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Posts Tagged ‘Conservation’

Show love for the Earth this Valentine’s Day

Posted by on Monday, February 6, 2012 in Dining, News, Waste & Recycling.

Valentine’s Day, February 14, is a day filled with cards, sweets, flowers and gifts. Like many holidays, its celebration can create unintentional environmental side effects, such as the consumption of natural resources and the generation of solid waste. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

When showing their affection for each other, Americans tend to go all out. For example:

196 million roses: The number produced for Valentine’s Day in 2011, according to the Society of American Florists.

141 million Valentine’s Day cards: The number exchanged each year (not including packaged kids’ Valentines for classroom exchanges), according to Hallmark. This makes Valentine’s Day the second-largest holiday for giving greeting cards.

$15.7 billion: The amount Americans were expected to spend on Valentine’s Day merchandise in 2011, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.

Here are some suggestions for showing the Earth some affection, while celebrating with those near and dear to you:

Send an e-Valentine in lieu of a paper Valentine. If sending a paper Valentine, be certain to send one that is printed on paper containing recycled-content. Don’t forget to recycle Valentines you have received that you aren’t keeping!

Give organic or locally-grown flowers, a potted plant, a tree seedling, or a perennial plant instead of the traditional bouquet of flowers. Trees well suited for the southeastern United States include oaks, maples, redbuds, crape myrtles, dogwoods, and tulip poplars. Perennials suitable for the southeastern United States include roses, chrysanthemums, peonies, and hostas.

Give organic or fair-trade chocolates. Organic chocolates are produced in an eco-friendly manner without the use of pesticides, and fair-trade chocolates ensure that cacao farmers work in healthy, sustainable, and safe environments while receiving a fair wage for their products.

Make a donation to an environmental organization on behalf of your Valentine. Several organizations you might consider include the TN Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy of TN, Land Trust for TN, TN Parks & Greenways, World Wildlife Fund, Harpeth River Watershed Association, Clean Air Partnership of Middle TN, TN Environmental Council, and Arbor Day Foundation.

Plan a trip to a wildlife reserve, park or natural area. Your business will help support the running of such establishments. Several destinations you might consider include TN State Parks, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in TN, TN Natural Areas Program, TN Sustainable Tourism, and U.S. National Parks in TN.

Arrange dinner at a local restaurant that specializes in organic or locally-grown food, or make your own romantic meal with locally-grown ingredients. Eating locally reduces the number of miles that your food travels to you and supports local establishments. Cooking your own meal will also save gas and money while avoiding greenhouse gas emissions.

Commit to going green at work and home. Several easy ideas include turning lights off when leaving the room, shutting down your computer at the end of the day, creating a dedicated home recycling area, washing only full loads of dishes and laundry, moderating your thermostat when leaving your house or office for extended periods of time, unplugging appliances not in use, and printing or using both sides of paper when possible.

Have an idea for celebrating Valentine’s Day sustainability that isn’t mentioned? Tell us about it! Email the Sustainability Librarian with your suggestion.

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Some great ideas to go paperless when cleaning.

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The first annual Healthy and Sustainable Living MOOC will start on September 1, 2014 on WizIQ.
Course Highlights: Healthy Living, Sustainable Living, Mindfulness Meditation, Sustainability Treaties, Self-compassion, and Emotional Style.

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Watch this short video by ClimateReality:

We are all paying the price of carbon.

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Tune in to Sea Change Radio for some hopeful news.  Sea Change is a not-for-profit, nationally syndicated weekly radio show and podcast that reports on progress in the areas of climate change, human rights, renewable energy, and social, environmental, and economic sustainability.

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Check out the Oct. 25 issue of Newsweek magazine to find some cool ways to help save the planet.  (The Mayfield Library subscribes to this title, and it is full text in the Academic OneFile database — A Tenn. Electronic Library (TEL) database.)  The magazine’s website does not have all the articles that the paper issue has.

10 big green ideas  — One of the ideas is using CO2 to make cement! 

The greenest companies in America

The greenest companies in the world

True green

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Dear Tennessee Conservationist: 

 All funding for land conservation from the State of Tennessee is at risk!  This may be the most important request for action you will receive this year. The fate of $16.5 million for conserving Tennessee’s woods, waters and wildlife will be determined next week (we think by Tuesday or Wednesday) when the Senate Finance Committee reviews the State budget. If we lose our funding this year, we may never get the “dedicated” funds returned again.

Please help. PLEASE make phone calls to the following TODAY:

* Senator Mark Norris, Republican Leader (615-741-1967)

* Senator Randy McNally, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee (615-741-6806)

* Your Senator (if he/she appears on the list below)

Here’s your message: Restore all land conservation funding in the State’s budget, “dedicated” from the Tennessee Real Estate Transfer Fees. It is important for JOBS. It is important for a Forever Green Tennessee, our woods, our waters, our wildlife. Less than 1/10th of 1% of our State’s Budget supports these vital programs. It is wrong to divert them again.

Quick overview: In 1991, the legislature added a small increase to the Real Estate Transfer Fees (the fee you pay when a real estate deed is recorded) to generate money to save parks, wetlands, woods, wildlife and waters. In 2003-2008 this “dedicated” fund was diverted to the general fund. They were supposed to return to their “dedicated” purpose in June 2008, but unfortunately were taken the last week of the budget process and once again diverted from their “dedicated” purpose to balance the budget. This is wrong. These funds are in the Governor’s budget to reinstate in June 2010, but they are in jeopardy of being taken from their original purpose yet again! The fees generate $16.5 million and include $6.5 million for conserving wetlands and wildlife areas, $3.1 million for conserving state park lands, $3.7 million for local parks (requires a match from the city/co.) and $3.2 million for farmers to clean up or prevent pollution of our creeks and rivers.

More Talking Points: * These funds create jobs and are great for our economy. Tourism generates 180,000 jobs, and parks are our most popular tourist attractions; * These funds leverage federal funding, city and county funding, private gifts, and investments from farmers; * These funds are a common sense approach – as real estate is developed a small fund saves the best Tennessee has to offer; * We want our children and grandchildren to have a beautiful environment and strong economy and these funds are critical for the Forever Green Tennessee that we want our children to inherit; * We want Tennessee to always be known as the “greenest state in the land of the free.”

For more information, there is a fact sheet and 13-minute movie that describes these funds as well as pictures of our legislative friends on our blog:

http:// forevergreentn.wordpress.com.

Please take 5 minutes to save our precious homeland. We must show our legislators that Tennesseans care about our environment. With your help, together we WILL Forever Green Tennessee.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Williams Executive Director,

Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation

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