Portland residents reject fluoridation, thwarting City Council that had mandated it

Portland voters soundly rejected fluoridation of the city’s water, reversing a 2012 mandate by the city council. Anti-fluoride forces are calling the vote a victory for modern science, which has identified excessive fluoride exposures as contributing to thyroid disease, bone damage and lower IQs among children.

Don’t trash talk San Francisco; the city beats everyone at waste diversion

San Francisco knows how to not waste an opportunity. In case you missed the news, the Golden Gate city recently surpassed it’s goal of diverting 75 percent of its trash from the landfill by 2010. It’s already at 77 percent trash diversion by the city’s last estimation.

The side of a Recology truck makes the point that "Recycling changes everything." In San Francisco, it has dramatically changed how much trash goes to waste. (Photo: Recology)

That very likely makes San Francisco the continuing leader among U.S. cities for trash diversion. San Jose, Fresno, Long Beach, New York City and Portland are close behind. According to an independent ranking, those cities were all diverting at least 60 percent of their waste in late 2007. San Francisco led the pack back then at 67 percent diversion.

Bike commuting is green, healthy & cheap, so why don’t more people do it?

Bicyclist (Photo: Savo Ilic/dreamstime)

Bicyclist (Photo: Savo Ilic/dreamstime)

It’s May, which means it’s Bicycle Month. Cities and cycling clubs around the country are promoting bicycle riding by sponsoring group rides and bike commuter events , culminating around Bike to Work Day on May 21. But the presence on the American calendar of a designated month to encourage bicycle transportation underscores the fact that most people in this nation get around by driving cars, not by riding bikes.

U.S. green schools: A lesson in engaging kids and saving money

By Harriet Blake
Green Right Now

The first daughters’ new school, Sidwell Friends in Washington, has been awarded the top LEED rating of platinum. But learning institutions across the nation are joining the ranks of LEED-qualified schools, as educators recognize both the health benefits for children and the long term energy savings of building greener.

Sidwell earned 57 out of a possible 69 points on the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rankings. At the recent Green Build conference in Boston, the USGBC recognized several schools, including Sidwell, for their green advances.