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Green Americans and allies have been calling on the federal government for years to stop destructive mountaintop removal mining practices. Thanks to the thousands of people who have spoken up, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is now taking a stronger stance on permits for this destructive form of mining. The EPA recently reviewed 79 permits for mountain top removal operations submitted by the Army Corps of Engineers and found that all of them would likely violate the Clean Water Act.

The permits are now being revised by the Army Corps of Engineers for re-submission. Coal companies are going to be using all their influence to get these permits approved. We need you to join us today and ask the EPA to stand firm on mountaintop removal mining. Together, we can make sure that the EPA has the support it needs to stand strong against the coal industry.

And, together we can encourage the EPA to go even further, and move to end all mountaintop removal mining, preserving communities from this threat for years to come.

Take Action Now!

-Cara

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This from an e-mail my friend Kim sent me that made me smile.

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Dear Mrs. Jones,

I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told Sarah how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had. Then I found one more in the back room, and several people were fighting over who would get it.

Sarahʼs picture does NOT show me dancing around a pole. It’s supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot. From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.

Sincerely,

Mrs. Smith

And what if she was an exotic dancer…

-Cara

Taxpayers have given Bank of America $25 billion in bailout funds to help jumpstart our economy, but instead the bank has misspent on executive salaries and corporate jets. Then Bank of America took even more money from cash-strapped states by not paying for workers healthcare. Its time for Bank of America to use its taxpayer-funded windfall to support a real economic recovery and provide health care for its 247,000 workers—or give the money back.

http://seiu.org/bofa

Hey that’s my old bank…

-Cara

January 1st, 2009

January 1st, 2009, NYC, NY

It’s the New Year (shout-out to 2009) and Marine and I were searching for what’s next. On the 1st of this New Year we ended up at La Palapa Cocina Mexicana in the East Village, eating really fresh Mexican food with some fantastical margaritas (good times). It is in this magical place that we came up with a plan. Our plan is to become real life educated consumers (time frame one year), in our own way. What that means is whatever we buy we need to know before we buy:

1. Location of business in regards to our Spanish Harlem apartment (we just learned yesterday that our neighborhood’s nickname is SpaHa. I really don’t like the way SpaHa rolls off my tongue).

2. Who owns the company

3. Company’s philosophy

4. Are they green? How so?

5. How the employees are treated

6. Where does the company get their inventory

7. Price

8. Product review (by the people and the industry)

9. Company review (by the people and the industry)

Exceptions

1.    Medical Prescriptions

2.    Cigarettes

3.    We Know, you don’t need to know everything

4.    Eating out, Delivery, and Pick-Up

5.    Rent

6.    Bills like ConEd, Phone, Mobile, Web Hosting, etc.

Exceptions does not mean we do whatever we want. It is just places where we indulge somewhat, it is a freedom of sorts. Who knows where this year will lead us, but I know for myself if I try to control all my elements I fail. I need to have some leeway to breath.

Today is the 3rd of January and here is the list of things we have purchased under this new regime.

1.    New York Cake and Baking Distributor, 56 West 22nd Street, NYC, NY – $8.99, tax – $0.75, total – $9.74 -Fox Run Kitchens – French Bread Pan – Made in China, Fox Run Craftsmen Ivyland, PA 18974, Concord, ON L4K 3V4, tinplate – Cara

2.   Poland Spring Natural Spring Water, 700mL, Poland Spring Water Company, Division of Nestle Waters, North America Inc. , Greenwich, CT 06830, Mood Building Vendor, 225 W. 37th Street, NYC, NY 10018, $2.00, #1 PETE plastic bottle, blue flip top – Marine

3.    Mood Fabrics,  225 W. 37th Street, NYC, NY 10018, $100 gift card – Cara

4.    Supercuts [Regis Corporation], 460 3rd Ave, NYC, NY 10016, $19 hair cut, $5 tip – Marine (It was Marine’s first time going to a Supercuts. She had said she was going to go there before the 1st of January to experience the true American less than $20 haircut. It is something everyone should experience once.)

As you can see we haven’t done so well…so far… Keep in mind this is a learning experiment. :] We bought bottled water on the 2nd of January and I didn’t even realized we had failed until today. Marine and her SuperCuts haircut… What you have to keep in mind is we have stopped ourselves from buying multitudes of things from the 1st to today, to take the time to research. For real… I will be tracking our progress here to make myself (and maybe Marine) more accountable. I know at least one person in my family reads this on occasion… :]

Keep it real.

-Cara

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UPDATE [February 24th, 2009] – OK, I need to reassess this project as it was way more difficult than I thought. I am definitely more conscientious about what I buy, but that leave me little time to log it all. I will cover cool finds here and if it becomes easier, or I become more motivated I will track my consuming for more than one day. :]

I like to do a shout-out to my city every once in awhile. Today, I am taking it to a more local level, my neighborhood health food store. Well, it’s not in my neighborhood of Spanish Harlem, but it is the closest, super-freshest health store to me, Food For Health.

I really like this place and the familiar faces that keep the store running. They have coupons on their web site, which I just discovered and love! If you are around 3rd Avenue and 92nd you should stop by. They have reasonable prices, a juice bar and solid products.

Shop local.

-Cara

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