Saturday, January 31, 2015

Spring Education Internship, Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro, NC
Spring Education Internship, Greensboro Science Center, Greensboro, NC

Author: Alison Manka

The Greensboro Science Center is looking for qualified interns for a spring 2015 Education internship. Education interns will learn about all aspects of informal education that take place at our facility including school and public programs, SciQuarium presentations, and special events such as the NC Science Festival. This internship is appropriate for those seeking a profession in formal/traditional or informal/nontraditional education fields. To begin February 2015 or as soon as possible.

Spring semester interns will learn about and assist with programming offered in a museum setting including informal science programs and school programs. Education interns will have the opportunity to create their own education based projects and complete assigned projects while providing support for education staff. Additionally, interns will present informal talks to the public at exhibits in the SciQuarium. This internship has an emphasis on building public speaking skills, audience engagement, and education.
On-site work can be arranged around the intern’s class schedule. Education interns are typically on site a minimum of two days per week, 4 hours each day. Weekday morning availability is required.
The start and end dates for this internship are flexible.
Martha Regester, Director of Education
Alison Manka, School and SciQuarium Programs Manager
Preference is given to applicants majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Education, Physics, Environmental Education, etc.
Interns must complete all intern paperwork and pass a background check.
Application Process
To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and list of 3 people who can provide professional references for you (you do not need to submit the actual references) to as soon as possible. No phone calls please. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Internship opportunities are unpaid and housing opportunities are unavailable.
Due to the large number of applications we typically receive, only selected applicants will be contacted for interviews.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Iceberg spotted off Salter Path

Coastal Crescent Trail


Coastal Crescent Trail – a new alternate hiking option

The North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation and the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (FMST) are pleased to jointly announce the naming of the Coastal Crescent Trail, an additional option for hikers seeking to walk across North Carolina.
The Coastal Crescent Trail, a new hiking option developed by FMST, will serve as an option in eastern North Carolina until the Mountains-to-Sea State Trail (MST) is completed along the planned route, which connects Smithfield, Goldsboro, Kinston and New Bern, following the path of the Neuse River. The newly named trail provides a guided way for hikers to explore communities and natural and historic sites in the ecologically unique and scenic lower coastal plain in Johnston, Sampson, Cumberland, Bladen, Pender and Onslow counties.
“We thank our valued partner, the FMST, for their continued commitment to the MST. The Coastal Crescent Trail allows through-hikers to complete their trek across the state,” said Mike Murphy, director of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. “Without the FMST’s help in creating public awareness and in maintaining the trail, the MST would not be the outstanding attraction that it is.”
In addition to the Coastal Crescent Trail, other alternatives include N.C. Department of Transportation bicycle routes, as well as a paddle trail along the Neuse River through Johnston, Wayne, Lenoir and Craven counties.
FMST will be releasing trail guides for both the Neuse River paddle trail and the Coastal Crescent Trail in 2015. They will be available online at FMST’s website: North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, with the support of the FMST, remains committed to helping communities along the planned route of the MST to further develop the trail. The division is also committed to exploring additional community interest in trail development, including trails that connect to the MST, at both regional and local scales across the state. As part of that effort, the division, with input from the FMST, local government agencies, other partners and the public, is in the process of writing its master plan for the MST. As part of the planning process, a meeting will be held with communities along the new Coastal Crescent Trail to assess their interest in the trail. To learn about or provide input into the master planning process, visit
The Mountains-to-Sea State Trail links Clingman’s Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge State Park on the Outer Banks. A project of the North Carolina State Parks System, there are 608 designated off-road miles of the 1,000+mile route. The trail is envisioned as the backbone of a network of hiking, paddling and multi-use trails which easily connect to local and regional trails and greenways. Eventually, the trail will link 33 of North Carolina’s 100 counties and offer local access to 40 percent of the state’s population.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Plastics by the numbers

A handy guide for recycling your bathroom 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Textile recycling

Textile recycling options abound no matter where you live. Textiles are defined by as “any cloth or goods produced by weaving, knitting or felting.” That is a pretty wide category, so this article we will focus on how to recycle clothing. If you are interested in how to recycle other types of textiles, such as fabric or rags, check out our other articles on Recycling clothing is a pretty big topic itself. According to the nonprofit Council for Textile Recycling, the average American disposes of 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles every year. That adds up to about 3.8 billion pounds of (sometimes perfectly good) textile waste that is thrown away annually. Even though clothing is pretty easy to reuse or recycle — even if it is stained or damaged — 85% of our textile waste ends up in landfills. In fact, 5% of everything that heads to U.S. landfills and incinerators is textile waste. There is a better way! You can donate your clothing to a thrift store, repurpose it yourself or give it to someone who will recycle it. Almost every community has some way to recycle or reuse clothing and other textiles. How to reuse clothingClothing is very easy to reuse. Thrift stores are always on the lookout for clothing, since many of them sell more clothing than anything else. Even if your town does not have a thrift store, it may have a donation box placed there by a charity or other clothing reuse organization. It is best to wash clothing before you place it in a donation bin, since most charities cannot clean items before they hang them on their racks. But whatever you do, make sure all your textiles are dry before you drop them off. Wet textiles can get musty or moldy, and one piece is enough to spoil everything in a storage bin. If your charity of choice chooses to bale your old clothing and ship it overseas (a common practice), any wet clothes within the bales can breed bacteria, which has been known to cause the bales to spontaneously combust. To ensure your clothing will be reused, you can also sell it yourself through a garage sale or clothing swap — both practices that have become more popular in recent years. To host a clothing swap, gather friends will similar tastes and sizes and ask them to bring clothing and accessories they no longer want. There are lots of articles with expert advice on how to host a clothing swap online. Here is one from Real Simple magazine. How to recycle clothingClothing and other textiles that cannot be reused get recycled in several ways. One is technically a reuse option: Clothing that is unsuitable for the American market gets compressed into giant bales and shipped overseas. Summer clothing goes to hot climates in Africa and South America; winter clothing heads to colder places like the mountainous regions of Asia. Thrift stores and private individuals bale clothing for recycling. Another way to recycle clothing is to cut it into rags, which are used to clean cars and machinery. Check with local thrift stores to see if they make rags (also called industrial wipers); see if a private company near you does it; or ask your mechanic if they cut rags from old textiles. Certain retailers, including trendy H&M and outdoorsy The North Face, will take back clothing and other textiles for recycling. In some cases, they may even give you a discount on future purchases. To see if the company that made your garments accepts its clothing back for recycling, check its website. Curbside clothing recycling programs are becoming more common, says an article in USA Today. Worcester, MA, works with the local Salvation Army chapter to do curbside clothing pick-up. Issaquah, WA, collects it in partnership with its local waste hauler. Many of these programs will also accept accessories like shoes, belts, purses and bags, so if your community has a clothing pick-up program, see if you can send them other items as well. If you look hard enough, you may find someone who will pick clothing and other textiles apart and turn them into new products, but this is rare. It takes specialized machinery to shred clothing, and it must be cleaned if it is intended for further human use, meaning the ways to use that textile “fluff” are limited. For more on how clothing and other textiles get recycled, check out this handy infographic from the Council for Textile Recycling. How to repurpose clothingUpcycling clothing into new designs is a popular trend right now. Hundreds of designers cut up clothing like old sweaters, jackets, skirts and other items; combine them with textiles like lace and yarn; and turn them into new clothing, accessories or even household items. For ideas on how to upcycle your clothing into uniquely cool designs, check out websites like All Free Sewing or one of my personal favorites, New Dress a Day. If you just want to purchase upcycled clothing, check out Etsy, the popular marketplace for artisans. My Oly Girl’s beautiful skirt made from old sweaters and Curious Orange Cat’s tunic dress made from button-down shirts and vintage lace are just a couple examples of the beautiful designs that await you.

                    About the author Sophia Bennett is a freelance writer based in Eugene, OR. Her work has been featured in more than a dozen magazines, newspapers and blogs. She is a dedicated home recycler, an avid thrift store shopper and a huge compost nerd. Sophia's other professional experience include six years with the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, an internationally recognized leader in the field of nonprofit waste-based business development, and a year as an economic development and recycling coordinator in the U.K. She's volunteered with the Oregon State University Extension Service Compost Specialist program and Willamette Farm and Food Coalition. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, reading, crafts, gardening and spending time with her husband and twin daughters.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The List: 6 Ways I’ve Convinced My Kids to Live with Less

Written by
Living with less stuff has its benefits.

This was the first year in awhile when I didn’t feel totally overwhelmed with the influx of new stuff after the holidays. I took my own advice and we did a big purge of my daughters’ bedroom and playroom, clearing out toys, stuffed animals, and other stuff they no longer played with.

It feels so good to look at those rooms and not see overwhelming heaps of toys that I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to try to instill a more minimalist attitude in my children, and help them to appreciate living with fewer toys, clothing, and other consumer goods. It’s better for the environment since purchasing and discarding fewer things reduces the demand for raw materials that ultimately end up in a landfill. Even better, a minimalist lifestyle helps kids adopt many beneficial and healthy attitudes, including living within one’s means and not needing to buy things to be happy.

These are some of the first steps I’ve taken.

  1. No more dollar-aisle bribes. It used to be that a day running shopping errands inevitably meant that my kids would beg for (and, with good behavior, receive) a cheap toy from the dollar aisle. It would make them happy for an hour or two, then it would break or I’d find it gathering dust under the bed the next time I’d vacuum. Sure, they’re only a buck or two, but their cost goes far beyond this in the raw materials and energy used to manufacture and transport it.

  1. Regular purges. I aim to spend an hour or two each month sorting through and organizing toys, clothing, and art supplies, weeding out what’s broken, outgrown, and out of favor. These items will be recycled or donated.

  1. Letting them earn some cash. I recently joined a Facebook group of local moms who use the group to buy and sell kids’ stuff. I used it to sell some of my kids’ old toys that were still in good shape, and I’ve given them the money. Although their first instinct was to run to the dollar store with their earnings, I’m taking the opportunity to teach them about saving for bigger things… my eldest has even opened a bank account to save money for flying lessons when she’s old enough!

  1. More activities. I’ve always admired the idea of giving kids experiences rather than gifts, but I’ve also worried that mine, who are used to mounds of presents under the tree, would be disappointed. This year, however, we tested these waters in a big way by giving them tickets to see the live tour of their favorite television show, Wild Kratts. They were thrilled with the gift and did not notice at all that there were only a few other small gifts from Santa. Another family gift was membership to our local state parks, with the promise that this year we’ll do more camping, hiking, and water activities. Kids need to be taught to appreciate the experience and the memory, rather than stuff, and I’m looking forward to this challenge.

  1. Regular trips to the library. When I was growing up, our visits to the library were the highlight of my week. We didn’t have mega bookstores with coffee and toys, so if I wanted to read the latest Nancy Drew, I’d borrow a copy from the library rather than buy it. I’m distressed to realize that my eldest daughter hasn’t inherited my love for the library; she’d much rather buy a book than borrow one. But she’s also a voracious reader, and we’d go broke keeping up with her habit if we bought every book she wanted to read.

  1. Pare down wardrobes. My kids share a room, and a dresser and closet. This means there’s not a lot of room for clothes. But really, each kid has a few favorite things she likes to wear regularly, and those outfits in the bottom of the drawer rarely see the light of day… partly because if the drawer is chock-full, it’s hard to see what’s under the first few layers. I plan to weed through their wardrobes regularly, donating what’s unworn and outgrown, and keep only a few weeks’ worth of outfits, pajamas, and undies. And in the future, I’ll invest in just enough to keep their drawers and closet manageable, and so they’ll have enough outfits to last until I do the laundry.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Junk Mail Opt Out

 Tired of Junk Mail?  Here are ways to stop receiving it.

Junk Mail Opt Out        

Let's Get Started Getting Rid of Junk MailPhoto of a stack of junk mail.

Unsolicited or unwanted mail, often called "junk mail"can be a nuisance for you, while also using up valuable natural resources and contributing to pollution and litter problems.  Although much of the junk mail is accepted in most local recycling programs, junk mail that is not recycled depletes precious landfill space.  Now you can take control of your mailbox and help to protect our environment.

How Did I Get on These Mailing Lists?

Every time you provide your name and address to receive a product or service, there's a good chance you are being added to one or more mailing lists.  When you buy a car, have a baby, make a purchase from a catalog, give money to a charity or fill out a product registration card, your name and address will likely be entered into a computer database and sold to bulk mailing companies.

How Do I Get Off These Lists?

On the left side of this page are links to information about how you can stop a significant amount of junk mail from being mailed to you.
Web Content Display Web Content Display

Sunday, January 25, 2015

How to Create Furniture From Rotting Trash

How to Create Furniture From Rotting Trash

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Unpaper Towels

Friday, January 23, 2015

NCSU Pizza Boxes Composted


By North Carolina State University in 2013

Thursday, January 22, 2015

10 Things You Never Knew About Your Garbage Man

Did you know this respected profession goes back to at least 3000 B.C.? Here are 10 interesting things from more recent history that you may not have known about your garbage workers:

  1. 1350 A.D. – The first garbage men got their jobs when England passed a law requiring front yards to be clean after nearly 25 million people died during an outbreak of the plague. These first garbage workers were called Rakers.
  2. 1388 A.D. – English Parliament banned the dumping of waste into ditches and public water ways.
  3. 1757 A.D. – Benjamin Franklin started the first street cleaning service.
  4. 1760 A.D. – The Industrial Revolution hits it’s stride and so did an increase in industrial waste production.
  5. 1785 A.D. – England passed the Public Health Act to guarantee public health and protection from sewage and industrial waste.
  6. 1920-1940’s A.D. – First modern garbage truck was developed. The Garwood Load Packer was the predecessor to almost all waste collection vehicles today.
  7. 1934 A.D. – The Supreme Court banned dumping waste into the oceans.
  8. 1937 A.D. – First Landfill opened in the United States in Fresno, California.
  9. 1940’s A.D. – The United States emerged from WWII as a world industrial super power and the average amount of waste produced increased by 67%. Good thing the waste management industry was ready to go into high gear.
  10. 1990’s A.D. - Present – Advances in technology led to new ways of managing waste including Reducing the need for, Reusing, and Recycling many items. These advances continue to produce cleaner cities and neighborhoods

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

If Walls Could Talk

‘If Walls Could Talk…': Creating A Living Wall Using Vertical Gardens

Can’t find that perfect piece of artwork for your walls? Why not try some plants?
Vertical gardens, also known as living walls, pack a dramatic one-two punch in your home. From a design aesthetic, you can design living piece of artwork (as large or as small as you want), with whatever plants and colors suit your fancy. For a healthy home, perhaps nothing can purify your indoor air quite like a living wall.  Plus, what’s more fun than an interactive piece of artwork!
Houseplants have been well documented in their uncanny ability to filter and remove toxins that can stealthily accumulate in your indoor air. The research started when astronauts needed to live in the space station Skylab, clearly without operable windows for letting in fresh air! NASA’s Dr. B.C. Wolverton found that common houseplants were excellent air scrubbers, removing 107 everyday toxins.
No green thumb? No problem!
Vertical gardens
Vertical Succulents. Image courtesy of FarOutFlora.
Before you start complaining that you don’t have a green thumb, though, consider this – some of the most effective plants to purify the air are also some of the hardest to kill. Low light, lack of water, and no fertilizer are not going to necessarily be a death knell to the plants that you’d want to use in a living wall.
Just as important as your physical health, is your mental health, too. Houseplants have been known to increase happiness, as well as reduce stress and anxiety based on a myriad of scientific studies.
So, why not gather a grouping of these indestructible plants and add them to your wall?
  • A variety of modular systems can be purchased to create vertical gardens. Most require that you buy the plants on your own at a local nursery.
  • If you’re concerned about choosing the right types of plants, don’t be.
  • Ask a gardener or your extension agency what plants will do well in a vertical garden indoors or outdoors.
  • Most greenery sold as houseplants will suffice, as do succulents. Or consult Dr. Wolverton’s book, How to Grow Fresh Air.
Options, options and more options
Wooly Pocket uses 100% recycled plastics to create a variety of vertical gardening and living wall systems that can be used indoors and outdoors. The molded plastic or soft sided felt pouches attach to a wall or even over a fence or railing for a swath of green that is sure to brighten your home.
Bambeco creates modular systems from recycled plastic and reclaimed wood, while My Pots and Planters has a variety of art pieces ready for you to add plants, including wine crate frames and ones with a chalkboard surround for jotting down names of plants used in a vertical kitchen herb garden.
Calling all DIYers
Of course, it is easy to create your own vertical gardening system, too. All you really need is a frame, some plastic and a way to keep the plants from falling out of the frame. Decoist shows a variety of DIY living walls that use materials such as recycled pallets, chicken wire, or a wooden crate for stunning, unique works of beauty.
Artwork doesn’t have to just ‘be’.  Create a living canvas in your home with a vertical garden.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The List: 5 Tricks to Making Freezer Meals Worthwhile

The List: 5 Tricks to Making Freezer Meals Worthwhile

Written by
Stock your freezer and save time and money with this efficient meal-planning concept.

Many of my busy mom-friends are excited about the concept of freezer meals: You spend a few hours assembling a bunch of meals, and then later you need only to pull them out of the freezer and throw them in a pot or the slow cooker for an easy dinner on a busy night.
And really, done right, this is a super-efficient and environmentally responsible way of cooking. You’re doing all the prep work at once, so you’re cutting down on the number of dishes you would be washing nightly. You can take advantage of bulk grocery purchases, which uses less packaging, and you might even require fewer gas-wasting trips to the supermarket since you’ve done one big shopping trip. And, best of all, you’ll save lots of time each night since really all you need to do is cook the meal.
There are plenty of resources with recipes for these make-ahead meals. One of the most popular is Once a Month Meals, a paid membership that gives you access to a month’s worth of recipes, and includes meals for special diets like Paleo, vegetarian or gluten-free. But there are plenty of free options, too, if you just search for “freezer meals.” I found options from Southern Living, Cooking Light and the blog Living Well Spending Less (which promises 10 meals that only take an hour to assemble).
If you decide to try your hand at stocking your freezer, use these tips to ensure that your efforts are environmentally responsible.
1. Make sure your groceries do double-duty. Choose recipes that share some ingredients, so that there’s less waste when you have to buy perishables like bags of carrots, bunches of herbs, or blocks of cheese. If you belong to a warehouse club, freezer meals gives you the chance to take advantage of the larger packages of meat sold. Buy those big containers of chicken thighs or ground beef; you’ll be able to get several different meals from them while you take advantage of the cost savings and the minimal packaging of buying such a big quantity.
2. Invest in reusable freezer containers. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve overcome my dependence on disposable bags and tupperware — so much so that my daughter’s packed lunches are nearly always entirely waste-free! — and I try to carry that through to meal prep, too. While freezer bags take up less space in the freezer and minimize the amount of air that comes in contact with the food, I prefer to use reusable food containers. To avoid freezer burn, be sure to use a container that’s just the right size for the food inside, and consider pressing a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the food to keep it away from air. Also, if you’ve cooked something before freezing make sure to cool the food completely before putting it in the freezer. And don’t forget to label! I’m a fan of the erasable food labels, which can be used again and again.
MORE: Check out great food storage containers in One Twine.
3. Use recipes that have an energy-efficient cooking method. Many freezer meals are stews or casseroles, which makes them great candidates for cooking in the slow cooker. Luckily, the slow-cooker can be more energy efficient than an electric oven. Also don’t overlook pressure cookers, which can cook the type of stew-like recipes that are best in a slow cooker, but in a fraction of the time that they’d cook on a conventional stovetop — making them one of the most energy efficient cooking methods around.
4. Join forces with a friend. Not only is it more fun to hunker down in the kitchen with a buddy, but it can also be more efficient and economical! Choose to make the same set of recipes, and you’ll be able to maximize the use of ingredients, so you’ll waste less.
5. Keep a list of what meals are in the freezer, and EAT THEM! Make a list, along with heating or cooking instructions for each, and post it on your freezer so you know exactly what’s in there. That way you’ll avoid rummaging around in the freezer to see what’s in there, while precious cold air escapes. As you eat the various meals, cross them off the list. Above all, if you’ve gone through the trouble to prepare the freezer meals, don’t let them languish in the freezer, uneaten. Frozen foods do eventually deteriorate and lose quality or texture – Once a Month Meals estimates its meals are best eaten within three to six months — so don’t let your hard work go to waste.
Enjoy the convenience of your freezer meals, and when they’re all eaten, head to the kitchen and make some more!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Holiday Schedule

Our Administrative offices will be closed Monday, January 19, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. The Tuscarora Landfill, Newport Transfer Station and Grantsboro Transfer Station will operate on their regular schedules.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Holiday Schedule

Our Administrative offices will be closed Monday, January 19, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. The Tuscarora Landfill, Newport Transfer Station and Grantsboro Transfer Station will operate on their regular schedules.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sea Turtle Exploration Teacher Workshop

Sea Turtle Exploration Teacher Workshop

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher presents Sea Turtle Exploration: a curriculum to help educators engage students in the fundamentals of STEAM through ready-to-use, standards based lesson plans and sea turtles. Join us on Saturday, March 7 for a hands-on teacher workshop to guide you through our new curriculum and website.
In addition to the curriculum, you will learn about additional resources such as weekly blog posts that will be made during the school year. Topics will include: species profiles, aquarium staff spotlights, behind-the-scenes videos, new lesson plans and more. You can even follow the growth of Aquarium hatchling sea turtles by visiting the blog each week!
Aligned with the new Common Core standards, your class will be able to “adopt” a turtle and learn about its care and growth. By adopting our sea turtle you will receive weekly updates with information including the turtle’s current weight and length. Each class will also receive a certificate of participation.
By the end of the workshop, you will be familiar with the website, curriculum and how to implement the lessons in your own classroom. The workshop will include a behind-the-scenes tour in our new STAR Center.

Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 1:00 - 4:00pm

Location: North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island
$10 per person
For additional workshop information, contact Megan Ennes at  910-458-8257 ext. 234

Duration 3 Hour

Friday, January 16, 2015

7 ways to upcycle a broken mirror

7 ways to upcycle a broken mirror

Mirrors are not recyclable because they're made from chemically treated glass. Here's what to do if your mirror ever has a little accident.
Photo: Bruno Girin/Flickr
We all know that breaking a mirror is said to bring on bad luck, but personally, I’m much less concerned about a supposed seven-year slump than I am about the fact that I can’t recycle all those reflective shards. That’s right: Mirrors are not recyclable, because they’re made from chemically treated glass. So what’s a person to do if ever their mirror has a little accident? Well as it turns out, all sorts of things! Like ...
1. Mosaic: This is the most common, and most obvious, project choice for a broken mirror. The reflective effect is just lovely, on photo frames, DIY disco balls, table tops, garden stepping stones, and anything else you can imagine. Homemade mosaic is actually very easy. All you need is a pair of tile nippers, an adhesive, and some grout. For inspiration, check out this amazing mirror mosaic fence on Hometalk. Why not go all out when installing a fence?
2. Backsplash: Similar to mosaic, you can use your mirrored pieces to create a unique backsplash in your kitchen, bathroom, or even along a windowsill. The size of the space will depend on how much you have to work with, but you can always mix in pieces of glass or tile, or you can use the mirrors in a small, accent area. I love that with this backsplash project I have the option of either doing it myself or working with a Portland tile contractor.
3. Compact: Use a little mints tin, or any other small container, to make your own custom compact. Just glue a piece of the mirror to the inside of the top, then decorate the outside however you like. You can even store an eye shadow or lip tint in there. It is just perfect for a girl on the go.
4. Portable hand mirror: Even easier than a compact, you can make an asymmetrical hand mirror that slips easily into your purse. Just start with a nicely shaped piece of mirror. For a decorative backing, find a pretty picture or — if you want to get whimsical — a handwritten poem, cut it to fit the mirror, and glue it onto the backside. You should use self-hardening craft clay around the edges to prevent any poking. This is a simple craft but it would make a great girly gift. You also can use a piece of a broken mirror to make a not-so-portable wall mounted mirror, like the one that our friend Donna from My Sweet Things made. Check out her medallion mirror tutorial.
5. Ornament: Just the same as the hand mirrors above, but in this case you can glue festive wrapping paper to the backs of each piece. Instead of craft clay, use thick glittery puff paint to soften the edges. Finally, affix a pretty ribbon to the top, and you’ve got yourself a gorgeous ornament. Another excellent gift!
6. Diorama: Continuing with the holiday theme, you can use larger pieces of glass to act as “frozen ponds” in the table-top town scenes that are so popular around the holidays. Make sure to protect the edges if you’ll be doing this project with children.
7. Wind chime: Mirror glass makes a perfect wind chime because the gentle clinking sounds so lovely, and because it also doubles as a sun catcher, snatching up rays of sunlight and scattering prisms everywhere. You can also bring it inside and use it as a pretty mobile. Without any wind it wouldn’t make noise, but hung in front of window it would still send rainbows across a child’s room.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

New North Carolina Certified Environmental Educators Recognized at Recent Ceremony

N.C. Environmental Education News Tips
EE News Tips is environmental education newsletter of the North Carolina Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs.

New North Carolina Certified Environmental Educators Recognized at Recent Ceremony

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources recently recognized 223 educators who have completed a comprehensive certification program in environmental education. This accomplished group of individuals truly reflects the diversity of educators in the North Carolina Environmental Education Certification Program, as it includes nature center and museum educators, naturalists, teachers, park rangers, academics and many other professionals in the private and public sectors.
The honorees were all smiles!
The program is administered by the Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and is a partnership between DENR, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, Environmental Educators of North Carolina, the N.C. Association of Environmental Education Centers and the Wildlife Resources Commission.

Honorees and guests from around the state attended a Nov. 22 ceremony at Embassy Suites in Cary. The keynote was given by Pat Simmons, 

Pat Simmons, incoming director of
of the N.C. Zoo, gave the keynote
(and it was great). 
former director of the Akron Zoo and the new deputy director and chief operating officer for the N.C. Zoo. She is slated to become the N.C. Zoo director in 2016. 

Simmons thanked the honorees for their dedication and challenged them to continue their innovative collaborations that bring nonformal educators and classroom teachers together to educate children and adults about our state's natural resources. Her sentiments were echoed by Bill Cobey, Chairman of the State Board of Education, and Beverly Vance, Section Chief of K-12 Science for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Chairman Cobey noted: "The fact that we are honoring both classroom teachers and nonformal educators tonight is proof of the important partnership between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Public Instruction in promoting environmental literacy in our state." 

Guests and honorees were able to see the premier of this short film that explains the certification program from the first-hand experiences of four certified educators. The film was created by Martin Kane with the Division of Parks and Recreation.

Vimeo link: )

A slide presentation featuring quotes from more than 40 honorees was also shown during the ceremony and can be viewed on the Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs website.

Other special guests at event included DENR Secretary John Skvarla, Wildlife Resources Commission Executive Director Gordon Myers, Division of Parks and Recreation Director Michael Murphy, Environmental Educators of North Carolina President Dr. Brad Daniel and North Carolina Association of Environmental Education Centers President-elect Sarah Kendrick.

The North Carolina Environmental Education program was the first of its kind in the nation and has served as a model for other states following North Carolina’s lead. The North Carolina Environmental Education program establishes standards for professional excellence in environmental education while recognizing educators committed to increasing environmental literacy. Individuals must complete 200 hours of professional development to be certified, which includes 70 hours of instructional workshops, 50 hours of outdoor environmental education experiences, 30 hours of experiences that promote awareness of the state’s environmental education resources and 30 hours of teaching experiences. 

The program also requires an environmental education partnership project that addresses a need in educators’ communities. These projects have had far-reaching impacts on communities throughout the state, providing projects such as interpretive trails, recycling programs, school and community gardens, outdoor classrooms and even small ecological restorations. Examples of these projects can be viewed on the EE Certification blog.

For more information about the program or to enroll, visit

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

3 Natural Laundry Practices

Home Electronics Disposal