Thursday, August 20, 2009

No more plastic bags for Mexico City

August 19th, 2009

Posted: 02:06 PM ET

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) — Mexico City’s thousands of stores went green Wednesday, as amended ordinances on solid waste now outlaw businesses from giving out thin plastic bags that are not biodegradable.

The law affects all stores, production facilities and service providers within the Federal District, which encompasses the city limits. Nearly 9 million people live inside the district and another 10 million reside in surrounding communities that make up greater Mexico City.

Mexico City becomes the second large metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw the bags. San Francisco enacted an ordinance in March 2007 that gave supermarkets six months and large chain pharmacies about a year to phase out the bags. Los Angeles is set to impose a ban if the the state of California does not impose a statewide 25-cent fee per bag by July of next year.

Bans are also in place elsewhere in the world.

China has adopted a strict limit, reducing litter and eliminating the use of 40 billion bags, the World Watch Institute said, citing government estimates. Although compliance has been spotty, violation of the law carries a possible fine of 10,000 yuan ($1,463), World Watch said.

In Tanzania, selling the bags carries a maximum six-month jail sentence and a fine of 1.5 million shilling ($1,137).

Mumbai, India, outlawed the bags in 2000 and cities in Australia, Italy, South Africa and Taiwan have imposed bans or surcharges. Ireland reported cutting use of the bags by 90 percent after imposing a fee on each one.

Some leading environmentalists are calling for a global ban on the bags, about 5 trillion of which are used worldwide. In the United States, about 100 million bags are used each year, of which 90 million are not recycled.

Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, says plastic bags are the second-most-common form of litter, behind cigarette butts. The bags are the greatest form of litter on the globe’s oceans, the U.N. agency said in a recent report.

The bags are also a major threat to ocean wildlife, causing the deaths of 100,000 sea turtles and other marine animals that mistake them for food.

“Thin-film, single-use plastic bags, which choke marine life, should be banned or phased out rapidly everywhere,” Steiner said in June. “There is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere.”

Mexico City, which has had some of the worst air pollution in the world, also is looking at improving its environment in other ways. The municipal government announced this month it will place more than 1,100 bicycles at 84 stations throughout the city for residents to use. Officials said they hope to increase bicycle use as a form of transportation to 5 percent, up from the current 1.2 percent.

Event update

Our scheduled Essential Oil class with Michelle Mahler for today has been postponed until Monday August 24th. Please join us! The class is free, but with a small fee of $15.00 you can make things during the workshop to take home and are provided with a wealth of information.

Tuesday August 25 - Nordic Naturals will be here at the store doing a demonstration. Come on by!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Joy, Peace and Serenity with Essential Oils

August 20th 5:30-7pm Joy, Peace and Serenity with Essential Oils
Essential Oils are extracted from flowers and herbs and have been used safely and effectively for uplifting the spirit and bringing peace and tranquility since ancient times. Find relief from stress, negativity and depression naturally with the oldest alternative therapy. We will discuss the many applications of mother earths miracle oils on the Olfactory senses and your brain. 

Class fee of $15 per student (optional) includes creating your own blend to take home. Beginners welcome!

Preregistration helps keep workshops and classes from being canceled, and ensures continued classes on the calendar!
Sign up in the Co-op information room, or email

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Get Farming!

The Cultivating Success Sustainable Small Farming and Ranching Course starts Wednesday, Sept. 2 and will be held every Wednesday evening, from 6-9pm, through Nov. 18, with some weekend farm visits.

This course is excellent for individuals and couples who wish to start or redesign a small farm enterprise. It helps participants take a realistic look at their goals and resources and decide what type of small acreage enterprise is right for them. Students are exposed to all type of farming and ranching systems, guest farmers speak to the class, and field trips are taken to local farms.

The course fee is $250; some scholarships are available.

Courses will be held at the WSU Mt. Vernon Research Center, located at 16650 State Route 536
Mount Vernon, WA 98273 (map and driving instructions).

This year's course will be taught in English and Spanish, using the "adult dual-language model" - That is, some portions of the course will be in English with Spanish translation, while others will be in Spanish with English translation. All printed materials are available in both languages and written work is completed in the participant's preferred language.

To register, or for more information, please reply to this email or call Sarita Schaffer at 206-914-7948.

Space is limited so please call today!


El curso “Agricultura Sostenible de Pequeña Escala”, está programado para el 2 de septiembre y será todos los miércoles por la tarde, desde las 6 hasta las 9 horas, empezando el 2 de Septiembre, terminando el 18 de Noviembre.

Este curso es excelente para personas y parejas que quieren empezar o expandir un pequeño negocio agrícola. El curso les ayuda a los participantes a evaluar sus metas y recursos y decidir cuál tipo de empresa pequeña agrícola más les conviene. Los participantes tienen la oportunidad de ver muchos sistemas de agricultura y ganadería a través de visitas guiadas y charlas con agricultores pequeños locales.

No hay costo para participantes hispanohablantes.

El curso tendrá lugar en el Centro de Investigación y Extensión Agrícola de WSU en Mount Vernon, que se ubica en 16650 Ruta Estatal 536 Mount Vernon, WA 98273 (mapa y cómo llegar).

Los que completen este curso y también el curso “Planificación de Negocios Agrícolas” habrán cumplido con las condiciones para participar en un nuevo “Incubadora de Negocios Agrícolas” que ofrece a agricultores nuevos y minoritarios el acceso asequible a la tierra, agua, financiación, y la asistencia técnica con la producción y el desarrollo del negocio.

Espacio está limitado, por favor llame hoy para registrarse.

Para más información sobre el curso y/o la Incubadora de Negocios Agrícolas, por favor comuníquese con Sarita Schaffer al 206-914-7948 o envíele un correo electrónico a Hablamos Español.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Community Events on Reforming Health Care

Community Events on Reforming Health Care

For Immediate Release
Contact: Amanda Mahnke
(202) 225-2605

August 5, 2009

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Larsen is working to reform health care to bring down costs for families and businesses, expand coverage and ban discrimination based on age or gender, or on preexisting conditions such as diabetes or cancer. And he is working to ensure that health care reform brings a fair deal for Washington state. Rep. Larsen will focus on health care reform at the following community events:

Whidbey Island League of Women Voters Forum
Thursday, August 6th
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Coupeville Recreation Center
901 NW Alexander Street
Coupeville, WA

Larsen Hosts Health Care Town Hall in Mount Vernon
Saturday, August 8th
2:00pm – 3:00pm
Skagit County PUD 1415 Freeway Dr.
Mount Vernon, WA

Larsen Hosts Health Care Town Hall in Everett
Wednesday, August 12th
5:00pm – 6:00pm
Weyerhaeuser Room, Everett Station
3201 Smith Ave.
Everett, WA