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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

How to save money at the grocery store, despite food price inflation | Danielle Melgar

Here’s what you can do to ensure that rising food prices don’t break your bank.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund & Environment America Research and Policy Center

Interactive map shows widespread lead contamination in schools drinking water

Lead contamination of school drinking water is more pervasive than previously thought, according to testing data from across the nation published on Thursday by Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund on a new interactive map. The groups urged public officials to take swift action to “get the lead out” of schools’ drinking water.

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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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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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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

New scorecard grades popular apparel brands on commitments to avoiding PFAS

Illinois PIRG 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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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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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Illinois Department of Insurance requests data from car insurers on overcharges during the pandemic

The Illinois Department of Insurance called on auto insurers Wednesday to provide detailed data that will allow for greater understanding on how much insurance companies overcharged Illinois drivers during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The “data call” comes in response to a letter sent by 16 state senators and nine advocacy organizations in January. Insurers will have through mid-May to respond, and the information will be made public by June.

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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 | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

The hidden costs of ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’

U.S. PIRG Education Fund reviewed data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and found that the most common complaints about “Buy Now, Pay Later” plans include hidden fees, high interest rates and problems when it comes time for debt collection.

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Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Progress Report: President Biden’s First Year

Following years of rollbacks, President Joe Biden began his term nearly a year ago amidst unprecedented environmental and public health challenges. Despite these obstacles, his administration has made significant strides toward restoring lost environmental protections and confronting daunting threats to our climate and public health, according to a new report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and U.S. PIRG Education Fund. 

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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Formula rate profit guarantees and how they threaten Illinois’ energy goals

After roughly a decade of formula ratemaking in Illinois, a general consensus has emerged that formula rates are bad public policy. Proponents of Public Act 102-0662, the energy bill passed in September, claimed it ended formula rates. We argued the new law did not, but rather transitioned from one type of formula rate to another, maintaining harmful formula rate profit guarantees while also likely increasing profit rates. Our opposition to this policy was so strong that we opposed the overall bill, despite enthusiastic support for many policies in it.

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

Make the ringing stop

Research by PIRG Education Fund shows that among 49 of the largest phone companies nationwide (those that can serve 1 million or more), only 16 have reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that they have completely implemented anti-robocall technology. What does this mean? It means the industry isn’t doing nearly as much as hoped to fight the crime that for years has caused so much heartache and aggravation among consumers nationwide.

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Report | US PIRG Education Fund | Antibiotics

Chain Reaction VI

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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Report | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Blocking Rooftop Solar

Utilities increasingly fear that the falling prices and rising availability of clean solar power will threaten their business model, which ties profits to the amount of capital investment they make in the grid, and sometimes to the amount of electricity sold. Consequently, in states across the country, utilities are using their money and clout to push policymakers to undercut solar power and make it harder for homeowners and small business owners to produce their own clean energy. 

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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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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

Counterfeit products are everywhere; here are tips to avoid buying any of them online | Hannah Rhodes

Being alert when shopping online is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from unsafe products. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Tips

How to find mistakes on your credit report | Teresa Murray

Mistakes on your credit report can cause a whole host of problems.

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Blog Post

How to recognize fake online reviews of products and services | Hannah Rhodes

A fake review could be done by the company itself, by posting a fabricated positive review on its own site or by posting concocted negative reviews on a competitor’s site.

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News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

goans paid 43% more to heat their homes this past winter compared to the year before, a result of surging gas prices and the expensive Peoples Gas pipe replacement program, according to a new report released on Friday. While higher gas prices played the largest role in the year-over-year spike in bills, the pipe replacement program has been slowly raising home heating bills for years. For example, over the first three months of 2022, the average Peoples Gas customer paid just under $40 for the pipe replacement program through a surcharge on bills. Over the same period in 2018, average customers paid $16 for the surcharge.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund

After decades of danger and more than 200 infant deaths, President Joe Biden signed the  Safe Sleep for Babies Act into law on Monday.

News Release | Illinois PIRG Education Fund

The auto insurance industry is attempting to block the publication of data documenting its windfall profits in Illinois during the early waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the risks associated with driving plummeted but auto insurers did not lower premiums or offer rebates in proportion to the reduction in risk. In a letter sent last week to the Illinois Department of Insurance, three auto insurance associations challenged the Department’s March  call for information documenting insurer profits, losses, and refunds given to consumers between 2019 and 2021. Consumer advocates estimate that auto insurers overcharged Illinois drivers by about $900 million in 2020.

Blog Post

Today U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC launched a campaign to urge Columbia Sportswear to eliminate toxic PFAS in their products and supply chain by 2024. The campaign will engage everyday consumers through a petition drive and mobilize the public impacted by PFAS contamination.

News Release | U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC

 

U.S. PIRG Education Fund and NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) launched a campaign on Tuesday calling on outdoor gear and apparel brand Columbia Sportswear to phase out the use of PFAS in its products and supply chains. Last month, the company received low marks in a scorecard report released by the advocacy groups. The report found that Columbia Sportswear has failed to adopt policies that ban PFAS chemicals or provide up-to-date, publicly available information on any ongoing efforts to phase out these toxic chemicals from their products.

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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