When the NC Conservation Network launched our blog in the summer of 2003, we were among the first NC nonprofits to utilize this emerging tool. One of the big things we've learned over the years is that technology (and blogs in particular) are constantly changing. We've decided, in keeping with the times, to move our blog-related content solely to our Facebook feed. This allows us to get more information to you in a timely matter, further encourages your discussion, and helps build community — all in one place.
We do hope you'll continue to follow us via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ncconservationnetwork. You do not have to have a Facebook account to view our page — but, you do need a Facebook account if you would like to interact with our page.
Please note that our Facebook posts will still be about the issues, events, people, and news that affect North Carolina’s environment and public health (with some occasional “fun” posts thrown in there too). And, all of our current blog posts will remain on our website (http://www.ncconservationnetwork.org/mainblog) for archiving purposes.
If you have any comments about this change — well, you know the drill — you can post them on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ncconservationnetwork.
Thank you for your continued interest and engagement in protecting North Carolina’s air, water and quality of life.
The Southern Environmental Law Center recently released a report on the Top 10 Endangered Places for 2010 in the Southeast. On the list? 2 places in North Carolina: Cape Fear Wetlands and Catawba-Wateree Basin. Check out their website, complete with slideshow, details on each endangered place, and video on the subject.
In an article released today directly from the White House website, President Obama pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:
"President Barack Obama today announced that the Federal Government will reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution by 28 percent by 2020. Reducing and reporting GHG pollution, as called for in Executive Order 13514 on Federal Sustainability, will ensure that the Federal Government leads by example in building the clean energy economy. Actions taken under this Executive Order will spur clean energy investments that create new private-sector jobs, drive long-term savings, build local market capacity, and foster innovation and entrepreneurship in clean energy industries."
The Huffington Post also mentioned it today and provides a good overall snapshot of the pledge if you'd rather not read the entire White House article.
These days, the term "green jobs" has become common rhetoric in the environmental community. And while the concept of "green jobs" may be easy to explain, how do they work? Where do they come from? How can we make new ones? Here is an article from our friends at 1Sky who give us a clearer picture of the green jobs landscape:
When I was young, I remember driving through Eastern North Carolina, watching the cotton fields wizz by outside of my window. One time, my parents stopped by the side of the road and they picked up a piece of the raw cotton to let me examine. I remember wondering how that small piece of discolored material which felt somewhat coarse and contained hard seeds, would eventually become soft t-shirts, sweat suits, and sheets. Today, a video came across my desk that reminded me of that moment of wonder so many years ago. The video is an educational and promotional tool for a fascinating North Carolina company called Cotton of the Carolinas. Through this enterprise:
- Cotton is grown, ginned, and knitted into t-shirts which are finished and designed all here in North Carolina.
- North Carolina farmers work directly with North Carolina businesspeople to create a seamless process, which leads to profits, and protects the planet by vastly reducing carbon footprint.
- Over 700 North Carolinians are employed and are working directly to build community.
- An excellent product is made, from ground up, without ever leaving North Carolina.
I've embedded the video below, it's definitely worth watching. I found it inspiring to watch how one company is redefining production, educating people, building a more prosperous North Carolina, and creating a profitable finished product of which everyone can be proud.
Did you all know that this Sunday is America Recycles Day? My coworker found this blog post from NC Go Green regarding this year's event. Check out the national website (www.americarecyclesday.org) where you can take the pledge, look for events near you, and use their cool conservation calculator tool. This is just the kind of info that's helpful when you get the "yeah-but-recycling-takes-energy-too[duh]...is-it-really-worth-it?" spiel from your nay-sayer friends.
The NC Division of Pollution Prevention and Environmental Assistance has their own website for the big day that's worth checking out. They include a list where you can look for retail locations near you that sell products made of recycled content.
So pass it on! This weekend, America recycles!
This past weekend, there was a great article in the New Bern Sun Journal about a man contributing his time and passion to cleaning up the Neuse River. Marty Lawrence is a volunteer of the Neuse RiverKeeper Foundation, and takes part in two of their programs: RiverWatch and Muddy Water Watch. From the article:
"His Riverkeeper foundation volunteer duties include maintaining and updating the library – cataloging the history of the Neuse over the years by converting nearly 300 VSH tapes to DVD and organizing printed media clippings.
'It is a way to preserve the history,' he said.
He hopes that the work can eventually be uploaded to the foundation Web site as a resource for anyone interested in the history of protecting the river."
I wanted to pass along this article because we so seldom hear stories in the news media today of passionate people doing great work--cheers, Marty!
Well, it's not really deep fried, but it's about the only thing at the NC State Fair these days that isn't. Haha. But seriously, cool article from WRAL about recycling, energy efficiency, and environmental education efforts at the State Fair this year! Read the whole article here.
For more info,check out www.ncstatefair.org/greennc/greeningthefair.htm.
The statewide campout- Campout!Carolina- is happening again this year on October 9-11, and we need your help in making it a success! Last year we had over 2,000 campers registered, and in order to beat that number this year, we need you to help in promoting it. There are several ways that you can get involved:
- volunteer to speak at an REI camping 101 class
- be the local media contact
- promote Campout!Carolina on event calendars & through social media
- provide recipes, games, etc for the Camping Activities and Ideas webpage.
Also, be sure to check out these Environmentally-Friendly Camping Tips and the Campout!Carolina 2009 Press Release (perfect for posting on Facebook!) Plus don't forget to register yourself if you plan to join in on the camping fun this year!
I recently had the opportunity to review a new website put out by the EPA highlighting one of their newest reports: the 2008 Report on the Environment (ROE). Divided into common topics of interest covering most major environmental issues, the website includes information about the findings of their research, graphs and charts on trends over the years, and the methodology used and corresponding limitations found in their studies. It’s a great place to go for specific information and statistics regarding many hot topic environmental issues.
I believe they are still working on fine-tuning the website, but it's up and fully functional. While information is laid out clearly, the nature of the information and the sheer volume of text does not allow for a concise, easy read. Nevertheless, you can find detailed information that would be great for reference use in reports, summaries, and updates.
I wanted to share three of the questions the site administrators asked of me in my site review, along with my responses. If you get some free time, dig around and you'll be surprised at what you might find!
- Imagine you are particularly interested in the condition of coastal waters in the United States. Please describe the type of information available in the ROE about this topic. The importance of coastal waters as a natural resource; how the state of our coastal waters is assessed; factors that affect this extent and condition; a brief discussion of what the existing indicators from this field of study might have missed.
- Imagine you are particularly interested in the topic of birth defects. What does the ROE say about birth defects among infants in the United States? Birth defects are the number one cause of infant mortality in the US, but in 70% of the cases the cause is unknown. Genetic, chromosomal, bacterial, viral, and chemical exposures and specific choices (drinking, drugs, smoking, etc.) of the expecting mother can cause birth defects to a developing fetus. From 1999 through 2005, the overall rate per 100,000 live births with specific birth defects in the US decreased slightly, from 1,170.2 to 1,085.1. In this time period, the most common types of birth defects were musculoskeletal, respiratory, or heart-related. Despite all the data collected since 1933, there are some major limitations and gaps with the recording of birth defects in the US.
- Please explore the Web site to search for other information of interest to you. I looked up information on Pesticide Residues in Foods, and really found the information helpful. I went from there to look at the Fertilizer Applied for Agricultural Purposes, Reported Pesticide Incidents, and the other section on toxics. Since I not only work for the NC Conservation Network but also serve on the Board of Directors of another nonprofit environmental group working specifically on reducing pesticide use (Toxic Free NC), I will plan to share the information from this section to provide some recent statistics on our field of work.