Celebrate Grandparents Week Sept 12th-16th
Opportunities to Engage Generations to Protect the Environment
Many of us who are lucky have grandparents or grandchildren, grand nieces or nephews who are still very much a part of our lives. For others, many seek out persons who are younger or older to share meaningful experiences, to learn special skills. One area to consider celebrating is bringing together the generations for the environment. Here are five ways to work together to improve the environment or to reduce your ecological foot print. These activities are designed to bring the generations together to celebrate Grandparent's Week while caring for the environment.
1. Learn about Rachel Carson and Cast Your Votes for Your Favorite entries in the 2011 Rachel Carson Sense of Wonder Contest
The contest is sponsored by the U.S. EPA in partnership with Generations United, the Rachel Carson Council Inc., the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange and the National Center for Creative Aging. There are finalists in five categories: photography, essay, poetry, dance and mixed media (photography and a poem or essay). Finalists were selected based on originality, creativity, use of an intergenerational team, and ability to capture a sense of wonder.
Carson is considered to be the founder of the contemporary environmental movement through her landmark book, "Silent Spring." Using the title of another of Carson's books, "The Sense of Wonder," the contest sought submissions "that best express the 'Sense of Wonder' that you feel when observing the sea, the night sky, forests, birds, wildlife, and all that is beautiful to your eyes."
The deadline for voting is September 30th and winners. http://yosemite.epa.gov/oa/agingepa/rcvote.nsf/fmVote?OpenForm
2. Cultivating Community Through Gardens
"Pairing gardeners (young-with-old and experienced-with inexperienced) provides increased accessibility to community gardens and strengthens the communities where the gardens are grown. Knowledge of effective gardening practices can be passed from generation to generation, along with cultural information about the meaning of food and plants to different people from different times."
Elder-Accessible Gardening (then link to the pdf on the name of the document)
3. Greening Your Yard – The Sustainable Way
Plant trees in strategic locations around your yard. Shade trees can reduce your energy bill. The average tree can remove 50 pounds of carbon from the air in one year during photosynthesis.
Use a push mower instead of a power mower to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 pounds per year.
Compost it. Allow grass clippings to stay on the lawn, instead of placing them in a bag. The cut grass will decompose and return to the soil naturally. Composting helps reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill. It can also save you money if you live in a place with a "pay as you throw" system. By composting grass, you create free, healthy fertilizer for your garden.
4. Adopt Environmental Practices Around the Home
Did you know that the average house is responsible for more air pollution than the average car? Cut utility bills and save energy by purchasing energy-efficient appliances, fixtures, and other home equipment and products. Make your own cleaning supplies.
The U.S. EPA's Design for the Environment (add link) http://www.epa.gov/dfe/ program helps consumers, businesses, and institutional buyers identify cleaning and other products that perform well, are cost-effective, and are safer for the environment. Look for products with the DfE label and protect your family's health and the planet.
5. Safely Dispose of Unwanted Medications to Avoid Poisonings
The Drug Enforcement Administration has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take Back Day (embed this link http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html ) on Saturday, October 29, 2011, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. to provide a safe place for persons who want to dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs. Please check back in mid-September to find convenient collection locations in your zip code area, county, city, or state.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. More than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs. Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.
Safe Disposal of Medications at Home
If you do not have a return program in your community on a regular basis, you may need to dispose of drugs at home. Here is guidance for the important steps to safely dispose of medications and over the counter medications http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/ppcp/upload/ppcpflyer.pdf