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Health & Environment

Health, Science & Environment

Living with less, on purpose

A growing number of Americans are not only buying fewer things, but getting rid of those they don't need, in pursuit of greater happiness.

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Kristin Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

The Swindlehurst family / Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

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David, Christy and Noah Swindlehurst are practicing new math at their Eden Prairie town home -- minimal addition, maximum subtraction.

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While the tradition for most young American families is to acquire more, the Swindlehursts are determined to get rid of as much stuff as they can spare.

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"We just worked our way through four dressers, and now we're down to two," Christy said, as David reluctantly parted with some T-shirts that held sentimental value.

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As 10-year-old Noah sat on an area rug, surrounded by toys and sports equipment he was giving away, his dad joked, "If you're on the rug, you're gone."

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The Swindlehursts are part of a growing national movement of personal downsizers, people who are simplifying their lives -- and spending habits -- by paring down their possessions and resisting the urge to buy more.

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Red Cross scolds 'failed' HIV policy among nations

The spread of HIV and AIDS among millions of people could be slowed if addicts who inject drugs were treated as medical patients rather than as criminals, the International Federation of the Red Cross said Friday.

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John Heilprin, Associated Press/Seattle Times | WA

The spread of HIV and AIDS among millions of people could be slowed if addicts who inject drugs were treated as medical patients rather than as criminals, the International Federation of the Red Cross said Friday (Nov 26).

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More than 80 percent of the world's governments "are inclined to artificial realities, impervious to the evidence that treating people who inject drugs as criminals is a failed policy that contributes to the spread of HIV," the Red Cross said.

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An estimated 16 million people worldwide inject drugs, mainly because it delivers the fastest, most intense high, in what has become a growing trend on every continent, according to the Red Cross.

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The launch of the International Federation of the Red Cross' 24-page report - essentially to promote a new strategy for nations to stop the spread of the virus among injecting drug users - comes in the week before World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.

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They served us. We failed them.

Thousands of ground zero workers continue to suffer — and die — from illnesses caused by the site's toxic air, and our government has left them high and dry.

Rubén Rosario, St. Paul Pioneer Press | MN

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

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Lucie Ferrell Lucie Ferrell, a former Twins Cities nurse, is among the thousands of Ground Zero first responders and workers who have become ill or died from exposure to toxins while at the site. She was photographed in her Mahtomedi home, Wednesday, November 24, 2010. (Pioneer Press: John Autey)

I met Lucie Ferrell and asked her a question after she paid a visit to her cardiologist and pulmonologist at a specialty clinic in downtown St. Paul this week.
The former nurse and college nursing professor from Mahtomedi responded with the telltale 'World Trade Center cough.'

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The coughing fit, frequent every day, lasted nearly 10 seconds. That's what prolonged exposure to a mix of asbestos, powdered glass, dioxins, benzene, lead, mercury and thousands of other potentially deadly toxins will do to a person.

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"Sorry," she managed to say after the fit subsided and she regained her voice. No need to apologize.

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Summary | Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster: Week of November 21

6 New Items including:

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  • Tests Confirm Gulf Seafood Contains Toxic Oil
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  • 6 months after oil spill, much remains unknown
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

J.D. Crowe

Tests Confirm Gulf Seafood Contains Toxic Oil, Beth Buczynski, Care2.com

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Take Action: Tell the FDA to Come Clean About Gulf Seafood

Experts: BP ignored warning signs on doomed well, Dina Cappiello, Associated Press/Wopular
BP and its contractors missed and ignored warning signs prior to the massive oil well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, showing an "insufficient consideration of risk" and raising questions about the know-how of key personnel, a group of technical experts concluded.

BP deep-cleaning Gulf beaches amid new worries, Jay Reeves, Associated Press/Wopular

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  • Many are anxious to see the beaches cleaned as quickly as possible by whatever means are available. Others say BP may be making matters worse by bringing heavy equipment onto beaches and spreading the petroleum stain.
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  • Experts: BP ignored warning signs on doomed well
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The Gulf Between Us, Terry Tempest Williams, Orion Magazine

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  • Stories of terror and beauty from the world's largest accidental offshore oil disaster
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  • 6 months after oil spill, much remains unknown
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6 months after oil spill, much remains unknown, Brian Skoloff and Harry R. Weber, Associated Press/Seacostonline.com

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  • It could be years before the spill's true effects are understood.
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  • Watch Crude Justice and hold BP accountable
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  • The Gulf Between Us
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Denied BP Oil Spill Claims Rising Sharply, Brian Skoloff, Associated Press/Huffington Post

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  • For Gulf coast residents with apparently legitimate claims, the process can be maddening.
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  • BP oil spill: US scientist retracts assurances over success of cleanup
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