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Environmentally Friendly Projects

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WATER IS LIFE

Dr. Gwen Griffith, DVM, MS

Program DIrector, Cumberland River Compact

Presentation to 2016 National Philoptochos Biennial Convention

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GOING GREEN IN THE KITCHEN

Everyone likes to eat, so the kitchen is a great place to start making environmentally friendly changes to your lifestyle.  From the food that you buy to the way that it is cooked and stored, you can save energy and money.

BE REPSONSIBLE, BE GREEN AND ECO-FRIENDLY IN THE KITCHEN

We are in the kitchen each day. Be active and follow these guidelines to help protect and sustain God’s Creation.

  1. BUY LOCAL- Buy local fruits and vegetables.  You are supporting your local farmers, and eliminating the oil hungry transportation costs of moving the food across the country or the globe to your supermarket.
  2. COOK WITH NATURAL GAS – Natural gas stoves are eco-friendly and energy efficient because the fuel is directly used for cooking. Electric cooktops use electricity generated from another source of fuel, like coal or gas.  Using gas, there is an immediate response and control that the flame offers. There is no need to wait for the burner to heat up or cool down. Thus, it lowers energy usage and costs by about one third.
  3. DEVELOP GREEN HABITS WITH APPLIANCES AND COOKWARE – Conserve energy by choosing correctly sized pots and keeping them tightly covered to retain heat.  Keep stovetop covers clean so that they cook more efficiently.  Choose cast iron, ceramic or glass cookware to retain more heat and speed cooking time. Do not be afraid to use the dishwasher. It is an efficient appliance, and it will use less water than washing by hand.
  4. USE ALUMINUM FOIL WISELY – Wrap lunches, snacks and leftovers in foil to keep them fresh, then rinse and reuse the foil again. Line pans and baking dishes with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier, so you use less water.
  5. FIND CREATIVE USES FOR LEFTOVERS – Keep leftovers, bits of carrots, celery, onions and potatoes to make a tasty soup stock- just add meat or noodles. Pasta dishes like lasagna and chicken casseroles are easy to make in large quantities and freeze for smaller portions to enjoy later.  Many cooks feed their kitchen scraps to a backyard compost pile. Once decomposed, the material makes a great fertilizer for your herb garden. Used coffee grounds have a neutral PH and improve the texture and tilth of the soil. Working the coffee grounds into the soil produces an excellent fertilizer for your plants.

Being Green in the kitchen should become a way of life.  Your actions will help sustain our precious environment.

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PLASTIC BAG RECYCLING PROJECT

Inspired by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew known worldwide as the “Green Patriarch,” the Environment Responsibility Committee tasks you to: 

Take the challenge. Recycle and reuse plastic bags in your Chapter + Church Community. 

BE AWARE, BE SMART AND BE ACTIVE IN SUSTAINING THE ENVIRONMENT 

Make an effort to carry a cloth or other multi-use bag with you, but when that’s impossible:

BE AWARE – Compared to paper, plastic grocery bags can be a resource efficient choice.  Plastic grocery bags require 70% less energy to manufacture than paper bags and produce half the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the process.  HOWEVER… 

BE SMART – Though efficient to produce, it is crucial that plastic bags be reused and recycled.  It is imperative that plastic bags are kept out of the natural environment as they do not biodegrade quickly and can cause problems for wildlife when improperly disposed. 

BE ACTIVE Return and reuse plastic bags.   Return clean bags to food pantries, libraries, day care centers or hospitals that accept.  Reuse when packing a suitcase to keep shoes from soiling clothes.  For more ideas visit www.realsimple.com 

BE GREEN Bag it.   Gather your plastic bags from the grocery, dry cleaning stores and plastic product wraps from items such as newspapers, bread, paper towels, napkins, bathroom tissue and diapers. Store the clean bags and wraps in another bag; then drop them off at a participating grocery or retail store to be recycled. Most grocers and large retailers such as Target and Walmart now accept plastic bags and wraps for recycling.  Look for a bin near the front of the store. 

BE INVOLVED Check for local recycling options nearest you.  The committee recommends the following site:  www.earth911.com .   The website includes several links with established programs and guidelines for recycling of plastic bags and a variety of other recyclable materials.  The site includes a Recycling Locater.  Enter your zip code and select plastics or any other material you wish to recycle.  It will proceed and navigate you to a recycling center found in your area. 

BE COMMITTEDIt's Time for Us All to Strive for Greater Bag and Plastic Film Recycling. You Can Lead the Way.  Please find a poster which you can place on your community bulletin board at: http://www.plasticfilmrecycling.org/pdf/PlasticRecyclingPoster_15.jpg

Be green, be involved and be a committed participant in reusing and recycling plastic bags and all recyclable items.  Our precious environment, which is a gift from God, depends on our actions.  

ELECTRONICS RECYCLING PROJECT

In this increasingly complex age, collectively we can improve the quality of our environment and Philoptochos is obligated to do its share. 

BE RESPONSIBLE, GO GREEN AND GET GREEN
Take the challenge and the lead to implement a recycling project
in your chapter and parish community.

Along with the bimonthly communication of “Green Tips” which help sustain our environment, the committee is offering a potential recycling project that can easily be implemented and successful in each Philoptochos Chapter and Church Community. Many of the “Green Projects” including recycling offer monetary rebates to organizations implementing the program. The financial gain may be used for each Philoptochos Chapter’s philanthropic ministries. Be responsible, take the challenge, and help protect our environment. The funds raised will aid those in need.

The Environment Responsibility Committee is recommending Recycling Fundraiser, formerly known as Ecophones, which has been in business since 2001. The company is located in Dallas, Texas and is a member of the North Texas Better Business Bureau. The company recycles cell phones, ink jet printer cartridges, laptop computers, iPods, digital cameras and other small electronics.  The items are cash guaranteed. Click on www.recyclingfundraiser.com for more information.  The site offers resource materials including sample letters and directions for getting started.  You may also call (888)326-7466.

To initiate the program, follow these simple guidelines:

1.   Register by clicking on the website www.recyclingfundraiser.com.  The registrant, an individual or organization, will receive checks in the mail.   

2.   Begin collecting any or all of the items on the price lists available on the website.

3.   Collect and package the items for shipment using any type of sturdy cardboard box (recycled, of of course!) along with old newspaper to cushion the items.

4.   Return to the website and click on brown UPS truck, and enter your return address information.  Print the label on regular paper and tear the paper in half. The top half is the prepaid portion that needs to be attached to your shipment with tape.  The bottom half is for your records, and contains a 1-800 number to contact UPS to schedule the pickup for your shipment along with the tracking number for your records.

5.   The shipment is picked up by UPS and delivered by ground transportation. Once received and inspected, the company will send a confirmation email of shipment that was received and the amount of payment.

6.   The check is mailed to the organization within 30 days of the date that the shipment was inspected.

Other websites that may be investigated for recycling projects are listed below:

www.eccorecycles.com/fundraising, http://www.recylefirst.com/ (cell phones, laser and inkjet cartridges, laptops, iPODS, digital cameras, etc.)

http://www.greeningschools.org/ (works with the Illinois EPA, but there might be other sites in other states)

http://www.recyclemycellphone.org/ (a project of Earthworks)

http://www.eco-cell.com/ (environmentally minded fundraisers)

http://www.grcrecycling.com/ (fundraising through recycling)

BE RESPONSIBLE, GO GREEN AND GET GREEN FOR THOSE IN NEED

This is a long-term project in which you can invite and involve the stewards of your community to participate and promote it as a Philoptochos sponsored Parish/Community project.

There is no expense incurred by Chapters to participate – the recommended recycling company even pays the postage for you to send the recyclable items to them for reimbursement.

Let’s work together to preserve and protect our environment and at the same time earn money to benefit your Chapter’s philanthropies.

Once you have initiated the Recycling Project please let us know how this project is working for you.

                                                 Good luck with this most worthy project!