Category Archives: Local

Articles of local interest for Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic Region

Emergency Readiness in the Neighborhood

Emergency responseThe last few weeks I have been writing about the classes we undertook sponsored by the Maryland Department of Emergency Management(MEMA): Neighbors Helping Neighbors. (Previous posts:Sustainable & Resilient Communities, Disaster Readiness) Our final class was this past week and I am really thrilled that I took the time to be involved.

Since we moved to Maryland (August 2003) most of our natural disasters have only caused service interruptions of a week or less. If you remember the date, Hurricane Isabel hit us 2 weeks after we moved in to our nice little row home just across the street from waterfront. We quickly became educated in the need for preparing for these eventualities. Maybe it is 12 years later but the class was our next step in being ready and further educating us on areas where we may be weak.

The class information was well prepared and very well presented for anyone who is interested in not only being prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster, but those concerned about others within a community.

The overall takeaway from the class was getting oneself ready for eventual disasters or emergencies that may come along. Living on the east coast, our potential for hurricanes and flooding put us in a category of not if but when they will occur.

Although important to have a good mental attitude for any situation,Hurricane-Sandy but having a few supplies carefully crafted and stored is key to being in a position to survive AND to help others that are in need during a crisis.

FEMA & MEMA both recommend 3-7 days of necessary supplies, while our instructors think a 10 day supply is more adequate. I tend to lean in the more category, being somewhere between 10 and 30 days.

The basics of any emergency stock:

  • Water-The suggested amount of water is 1 gal per person per day. With only 3 people in our household now (I sure this number will triple in case of real emergency-kids and their families) That means for a 14 day supply, we would need at minimum 42 gallons of fresh water.  (# people X # days = absolute minimum gallons needed)
  • Food-This is a gray area as to the amount needed, but having a good stock of foods on hand will be important to any survival plan.  Be sure that it is shelf stable, long term storage. Don’t depend on fresh or frozen since during a heavy disaster there will most likely be no way to store these foods.  If storing up canned foods (store bought) be sure to pack a can opener! Enter the homesteader: someone who grows and maintains a constant stream of food through gardening, aquaponics, or small animal husbandry. (rabbits, chickens, etc) Although as a suburban homesteader, we have home canned and dehydrated foods, we also have the ability with our greenhouse and aquaponics to refresh our food supply.
  • Radio & flashlight-Needless to say these need to be battery operated and you will not be able to just plug and play in a grid down emergency. This could be supplemented with the use of portable solar power. Having a rechargeable battery pack through the use of solar panels makes life a little easier in the worst of disasters. I personally like Goal Zero products.
  • Basic first aid-Bandages, compresses, eye wash, topical creams, scissors, tweezers, etc. During a disaster there is always the potential for some minor medical needs. Along with first aid, do you have anyone in your care that takes prescription medications on a regular basis? Having at least an extra month of those meds on hand could make the difference in that person surviving.
  • Extra clothes, blankets, and compact emergency tools-I am talking an emergency supply bag, many may call it a bug-out bag, but no matter what you call it, it is a part of necessary preparedness.

If you are not able to maintain yourself and family, how are you going to be a benefit to those in need in your community?

For more in depth information I invite you to visit one of my favorite websites. A. H. Trimble , instructor, teacher, author in the art of being prepared for any emergency situation.

 

Reduce personal energy dependence

Today’s economy is rising tide of expenses and debt for the average consumer. It seems to many that there will never again be a low tide where one can catch their breath before dealing with yet another increase or financial crisis. In previous posts, I gave several tips on ways to decrease your expenses and although we are soon starting a new year, those tips are still very pertinent today.

We have moved forward in our sustainable living model with the addition of rabbits, bees, tilapia fish, and a large aquaponics setup, which have all helped in reducing our need on outside sources to live a comfortable, frugal life.

I would like to take a moment to once again discuss the desire and need to reduce our energy consumption-initially to reduce our expense and be less dependent on outside sources, but since have noted how much a difference has been made in reducing our carbon gas emissions.We are taking our energy reduction one step further with the addition of a solar panel grid to our electric system.

In the past decade solar power was an expensive venture to install and maintain, but in just the last few years many new innovations have made solar power a very affordable opportunity to the average homeowner. In just the past few months, thousands have contacted us to see how affordable solar energy has become.

banner-solar-us-en

Through our program and partnership with one of the leading solar companies in the United States, it is as simple as:

  • Free installation
  • Included maintenance at no additional cost for the life of your contract. That includes any necessary repairs or replacements. (Which, you should know, are not a common occurrence: Today’s solar systems are designed to withstand extremes of wind and weather)
  • Locked-in low rates that can be significantly less than you pay your utility now
  • No paperwork: All permitting and arrangements with your utility will be handled for you

And with a completely FREE evaluation of the property, there is nothing to lose. Everything will be handled initially by phone and email, and only once you decide solar is the right choice will an engineer visit your home for an on site assessment and installation plan.

The truth is, going solar may be one of the smartest things you can do as a homeowner because it can increase your home’s resale value. And as utility prices go up, your savings grow.

There is nothing to lose and everything to gain by converting much of your power generation to green, clean, solar energy. Take just 30 seconds to request your no-risk consultation and you could be on your way to savings in your pocket, while making a huge difference on our environment. Currently available in limited markets, but quickly expanding, so if we are not in your market yet, check back soon.

For more information on Solar Power or how to save money over your current utility visit us at:

Solar.SaveGreenGoingGreen.net

Want more information about how you can increase your income from solar?

Solar Opportunity

Positive Mental Attitude for Emergency Readiness

Have you been reading our friends’ guest posts about Emergency Readiness?  Now here are some suggestions to developing a Positive Mental Attitude to insure your readiness for any emergency or disaster!

hoose your attitude
Your main concern as someone dealing with an emergency situation is your safety and the safety of your fellow human beings . As you can see; from the previous series of posts, ( Important mental attitude in an emergency ) you are going to experience an assortment of thoughts and emotions. These can work against you or they can work for you if you develop a positive mental attitude that’s ready for emergencies!
Fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, depression , loneliness, boredom, and guilt, are all possible reactions to the many stresses common in a emergency. These reactions, when managed in a healthy way, help to increase the  likelihood of successfully handling an emergency. They can prompt you to pay more attention in training, to fight back when scared, to take actions that ensure sustenance and security, to keep faith with others involved in the situation, and to strive to succeed no matter the odds.
When you cannot control these reactions in a healthy way, they can bring you to a standstill. Instead of rallying your internal resources, you begin to listen to your internal fears and experience  psychological defeat long before you physically succumb. Remember, desire for survival is natural to everyone; being unexpectedly thrust into the life and death struggle of survival is not. Don’t be afraid of your “natural reactions to this unnatural situation.” Prepare yourself to manage these reactions so they serve your interest of staying safe and alive with your honor and dignity intact. This involves preparation to ensure that your reactions in a emergency setting are productive, not destructive.
Emergencies  have produced countless examples of heroism, courage, and self-sacrifice. These are the qualities emergencies  can bring out in you if you have prepared yourself. In the following posts in this series are a few tips to help prepare yourself psychologically for emergencies. Through reading these posts, personal study and attending training you can develop a positive mental attitude that’s ready for emergencies!

Let’s Back Up-Disaster Readiness

I did a post yesterday on Sustainable & Resilient Communities, then thought that I should have started with a post talking about Disaster Readiness  first. The class we are taking, Neighbors Helping Neighbors-Disaster Readiness, sponsored by Baltimore County and Homeland Security, is a step toward preparing one’s family for the eventual emergency situation.  Eventual meaning, not if, but when an emergency occurs. So let’s back up and talk about disasters that can occur.

Most disasters can be broken down into just two categories;Hurricane-Sandy

Natural-Hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, flooding, earthquakes, etc

Manmade-train or plane crashes, hazardous material leaks, vehicle accidents, etc.

Depending on the area of the world certain natural disasters are more prevalent. Here on the east coast of the United States our primary concerns lean toward hurricanes and flooding. These are the two predominant forms of natural disasters for our area. Yes we do get a few tornadoes and we are on a major fault line for earthquakes, but these occur much less often.

The U.S. west coast would be more concerned with earthquakes, while the Midwest would be watching for tornadoes. Excessive heat or cold could be a natural disaster. Lighting strikes in excessive heat make for huge natural disasters on the west coast with the spreading wild fires. Of course some of these could be considered man-made as well if started by a discarded lit cigarette.

mdtrainMan-made disasters can be just as devastating as any natural disaster and can occur anywhere and anytime. Here in Baltimore, just this past year was a major train collision with a dump truck in a heavily populated area. The explosion was phenomenal and could be felt miles away. From my house I could see the flames rising above the horizon.

After the initial impact came the threat of an area evacuation because of the potential for a hazardous material spill from a train car. Fortunately there was no spill and no evacuation had to occur.

But what if an evacuation had to occur and we would have to leave our homes for a few days. Would it not be easier to leave in an emergency IF there was already a plan in place and a bag packed for just such an emergency?

That is the goal of emergency readiness! We never know when one of these disasters may occur, but taking steps ahead of time to prepare for the potentiality of a disaster that is predominant to the area just makes sense.

No I am not a “doomsdayer” or “prepper” per se, but being prepared for common to our area emergencies just shows that I care enough about my family, friends, and neighbors to be a help and not a hindrance during troubling times.

I would advocate for every family to take some time to educate themselves about disaster readiness. Take stock of the area in which you live. Do a risk assessment of potential disasters and prepare for eventuality, not just for yourself, but your family, and your community.

Be sure to read Sustainable & Resilient Communities on this blog to see how to prepare a community for disaster readiness. I will be following up with other posts as we progress through the class.

 

Mental Attitude for Emergency Readiness-Part 7

Humans are social. This means, as human beings, we enjoy the company of others. Very few people want to be alone all the time.lonliness With this in mind, there is a distinct chance of isolation in an emergency setting. This is not necessarily  always bad. Loneliness and boredom can bring to the surface qualities you thought only others had. The extent of your imagination and creativity may surprise you. When required to do so, you may discover some hidden talents and abilities. Most of all, you may tap into a reservoir of inner strength and fortitude you never knew you had. Conversely, loneliness and boredom can be another source of depression. As someone dealing with an emergency alone, or with others, you must find ways to keep your mind productively occupied. Additionally, you must develop a degree of self-sufficiency. You must have confidence  in your capability to “go it alone.”
This brings us to the possible feeling of Guilt.
The circumstances leading to your being in an emergency situation are sometimes dramatic and tragic. It may be the result of an accident, a poor choice, unwise decision, or even a natural or manmade disaster where there was a loss of life. Perhaps you were the only one, or one of a few, to survive. While naturally relieved to be alive, you simultaneously may be mourning the deaths of others who were less fortunate. It is not uncommon for survivors to feel guilt about being spared from death while others were not. This feeling, when used in a positive way, has encouraged people to try harder to survive with the belief they were allowed to live for some greater purpose in life. Sometimes, survivors tried to stay alive so that they could carry on the work of those who didn’t  make it. Whatever reason you give yourself, do not let guilt feelings prevent you from living. The living who abandon their chance to survive accomplish nothing. Such an act would be a great tragedy and does not honor those who have passed away!

Did you miss any of the series? Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5part 6

Sustainable & Resilient Communities

I have attended a class the last two weeks on Emergency Readiness Emergency responsefor disaster. This is a free five week course put on by the Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security. I hope to write a little each week about each class and my take-aways, in the hopes that others will see the importance of being prepared for short term emergencies. This weeks lecture focused on sustainable and resilient communities.

What is meant by sustainable and resilient communities? Here are the definitions as given for this lecture:

Sustainable: People and property kept out of way of disasters.  Building properties that are not in direct line of a potential disaster, or building property with potential for natural disaster to strike. Take for example a waterfront home.  In our area the potential for hurricane damage or flooding is high. So build the home with the necessary precautions to sustain the conditions that may prevail. Of course, nothing can withstand a major hurricane, but upgrading the building and properly aligning the footprint may prevent as much  damage from a lower class hurricane.

Resilient: The ability to react and recover quickly from a disaster. This ties in a little with  sustainable, as if the proper is built to withstand, it will sustain less damage allowing a quick recovery. But resilient goes a step further in that the individuals are prepared to handle these disasters. Knowledge, training, and immediate access to necessary supplies are key as to how an individual will react and recover.

The theory of developing sustainable & resilient communities is:

  •  overall costs will be cut in recovery
  • recovery time will decrease
  • amount of damage to a community will be far less
  • loss of life will decrease
  • Improve strength of communities

To me it just makes sense, that neighborhoods become the first step to strengthening our resolve to quickly and efficiently recover from a disaster-depending less on the ability of a government to step in and do it all.

Making communities sustainable and resilient depends on the commitment of the members of that community. Members must be willing to be involved, share, and help both themselves and others in the community. Commitment and involvement from more members will aid in a quicker recovery to the norm after a disaster.

A small group of individuals in a community can get the ball rolling by:

  • Doing a risk evaluation or identifying potential risks in the community
  • Setting a plan for the community that is both pro-active and reactive
  • Empowering members in the community to be involved
  • Making sure that those active members are organized, informed and trained if necessary
  • Having effective and responsible leadership who inspires members
  • Helping maintain responsible and healthy community institutions, businesses, and services

This, of course, is not an all inclusive list, but it is a starting point for any community to take large steps forward in growing a sustainable and resilient community.  The benefits of community members being involved and working together will significantly increase the chances of that community recovering quickly, with less damage and loss of life.

Read more:

Let’s Back Up-Disaster Readiness

Also a series of articles from a good friend on Mental Attitude for Emergency Readiness

Organic, Food Safety & GMO’s

usda-certified-organic How do you know if the food you are purchasing is genuinely free of synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and genetically engineered food? How can the consumer rely on the fact that a farmer says his produce is “organic”?  The only way to be sure that it is really an organic product is to purchase certified organic products that have the label USDA/Certified Organic.

In 1990, the Organic Foods Production Act established national standards for labeling found on the USDA website. Businesses cannot claim they are organic without having the USDA certification or they risk a heavy fine.  Farmers apply for “organic” certification. Diligent records must be kept. The land must meet certain standards. The farmland must remain dormant for three years. During this time synthetic chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, or fungicides cannot be utilized. Third party inspectors check the fields, and complete stringent soil and water tests.

The USDA/Certified Organic seal may be found on products like meats, milk, eggs, cheese, and vegetables. What do the labels on these products mean?

  • 100% Organic- on the product means 100% organic ingredients. Packaging can display the USDA/Certified Organic seal.
  • Organic on the product means that the ingredients are 95-99% organic ingredients. Product can bear the USDA/Certified Organic seal.
  • Made with Organic Ingredients means that the item contains 70-94% organic ingredients. They cannot display the certified organic label.
  • Other- on the packaging contains less than 70% organic ingredients and cannot bear the certified seal.
  • Natural- should be interpreted as no artificial colors or flavors

Organic vegetables and fruits can be more expensive to buy than traditionally grown produce. If you are not able to grow your own fruits and veggies use this simple trick to decrease your family’s health risk. If you are concerned about the synthetic pesticides that have been used on produce but can’t afford to buy all organic food then consider buying only the organic fruits and vegetables that have the most pesticide exposure. Typically, the following produce have the most exposure to synthetic chemicals so consider buying them in “organic.”

  • Green beans
  • Winter Squash
  • Strawberries
  • Bell peppers
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Red Raspberries
  • Potatoes
  • Peaches
  • Imported Grapes
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines

What about GMO’s?

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered through ggmo-1enetic engineering. DNA molecules from different sources are combined into a molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism. This may give the new organism desired traits, such as better disease resistance or withstanding cold temperatures better.

Genes are spliced into the host like tumors invade cells. Scientists can alter an organism by manipulating DNA with cancer causing pesticides in the cells of the plant to produce plants that can withstand greater amounts of pesticide without wilting or dying. Scientists have also crossed tomato plants with fish genes so that tomato plants will become more resistant to cold weather.

These genetically modified organisms contain pollen with the new genetically altered traits. The pollen can be eaten by birds or insects and travel through the wind to pollinate other organisms that have not been genetically altered. The natural species can not survive with the GMO one.   Thus, all of the pollinated plants will produce genetically altered seeds/plants/organisms.

Food labels in the US do not have to inform the consumer that the product has been genetically engineered. But if an item is marked “certified organic” that means the produce is free from genetically modified organisms. Five of the top hosts of GMO are corn and corn products, soy/soy products, rice, wheat, canola and cottonseed oil.

How safe are the new GMO’s that we eat? How long were the GMO’s studied? There are some groups that think that a complete ban on all GM food would be necessary until studied further. Still, others want a least a mandatory labeling of GM food until the long term health effects of eating these foods are known. These products still have some environmental safety issues: possible destruction of entire food chains if the GMO is unleashed to pollinate non GMO produce. Some countries around the world are banning production of any GMO’s.   Some counties in California are putting bans on producing genetically modified food at this time until some of these issues are resolved.

What options do we have? Of course, first and foremost if you have the land, or enough area for a container garden, grow your own. (At least until the genetically engineered foods have been studied longer.)   Growing your own food gives you the knowledge of where your food came from and how it was grown. You can feel comfortable feeding your family and know that you are not eating genetically modified foods.

Secondly, you the consumer can shop at grocery retailers that sell certified organic foods. This segment of foods is growing quickly as more and more consumers turn to a healthier lifestyle. At the time of this writing, these foods are approximately 5-8% higher in price, but as with anything, as demand grows the price will drop.

Personally,  I feel that the consumer should be informed about any foods that contain GMO. That we, the consumer,  should have the  right to decide whether we want to or eat these foods or not.

Mental Attitude for Emergency Readiness-Part 6

Frustration arises when a person is continually thwarted in their  attempts to reach a goal. The goal in an emergency is to staydepression safe and alive until you can reach help or until help can reach you. To achieve this goal, the you may have to complete some tasks with minimal resources. It is inevitable, in trying to do these tasks, that something will go wrong that is beyond the your control; and with one’s life at stake, every mistake is magnified in terms of its importance. Thus, sooner or later, we will have to cope with frustration when a few of our plans run into added difficulty.
One outgrowth of this frustration is anger. There are many events in a emergency situation that can frustrate or anger a person. Getting lost, damaged or forgotten equipment, the weather, inhospitable terrain, hostile people, and physical limitations are just a few sources of frustration and anger. Frustration and anger encourage impulsive reactions, irrational behavior, poorly thought out decisions, and, in some instances, an “I quit” attitude (people sometimes avoid doing something they can’t master). If the person can harness and properly channel the emotional intensity associated with anger and frustration, they can productively act as they answer the challenges of the situation. If the person does not properly focus their angry feelings, they can waste much needed energy in activities that do little to further either their chances of success  or the chances of those around them.
Depression; it would be a rare person indeed who would not get sad, at least momentarily , when faced with the deprivations of a life or death situation. As this sadness deepens we label the feeling “depression.” Depression is closely linked with frustration and anger. The frustrated person becomes more and more angry as they fail to reach their goals. If the anger does not help the person to succeed, then the frustration level goes even higher. A destructive cycle between anger and frustration continues until the person becomes worn down physically, emotionally, and mentally. When a person reaches this point, they start to give up, and their focus shifts from “What can I do” to “There is nothing I can do.” Depression is an expression of this hopeless, helpless feeling. There is nothing wrong with being sad as you temporarily think about your loved ones and remember what life was like back in “normal times” . Such thoughts, in fact, can give you the desire to try harder and live. On the other hand, if you allow yourself to sink into a depressed state, then it can sap all your energy and, more important, your will to live. It is imperative that each person resist succumbing to depression.
Did you miss the first parts of the series? Catch up now.

Read the final installment of the series: part 7

Mental Attitude for Emergency Readiness-Part 5

People have been able to survive many shifts in the environment throughout the centuries. Their ability to adapt physically andLincoln Quote mentally to a changing world have kept them alive while other species gradually died off. The same mechanisms that kept our forefathers alive can help keep us alive as well! However, these same mechanisms that can help us can also work against us if we don’t understand and anticipate their presence.

It is not surprising that the average person will have some psychological reactions in an emergency situation. We will now examine some of the major internal reactions we might experience with the stressors addressed in the earlier posts. Let’s begin by examining fear and anxiety. Fear is our emotional response to dangerous circumstances that we believe have the potential to cause harm such as illness, injury, or death. This harm is not just limited to physical damage; the threat to one’s emotional and mental well-being can generate fear as well. For the person trying to deal with an emergency situation , fear can have a positive function if it encourages them to be cautious in situations where recklessness could result in injury.

Unfortunately, fear can also immobilize a person. It can cause them to become so frightened that they fail to perform activities essential for survival. Most people will have some degree of fear when placed in unfamiliar surroundings under adverse conditions. There is no shame in this! Each person must train themselves  not to be overcome by fear. Ideally, through realistic training, we can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to increase our confidence and thereby manage our fears. Associated with fear is anxiety. Because it is natural for us to be afraid, it is also natural for us to experience anxiety. Anxiety can be an uneasy, apprehensive feeling we get when faced with dangerous situations (physical, mental, and emotional). When used in a healthy way, anxiety urges us to act to end, or at least manage, the dangers that threaten our existence. If we were never anxious, there would be little motivation to make changes in our lives. The person in an emergency setting reduces their  anxiety by performing those tasks that will ensure coming through the ordeal alive. As they reduce anxiety, they  also bring under control the source of that anxiety–their fears. In this form, anxiety is good; however, anxiety can also have a devastating impact. Anxiety can overwhelm a person to the point where they become easily confused and have difficulty thinking. Once this happens, it becomes more and more difficult for them to make good judgments and sound decisions. To effectively deal with an emergency, we must learn techniques to calm our anxieties and keep them in the range where they help, not hurt us.
In our next post we will get right to the point and look at frustration, anger, and depression.

Did you miss Part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4?

Read the rest of the series: part 6, part 7

The 4 R’s of Green

RethinkToday the economy is causing many people to be concerned about how they are going to make ends meet. Following some simple “green” principals can help keep money in your pocket while reducing your carbon footprint. We just need to change our bad habits and how we live. The complete act of recycling utilizes “reusing” materials again for the same purpose or “rethinking” to “remake” the product for a new use. Recycling is at the end of the phrase because that is the last thing you want to do with any material.

Remake, reuse, recycle is a simple mantra that can be easily remembered. Recycling decreases the utilization of new materials and creates jobs in this big industry. Recycling curtails the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill. Recycling also reduces the need to cut down forests to build new products. Rethinking the purpose of an item can lead to reduce and reuse. Recycling can increase efficiency and reduce waste geometrically!

When you are done with an item what do you do with it? Take a moment and “rethink” about possible alternatives for the product. Your favorite Sister is getting ready to pitch a pair of faded jeans you had always admired. Your sister passes the jeans on to you somewhat like the Traveling Pants in the current movie. Unfortunately, the jeans do not fit you as they fit on your sister so you can’t “reuse” them. Your neighbor says she will take them. She “rethinks” about what to do with the nicely faded jeans and how to “remake” them into something she can use. The crafty neighbor transforms the jeans into a trendy, hip purse. The purse has extended the life of the jeans through a different use.

We could only hope that the neighbors’ trendy blue jean purse becomes all the rage, with everyone wanting a “remade” jean purse. People start gathering unwanted jeans to order their designer jean purses that your neighbor sells. This keeps many unwanted blue jeans from ending up in the landfill. Your neighbor becomes independently wealthy by “rethinking” a new use for your old, torn jeans. And the neighbor lived happily ever after.

Realistically, the jean purse is used for several months and then is donated to a non-profit organization to be used again. You saved money not having to buy another pair of faded jeans; your neighbor then saved money from not having to purchase a purse and then again saved money on her taxes from the donation made to a non-profit organization.

The new owner of the jean purse is a devout recycler. After using the jean purse, she recycled it. The jean purse was recycled into insulation. The original pair of jeans had many uses and was kept out of the landfill.

Most items in our modern society are recyclable. Metal, plastics, glass, paper, wood, and many electronics are recyclable. Some items need to be disposed of properly due to the hazardous material they contain such as computers and cell phones. Do not forget about donating to local efforts like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Purple Heart. You can donate building supplies and working appliances to Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Inquire about internet sites such as http://www.craigslist.com and http://www.freecycle.com where you can either give items away free or sell them. Many of the items that are recyclable could put some extra cash in your pocket, like having a yard sale or taking your aluminum, copper, or brass to sell to a metal recycler.

Another way of recycling is vermicomposting with your vegetable kitchen scraps and paper. Yard composting can utilize leaves, grass, garden wastes and cardboard. To find recycling centers in your area go to http://www.local.com.

According to www.environment-green.com “for every 1 ton of plastic that is recycled we save… equivalent of 2 people’s energy use for 1 year, the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 months time, and almost 2000 pounds of oil.”

As a nation, we need to be conscious of the effects of our actions. Recycling is good for our economy: it creates jobs and creates a demand for recycled materials. Recycling saves energy and helps use fewer natural resources. Recycling also reduces deforestation and water pollution.   Recycling helps prevent climate changes. Recycling makes a difference.

Remember to, “Rethink,  Remake, Reuse, Recycle.