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Get Involved!: October 2021


How to Have a Green Halloween

Monday, October 25, 2021  by qrelihan

   When we think of Halloween, we typically think of orange and black, but this year I want to share some ways you can make your Halloween greener.  Holidays like Halloween can generate a lot of waste from items such as candy wrappers, and decorations to costumes that are worn once then never used again or thrown out.  Below is a list of ways that you can have a greener Halloween, without sacrificing everything you love about the holiday. 

 

1. If you plan on taking your kids trick or treating, have them use a reusable bag or pillowcase to collect their candy in. 

2. If possible, stay in your neighborhood to go trick or treating, so you can walk around and avoid driving to another destination.

3. Buy your Halloween costume at a thrift shop or flea market, rather than buying a new costume that can never be worn again. By shopping at thrift stores, flea markets or finding inspiration from your own closet, you are giving clothing items a second life, rather than purchasing a costume that only has one purpose (Also saves you money!)

4. Support local businesses and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by purchasing your pumpkins from a local farm. The shorter the distance you have to travel to get a pumpkin, the fewer carbon dioxide emissions your car emits to the atmosphere.  The same goes for the pumpkin, the shorter the distance the pumpkin has to travel to get to the store it will be sold at the lower the carbon dioxide emissions will be.

5. Once you have a pumpkin, be sure to use every part of it. When you carve it save the seeds and insides because the seeds can be toasted, and the insides can be baked into muffins or pies. Then once Halloween is over the Jack-O-Lantern you carved at the beginning of October can be composted.   

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Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

Monday, October 18, 2021  by qrelihan

What is a carbon footprint and why does it matter?

   A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases that an individual generates from their activities & lifestyle.  Greenhouse gases, trap heat in the atmosphere and raise the average temperature of Earth, which leads to an increase in extreme weather patterns, sea level rise and droughts.  Therefore, daily activities such as how you get to and from work to lifestyle choices such as how many people you live with, generates various amounts of greenhouse gases. By making small changes to your daily life, you can dramatically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases you produce, which will in turn also decrease your carbon footprint.

   Now, you may be wondering why calculating your carbon footprint matters and why you should aim to reduce it.  Well, your carbon footprint is your contribution to climate change, and it is up to you whether you want it to be positive or negative.  If everyone took it upon themselves to do little things such as taking public transportation or turning off the lights every time, they leave a room then the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each year would be dramatically reduced. Even though it may not seem like one person can have that big of a difference, just think about what would happen if everyone thought like that? If no one changes their habits and continues to consume and produce more greenhouse gases than the consequences of climate change will only get worse. Whereas if everyone were to change just one habit it would slow the pace of climate change, allowing for time to adapt to the changes. Not to mention many of these changes will save individuals money by reducing their electricity bills or lead healthier lifestyles by making dietary changes, such as eating less meat.  

   To learn more about what you specifically can do to reduce your carbon footprint, I encourage you to follow the link below and take the carbon footprint quiz.  It only takes 2 minutes to calculate your carbon footprint and learn ways to reduce it.

Carbon footprint calculator: https://www.nature.org/en-us/get-involved/how-to-help/carbon-footprint-calculator/gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxrGC_JTU8wIVC6GzCh3EVA2cEAAYAiAAEgIe4_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

 

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