Bisphenol A or BPA -- the chemical used in a variety of hard-plastic water bottles, baby bottles, sippy cups and food containers -- made big news last week.
A report from the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences warned that the chemical can leach into food and liquids and "may alter human development."
Meanwhile, the Canadian government proposed a ban on baby bottles made with BPA because of the chemical's potential toxicity.
In Anchorage, REI over the weekend stripped its shelves of water bottles containing BPA and replaced them with bottles made with a BPA-free material called Tritan. Small signs posted above racks filled with Nalgene and Camelbak bottles say REI will no longer sell bottles with BPA.Fred Meyer and Wal-Mart stores in Anchorage still have baby bottles and sippy cups containing BPA on their shelves.
APRN has a good interview with Wally Hickel and Malcolm Roberts about their part in the origin of Earth Day, back when Hickel was Richard Nixon's Secretary of the Interior, and Roberts - then, as now - worked for Wally. They'll be laying it this evening on Alaska News Nightly.
What better person to describe aspects of the earth on Earth Day than Erin McKittrick. She and hig are past Egegik, on their way down the northern shore of the Alaska Peninsula. She talks about wind in Connoisseurs of Wind:
Smooth and steady, quite dry, cool but not cold, with a strong, robust flavor…
That was the wind we had on the way into Egegik. Leaning into it, wading upstream against the current of air sweeping across the tundra, I reflected on our choice of route. Following the Pacific Rim, through the Lost Coast, the mountain passes, and heading down the Alaska Peninsula, we’ve chosen to pass through some of the windiest possible places.
We’ve become connoisseurs of wind. Wind that sweeps up from behind, shoving us along. Wind that drives in from ahead, stinging our exposed cheeks and noses. Wind that rattles the brush and flattens the grass, wind that sets the water into a frothing chop, and wind that sends swirls of hissing snow streaming across the ground. Wind that blows for days, as if you’ll never hear silence again. Wind that leaps up in an instant, a roaring tempest that ends as suddenly as it began. Wind that blows sand, or snow, or leaves, or rain, or nothing at all. Wind that funnels through narrow notches in the land, where you can walk from a gale to dead calm in a matter of minutes. Wind that seems to fill the whole world.
Wind blown, wind swept, wind scoured… We’re passing the last few scraggly trees - beyond the “limit of wooded country” marked on the map. Into a land of tundra and volcanoes, and into one of my favorite parts of the world.
Update - Tuesday evening: APRN has put the audio of their Earth Day piece up at their web site.