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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

CFPB receives over 2,500 junk fee comments | Ed Mierzwinski

In response to a tidal wave of unfair marketplace practices, the CFPB asked the public to submit comments on the impact of junk fees on their lives. Some 2,500 comments later, consumers have described the pain points caused by unfair junk fees.

Cover graphic courtesy Student Borrower Protection Center, used by permission

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

8 ways you can be a smart consumer and also be kind to the environment | Teresa Murray

In recognition of Earth Day, here are some ways you can cut back on what you throw away and, in many cases, save money and protect yourself at the same time

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund

New scorecard grades popular apparel brands on commitments to avoiding PFAS

CALPIRG Education Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.(NRDC) and Fashion FWD released a scorecard on Wednesday ranking popular retail and apparel brands on policy commitments to eliminate a dangerous class of toxic “forever chemicals,” known as PFAS, from their products

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips, Food, Solid Waste

How to Save Food and Prevent Waste | Danielle Melgar

We all play a role in creating food waste, so we can all be part of the solution.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund, NRDC and Fashion FWD

Going Out of Fashion

PFAS use in apparel and other consumer products is coming under increased scrutiny from lawmakers. However, apparel manufacturers and retail stores don’t need to wait for the law to catch up to the proliferation of toxic PFAS. They can get out in front of the regulatory curve and protect their customers and the planet from PFAS pollution by immediately adopting policies to end the use of PFAS in clothing, footwear, and accessories. Indeed, some already have. 

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund

New report shows California risks ‘solar cliff’

Sharply reducing net metering payments and imposing high, solar-only fixed charges could slow the growth of rooftop solar installations – and, in the most extreme cases, could cause installations to plummet -- according to a new report released Tuesday by Environment California Research & Policy Center, CALPIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund

Statement: New report highlights solar savings for ratepayers

Vibrant Clean Energy and Local Solar for All released a new report Thursday that found sustained growth of rooftop and community solar, combined with battery storage, could save California $120 billion by 2050.

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Statement: Johnson & Johnson recalls sunscreen products after tests detect carcinogens

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. said Wednesday it’s voluntarily recalling all lots of five types of Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen after internal testing showed “low levels of benzene” -- which can cause cancer -- in some samples. J&J also said consumers should stop using the sunscreen.

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Statement: Johnson & Johnson recalls sunscreen products after tests detect carcinogens

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. said Wednesday it’s voluntarily recalling all lots of five types of Neutrogena and Aveeno aerosol sunscreen after internal testing showed “low levels of benzene” -- which can cause cancer -- in some samples. J&J also said consumers should stop using the sunscreen.

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News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Tips, Consumer Protection

Consumer tips: What families should know about child tax credit payments that start July 15

Starting Thursday, many families with children under 18 will start getting monthly payments as part of the American Rescue Plan that became law this spring. Eligible families will get payments every month through December by direct deposit or by paper checks or preloaded debit cards that come in the mail. These payments will add up to half the child tax credit you should be entitled to for 2021; you can claim the rest next year when you file your tax return.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Equifax Breach: One Year Later

One year after publicly announcing the worst data breach in history, Equifax still hasn’t paid a price or provided the information and tools consumers need to adequately protect themselves. The purpose of this report is to make sure consumers have the information they need to protect themselves as much as possible, review what has happened in the last year, and point out the need for state and federal action to prevent breaches as bad as this one from ever happening again.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Public Health

Safer School Supplies: Shopping Guide

With this Safer School Supplies: Shopping Guide, parents, teachers, and students can make more informed decisions while shopping for school supplies this Back to School season. We want to give parents and teachers the option to choose school supplies that do not contain toxic chemicals. This Shopping Guide should serve as a handy tool for finding products free of several types of toxic chemicals.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Highway Boondoggles 4

America's infrastructure is in rough shape. Many of our roads, bridges, and transit systems are aging and in need of repair. Yet, year after year, state and local governments propose billions of dollars' worth of new and expanded highways that do little to reduce congestion or address real transportation challenges, while diverting scarce funding from repairs and 21st century priorities. This report profiles nine highway projects that epitomize the need for a fresh approach to transportation spending.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Electric Buses

Buses play a key role in in our nation’s transportation system, carrying millions of children daily to and from school and moving millions of Americans each day around our cities. Buses reduce the number of individual cars on our roads, make our communities more livable and sustainable, and provide transportation options for people of all ages and abilities. Yet, the majority of America’s buses remain dirty – burning fossil fuels like diesel that put the health of our children and communities at risk and contribute to global warming.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Public Health

In Your Face

The negative health effects of asbestos are well-known. Most people may associate asbestos contamination with the workplace or decades-old construction material, but alarmingly, recent media reports have found asbestos contamination in kids' makeup from popular stores. PIRG decided to do its own asbestos testing at an accredited laboratory.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

10 steps Whole Foods can immediately take to reduce single-use plastic | Juliana Clejan

The national chain prides itself on being a green grocer, but in reality, their promises fall short. Here are 10 steps that Whole Foods should take – many of which have already been taken by other retailers – to be more sustainable and ultimately be an industry leader once again.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Procrastinated buying gifts? The solution is ‘Buy Less, Give More.’ | Sander Kushen

Uh oh, the holidays are right around the corner! Luckily, there is a way to secure meaningful gifts, avoid supply chain hold-ups, and protect the environment: Buy Less, Give More.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection, Safe Energy

Save Rooftop Solar | Sander Kushen

Earlier this week the California Public Utility Committee proposed a rule change that could devestate rooftop solar. The new rule, NEM3.0, would assess a monthly solar penalty fee to all solar and storage customers, slash net metering credit by 80% and reduce the agreed upon billing structure for existing solar customers. Today, participants had one minute to voice their response at the CPUC meeting. Here is my statement:

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

How I got my finances in order | Mike Litt

Even with the knowledge I’ve gained working as a consumer advocate for several years, getting my finances in order has been a work in progress. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

How I started my estate and end-of-life planning | Mike Litt

Until recently, I did not have estate and end-of-life planning in mind, but it was the natural next step in my quest to be a responsible adult, with a nudge from the existential threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Blog Post

There are lessons for pre-schoolers, pre-teens, high schoolers and certainly, young adults going off to college or moving out.

News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund

 

U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Environment America Research & Policy Center – which are national affiliates of CALPIRG — and ClientEarth filed a lawsuit against Washington Gas in District of Columbia Superior Court on Thursday over misleading customers on the environmental impacts of natural gas, which is mostly made up of methane. The groups have found examples of both PG&E and SoCal Gas similarly greenwashing the environmental impacts of methane gas in customer-facing communications. 

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Manufacturers will need to ensure that the battery compartments that use button or coin batteries are not easily accessible by children age 6 and younger.

Blog Post

Here are the steps to getting a written good faith estimate before receiving scheduled medical care. 

Blog Post

Illegal robocalls seem to be declining a smidgeon as more phone companies install federally mandated technology to block spoofed calls and detect other scam calls. Here are some tips to live by and share with vulnerable friends or relatives.

Solid Waste

PIRG hosts webinar with MythBusters' Adam Savage on Right to Repair

Our national network and the Right to Repair team organized a summit featuring keynote speaker Adam Savage from MythBusters. He shared his thoughts with us on the movement and we discussed our current progress on the Right to Repair campaign.

 

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