Friday, January 12, 2018 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
January is National Hot Tea Month. Takes the Chill off and can be helpful when it comes to better Health, especially if you Green Up Your Tea! It’s an easy #1THING you can do!
Here are a few ways thanks to the Sierra Club! Enjoy and help Mama Earth at the same time!
Buy loose-leaf tea: Opt for loose leaf tea over disposable tea bags, which use carbon-intensive packaging materials. Many tea bags also contain polypropylene mesh, which can take several years to degrade. Additionally, bagged tea is often machine processed, producing a larger carbon footprint than loose leaf tea, which tends to be hand-picked. If you do purchase tea bags, make sure they’re biodegradable and unbleached. Avoid bags with staples, strings, or tags.
Minimize your water footprint: Only pour enough water to fill your cup to avoid wasting energy boiling what you won’t drink anyway. If it’s safe, use local tap water to brew your tea.
Cold-brew your iced tea: It not only tastes sweeter and smoother than traditional hot-brewed iced tea, but it spares the energy needed to boil your water, relying mainly on an already-running appliance—your refrigerator.
To cold-brew your own iced tea, add about 1.5 times the amount of tea you’d normally use to a pitcher. Pour in cold water, add a lid, and let sit in the fridge for about 4-10 hours. White teas, green teas, and flat oolongs need less time to sit, while rolled oolongs require more time. Herbal infusions and black teas usually need to sit the full ten hours. Strain and enjoy.
Repurpose tea leaves: Most of us know to reuse tea leaves or tea bags for our next cup of tea, but their use extends beyond the kitchen. The high nitrogen content in tea leaves makes them the perfect plant food, which does double duty by helping repel insects and other pests. When transferring a plant to a pot, line the bottom of the pot with used tea bags before adding soil. The tea bags will help retain water and release nutrients into the potting medium.
Dried tea leaves also make fantastic deodorizers. Toss some in the litter box or dog house to remove pet odors. For all-over freshness, sprinkle and gently crush some dried leaves over your carpet. Wait about 10 minutes, then vacuum.
Choose eco-friendly labels: As you would with coffee, buy brands labeled “USDA organic” and “Fair Trade Certified.” To earn the USDA’s organic seal, farmers must not have used synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers for at least three years. Meanwhile, although fair trade certification primarily ensures that farmers are paid a just price for their crop, it also has environmental side effects. In return for providing good working conditions and fair wages, producers get paid more for their tea. As a result, famers need less land to support themselves and their families, leaving more land available for natural habitat.
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
Here’s the 1THING JANUARY 2018 FEATURED ORGANIZATION CHOSEN BY ENTERCOM AUSTIN!
Here’s an easy 1THING you can do more Hiking during 2018 which will help your health, and can also keep Mama Earth healthy. Thanks to the American Hiking Society. AHS supports First Day Hikes, January 1st, a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. Find out more here…and what AHS does throughout the year! Try doing 1THING to help out the ATX area, which is part of the Big World we all live and share. Mama Earth is extremely important! Let’s do what we can to make her healthier!
AMERICAN HIKING SOCIETY:
Amercian Hiking Society was founded in 1976, and it’s the only national organization that promotes and protects foot trails, the natural areas surrounding them and the hiking experience. AHS is the national voice for hikers. Hitting a trail is good for your health, and connects you with the natural environment. AHS represents millions of hikers who believe the preservation of hiking trails and their environments is important and a legacy worth leaving for future generations.
American Hiking Society is a supporter of First Hikes Day w/ the America’s State Parks. It’s held each year on New Year’s Day (1/1/18) with hundreds of free, guided hikes happening in all 50 states. Find out more about the AHS Mission, Core Values and First Hikes Day and other events AHS supports throughout the year.
AMERICAN HIKING SOCIETY:
Mission: Protect the Places You Love to Hike
AHS champions conservation issues, builds public and private partnerships, supports volunteer stewardship, and provides critical resources to help plan, fund, and develop trails.
AMERICAN HIKING SOCIETY’S CORE VALUES:
The Intrinsic Value of Hiking:
Hiking has long been an important outdoor activity, whether as a means of exploration, exercise or reflection. The act of setting foot down a path through natural areas provides unparalleled opportunities to build the human spirit, improve physical fitness and increase environmental awareness. Hiking offers all Americans a healthy, enjoyable and relatively simple way to deepen their connections to nature, people and place.
Conservation through Recreation:
As a national conservation-based recreation organization, AHS work in partnership to build, maintain and protect hiking trails and their natural corridors. This allows current and future generations to experience the many joys and benefits of hiking and are inspired to protect this legacy.
AHS programs are built around the concept of fostering and supporting trail stewardship and the public lands through which they travel. AHS accomplish this by promoting a sense of responsibility and culture of service among their individual members and member organizations and in the hiking community at large.
AHS support construction and maintenance of trails that limit hikers’ impact on the land and require minimal attention to maintain the integrity and safety of the tread. They promote Leave No Trace ethics to ensure that natural ecosystems and trail environments remain viable and healthy.
Through adaptability, responsiveness and a commitment to continuous improvement, AHS will remain a dynamic and relevant national organization. Their work is results-oriented, partnership driven and integral to the viability, success and future of their constituents – the hiking community.
AMERICAN HIKING SOCIETY ADVOCACY:
Since 1976, American Hiking Society has worked with Congress, federal agencies, and many recreation and conservation partners on policy issues and legislation to ensure funding for trails, preservation of natural areas, and protection of the hiking experience Click here
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
American Hiking Society are part of the First Day Hikes nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outdoors. On January 1st, New Year’s Day hundreds of free, guided hikes happen in all 50 states. Kids and adults across American will participate, getting their hearts pumping and enjoying the beauty of a state park. Click here for more and to find a Hike closest to where you live.
National Trails Day on June 2, 2018! Another one of several successful events the American Hiking Society supports! Click here for lots more. https://americanhiking.org/
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
1THING featured organization for the month of December is Pure Earth. Thanks to our sister cluster Entercom Seattle. Pure Earth helps bring attention to the growing problem of ‘Pollution’, and raises awareness and ways to help stop the waste. Here’s the breakdown of what we’re all up against, when it comes to ‘Pollution’ and how it’s harmful to our lives… literally….
What’s the Problem?
Toxic pollutants at contaminated sites affect the health of more than 200 million people worldwide. Women and children are especially at risk suffering neurological and immune system damage and an early death. The number of people affected is comparable to HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined. Plus, solving pollution problems usually promotes, rather than inhibits, economic growth. Yet, pollution is one of the most under-reported and underfunded problems in the world.
Why Support Pure Earth?
Pure Earth is an international non-profit organization dedicated to solving pollution problems in low- and middle-income countries, where human health is most affected by pollution. Pure Earth devises clean-up strategies, empowers local champions and secures support from national and international partnerships. Since its inception in 1999, Pure Earth has completed more than 80 clean-up projects in 20 countries. This has reduced exposure to toxins for local populations, especially children.
Pure Earth’s Current and Completed Projects
How can you help?
- Share Pure Earth’s posts on social media. Use Twitter @PureEarthNow, Facebook, and LinkedIn to raise the profile of toxic pollution, which disproportionately kills those in low and middle-income countries.
- Make a donation. Better yet, organize a group of coworkers to make donations. Ask your employer to match it.
- Join the Pure Earth Corps of volunteers. Work solo, with a group of colleagues or friends, adopt a project, and raise funds.
- Host a “Toxic Cocktail Party” educational event. Pure Earth does the work; you create the guest list. Artisanal “toxic” cocktails are created just for you!
- Stay informed. Read The Pollution Blog and sign up for Pure Earth’s Newsletter.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
It’s always great for Mama Earth if you can do #1THING. If you’re looking at your carpets, thinking they need a good cleaning for the holidays / New Year! Well, there is such a #1THING as Eco-Friendly carpet cleaning … ZEROREZ.
Patented Green Technology:
- Green Products – Zero soaps or detergents, safe for you, your pets and family.
- Electrolyzed Oxidative Water – Our patented system “Empowered Water” FDA Approved – EPA Registered – Leaves Zero dirt attracting residues behind. Carpets stay cleaner longer.
Zerorez carpet cleaning is effective cleaning with safe, non-toxic solutions. As a leader in green cleaning technology, their pre-spray is OMRI listed. OMRI stands for “Organic Materials Review Institute” and is the highest standard when it comes to anything organic. Not only is this pre-spray safe, it also contains no soaps, detergents, or surfactants in order to provide the highest standard: no residue carpet cleaning. The cleaning process is also Platinum rated by the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval program (CRI Platinum SOA).
Click here for lots more! It’s #1Thing that also makes ZEROREZ Green in ATX!
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
We waste around 133 BILLION POUNDS OF FOOD in just the United States. It’s 31% of our total food supply that end up in landfills, release methane and contribute to climate issues. Trying to avoid food waste w/ too many leftovers after the Thanksgiving meal. Try one of these helpful ideas. It’s #1Thing that helps the environment in which we live, and it helps save money by not over buying.
- Food Calculator : the food calculator from the National Resources Defense Council, helps you determine how much food you will need.R
- Refrigerator Thermometer: 75% of us have our refrigerators runing too high. This makes at least 4.2 million tons of food waster. Getting a separate one to put in the frig is extremely helpful
- OLIO: This is an app that https://olioex.com/about connects neighbors & local businesses so extra food can be shared instead of thrown away.
- Copia: Another app for small volumes of leftovers. The app schedules pickups of your extra food by certified food handlers who deliver it to local nonprofits in need.
- Fruit & Veggie DisK: These help extend the life of fruits & veggies.
More here! Have a Happy & More Green Thanksgiving / Holiday Season!
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
I didn’t realize that plastic straws are so scary, until I saw these numbers.
- Americans use over 500 million straws every day. And a large portion of those straws end up floating in the ocean’s giant garbage patches, or eaten by animals.
- An estimated 71% of seabirds and 30% of turtles have been found with plastics in their stomachs
Those numbers are Scary and Sad… But something Happy has happened in Seattle thanks to the #StopSucking campaign. In September, Seattle became the 1st major city to ban plastic straws. By next summer the city won’t allow restaurants and other business to offer them. This change, just in Seattle, is expected to keep around 1 Million plastic straws out of the landfills, beach and waters per month!!!
#StopSucking campaign which has helped create a law in Seattle to ban plastic straws is backed by the Lonely Whale Foundation. #StopSucking is a similar idea as banning plastic bags, which is the case in ATX. It’s so much nicer not seeing plastic bags in trees and all over the place flying around! What if we could do the same #1Thing w/ plastic straws. There are such things as reusable straws, which you can use, wash and reuse. You could keep it in your car like you do the reusable bags. When you order that Whataburger Thick Chocolate Shake, you are prepared w/out trashing up Mama Earth!
The Lonely Whale Foundation has ways we can #StopSucking to help ATX stop trashing our landfills and waters w/ plastic straws.
- You can vote for which city you would like to see do this. ATX is on this list. I voted. You can too.. right here.
- You can challenge your family & friends to ‘#StopSucking through social media . Click here.
- Send a #StopSucking tool kit to managers / owners of your favorite bars, restaurants and businesses in the ATX area that use plastic straws. Find out why #StopSucking is important and other options that can be done & used to replace the plastic strawless. Go Plastic Strawless! Click here.
I didn’t think much about using a plastic straw and tossing it until I saw a video that showed some researchers who were trying to save a turtle by getting a straw that was stuck in his nose out. It’s hard to watch, but it does make you realize where plastic straws can go, and the harm they are doing. Click here!
Not having plastic straws lying around in our landfills and floating around in our waters, will help a whole lot. A huge 1THING in ATX that can be done. An easy one too! #StopSucking! #GoPlastciStrawless #SpreadtheWord
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
Thanksgiving will be here before you know it… Thursday, November 23rd! You could make it extra special doing #1THING to make your Thanksgiving more Eco-Friendly. A Big thing for Mama Earth, and one of the best holiday gifts ever! Shannon shared some Sustainable Tips that will be helpful to do #1THING for Thanksgiving this year! Check them out… Have a Happy, Safe & Green Thanksgiving! Enjoy w your family/ friends! #1THING
Thanksgiving is a time for many of us to gather with family and friends. Your Thanksgiving meal and the activities that go along with it present many opportunities to be sustainable and eco-friendly:
- When shopping for your Thanksgiving meal, keep two words in mind: organic and local. These keywords will guarantee a fresher, more nutritious meal.
- Set the table with cloth napkins and reusable dishes, glasses, and silverware. Consider renting more formal tableware that you might not use very often. Also save and reuse decorations.
- After holiday festivities, put leftovers in recyclable containers, and share them with family, friends, or others.
- Where possible, compost leftover food scraps, leaves, and grass clippings.
- After the meal, fill your dishwasher to capacity before running it. You will run fewer cycles, which saves energy.
- Wash and reuse empty glass and plastic jars, milk jugs, coffee cans, dairy tubs, and other similar containers that would otherwise get thrown away. These containers can be used to store leftovers.
- Show your guests where to put recyclables such as aluminum, glass, and plastic beverage containers.
- Avoid placing hard, thick, or waxy food scraps down the drain. These materials can clog the pipes or damage garbage disposal blades and send parts of your sink to the landfill before their time.
- Buy products in concentrate, bulk, or in refillable containers. Many items are available in these sizes. They reduce packaging waste and can save you money! Combine waste reducing practices, such as buying coffee in bulk and storing it in your leftover empty coffee cans.
- Instead of firmly planting yourself in front of the TV for the day, consider getting some fresh air or playing a board game. Take advantage of the time together with friends and family while decreasing your energy usage.
- If you going away from home for the holidays, to save energy, turn down your thermostat and put lights on timers.
- November is an excellent time of year to conduct neighborhood food or clothing drives to help those in need.
Friday, October 20, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality During Healthy Lung Month
Emily Walsh, Community Outreach Director for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, recently contacted us here at [1THING] and was kind enough to guest write a great feature article for Healthy Lung Month. She has some interesting information about indoor air pollution and offers ways to improve the air quality in your home and office, which can also improve your health. Check out what she recommends:
Though it’s what most are aware of, outdoor land and air pollution like that from exhaust and industrial waste are not the only factors impacting the health of the environment, which in turn affects the health of our bodies. Indoor air quality is composed of the number, or lack-thereof, of pollutants, both natural and man-made, that contaminate the air of homes, workplaces, and other enclosed buildings. Americans spend on average 20 hours per day indoors where they are inhaling oftentimes stale, unfiltered air, so it is essential that those spaces are just as clean and pure as we hope and expect our outside air to be.
Indoor air pollution can lead to multiple health issues from simple eye, nose, and throat irritation, to pneumonia, cancer, and even death, dependent on what one is exposed to. Mold growth, for instance, can cause respiratory issues and enhance the effects of asthma or COPD for those who already suffer through those afflictions. Meanwhile something seemingly minor like cooking and heating the home with solid fuels (wood, charcoal, peat, pellets, etc.) is attributed to 4.3 millions premature deaths each year. Identifying recurring symptoms like dizziness or headaches while in your home or place of work is the first step to combating and preventing a serious health hazard. However, some illnesses like mesothelioma, caused by asbestos exposure, don’t develop noticeable symptoms for years, so taking steps to improve air quality is recommended no matter the current state of your health.
Often produced from what is brought into the home, pollutants come in the form of particulate matter, toxins and chemicals. Ultimately, improving indoor air quality comes down to source control, and improving or installing a ventilation system. Sources like dust collecting in a long pile carpet, pollen from flowering indoor plants, second-hand smoke, or an unnatural ingredient in an air freshener have simple fixes of cleaning more often or removing certain products from the building. Other sources, however, are more complicated and may require renovation. Mold is usually caused by water damage or a leak; asbestos is found in old homes where products containing the mineral are deteriorating; and radon is most often a result of a leak in the basement and requires a pipe to reroute the gas away from the home. If symptoms persist even after finding what you believe is the source, natural ventilation like opening windows, or a more costly approach like an HVAC system may be necessary.
We only have one body and one life, so take notice of any changes to your health when you move into a new home or office, or start frequenting a new building. Indoor environment is equally as important as outdoor when it comes to health.
Community Outreach Director
Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance
Monday, October 16, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
This is #1Thing that is Big Time Important when it comes to keeping Mama Earth / Austin area Clean! If you have left over medications, don’t toss them in the trash or flush them down the toilet. Keep them from getting into our land fills and bodies of water that will create problems w/ just about everything in the eco-system.
It’s hard to know what to do w/ them. There is ‘National Prescription Drug Take Back Day’ which is Saturday, October 28th from 10am-2pm. I have disposed of my expired prescription medications the past few years when I found out about this day. You can find drop off locations closest to you in the ATX area. Click here!
I also found out more cool #1Thing 411! Austin has 2 secured Drop-off Kiosks! wanted to spread the word.
Is your medicine cabinet filled with drugs or medications you no longer use? Expired prescription or over-the-counter drugs? Proper disposal of medicines prevents poisoning of children or pets and misuse of medication… also the poisoning of our Eco-System. This 1Thing is a HUGE HELP! We should all do this!! Here’s the 411 on the Drop-off Kiosks-
Drop-off Kiosks – What items can be disposed of?
Only medications from individuals can be accepted. Inventory from pharmacies or healthcare facilities is not accepted. Disposal bins are secured to the floor and double-locked.
- Pills, tablets, capsules
- Blister packs
- Creams, ointments, lotions
- Inhalers, nebulizer
- Liquid medicine (no more than 4-oz.)
- Needles, syringes
- Vitamins, supplements
- Home-based care equipment
- Aerosol spray cans
- Alcohol or hydrogen peroxide
- No schedule I/illegal drugs
Travis County Constable Precinct 5
1003 Guadalupe St., Austin, TX 78701 Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
(short-term parking is available in the parking lot)
Forty Acres Pharmacy
100 W. Dean Keeton St., Austin, TX 78712 Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
(parking available in garage behind pharmacy)
Click here for lots more 411! Try this #1Thing! A Huge Help to Keep Austin Beautiful along w/ Mama Earth!
Tuesday, October 3, 2017 | By Heather Rivera | No Comments
October is Vegetarian Awareness Month
Happy Vegetarian Awareness Month! If you’ve been toying with the idea of going meat-free, this month is the perfect time to start. Vegetarian diets have proven health benefits, save animals’ lives and help to preserve the Earth.
- Reduce the risk of major killers such as heart disease, stroke and cancer while cutting exposure to foodborne pathogens
- Provide a viable answer to feeding the world’s hungry through more efficient use of grains and other crops
- Save animals from suffering in factory-farm conditions and from the pain and terror of slaughter
- Conserve vital but limited freshwater, fertile topsoil and other precious resources
- Preserve irreplaceable ecosystems such as rainforests and other wildlife habitats
- Decrease greenhouse gases that are accelerating global warming
- Mitigate the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture
If you are a vegetarian and want to educate those around you, Vegetarian Awareness Month is a great time to raise awareness and encourage friends and family to join you in adopting a vegetarian diet. Here are some easy ways to do that:
- Make a list of your favorite vegetarian restaurants, or those that serve favorite dishes, for your friends and family—or take them to one of them to see (and taste) for themselves.
- Share some of your favorite vegetarian recipes with your friends and family members. Give them a recipe list, or make them one of your favorites and attach the recipe to it.
- Are you a gardener? Need to get rid of the last of your summer produce to make room for your cool season crops? If so, give those you love a basketful along with recipe and meal planning ideas. Not a gardener? Then shop at your local farmers’ market and give them a basketful from there.
- You can also organize a produce swap. This can be with friends and family or with other gardeners, to increase their awareness about the number of produce varieties to choose from.
If you are not a vegetarian, here are some tips for you:
- Observe Meatless Monday. This is a growing trend, and is a perfect way to kick off the month by eating meat-free for Vegetarian Awareness Day. You can also try to do this throughout the month and have a variety of vegetables to keep your diet interesting.
- Educate yourself about the nutritional benefits of a vegetarian diet and find out the other ways that it can benefit you.
- Go for one whole day as a vegetarian and tell friends and family you are doing this.
- Host a meatless meal or potluck with your friends. This will help all of you get more tasty recipe ideas and become familiar with different veggies.
- When you dine out, try the meatless options and encourage your friends to do the same.
The North American Vegetarian Society is giving non-vegetarians an added incentive to go meat-free. Pledge to go meat-free during Vegetarian Awareness Month and you’ll have the chance to win up to $1,000. Even just one day will make you eligible for the drawing.
Non-vegetarians who pledge to abstain from all meat, fish and fowl will be entered in a random drawing for cash prizes. Click here to find out all the details.