May 20, 2013
The legislative session is over, and the results are in. Here at VPIRG, we’re celebrating the victories that our members helped to bring about. Thank you!
Of course, we didn’t win every fight. The Legislature failed to commit the necessary resources to weatherize our homes and businesses, for example. But we’re taking the time to celebrate the wins, reflect on the losses, and get to work building the grassroots support to carry us forward again, next year!…
March 26, 2013
Montpelier, VT – Vermont received a “C+” when it comes to government spending transparency, according to “Following the Money 2013: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data,” the fourth annual report of its kind by a federation of public interest research groups that includes the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG).
“State governments across the country – including Vermont – have become more transparent about where public money goes, providing citizens with the information they need to hold elected officials and businesses that receive public funds accountable,” said Paul Burns, executive director of VPIRG.…
February 28, 2013
Vermont’s Bottle Bill is our state’s most successful recycling program and a model we can build on to help move Vermont toward a zero-waste future. A Clean and Green Vermont: A Special Report on the Environmental and Economical Benefits of Vermont’s Bottle Bill, released by VPIRG and the Container Recycling Institute, examines ways in which the Bottle Bill is uniquely effective at collecting and recycling beverage containers, and how the program could become even better.
New poll shows massive public support for wind power in Vermont: Support goes up when it’s in the neighborhood
February 26, 2013
A new poll released today by the Castleton Polling Institute continues to show overwhelming public support for building renewable wind energy turbines on Vermont ridgelines. In fact, the support for building wind actually increased from 66 percent to 69 percent when the question was specifically asking about wind power being developed in your community.
February 20, 2013
A new report, Naptime Nightmares: Toxic Flame Retardants in Child Care Nap Mats, shows that nap mats used in daycares throughout Vermont and nationwide contain harmful flame retardant chemicals.
These unnecessary and ineffective chemicals expose our children to substances that can cause cancer and have been linked to developmental problems, hormone disruption, and other serious health problems. There is no reason that parents should have to worry when their kids take naps at daycare.…
November 20, 2012
The Trouble in Toyland report provides a list of dangerous toys that surveyors found on toy store shelves within the past month. The list includes a dangerous magnet toy, a plastic food set that is a choking hazard and a toy guitar that is harmful to little ears. Each year, thousands of children continue to be injured by unsafe toys and, tragically, between 2005 and 2010 more than 50 children choked to death on balloons, balls, toys, or parts of toys.…
September 5, 2012
The Vermont Public Interest Research Group released its 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard on public interest issues today. As the state’s largest consumer and environmental advocacy organization, VPIRG is involved in a broad range of policy debates in Montpelier, from health care reform to banning fracking.
The 2011-2012 Legislative Scorecard tracks votes on clean energy, health care, consumer protection, green cleaning, campaign finance reform, Bottle Bill expansion, a ban on fracking and more. Most of the votes included are on issues that VPIRG supported, but this year’s scorecard also has several votes where the public interest vote was a “no.” These include a proposed moratorium on wind power development and a proposed delay in health care reform.…
August 14, 2012
The Back-to-School Guide for Safer School Supplies provides parents with information on many common back-to-school items – from backpacks to binders – that may contain toxic chemicals and suggests some safer alternatives.
For example, a lot of children’s products, including backpacks, paper clips, 3-ring binders, and lunch boxes, are decorated with PVC coatings. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is a type of plastic that contains dangerous chemical additives like phthalates, lead, and cadmium, which can harm children’s health.…
July 31, 2012
Global warming is happening now and its effects are being felt in Vermont, across the United States and around the world. Among the expected consequences of global warming is an increase in the heaviest rain and snow storms, fueled by increased evaporation and the ability of a warmer atmosphere to hold more moisture.
Read the Environment America report When It Rains, It Pours to learn more about global warming-induced increases in precipitation and how we can address them.…
March 13, 2012
Jewelry being sold in Vermont stores contains alarming levels of toxic chemicals including lead, cadmium, nickel and arsenic, according to a study conducted by The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit environmental organization that conducts product testing for hazardous ingredients in items average American families use daily.
Many of the products tested are aimed at children. The chemicals found in the jewelry have been linked to acute allergies, birth defects, impaired learning, liver toxicity, and cancer. The full report is available at: www.HealthyStuff.org.…