Inspired By The NFL

By Gina Snyder

When I was a teenager, we used to play touch football in the neighborhood. Whoever was around would be allowed to play, regardless of ability or age. Super Bowl Sunday brought me back to those memories of what seemed like a simpler time.

But maybe it wasn’t so simple. In those days, we used to drive trash over to the “town dump” and toss it into a former gravel pit. Things have changed and the NFL has changed with the times.

The NFL worked to minimize the environmental impact of Super Bowl activities. And in reading what they were doing, I saw that the NFL’s activities and actions were so easy we can scale them to our personal actions.

The first activity they listed dealt with trash. NFL event facilities diverted trash by recycling and reusing potential waste materials. The Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indiana Convention Center, and hotels serving as team headquarters, as well as the NFL headquarters and the Motorola Super Bowl Media Center all participated. The JW Marriott hotel also took part in a composting pilot project during Super Bowl week. Food waste scraps were collected in compostable bags and taken to a facility to be converted into nutrient-rich compost.

Massachusetts has extensive recycling programs and so, like the NFL Superbowl Committee, we can divert waste from the trash through our recycling and our composting programs. Inspired by the NFL, I put my recycling bin out for my guests on Superbowl Sunday and collected cans, bottles and plastics. And I composted paper and food scraps.

The NFL even launched a Superbowl Climate Change Initiative with steps taken to reduce the overall greenhouse gas impact of Super Bowl activities and events. The organization used renewable energy certificates to provide “green” power for major Super Bowl XLVI event venues and is planting several thousand trees in neighborhoods in partnership with ‘Keep Indianapolis Beautiful’ as part of the “greening” of Super Bowl XLVI. Again following the NFL, I plan to participate in a local tree donation program this spring and contribute to the greening of my community, too. There are so many ways to participate locally in NFL’s greening efforts. Let us know your ideas.

About the author: Gina Snyder works in the Office of Environmental and Compliance Assistance at EPA New England and has been a volunteer river monitor on the Ipswich River, where she also picks up trash every time she monitors the water quality.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Greenscaping For All Seasons

By Lina Younes

The leaves in the Washington, DC area will soon reach the full range of the fall spectrum. Since we have been having unseasonably warm weather, we still can see many flowering bushes in bloom in gardens and parks in the area surrounded by the multicolor autumn foliage. In fact, I’m actually looking forward for the temperatures to become steadily cooler so that I can plant bulbs that will blossom in the springtime. I guess I’ll have to be more patient.

As we’re talking about the changes in seasons, we should start to think about taking special steps to protect our gardens. With careful planning this autumn, we will be rewarded with colorful flowers and green lawns next year. We can achieve this goal without resorting to chemicals. We can go green in our yards through greenscaping!

How to greenscape?  Well it boils down to some basic resource conservation issues: reduce, reuse, and recycle. The green 3 R’s. By implementing these principles you can save millions of gallons of water, pesticides, while protecting the environment. First, reduce the production of waste in your gardens. Select native plants and perennials. Secondly, reuse products prolongs the useful life of these materials and delays their final disposal. Thirdly, recycle lawn trimmings and yard debris in a compost pile to be able to feed your lawn with minimal use of chemicals. Some work now will go a long way for a healthier environment.

What are your thoughts on the issue? Any tips? Planning anything special for your garden this year? We love to hear from you.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations 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.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Students for Climate Action: Reduce More Than Half Your Waste by Composting

In 2007, 245.1 million tons of municipal solid waste was generated in the United States. Of that waste, organic materials—yard trimmings, food scraps, and paper products—made up more than two-thirds of our solid waste stream. Even though organic waste makes up most of our waste stream, it is something that we can reduce. Composting can turn our organic wastes into valuable compost which can be used for landscaping and gardening purposes. By composting we can also reduce methane, a greenhouse gas with 21 times the heating potential of carbon dioxide which is largely produced from the organic wastes in our landfills.

There are many types of composting options to choose from. At the end of the composting process you will end up with a great, free product for greening lawns and producing strong, healthy garden plants.

So here’s how you can start. Look at your options. Some include vermicomposting, compost bins, or installing a composter in the sink like a garbage disposal. Discuss with your caregiver or principal which option works easiest and best for your home or school. Then work on making successful compost by watching what you put into the composter. EPA’s web site has great information for creating a compost pile right in your own backyard.

So take action against producing so much waste and reduce green house gas emissions. By composting you can eliminate the threats to climate change, water quality and pollution by transforming your waste into a product that will benefit your lawn and garden. Talk to your friends and family about how they can start a composting project at home. You can also become a climate ambassador by starting a composting program at your school. You will find that it can be fun, especially if you like to garden! Be sure to tell us your composting plans. Let us know which option works best for you, how much waste you will be reducing and what you plan to do with your compost.

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

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.

Question of the Week: Do you compost yard waste and why?

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Fall is upon us: time to take out those rakes! As you prepare for cooler temperatures, have you thought about what to do with all those leaves, old plants, and other debris?

Do you compost yard waste and why?.

En español: Cada semana hacemos una pregunta relacionada al medio ambiente. Por favor comparta con nosotros sus pensamientos y comentarios. Siéntase en libertad de responder a comentarios anteriores o plantear nuevas ideas. Preguntas previas.

El otoño se avecina. ¡Ha llegado el momento de sacar los rastrillos! A medida que se prepara para las temperaturas más frescas, ¿ha pensado en qué hacer con la hojarasca, las plantas viejas y otros escombros del jardín?

¿Usted hace compostaje y por qué?

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.