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Borneo Under a Bad Sign: A Gulf-Size Environmental Disaster Looms

Like many, I've been following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill as if Grand Isle were my backyard. This widespread sense of personal frustration and outrage—as if we've all been directly victimized by BP—has certainly helped turn this particular spill into the most widely-reported environmental story of a generation.

Jamie Henn of 350.org has been thinking about this as well, and in a piece for YES! Magazine asked a critical question that demands reflection: Why doesn't every environmental challenge in the world feel just as personal?


I’ve wanted to know what makes the Gulf disaster tear up our hearts because there are other environmental fights out there that need to feel just as personal.

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Because, of course, when it feels personal to the broader public, problems are addressed and injustices righted. Which brings us to Borneo. Writes Henn:

For the last two months, I’ve been emailing and Skype-ing with Cynthia Ong, one of the leaders of Green SURF, a coalition of organizations in the Malaysian state of Sabah on the island of Borneo. Cynthia and her allies are working to stop a coal fired power plant that could have a devastating effect on the environment and community of the island.

The people of Borneo need the support of the international community to stop the plant. With most of the paperwork already approved and construction ready to begin this August, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak, is one of the few people left with enough power to still pull the plug.

If Najib feels enough international pressure, there’s a good chance he will scrap the plant. But without a global response, the project will undoubtedly move forward.

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Check out this SOS Borneo video to see what's at stake:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAamNexYo_0

If that feels personal enough for you, here are a few suggestions from Henn of what to do: "Green SURF is encouraging people to write on Najib’s Facebook page or send him an online postcard expressing opposition to the plant," and "Petitions, like the one up now at Change.org, are also circulating. Joining the SOS Borneo Facebook group can help you stay up to date with the latest developments."

Articles
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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