January 2021 • Newsletter Empowering Sustainable Communities
What a dark and historically bleak year was 2020!
But, I think we humans have learned a great deal about our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, our strengths, coping skills, and adaptability. We, at SEEDS, are going to use what we have learned to work for a year filled with aspiration, inspiration, innovation, equity, compassion, and hope for health and happiness for us all. The looming climate crisis could make 2020 look tame. Our SEEDS mission fits well with combatting the threat. We will continue pushing efficiency, conservation, renewable energy, and safe and equitable food systems. Thank you to all who have donated to SEEDS to keep the work going.
Our days started lengthening on December 21 st giving us hope for the end of a dark winter and a spring filled with rejuvenation and a greening of the land. I will start planning my garden and ordering seeds now. I hope you can do the same, even if you only have a window box or two. Finally, even if you have been vaccinated for covid, scientists are not yet sure if you will be able to spread the virus to others, so, please continue being kind to those around you by practicing a safe regimen.
Words from our Board Members
for the New Year
For the new year, our board members share some exciting energy news, New Year's Resolutions, tips and other fun info.
Kathy Dodge, SEEDS Chair
Debra Anne Haaland, member Laguna Pueblo, woman, first Native American to be nominated to serve as a member of the U.S. cabinet: Department of the Interior. About time.
Jack Barnett, Food & Energy
Some good things in the December issue of ASES (American Solar Energy Society): Here's the link: https://conta.cc/2KxlipQ I recommend ASES highly!
Jane Bollinger, Food Circle Leader
I love Climate Nexus. Every day it emails me "Hot News," a summary of articles and information from dozens of publications and websites. You can sign up at climatenexus.org to receive Daily Hot News, Weekly Energy Newsletter and/or Climate Signals Newsletter. “We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.”--Barack Obama
Jenna Mauder, Education
This year, I'm reflecting upon the incredible sense of community that shines through the fog of the pandemic. When our national and global food systems screeched to a halt, our local producers ramped up their efforts to provide food to relief efforts at the Cooperage and other area programs. SEEDS promises to continue working with local collaborators to ensure our robust local food system continues to thrive in 2021! We thank you, NEPA farmers and producers!"
Devan George, Outreach Circle Leader
In 2021 I will be committing myself to spending more time outside. Appreciating the incredible resources we have right here in NEPA. Kayaking on the Delaware and the Lackawaxen as well as hiking and attending nature events with local organizations. I hope you all join me out there in 2021 (from a safe distance, of course!)
The Car Wash on RT6 has done it again!
The CAR WASH on RT6, our 2019 Green Business Award winner, is taking sustainability further by installing a new, direct stream recycling at their facilities. Now, when you visit the car wash on Hamlin Highway, you will see four green-faced recycling dumpsters that separate trash from recycling. Prior to this, recycling was done by the waste collection company after pick-up.
"This action is providing savings to our monthly waste collection expense," says Dave, the owner of the car wash. "We found that ¼ to ½ of our dumpster(s) were being filled with the containers our car washing supplies are delivered in, i.e., plastic containers, 5 gallon plastic buckets, cardboard, paper and plastic packaging and stuffing. By separating out and utilizing the recycle dumpster, the general debris dumpster is now collected every other week, not every week..."
Although there is an initial cost of getting the recycling dumpsters, "in the long run, the monthly savings of diverting trash pays down the ROI quite rapidly."
Biden’s pick for Energy Secretary expected to bring together cleaner energy, job creation.
From State Impact - Pennsylvania: As a former governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm helped lead efforts to bail out the auto industry, including offering government incentives to invest in electric vehicle technology. Her proponents hope that she will also have a positive impact as an Energy Secretary. The department’s duties range from leading energy research to overseeing the country’s nuclear weapons stockpile security.
“She has a way of looking at energy issues that ties in the environment, climate and economics and jobs,” Susan Brantley, a distinguished professor of geosciences at Penn State, said. “I think it’s an inspired choice, because none of these choices are in a vacuum.”
In Pennsylvania, a state that is one of the top producers of natural gas and coal, some groups are feeling cautious. In a statement, the American Petroleum Institute says they’re ready to work with the incoming administration on climate change. But, the group says they’ll be watching to ensure Biden keeps campaign promises to protect energy industry jobs in states including Pennsylvania.
Looking for the next great thing for your lock down viewing? Check out these environmentally friendly movies recommended by SEEDS
The Lorax (Family) 86 min on Netflix
The forest-dwelling Lorax has to stop the short-sighted Once-ler from ruining the environment for profit in this adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic.
The American Prairie Reserve is assembling land in northern Montana, with the goal of creating a seamless 3.5 million acre grassland habitat. When they reintroduce bison to the landscape, both the ecosystem and local people benefit.
Thomas Jam Pedersen, engineer and co-founder of Copenhagen Atomics, was skeptical at first upon discovering and reading about thorium energy, which is present everywhere in the world and could technically provide an inexpensive energy supply for everyone for a thousand years. While the world is still heavily relying on fossil fuels, thorium energy and nuclear reactors, which reuse nuclear waste, are now part of the energy debate, proposing a pollution-free solution that could provide an unlimited supply of fuel for the next millennium.
SEEDS Disclaimer: SEEDS does not necessarily support the theme of this Ted Talk, but instead, being an organization focused on education, it supports innovation and discovery that might bring our world closer to sustainability. If our readers have comments or opinions about this, we would love to hear them. Please send us an email with your reflections to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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