Recycling Facts & Figures

While we’ve certainly come a long way as a country in “going green,” there is still much room for improvement. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that while 85% of all household garbage could be recycled, we’re still not recycling even half of that. So, as the week of America Recycles Day draws to a close, here are a few Recycling Facts & Figures to help motivate you to keep recycling throughout the year.

Plastic Recycling – Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the State of Texas. American go through 25 billion plastic bottles each year. If we recycled just one out of every ten, plastic landfill waste would be reduced by 200 million pounds each year.

Metal Recycling – Recycling just one aluminum can saves enough electricity to power a 100-watt light bulb for three hours. And for every one ton of steel recycled, 2,500 pounds of iron ore, 1,400 pounds of coal and 120 pounds of limestone are conserved.

Water – the average American now uses an average of 100 gallons of water daily – that’s enough water to fill 1,600 drinking glasses! On the other hand, if all the homes installed water-efficient appliances, the U.S. would save more than 3 trillion gallons of water and over $18 billion a year.

Styrofoam – Every year, we throw away 25 billion Styrofoam cups, enough to circle the earth 436 times. Styrofoam is NOT recyclable. Don’t buy it and don’t use it!

Junk Mail – the junk mail Americans receive in one day could produce energy sufficient to heat 250,000 homes. If only 100,000 people stopped their junk mail, we could save up to 150,000 trees annually. Not only the forests would gain – you would gain time as well: the average American spends eight months out of his/her life opening junk mail!

California Condors Face More Challenges in Their Efforts Back to Viability

Califoria-CondorCalifornia Condors have sure had a difficult time of it in recent years. On the verge of extinction for many years, attempts to get their population up have been going through hurdles to confound the most dedicated of biologists. Back in 2006 the first nesting attempt in Central California in more than a century happened with a nest 200 feet up a redwood tree. At first delighted with this great new development, biologist Joe Burnett of the Ventana Wildlife Society was stunned to find that the reason the birds did not immediately reproduce was not because of inexperience, but because the eggs which they did produce had fatally thin shells, too thin to support the development of condor chicks inside.

“The eggshell fragments we found appeared abnormally thin,” Mr. Burnett said. “They were so thin that we had to run tests to confirm that it was a condor egg.” The fragments reminded him of the thin-shelled eggs from birds like brown pelicans and peregrine falcons, which had been devastated by DDT but are now on the rebound.

Looking for possible sources of DDT which is a pesticide that has been banned from use since 1972 led Mr. Burnett to suspect the California sea lions, food for the California condors, may themselves by contaminated with DDT.

What Are Fish Oils and Omega 3?

You have undoubtedly heard of “Omega-3” or fish oils and their miraculous effects on health. The huge amount of information or just pure skepticism may have discouraged you from pursuing the topic, but fish oils are in fact a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are indeed incredibly healthy.
Omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory qualities, which can be highly effective when it comes to reducing pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, cystitis, and prostatitis. The Omega 3 in fish oils have also been shown to regulate the accumulation of plaque in the arteries. This plaque can break loose and cause blockage of arteries which lead to the brain or other vital organs and result in a stroke. The fatty acids in fish oils have been proven to break up the clots before the condition becomes serious. The Omega 3 acids also help reduce LDL, the ‘bad’ cholesterol in the body, and increase HDL, the ‘good’ cholesterol. These compounds greatly reduce the risk of numerous cardiovascular disorders. People who get a lot of Omega 3 in their diets are also less prone to psychiatric issues and depression. These oils can help eliminate skin disorders and promote a healthy complexion as well.
Women who have a healthy intake of Omega 3 fatty acids may be reducing the risk of childhood disorders in their babies. Pregnant women should add fish oils to their diet to help the development of their fetus’s eyes and brain.

Fearless Behavior Linked to Lack of Empathy in Pre-Schoolers

Fearless-ChildrenThe faculty at the Haifa Faculty of Education in Israel has just revealed that pre-school age children who are characterized as ‘fearless’ also show more aggressive behavior towards children around them and less empathy.

“The results of this study show that fearless behavior in children can be identified and is related to neurological and genetic predisposition. This type of behavior has less correlation — at least in infancy — with standards of educational processes or parenting practice,” says Dr. Inbal Kivenson-Baron, who carried out the study as part of her doctoral thesis.

The study examined the relationship, if any, between fearless behavior in 3-4 year-olds and physiological and social-emotional characteristics. The researchers also looked at parenting, socioeconomic status, birth order and parental well-being, child-rearing and other parameters in the children’s lives.

“Since fearless behavior correlates with genetic and neurological characteristics, it is important to find the most effective ways — through education at the preschool and at home — to assist these children in developing the ability to recognize and value social prohibitions. As a society, we must discern the optimal stimulation that can be provided in the child’s natural surroundings, in order to awaken those emotions that are necessary for the development of empathy toward another and for refraining from aggressive behavior,” Dr. Kivenson-Baron concludes.

Best Children’s Hospital

The U.S. News and World Report has come out with their yearly survey for this year ranking the best children’s hospital throughout the United States in a number of different specialties. The magazine requested information from 170 pediatric centers and used the results of surveys taken from thousands of physicians in 10 different pediatric specialties who were asked to which hospitals they would send their sickest children. The combined results list 62 different hospitals which ranked in at least one of those specialties, and there are eight hospitals which rank for all 10.
The honor roll for 2010- 2011 include:
• Children’s Hospital in Boston
• Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles
• Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
• Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
• Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
• New York-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Komansky Children’s Hospital
• St. Louis Children’s Hospital-Washington University
• Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston