Climate for Action

Climate for Action: Give CDs a Listen, then Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

About the Author: Michelle Gugger graduated from Rutgers University in 2008. She is currently spending a year of service at EPA’s Region 3 Office in Philadelphia, PA as an AmeriCorps VISTA

With the convenience that we have with our computers to buy music and burn CDs off the internet, it makes it so easy to get copies of the latest albums and movies. One of my good friends is always downloading movies. She now has shelves stocked with all types of CDs and DVDs. It amazes me and makes me wish that I had better computer skills because she can easily have any CD or DVD that she wants in just a few minutes.

This is so easy to do, but do the benefits outweigh the environmental consequences? If you read about the Life Cycle of a CD or DVD, you will see that CDs are made with many materials and a lot of energy is used to produce them. When a CD is thrown away, potentially toxic materials can transfer into the ground. But when is the end of your CD’s life? My friend has a library by now and saves all of the discs that she has created. However, the EPA estimates that every month approximately 10,000 pounds of CDs become outdated and unwanted.

So, what is everyone doing with their CDs that they no longer want? They could swap them with friends, turn them into art or recycle them. I’m interested in what you do with your unwanted CDs — or if you can think of ways that we can avoid throwing them away. How can we educate our friends about other options? This month at the EPA in Philadelphia, we are holding a used book, DVD and video collection. When it is over, we will donate them to local organizations that could benefit from their use.

I definitely feel like this is an area where teenagers can make a difference. Let me know how you and your classmates can make changes to prevent waste.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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Climate For Action: Introducing New Student Bloggers

About the authors: Michelle Gugger and Loreal Crumbley will work as a team to continue the New Climate for Action Blog.

Michelle graduated from Rutgers University in 2008. She is currently spending a year of service at EPA’s Region 3 Office in Philadelphia, PA as an AmeriCorps VISTA.

image of authorI’m so glad that I have been given the opportunity to continue the great work that Ashley Sims has done with this blog. I work at the EPA in Philadelphia in the Water Protection Division. Here I am known as the VISTA in the office. VISTAs are volunteers in service to America. It is kind of like the PeaceCorps in that we volunteer our time working for social, economic and environmental issues. As a VISTA, I have chosen to spend my time working to protect human health and the environment. I have had a great opportunity to do this at the EPA. I spend most of my time supporting environmental initiatives and educating the public on water protection. So far, it has been a lot of fun and a great learning experience. There are so many people interested in making positive environmental changes. I would love to share some of the things that they have taught me and hope that you will share some of the things that you do for your environment. I have been following Ashley’s blog for a while now and it is a great way for students to educate each other on important environmental issues. I hope you continue sharing and I look forward to reading your great ideas!

Loreal, a senior at George Mason University, is an intern with EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and Environmental Education through EPA’s Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

image of co-authorI currently work with the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and Environmental Education. I am very excited to work with Michelle in carrying on Ashley’s blog entries. I live in Virginia and am a native of the Washington D.C. area. I am in my fourth year at George Mason University and am pursuing a degree in Government and International Politics. I have extensive work experience in the environmental field, including an internship with the EPA’s Office of Cooperative Environmental Management, a student mentor at Science, Engineering and Technology Camp (a program dedicated to helping young girls excel in science fields), and the National Hispanic Environmental Council Minority Youth Training Institute (a scholarship to receive training from experts in environmental and science fields).

I look forward to writing blog entries on global climate change and hearing your goals and projects on the many environmental issues.

Look for next week’s Climate for Action Blog entry on recycling CDs and DVDs

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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New Climate for Action: Graduation

About the author: Ashley Sims, a senior at Indiana University, is a fall intern with EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and Environmental Education through the Washington Leadership Program.

Image of Ashley Sims in front of Washington MonumentI regret to say the time has come for me to return to my studies at Indiana University. During my semester at EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and Environmental Education under the University’s Washington Leadership Program, I’ve had the privilege to work with dedicated and highly respected individuals. As part of the nation-wide climate change and children’s health education campaign, my goal this semester was to engage middle and high school students to participate in the discussion of global climate change and its effects on children’s health. I’ve been very excited and greatly thankful for the contributions to the weekly blog discussion and everyone’s shared ideas and comments. My only request is to keep the comments coming after I’m gone.

Here are some things I thought might be interesting-

Are you interested in saving the planet? Do you have any ideas to help protect the environment but need financial help to execute that plan? Check out http://www.planet-connect.org/. Planet Connect is an online network that provides high school students funding opportunities to support their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hurry up and apply. The deadline is January 20, 2009. You can also check out the link from our climate ambassador page at http://www.epa.gov/climateforaction/lead/become.htm

Also, don’t forget to be a leader! Take action and motivate others to engage in activities to reduce global climate change and its effects on children’s health. If you are a middle or high school student interested in global climate change, become a Climate Ambassador. Once you sign up to be a Climate Ambassador, copy the icon found at http://www.epa.gov/climateforaction/lead/become.htm to your facebook or other social networking page and encourage others to do the same.

Remember- let’s show others our passion and dedication to issues that are essential to protecting our environment. Again, it has been my pleasure to help you express your thoughts on issues so personal and important to your future.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.