April 27, 2013
Happy Save the Frogs Day!
Well today is happy and sad because the reason this “holiday” exists is because the world frog population is being decimating. Frogs are important to the world because they are the barometer of our ecosystems, because they breathe through their skin they are extremely susceptible to pollution and toxins in the environment (they are called bioindicators). They eat pests and disease vectors, they are used in medicinal research, they are an important part of the food web. All of the frog pictures are straight out of camera from Catherine and my trip to Costa Rica. There is a great Ranaria in Santa Elena/Monteverde, you should check it out if you’re in the area!
There are some reasons why frog population is in peril:
– pollution and pesticides
-over-harvesting for frog legs and pets
So what can you do besides not eating frog legs? Here are some ideas from the savethefrogs website. There are more on their site so you should check it out!
-Don’t use pesticides
-Don’t buy wild-born pets
-Slow down driving on wet pavement at night
-Don’t stock non-native fish in ponds or streams
-DO NOT BUY BOTTLED WATER
-Use rechargeable batteries
-Vote for the environment with you ballots and your money
-Eat less meat
-Build a frog pond
-Don’t support dissection of frogs in schools
-Eat local foods
-Talk about frogs and their plight
Here’s some more information about bottle water and it’s evils! From savethefrogs
Drink tap water, not bottled water
Would you eat a $5000 meal at a restaurant? Probably not. Yet many people routinely spend 1000 times more for a bottle of water than the equivalent amount of water costs when it comes from the tap. Americans drank 30 billion bottles of water in 2005, the majority of which were NOT recycled. According to the Pacific Institute, the production of 30 billion plastic bottles requires the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil (enough to fuel more than one million vehicles for a year!), produces more than 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, and uses three times the amount of water than ends up in the bottle. And these numbers don’t include the environmental cost of transporting the bottles from the factory to your local store. Interestingly, 25% of American bottled water (and 100% of Aquafina and Dasani) is just processed tap water that did NOT come from that fresh bubbly mountain spring you envisioned. Bottled water sold by Sam’s Club / Wal-Mart and Giant has been found to have contaminants above California’s legally acceptable limits.
Most municipal water supplies undergo stringent quality-control procedures, but if you are concerned about the health quality of your home water source, consider buying a PUR or Brita water filter. If you are leaving the house for the day, fill up aKlean Kanteen that you can re-use for years. The majority of western countries have free access to clean tap water. Take advantage of it.
In non-western countries there is virtually no recycling. Most plastic ends up being burnt in people’s backyards, creating toxic fumes and obvious health hazards. If you are headed to a country in which you do not plan to drink the tap water, we recommend purchasing aKatadyn portable water filter, or a portable Steri-pen UV-light. These products will save you money, allow you to drink the water in any situation, and reduce your impact on the environment.