107 results for author: Jen Coleman


Top tips to green your wardrobe

Do you own about 70 garments? Do most of them last you less than a year? If so, you are about average for an American today. If you own half that number of garments and keep them for 3-5 years, you’re closer to the American average 15 years ago.This growth in clothing manufacture and use is no small thing. From the energy, water and pesticides used to the dyes and solvents in wastewater, making clothing can be a polluting business. With only about 15% of clothing donated for re-use, the waste adds up to tens of millions of tons in incinerators or landfills each year.Changing this trend will take change in the industry. Manufacturers must ...

Diesel pollution and health

Diesel exhaust is costing Oregon billions of dollars each year in health care costs, lost lives and missed work and school. “In pediatrics, we want to prevent kids from getting sick. We are asking parents to take individual action. But there’s nothing we can do to get them to prevent exposing their kids to air pollution. It’s only good public policy that can help protect kids in that way.” — Dr. Paul Lewis, MD, MPH; Tri-County Health Officer Diesel exhaust consists of particles and gases including 44 toxic substances. At least 80% of diesel exhaust is microscopic sooty particles so small that, when inhaled, they can enter the bloodstr...

Diesel and air quality

Why do we need to act now to reduce diesel pollution from heavy-duty engines? Because it's not only one of Oregon's biggest air quality problems—it contributes to all of them.  According to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's 2017 Air Quality annual report, Oregon's "air pollutants of greatest concern" are:Ground-level ozone (smog):  Diesel engines are responsible for 49% of NOx (a smog-forming pollutant) from transportation. Heavy duty vehicles are the largest source of NOx emissions in Oregon. Ozone is created when NOx and VOC pollutants meet high temperatures and sunlight. According to Diesel Technology Forum, one diesel ...

New report: Oregon fails on diesel

This month, Oregon’s cross-agency team of experts made it very clear: None of our current efforts to reduce diesel pollution have worked, or will work, to meet our state’s goals for protecting human and environmental health. "Diesel emissions impacts to human health and the environment are not being adequately addressed by the DEQ [Department of Environmental Quality] or through Toxics Reduction Strategy planning.” This matter-of-fact statement, and details about Oregon’s diesel problem, are part of a newly updated toxics reduction strategy presented to the Environmental Quality Commission in January 2019. The strategy is designed to work ...

Forever and blue jeans

I love my jeans, and wear them until they are no longer socially acceptable. But even then—it just doesn’t seem right to throw them in the trash. So I have piles of old denim waiting to become the next—what?Just this week, our Climate Program Director here at OEC mentioned a cool innovation: a company collecting old jeans to make building insulation.Wow! My jeans can get new life as an energy-efficiency tool. And because my job is finding ways to reduce toxics in the environment, I very much like this alternative to insulating materials that contain toxic ingredients. (See this handy comparison of insulation choices by the Green Home ...

Decades of diesel

Oregon's path to clearing the air of diesel pollution is a long one, but 2019 is the year to get serious about solutions. Check out our timeline for the policies—and missed deadlines—that have led us to this moment of change.

Green tips for the season of giving

Joy, peace and jolly to you! Here at Oregon Environmental Council, we believe in the power and health benefits of celebration. We also believe the "season of giving” includes giving people the tools they need to act on their environmental values.In that spirit, we offer these green living tips for the holiday season:It’s a frustrating reality that children’s products still contain toxic chemicals (read more about how we're working on this)!There are a number of resources that identify kid's toys that avoid plastics, adhesives, and other components likely to contain toxics. Here are a couple of resources:Huffington PostGentle Nursery...

Accurate labels, or cover-up?

Just as Oregon begins to find out how toxic chemicals occur in children's products, a federal bill could block that information. The American Chemistry Council and other industry groups are behind the proposed "Accurate Labels Act" ( H.R. 6022/S. 3019 ). Oregon's own Representative Schrader is sponsoring the bill.Take action: Ask Congressman Schrader to protect access to data for the sake of public health.The "Accurate Labels Act" proposes to re-write the 1967 "Fair Packaging and Labeling Act." Instead of giving consumers information they need to make smart choices, the law would be re-written to block public information about ...

Toxic Free Kids Act 2018: All chemicals reported

Below is a table of all chemicals of concern reported to the Oregon Health Authority as occurring in children's products as of September, 2018. These reports from manufacturers comply with the Toxic Free Kids Act. The table may take a minute to load into the screen below. !function(e,t,s,i){var n="InfogramEmbeds",o=e.getElementsByTagName("script")[0],d=/^http:/.test(e.location)?"http:":"https:";if(/^\/{2}/.test(i)&&(i=d+i),window[n]&&window[n].initialized)window[n].process&&window[n].process();else if(!e.getElementById(s)){var r=e.createElement("script");r.async=1,r.id=s,r.src=i,o.parentNode.insertBefore(r,o)}}(document,0,"infogram-async","https://...

Chemicals of Concern In Children’s Products

In 2015 the Oregon legislature passed the Toxic Free Kids Act. The law requires manufacturers who make children’s products to report when their products contain toxic chemicals that are scientifically linked to health impacts in kids.