Taking action in May

http://www.childrenandnature.org/news/detail/us_environmental_protection_agency_video_explores_the_value_of_urban_wetlan/

May is American Wetlands month. Learn about wetlands by watching the video in the link above.
Then visit: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/awm/ and then take action to protect and restore wetlands near you.

Also in May and happening this week from the 3rd-9th: Be Kind to Animals Week!

http://www.americanhumane.org/protecting-animals/special-events/be-kind-to-animals-week/

American Humane is a wonderful website.

If any Roots & Shoots groups take part, please don’t forget to submit project reports online.

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From East coast to West coast-My second Earth Day event

Washington State University- Roots & Shoots 3rd annual Earth Day Celebration at Springfest. While there had been Earth Day events in the past, they were much smaller and poorly attended. Through collaboration and hard work, the WSU R&S group incorporated a large Earth Day fair in conjunction with the already established Springfest event, put on by the Student Entertainment Board. Now each year they get their message out to a large group of students who may not have otherwise attended. This year, there was about 20 informational tables with topics ranging from solar cooking to raptor rehabilitation. Giveaways included reusable grocery bags, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and composting kits. I thank the Environmental Task Force and R&S for inviting me back to my alma mater. It was a pleasure to give a presentation along side Solo Green and then help at this event. It was so much fun!

Happy Earth Day!

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http://action.farmsanctuary.org/site/PageServer?pagename=VirtualExperience

I received an email from one of our readers who shared this link with me after noticing the Farm Sanctuary handouts offered at my display table. Very neat. Thanks for sharing Angela!

Spring Garden Tips and Tricks

The days are longer and our plants are loving that warm sun photosynthesizing time. However much the plants enjoy this growing spree, our jungle of a front yard can only last so long. This Spring, green your landscaping routine by using less water, energy, chemicals, and best of all, our favorite type of green, money!

Be wise about watering: 50%-70% of a typical American family’s water usage per year goes to the lawn and garden. To save, make sure your sprinklers are set to water your garden, not the cement around it. You can keep your grass lush by not cutting it so short. Longer grass keeps the moisture in because of the shade that is crated by the long blades. Also, make sure that the ground is dry before you water it, more plants die of over-watering, rather than under-watering! Watering your plants midday, when the sun is at its hottest, evaporated up to 30% of what you sprinkled on it. Set your sprinkler for early in the morning, and watch your garden thrive!

Be energy efficient: In just one year Americans will use 800 million gallons of gas to mow their lawns. Even worse, we spill more gas trying to fill up our lawn equipment each year than the Exxon Valdez spilled in 1989! You have three options to mow your lawn; the most common gas-powered mower, electric mowers, or reel mowers – these are the ones you push by hand. Electric mowers cost about $5.00 USD to run all year, where as $5.00 USD will only get you two mows with a gas-powered mower. Reel mowers are practically silent, yet electric mowers make only one tenth of the noise that gas-powered mowers do. Push mowers also help you burn calories, up to 400 an hour! Also the grass clippings left over from a reel mower help fertilize the soil naturally, no Miracle Grow required!

Help the soil: To get rid of small weeds, like in your walkway cracks, you can simply pour boiling water or white vinegar on them. For peskier weeds there are many eco-friendly weed-killing options that won’t poison surrounding plants and the ground water. For larger areas, you can lay down old fabric or recycled newspaper to block the weeds from ever sprouting!

Action Idea to help Chimpanzees

The recent undercover investigation by the Humane Society of the United States has been constantly on my mind. Just today I had a great idea: Light a candle and donate a dollar in support of retiring Chimpanzees from research.

In your community or on your college campus you can host a table that hands out candles to individuals for a dollar donation. If possible have them light it and set it in the same area. After time you will have a nice memorial in recognition of Chimpanzees that are forced to live their lives confined in research labs. By involving others you can create a huge impact and raise money to donate to the cause. For background information and a suggested recipient of donations please click on the links below.

http://www.hsus.org/animals_in_research/animals_in_research_news/undercover_investigation_reveals_chimpanzee_abuse.html

http://www.hsus.org/animals_in_research/animals_in_research_news/dr_jane_goodalls_statement.html

http://www.chimphaven.org/about-mission.cfm

http://www.janegoodall.org/chimp_guardian/default.asp

How far will you go for peace?

How far will you go for peace? It is a question that many Roots & Shoots youth have to ask themselves. I think I would go pretty far. Forget embarrassment, forget what’s “normal” and just go for it!

There are so many groups to support being peaceful. Grandmothers for Peace, Pennies for Peace, Pinwheels for Peace, Cranes for Peace, Soccer for Peace, and Texans for Peace. One of my favorites is Bark for Peace “Organic vegan dog treats you can eat with your dog!” (That one is for you Shawn!)

My latest action for peace was a bit unexpected. As we were leaving the Glamour Women of the Year Awards at Carnegie Hall, we happened to pass a man with a large multi-colored hula hoop. My collegue, JGI Communications Specialist/Press Officer, Claire Jones said, “Nice hula hoop!” as we passed. The man said, “It’s a hula hoop for peace. Do you want to try?” Upon hearing this I had to stop. I dropped my Glamour goody bag and slung the hoop over my head. After doing my best to consistently hula hoop for a good 20 seconds, I had to give up due to laughing so hard.

Here are some photos!

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There are so many funny things about these photos! Check out the looks that people are giving me, the juxtaposition of my silky dress and my bulky khaki coat (it’s the warmest one I had!), and the height of the heels I am wearing!

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Dr. Jane has done so much for peace, but one unique act for peace was snuggling up to a Peace Rat. Click here to read the article about these incredible bomb sniffing, people saving, hero rats!

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What crazy things have you done for peace lately?

Bird’s eye view

Flying above our country can give anyone a different perspective. It is eye opening how we change the environment to fit our needs, sometimes in a damaging way like in the aerial view of the clearcut forest patches. Here are a few pictures from my recent trip from N.Y.C. to the West coast. When you look at each one, think about how our actions affect land, water, and wildlife.

Click to enlarge so you can see the image better.