishing it without buying anything for school.
  4. Give your parents a break. No, you don’t have to stop bugging them about making you do useless chores by making your bead, but you can give them a break in the “driving you everywhere” category. Instead of making them drive you to the park, bike or walk. Instead of making them drive you to school, bike or walk if it’s close enough or carpool with people if it’s too far away. I think we all know about how oil and fumes and such from cars hurt the environment, and it’s also really expensive. Walking or biking or carpooling will give your parents breaks in more ways than one and will also help the earth.

These are only four ways you can help the environment without having a driver’s license, but there are so many more things you can do! Google it, ask people, or get creative and make it up yourself. Our world won’t last forever, and it won’t just heal itself. We have to do everything we can do to help it, and anything will help. So get out there and do your part. The world — and all of its inhabitants — will certainly appreciate it!

~Mary, Author at Bonsai

 

Canada’s Wildlife Area Safe- For Now May 4, 2013

Filed under: Air Purifying,Going Green,Government — mochi @ 4:03 pm
Tags: , , ,

TRTL Breaking Ground - David Hassan, Cenovus E...

 

Cenovus Energy, an energy company in Canada, suggested to the government a plan of drilling 1,275 gas wells in a national wildlife area, which would double the number that was there before, and of course double the environmental impact. Thankfully, the environment minister of Alberta vetoed the proposal, saying that the impact would be too negative to proceed with the plan. The Minister, Peter Kent, declared that the government was strengthening environmental protection and working on plans for wildlife recovery. He also said, “There would be significant disruption, I think, even with a new proposal.”

 

He said this in response to Cenovus’ new plea for a revised suggestion, and made the eco-lovers proud when he did so. Opposing people were not impressed, but he didn’t waver under their criticism. He also announced new plans for reduced C02 emission from vehicles, which wasn’t a popular idea with environmental critics. The Alberta Wilderness association and various environmentalists around the country- and the neighboring countries- are very proud of him for sticking with the welfare of flora and fauna and not only worrying about reputation or economy and production. However, government tends to think about government more than the environment- which is what’s really important. Canada’s wildlife area is safe for now, but when plans like the oil drilling one by Cenovus rest in the hands of politicians, the environment is always in jeopardy.

 

http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/environment-minister-says-no-cenovus-energy-gas-project-141202533.html

 

 

Ceej

 

 

Chapter 11 of NAFTA: Giving Companies the Right to Destroy the Environment May 1, 2013

Filed under: Awareness,Government — Mary @ 11:26 pm
Tags: , , ,

Disclaimer: This post contains the views of the author, Mary, and by no means is the opinion of every member of the staff at Bonsai.  Your opinions would be appreciated down in the comments section, as everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I repeat, this is not the view of the entire blog, but only one member of the staff.

Chapter 11 of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) basically lets companies sue the government of another country (within NAFTA’s boundaries, of course, which are, if you didn’t know, Canada, Mexico, and the US) if they feel that the country in question is hindering their ability to make a profit.

Say, for instance, (this is only for example purposes) that there is a company called MegaStorm from Canada that sells an additive to the salt that we use to melt snow and ice. The state of Oregon readily purchases MegaStorm’s additive. However, it was recently found to cause cancer in animals, and the long-term of this additive on humans is unknown. Since the salt melts the snow, it is getting into the water, and therefore, the additive is in the water. Oregon doesn’t want to have to put up with this, because it wants to keep its citizens healthy and happy. When they try to ban it, however, MegaStorm gets upset and is allowed to sue the United States. It can say, “Either you don’t ban our salt additive or you pay us a billion dollars in lost profits.” (And I’m not exaggerating with the billion number — that really is what some companies demand.) Now, MegaStorm isn’t going to come and say, “Oh yeah. It does show some cancer rates. Huh. You can ban it. We care about people.” No. They want money, and Chapter 11 gives them the right to sue the government. Either the government pays them a lot of money, or MegaStorm’s salt additive isn’t banned after all.

This isn’t good because that means a company can sue another country’s government for doing anything that effects their profits, even if they’re super rich already and the thing they do actually helps people, animals, and the environment. And the thing is, companies don’t do this in the most dire situations. No, they do it all the time. States and laws are now become more lenient than other because if they do try to protect the people and the animals and the environment, they’ll have to pay a huge sum of money.

And that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that the people have no say in the matter. The trials between the companies and the government? The people aren’t allowed in. The protests? The people aren’t listened to. Was Chapter 11 really ever explained before they were trying to pass NAFTA? Does Chapter 11 benefit anyone excepting the rich companies who only get richer? The people never knew, even though it is shown that the people who wrote Chapter 11 knew the entire time what exactly they were doing.

Nothing good will come to us for having Chapter 11 — so what if a company can’t sell anything in a certain state? Instead of enforcing Chapter 11, maybe they should find a way to make it more healthy for the people and the animals and the environment. Maybe they should make their product better, and therefore sell things more.

I’m making this post so you can be aware of what is going on. We need to stop Chapter 11, we need to protest it, we need to have our voices be heard. We need to protect the world we were given because, hey, it’s the only one we’ve got.

-Mary, Author at Bonsai

 

Spotlight on Website: Care2 March 6, 2013

Sorry I haven’t been posting these! I always forget which week it is. Anyway, today I’m going to share a website I think you should all join:
care2.com

Care2 makes a really big difference. If you check the homepage and scroll down a bit, you can see their most recent successes- they’ve gotten congress to pass an act about violence against women, canceled the oil drilling plans of a major company, and gotten Obama to talk to the Supreme Court about gay marriage. They’re really making the world a better place, and you can easily help them!
Here are some of the cool things you can do on Care2…

Sign and start petitions
Post entries and news stories
Discuss with the community
Send free ecards
Click to donate
Redeem ‘butterfly credits’

One of the great things about Care2 is that everything I mentioned above is completely free! When you click to donate, sponsors are notified of your clicking and they will put in the money for you to save big cats, give food to a needy child, support wolves, or whatever section of the site you click on. With 11 or 12 categories you can click on once a day, you can make a difference that grows with each click. I’ve only been clicking for 6 or 7 days and already, I’ve:
Supported 7 days of child sponsorship
Preserved 51.8 square feet of rainforest
Protected 2 acres of large cat habitat
Protected 700 square feet of ocean
Donated 6 meals for rescued primates
Offset 6 days of computer energy use (offsetting reduces the energy, so offsetting a day’s computer use is like not using the computer at all)
Supported 6 days of wolf adoption
And more!

Look what you can do by simply clicking a button every day! Forgot? You can sign up for an email that reminds you. It only takes about five-ten minutes to start making an impact.

Petitions and clicks aren’t all Care2 does, however. They alert you of big news stories, and even more important, smaller ones you may not have known of. They also give you other ways to take action and links to projects. Taking action on Care2, like participating on the petition site or discussion boards, results in points they call butterfly credits. You can use butterfly credits to buy gifts for the world- completely free! All the paying is done by sponsors. From the time they began, as a community, the Care2 members have:
Offset 58,229 pounds of carbon
Provided 40,739 days of safe water for poor people
Given 6,138 weeks of clean cooking
Planted 24,883 trees
Given snacks to 6,714 seals
And a whole lot more. This is just the first page of things.
Care2 TreesThere’s a sale on trees- only half the number of credits!

This summer I am starting a project I want you all to be part of. I want to plant as many trees as possible, as a collective online community. And Care2 butterfly donations will count! This project isn’t starting until this summer so remember to follow us and you will be notified immediately of when your tree donations will count.

Please, pretty pretty please join Care2, because it makes a huge difference.
Ceej, Vice President of Bonsai

 

Trees and Us February 17, 2013

Zoooooom. A tree chopper is chopping a tree off. Crash. The tree falls. That is not good.

Trees purify the air, and if we chop all of them, our planet’s air will be rather filthy. Yuck!  Trees are already being chopped, but you can help. The way how you can help is planting trees, even if its a tiny Bonsai Tree.

Plants also help purify the air too. Even some house plants. Buy some plants, and plant them inside and outside your house. They will make the air much better.

Go Green!

Ruby, President of Bonsai

 

 
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