Protect Our Environment: Join The Georgia Water Coalition & The Garden Club of Georgia for Capitol Conservation Day 2021

Protect Our Environment: Join The Georgia Water Coalition & The Garden Club of Georgia for Capitol Conservation Day 2021

Capitol Conservation Day 2021 (Virtual)

WHEN: March 3, 2021
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Capitol Conservation Day 2021 will be a virtual event. Click here to register https://tinyurl.com/yav7yra8 Click here to become a sponsor or make a donation https://www.gawater.org/donate

Join us to get the information you need to make a difference for cleaner, more plentiful water in Georgia. We will virtually come together on March 3 using Zoom.

Experts from the Georgia Water Coalition will brief you on important legislative issues. Then you will put your new skills and information to work! Following the event, meet with your local legislators virtually to advocate in support of important legislation.

Register early so that GWC can match you with fellow constituents and assist in scheduling a group virtual meeting with your local legislator.

Please consider sponsoring Capitol Conservation Day for $150 or donate any dollar amount to the GWC to support our ongoing efforts to protect Georgia’s essential surface water and groundwater resources.

Sponsors will be recognized during the event.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling by Guest Blogger & 1st Place High School Competition Winner Tara Goff

The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling by Guest Blogger & 1st Place High School Competition Winner Tara Goff

As rising temperatures bring attention to the problem of global warming, society becomes more involved in ways that the carbon footprint may be reduced. Restaurants commonly choose not to provide straws, the vegan community has grown, and local produce is becoming more readily available, for example at the Roswell Farmer’s and Artisan Market. There are, of course, still the basic approaches, such as opting to walk or bike ride over drive, as well as recycling. The term “reduce, reuse, recycle” has been prevalent in society for some time, and has been taught to young ages. But what can happen when we go about this the wrong way?

Using recycled materials lowers a need for exerted energy on extraction of new material; this in turn lowers carbon footprint. Unfortunately, the emphasis on the need to recycle has clouded people’s judgement on what to recycle. Although your Friday night pizza may have come in a cardboard box, it is tainted by grease, which will affect the recycling process. Other items become contaminated, therefore making them no longer recyclable and increasing waste. Roswell could, however, create separate bins for composting the greasy parts, perhaps even located at various pizza chains so that they are easily accessible. Cut up your pizza box and recycle non-contaminated parts while bringing contaminated parts to pizza compost bins, which could be taken to compost piles help with decomposition of organic material.

Another common misconception surrounds recycling Styrofoam. Although the bottom of the egg carton may indicate that it is recyclable, many places, Roswell included, do not have the machinery to separate Styrofoam from all other materials. Styrofoam is a type 6 plastic, making it hard to break down. It is also very porous making it easily contaminated and not easily cleaned. As a solution, it can be overall reduced or simply reused. Opt for different methods of carry-out meals or use reusable insulated cups instead of Styrofoam to keep your drinks warm. Another option, similar to that of the pizza compost box, is to have stations where Styrofoam can be returned, as many manufacturing companies accept used material and turn it into packing peanuts.

Recycling reduces carbon footprint, however it must be done properly. Educate Roswell and create options for proper recycling in order to improve the world we live in before it is too late.

References

Is Styrofoam Recyclable?

Photo by: Unsplash

We Can Lower Our Carbon Footprint and End Climate Change—Here’s How, by RGC Guest Blogger & 2nd place HS blog winner Savannah Young

We Can Lower Our Carbon Footprint and End Climate Change—Here’s How, by RGC Guest Blogger & 2nd place HS blog winner Savannah Young

 It’s needless to say that there’s no shortage of plastic in the Roswell area. 

Between the sheer amount of straws given out at restaurants to the load of plastic bottles you can find on the side of the road, there’s no doubt that we need to make a change. 

However, while some may struggle to see that we need to make changes in our lives to help the environment long term, others may find it difficult to actually make the change.  

So, we’re throwing it back to elementary school and reminding everyone of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. 

I know, I know, it’s something we were taught at a very young age, right?  

As we get older, the three R’s slowly slip into the back of our minds. I mean, we no longer do those big earth day projects anymore, do we? That’s why it’s important that we keep the three R’s in our heads at all times, as it’s one of the steps towards a greener future for us and generations to come. 

So, let’s start off by talking about the most well-known R: Recycling.  

For any of those unfamiliar with recycling, it means “the action or process of converting waste into reusable material”.  

Here in Fulton County, we can recycle metals (aluminum, steel, tin), glass (bottles, jars), plastics 1, 2, 5 (including grocery bags, bubble wrap, and shrink wrap), and cardboard. 

And, while it’s great that so many people in Fulton County recycle, we could take it a step further—which brings us to our next R: reusing

For example, instead of recycling cardboard, you could find another use for it. You could use it for storage or as a way to mail gifts down to family and friends. As for plastics, you, too, could use it for storage (for cereal, snacks, etc.) and other household needs. And, for all those Pinterest lovers out there, Mason Jars have a variety of uses. 

While reusing is another amazing way to help the environment, we could take it even further than that. How, you may ask? 

We could reduce our use of single use items. Yes, I know, it seems impossible, doesn’t it? Well, it may be easier than it seems.  

For those who haven’t heard of reducing, it means to “make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size.” 

If we were to stop purchasing one-use items, such as Q-tips, straws, and water bottles, we would be a few steps closer to being eco-friendly. 

If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to make the switch (or worried about the cost of going eco-friendly)—you don’t have to worry. After all, you can make small switches along the way, rather than completely giving up everything at one time. 

In order to make the switch, and help the earth in the long run, you need to go into it with an open mind and positive attitude. Instead of fearing the change, be open minded. Remember that you’re doing this for future generations, wildlife, and, most importantly, to save your earth.  

You may be one person, and while that may not seem like a huge difference, one person is all we need to get more on board with the idea of a greener and brighter future.  

Below, we’ve compiled a short list of links to eco-friendly switches you can make from your average, every day, one-use products. With your help, we can end climate change and lower our carbon footprint. 

Why am I Helping the Environment?…by Guest Blogger & 3rd Place Winner Maynor Chinchilla

Why am I Helping the Environment?…by Guest Blogger & 3rd Place Winner Maynor Chinchilla

I want you to think about the question “Why I am helping the environment?”. For a lot of people this question is difficult to answer because they may not help the environment or not ever think about it, and if you are one of those people here is the answer. We need to help our environment so we as the entire humanity can have a better future. Remember that this is the place that you are going to invite

What is the point of destroying your home and not having another place to live in

your children. Remember that their future is located in their home, and I don’t think someone can have a future when it does not even have a home. You are choosing between letting the kids live and die. Trust I know that those words are really strong but this is the reality. Right now we can have the chance to repair some of our environments and if we don’t take this chance these kids may not have the best future in life. If you ask Why? Here is your answer if we don’t change the way global warming is going. These kids would not be able to stop it. It’s like writing with a pen you can not erase, and yes you can cover it but it is always going to be in there. So let’s stop covering these problems and let’s try to repair it. Remember that humanity is strong and we have changed the way we do things all the time. Let’s become more modern and not just use the thing in our home. Let’s also keep our home stable, and ready for the future that comes. So be ready to help the earth and be ready to give them the future that they deserved. Let everyone say “I pledge to protect and conserve the natural resources of the planet earth and promise to promote education so we may become caretakers of our air, water, forest, land, and wildlife.” And also let’s all find a better and more modern future for the good of our children, for the good of our home, and for the good of the entire humanity. I hope you help our generations to find a future.

Lets Learn how to protect the beauty around us

Now that we talk about why let’s talk about what we can do. Something that we can do is show care about it every time there is an election. Remember that the leaders would give us representation in the government. Which means that if we show care they would start to also show care about it. Let’s demand the care that this topic needs. Other activity that we can do is planting trees, but please do research to see if the tree belongs to your environment so you don’t create an invasive species. Other activity is recycling. This would help our future generation to have less starving communities because right now a lot of animals that we eat are dying because of contamination on water and earth. That is why after going into a park you need to remember to clean after yourself. Remember to stay safe and to help the future generations.

2020 RGC High School Environmental Blog Post Competition Winners

2020 RGC High School Environmental Blog Post Competition Winners

Roswell Garden Club is excited to announce the winners of the 2020 Environmental Blog Entry Competition:

1st place – The Do’s and Don’ts of Recycling, Tara Goff

2nd place – We Can Lower Our Carbon Footprint and End Climate Change—Here’s How, Savannah Young

3rd place – Why am I Helping the Environment?, Maynor Chinchilla

We encourage you to read the words of these student-bloggers from our community and take action on their suggestions. Let’s work together to take the National Garden Club, Inc.’s challenge and move from consumers to caretakers of our air, water, forest, land, and wildlife.

Garden Week in Georgia: Inspired by Earth Day? Now’s the Time to Start a Compost Bin by RGC Bloggers Lisa Ethridge & Suzy Crowe

Garden Week in Georgia: Inspired by Earth Day? Now’s the Time to Start a Compost Bin by RGC Bloggers Lisa Ethridge & Suzy Crowe

Many of us’ve thought about composting waste, but never made the time for it. While we’re staying at home, it’s the perfect time to start a compost bin  and develop the habit of composting. This DIY project can improve air quality, enrich the soil, and alleviate landfill woes. Kitchen and backyard composting is not only FREE and incredibly beneficial, it requires little effort—a definite win, win, win for gardeners.

According to the UGA Extension, “Composting is the natural process of decomposition and recycling of organic material into a soil amendment known as compost.” Compost is a magical soil enhancer. It helps retain moisture, eliminates the need to use commercial fertilizer, and encourages vigorous plant growth. A good garden can be made great by improving the soil with home-made humus.

Statistics show that compostable waste, which creates greenhouse gases as it decomposes, makes up almost 25% of the world’s garbage. The simple act of composting reduces the amount of garbage in landfills and improves air quality by breaking down waste quickly and safely. Let’s look at what goes into the compost bin and how to make an outdoors or indoors compost bin so the magic can happen.

Composting starts with layers of brown matter and green matter

  • Brown matter provides the carbon needed for composting
  • Brown matter includes dry leaves, wood chips, straw, sawdust, smushed egg shells, coffee filters, corn stalks, shredded brown corrugated cardboard, and shredded newspaper
  • According to Planet Natural Research Center’s Composting Paper: How to use cardboard and newspaper in your compost pile, you should only use plain newsprint and plain brown corrugated cardboard—no glossy pages, no colored ink, no bleached white paper
  • Green matter provides the nitrogen needed for composting and most of the nutrients that enhance the soil
  • Green matter includes food scraps, grass clippings, coffee grounds, tea leaves, manure, and recently pulled weeds
  • Never put cooked food, dairy products, meat, fish bones, or fat in your compost bin—these substances produce odors that can lure pests
  • Aim for a ratio of about 4 parts browns (carbon) : 1 part greens (nitrogen) for outdoors composting and 3 brown : 1 green indoors
    • If your compost is smelly (yuck!), add more browns
    • If your compost doesn’t get warm, add more greens
  • Read more at Gardening Know How: Understanding The Browns And Greens Mix For Compost
  • Be sure and mix in some water to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria/fungi—these helpful agents break everything down and eventually create rich, organic, nutrient-filled humus

Starting an indoors compost bin
There’s a wealth of great online resources for starting an indoors compost bin. Here are some excellent videos and articles to get you going in about 5 minutes.

  • Better Homes and Gardens’ article How to Make Your Own Indoor Composting Bin and 55 second video are chock full of information. If you want a small, sink-side or under-the-sink compost solution, start here—it’s concise, helpful and inspiring!
  • P. Allen Smith’s YouTube video DYI Trash Can Compost Bin is twice as long, covers a larger solution, and is also concise, helpful and inspiring—go figure
  • Bob Villa’s All You Need to Know about Indoor Composting is a great article with a wealth of information about multiple types of indoor composting

 Starting an outdoors compost bin
Although there are myriad compost-related bins, tools, and equipment available on the Internet, there is no need to purchase anything. I got started when a friend who owns a truck brought me 4 wooden pallets and told me to go buy 8 bungee cords; that’s simple construction, and it worked perfectly.

  • Place the bin conveniently near the house on a level, dry, shady spot with access to a hose
  • Don’t place the bin on tree roots
  • Air and water are critical to the composting process
  • Keep the pile moist and turn it with a pitch fork as you add ingredients; this maximizes the rate of decomposition

The thermophilic compost process takes place slowly, and the finished product can take months depending on maintenance and conditions. You will be rewarded for your patience. For detailed information on composting, download publications C816 and B1189 from extension.uga.edu.

Let’s get it started.

Photo by Jan Kopřiva on Unsplash