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Life Lessons and Beekeeping

August 29, 2012

I walked down the street in the summer heat, wearing long sleeves, pants, sneakers and socks and mumbled the mantra “you can do this.” I received a call from the man I was about to meet. He asked me a peculiar question.

“You didn’t eat a banana today, did you?” said Jimmy Johnson, founder of Narrows Botanical Gardens and an avid beekeeper.

I was on my way to spend an afternoon as a beekeeper, and fortunately I had not eaten a banana that morning. Johnson said when a colony of bees feels they are in danger, they release pheromones, chemicals that smell similar to a banana.

“Remember, Lindsay, the calmer you are, the calmer they’ll be,” Johnson said as we each zipped up our white, one-piece suits. We looked as though we were about to blast off in a NASA shuttle to outer space, not beekeeping in a conservancy.

Johnson and I used recycled paper to light a smoker, which would “smoke out” the bees. Johnson explained how smoke calms the bees, allowing us to open up the beehives and get to work.

And I thought I’d be the one that would need to be calmed down.

The verdant grounds teeming with life around us were very settling. We were tucked away in an area of the botanical gardens reserved for the hives, a chicken coop and a turtle sanctuary. I felt lost in nature in Brooklyn.

Lindsay E. Brown spent an afternoon as a beekeeper, tending to 4 beehives. / Lindsay Brown

Once the smoker stayed lit, Johnson handed me a pair of heavy-duty gloves and asked that I take off any rings. “If you get stung on your finger,” he explained, “your finger will swell up and we’d have to cut off your ring.”

Johnson and I helped each other zip up the masks around our faces, and with our rings now off, we headed toward the four hives. Johnson reminded me not to make any sudden movements or loud sounds, as it would agitate the bees.

Johnson smoked out the first hive, and, using a hive tool, we pried the box open. This was tricky, since the sticky honey had glued the parts together.

The bees were tranquil, moving about as though they weren’t even aware of our presence. They looked beautiful clustered together, and the noise of their buzzing was soothing.

Transfixed on the hundreds of bees in front of us, I immediately understood why beekeeping has become popular.

Bees are tasked with performing one of the most critical naturally occurring acts our food system relies on; one in every three bites of food a human takes was once pollinated by bees. But bees are also peaceful and complex little creatures, despite their reputation as short-fused stingers.

Caring for bees is cathartic.

The hives are separated by frames, which allow for easy maintenance. We used a frame puller to extract the frames from each of the four hives, so we could inspect them to ensure each is healthy.

Johnson discovered a few beetles, which he said could harm the hives. He crushed them with his hive tool.

“I want you be on the lookout for those guys,” he said. “We can’t have them in the hives.”

Each frame held a densely packed matrix of beeswax, otherwise known as honeycomb. Johnson said the bees use beeswax to store food — honey and pollen — and to house the brood, or the eggs.

“Oooh, look at this one,” said Johnson as he inspected a frame. “Look at all the brood on this one!”

The ivory-colored bubbles on the slide indicated the bees are healthy and creating more bees. This is vital to the hive, since the average bee only lives 28 days.

Johnson and Brown looking for the queen. / Lindsay E. Brown

I helped Johnson scrape the beeswax off several frames. The wax would later be donated to Green Earth Gardens, which makes Brooklyn Bee Balm.

Once we were through inspecting one of the frames, Johnson asked me to retrieve his bee brush so he could gently brush off the bees. On my way back to the hive he said, “Come back here, but don’t startle the bees.”

Johnson held up his glove-covered hand. “A bee just stung my glove. The stinger is releasing the poison into my glove right now.”

I asked if it’s true that they die right after they sting. “He’s a goner now,” said Johnson.

Cooling off on my walk home, after several hot hours in the suit, it occurred to me that a bee’s short existence could hold a life lesson.

Bees work hard, live with purpose and peacefully co-exist.

This Week’s Top Eco Stories

August 3, 2012

by Lindsay E. Brown

9 Apps To Help You Make Better Food Choices For Yourself And The Planet
The actual task of grocery shopping is no easy feat. Once you’re there, the endless choices and marketing spin in your face can be overwhelming. We feel your pain.

Simply download these apps to help you make healthier, informed choices for your family so you can drop all the good stuff in your cart that does the least amount of harm to your body and the environment.

TransCanada Gets Key Go-Ahead for Final Southern Leg of Pipeline Project
The Washington Post examines the most recent update to the pipeline project: the one section of Keystone XL that has earned approval. After President Obama told agencies to “cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority . . . and get it done,” the Army Corps of Engineers has issued three permits to TransCanada that allow the Canadian company to start laying pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast.

Natural Products for Dog and Cat Lovers Who Want a Healthy Home
Any pet owner knows that it can be hard to keep a home or apartment free of pet odors. They can bring dirt into the home, shed, sometimes even leave you a surprise on the carpet or floor.

But you love them anyway.

Clean + Green makes a series of all-natural pet stain and odor removers that work well without harsh chemicals or perfumes. The products are made with ingredients that and are non-toxic, biodegradable, and will not damage the ozone layer. The packaging is even 100 percent recyclable.

How to Save Mothers’ Lives
Today the global health policy summit in London will address topics ranging from noncommunicable diseases to ageing societies to maternal-health. Just a few years ago, it was said that every minute of every hour of every day, a woman died in pregnancy and childbirth. Even though the number of deaths have halved, there is still work to be done. A session on maternal-health will assess lessons learned and the next critical steps to take so as to reduce maternal mortality.

Caffeinated Seas Found Off U.S. Pacific Northwest
Off the Pacific Northwestern coast, scientists have detected unusually high levels of caffeine in the ocean. The likely culprit is unmonitored septic systems. Experts say the discovery is evidence that contaminants in human waste are entering natural water systems, and its consequences for wildlife and humans are unknown.  

11 Easy to Save Flower Seeds
In the mood to spread some seed love this summer? Collect seeds responsibly from some of the most commonly found flowers in gardens. This post offers 11 videos to show you precisely how.

 

Have a tip you’d like us to include in our next roundup? Tweet @LauraSeydel and @LindsEBrown using hashtag #EcoRoundup

Photo Credit: Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Image.

Obama Backs Big Oil in Alaska

May 25, 2012
  1. Last night my digital media classmates and I had twenty minutes to create a Storify story. It was my first time using the site. Here’s what I came up with, unedited.
    Shell will commence drilling off the coast of Northern Alaska in July, a move which has many questioning whether the President has fossil fuel producers’ best interests at heart.

    The New York Times takes a deeper look into the people who would suffer should there be an oil spill: the Inupiat Eskimos.
  2. The Obama Administration pleased environmentalists by delaying the controversial Keystone Pipeline decision, but this recent move has activists and organizations up in arms, taking the cause to social media sites and to blogs spread the word virally.
  3. Obama fielded questions like this one from Earth Justice during his live Twitter chat on Tuesday.
  4. Earthjustice
    @WhiteHouse Pres. Obama, do you stand with Big Oil or do you stand with more than 1 million Americans who say no to Arctic drilling? #WHChat
    Thu, May 24 2012 18:38:11
  5. On May 15, the Sierra Club along with 10 other environmental organizations delivered over 1 million comments to the President, urging him to protect the Arctic’s polar bears.
  6. Protesting wasn’t merely accomplished online, hundreds of anti-drilling activists swarmed the White House on Tuesday in an attempt to be seen and heard, and urge Obama to protect America’s Arctic.
  7. The BP oil spill — which happened just 2 years ago and dumped an estimated 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico — is a reminder that everybody pays when we drill.

Heroines for the Planet: Future Weather Director Jenny Deller

May 22, 2012

jennydeller copy

Photo: Bob Persenaire.

This interview was originally published at Eco-Chick.com.

Future Weather centers on 13-year-old Lauduree, who fears the collapse of both her family and the planet. Writer/Director/Producer Jenny Deller chose to explore the complex issues of climate change through “the lens of a family drama,” as she put it, as opposed to a documentary. I had the opportunity to see the film and get to know Jenny, and I was moved by this powerful drama and the woman behind it.

Coming off the heels of Future Weather’s successful world-premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, Jenny and I chatted about the inspiration behind the film, climate change and the media, and what she hopes viewers will take away from her film.

Lindsay: It must have been thrilling to premiere Future Weather at the Tribeca Film Festival. What was that experience like?

Jenny: This is my first feature film, so to have it debut at a world-class festival like Tribeca was a dream come true. And of course, to walk into a New York City movie theater and see your movie on the screen is just an incredible feeling—a little surreal.

Jenny-Deller-Eco-Chick-2Jenny Deller
Lindsay: Can you tell me about the article you read which inspired Future Weather?

Jenny: It’s called “The Climate of Man” and was written by Elizabeth Kolbert for the New Yorker in 2005. My mom gave it to me in 2006, and I was immediately absorbed. It chronicles an incredible amount of scientific evidence from around the world that points to signs of warming due to anthropogenic rises in CO2. I’ve always had an emotional connection to the environment, so I found this to be overwhelming. It made me question my whole way of life and my future. I felt very scared and alone and completely powerless. This was before Al Gore’s movie came out, and no one was talking about the issue.

Lindsay: Lauduree’s character mirrors the fragility of the environment she’s so fixated on. Why did you decide to approach global warming through the lens of a 13-year-old girl?

Jenny:  To be honest, when I first decided to write a script that I would also direct, the 13-year-old girl came first. I was inspired by the young adult novels I’d read as a kid and wanted to tell an honest story about a girl who survives abandonment. What does it take to pull through a potentially damaging experience with your soul intact? I knew Lauduree spent a lot of time outdoors and had a math and science bent, so when I learned (soon after starting the script) how urgent global warming had become, it made perfect sense to pull this issue into Lauduree’s awareness. Particularly when her story of abandonment was the perfect metaphor for what we’re doing to future generations if we continue to live as we do.

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Lauduree played by actress Perla Haney-Jardine

Lindsay: Why do you feel climate change is under-reported in mainstream media? And do you hope Future Weather will not just entertain, but change, the public’s perception of the realities of our environment’s health? 

Jenny:  There’s a lot of information coming out now about major campaigns sponsored by corporate interests to generate doubt about the validity of climate science and to suggest that global warming is just an opinion—and a highly politicized one at that. This strategy has been extremely effective in mixing people up, and creating a skepticism and mistrust around the issue. I also think global warming is a very difficult situation for people to grapple with. It’s a danger that’s hard to see and quantify, particularly because it involves something that’s typically volatile—weather—so it doesn’t trigger our emergency response. It seems too far in the future to affect us. Another problem is that the cultural position of scientists is very tricky; it’s a profession founded on rationalism. Scientists are just supposed to present evidence, not become involved in social causes—even though they’re the canaries in the mine-shaft and policy-makers are not heeding their warnings. Scientists like James Hansen have gotten a lot of flack for turning to activism. And lastly, global warming is tagged as an environmental issue vs. a human issue. My hope is that the three generations of women who come of age in Future Weather will move people to begin to confront their own worst fears of a warming planet—the anxiety and anger and helplessness, the conflict between responsibility and self-fulfillment. Until we evolve emotionally, I don’t think we’ll be able to change. Another hope is that Lauduree renews young people’s interest in science, which I think will play a critical role in adapting to climate change. I also really hope that Future Weather helps people understand that our lives are inextricably connected to our habitats, our environments. If they go, we go.

Lindsay: You actually used the money you made from an acting gig to begin developing Future Weather back in 2006. What was the most challenging aspect of creating this independent film? And how were you able to raise the necessary funds?

Jenny:  The biggest challenge was, and still is, pulling the funding together. It took several years of writing and rewriting for the script to break into a sphere where it could attract the right cast and collaborators. But that did not translate into enough funding to fully finance the film. The project did win several grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Women in Film, and we also secured several equity investors. But Kristin Fairweather, my producing partner, and I have had to get really creative with funding and take a lot of risks to keep the project moving forward. We’ve done everything from selling recycled tote bags on our website to fundraising house-parties. We always joke that we’re like traveling salesman. Even now, we’re in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign to raise finishing and sales funds. It could just be that this piecemeal approach is part of the new paradigm of independent filmmaking.

Future Weather eco chick 3

Lindsay: How were you and your team able to translate the environmental message of the film into the choices made during the shooting?

Jenny: We tried to keep our goals basic and realistic since we were working on a shoestring and didn’t have the manpower to dedicate one crew-member to overseeing our sustainability efforts. After reading about how much plastic is floating around our planet, I decided I didn’t want plastic water bottles on set. We replaced them with metal canteens that our PA’s refilled with iced tap water. Our actors stayed at the only LEED-certified hotel in Philadelphia. We were able to get an excellent deal with a caterer who cooks with local and organic ingredients and uses compostable serviceware. An amazing Philly bakery, Betty’s Speakeasy, donated their homemade locally-sourced treats a few days of the shoot. And we partnered with an incredible company called Philly Compost who provided us with composting bins and daily pick-up service for our food scraps. Local green business are forging new paths, so they’re incredibly entrepreneurial—a great match for scrappy independent filmmakers!

Lindsay: What are three things you hope viewers will take away from Future Weather?

Jenny:  The healing power of being able to let go, trust and love.

Lindsay: If you’re so inclined, please help Jenny and team reach their goal on theirKickstarter campaign.

This Week’s Top Eco Stories

May 22, 2012

This roundup was originally published at LauraTurnerSeydel.com. (5/16/12)

Get the Lead Out (of Your Garden)
It’s that time of year to break out the garden tools and get to work on your gardens. With the out-of-season warmer weather, many of you may have even gotten a jump-start weeks ago! But beware: Many toxic chemicals may be lurking in your garden, and the culprit(s) may surprise you. A recent study found that more than 70 percent of common garden gadgets contained hazardous chemicals.

Hawaii’s Beaches Are in Retreat, and Its Way of Life May Follow
You might consider taking that Hawaiian vacation you’ve been day dreaming about sooner rather than later. According to a recent United States Geological Survey report, most of the beaches on Hawaii, Maui and Oahu are eroding quickly, and have already lost about 9 percent of their beaches over the past century.

What’s the Real Difference Between Cage-Free and Pastured Eggs
These days, there’s no shortage of big brands trying to win us over with catchy slogans, ads and packaging intended to make us feel as if the product were produced humanely and naturally. But how do we really know? Watch this beautiful video, which tells you exactly how to know if your eggs were raised humanely.

Willing to Pay (A Little) More for Clean Energy
A new study out from Harvard and Yale found that the average U.S. citizen would pay $162 more annually to support a national policy requiring 80-percent clean energy by 2035. A summary of this new study can be found here.

How ETSY is Changing the Way We All Do Business
We’ve long been big fans of ETSY here at LauraTurnerSeydel.com. Recently, I bought all of the decorations I needed for a bridal shower through the site and was blown away by the quality of the products as well as the customer service. By choosing to purchase products from local artisans, we help support a fair economy and we build relationships with producers. There’s a story to each item we purchase, and that means something this day in age.

Saudi Arabia to Unleash Solar by Investing $109 Billion
The desert country is the world’s largest exporter of oil, and has decided to capitalize on their country’s sunshine with plans to invest $109 billion in solar capacity by 2032. King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy said that it plans to turn the nation into the “Kingdom of Sustainable Energy.” “The main objectives of the program is a reduction in oil burned for power production as well as the establishment of a local solar industry and the creation of jobs.”

Must-Pack Items for an Eco Getaway
Taking a long weekend escape soon? Or maybe you’re simply looking for a good sunscreen or swimsuit to kick off the season. Well look no further: Here are a few healthy sunscreens, swimsuits and shades to keep you safe and eco-chic this summer.

Have a tip you’d like us to include in our next roundup? Tweet @LauraSeydel and@LindsEBrown using hashtag #EcoRoundup


Photo Credit – Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Empowering Women, After the Genocide: New Article on Eco-Age.com

April 21, 2012
I’m thrilled to be a new contributor to Livia Firth’s Eco-Age.com. In addition to being Oscar award-winner Colin Firth’s wife, she created the Green Carpet Challenge, just- launched the worldwide Eco Age boutique, as well as a new jewelry collection, and she’s a documentary filmmaker to boot. I had the pleasure of interviewing Livia for my “Heroines for the Planet” series back in February right after the Oscars.Here’s my first article for Eco Age on the women building Rwanda back up 18 years after the genocide swept their country.

Between April and June 1994, an estimated 1,000,000 Rwandans — men, women and children — were killed in the space of 100 days as part of a civil genocide. As is common in these types of massacres, women in particular endured unimaginable violence. The UN Commission on Human Rights estimates that between 250,000 and 500,000 females (women and girls) were brutally raped.

Time doesn’t heal every kind of wound. Eighteen years later, the brutality that swept through Rwanda still affects its people. An estimated 70 percent of female survivors who were raped during the conflict were infected with HIV, and between 2,000 and 5,000 unwanted pregnancies resulted from the mass rapes. Emotionally traumatized, Rwandan women became heads of households, widows, and caretakers of orphans, living in both poverty and despair. Sixty-two percent of households headed by women fall below the poverty line.

When survival preoccupies the mind, there’s no room to dream or heal.

But the tides are changing for Rwandan women. Rwanda’s President, Paul Kagame, has been an outspoken advocate of empowering women as part of the country’s reconciliation efforts. At the Clinton Global Initiative this past Fall, I listened to President Kagame speak on a panel titled “Engaging Boys and Men as Allies for Long-Term Change,” where he called on countries to scale up efforts to empower women. The President practices what he preaches.

Under his leadership, women now represent an estimated 56 percent of the Parliament and one-third of the cabinet. It’s an indication that, with the right support in place, Rwandan women hold a unique position to be a vital part of Rwanda’s recovery.

Designs of the center, scheduled to open in 2013, Kayonza, Rwanda.

One such project toward that end is that of the Women’s Opportunity Center in Kayonza, Rwanda. Scheduled to open on International Women’s Day in March 2013, the facility will be a permanent space for women, thereby advancing progress toward gender equality and social inclusion for Rwandan women.

The concept for the Center was conceived by Women for Women International, a Washington, D.C.-based NGO, to serve as a dedicated center for vocational and life-skill training, micro-lending, counselling and other services intent on helping to educate and prepare Rwandan women for economic independence. Sharon Davis Design, a New York architecture firm and key player in the project, was asked to develop design strategies in order to implement the vision and support WfWI’s mission to serve women and girls in Rwanda.

The 12-month program at the Women’s Opportunity Center will be a haven for building solidarity among Rwandan women, allowing them to draw upon the skills gained through WfWI’s training and use those skills within their communities.

“Our life skills training program is the initial empowerment tool and the WOC. facilitates its sustainability,” said Karen Sherman, WfWI’s Executive Director of Global Programming.

For the center, the design team sought to create an inviting atmosphere that would foster both participation in programming and discussion about the students’ past traumas. Samuel Keller of Sharon Davis Design elaborated on the Center’s design:

“We spread out single-story buildings across the site, which allowed for a campus that was simultaneously accessible and unintimidating. Since almost all the structures are completely open-air, attention was given to ensure adequate shading and day lighting while encouraging cross-ventilation for climatic comfort. Our design team reconsidered and re-imagined mostly local materials including masonry (brick and stone), light tube steel section, corrugated roof sheeting, etc. Along with consulting engineers, we developed strategies for rainwater harvesting, composting human and animal waste, and generating fuel (composting toilets, biogas) and various other sustainable technologies.”

The design of the center was cleverly used to both teach and to solve the region’s pressing environmental concerns. Since water scarcity remains a paramount issue, roofs were designed in the shape of big leaves that collect rainwater.  To help decrease the amount of over-harvesting of timber for fuel, a demonstration farm within the Center will produce food and animal waste for methane-based biogas.

The design team’s hard work and sacrifice isn’t lost on WfWI.

“Our experience with Sharon Davis and her team of architects have been nothing less than phenomenal,” said Sherman. “Her pro bono support and architectural expertise has been invaluable to the construction of the Kosovo and Rwanda Women’s Opportunity Centers. The designs of the WOCs not only break new ground in terms of the space and the visibility it offers women, but also as models of environmental sustainability.”

Women for Women International required the general contracting company responsible for the principal construction of site to employ at least 20 percent women in their own labor force for the project. Additionally, all ceramic paving tiles used for walkways and gathering spaces will be produced and provided by women from Women for Women International’s program in nearby Congo.

The project manager, Bruce Engel of Sharon Davis Design, now lives in Rwanda in order to better understand and interface with the local population that the Women’s Opportunity Center is meant to serve.

“The goal of the project from the get-go was for Rwandan women to be involved in the Center’s creation,” said Keller. “With that in mind, Sharon Davis Design helped WfWI establish a brickmaking co-op near our site in Kayonza to produce masonry units for both the Women’s Opportunity Center and other future building projects in the area. This co-op is intended to continue on well beyond construction of the Women’s Opportunity Center, offering an on-going cooperative business and income opportunity operated largely by women.”

With each brick that’s laid and woman who takes steps toward financial independence through this project, the old wounds heal. Time will never erase those 100 days, but empowered Rwandan women will ensure their country is reborn so it never happens again.

This Week’s Top Eco Stories

April 19, 2012

Former President Bill Clinton. AP Photo.

This special Earth Day edition of our weekly eco roundup takes a look at some serious issues from around the globe, while keeping things lighthearted with some fun articles you’ll enjoy during Earth Week.

Captain Planet Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary of Annual Earth Day Kids Fest 
Laura and the Captain Planet Foundation celebrated its 10th Annual Earth Day Kids Fest on Saturday. Children learned how to become stewards of the planet at the action-packed event, which included education stations, live animal encounters, canoeing, a musical performance, and so much more.

In honor of the 10th Anniversary, Captain Planet is combining forces with the Earth Day Network (EDN) to promote the ‘Billion Acts of Green’® campaign. Already, 499,578,824 global citizens have committed to their act of green! Will you? Register your act of green today here!

The Keystone XL is Back on the Menu. Again.
Here comes trouble. House Republican leadership is maneuvering to force approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline on legislation extending federal transportation funding for another 90 days.

We’ve covered Keystone, and published Ted Turner’s terrific Op-Ed on the pipeline, so we’ll stay on top of this one as things progress.

Bill Nye the Science Guy Explains Why the City of the Future is Bike-Friendly
Luminary Bill Ny The Science Guy explains his vision for a world more accommodating of bikes and bikers in this video you’ll want to watch.

Oil from Deepwater Horizon Spill Still Causing Damage in Gulf 2 Years Later, Scientists Find
The BP oil spill — which dumped an estimated 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico — is still wreaking havoc, quietly. As these types of disasters tend to go, the media gave the story an exorbitant amount of attention, and then, well, sort of dropped it.

Sure, BP spent 14 billion on the cleanup. While that sure is a lot of money, the company was bound to pay, and biologists are finding lingering — even growing — damage throughout the Gulf.

We think this part of the BP spill story needs to start picking up again.
Countdown Until Earth Day With Timepieces from Sprout Watches 
The makers of sleek-looking, eco-friendly, and affordable men’s, women’s and kid’s watches will plant a tree for every watch sold on their site in honor of Earth Day. The company is one of our Friday favorites, and we love its mission to source sustainably and give back to Mother Earth.

Arctic Climate Change Opening Region to New Military Activity
Governments are preparing for international fights over the Arctic’s resources that have thus far remained locked beneath the polar ice caps. As warmer temps continue to thaw that Arctic, the world’s military leaders have their eyes on the prize, and it could get ugly.

Bill Clinton Is Headliner at Sustainability Enclave
Political and business leaders are gathering in New York City to explore energy efficiency in buildings and other topics at the Sustainable Operations Summit at the Hilton Hotel today and Thursday. I’ll be attending tomorrow, will listen in on several sessions including Bill Clinton’s and Trudie Styler’s, and I’ll be sure to report back!

U.S. Army Renewable Energy Development Lab to Build Fuel Cells, Hybrid Vehicles in Michigan Facility
The U.S. Army opened a 30,000-square-foot laboratory in Michigan dedicated to cutting-edge, alternative energy technology for powering military vehicles. Officials said new energy research is necessary to save money and to keep soldiers safe. The new laboratory is part of the Obama administration’s initiatives to create a greener U.S. military intended to benefit the environment and improve fighting capabilities.
Coca-Cola Drums Up Water Stewardship Awareness for Earth Day
Although we don’t advise drinking soda products, we do think Coca-Cola’s partnership with River Network to donate more than 1,000 syrup drums for reuse as rain barrels in communities all across the country is worthy of recognition. The syrup drums — which will be repurposed as rain barrels — will capture rainwater and help reduce stormwater pollution. It’s estimated that the new rain barrels will help replenish 60 million gallons of water each year.
( Article submitted to the {Wednesday Roundup} by @laurencoppage – Thanks Lauren!)

Have a tip you’d like us to include in our next roundup? Tweet @LauraSeydel and@LindsEBrown using hashtag #EcoRoundup

Photo Credit : AP