Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Apr 20, 2012
April 20, 2012
Sunday is the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day.
In 1970, GAYLORD NELSON, then a U-S senator from Wisconsin, proposed a nationwide protest to put environmental issues on the national agenda. It's considered to be the birth of the modern environmental movement. Since its inception, over 20 million people have participated in annual gatherings to promote good environmental stewardship of the planet. It's now observed each year by more than 500 million people and national governments in 175 countries.
Check out a few Earth Day facts (with corresponding source):
--Skipping a car trip each week prevents the emission of 950 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. --womansday.com
--Americans buy six billion greeting cards a year --on average, 60 cards per household per year. If 10-thousand people switched to sending e-cards or making their own from paper around the house, 400 trees a year could be saved. (With apologies to Hallmark, although they have an e-card division)
--By lowering the heat on your thermostat by one degree, you can save three percent of your energy output as well as another three percent of your energy costs. If you move the thermostat three degrees lower, (or higher, if it's air conditioning season), you prevent more than a ton of carbon dioxide emissions per year. --The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO.
--Idle, but plugged-in appliances cost consumers a staggering $3 billion a year. --The Center for a New American Dream
--Your clothes dryer is the second-biggest electricity-using appliance after the refrigerator, using $85 a year to operate and emitting 1,738 pounds of carbon dioxide --so line-drying is the way to save money and the environment.
--If every U-S household replaced their 4 most-used 100-watt incandescent bulbs with four 23-watt compact fluorescent bulbs, the country would save as much energy as is produced by 30 power plants annually. --The Alliance to Save Energy
--If everyone in the U-S flushed their toilets one less time each day, we'd save nearly one billion gallons of water every day.
--Running your water for just one minute can waste up to four gallons of water. --The Texas Water Foundation.
What's the Buzz:
The signs say "Slower traffic keep right," but apparently the slowpokes aren't listening and finally, someone's doing something about it.
The state of Delaware is looking to crack down on lane hogs who insist on driving at a crawl in the left lane, with state lawmakers considering a bill that would fine such dawdlers as much as $230. The bill would make the left lane for passing or turning only on any road with at least two lanes in each direction.
The Delaware Police Chiefs Council and Triple A have both endorsed the bill, and the council chair says that though it may be somewhat difficult to enforce, the law "could have a huge impact just by being on the books."
Delaware already requires slower drivers to keep to the right, and officials there and in other states are increasing enforcement in an effort to reduce road rage. (Maiman)
Starbucks is changing its menu, but most customers won’t notice the difference. The coffee giant is doing away with carmine dye, a red coloring made from crushed beetles.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Starbucks will replace carmine dye with a tomato extract called lycopene. Carmine dye is what gives that rosy color to the Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino, strawberry banana smoothies, raspberry swirl cakes, birthday cake pops, mini doughnuts with pink icing and red velvet whoopee pie.
Besides the fact that it’s gross to think about eating crushed beetles, the insects aren’t vegan or kosher. After an employee made an anonymous post about the coloring to the This Dish Is Vegetarian website, more than 6500 Starbucks customers signed a petition at Change.org complaining about the practice. The switchover will take place this June. (Page)
Personal endorsements rule! A new study from Nielsen finds personal experiences trump advertising claims again: 92 percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media (such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family) above all other forms of advertising, an increase of 18 percent since 2007. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years. (Kaye)
You can afford ZAC POSEN now. The designer just launched a line at Lord & Taylor stores nationwide. It’s called Z Spoke Zac Posen for Lord & Taylor. The collection includes handbags and a few dresses that range from $149 to $199. Zac told People magazine that he “believes that trendy clothing should be accessible” and that he loves “women who have bodies and curves.” But if you're plus-sized, don’t get too excited. According to Lord & Taylor’s website, Zac only loves curves if you’re a size 14 or under. (Bartha)
The Reel Deal:
Wotta Surprise: a film about BOB MARLEY out today, on 4/20.
To get the unspoken joke, you gotta know that marijuana heads in the late 1960s used to get together to smoke pot every afternoon at 4:20, hence 4-20 became their code for "let's do some weed."
But KEVIN McDONALD, the director of the documentary, told the Hollywood Reporter that although he didn't have anything to do with the release date of "Marley," if brings more people in to see the film, he's all for it.
FYI: Kevin is the same guy who also did "The Last King of Scotland" and the Oscar-winning documentary "One Day in September."
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