September 01, 2018
The production of plastic has grown 8 percent a year for decades, much more than any other manufactured material, because plastic is just so useful. We use it for packaging (43%) and construction (20%); we have plastic in our clothes, our cars, our computers.
Plastic really is everywhere.
“Roland Geyer, an industrial ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, says no one had tallied how much plastic people have manufactured since its invention. When he did it, he was shocked at what he found. 'Eight point three billion metric tons of plastics produced so far. That's just really a staggering amount.' He did some calculations to understand that number. 'And it turned out that it can cover an area the size of Argentina,' he says, 'which is the eighth-largest country in the world.'
August 01, 2018
Swimming pools and beach vacations, waterskiing at the lake and rafting on the river, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating, wake boarding, tubing, jet skiing, snorkeling, sailing, surfing, and swimming - when it's summertime and the mercury is on the rise, there is nowhere we'd rather be than in the water! North America’s lakes, rivers, and seas are oases of beauty and respite from the summer sun, so it’s no surprise that swimming is summer’s number one pastime. But as you enjoy the season's final days, please make water safety your first priority. Swimming cools us off and keeps us fit, and it's one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a hot August day. But we cannot forget that it can also be dangerous. Drowning is the number one cause of unintentional death among children aged 1-4, and it's the number two cause of unintentional death among those aged 5-24. A moment of distraction can be fatal, so please take great care to keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the water.
July 01, 2018
How to Beat the Heat
Hopefully, you’ve all had a chance to cool off at the pool, beach, lake, or river this summer. But this July is shaping up to be seriously hot —we're talking about dangerously, oppressively, swelteringly hot— and we’re all looking for some sweet relief to beat the heat.
June 01, 2018
It is just as important to conserve water OUTSIDE your home as it is INSIDE your home. Lush green lawns, bright colorful flower gardens, bountiful vegetable harvests —these add beauty and enjoyment to your home. But grass and flowers and vegetables require water, and they can sometimes consume massive amounts of this precious natural resource. So how can you water wisely? How can you conserve water in your yard?
Read on . . .
May 01, 2018
Did you know that May 6-12, is Drinking Water Week? A week to celebrate WATER! May 6 kicks off this year’s Drinking Water Week with an invitation to “Protect the Source." "The American Water Works Association and the water community across North America will celebrate Drinking Water Week by recognizing the vital role drinking water plays in our daily lives, and how we can take personal responsibility in caring for our tap water and protecting it at its source. “When we get to know our local drinking water sources, we come to understand that it is our duty as consumers and community stewards to protect and preserve them,” said AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. “Drinking Water Week provides a great opportunity to learn the various ways in which we can each protect our source water so it’s available for future generations.” AWWA
April 01, 2018
Valuing and protecting our natural resources is more than just a nice idea; it’s a global necessity. And one crucial way of ensuring a future in which every child has clean water to drink is by teaching those children to conserve and care for our resources— right now. The folks at Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) are committed to doing exactly that. They “envision a world in which action-oriented education enables every child to understand and value water, ensuring a sustainable future.” Project WET is working hard to “develop and deliver the world's best water education resources, organize special water events, manage a worldwide network of local implementing partners and advocate for the role of water education in solving the world's most pressing water issues.” Project WET
March 01, 2018
Mark your calendars, folks: March 19-25 is the EPA's tenth annual Fix a Leak Week. Household leaks can waste more than 1 TRILLION gallons of water each year. Yes, 1 TRILLION—That's a one with 12 zeros behind it (1,000,000,000,000). Those drippy faucets and leaking toilets are more than an annoyance; they cost you lots of money, and they waste LOTS of water. So, this March, hunt down those drips! Chase those leaks!
February 01, 2018
Chapped lips? Dry skin? Headaches? Nosebleeds? Dry cough? Fatigue?
These are all signs that you might not be getting enough water this winter. In the summer, when you’re hot and sweaty, your body keeps reminding you that you’re thirsty and NEED water. But in the winter, when you’re cold and shivering, it’s all-too-easy to neglect hydration. Your body doesn’t feel as thirsty, and it’s much harder to recognize that you haven’t been drinking much water. That’s why you have to consciously remember to drink enough water in the winter, when the air is dry and the heater is working overtime.
January 01, 2018
Bad news isn't hard to find.
Hurricanes, wildfires, mass shootings, terrorist attacks. Bad news fills the front page, and good news is often relegated to the small print. But there is plenty of good news out there! Sometimes you just have to look for it. There are positive stories, hopeful stories, inspiring stories, and they’re all around —in your town, in your neighborhood, and all across the globe.
Just take a look at a few of the stories from 2017 that you might have missed . . .
December 01, 2017
It IS the season. For sharing. For caring. For giving — of your time, your resources, your abilities. For sharing your table with family, friends, neighbors. This holiday season, as we reflect on the gifts we’ve been given, may we be eager to give, and eager to bestow acts of kindness on our loved ones, or even on strangers in need.
Ruth Ebenstein, an American-Israeli writer, relates a story of a Christmas Eve in 1944, a Christmas Eve that her grandmother, uncle, and mother spent in a concentration camp in Austria, on the verge of starvation. Ruth’s mother, who was only three years old, could not even leave the bed because she had no shoes to wear. Late that Christmas Eve night, Ruth’s uncle Gyuri, a young boy of 12 at the time, snuck out of the concentration camp and walked four miles to the nearest town. When he arrived in Deutsch-Wagram, he came upon a house and, knocking at the door, he begged the sleepy woman who answered for some food for his family. She whispered, “Come back tomorrow.” When Gyuri returned on Christmas day, the smiling Austrian lady gave him food, clothing, shoes, and warm woolen socks that she had knitted for his young sister.