Pop X: Population, Sustainability and a Wilder Future for All.
Outdoor wedding

From Times Square in New York to the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Center gave away 40,000 free condoms this Valentine's Day to get couples talking about the connection between family planning and threats to endangered species.

Feb. 14 isn't just a boon for chocolate and flowers — it's also the second biggest day of the year for couples to get engaged. In addition to giving away condoms in the 10 "best cities to get married in," the Center launched its new Wildlife-friendly Wedding Guide this week. The guide encourages couples to talk about family planning before the honeymoon and provides tips to plan a more sustainable wedding every step of the way.

Read on to learn more about the wedding guide and get the latest news on population and overconsumption.

For the wild,

Stephanie Feldstein

Stephanie Feldstein
Population and Sustainability Director
Center for Biological Diversity

P.S. Today's world population is: 7,684,039,516. We can still save room for wildlife — spread the word and share this email.

Times Square event

Crowded Planet / The Center's population staff and a team of volunteers gave away 1,000 Endangered Species Condoms in Times Square on Valentine's Day as digital billboards urged couples to consider population growth's threat to wildlife.

Deer in Carson City, Nev.

Population / Growth Pressures Wildlife in West, South

The latest U.S. Census Bureau numbers estimate that 2 million more people live in the United States than lived here one year ago. Most of that growth continues to be in western and southern states, where biodiversity and habitat are already under pressure from rapid growth and reckless development.

The new census estimates come amidst White House and congressional efforts to slash federally protected lands, including cutting 1 million acres from Bears Ears National Monument in southern Utah. Utah is the third-fastest growing state, behind Idaho and Nevada, and has the country's highest birth rate.

The Trump administration continues to try to hack away at reproductive rights, though nearly half of all U.S. pregnancies are unintended. States can address population-related problems by improving access to reproductive health services and comprehensive sex education, and by adopting land-use planning and development policies that protect wildlife and habitats.

Monopoly houses

Wild Energy / New Fight Targets Duke Energy Monopoly

Duke Energy, the largest U.S. power provider, has a history of harming communities, gouging customers and making climate change worse. By blocking competition from renewable energy companies, expanding use of fracked gas and planning unnecessary "improvements," the corporate utility keeps raising energy costs for North Carolina residents. The Energy Justice NC coalition, anchored by leaders from communities suffering the impacts of Duke's dirty energy practices, is fighting back.

Fifteen local, state and national groups came together this week to launch a new campaign to end Duke Energy's monopoly control of North Carolina's energy markets and public officials. The citizen-led effort is asking political leaders to stop taking money from monopoly utilities.

Read more about the coalition and its plans to break Duke's monopoly.

Arctic fox

Take Action / No Drilling in the Arctic Refuge

The Trump administration wants to put the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge up for sale, allowing the oil industry to tarnish one of our last pristine wild places. The administration is considering plans that would auction off all, or nearly all, of the refuge's coastal plain — along with the wildlife that call it home, from Arctic foxes and polar bears to one of the world's largest herds of migrating caribou.

Tell the Bureau of Land Management to protect this incredible landscape and demand the agency drop plans to sell off the Arctic Refuge to oil companies.

Healthy food

Earth-friendly Diet / Canada Calls for Cutbacks on Meat

Canada's newly released dietary guidelines are the latest model for national diet policy that promotes public health and sustainable food over industry interests. The food guide eliminates meat and milk categories to focus more broadly on protein, specifically recommending plant-based proteins. Instead of a glass of milk beside the recommended plate, the food guide advises Canadians to drink water.

One key factor in achieving health-focused guidelines may be that Health Canada decided to meet with nutrition experts — but not industry groups.

The United States is in the process of developing its 2020-2025 dietary guidelines. Although it's unlikely we'll see the type of progress Canada and other countries have made in highlighting the benefits of reducing meat and dairy consumption, we're watching to make sure the process remains evidence-based and without industry influence.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Climate / Momentum Builds for Green New Deal

The highly anticipated Green New Deal was released this month, bringing a fresh wave of enthusiasm for federal climate action. Activists from more than 50 organizations, including the Center, rallied at congressional offices around the country in support.

The resolution signals an ambitious shift in how the United States must work across multiple sectors to curb greenhouse gas emissions while creating fair, green jobs, engaging indigenous and other frontline communities, and protecting the environment. The Green New Deal goes beyond energy production to address the carbon footprint of agriculture and call for universal access to healthy food.

It's a promising step in the right direction. Congress will have to tackle food and energy production and consumption to create the strong climate policy agenda that's needed.

Read more about the role of food in the Green New Deal, and check out Center Climate Science Director Shaye Wolf's op-ed on why the deal must address both supply and demand of fossil fuels.

Wildlife Wedding Guide

Five Wild Picks / Plan Your (Green) Dream Wedding

Your big event doesn't need to come at a big expense to wildlife and the environment. From dresses to dinner options, the Center's Wildlife-friendly Wedding Guide is a how-to to help you plan a celebration that showcases your love for your partner and for the planet. Check out the complete guide online.

1) Calculate your carbon footprint. See how your wedding plans stack up with our Wildlife-friendly Wedding Calculator to help you better understand the carbon emissions associated with your big day.

2) Follow the crowd. Wedding-related travel can be stressful for you, your guests and the planet. Choose a location close to the majority of your guests and have the ceremony and reception in the same place to cut down on transportation.

3) Say "I Do" to a plant-based menu. Serving a vegetarian dinner can reduce your food-related emissions by 75 percent and uses less land and water than a meat-heavy menu. Everything from burgers to buttercream frosting has a delicious plant-based alternative available.

4) Get more from your registry. Gift registries may seem fun in the moment, but many couples wind up with a pile of stuff they don't need. Instead, you can use an online registry to ask for memorable experiences, services or donations.

5) Invite family planning to your wedding. Some couples barely announce their engagement before people start asking when they plan to start having kids. Before you plan the honeymoon, make sure you and your partner have had "the talk" about if and when you want to have children. Endangered Species Condoms at your wedding can be a great way to get your friends talking about their family planning decisions and help your family understand yours.

Want free Endangered Species Condoms for your wedding? Send us an email.

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Photo credits: Wedding photo by David Hill/Flickr; Center staff in Times Square courtesy Center for Biological Diversity; deer in Carson City, Nev. by Scott Schrantz/Flickr; monopoly houses by woodleywonderworks/Flickr; Arctic fox by MatrixDiver/Pixabay; healthy food by Cybele Knowles/Center for Biological Diversity; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by Dimitri Rodriguez/Flickr; wedding-guide graphic courtesy Center for Biological Diversity.

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