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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund

Electric Buses and the Grid

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Burger King commits to eliminating toxic “forever chemicals” in food packaging globally

Restaurant Brands International (RBI), parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, announced Wednesday evening a new global commitment to eliminate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging used in its restaurants by 2025.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Tips to protect yourself against cyberattacks from Russia (or anywhere else) | Teresa Murray

The new threat of cyberattacks may have you wondering what you can do to protect yourself. It’s a great time to remind you about best practices you should already be following.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Public Health, Transportation

New report outlines how electric school buses could speed California’s transition to clean electric grid

A new report examines how the transition to electric school buses, in addition to keeping diesel exhaust out of kids' developing lungs, could help speed up the expansion of clean energy by providing a critical source of reliable battery storage.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Tips

Release: As bills from 2022 medical care arrive in mailboxes, patients should know their rights

 Patients who received medical care in January and February are starting to receive their medical bills for those services. That’s why, in recognition of National Consumer Protection Week, it’s timely to remind people to check their bills carefully and make sure they know their new legal protections against surprise billing.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Antibiotics

REPORT : RESTAURANTS FAIL TO STOP ANTIBIOTIC OVERUSE IN THEIR BEEF SUPPLIES

The Chain Reaction VI report and scorecard ranks America’s top restaurant chains on their policies relating to antibiotic use in their beef supply chains.

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News Release | US PIRG | Consumer Protection

Statement: Safe Sleep Act passes House, awaits vote in Senate

In an effort to protect infants from unsafe consumer products, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Tips

New report: the hidden costs of peer-to-peer payment apps

Consumer complaints about peer-to-peer (P2P) payment apps such as PayPal, Venmo and Square have surged during the pandemic year. In April, there were 970 digital wallet complaints — almost double the previous monthly high from July 2020. CALPIRG Education Fund analyzed this growing problem for a new analysis of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) Consumer Complaint Database.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Solid Waste

Statement: Target’s new plastic packaging goal is a step in the right direction

The Fortune 50 retailer Target announced a new goal Tuesday to reduce its use of virgin plastic 20 percent by 2025 across its own brand frequency products. It is part of a new sustainability strategy called Target Forward and covers such key categories as household cleaning, personal care and beauty.

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News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund

New report unveils utilities’ playbook to stall rooftop solar in California

Special interest groups across the country are working to stall the growth of rooftop solar, according to a new report released Thursday by CALPIRG Education Fund and Environment California Research & Policy Center. 

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Trouble in Toyland

Among the toys surveyed this year, we found potential choking hazards, and two products with concentrations of lead exceeding federal standards for children’s products. We also found data-collecting toys that may violate children’s privacy laws. This report not only lists the potentially dangerous toys that we found this year, but also describes why and how the toys could harm children.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Lead In Fidget Spinners

While lead in toys has become less prevalent in recent years, U.S. PIRG Education Fund tested several models of one of today’s hottest toys, fidget spinners, for the toxic heavy metal. Laboratory results indicated that two fidget spinners purchased at Target and distributed by Bulls i Toy, L.L.C. contained extremely high levels of lead. U.S. PIRG Education Fund calls on Target and Bulls i Toy to immediately recall these two fidget spinners and investigate how such high levels of lead were found in these toys. Also, we call on the U.S.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Public Health

Chain Reaction III

The third annual Chain Reaction report, which grades companies on their antibiotics policies and practices, found that 14 out of the top 25 restaurants in the U.S. have taken steps to restrict the routine use of antibiotics in the production of the chicken they serve, up from nine just one year ago. While restaurant chains made great progress on chicken, the groups who authored the report found that there were no new commitments to limit antibiotic use in beef and pork.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

Protecting Those Who Serve

The men and women who serve in America’s military are also active consumers in America’s financial marketplace, where tricks and traps can cause harm to their finances and their lives. An analysis of more than 44,000 complaints submitted by active duty servicemembers and military veterans to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and contained in its Consumer Complaint Database finds that mistreatment of servicemembers by financial companies is widespread.

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Report | CALPIRG Education Fund | Budget

Governing in the Shadows

A review of 79 special districts’ online financial transparency shows that while a few districts are meeting the goals of “Transparency 2.0” – a standard of comprehensive, one-stop, oneclick budget accountability and accessibility – the vast majority do little to inform citizens about how they spend money.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Resources I used to prepare my advance directive | Mike Litt

Advance directives are legal instructions that include a living will (different from a regular will) and a health care proxy. In them, you state what treatments you do or don’t want at the end of your life and who you want making health care decisions for you if you can’t. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

How to spot fake online reviews | Hannah Rhodes

With the overwhelming number of reviews found both on website listings and social media, we pulled together the best tips to spot fake reviews when shopping online.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

What I decided to do after shopping for long-term care insurance | Mike Litt

Before listening to In Case You Get Hit By a Bus, I didn’t know about insurance that covers the costs of long-term care, such as home health care or nursing home care, for people who need assistance with daily living activities. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

How I’m supercharging my savings with socially responsible investing (SRI) | Mike Litt

Getting my finances in order has been a work in progress over several years, starting with tackling credit card debt, paying off my car loan and then building an emergency fund. 

After clearing those hurdles, I set more defined financial goals and plans in motion this year, including automatic deposits into new investment accounts.

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Post office slowdown: How to cope with new delays in our mail delivery that start Oct. 1 | Teresa Murray

This means everything from bills to birthday cards will arrive later in our mailboxes. And credit card and loan payments, RSVPs and government forms we send will take longer too. 

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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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CALPIRG Education Fund is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.