10 Threatened Rivers for Your World Travel Bucket List

According to U.S. scientists, July 2012 was the hottest month in recorded history. Crops have dried up, and most people’s utility bills have shot up. North America’s epic drought has placed a chokehold on the country’s lakes and rivers. The Hudson River, a cherished waterway stretching through New York, has seen its levels drop two feet this year alone. Sadly, the news is even worse in other parts of the world (like with the Ganges River above), where environmental changes, human abuse and urban development have left once-thriving rivers mere puddles of their former selves. Here are 10 Threatened Rivers For Your World Travel Bucket List, none of which we’ll recognize for much longer if we don’t find answers to all the years of neglect.

 

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Eco News: A Fast Food Giant Shows It Gives a Cluck

In a move Burger King hopes will resonate with environmentally conscious consumers, the fast-food behemoth says it will only be using cage-free eggs and pork in its 12,400 locations by 2017.

“So many tens of thousands of animals will now be in better living conditions,” said Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, a group that’s been urging BK and other similar companies to consider animal welfare in their purchasing practices. “Numerically this is significant because Burger King is such a big purchaser of these products.”

Perhaps the most interesting element of this announcement is its timing. In March, food industry research firm Technomic Inc. reported that Burger King had sales of $8.4 billion in 2011. By contrast, Wendy’s had $8.5 billion in sales, making it the first time since 1969 that BK wasn’t #2 on the burger ladder to McDonald’s ($34.2 billion).

As if that development wasn’t embarrassing enough for the fast food giant, Burger King also unveiled a celebrity-heavy ad campaign for its new salads, smoothies and other healthy snacks in April. The awkward ad with R&B superstar Mary J. Blige had the blogosphere all atwitter with posts about its racial insensitivity. To smolder the PR fire, the company axed Mary’s commercial.

The company’s new cage-free initiative certainly changes the conversation surrounding BK. The chain uses hundreds of millions of eggs and tens of millions of pounds of pork every year. “For every cage-free egg or piece of bacon from a gestation-free pork system that Burger King sells,” says HSUS food policy director Matthew Prescott, “animals have been spared lifelong confinement in a cage so small they can barely even move.”

Green Global Travel is all aboard with these new steps, but we’ll save our standing ovation for when the “Home of the Whopper” introduces similar eco-friendly practices for cows being housed in tight confinement and fed genetically modified grains.

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