Toxic America – A CNN Two Night Special

On June 2nd and 3rd in the US, CNN has a special series on shows on “Toxic America“. Hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta,the first night, dubbed Toxic Towns USA, focusing on CNN’s year-long investigation into the residents of Mosseville, Louisiana, who for decades have claimed that toxic chemicals in the air have been making them sick. The second night, Toxic Childhood, delves into effects of unseen chemicals on ALL of us, particularly how much of these toxins are being passed onto the babies of pregnant women.

There are more details on the website, but a few of the show’s findings:
– Exposure to car and truck exhaust in the womb has been shown to result in lower IQ at age five.
– Babies enter the world with more than 200 dangerous chemicals in their blood (!), including flame retardants, dioxins, substances in non-stick coatings like Teflon and hormone-like compounds found in plastic.
– Out of the 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States, the EPA has only tested about 200 and only banned five.

There are some promo clips on their YouTube channel (which I can’t embed here, sorry!), but it looks very interesting!


Discovery Channel’s LIFE Comes Alive on March 21st

On March 21st Discovery Channel’s LIFE premieres. It’s an 11-part follow up to PLANET EARTH which is the most successful natural history documentary of all time.

“While PLANET EARTH told the story of the natural world through the framework of our planet’s ecosystems and regions, LIFE takes us on a more intimate journey, introducing different animal and plant groups, using the latest in HD filming techniques to show jaw-dropping behaviors never witnessed before. Narrated by Oprah Winfrey and spanning all seven continents, LIFE took over four years to produce and every minute of footage in the series is new.”

Made by the BBC and Discovery, there are some cool previews of the series are below (warning, advert before each one)

From Challenges of Life (Premiering March 21 at 8 PM ET/PT)
Cheetahs Hunt Ostrich:

Stalk-Eyed Fly:

From Reptiles and Amphibians (Premiering March 21 at 9 PM ET/PT)
Komodo Dragons Hunt Buffalo:

Waterfall Toad Leap from Danger:

Grains of Change on SunDance

Grains of Change (warning auto=playing video!) is a new web documentary series from the Sundance Channel about the way our food choices impact the environment, our bodies and our communities.

It “showcases community leaders who help connect people with the food they eat – from a “renegade lunch lady” in California, to a farmer who opened the Center of Discovery for disabled citizens in New York. Each Grains of Change vignette focuses on an organization that asks us to examine our food choices and way of living.

You can watch clips on the website, or on YouTube. The one below is Paul Maschka from the San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project. He’s a gardener with a cause – or several of them to be exact. As Chief Educator for San Diego Food Not Lawns, Paul is not only a fountain of knowledge where urban agriculture is concerned, but also a champion for food security, and one of the urban farmers involved in the San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project. He was one of the urban farmers involved in creating the community at San Diego City College. The farm teaches students and the community about sustainable permaculture, agriculture, nutrition and leadership.

Check out more videos here or here. .

Method Tub Scrub Eco Product Review

At home we have a separate bathroom and toilet, which is a shame as method’s Bowl Patrol and its Tub Scrub match quite nicely but are kept in different rooms.

Tub Scrub

Still, it doesn’t detract from how cool this bottle looks. For what is essentially a cream cleaner, the bottle is almost too cool for it. The prongs at the top are there to hold the sponge or cloth you do the cleaning with, something which I now use regularly and wouldn’t do without, it’s great just to be able to put the sponge back there with the bottle rather that in a bag or just in the cupboard next to it.

The cleaner itself is great too. Just squirt it around the bathtub and clean away. I found the taps came up really well too without a lot of effort. And it’s not just the bath that can benefit from this cleaner, the sink cleaned up great too.

The secret in its cleaning power is the use of finely milled marble in its ingredients, a first. And it’s still non-toxic and biodegradable – the first cool looking and environmentally friendly cream cleaner!

Available from places like John Lewis, Waitrose and Big Green Smile, you can look at method’s website to find more stockists. It costs around £3.00.

Planet In Peril Returns Thursday Night!

Tomorrow night (Thursday December 11th), on CNN, Planet in Peril returns. You can read about the first Planet in Peril here, this 2008 special, “Planet in Peril: Battle Lines,” is hosted by Anderson Cooper, chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta and “The Oprah Winfrey Show” correspondent and National Geographic host Lisa Ling.

This time the team investigates serious environmental conflicts, including mass hunger in Cameroon and Congo, melting ice on the North Pole and shark-finning operations in Taiwan and Costa Rica.

Embedded video from CNN Video

Further information about the show and what they will cover was sent to me, and pretty interesting reading it is too. Watch the show at 9pm ET/PT on CNN if you can.


  • Humans kill at least 100 million sharks every year (WildAid)
  • The vast majority of caught shark fins will end up in soup.
  • Shark finning only utilizes 1-5% of the shark’s body-weight.
  • All recorded shark species, with one exception, have declined by more than 50% in the past 8 to 15 years.
  • Shark fins can sell for around 500 dollars a pound.
  • Sharks have existed for over 400 million years, 100 million years before the first dinosaurs appeared on land.
  • Sharks can take 20+ years to reach maturity and can live to 70 years and beyond.


  • The mountain gorilla is one of the world’s most critically endangered species. (WWF)
  • There are no mountain gorillas held in captivity in any legal zoo, private collection or captive breeding center anywhere in the world. (WWF)
  • The mountain gorillas’ habitat is one of the world’s worst conflict zones, straddling Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • A full grown mountain gorilla’s diet can include up to 60 lbs of vegetation a day.
  • Mountain gorillas spend a lot of their time traveling in search of food, as plants and trees change with the seasons.
  • An adult male gorilla can weight about 400 lbs and eats up to 60 lbs of vegetation a day.
  • When a silverback gorilla is standing upright (say, during a chest beating display) they can be as tall as 5 and a half feet tall. (Gorilla Fund)


  • 97% of children in La Oroya, Peru have elevated blood lead levels. Children’s young body tissue and bones are the most vulnerable to the ill health effects of lead. (Fernando Serrano, St. Louis University researcher)
  • 70% of adults in La Oroya, Peru have elevated blood lead levels. (Fernando Serrano, St. Louis University researcher)
  • La Oroya, Peru named one of the top 10 “World’s Worst Polluted Places” (Blacksmith Institute lists 2006, 2007)

And much more including the illegal Ivory trade in Chad, oil corruption in Nigeria and Zoonotic diseases in Cameroon.

Free Green TV

We’ve previously talked about Joost (Aka The Venice Project) that is an free Internet television application with over 20,000 shows which also allows viewers to instant message, channel chat and share their favorite television shows.

What we haven’t really talked about is the green and environmental shows that are available.

Joost Internet TV

National Geographic Green Channel – Presents quality programming with ecological and conscious messages about the environment.

Green TV – A web TV channel dedicated to the environment. The aim of is to raise awareness of environmental issues, especially climate change.

e² Design:The Green Apple – The first episode begins in New York, a city that is leading the charge to green its industrial skyline with several groundbreaking projects. New York combats the urban myth of the bustling city as a “concrete jungle.”

Joost is a great free service and some of the excellent green programming is sure to take up some of the time that would have been otherwise spent watching Yoga 4 Dudes. Not that I’ve seen that of course.

If You’re Not Out For Valentine’s Day

It’s a repeat (sorry, “encore”) but Six Degrees Could Change The World from the National Geographic is airing tonight (Thursday) on, funnily enough, The National Geographic Channel at 8PM et / 9PM pt. They have a cracking website called Is This Our Future, if you get a chance take a look.

A trailer for the show is embedded below, followed by three brief clips to give you an idea of what it’s about. If you’re reading via RSS, you might have to come here to watch.