Thursday, June 30, 2016

Beach Keepers clean-up event

Jennifer Cannon @JCannonNBSJ                           
Help make the Crystal Coast even more pristine on July 5, in a public Beach Keepers clean-up event along Bogue Banks. Call 252-247-4003

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What Can I Do with Old Sports Equipment?

Because You Asked

Because You Asked: What Can I Do with Old Sports Equipment?

Written by Recyclebank .
Even if you’ve retired from a sport, your gear might still have life. There are plenty of places that will reuse or recycle used equipment.

Dear Recyclebank: What can I do with old sports equipment? Is any of it recyclable? Andrew C.

Dear Andrew: Whether you or your kids have lost interest in the sport or outgrown old equipment, there are plenty of ways it can be put to good use after you’ve retired from the game. There are several organizations that accept donations of gently used equipment, which they then pass along to kids and organizations who don’t have the means to buy their own (after all, all those balls, protective gear, and other accoutrements don’t come cheap!).

“Donating sports equipment offers it a second chance to touch lives, rather than resigning it to a landfill forever,” says Robbie Palmisano, a Duke University student who founded All Kids Should Play in Baltimore, MD, when he was a high school senior. “If someone donates just one basketball, that’s twenty more kids who can play the sport of basketball.” The benefits of giving less privileged kids the opportunity to play sports, he says, include learning cooperation, trust, and discipline, which leads to a greater likelihood of succeeding in school and a lessened chance of getting involved in dangerous activities.

The donations shipped to or received locally by All Kids Should Play are distributed to groups and organizations that are in need of the equipment. Most equipment is welcomed, with the exception of football helmets (for liability reasons) and skiing equipment (for lack of demand as well as storage issues).
Palmisano says that anything that cannot be used is forwarded to the local recycling center, which breaks down the parts into recyclable materials.

Another similar organization —also founded by teens — is Let’s Play it Forward in Westchester, NY. They accept shipments from all over the U.S. and are particularly in need of jump ropes, Frisbees, Wiffle balls and bats, and ball pumps and mitts. The gear received is donated to organizations in need across the U.S. and abroad. You could also consider sending that gear to Leveling the Playing Field in Silver Spring, MD, or Pitch In For Baseball, in Harleysville, PA.

If you’d rather keep your gear within the community, a post on a community message board or a site like Craigslist or Freecycle might find you an eager recipient. You might even make a few bucks by selling it to Play It Again Sports or another sports resale shop.

If your gear is not in usable condition, you might be able to recycle it, although some equipment is hard to recycle because it is comprised of mixed materials. Bike helmets or other kinds of helmets might be able to be repurposed or recycled. Uniforms can be contributed to a textiles recycling facility. And there’s even a recycling center for tennis balls that have lost their bounce!

With all these options, your sports gear just might be able to stay in play, rather than being relegated to the landfill.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Musicians Gone Green

 Musicians Gone Green
musicians gone greenHave you been to a concert lately? Anyone with eco-friendly sensibilities will no doubt note the complete lack of regard most rock bands show for the environment, what with their flashy light shows, pyrotechnics, stacks of amplifiers, and gas-guzzling tour buses. And considering the rampant waste and pollution that most bands produce along the way, you might be wondering how you can possibly support your favorite musicians without feeling guilty throughout the set. But there are plenty of independent recording artists and bands out there looking to green up their act along the way, and they’ve found some truly incredible ways to cut waste, conserve, and do their bit for a brighter tomorrow. Here are just a few of the bands that are making a change and some of the many ways they’ve found to reduce their carbon footprint.
For starters, there seems to be a revolution surrounding the use of biodiesel buses. Apparently, “An Inconvenient Truth” conveniently turned heads in the music industry, prompting some to switch from the heavy-polluters of old to transportation worthy of a new era. Sheryl Crow, Barenaked Ladies, Guster, Maroon 5, The Roots, Radiohead, and Willie Nelson are just a few of the big names to stop their gas-guzzling ways while on tour and make the switch to alternative-fuel vehicles. But some take it a step further. Thom Yorke of Radiohead has gone out of his way to conserve fuel when the band tours, even going so far as to purchase equipment in other countries rather than having it flown overseas. And Willie Nelson actually developed his own brand of biofuel, dubbed BioWillie, that is primarily made of soybeans (take that, Monsanto!). Of course, Nelson also counts himself amongst the many musicians that have taken steps to spread the word about environmental concerns by founding eco-friendly organizations.
Big Willie, for his part, was one of the brains behind Farm Aid, a concert series started with the goal of helping small, local farming operations to stay in business (Willie Nelson: 2, Monsanto: zero). And he’s not alone in sharing his love for the environment. Dreamy surfer-turned-singer/songwriter Jack Johnson co-founded the Kokua Hawai’i Foundation to take environmental education to schools; the Dave Matthews Band started the Bama Green Project, which encourages volunteer to set up green booths around event venues in exchange for free passes to his concerts; Phish started the WaterWheel Foundation with proceeds from their concerts (as well as donations) in order to pursue an agenda of conservation, clean water, and urban gardening; and Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction started Global Cool (with actor Josh Hartnett and Doors drummer John Densmore) with the goal of reducing carbon emissions.
In short, a lot of musicians are going a long way to green up their act. Many team up with the non-profit sustainability group Reverb to make their tours more eco-friendly and educate fans along the way. And some find incredible and innovative ways to go green. For example, Radiohead has a plastic-free policy (only biodegradable items are allowed on tour) and the Barenaked Ladies recycle their guitar strings so that they can be made into jewelry. The only things these bands have yet to get rid of are their electrical instruments, amps, and Numark NS6 controllers. But some, like The Roots and Maroon 5 (amongst others), donate to renewable energy providers to offset their carbon footprint, so even when they can’t conserve they can still do their part for the environment.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Always do your best

Republic Services                           
We’ve grown more than 20,000 oak trees at our nursery at Sunshine Canyon Landfill.

Repurposed Furniture Idea

repuropsed furniture ideas

Repurposed Furniture Idea

Saturday, June 25, 2016

NC State Parks

NC State Parks                           
Get yours for free at any park office or visitor's center!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sand Dollar Identification

STEM Exploration (10 & 3:30): Sand Dollar Identification
Translated from French by          


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Recyclebank and Conservation

What can you do to save energy, reduce water and generate fewer GHGs? Find out!


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Balloons and our environment

Barb McNally
....and this is why we don't release balloons into our environment!! ‪#‎AtTheBeachToday‬ ‪#‎FeelingCrabby

Carteret Cooperative Extension Service County Big Sweep

Carteret County Center
June 20, 2016
Carteret County Center



Balloons are one of the many pieces of trash that can very easily be eliminated from our environment.
Atlantic Beach Post Firework Cleanup
July 3 after the Fireworks at the Atlantic Beach Circle
Help Carteret Big Sweep and the Town of Atlantic Beach get the beach cleaned, ready for nesting sea turtles   and the morning beach goers. All                 supplies will be provided.                                                                           (Printable Flyer)

Looking for Community Service Project for your business or your group?
Carteret Big Sweep Can Help! 
Auto Trader did a team building and community service project with Carteret Big Sweep this spring.



Dee Smith, Job Title
303 College Cir, Morehead City, NC 28557
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The oldest tree in North Carolina took root in 364 AD.

NC Conservation Ntwk                           

Saturday, June 18, 2016

How to make a bird feeder with citrus peels

This is so cool! How to make a bird feeder with citrus peels


Friday, June 17, 2016

STEM Grant in Pamlico County

News June 15, 2016 issue

Pamlico County to receive $1.2 million Golden LEAF grant for
STEM education

By Crystal Garrett


Ask and you shall receive.

A persistent group of Pamlico County partners in education applied for a grant to create a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Seamless Pathways Pipeline program for students in the county. 

And the Golden LEAF Foundation answered by awarding the county $1.2 million, which will expose students in the county to STEM education and hands-on labs, according to Beth Bucksot, economic developer of Pamlico County. 

Bucksot made the announcement during Monday night’s Board of Commissioners meeting. While the county was notified via a phone call, they haven’t received the official press release notification, she said.

“We asked Golden LEAF…for $1.5 million and we were fortunate and grateful to be awarded $1.2 million,” Bucksot said. “We will be looking for other funding sources to fill in the gap. Those sources will be a combination of grants and other options. The project is too important and interdependent to cut out any part of the project.” 

The STEM program

The program will be open to students from kindergarten to Pamlico Community College. 

“Once implemented, it will touch almost every student in Pamlico County and many from surrounding communities,” Bucksot said. “Professional development training and real business and industry connections for instructors are another key component for the project.” 

Higher levels of STEM education labs will continue at Pamlico Community College and will be available to 11th and 12th grade dual-enrollment students, as well as adults returning to college to enhance skills or start a new career in a STEM-related field, she said. 

“The college already has several STEM curricula that will fit with the program and has the potential to grow more to meet the expected increase in enrollment from the pipeline,” Bucksot said. “Its existing programs already include two exclusive ones in Environmental Science and Electro Neuro Diagnostics. These programs represent two of the many STEM fields with a high job demand, good pay and not enough available workforce (members).” 

The program will not only encompass book or computer learning but will include hands-on applications in labs with modules for Computer Aided Drafting (CAD), electronics, engines, engineering, composites, robotics, materials engineering, software manufacturing, 3D printing, environmental science and problem-solving real life applications. Internships are also a possibility for students at the high school and community college levels, she added. 

Another component of this program will involve kindergarten through 5th grade as well as 6th grade through college age education of parents, students and the community regarding the growth of fields where these skills are needed along with the types of jobs and salaries available in those fields.

Outcomes of the program

“Many families and students never consider STEM-based jobs because they do not realize the vast variety of jobs available,” Bucksot said. “Sometimes students do not want to go to college for four years and opt out of all STEM learning.”

By educating and exposing students to STEM-based hands-on labs it will open their understanding regarding opportunities and options available upon graduating from high school, the community college or a four-year college, she added. 

“This program will graduate high school, community college and four-year or higher level college students with the needed skills to succeed and compete for jobs in industry, technology, medicine, composites, engineering, manufacturing, marine trades and building,” Bucksot said. 

Community partners

Those involved in the project include the Office of Economic Development, Pamlico Community College, Pamlico County Schools, Arapahoe Charter School, the County Manager’s Office and input from local and regional businesses. 

“The level of care, expertise, commitment to excellence and mutual cooperation between these organizations has been a beautiful thing to behold,” Bucksot said. “It is such an unprecedented, real partnership that it is one of the reasons why Golden LEAF was happy to award Pamlico County the grant. This is just one example of what makes Pamlico County an outstanding place to live.” 

In addition to preparing a new successful workforce, the project will aid in growing existing businesses and attracting new ones to the area, Bucksot said. 

“We hope this aids in an end goal of providing more opportunities for families to be able to live, work and stay in Pamlico County,” she said.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Happy World Sea Turtle Day

NC Aquarium at PKS                          


It's Sea Turtle Week

NOAA Fisheries                           
It's ! We've got all the info you need about these amazing marine reptiles:


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Upside Down and Backwards

Pearline Moore's photo.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Save Money and Reduce Waste in the Name of Outdoor Fun

The List

The List: 6 Ways to Save Money and Reduce Waste in the Name of Outdoor Fun

Written by .
Fun is everywhere if you know where to look. Don’t stock up at the store — create toys for the pool, beach, or yard with normal household recyclables.

This time of year, when the pool, beach, and park all beckon, my instinct is to head to the store to stock up on sand toys, outdoor games, and all the other accoutrements of fun. But all that stuff adds up, and since I know stuff will get lost or damaged over the course of the season, I know I’ll be paying this price again come next year.

So I started thinking — are there outdoor games and toys that can be fashioned from household waste that would otherwise be destined for the trash or recycling bins? Of course there are, with a little bit of imagination and a bit of online research.

1. DIY dive toys. When I was a kid, we would dive for quarters my dad would flip into the pool. Today, the “water fun” aisle is filled with weighted torpedoes, hoops, fish, and other toys that sink to the bottom of the pool so kids can test their underwater swimming prowess by retrieving them. This year, I decided to save some money by filling a few 6-ounce individual water bottles with marbles (just enough so they sink slowly, but not so many that it’s too heavy for my kids to carry). Sometimes, when we swim at night, I’ll even stick an illuminated glow bracelet in there.

2. Make a pool toss game. For more pool fun, I found instructions to make a pool toss game out of an old T-shirt, packing peanuts, and vinyl banner material. It’s somewhat involved, but it would make a great gift for an environmentally-conscious friend who invites you over to use their pool!
3. Create a cornhole set. Cornhole is an addictively fun beanbag game that’s growing in popularity. A new set from a sporting goods store can cost upwards of $100. But if you’ve got some old plywood or boards lying around, you can make your own. As for the beanbags, sew up a set yourself with old T-shirts and some dry beans or rice! I like the ones on The Red Kitchen blog.
4. Assemble a set of sand toys. During an impromptu trip to the beach once, we found ourselves without sand toys. My kids ended up having hours of fun with an empty water bottle they found and a plastic food container I unearthed from the car. It made me realize that the sand toy sets you see in all the beach shops aren’t that much different than the plastic containers you likely have in your recycling bin (and they’re probably not even as sturdy). I’ve started collecting a few choice plastic tubs and containers, rinsing them well, and letting my kids paint their exteriors with fun colors and patterns. I’ve punched holes in the bottom of one to use as a sifter, and in a big quart container I attached a strap to make it into a passable bucket. Squirt bottles, like those for dish soap or shampoo, make great water guns. I even made a couple of scoops with detergent bottles.
5. Blow bubbles with homemade wands. Bottles of bubbles are not expensive, but I often feel guilty about how quickly my kids end up using up or spilling the solution or losing the wands. Then I came across this great article about DIY bubble wands that you can make from ordinary household items. Paired with homemade bubble solution, you and your kids will have hours of backyard fun.
6. Make an at-home water park. Use a soda bottle to make a sprinkler with your hose, or use the tarp left over from your last house-painting project to make a slip ‘n slide. Just be sure not to run the water for too long, and to move your water play around the yard periodically so that your grass gets evenly watered while you’re having fun

Monday, June 13, 2016

Michael Bryant is the Best in North Carolina

Congratulations to Coastal Environmental Partnership’s Michael Bryant for winning the Transfer Trailer/Truck Competition at the NC SWANA “Road-E-O” in Greensboro!   The North Carolina Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) held their annual equipment/truck competition on June 10-11, and had contestants representing public and private solid waste agencies from across North Carolina.  Drivers had to maneuver competition vehicles through a preset course and were scored on accuracy and time.  Michael is now the best in North Carolina and has qualified for the SWANA “Road-E-O” to be held in Dublin, Georgia later this year!  We are so proud of Michael!

The little things we do can make a big impact!

NC Aquarium at PKS                            
The little things we do can make a big impact!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Clean recyclables or water conservation?


Because You Asked: How Can I Clean Recyclables Without Wasting Water?

Written by Recyclebank   
Clean recyclables or water conservation? You don’t have to pick one over the other!

Dear Recyclebank,
Rinsing recyclables uses a lot of water. I am in California and we are currently in a drought. Every drop counts! So now what?
-Dave C.

Dear Dave,
You are not alone in the recycling-vs.-water-conservation dilemma. Here at Recyclebank, we stress the importance of recycling right, which includes making sure only clean and dry recyclables go in the recycling bin. But lots of Recyclebank members have wondered about the environmental trade-off of rinsing recyclables in the sink when much of the country is experiencing drought.
It’s a great question, since conventional faucets use about 5 gallons of water per minute (gpm). That means just 1 minute of running water to blast the remains off peanut butter jars and takeout containers each day can add up to over a thousand gallons of water over the course of a year. Do we really need to be using so much drinkable water to clean our waste?
Ultimately, it is impossible to say if it’s better to conserve water or to recycle right, because these green actions have different but equally important impacts. Comparing the two is comparing apples to oranges. We think that it’s a misconception that we need to choose one or the other. There is a way to do both!
As we’ve discussed, it’s important to make sure recyclables are clean before setting them out for pickup. This prevents contamination of paper recyclables from messy plastic, metal, or glass that might drip during single-stream processing. Dirty recyclables also lead to mold and pests which pose health and sanitation risks. However, your containers do not need to be sparkling clean, which is good news for water conservation. We’ve got some tips for how to properly prep your recycling without sending valuable water down the drain.
Bottles containing liquids can be emptied and air-dried before being tossed in the bin, without needing an ounce of water. Wide-mouth containers with stickier foodstuff should be scraped or wiped out by hand using a fork, spatula, or dirty napkin, again avoiding the sink altogether.
If “dry cleaning” doesn’t get the job done and you need to use water, we recommend using graywater (lightly used water). Washing fruits/vegetables or dishes in a large bowl or tub will leave you with graywater perfectly suited for cleaning recyclables before going down the drain. Water can also be collected using a drain plug. Moisten a sponge with graywater for wiping out the muck; bottles with smaller openings that are tougher to wipe out can be filled with graywater, closed, and shaken until clean.
All of the above tips will help you avoid turning on the faucet just to clean recyclables. But you could also consider making an inexpensive improvement to your faucets for water and dollar savings, since they use more than 15 percent of our home water usage. Look for low-flow fixtures if yours is outdated and you’re looking to make an upgrade. Faucet aerators make a great, inexpensive alternative to fixture replacement. They can be found at your local hardware or home improvement store for less than $10 and are easy to screw right onto your faucet. These have been fine-tuned to reduce water flow to as little as 0.5 gpm (as much as 90% less than the conventional faucet) without reducing water pressure.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Museum of Litter

Friday, June 10, 2016

Recycled Plastic Bottle Scoops

Ways2GoGreen Blog header   

Recycled Plastic Bottle Scoops

recycled plastic bottle scoopEver wonder what to do with all those plastic milk, juice and water containers? Vadxx Company is taking non-recyclable plastic and melting it down into a low sulfur crude oil according to CEO Jim Garret in a press release recently. That’s pretty remarkable. Even though we can’t be quite that efficient we can still find creative ways to re-use our plastic bottles too.
Try a few of these ideas or use your creativity and come up with your own.
  • Pet ideas. Scoops can be used for dry dog and cat food. They make great clumping litter box scoops, without the lid, clean litter comes through and clumps are left. Ever try to pick up pet messes? A plastic scoop can be pushed under the mess and you have hands free clean up. Use Natures Miracle enzymes for the rest of the clean up.
  • Household ideas. These scoops work great for transferring dry potting soil into pots. Refilling your birdseed feeder is a breeze. Fill scoop, hold over top of feeder and carefully open lid to funnel seed into feeder. Use your new handy scoop to pick up dry messes like broken glass, wood chips or nails. Use a scoop (with only the bottom cut out) for a nifty hand held paint pail.
  • Kids can help too. Scoops can help kids pick up blocks and small toys. They make great toys for dirt, snow, and bath time. Make sure that the sharp cut edges are covered with tape or filed down (use a nail file) before letting your child use them. Scoops also make a great ‘catch’ game for kids; just add a ball that fits inside the scoop.
  • Toilet water saver. Fill plastic jug with water. When toilet tank is empty place filled plastic bottle into tank. The bottle will take up water space but still leave enough water to flush the toilet. This little trick will save you money and help conserve water.
  • Garden containers. Give your seedlings a great start by growing them in a recycled plastic pot. Cut off top, including handle and use the bottom for planting.
  • Easy funnel. This idea can use any type of plastic bottle. Just cut off the bottom and remove the lid. The perfect funnel. Try one the next time you need to re-fill your car’s oil or antifreeze. Please use pet safe antifreeze.

Here are a few more recycling ideas for plastic containers.
  • Toilet water saver. Fill plastic jug with water. When toilet tank is empty place filled plastic bottle into tank. The bottle will take up water space but still leave enough water to flush the toilet. This little trick will save you money and help conserve water.
  • Garden containers. Give your seedlings a great start by growing them in a recycled plastic pot. Cut off top, including handle and use the bottom for planting.
  • Easy funnel. This idea can use any type of plastic bottle. Just cut off the bottom and remove the lid. The perfect funnel. Try one the next time you need to re-fill your car’s oil or antifreeze. Please use pet safe antifreeze.
Instructions for a traditional milk bottle scoop: using a knife make a small slit at the bottom of the bottle. Cut out bottom, carefully, with scissors. Cut an upside down ‘U’ shape (see black line on scoop picture above) staring from the handle side to the bottom to make open part of scoop. Don’t forget to keep the lid too.
Remember to recycle your projects when you are no longer using them.
Amy is a freelance writer most notable for her work with Rubbermaid Commercial, an online distributor specializing in Rubbermaid utility carts and microfiber cleaning supplies

Home Electronics Disposal