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Do You Choose Clean Water?

By Travis Loop

Do you choose clean water? If so, we need your voice. And the voices of your friends.

Clean water is important – for drinking, swimming, and fishing. We need it for our communities, farms, and businesses. But right now, 60 percent of our streams and millions of acres of wetlands across the country aren’t clearly protected from pollution and destruction. In fact, one in three Americans—117 million of us—get our drinking water from streams that are vulnerable. To have clean water downstream in the rivers and lakes in our neighborhoods, we need healthy headwaters upstream. That’s why we’ve proposed to strengthen protection for our water.

We hope you’ll support our clean water proposal. To help you do that, and get your friends to also voice their support, we’re using a new tool called Thunderclap; it’s like a virtual flash mob.

Here’s how it works: you agree to let Thunderclap post a one-time message on your social networks (Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr) on Monday, September 29 at 2:00 pm EDT. If 500 or more people sign up to participate, the message will be posted on everyone’s walls and feeds at the same time. But if fewer than 500 sign up, nothing happens. So it’s important to both sign up and encourage others to do so.

Here’s the message we’re asking you to let us post on your behalf: “Clean water is important to me. I want EPA to protect it for my health, my family, and my community. www.epa.gov/USwaters”
To sum up, you can participate through these two steps:

  1. Sign up to join the Thunderclap for Clean Water: http://thndr.it/1rUOiaB
  2. Share the link to the Thunderclap with your friends and followers so we get at least 500 people sharing the message:
    a. Facebook
    b. Twitter
    c. Tumblr

Watch EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy talk about our proposal to protect clean water: http://bit.ly/1h5JgjW

Read about the proposal to protect clean water: epa.gov/uswaters



About the author: Travis Loop is the communications director for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He chooses clean water for his kids and for surfing.

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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Let’s Celebrate America Recycles Day Together!

 

America Recycles Day

 America Recycles Day is November 15, and we want to celebrate with you. On Wednesday, November 13, at 12:30 p.m. EST, join us on Twitter to talk about what you and your community are doing to help reduce waste and conserve resources. 

Experts from our Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response will be with us to listen to your ideas and answer your questions. Be ready to share what you and your community are doing to reduce, reuse, and recycle.  Does your community have curbside recycling? Are you creatively reusing stuff? What’s your best thrift shop or garage sale find? Perhaps the kids in your community are starting environment clubs. Or has your community created a sharing library for things like tools, seeds, and more?

You can participate on November 13 at 12:30 p.m. EST by following @EPAlive and the #AskEPA hashtag on Twitter. If you don’t use Twitter, you can still watch the discussion at @EPAlive and #AskEPA. We look forward to chatting with you!

About the author: Ellie Kanipe works in EPA’s Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery. She is inspired by cool people doing cool green things.

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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#AskGinaEPA about Climate Change

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will host her first live Twitter chat on climate change on Friday, August 2nd at 12:30 PM ET. Administrator McCarthy will discuss her plans for the agency moving forward, focusing on EPA’s work to combat climate change.

Helping communities adapt to the changing climate and cutting carbon pollution will be a significant part of EPA’s work over the coming years – the Agency will play a key role in implementing President Obama’s Climate Change Action Plan. Administrator McCarthy has also pledged to take action on toxics and chemical safety, safeguard our air and water resources, and continue EPA’s work toward a sustainable future.

Here’s the plan:

  • Tweet your questions to @GinaEPA anytime on Friday morning using the hashtag #AskGinaEPA. She will respond to questions beginning at 12:30 PM ET.
  • You can ask Administrator McCarthy a question, share your ideas, and join the conversation on protecting people’s health and the environment.
  • Don’t use Twitter? You can still ask questions in the comments section below and watch the discussion at @GinaEPA and #AskGinaEPA.
  • We will be translating this chat into Spanish. Follow @EPAespanol and #HablaConGina to participate.

Administrator McCarthy is new to Twitter, and looking forward to answering your questions in her first live Twitter chat!

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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Let’s Talk About Climate Change

Earthrise as seen from the moon. (NASA image)

Do you have a science question about Climate Change? Be sure to join our Earth Day (Monday, April 22) Twitter chat. Joining the discussion will be EPA expert Dr. Andrew Miller, the Associate Director for Climate for the Agency’s Air, Climate, and Energy research program (Office of Research and Development), and a member of the subcommittee on global change research for the U.S. Global Change Research Program.

Feel free to contribute your questions on Monday using #AskEPA, or post them in the comments section below for Dr. Miller.

Here’s more information…

(From our “It’s Our Environment” blog.)

 

 

Let’s Talk About Climate Change

By Jessica Orquina

Every year, we have different ways for you to engage with us online. This year, we invite you to join the conversation on climate change we’re hosting via our Twitter chats on three Monday afternoons in April. For each chat, we’ll be talking about a different environmental topic and taking your questions.

  • Earth Day, April 22nd 2:00pm EDT – Climate Change: What You Can Do
    Every day our actions affect the planet. Experts from our Office of Air and Radiation will be joining us on Earth Day to talk about what we can all do at home, in the office, and on the road to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help protect the planet. Let’s work together to protect our communities from the effects of climate change now and in the future.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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Let's Talk on Earth Day

By Jessica Orquina

Haga clic en la imagen para unirse a la conversación en nuestro blog en español... ¡No olvide de suscribirse!

We enjoyed talking with you again this week during our Twitter chat about waste and climate change. Thanks to everyone who participated, sent us questions, and joined in the conversation! Here are some of our tweets from Monday afternoon’s chat:

Next week we’re hosting a Twitter chat on Earth Day! Join us Monday, April  22nd at 2:00PM EDT. From using public transportation to powering down electronics when not in use, there are lots of ways we can save energy, reduce harmful carbon pollution and better protect the climate.  Experts from our Office of Air and Radiation will be with us to answer your questions on how we can all play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We’ll talk about what we can all do to save energy and reduce greenhouse gases. You can participate by following @EPAlive and the #AskEPA hashtag on Twitter.  Send us your questions about how you can take action against climate change via Twitter using the #AskEPA hashtag or in comments below. If you don’t use Twitter, you can still watch the discussion at @EPAlive and #AskEPA. We look forward to chatting with you!

About the author: Jessica Orquina works in the Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education as the social media lead for the agency. Prior to joining EPA, she served as a public affairs specialist at another federal agency and is a former military and commercial airline pilot. She lives, works, and writes in Washington, DC.

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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Let's Continue Our Conversation

Haga clic en la imagen para unirse a la conversación en nuestro blog en español... ¡No olvide de suscribirse!

By Jessica Orquina

Thanks to everyone who joined our Twitter chat on Monday afternoon! We had some great questions and answers about water and climate change and I’m excited this conversation has begun. Here are a few of our tweets from Monday’s chat:


Next week we’re looking forward to continuing our conversation on climate change during our second Earth Month Twitter chat on Monday, April 15th at 2:00PM EDT. This time, we’ll be talking about waste and what we can do to reduce, reuse, and recycle our resources. Experts from our Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response join us to talk about how we can take simple actions such as recycling used electronics and reducing wasted food to combat climate change.

Join us again on Monday, April 15th by following @EPAlive and the #AskEPA hashtag on Twitter.  Send us your questions about waste, recycling, wasted food, and climate change via Twitter using the #AskEPA hashtag. If you don’t use Twitter, you can still submit your questions in the comments below and watch the discussion at @EPAlive and #AskEPA. Talk to you again next week!

About the author: Jessica Orquina works in the Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education as the social media lead for the agency. Prior to joining EPA, she served as a public affairs specialist at another federal agency and is a former military and commercial airline pilot. She lives, works, and writes in Washington, DC.

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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Sister Blog: Let’s Talk About Climate Change

Do you have a science question about Climate Change and Water? Be sure to join the first “Earth Month” Twitter chat Monday, April 8, 2013. Our expert Dr. Suzanne van Drunick, the National Program Director for EPA’s Safe and Sustainable Water Resources Research Program, will be answering your science-related questions about climate change and water.

Feel free to join us on Monday using #AskEPA, or post your questions in the comments section below for Dr. van Drunick.

Here’s more information…

(Reposted from our “It’s Our Environment” blog.)

Let’s Talk About Climate Change

By Jessica Orquina

Earth Day is coming in a few weeks, and here at EPA we celebrate Earth Month all April. Every year, we have different ways for you to engage with us online. This year, we invite you to join the conversation on climate change we’re hosting via our Twitter chats on three Monday afternoons in April. For each chat, we’ll be talking about a different environmental topic and taking your questions. Here is the schedule for our Earth Month Twitter chats:

  • April 8th 2:00pm EDT – Climate Change and Water
    Experts from our Office of Water will join us to talk about how climate change is affecting oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems in the U.S. We will also be discussing how EPA is adapting programs that protect public health and water resources.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action.

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.

Let's Talk About Climate Change

By Jessica Orquina

Haga clic en la imagen para unirse a la conversación en nuestro blog en español... ¡No olvide de suscribirse!

Earth Day is coming in a few weeks, and here at EPA we celebrate Earth Month all April. Every year, we have different ways for you to engage with us online. This year, we invite you to join the conversation on climate change we’re hosting via our Twitter chats on three Monday afternoons in April. For each chat, we’ll be talking about a different environmental topic and taking your questions. Here is the schedule for our Earth Month Twitter chats:

  • April 8th 2:00pm EDT – Climate Change and Water
    Experts from our Office of Water will join us to talk about how climate change is affecting oceans, watersheds, and their aquatic ecosystems in the U.S. We will also be discussing how EPA is adapting programs that protect public health and water resources.
  • April 15th 2:00pm EDT – Beyond Waste
    Chat with experts from the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response about how we can take simple actions such as recycling used electronics or reducing wasted food to combat climate change. Approximately 42 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are associated with the energy used to produce, process, transport and dispose of the food we eat and the goods we use.
  • Earth Day, April 22nd 2:00pm EDT – Climate Change: What You Can Do
    Every day our actions affect the planet. Experts from our Office of Air and Radiation will be joining us on Earth Day to talk about what we can all do at home, in the office, and on the road to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help protect the planet. Let’s work together to protect our communities from the effects of climate change now and in the future.

So, join us on Monday, April 8th for the first chat by following @EPAlive and the #AskEPA hashtag on Twitter. Ask us a question, share your ideas, and join the conversation on climate change. If you don’t use Twitter, you can still ask questions here and watch the discussion at @EPAlive and #AskEPA.

For our first chat, we’ll be talking about Water. Send us your questions about water, rivers, streams, wetlands, oceans, health, and climate change via Twitter using the #AskEPA hashtag or in the comments below. Talk to you on Monday!

About the author: Jessica Orquina works in the Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education as the social media lead for the agency. Prior to joining EPA, she served as a public affairs specialist at another federal agency and is a former military and commercial airline pilot. She lives, works, and writes in Washington, DC.

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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Tweeting Away at EPA

Last fall, I wrote about this blog’s Twitter account, @greenversations. Since then, several folks across EPA have been trying out Twitter, with varying approaches.  Today, I got this question from Randa Williams, a researcher at the University of Washington who’s looking into best practices for businesses on Twitter:

I wonder when you will start having conversations rather than just broadcasting on twitter…Lots of EPA broadcast channels on Twitter, exceptionally few conversations. I know, engagement is more work, wondering if you had thought about expanding into this area.

It was such a good question, I thought I’d respond publicly as well as emailing her.

Randa is right: the gold standard is conversing on Twitter and other social media sites, not just broadcasting. But she’s also right that it takes resources.  Not just someone’s time, but also having the right person, who’s plugged into what’s going on around EPA and who knows how to speak to the world on EPA’s behalf.

There are also different ways to use Twitter, and we’re experimenting with most of them.  For example, we’ve done a little live tweeting, with plans to do more.  There are also different approaches to who to follow, how frequently we can commit to posting, etc.

We do have a couple of good examples of interaction for content on a smaller scale than “all of EPA:”

While we figure out the gold standard (interaction), we’re doing what we can on what I call the tin standard (broadcasting). Given the number of followers, it seems a decent number of people appreciate even that.  Here are some of our other accounts:

  • @EPAgov – our main account.  Primarily our automated news release headlines and blog posts, plus a few web updates and manual tweets.  This account combines content that’s also split into individual accounts, and is also available on normal Web pages:
  • @EPAlive – we’re occasionally experimenting with using this for live tweeting
  • @EPAowow – Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds
  • @EPAairmarketsmarket-based regulatory programs to improve U.S. air quality
  • @EPAregion2 – regional office in New York
  • @EPAregion3 – regional office in Philadelphia

We’re also working up some conventions, like starting our account names with “usepa” and using the same seal as the avatar.

Not quite in the same category, some of us are also tweeting professionally. We’re not “representing” EPA per se, but we’re using it as a professional network and information source.  For example:

  • @levyj413 – this is my Twitter account, and I use it to discuss social media in government (especially EPA)
  • @suzack777 – this is Suzanne Ackerman on our web team.  Suzanne uses Twitter to research projects like blogger outreach, and uses Twitter to make contacts and discuss related issues.

So thanks, Randa, for reminding me that we need to communicate more about what we’re up to.  Stay tuned for updates about our other social media efforts, too (in the meantime, join us on Facebook!).

Jeffrey Levy is EPA’s Director of Web Communications.

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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@Wormlady is our 400th Twitter follower

About the author: Jeffrey Levy joined EPA in 1993 to help protect the ozone layer. He is now the National Web Content Manager.

Two weeks ago I wrote that we’d hit 300 people following us on Twitter. I invited them to mention us, to see whether our follower count would jump, and promised a follow-up.

Only one person did tweet us, as far as I could find on Twitter search. Thanks, wingy22!

Yet in the past two weeks, we’ve picked up another 100 followers. Six months from 0-300, two weeks from 300-400. Errr … 401 … 402 … umm … wait a sec … 403 … make that 408. Anyway, @wormlady was #400. I put her name in the title because that’s about all that actually shows up in Twitter’s 140-character posts, so I’m hoping she’ll notice her name the next time she logs in.

Anyway, the sudden jump amazes me. Was it as simple as noting we’re on Twitter in a post, as opposed to just having the link on the right?

Let’s try the same thing on Facebook and MySpace. We’re not doing much there yet, but we have big plans, and knowing there’s interest helps. If you want to know when we do get going, become our fan on Facebook and MySpace.

How to engage the most people isn’t an idle question. The first time, for example, that we take comments on a regulation via social media, we’ll want to get the biggest bang for the least effort (efficient use of your tax dollars, doncha know).

What do you suggest?

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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