New owl species discovered in the Philippines

Cebu Hawk OwlHearing about new animal species is definitely exciting and kind of gives one hope about the future of the environment–unless people manage to mess up those animals’ chances for survival. Anyway, 10 new owl species were discovered in the Philippines, two of which are completely new: the Cebu hawk owl and the Camiguin hawk owl. According to Lisa Paguntalan, field director of Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Programme, the owls may be considered endangered because they were found only in small forested areas and islands.

Photo by Christian Artuso

Keep Code Green alive!

Code Green by Stephanie McMillan is the only weekly editorial cartoon that focuses on the environmental crisis. However, thanks to the troubles faced by newspapers, budget cuts are common and apparently, not many are very willing to pay for content anymore, a situation that has affected many cartoonists.

Much like the rest of it, cartoonists need income, and maintaining a cartoon takes effort and money, too. Therefore, McMillan is trying to raise $9,000 by September 4. If she reaches that goal, she’ll continue drawing Code Green for another year. Click here to contribute now and keep Code Green going!

Going plastic bag-free

My mother and I went on a quick trip to Antipolo City the other day to buy the usual goodies: suman, kalamay, and cashew nuts. To our surprise, the seller wrapped our purchases in old newspaper pages. It looks like the city really is taking its plastic bag ban seriously, so well done, Antipolo.


Earlier today, I headed over to Santis Deli for some cheese and phyllo. It’s been about a couple of months since I was last there, so I was happy to see that they’ve done away with their plastic bags and are using paper bags instead, although they encourage people to bring their own bags.

I think it’s pretty amazing how more and more supermarkets here are encouraging people to bring their own shopping bags, when just a few years ago, the idea wasn’t very popular. Some places are charging for plastic bags as well, and many are selling their own branded reusable bags. Now if only more people would actually start using reusable bags.

Vote in the 2012 Odwalla Tree Planting Program!

Odwalla Plant A TreeThe tree planting program is a yearly program of Odwalla, and this year, they’re calling on people to vote yet again for 10 tree planting projects that will receive $10,000 grants for new trees that will be planted during this year’s fall planting season. Twenty projects are in the running, each of which was nominated, and are in Boston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. Head over to to start voting! Voting runs through May 30.

Save the Wolves!

From Credo Action:

To make up for the fact that rapid tar sands oil mining is threatening caribou herds by destroying vast swaths of rainforest habitat in Alberta, the Canadian government has called for strychnine poisoning and aerial shooting of thousands of wolves in areas of tar sands mining.1

Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop Canada’s planned wolf killings!
If Alberta Canada’s tar sands oil fields are fully developed, an area of boreal rainforest the size of Florida will be eviscerated, leaving in its wake only giant ponds of toxic wastewater.2

It’s obvious why this would pose a massive threat to all wildlife species who reside there, including birds, caribou and the iconic spirit bear.

But instead of preserving the habitat caribou need for their survival, the Canadian government’s answer is to blaze ahead with tar sands oil extraction, and kill thousands of wolves who would naturally prey on the caribou. The Ministry of the Environment’s plan calls for aerial shooting, and poisoning with bait laced with strychnine — a particularly painful type of poison.

Tell Prime Minister Harper: Stop your planned wolf killings! Preserve wolf and caribou habitat, and stop the irresponsible development of tar sands oil which threatens all of us.

This plan to kill wolves is a misguided, cruel response that does nothing to alleviate the greater problem: Tar sands development is a huge threat to wildlife, local communities, and all of our futures.
But despite the clear negative consequences, the Canadian government continues working to rapidly expand tar sands production and sales, including with the Keystone XL Pipeline to export tar sands oil all over the world.
Understandably, this has begun to earn Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and many in the country’s government, a negative reputation, to which they are becoming increasingly sensitive.2

The Ministry of the Environment has not yet moved forward with this planned wolf kill. And with enough public pressure, we can get them to abandon the plan, and build the case for Canada to stop their devastating race to expand tar sands oil fields.

Click HERE to sign the petition.