The Great Lakes Christmas Tree Ship

Several links below exit EPA Exit EPA Disclaimer

By Cameron Davis

On November 22, the Rouse Simmons listed badly, caked in ice from water and snow during one of storms for which the Great Lakes are known this time of year. Its cargo: more than 5,000 Christmas trees bound from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Chicago.

Hermann Schuenemann had been part owner and captain of the Simmons for years. And he came from a sailing family. So it was still a surprise when the schooner went down off the coast of Two Rivers, Wisconsin, that fateful day, one hundred years ago.

Rallying, Herman’s wife Barbara and two daughters continued the business in Herman’s wake, bringing trees into the Chicago River for sale.

The tale is now legend in the Midwest, not only for the fate of Herman and his ship, but the tenacity of his wife and daughters. But today, the “Legend of the Christmas Tree Ship,” is more than an enthralling true story. It lives on in exhibits at the Rogers Street Fishing Village in Two Rivers.  It lives on through plays.  And it lives on through the U.S. Coast Guard’s cutter, Mackinac.

But most of all, it lives on through an appreciation of all the Great Lakes continue to deliver to us: water, jobs, recreation and an unparalleled quality of life.

Find out more about our Great Lakes restoration efforts at www.glri.us, or follow me on Twitter (@CameronDavisEPA). If you missed out on Great Lakes Week and still have questions, feel free to ask them in the comment box or send me a tweet.

About the author: Cameron Davis is Senior Advisor to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. He provides counsel on Great Lakes matters, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

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.

Reach for the Blue label on Black Friday

Una Song

By: Una Song

Every family has their own ways of celebrating the holidays, and my family is no different. At our Thanksgiving dinner, we will have all the usual fixings: turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.  But being Korean, we’ll also have kimchi (pickled cabbage), jap chae (a noodle dish with vegetables and beef), and mandoo (Korean version of wontons).

Another Thanksgiving tradition of mine is seeing an action movie with my cousins after dinner and then shopping on the Friday after Thanksgiving. When I was younger, we would go to the department stores and look for the best deals on sweaters, ties and scarves. Now I find myself increasingly spending more time looking for electronics.  I am not alone.  According to the Consumer Electronics Association’s Holiday Gift Guide, technology gifts like tablet computers, smartphones, digital TVs and cameras, and video game systems once again top many wish lists.

Those who want to do good by the environment can choose electronics that use less energy by looking for EPA’s blue ENERGY STAR label as they do their holiday shopping.  The ENERGY STAR label helps consumers easily identify products that are energy efficient, and it can be found on over 65 product categories, including TVs, computers, printers and other electronics.

Hot products like soundbars and speaker systems for MP3 players are great gift ideas and they are covered by the ENERGY STAR program.  Products that have earned the ENERGY STAR provide the same functionality as standard models, but use less energy because they are more efficient in all usage modes:  sleep, idle, and on.  If every TV, DVD player, and home theatre system purchased in the U.S. this year were ENERGY STAR qualified, we would save more than $260 million and prevent more than 3 billion pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, equivalent to the annual emissions of more than 300,000 cars.

So when you start making your shopping list this year, look for the ENERGY STAR logo and do something good for the environment this holiday season.

Una Song works for EPA’s ENERGY STAR program and is focused on marketing ENERGY STAR consumer electronics.  She looks forward to the Thanksgiving food coma every year.

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.

Green Your Holiday Scene!

epaDid you know that the amount of household garbage in the United States can increase by 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, from 4 million tons to 5 million tons?  So what can you do to be green this holiday season?

Here are a few tips:

  • Turn off or unplug holiday lights during the day.
  • Donate the older toys that you no longer use to charities.
  • Wrap gifts in recycled or reused wrapping paper or newspapers.
  • Compost leftover food scraps and leaves.

Check out EPA’s student holiday page to see what else you can do to green your holiday celebrations!  http://epa.gov/students/holiday.html

Doing something different?  Tell us about your green holiday scene…

Wendy Dew is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for Region 8 in Denver, Colorado.

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: How did you minimize environmental impacts while making holiday travel plans?

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.

Thanksgiving is usually the busiest travel time in the U.S. Millions of us will be driving, flying, taking trains, or even walking to enjoy the holiday with family and friends.

How did you minimize environmental impacts while making holiday travel plans?

.

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.

La Fiesta de Acción de Gracias suele ser la época de más viajes en EE.UU. Millones de nosotros viajaremos por automóvil, avión o trenes, o hasta caminaremos para disfrutar de las fiestas con amistades y amigos.

¿Cómo minimizaría los impactos medioambientales al trazar sus planes de viajes para las fiestas?

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.