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International Coastal Clean Up Day

Friday, September 16, 2022  by qrelihan

    This Saturday, September 17th, 2022, is International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day, which has been taking place for over 35 years on the 3rd Saturday of September. Over the course of 35 years ICC Day has garnered the participation of more than 17 million volunteers from across the US and more than 150 countries (Ocean Conservancy 2022).  What separates ICC Day from other clean ups is that the trash that gets picked up, also gets documented.  The goal is to determine what type of trash typically ends up on beaches and what can be done to prevent the trash from getting there in the first place. 

    Even though we do not dedicate the 3rd Saturday in September to an International Coastal Cleanup Day event, we have participated and organized clean ups throughout the year that are our way of supporting ICC Day.  Between salvage work, responsible transportation of waste and volunteering to clean up local waterways MER and other Moran companies are constantly exemplifying the message that ICC Day sets out to deliver.

Coastal & watershed cleanups 2022:

  • Pequabeck River Clean Up April 30th 2022- Bristol CT
  • Randolph Office River Clean Up- April 20th 2022- Randolph MA
  • North Carolina Coastal Federation – MER & Mainstream Commercial Divers Inc performed salvage work to assist in NCCF’s mission to restore & protect the coastline by removing abandoned vessels-2021-present

    However, if you do want to get involved this weekend there is no shortage of events or clean ups for you to participate in. Just like Earth Day and World Clean Up Day you can participate in a large, organized event or you can take a walk around your neighborhood to see what you find.   The only thing I ask is that you take notice in the litter that you see in parking lots, bike paths, neighborhoods and beaches and think about how it may have gotten there.  By making that connection you are helping ICC Day achieve their goal of preventing trash from ending up on beaches in the first place.  

 

North Carolina Coastal Federation 

Randolph Earth Day Clean Up

 

Useful Links:

https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/international-coastal-cleanup/icc/

https://nationaltoday.com/international-coastal-cleanup-day/

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Easy Ways to Save Energy in the Summer

Monday, June 6, 2022  by qrelihan

Easy adjustments to make at home & the office:

  • Use windows to keep out heat by installing curtains or blinds
  • Turn fans off when you leave the room, because fans cool people not rooms
  • Remember that setting your thermostat lower does not make your house cool faster
  • Utilize daylight instead of turning on lights
  • Only run the dishwasher and laundry machines for full loads
  • Seal any cracks or gaps in doors and windows to keep warm air out
  • Air conditioning units use more energy to cool a space when lamps or other electronics are placed near it giving off heat

Activities & habits to put to practice:

  • Replace air filters and clean them to ensure they work properly
  • Choose LED light bulbs since they give off less heat than other light bulbs
  • Avoid using the oven on hotter days, as it only adds to heat in the house
  • All electronics give off heat while plugged in even if they are not being used or are fully charged, so if you are not using it unplug it

Websites to visit for more information & tips:

https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/spring-and-summer-energy-saving-tips

https://justenergy.com/blog/11-energy-saving-tips-summer/

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World Environment Day

Tuesday, May 31, 2022  by qrelihan

    This Sunday June 5th is World Environment Day and this year it will be hosted by Sweden with the slogan of “Only One Earth”.  World Environment Day is the biggest international day for the environment, and it is put on by the United Nations Environmental Program.  It has been held annually since 1974, with different host countries and different environmental focuses each year.  Sweden’s focus for World Environment Day 2022 is “Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature” and their goal is to promote sustainable living.  

    As the host country Sweden is showcasing the work they have done to create cities, homes, offices and recreational areas that are sustainable.  Sweden has done this by focusing on improving energy, production systems, global trade & transport systems and protection of biodiversity.  Sweden has demonstrated that to live sustainably it requires efforts from government entities as well as civilians. Similar to sustainable development, the success of World Environment Day is largely dependent on the participation of the public.

    The best way to participate in World Environment Day is to take action in your community or local government.  For example, you can plant trees, organize meetings, join online protests, cook an environmentally friendly dinner or discuss sustainable development with friends and family.  The ultimate goal of World Environment Day is to address the pressing issues of climate change and try to identify possible solutions, therefore by performing any of the tasks above you are engaging in the fight against climate change.  Even though your actions may feel small in the grand scheme of things it is important to remember that every little bit counts and can be a learning opportunity. 

    Now you may be thinking that World Environment Day sounds great, but it is reminiscent of Earth Day so why do we need to celebrate both? You would be right in assuming that Earth Day and World Environment Day are similar since both have the objective of raising awareness to protect the environment.  However, Earth Day is celebrated worldwide every April 22nd and it focuses on preserving the environment via eco-friendly efforts such as park clean-ups.  World Environment Day is also an annual celebration, but every year it is hosted by a different host country with a focus on particular environmental issue.  For example this year Sweden is focused on “living sustainably in harmony with nature”, but in the past Canada has hosted with a theme of “connecting people to nature” and Angola hosted with a focus on combating illegal wildlife hunting. 

To learn more about World Environment Day & Sweden’s plans for June 5th 2022 follow the link below:

https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/overview

 

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National Learn About Composting Day

Monday, May 23, 2022  by qrelihan

    This Sunday, May 29th is National Learn About Composting Day, so I wanted to post a blog introducing the idea of composting and what you can do to participate in this day.  Composting is organic matter such as kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, newspapers, leaves, wood chips and coffee grinds that have decomposed (National Today 2022).   Although not officially documented as composting, there is evidence of this agricultural practice dating back to the Stone Age.  Due to the environmental benefits that composting provides it is no surprise that it has continued to be done for thousands of years.

Benefits of composting:

  • Environmentally safe fertilizer
  • Saves water, energy, fuel and money
  • Keep toxins from chemical based commercial fertilizers from getting in our run-off and groundwater
  • Natural fertilizer attracts and retains wildlife that perform necessary tasks that keep your garden(s) healthy
  • High nutrient levels add to soil stability and reduces soil disease
  • Composting saves resources

    In addition to learning about the benefits that composting provides the environment, there are a few other ways that you can participate in National Learn About Composting Day.  The official National Learn About Composting Day website suggests that you attend a local farmers’ market, make your own compost, or introduce someone else to composting (National Today 2022).  Any of those activities would benefit the environment because you are either educating yourself, sharing information with others or putting what you learned into practice.  Therefore, I encourage you to discuss or ask questions about composting and visit the official website linked below sometime this week as part of National Learn About Composting Day.

https://nationaltoday.com/learn-about-composting-day/

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Why Do We Celebrate Earth Day?

Tuesday, March 8, 2022  by qrelihan

Earth Day Origin

      Since next month, MER is going to be celebrating Earth Day by participating in various local clean-ups I wanted to take some time to learn about the origin of Earth Day.  The first Earth Day was April 22nd, 1970, and at the time there was no Clean Air Act, no Clean Water Act, and no EPA.  Therefore, Senator Gaylord Nelson decided to push environmental protection issues onto the national agenda by encouraging Americans to participate in demonstrations on April 22nd, 1970 (EPA Earth Day 2022).  Turns out, Senator Gaylord was not the only one concerned about the deterioration of the environment because 20 million Americans joined him by holding demonstrations on April 22nd, 1970.  Gaylord’s hope that these demonstrations would help push the importance of protecting the environment onto national agenda, worked because by the time December 1970 rolled around Congress had created the EPA. 

      Since then, Earth Day events and clean-ups have continued to grow, gaining more participants each year.  In fact, Earth Day has more than 1 billion participants every year from across the globe.  So, what started out as an effort to get the environmental issues on the national agenda has become a day that people all over the world come together to protect and preserve the environment.  This includes volunteers from over 5,000 environmental groups and 193 countries (Earth Day 2022).  Some of the environmental problems that were front and center in the 1970s are no longer front and center because of what the first day was able to accomplish.  However, Earth Day is still powerful when it comes to bringing new and persisting environmental problems to the national agenda. 

      By volunteering our time to clean up our local communities and surrounding environments we are continuing to show how important protecting and preserving the environment is to us a company.  However, unlike Gaylord we have decided to give our employees the opportunity to participate in local clean-up events for the entire month of April rather than just April 22nd.  There will be more information to follow once we get closer to the month of April and Earth Day as to what type of events our different locations will be participating in as well as local events that need volunteers.

 

If you want to learn more about Earth Day or find events near you follow the link below:

https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2022/

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