Polar Bears May Get Protection

Sometime within the next 12 months, polar bears may be added as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

In the last few years, polar bear numbers have experienced a steady decline due to loss of habitat as a result of global warming.

Find more information about polar bears and conservation efforts at the following sources:
- US Fish & Wildlife Service
- Greenpeace
- National Geographic


Five From My Playlist - 12/12/2006

From my Best of Christmas...

1. "O Holy Night" - David Phelps, featuring Anthony Burger on the piano. "Homecoming Friends - Christmas in the Country". This rendition of the beautiful Christmas classic gives me chills. David Phelps is certainly one of the most talented singers I have ever heard.

2. "The First Noel / Mary, Mary" - Sarah McLachlan. "Wintersong". Sarah's new album is fabulous. I love every song on there, but this one is my favorite.

3. "Mary Did You Know" - Mark Lowry. "Homecoming Friends - Christmas, A Time for Joy". This dramatic rendition by the songwriter of this modern classic is very impressive. This song also features Anthony Burger on the piano. Wow.

4. "Jesus the Light of the World" - Jessy Dixon. "Homecoming Friends - Joy to the World". I love the take on this spiritual carol.

5. "Merry Christmas, My Love" - Allison Durham Speer. "Homecoming Friends - Christmas, A Time for Joy". Allison wrote this beautiful Christmas love song.


Banker for the Poor

Dr. Muhammad Yunus, also known as the "Banker for the Poor", and his Grameen Bank won the Nobel Prize for 2006.

Dr. Yunus started his bank by giving small loans to some of the poorest women in the world. These women would never qualify for traditional bank loans. The money empowered the women, and helped them to build their own businesses. The bank also gives them access to other financial services.

As the recepients of the loans pay back their loan, the money is then distributed to others in need of a loan.

Find out more about Dr. Yunus and the Grameen Foundation at the foundation's website.


Green & Noteworthy - Limited Brands Announces New Environmental Policy

Limited Brands, owner of retail brand Victoria's Secret, announced a new and refreshing environmental policy.

The company will cease in using paper made of pulp from natural wildlife refuges, and use 10% post consumer content (recycled) or paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council instead. The clearance catalogs already use 80% post-consumer recycled content. 10% may seem small, but considering the mass mailings for Victoria's Secret, this number will definitely make a difference.

See the whole press release here.