Some Sustainability Snippets

• Winston Churchill said “The era of procrastination, or half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.” Churchill wasn’t talking about the sustainability movement, but the message certainly applies.

• Bisphenol A (BPA) is known to affect the endocrine system of animals, including man. Many countries have outlawed the use of this chemical, which is widely used in plastics. Maine’s Governor Paul LePage is an outspoken critic of regulations that protect the public from business and corporate interests. This is what he said about the use of BPA (as reported by the Bangor, Maine, Daily News). “The only thing that I’ve heard is that if you take a plastic bottle and put it in the microwave and you heat it up, it gives off a chemical similar to estrogen. So the worst case is some women may have little beards.”

• According to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, “The earth’s 6.8 billion humans was effectively living 50% beyond the planet’s biocapacity in 2007 (according to a new assessment by the World Wildlife Federation), and that by 2030 humans will effectively need the capacity of two Earths.” Reported by the Agence Franc Presse, posted Oct. 20, 2010.

• Nature provides countless services for free, such as decomposing vegetation and waste (think feces), oxygen production (so we can breathe and live), filtration of natural water supplies, lumber, carbon storage (uptake of carbon dioxide by plants), and various fuel sources. What’s the economic value of these services? Our leaders need “…to recognize the monetary and intrinsic value of natural capital, and choose policies that protect and restore it.” (Excerpt from “Natural Capital” on

• The David Suzuki Foundation surveyed the 15,000 chemicals used in personal care products, such as skin creams, treatments, fragrances, shampoos, etc. The group recommended against using products containing one or more of the “dirty dozen” chemicals known to cause cancer or disrupt hormone balance. (