Pop X: Population, Sustainability and a Wilder Future for All.
Ed Begley Jr.

Dear Center Supporter,

By now you may have seen our new PSAs starring Ed Begley Jr. taking on unsustainable human population growth, food waste and energy waste. (If not, check them out here.)

In this month's Pop X, I'm taking you behind the scenes to share how we're using these videos to get people talking about these often-overlooked issues and acting to create real-world change. With Ed's unconventional "solutions" of avoiding sex, eating garbage and walking around in the dark, we're taking on misconceptions about population and overconsumption and drawing attention to the real ways to address these important issues.

The PSAs have already been seen thousands of times on social media and on TV stations from Alaska to Alabama. Read on for ways you can help keep the Better Than Ed campaign going.

For the wild,

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
Center for Biological Diversity

P.S. Today's world population is: 7,526,232,000. We can still save room for wildlife — spread the word and share this email.

Ed Begley Jr. demonstrating his solar oven

Crowded Planet / Ed Begley Jr. might offer some unorthodox solutions to environmental problems in our videos, but in real life he's committed to sustainable living. Check out his journey at his website.

Shades of Green / The Dreaded "Talk"

Sex talk

Broaching the topic of sex with your kids is awkward. But it's not really something that can be avoided — especially since many kids don't get science-based information in school. Even fewer are taught to recognize the steep price wildlife pay as our population grows. Ed resorts to unorthodox advice in the hopes that he can convince his kids to avoid sex altogether. But the Center's Jess Herrera grapples with more effective ways to make sure population growth and our effect on the planet is a part of "the talk" in the latest installment of Shades of Green

Join the Challenge to Beat Food Waste

Earth-friendly Diet / Beat Food Waste Challenge

The average family of four tosses up to $2,225 worth of food every year. All that waste is hard on our wallets and on wildlife. When we waste food, we waste all the land, water and other resources that went into producing it. Thankfully the solution isn't to eat garbage (even though Ed's pasta dog didn't look that bad) but instead to prevent food waste in the first place. Our Beat Food Waste Challenge is designed to help you do just that. When you join the challenge, you'll commit to the goal of cutting your household food waste in half. We'll commit to send you actions, tips and other resources to help make it happen. Sign up for the challenge today.

Wild Energy / Save the EPA's 'Energy Star' Program

Energy Star home

Ed may be stumbling in the dark to save energy, but he doesn't have to. Energy-saving solutions are quite clear. Energy Star, a federal energy-efficiency program, has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.7 billion metric tons over the past 25 years by providing tools and information to help people make smarter purchases. Despite its success and popularity, Energy Star and other energy-efficiency programs are under attack, along with renewable-energy programs. Tell your reps to keep these programs funded to reduce energy waste and keep energy solutions out of the dark.

Classroom

Population / Save Sex Education

The average sex education curriculum probably doesn't involve Ed's techniques to avoid sex altogether, but in many classrooms it's not too far off: Abstinence-only education is still prevalent in schools across the country. Despite study after study showing that abstinence education is ineffective in preventing teen pregnancies, the federal government awards nearly twice as much funding to these programs than it does to efforts to increase education and access to contraception. If we're going to give youth the tools and knowledge they need to make informed reproductive decisions, we need to focus on solutions that work. Tell the Department of Health & Human Services to stop funding programs that promote abstinence-until-marriage programs and to invest in sex ed that will effectively prevent unplanned pregnancies.

Save the World ... Better Than Ed

Five Wild Picks / Keep the Conversation Going

The Better Than Ed PSAs are starting much-needed conversations, but we need your help to keep the momentum going. Here are five ways to elevate the #BetterThanEd campaign.

1) Share the videos: Post the videos on your social media pages.

2) Share your favorite form of contraception: In the style of our popular Endangered Species Condoms, we've created new graphics featuring different birth-control options.

3) Urge Albertsons to fight food waste: Grocery stores are a key part of our food system, and they're not doing enough to prevent food waste.

4) Pledge to cut energy waste: Commit to take steps to reduce wasted energy in your home.

5) Write a letter to the editor: Let your community know why these issues are important to you and what you're doing to be Better Than Ed.

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Photo credits: Video still of Ed Begley Jr. in garbage can courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Stephanie Feldstein staff photo; Ed Begley Jr. demonstrating his solar oven by BBC World Service/Flickr; video still of teenagers courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Beat Food Waste graphic courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; Energy Star graphic courtesy EPA; classroom by Melinda Shelton/Flickr; Ed Begley Jr. graphic courtesy Center for Biological Diversity.

Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702