Report Round Up: Water, Waste, Welfare and Websites

A summary of recent reports about humane issues, from bottled water to industrial factory farming, to the impact of websites and their advertising on young children.

Take Back the Tap: Why Choosing Tap Water Over Bottled Water is Better for Your Health, Your Pocketbook, and the Environment (PDF) (2007)

“This is an industry that takes a free liquid that falls from the sky and sells it for as much as four times what we pay for gas.”
~ Richard Wilk, University of Indiana

Almost as omnipresent as plastic grocery bags here in the U.S. are plastic water bottles. You see them at gyms, at work, school, public events, and may even stock it in your fridge at home. In addition to the convenience of a “grab-n-go” splash of thirst-quenching H20, many people stick to bottled water for health and safety reasons. This report from Food and Water Watch explores issues surrounding the significant negative consequences of choosing bottled over tap and attempts to dispel the myths surrounding the quality and safety of the water that runs out our faucets. Read a quick summary.

Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America (PDF) (2008)

A 2 ½ year study by the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production confirms that “the current industrial farm animal production (IFAP) system often poses unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and the welfare of the animals themselves.” Among the findings reported include an increased risk in public health due to so many animals confined in such close quarters, as well as air and waste emissions; the large amounts of waste and emissions that contribute to pollution and greenhouse gases; the fact that animals are raised in conditions that cause them stress and harm; and the negative impact on rural communities. Read a quick summary.

Like Taking Candy From a Baby: How Young Children Interact with Online Environments
(PDF) (2008)

Are websites for young children fun and useful for their growth and development, or are they just giant commercials for products that kids can nag their parents to buy them? A recent study by Consumer Reports WebWatch and the Mediatech Foundation followed the experiences (through video journals) of 10 families with young children (ages 3-8) to provide insights into how young kids interact with and respond to certain websites and the advertising on them.

The study reports key findings and shares tips for what parents can do to help protect their kids while they’re online. Read a quick summary.

~ Marsha, Web Content/Community Manager
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